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June 12, 2021
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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 over 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.

For the last decade 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.

Go play our stuff



Expert Blogs

Posted by Paul Johnson on Tue, 04 Aug 2015 05:37:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC, Serious, Indie
Admittedly a little self-serving, but there's a real message in here about making sure you get everything right first time. Or pay the price forever...

Posted by Paul Johnson on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:11:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Console/PC, Serious, Indie
When Steam makes your blood boil...

Posted by Paul Johnson on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:45:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
Pirates are a lot of things. But why is one of those things not "embarrassed" ?

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?”

Paul Johnson's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/07/2016 - 02:32]

If your app is crashing ...

If your app is crashing several times a day, perhaps you should fix it r n r nAs a dev, I obviously dislike pointless hater reviews, but sadly they 're just a fact of life. If someone is spouting rubbish because something got his blood up, you can respond putting ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/05/2015 - 01:52]

Wow that 's timely. We ...

Wow that 's timely. We 're adding this stuff to Combat Monsters for our next update and I 'm about to start designing the code tomorrow. Really. r n r nThis is a great crib sheet to get me started, much appreciated. r n r n Also thanks for being ...

Comment In: [News - 08/10/2015 - 03:51]

Why aren 't there more ...

Why aren 't there more sequels to indie games r n r nBecause most indie studios don 't survive the first. The average income from an indie game won 't pay a low salary for one guy.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/06/2015 - 12:43]

@Robert r nSpoken like a ...

@Robert r nSpoken like a true hobbyist. r n r nFor those of us trying to earn our crust this way, it 's vital to get this stuff right. We pick games developer as a career because we love it and would prefer that to accountant or cabbie . But ...

Comment In: [News - 08/06/2015 - 03:30]

I 've tried to keep ...

I 've tried to keep an open mind having seen many passes at VR being the next big thing over the years. r n r nI 've finally come down in the no camp again though. Mainly because that picture seems a perfectly reasonable capture of what people will look ...