So… our office flooded late on Christmas Eve. It was just one of those unlucky things, but it wiped out pretty much everything in there. There were exceptional storms which meant a large part of Guildford flooded one way or other. For us, an underground car park next door filled with water, then burst, so it all happened real sudden.
Christmas in Guildford
We lost all our PCs, laptops, equipment, furniture, dev-kits, work in the blink of an eye, and our insurer (and those of those around us) seem like we won’t be covered, or at least responsibility is unclear. I don’t want to say out loud the value of what we lost, it’s horrible. It would probably fund a small game :(
The good news is that people have been so so so nice. So genuinely overwhelmingly supportive that actually I don’t know what to say.
Lots of people asked questions on Twitter, so I’ll try my best to answer them.
Where’s Hello Games at right now?
Everyone assembled over Christmas and we’ve been working super hard since. Right now we have set ourselves up at a new temporary (cramped!) location. Some of us are working from home. We’ve filled a couple of dumpsters with our old stuff, and built ourselves a make-shift post-apocalyptic set of workstations – but we’re back, full speed!
Over the next few months we expect to be in a nice new office, or to rebuild our old one better than ever.
It feels like that moment in a film, where the heroes are down, but not defeated. They are scattered across the world and they have to rebuild. Our next few weeks/months are going to be a training montage and running across mountains. Quick Cut! Dave’s punch dancing. Quick Cut! Hazel’s firing an arrow at a target… getting closer. Quick Cut! Alex has nunchucks in silhouette on a mountain peak. You get the idea. BE EXCITE.
Will this delay No Man’s Sky?
We won’t let that happen!
At times recently I’ve wanted to be depressed, to wallow, but it’s impossible surrounded by this team. They are literally unstoppable. If we’ve lost some work, we’ll make up the time. We’ll steal dev-kits. We’ll work on a boat. Whatever it takes (not actual stealing… maybe :)
Are you going to do a Kickstarter?
I like Kickstarter, and I love what it stands for (all my Xmas presents were Kickstarter pledges). Financially I guess it’d probably be a really good time for us to do one, and so many people have suggested it. I just don’t think it’s the right thing for No Man’s Sky right now though, and we’d probably rather not eat than do the wrong thing for this game.
If people buy our Joe Danger games then that does support us. We’d rather you buy Joe Danger because you want to play them though… they are real good games :)
Is Hello Games going to be ok?
What’s happened sucks. It sucks to see years of concept art floating in muddy water, it sucks to lose so much so quickly (Christmas or not). When we moved into this office it was a wrecked warehouse, and we did it up real nice. It isn’t some anonymous building to us, and it literally broke my heart to watch what happened. If you’ve been robbed (or flooded), you probably know how it feels. From the outside it might make us seem fragile as a company, but I promise we’re strong and I hope we’ll come out of this stronger.
It’s obviously horrible, but it’s all part of our little indie journey. Like this week not only did we have to build a new network, electrics, servers, new furniture and a dozen new PCs, but we had to build a half dozen new Macs, Linux machines and source all the Apple devices because last week we released both Joe Danger Infinity for iOS and Joe Danger PC, Mac and Linux in the Humble Indie Bundle X. We didn’t finish them til hours before, and then everyone collapsed in a heap.
Not right now, but when we’re old we’ll look back on all this as a highlight. So please don’t be worried for us (Mum), these last few weeks have been ADVENTUROUS.
Maybe Christmas was a bad time for this to happen, but New Year’s couldn’t be better for a fresh start. I couldn’t be more excited for 2014. Oh and a minute ago I saw something amazing Dave just got working in No Man’s Sky (I can’t help but see it, because he’s practically sat on my lap). Watch this space and all that, we’ll share more soon.