Renowned Explorers

Since Reus’ release back on May 20th, many players have experienced Reus. We hope that for all of you the game offered the joy we tried to put in it. We often got the question of what’s next, and today we’d like to answer that. While we will still work on Reus now and then to try and solve the problems some people unfortunately still have, we have started working on our second title as well. If you want to know more about what we’re doing with Reus, go here, otherwise please visit the announcement page of our new game or read below.


Its main theme is the exploration of unknown lands in the 19th century. As a member of the Renowned Explorers you are challenged to find the most legendary treasure the world has to offer, and to be back in time before the World Expo starts. To obtain this goal you will first have to gather a crew of skilled explorers, banding together people with different personalities and skills. The next challenge, is to follow the most promising leads around the world, while managing time and resources efficiently.

When you have determined the location of a treasure, it’s time for a turn-based approach. As a Captain you will lead your crew members to explore newfound land with the help of any resources that you may find on the island. Any foes that the exotic place has to offer can be met with either ruthless combat, pleasant conversation or an interesting mix of the two. After facing the challenges of a Caribbean island, Mayan temple or deep-jungle shrine, you may claim the treasure as your own and return it to your museum.

To grant you a new unexplored world every game, Renowned Explorers will generate and pose new mysteries, challenges, characters and combinations every time you start. Our new game is built to train you in the art of exploration, and it will reward you with deeper mysteries and rare treasure.

Main inspirations for Renowned Explorers are Jules Verne, Indiana Jones, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, and Fire Emblem, and we’ll definitely get inspired some more while we’re working on the game during the coming months. We hope you enjoy the idea as much as we do, and we’d gladly hear about what you think on the forums until we can show you something more… gamey.

But what’s it going to sound like?

Hi there. If you’re reading this, you probably know about our new game: Renowned Explorers: International society. You’ve probably also seen a bunch of visual teasers and read a bit about what the game is going to be like. If not, go check out the Renowned Explorers main page!

Today I would like to give you a teensy musical heads up on what kind of soundtrack is going to accompany Renowned Explorers. It’s not finished, not even by far, but neither is the game, so I guess it’s on schedule. And it’s not definitive either – a lot can change in the proces of making it and the soundtrack changes right along with it, of course. The music, presented all the way down this page, is an estimation, though, of what this game is going to sound like.

Just so we’re clear: it’s not going to sound anything like Reus. In that game I wanted to enhance the experience of managing a brand new planet, like I’ve explained in a previous blog. To do that I used music that sounded old, rhythmic and exotic and contained simple repeating melodic phrases. I based that style on the work of some contemporary folk bands that have a strong connection to nature in their music like the Dutch I Am Oak or the American Bowerbirds.

But what soundtrack does this Renowned Explorers game need? That’s the question I tortured myself with the last few months. When we started out, the setting was going to be a bit more steam punky than the one we’re aiming for now. To fit that setting I tried to create sounds and music that can be best described as 19th century futuristic. I used machines, like the mellotron and old synthesizers – retro futuristic as they sound, combined with a light orchestral set up and a wide and echo-ing piano to suit the mysterious and weird Jules Verne vibe we were looking for at the time.

In the proces, though, the whole thing shifted to a more bright and adventurous, almost Disneyesque vibe. Which is great. I love Disney. The game was also growing “bigger” really fast at this point. And I don’t mean big in a gameplay scope sense, but in a we’re-going-on-a-big-adventure sense. It had clearly left the dark and freaky streets of Jules Verne’s London and set out into the world of adventure movies like Indiana Jones, King Kong and Jurassic Park or Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Up. Big.

This bigness demands one thing and one thing only: an orchestra. It really needs it. And I’ll be the first to admit that this scared me at first. A lot. I’ve never worked with or on orchestrated music before and unlike for my work on Reus I couldn’t fall back on any previous experience. At the same time it was really exciting, since I always wanted to fool around with and learn about orchestrated music. This was the ultimate opportunity.

So I jumped in the world of brass, strings and woodwinds and started experimenting with midi orchestration to test musical ideas for this game. This is a process that is still very much going on and I hope by the end of it we can all enjoy Renowned Explorers in all the epicness it deserves. Until then, please enjoy this raw, fresh, yet unmastered and barely mixed (insert more disclaimers here) midi-demo of the orchestrated theme of Renowned Explorers.

And yes, “theme” implies that I’ll use it more than once. I already did, actually. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out the Renowned Explorers main page (again)!

So long,



Experiencing Abbey Games as an Art intern

Well then it’s time to introduce myself! I am one of the current Abbey Art Interns, Susana, expanding the Abbey Games team even more. I’m working enthusiastically on Renowned Explorers: International Society. So here’s an article on my first experiences at Abbey Games. My first day I arrived an hour early, quite normal for a nervous student. Really. Luckily, Abbey made sure that nervousness disappeared between the time I set my first step into the office and sat at my desk. (Really not more that 0.2 minutes). I got directed to a wikiguide that pretty much told me everything I had to know and once I had gotten myself adjusted I was good to start. Working on asset designs and learning about the game was what mostly held me busy for the first two week. The artists, Marlies and Peter, made sure to provide as much information and feedback as I wanted, which was quite a lot.

The week after, I got my hands on the characters, which I personally enjoy the most. And the game had more than enough to offer. I got the freedom to make adjustments as I saw fit, and oh boy, it was like standing in the candy shop and being told I can take as much as my pockets could fill.

This cheerful guy over here was one of my favorites to work with. Let’s just focus on his head for a quick walkthrough of the process.


Click for jewelry and facial hair

Translation – Conclusion

Thanks to the community, we’ll release a new update for Reus.

On November 25, we will release an update which will add 5 languages to the game. These will be French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Dutch. For every language, we will add a new piece of content for you to play with. These will be:

CathedralInventor's TowerBullBrazilwoodCanal Town

For French: The Cathedral is a project that adds bonuses to your village through the different ‘relics’ it houses.

For Italian: The Inventor’s Tower is a rare upgrade for the school project that boosts all natural sources in a unique way.

For Spanish: The Bull is a late level desert animal that works well with desert flora. It provides food and wealth.

For Brazilian Portuguese: The Brazilwood is a plant for your swamps that enhances tech and wealth when combined with animals.

For Dutch (new!): The Amsterdam-inspired Canal Town is an new project that focuses on trade and greatly boosts your food and wealth output.

You can play around with a test version for this update starting next week, on November 18. This test version will be distributed through the beta channel on Steam.

Questions and answers

Why is there no German/Polish/Russian/etc. translation?
Currently, translation is a community effort. When more languages get translated, we’ll add them to the game.

Can I still help translate other languages / improve current languages?
Yes, translations are still ongoing. Please read this to get started.

I helped with the translation, will I be added to the credits?
Yes. If you want to be credited with a different name, please fill out this form.

Translation: Get your language in Reus!



Another translation finished! This time, it’s the Spanish translation! With that, the Spanish Bull has been unlocked as a Desert Animal! This late level animal is available as soon as you hit level 3, and forms the ultimate combo with desert plants. Besides giving a good amount of food, it also provides the wealth a desert village so often needs! Thanks for all those who were involved in making the Spanish translation and bringing the Bull to all the Reus players!

Three more translations, and all translation bonus content will be added to the game!



We’re about to close the translation for now! The deadline for the translations is Wednesday 13-11-2013 at 12:00 GMT! The translators will of course gain eternal fame in the Reus credits! For the 3 finished translations (Italian, French and Brazilian Portuguese), please keep an eye on facebook, or crowdin, since we might add a few more lines due to bug fixing, or to translate the reward content!

Also, we will add all 10 reward bonus content if 7 translations get finished! So save those Greek and Mandarin projects/plants/animals/minerals!



Soon after the French translation, both the Brazilian Portuguese and the Italian translation also finished! They unlocked the Brazilwood and Inventor’s Tower respectively!

We thought we’d salute the plant Brazil is named after. The Brazilwood is a level 3 Swamp plant that is easy to use. You can create a Brazilwood forest with animals to get a large amount of tech and wealth, but there is a limit to how many Brazilwood you can place effectively. It needs the Growth Aspect.

The Inventor’s Tower is a rare upgrade of the School. It’s a specialization is an invention that boosts all natural sources that transmute with a certain aspect. So be prepared to change your think in a different direction once the tower pops up! Just like medieval Europe had to do after the world famous Italian thinkers started the Renaissance!

Don’t forget to proofread and vote on the translations!


It seems that the French are the first one to finish a translation! Congratulations! All it needs is some proof reading, which is at 18%.  The French translators unlocked a new project in game for everyone. It’s the Cathedral project, a rare upgrade for the Shrine! The Cathedral can have some sacred items that the villagers found, and increasing their importance makes the Cathedral a real place of pilgrimage. A bit like the world famous Notre Dame in Paris, which holds relics importantant to Catholicism. The project will be added in the same patch that adds translations, due in a few weeks.

Other languages can still unlock other in-game projects or natural sources!


Hey giants!

Starting today, we’re crowdsourcing the translation of Reus! That means that you can help us translate the game to your language, so it will be more accessible to fellow nationals! Of course, you’ll be doing us a big favor too. To show our appreciation, we want to put some resources we would otherwise have to put into translation in Reus. How, you ask? Well, every fully and well translated language will add something in Reus to represent that language! (a bit) They will be new animals, plants, minerals or projects. It’s like a kickstarter with reward-tiers, but you invest your knowledge instead of cash!


The languages are Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Greek, Spanish, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese.


Want to help?

So do you want to help translating? Then carefully read this guide firstYou can volunteer to help with any language, but please note that this is going to be played by thousands of people around the world. So please make sure you’re doing it correctly!

Once everything of a language is translated and proof-read, we’ll bring out an update on our website and facebook. When the whole thing is ready to be launched, it will appear on all distribution platforms! To make it in the first batch, a translation must be finished before monday 7 October! Also note that some of these unlocks might add a few more sentences to translate, so come back now and then after you finished the translation!

I hear you thinking: Why not Swedish/Danish/Japanese/Swahili?
While those are beautiful languages, we first and foremost have a hampered playerbase within the other countries. Besides that, we have limited time to make this happen.

Of course, besides the game becoming more awesome, translators will also gain a place at the timeless wall of fame we call credits.

With that endnote, I wish you all happy translating!

P.S. For the ones that want to guess what the unlocks are; every good guess is worth 10 Abbey Points. They give you free bragging rights, and are great to show off your cultural knowledge at parties.


Reus’s Reuzen (Giants). Evolution and animation.

Following Abbey’s sole nun Marlies and musical talent Joni’s footsteps (or finger presses, I guess?), it’s now up to me, Abbey’s labeled Ninja Monk and Eating Champion, to write an article about my main duty on Reus; the art and animation of the giants themselves!

When I first joined Abbey Games, they’d been working on Reus for some months, but there was very little to show for in the art department and just about zero percent animation present in the game. There were just some basic shapes and layouts, and Maarten (and I think Adriaan as well) had drawn some early concepts of about 8 giants. Yup count’em, 8! Sadly some of them never saw the light of day, but in the end it’s probably for the better.


Now, please follow me through the progress on the Forest Giant (Which I think is still my personal favorite).


ForestGiant1 1) Maarten’s very cute initial concept. This little ET/shaman-looking guy just didn’t have it going for him (although personally, I still think he has ‘something’ about him).
I believe he was still called the Wood Giant back then. Which would only had alluded to profanities, so this was changed to Forest Giant later on.
ForestGiant2 2) My first take on revamping Maarten’s concept. I know, it doesn’t look like much right now! But you can already see the direction it was going. I tried to keep most of the key elements of the design, like the wood theme, the shamanic mask and the leafs. He did became a little more humanoid in overall shape. Since he became a lot taller, his ‘poncho’ became his skirt.
ForestGiant2-2 2.2) Here are some more sketches which defined that concept. I came across these when browsing through my art folder (with actual paper/not digital), it was a bit like finding a treasure chest!
ForestGiant2-3 2.3) The finalized concept. The Forest Giant amazes the humans with his stunning Forest Raising ability! To emphasize his life-giving and peaceful nature, he became a big wooden monkey. The monkey head was actually supposed to be a mask, but gradually it became accepted as his actual head.
ForestGiant3 3) The first version of the Forest Giant how he appeared in the debug builds of the game. Sadly I don’t have any clean images of this iteration anymore, so you’d have to do with an old screenshot. His ‘hair’ and skirt were also separate pieces that could animate. His ‘elbow leafs’ were also separate and animated, but this proved unsatisfactory over time and I decided to make them static (it became a small bush, not a single blowing leaf). He ALSO had animated ‘ chin leafs’ but for the same reason, these were removed in the revision.
ForestGiant4 4) A few alterations, complete reshading and some minor recoloring later, and thanks to trainee-Monk Mitchel, the addition of animating eyebrows, this is the Forest Giant as he’ll appear in the finished game (OR WILL IT BE?). Also thanks to trainee/sensei Rick for the rough reshades!
ForestGiant4-2 4.2) Bonus art! A nice close-up of the most handsome giant around! Don’t you just wanna cuddle up those big bushy sideburns?

Now let’s talk a little more in-depth about the art. I was made aware from the start that we’d be using a skeletal-animation tool to animate the giants.

Since the sprites of the giants are very high-res (at least compared to the humans/houses/nature assets), this was completely understandable, since otherwise, if we’d worked with frame-by-frame animation, some PC’s might not be able to keep running at the preferred frame-rate and might cause overheating! With the skeletal animation, this means that every giant’s sprites only have to be loaded into the game once, as there are no actual ‘frames’ of animation. As you can imagine with skeletal animation, the giants had to be cut up into separate parts for limbs, otherwise there’d be very little to animate.

I had to keep this in mind from the very start of drawing the giants; even in the design process I had to deal with thinking how I’d separate certain parts. This actually game me quite some frustration, as I’d never be able to draw one big nicely detailed piece, because the shading and detailing would always be broken up by the animation. So yeah; each body part is shaded with a light source from the top, but when a giant rotates his arm around, the darkened part would be facing up, and the lit part would be facing down!
Being a perfectionist (I’m pretty positive EVERY artist is), I had trouble accepting this and had to think of ways of minimizing that sort of thing happening. But then, we’d be restricting the animation itself! Can you understand my double-sided blade dilemma going on here yet? But, that’s the path that was layed out for me, and I’d just have to suck it up and walk it. In the end I think we did alright.


When I was introduced to our custom-made skeletal animation tool, hilarity ensued. Because the tool was named Boner. (skeletal animation – bones – you bone ‘em – GET IT!?) And yes, you better believe it’s still funny even after nearly a year.
Boner was created by our lead-programmer Bas, with then-Abbey-helper Jacco tweaking and fine-tuning the program and basically making it more user-friendly for me. The fine chap was our Boner-assistant.
Sadly Jacco left us to focus on his studies and the two-thousand hobbies he has and I was left with something I could work with, but wasn’t perfect. There were a lot more features and short-cuts I’d have liked to have, but alas. Bas did answer my occasional plea to fix and/or include one or two features, just so I wouldn’t dive through the window in utter agony.
One of the biggest changes I suggested early on was the inclusion of a separate timeline for each joint, so the animations could be a lot more dynamic (It’d take another 4 months before I was granted with an additional feature to insert a keyframe on a specific point for all the joints simultaneously. But hey whatcha gonna do (I STILL DIDN’T GET ONION SKINNING THOUGH!!)).
There were a handful of tweening features, but to be honest they all didn’t work that well, so about 99% of the animations are a simple Linear tween. The Giants are enormous creatures though, so I think it works best for them. Can’t have them moving too swiftly or you’d lose the idea of them being, well, giants.

Looking back, I think I didn’t do to bad, keeping in mind I was working with a custom-made tool and I’ve never really done skeletal animation before (I highly dislike Adobe Flash. Yeah I’m one of those people).

Well that about wraps things up, hope you enjoyed my little insight on how the giants came to life!






Empty Planet Music

Sometimes, dreams come true. With the completion of the soundtrack for Reus, one of mine has. I think we were about 8 years old when Adriaan and I created our first game-concepts, albeit on paper. We shared a great love for games and had plenty of day-long Super Mario and Sim City sessions. Later on, our ways parted, but we always kept in touch. When I found out that Adriaan was actually living his dream and was starting up a game studio, I was eager to join in the action, of course!

My dream to make games had long faded, though, but I had taken up a new one: music. And I loved the idea of creating music for a game. I had no experience and little musical education (I’m a homegrown band musician), yet the Abbey guys still gave me the opportunity to create the soundtrack for their first game: Llamapalooza (2011). As the game was about frantically whipping llama’s with Dutch, Peruvian, Mozambican and French folkloristic characters, I tried to make a frantic folkloristic soundtrack with some heavily accentuated pan-flute. It came out sounding something like this:


Early 2012, Abbey games took on a more ambitious project: Reus. I applied for the job of composer once more, loaded with more ambition as well. The guys described the basic principle to me as “an empty planet, which the player has to make into a prosperous world full of shiny, happy people, using omnipotent nature giants.” This time, before actually creating music with the single thought “It needs more pan-flute!” in mind, I wanted to have a clear vision on how I thought the music to this giant god game should sound.I came up with the “empty planet music” concept. Since there were no people on the planet before the giants made it any kind of livable, there couldn’t have been any cultural background other than the culture the inhabitants created for themselves. With this in mind, I thought the music had to be simplistic in arrangements with an ancient set of instruments. The focus, in my opinion, should be as least as much on rhythm as on melodies and chords, since people were probably drumming way before they were playing classical compositions, right?

Conveniently, this approach came close to the music I had recently made with my band OIIO. We had created an acoustic EP filled with six tracks that might sound folky, but were really groovy and rhythmical in approach. There weren’t many chord-changes in the songs and most of the time simply adding and removing layers provided the necessary dynamics, like in the song below.

I rather liked this folk/house/afro/samba style of making music, so I decided to try and convert it into game-music. I recorded some chords with a harmonium (an indian mini-organ) and on one evening in the spring of 2012  invited two of my bandmates – Timo and Jasper to record a little bit. I owe these guys some big thanks, by the way. Their style of playing the banjo and percussion respectively, hugely inspired me in the entire process of creating the Reus soundtrack. Anyway, that night in 2012, this is what came out:

First Reus music

The first reactions of the upper-monks were a bit sceptical. Since back then it seemed like a big chunk of the game would be played when zoomed out far from the planet, they had a more of a spacey soundtrack in mind.  I cornered this scepsis with an (awesome) compromise: the music would be my proposed style of folky beat-music when zoomed in, but spaced out when… zoomed out! This meant I had to make two versions of every song: a space version and a normal one. The game would automatically crossfade between these two versions when zooming in and out, like it does in this early trailer

Early Announcement

Cool, right? Yep. But it didn’t make it into the game. Why? Well, the importance of zooming out from the planet was later taken out of the game and it was just too darn annoying to have a musical switch every time the player zooms in or out. Another aspect of my initial vision also crashed along the productional road to Reus: recorded music. I thought it would be nice to have every tracked played by a small orchestra of banjo players, fiddlers and drummerboys, but I soon came to the conclusion that doing the soundtrack would actually take more work than all the other aspects of the game combined, which is a bit out of proportion. Maybe next time, though… In the process of killing these two major darlings, I had accidentally created an ideal working set-up for the soundtrack of Reus. Within Ableton (an amazing music-making program) I set up some sort of digital orchestra of midi-instruments that I used to get close to the sound I had in mind for recording with actual musicians: a bass drum, a snare in different settings, a darabuca, a tambourine, a shaker, an oud (it’s the closest thing to a banjo I could find), a ukulele, a violin, a cello, an upright bass, a piano and… a harmonium! That’s it! I decided this array of instruments had to do and well, it did.

From september 2012 until now I visited the abbey on a not-so-regular basis to work alongside the guys and girl who did the art, programming, gameplay and all kinds of other things I don’t understand. It must have been a pretty funny sight. Entire days I could be sitting in the office, completely zombified behind my headphones, banging on my MPD32 (drum pads) and my tiny midi keyboard. It might have been a bit weird for my co-workers, but creating music in an office environment seemed to work out pretty well for me. Within little time I made more than enough material, from war-themes, to uplifting tunes, and of course some very, very empty planet songs. Below is a small selection of songs that actually made it into the game. I hope you like it as much as I like the game (a lot!).


Art – The Evolution!

Being the only nun here, at the Abbey, I thought it sure would be fun to write something about the art of our game. After all, every girl loves to make things pretty and every guy likes to watch pretty … things, so that’s a win-win right there!
Reus was running for a while before I was brought in upon the project, so I had to do some archeological research to understand the evolution of our art… The first things I encountered were pretty jurassic, so here goes:

Coderus Artus

“Coderus Artus” (rare specimen)(used from QIV – MMXI until QI – MMXII)
The oldest specimen I encountered! Functional and very practical in the early stages of development. Not crafted by an artist, but even better: by our programmer Bas. I sure love to find Programmer Art!

Primo Visualis “Primo Visualis” (used from QI – MMXII until – Unknown)
Just when I thought I couldn’t encounter anything flatter in perspective… Maarten drew the early versions of these houses, where the perspective of our game was not even an option just yet!
Flattus Perspectivus “Flattus Perspectivus” (Unknown)
Here’s where the artist spent more time on the details! A nice and stable home, I’d say! But still flat as hell, we can hardly fit one villager in there – so they started to make modular blocks (the central part of the building can grow more floors) – upgrades!
Minimus Perspectivus “Minimus Perspectivus” (Unknown, used until QII – MMXII)
A specimen which has been used for quite a few ages! Perspective enough to fit some villagers, but still modular in height. The first specimen I encountered alive…
Upgradus Perspectivus “Upgradus Perspectivus” (used from QII until QIV – MMXII)
The first design I helped to create. I was leaning heavily on the older designs, feeling limited by the game’s graphical limitations of perspective and flat coloring. We had a modular way of building our villages, so there was almost no freedom in the designs height-wise and perspective-wise. Still flat as hell, so to say…
Upgradus Perspectivus Additius “Upgradus Perspectivus Additius” (QIV – MMXII)
We found the specimens to be quite common and lonely… We needed some other buildings, props and happy things to make it more of a village. Once we started to create these, we wanted MOAR!
Finalus Homus Erectus “Finalus Homus Erectus” (used from QI – MMXIII until present)
Our living specimen! A very colorful one, and has enough perspective for a happy family! Modular building is out of the picture, so we could go all out on the design.
Homus Erectus Neighborus “Homus Erectus Neighborus” (used from QI – MMXIII until present)
The happy family now needs shops such as bakers and carpenters to provide them with everything they need. Designs go all over the top through these, and I absolutely love to think about the villagers that come shop for bread or medicine at these buildings. I think they will feel right at home!
Cheers! And with that, we’ve come to the end of this post on art – hopefully you enjoyed this trip down the ages!
In Nomine Tapirs, Filatelis et Spiritus Alcoholis! Cheers!

The Road to Reus

I don’t know if it was something boiling in my heart for a longer time, or if it was inspiration that struck while watching this video, but Reus is a game that had to be made. It went with lots of ups and downs, so making it happen was, and still is, a crazy ride. Please embark with me on our journey of making a game out of nothing, and with virtually no money.


Bas and I were both students at the University of Utrecht (famous for Game Maker). Bas was an ace student, while I was an average one. See, the course was very technical, and while I’m extremely happy that I learned how to code (relatively well) there, programming was not my passion. Those were games, of course. I’ve worked on a few student games before, but nothing that interesting. Now Bas, he was the King of the Course, arguably one of the best programmers dwelling the university.
We met each other through DGDARC, the Dutch Game Development and Research Club, where I was that year’s chairman, in the second half of 2011. I picked up a lot of organisational skills on the way, and we first started working together in a game jam I organized with DGDARC. See, I had a rare skill (at least, rare on the university), and that was my ability to draw something decent-looking. We created our first game (Momo and Mia, a co-op platformer) that I thought was pretty fun. From that moment on, we kind of knew that we shared the same goal (make original games), and we could REALLY use each other’s skills.


In the background, we also met Maarten, who was a member of DGDARC, and Manuel, who also participated in that game jam. After a few projects together (most notably, Llamapalooza which still hangs around here on the website), Bas and I decided to do something a little bit bigger. Reus was born. We could live from the student loans our government provides, while we make this game in like half a year in the basement of the university. Of course I was a complete idiot to think we could do this in 6 months with only 2 guys working for free. Luckily, we quickly realized this, and added two of the most talented people we knew to our team: Maarten and Manuel.

The bussiness begins

Together we started thinking about a company, which started with the name “Martian Flytrap” but was quickly turned into “Abbey Games”. We wanted the name to reflect our care and craftsmanship, just like abbey wine. Behind the screens, Bas was already actively trying to get a spot at the famous Dutch Game Garden. The Dutch Game Garden is an incubator that hosts a few of the coolest Dutch Game studios, like Vlambeer and Ronimo. Surprisingly, we got a spot in April 2012, which was a very big step for us! Spots for the Dutch Game Garden were extremely limited, and we were super lucky that the folks there saw potential in us! We collected some money from our savings to pay the rent and officially start the company. In April we moved into our new office…which was directly next to both Ronimo and Vlambeer! Awesome!

A lot of our older blogposts are from this time, like my game design posts featured on Gamasutra, Some of our adventures and this post about games that influenced our design.

In this time, we made a big shift towards being more than just some fanatic students. We started working with other people, who joined us in our goldrush. They, just like us, work for free, in the hope that we would sell something. Of course, we had no money for computers, so everyone had to bring his own laptop. Our art got a lot better, and we had to think about agreements, profits and the market. People were now officially counting on us!


Production and Feedback

From there on, it went really fast. The Dutch Game Garden helped us become better game-developers and better entrepreneurs. The game got up for testing several times, and we went to Gamescom in Köln to speak with big distribution parties. The game became better and better, while we learned from our mistakes regarding taxes and organisation. After 8 months we started with PR, with a less than optimal teaser. We learned a lot from the mistakes we made there, and it’s super fortunate that we started out so early. We were backed up in our endeavor by a team of creative artists, crafty coders and talented interns.

Finally, it was January of 2013. From that moment on, things went amazingly big. We could not have hoped for the attention that we got. All in all, we now are super excited about the future of Reus and Abbey Games, even though we started with practically nothing. However, it’s all very scary too. Can we make it true? Are the anticipations running too rampant? I have to work harder to make stuff happen! It’s a mix of joy, anticipation, anxiety and stress. But I’m absolutely loving it.

Thanks for reading, and we sincerely hope that we can create something awesome for you!

Reus Gameplay!

Want to see a fraction of Reus gameplay? Check this video out, narrated and played by yours faithfully!

Tell us what you think of it here, or on facebook!