Corey and Lori's Quest Log

Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Hell’s Dungeon

Eighteen people walk into a restaurant. They think they know what they are getting themselves into: weeks of too little sleep, grueling physical labor, cruel bullying, back-stabbing, and extreme embarrassment. All they have going for them is their own arrogance, confidence, strength, determination, ambition, and their cooking skills. They honestly believe that they have what it takes to impress Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Hell's Kitchen

Most of them are wrong.

Hell’s Kitchen proves the adage, “If you can’t stand the heat – Get out of the kitchen.”

Staring into the Abyss

” If we had known what we were getting into, we would never have done it. Game development is an endless Sisyphean nightmare warren of terrible nightmares.” – Jerry Holkins, Penny Arcade

Aspiring Game Designers are a lot like the contestants on Hell’s Kitchen. They think they know about all the things that go wrong in making games, the sleep deprivation, the clueless marketing departments. They’ve played games that should have been great, but turned into foul-tasting messes. They think that they have the guts and the skill to overcome the game development nightmare and that they can do it better.

Most of them are wrong, too.

Back to the Kitchen

Corey and I have been through years of our lives crawling through the pit of Game Development. We know that it involves endless hours of overtime with no holidays or vacations. We have seen people crumble around us from the pressure of impossible deadlines. We have experienced the heartache of seeing our beautiful design butchered by inept artists and incompetent programmers. We know that Game Development is a devastating, ball-busting, soul-stealing, ego-shredding version of Hell’s Kitchen.

So why would we even think of ever stepping foot back into that hellish warren?

Stepping up to the Hot Plate

We are much like those naïve fools who step into the kitchen in search of fame and fortune. We, too, are arrogant, confident, and overly-ambitious. The big difference between us and those wannabes is that we’ve been on the show before. We know just how rough it will be. We know that we are going to go dancing across fiery coals with a rose clenched in our teeth.

We have the confidence and experience to hack our way through corridors of monstrous mistakes, terrifyingly too-tight schedules, and horrendous hours sitting at our desks staring at the screen while we sweat blood.

Into the Fire

Why are we preparing to descend into the abyss? It’s because we know that we can create a fun, challenging game that will meet high standards and expectations of our inner Dungeon Master Ramsay.

So are we ready to again step foot into Hell’s Dungeon? Do we think that we will emerge victorious by cooking up a tasty game that you will savor?

Yes, Chef!

Hell's Dungeon


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  1. James StarRunner Says:

    @Joseph: Oh gosh, the plague of first person shooters! There are actually some FPS’s I like (Goldeneye, the original Wolfinstein…). But FPS’s have definately clogged the market. What gets me is all the people who claim to be huge gamers, but the ONLY genre they play is FPS’s. I think it’s important for any developer to be well rounded. I do love my adventure and RPG’s, but I also play platformers, strategy, puzzle, piloting, fighting, racing, board, card, ect…

    Let’s hope we both get our dreams fulfilled Joseph.

  2. Lori Says:

    A month and a half ago, we had no idea that we were going to run a Kickstarter campaign this year. I’d only heard about Kickstarter. But through a weird series of circumstances, coincidences, and luck, everything has started to come together. Suddenly, there’s that rush of excitement and anticipation of working with other people to create something unique and beautiful. The challenges that face us are like those in a game – as long as we don’t quit facing those challenges, we won’t lose. We’ll make this happen.

    On the other hand, we’ve been planning to do a game based on the School for Heroes since the day this site opened. So when opportunity knocked, we dragged him in and gave him some tea and crumpets.

  3. Joseph Austin Says:

    I hear where you’re coming from James. I believe maybe my kindling for the creation of games faded slightly when adventure games became less popular, and moreso when I settled into a comfortable position as a lead programmer for an engineering firm. But I’m being brought back to my senses by all that’s gone on, and also from seeing all my heroes back in action. I’m reminded that the 9-to-5 is convenient but not necessarily exciting. We should take this blog’s message to heart and let ourselves get enthusiastic about our dreams, and someday we’ll both get our shot.

  4. James StarRunner Says:

    Sounds familiar. I’ve seen it to a lesser extent. Yes, I will admit I don’t fully understand what hardships are in the industry, but I’m willing to go through the burn. People thought the game art and design program was going to be all play and easy. Ha! More than half my class dropped out after the first quarter because they had NO idea how hard it would be. I would still be in there if my Crohn’s Disease didn’t flare up and land myself in the hospital in the middle of my third quarter. Trying to get back in, but that’s another story.

    The point is, you need some heavy duty passion to endure the trials and continue on, especially in game design. It’s fantastic though when people love your game. It really does make the pain worth it.

    *sigh…* I really want to step back into the ‘arena’ and finish my classes. Hopefully soon… I want to finish so badly!!

    I didn’t know you guys already had a development team. Sounds like you got organized very quickly!

  5. Corey Says:

    Thanks, Joseph. It comes down to timing – Ten years ago, we could not afford to make a great game. We had neither the tools nor the cash.

    Now the tools are in place, and we believe we can raise funds via Kickstarter. We are working with a talented development team that already has a big head start on the look and feel of the game.

    Besides, much as with having a baby, the memory of the pain dulls down after a few years. We think we remember it, but we can tell ourselves, “It’s worth it.” Hopefully you will all agree.

  6. Joseph Austin Says:

    What a great article. It’s quite meaningful to anyone who would like to get their foot in that particular kitchen’s door!

    Personally, I think that being really passionate about your creations can be worth having to bang your head on a wall now and then. You don’t become a hero just by signing the log book 😉

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