Introducing: Kickbomb Entertainment

Kickbomb Entertainment is a new indie game dev outfit founded by Josh Sutphin (that's me!)

For those who don't know me: I'm a game industry veteran (since 2004) with design and leadership credits on Sony's award-winning PS3 hits Warhawk (Incognito Entertainment) and Starhawk (LightBox Interactive). I went indie in early 2013 and founded Utah-based game dev and consultancy Third Helix. I took on a couple clients, and also started concepting my current indie project, Legacy of the Elder Star.

When the time came to look into trademark registrations, I was advised Third Helix would be a difficult mark to secure. Consequently, I chose to rebrand. The result is Kickbomb Entertainment™. (See what I did there!)

I could've just changed the name and called it a day, but the rebranding exercise was a good opportunity to reassess my business goals and methods. That led to the formal establishment of Kickbomb's core design values:

  • Best-in-class game feel
  • Rich dynamics
  • Imagination
  • Interesting dilemmas
  • Sustainable development

You can read more about each of these in my values statement, but today I want to draw special attention to the last one: sustainable development.

In my time working in AAA, I saw (and was subjected to) a lot of "crunch time". When I left the studio environment in 2013, I experienced scary residual effects from crunch which lasted for months: depression, anxiety, memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, poor attention span. Most alarmingly, my creative drive and desire to make video games had vanished.

Obviously, a more sustainable lifestyle is necessary.

Where I saw crunch, the causes were most often lack of scope control, poor (or absent) dependency management, an unwillingness to compromise on small details, and arbitrarily immovable deadlines. These are solvable problems, and solving them in no way endangers the final quality of the game.

And with Kickbomb, I aim to prove it.