Video game development is something not often associated with Sequim, but thanks to Cryogenic Entertainment that may start to change.
Locals Tony Dorito and Caleb Koch have built their company from the ground up, and now their work is starting to pay off. Their first game has been released on Steam’s Early Release program, with “Ferret Scoundrels” becoming available for purchase on May 9.
The Early Release program was started by Bellevue-based Valve Entertainment as a way to help support smaller developers and allow them to sell games in a playable-but-unfinished state. Developers can get more testing and player feedback than they’d normally be able to pursue, given their limited funding (as compared to major game companies).
Between that valuable feedback and the additional funding the game purchases bring, smaller game developers can more easily finish products at a higher level.
Cryogenic Entertainment is hoping that “Ferret Scoundrels” is the next such success story, Dorito and Koch said, and they’re willing to put in the work to make sure it happens.
“We’ve already gotten a lot of good feedback,” Koch said, “both in terms of what people like and what we need to work on.”
He added, “We’ve learned a lot of lessons from other Early Release program games.”
Koch added he and Dorito want to stay as transparent as possible with their development process, including publishing a road map of sorts on their website for fans to follow.
“Ferret Scoundrels” is a game of the high seas, with players taking the role of a ferret captain in charge of an independent ship in pursuit of gold and glory. Things don’t exactly go to plan early on in the game, and players are left in charge of a rather less than glorious vessel as they start to claw their way back to where they were before, starting by chasing down a mysterious treasure.
Sailing around a sea dotted by islands both wild and settled, players haul cargo around to complete missions – and sometimes have the option to engage in a little piracy by attacking other ships in the area. But larger pirate vessels or ships representing more legitimate authorities are always around as well, forcing players to be cautious and aware.
The Cryogenic Entertainment duo are hoping to have the game fully completed by the end of the summer, though they said working as such a small development team their timeline may be a little aggressive.
Koch said, however, that they’re willing to put in the work and that they’re going to make this game as good as they possibly can before they finish it. Koch will work to polish the game’s art assets, including visual and audio elements, while Dorito works on finishing the programming side of the game. Both have an even side on the general design, they said.
The Sequim Gazette was provided with a review copy of “Ferrett Scoundrels” for the purposes of researching this article.