What happened with Shadow Physics?
I’m Scott Anderson, and I was working on a game called Shadow Physics. Real development of the game started in September 2008 at the first TIGJam and ended on my 28th birthday, July 14th 2011.
There are a variety of reasons why I feel the need to write about my experience with Shadow Physics. The main reason is I believe there should be more transparency in the game industry. There are 100s of untold tales, many of which can never be told due to legal and political reasons. With Shadow Physics I am in a unique position of being a co-creator of the game and co-founder of a project that is bound by few NDAs. Enemy Airship had no internal NDA agreement and our investors, Indie Fund, believe in transparency. The only thing I cannot discuss in detail is Enemy Airship’s deal to publish Shadow Physics on Xbox Live Arcade.
I would like to say that the other reason why I am writing about my experience is so other developers can learn from it, taking away some useful nugget of wisdom that will help them succeed in a future project. In practice though, I feel like I learned very little from the experience. It was, in theory, the first real chance I had to put all of my beliefs about how games should be made and what games can be into practice and I blew it spectacularly.
I’m also writing with the whole ordeal somewhat fresh in my mind. The truth is I’m still bitter, and in some cases downright angry, about some of what happened. The safe approach to writing about the development of a cancelled game would be more diplomatic, but I plan on being brutally honest even if it burns some bridges.
Last but not least, I am writing to give myself a voice on my own project. Steve has talked about the game in multiple speaking engagements and interviews, while I only had a handful of chances to publicly discuss the game.