WELL, FOLKS. Crashlands just got TouchArcade's 2016 Game of the Year.
This is a surreal, humbling, and deeply emotional moment for us. Looking back, we never expected to make it this far, and in many respects, we weren't even sure we would be around at this point. Six years ago I couldn't write a single line of code, Sam could barely draw a stick man, and Adam was intent on becoming a scientist. Five years ago I dropped out of law school to try to make games full time. Four years ago Sam and I left the studio we were working at to strike out as Butterscotch Shenanigans.
We made Chauncy the Rabbit. It was bad, and it failed. We made Gerblins. It was sorta bad but kinda okay, and it failed. We made Towelfight 2, and it got great reviews, but barely anyone played it, and it lost a ton of money. We made Quadropus Rampage, and it got great reviews and 2 million players, but still made just enough money to pay only one of us, right at the poverty line.
Our wives kept us alive, cheering us on the whole way. Never once did they say, "Are you sure this is a good idea?" Never once did they say, "I don't think this is going to pan out." They saw how determined we were, and they believed that we could do it. Our family and friends had our backs, too. Some of them were baffled by this weird thing we were doing, but they cheered us on anyways.
Sam got cancer one month before our studio's one-year anniversary, and in early December of 2013 we started working on Crashlands. His survival chance was 7%. He got blasted by chemotherapy and went into remission, then got rediagnosed. He went through salvage chemotherapy and underwent two stem cell transplants, and he beat cancer a second time. He sat in the hospital for months, cranking out art assets and writing stories for Crashlands. You may not know it, but that armor you just crafted in Crashlands may very well have been drawn in a hospital bed. We even ran out of money halfway through development, and we stopped to build and launch Flop Rocket to keep the studio afloat.
By the time Crashlands was done, Butterscotch Shenanigans had $800 in the bank. With what we've pushed through the past four years, to think that anyone would consider Crashlands to be the game of the year... I don't think I can adequately express how that feels. Sam has said that in moments of quiet, he will sometimes find himself thinking, "I wasn't supposed to be around for this." I never really understood what he meant by that. Now, I think I get it.
After years of struggling to learn, to build this studio, hovering around a zero bank balance, almost losing a brother... and suddenly having a "game of the year" title with our names on it -- all three of our names -- I think I understand what Sam meant. Struggling so hard to stay afloat, to stay alive... it makes the wins seem like a dream, like they can't be real -- like it's not supposed to have happened this way.
Anyways, I don't know how to end this post, so I'll just say... This is an unbelievable honor. We are humbled that we've had the opportunity to create worlds and stories for you all to enjoy, and that you all have appreciated our work so much. It means the world to us.
[Update: Gamezebo just published their top games list, and Crashlands is Game of the Year there as well. THIS IS CRAZY!]
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