Crashlands Anniversary: an enormous thanks (and a documentary)

January 21st, 2017

What a ride.

5 years ago today, Sam and Seth joined forces for their very first game jam, at the St Louis chapter of the Global Game Jam. At that time, Seth had been learning to program for a mere 6 months and Sam had barely done any art in his life. Together they made Towelfight of the Gods, and then thought, “HEY maybe we could find a way to do this for a living…”.

And so Butterscotch Shenanigans was born.

1 year ago today, we launched Crashlands. By then, we had already launched four major titles, I (Adam) had joined the team, and Sam had crushed cancer twice. We’d made no money and Crashlands was pretty much our last chance to prove we could do this for a living. Amazingly, we are still here today, able to finally pay ourselves and even provide a living for a few new Butterscotches, and have built up enough of a runway to develop our next major title. While we had done everything in our power to make that happen, in the end success wasn’t really up to us.

And so we are endlessly thankful to the wonderful folks at Steam, the App Store, and Google Play who saw promise in our studio and in Crashlands, and so took a chance in putting our game in front of an enormous number of potential fans. It’s a simple fact that without their help, the thing on which we’d spent years of Crashlands literal blood, sweat, and tears would have been a flop.

We are even more thankful to all those gamers who then risked their hard-earned income on the wacky thing we made. We still, today, get regular messages from players telling us how Crashlands provided some joyful light in otherwise dark times, which is simultaneously humbling and exactly what we’d hoped for.

Finally, none of this would have been possible at all without our amazing spouses. They supported us financially, and most importantly supported us emotionally and in all other ways a person could be supportive. It would be impossible for us to thank them enough.

So, here we are. And here’s what Crashlands looks like today:

  • 6.6 million installs (mostly pirates, BUT STILL), half a million of those from BscotchID users
  • 240,000 BscotchID users have played Crashlands, totaling:
    • 474 years (!) of playtime (making it so we can naively estimate 6,000 years of playtime across all players everywhere)
    • 210 million murdered creatures
    • 60 million fished fish
    • 7 million player deaths (player characters, not actual people!)

It would be impossible to convey in words what the past few years have been like for us. Fortunately, we don’t have to: to coincide with the anniversary of Crashlands’ launch, a documentary following the final push of Crashlands development (and of Sam’s cancer) was launched today (get it on Steam, Vimeo, or VHX). It was made by the fine folks at Forever an Astronaut, who did an amazing job capturing the essence of what it was like for us to get where we are today. If you are a fan of the studio, of Crashlands, of game dev, or are just plain interested in compelling stories, you should definitely check this thing out. The Astronauts even put the first episode up for free, and you should definitely give it a watch.

Thank you, all of you who made this all possible!

Last but certainly not least, it’s been a pleasure to watch the St Louis game dev scene grow along with us: please join us in congratulating our friends at Graphite Labs, who just launched Hive Jump last week. They’ve put together a super fun, super beautiful game and you should definitely check it out.

Have a great weekend, lovely humans.

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Posted by Adam Coster

Adam is a co-founder at Butterscotch Shenanigans, and programs all sorts of the nifty tools that make our studio special, like BScotchID and the Crashlands Creator. Follow him on Twitter at @costerad