Hey everyone — It’s my pleasure to wish all who follow the Gregorian calendar a Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2020? The future is now.
If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m C.J. Kershner, head of Polyhedron Productions. We’re a narrative consultancy and independent studio, primarily focused on video games but interested in a wide variety of art forms, and it’s my job to take care of the business and creative operations, as well as write up the site’s news.
We’ve conducted these annual reviews internally since we started in 2015, and while the blog serves as a good public record of what’s going on with the company, we felt it was time for a proper end-of-year recap (last year’s website security and privacy update doesn’t count). This is a chance to reflect on the work we’ve done, places we’ve been, people we’ve met, and the challenges and triumphs along the way.
2019 was one of our most prolific years so far — we contributed to four titles, plus a major downloadable expansion, that released over the past twelve months. These projects were very different from one another, across a spectrum of genres, and we continue to be fortunate to work with talented teams all over the world on creative endeavors that spark our imaginations and push us to expand our knowledge.
And though lighter on conventions and conferences than years past, we still managed to get out of the office a couple of times.
It was also a year of unexpected health complications, for myself and those close to me. During the summer, I underwent brain surgery to remove a large — thankfully benign — tumor that had been lurking in my skull, and more recently I’ve been assisting a family member who’s dealing with a debilitating condition. It’s been difficult at times to balance being a good caregiver/patient/storyteller/service provider, and I’m indebted to my friends, family, and teammates for their understanding and support. Overall, the experience has revealed much and reinforced many of my beliefs about life in general and the work I do here in particular; I hope to be able to speak more about it soon.
So with all that said, let’s revisit the seasonal highlights…
This was a quiet, yet highly productive, period at the office. We were heads down with client work, while planning for the coming months and organizing our affairs (like renewing professional insurance and getting ready for tax season).
Unheard, by NEXT Studios, came out at the end of March and tested freshly deputized “acoustic detectives” with a series of increasingly complicated audio-based mysteries.
At the start of April, I went to PAX East disguised as photojournalist “Chip” James to help demo The Church in the Darkness; just a few weeks later, I was at the East Coast Game Conference as part of a narrative workshop and to co-present a talk on freelance life.
Breaking Bad: Criminal Elements, by FTX Games, launched at the beginning of June and invited players into the world of the hit TV show to build their own illicit empire.
Then in July, two of our collaborations, Forgotton Anne (ThroughLine Games, 2018) and Unheard (NEXT Studios, 2019), won awards at the Brazil Independent Games Festival.
August opened with release of The Church in the Darkness, by Paranoid Productions, in which players snuck deep into 1970s South America to discover the truth about an ever-changing cult and its charismatic leaders; mid-way through the month, “The Lethal Script” let players listen in on a new location and cast of characters in a free additional case for Unheard.
In September, we ordered custom hats with the studio name and logo from a local embroidery shop. After accumulating a closet’s worth of apparel from former employers and expos, it feels really empowering to finally have something that’s distinctly ours.
Early in November, Need for Speed Heat, by EA Ghost Games, gave players the keys to a neon-drenched Miami-like city where they could spend their days street racing and their nights being chased by a cadre of corrupt cops.
It’s sometimes hard to believe Polyhedron will be entering its fifth year of existence in 2020 — the time has passed so quickly, and practically every minute has been packed with unbelievable adventures.
We’ve got a great lineup of games in development, some of which have already been announced — like SYNCED: Off-World and Mondo Museum — and some of which are still under wraps.
In the near-term, we’re in the midst of improving day-to-day operations and wrapping up an extensive IT upgrade. Adieu, Windows 7, parting is such sweet sorr– oh wait, we actually still need you! (Thank goodness for virtual machines.)
And we’re going to try to be more active and engaged on our social media accounts, like LinkedIn and Twitter. We’d been holding off on posting anything until we had Polyhedron-exclusive info (same with the newsletter), but realized it came at the cost of sharing updates from friends and collaborators. It will likely start as relevant rebroadcasts, but we hope to post some of our own stuff soon.
If you’ve read this far, thank you — thank you — for being interested and invested in what we do. Your time and attention are valuable, and we strive to always entertain and inspire.
So, here’s to the future and another trip ’round the Sun — stay curious, stay playful, and stay tuned!