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Paul Johnson's Blog   Expert Blogs


Welcome to Rubicon's Ramblings.

This is the new blogging home of independent game creators, Rubicon Development. 

Yeah, who? With over 3.5 million customers, two game of the year awards and a BAFTA nomination, we put the "under" in "under the radar". So shhsh, don't tell anyone we're here!....

It's going to be me making all the posts and commentary, so here's a little about myself:

I've had a career in professional game programming spanning nearly 30 years, much of that in senior or lead roles, but you probably won't have heard of me before either.

The main reason for that is that a long time ago I made a decision to avoid working in massive teams on blockbuster titles and instead stuck with small to medium sized companies.

As cool as it is to say "I worked on Call of Duty" or whatever, I much prefer making a big impact on whatever it is I help develop, as it's much cooler to say "I made that". That's just not something you can really say when you're one tiny cog, even if it's the drive wheel.

For the last nine years I've been running a small independent studio, Rubicon Development, with co-founder Steve Haggerty. We set up Rubicon because we wanted to make original titles of our own, without publisher or investor interference, and have projects led by programmers how they should be.

To that end we've had some modest successes, mostly coming from our own IP creation, Great Little War Game, and it's much acclaimed sequel, Great BIG War Game.

We've just released our biggest game yet, Combat Monsters, to iOS, Android and PC. Go play it, it's ace.



Expert Blogs

A sorry tale of over-expectation and under-performance, from the biggest CCG you've never heard of...

Posted by Paul Johnson on Thu, 02 Jan 2014 04:58:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Smartphone/Tablet
"Taken together, all of these factors should contribute to an overall CPI goal that backs out in an ROI-positive manner" -- is this actually English?

Posted by Paul Johnson on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 04:05:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Production, Art, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
Late summer, 2012. "Great Big War Game" had launched and done reasonably well so we started to think... “what next?”

Posted by Paul Johnson on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 07:26:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Smartphone/Tablet
Here I am again swimming against the tide. This time, "the charts" get my own brand of good news!

Posted by Paul Johnson on Tue, 02 Jul 2013 03:40:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
I've wanted for a long time to have my say about F2P games and this is it. (This is mobile-centric because I am, but the content probably holds up for other platforms.)

Posted by Paul Johnson on Sun, 30 Jun 2013 09:46:00 EDT in Design, Indie
Seems either the big firms are missing a trick, or we are!

Paul Johnson's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/11/2014 - 07:14]

Not in this case, as ...

Not in this case, as we all had separate roles. You need a server guy, a gameplay guy, someone doing the AI etc. If we kept it small I doubt it would ever have gotten finished.

Comment In: [Blog - 01/31/2014 - 09:13]

I 'm impressed by your ...

I 'm impressed by your attitude, but I fear it does you no good. r n r nLike everyone I hope , we listen to all genuine complaints. If they have a point, we try to smooth things out, explain an issue, schedule a change or ultimately make a refund. ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/22/2014 - 05:50]

Interesting piece and nice to ...

Interesting piece and nice to see something constructive posted about F2P issues. r n r nWe solved the reviewer problem with Combat Monsters btw. Simply don 't get any.

Comment In: [Blog - 01/17/2014 - 06:04]

Amen brother. r n r ...

Amen brother. r n r nWhen you hear about big megacorps putting 10 guys in a room to capture that indie spirit, it seems all the more tragic that they just don 't get it. r n r nThankfully for us, they never will.

Comment In: [Blog - 01/17/2014 - 08:32]

But they probably didn 't ...

But they probably didn 't earn out of it. r n r nCouple of years ago, we did a special localised version of Great Little War Game and scored a front page feature on China Mobile 's landing page. We thought all our christmases had come at once and a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/02/2014 - 04:58]

Thanks for this, interesting counterpoint. ...

Thanks for this, interesting counterpoint. Although the alternative seems to be Have mates with massive numbers who will do you a favour . Not sure how sound that is as general advice unless I missed something