The Journey is more important than the destination

Sleepy Sentry stand

So here we are. After a luxurious week of summer vacation, Sleepy Sentry is once again going full steam ahead into Stirring Abyss. The summer has gone by in a flash, so I wanted to put some thoughts down while the memories are still fresh.

In short, this summer was amazing. Startup Journey exceeded our expectations in just about every way possible: not only did the coaching sessions dramatically change our plans through the summer (for the better, hopefully!), but more importantly we met a ton of awesome, likeminded people. It was no surprise that we got along well with the other game teams: the game dev community in Finland is very open and friendly in general. What was more surprising given our initial thoughts was just how well the entire Journey group gelled together during the program. The startup spirit was strong, and driven even further by Juhis and Leo, who truly made us all one big team by the end of the summer. Officially, Startup Journey included a competition. In reality, you would never have been able to tell by looking at us. Ask anyone from any of the other teams for help or advice and they would not hesitate to answer.

One of our favourite events this summer: Lego MVP competition!
One of our favourite events this summer: Lego MVP competition!

The big event of August was of course the Demo Day. With some last minute preparations our stand actually became pretty freaking cool if I say so myself. Even while we were setting up people were snagging our deep ocean -themed candy and asking when we’d have our Stirring Abyss shirts for sale. The stand was the unveiling of our very first public prototype build, and the feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive. People were really interested in hearing about the game and our ideas, and many took an interest in the prototype despite it being a clunky early pre-pre-pre-alpha build.

Things didn’t always go according to plan…

For me personally, Demo Day was a very divided affair. Before the event started and at the stand I wasn’t nervous at all, but as soon as I went backstage to prepare for our pitch my nerves went into overdrive. The pitch itself went absolutely perfect though, so all’s well that ends well. In the end, Morrow Games was chosen as the winning team of Startup Journey 2016. Their new pitch with actual VR on stage was really freaking cool, and we wish the best of luck to them going forwards. Crowmire, their psychological horror game with virtual reality support, will be launching sometime this fall and is well worth checking out.

There's something awfully familiar about this jury. No wonder Morrow Games won!
There’s something awfully familiar about this jury. No wonder Morrow Games won!

What happens at the after party, stays at the after party, but suffice to say it was a great end to a great summer. We’ll definitely be staying in touch with the other Journey teams, and I fully expect all of these awesome people to achieve a lot of cool stuff in the coming years. For Sleepy Sentry one chapter ends but another begins, and we’ll have some more cool stuff to show about Stirring Abyss in the coming weeks.

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