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Thomas Henshell's Blog


Life is too short not to follow your dreams.

I love games and software design.  At 6 years old I was hooked when I typed in a BASIC game to my TSR-80.  I knew what I wanted to do; but how to get there? I took a very long winding road.

In the early 90's I completely ignored my studies in highschool and solely focused on teaching myself programming in C.  I made a new (incomplete) game almost every week.

During the DOT COM bubble of the late 90's I scored my first professional programming job, which eventually lead into building one of Canada's largest E-Commerce sites with a team of 25+ in C++ and XML.  But there was no creativity in it.

After 5 years I was sick of web, so in 2004 I founded a software company to enter the emerging enterprise mobile market (windows mobile, .NET C#).  Over 10 years we grew, built some amazing delivery and field force applications, won some awards, and gained industry recognition.  But it wasn't games and I was getting antsy.

So in 2006 I opened a tabletop gaming store Hobby Kingdom focused on Magic, miniatures, RPGs, and boardgames.  We've grown a great community of gamers, have awesome events, and had visitors from around the world.  But it wasn't making games.

So in 2011, with the support of my wife, I stepped down from running my software company to found Mirthwerx a two man studio to make educational mobile games.  But it wasn't making games I love.

So in 2014, with the support of a skeptical wife, I started working on the game of my dreams.  That game is Archmage Rises.  I'm a sole indie developer under the company name I've wanted since I was in highschool: Defiance Game Studio

I help others where I can; I guest lecture at Redeemer University in entrpenuership and programming. I speak at various gaming conventions around North America if I think I have something valuable to contribute.



Member Blogs

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 01:44:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Selling is an art in itself. The developer of Archmage Rises shares what he learned from the corporate world – so you don’t have to

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Fri, 07 Nov 2014 01:25:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC, Indie
You aren't truly indie unless you are trying to hit a deadline while making soup! (Recipe included.)

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:29:00 EDT in Audio, Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Composer James Marantette sheds some light on the creative process behind the Archmage Rises title track.

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:35:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Art, Console/PC, Indie
Thomas Henshell and Rogier van de Beek dive deep into how they make the artwork being produced for Thomas’ upcoming 2D RPG Archmage Rises.

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:32:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
Stealing game design gems from one of the best games ever made.

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 09 Oct 2014 05:10:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC, Indie
I met the Goliath of the PC world, and he’s a pretty swell guy.

Thomas Henshell's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 12/08/2014 - 01:44]

You know, I kinda thought ...

You know, I kinda thought someone would take that idea and run with it I 'll create the first Cake Decorator Clan :-

Comment In: [Blog - 12/01/2014 - 01:17]

Ok, you are right: A ...

Ok, you are right: A better term is self-guided rather than self-taught . r nAs a self-guided programmer who has hired several self-guided programmers, I find the people who are successful at teaching themselves material ie: creating their own curriculum by sourcing their own material, consuming it, and then practicing ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/18/2014 - 01:51]

Sorry to hear how you ...

Sorry to hear how you got screwed. r n r nI have run my own professional services company for 10 years and I am married to a lawyer and we live in Canada. I know a bit about contract law through both my experience and hers. r n r nThe ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/12/2014 - 01:39]

Awesome, not just applicable to ...

Awesome, not just applicable to game dev, applicable to all software development, or just team leadership in general.

Comment In: [Blog - 11/07/2014 - 01:25]

That sounds like a great ...

That sounds like a great plan Amir Some nice consistency for the little ones. r nMetal/magnetic balls -- that 's funny. r n r nI too can work till 2am, and often want too. The hardest is when I have flow while I 'm working. When i 'm really in ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/03/2014 - 03:43]

I agree with your thoughts. ...

I agree with your thoughts. r n r nNumbers seem to be a crutch to make the game feel fair. Or an easy way to be transparent with the player about the game world. Rather than making art or text or whatever that implies I can 't beat the minotaur ...