Windstorm Studios is one guy – Dusty Monk, former sr. software engineer at Ensemble Studios.
Dusty’s been in the game industry for just about fifteen years. He started at Midway Home Entertainment in San Diego, where he contributed to such titles as Hydro Thunder, Ready2Rumble Boxing, and Offroad Thunder. He moved to Dallas, TX in 2000, and went to work for Ensemble Studios, where we worked on the Conquerors expansion for Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires III, and Halo Wars.
When Microsoft laid him off in 2009, Dusty decided that now was the time to create games that he wanted to play. That meant he didn’t go off and create iPhone games – at the time he didn’t even own an iPhone. And he really didn’t much care for facebook games. No, he knew the game he wanted to play was set in a virtual world, was some sort of sci-fi setting, and be played on the PC.
As you might imagine, he didn’t have a lot of success persuading others to join him on such an obviously foolish endeavor, when there were far shorter and much safer paths to Indie Game Development, but he refused to be deterred, and so he set out to do it himself.
At first he wanted his world to be an MMO, and in fact, it is still his ultimate goal. He spent six months creating a prototype, and he showed it to any publisher that would listen. A whole lot of shut doors and short “No!”s later, he decided maybe starting with an MMO was a bit too ambitious. Not to be daunted though, he set out to turn the prototype he’d created into a full blown single player game.
So he cleaned out his severance pay and hired an art team to create some fantastic assets and animations. He dipped into his 401K to hire a professional composer and sfx team to create some great musical scores. And he skimmed his children’s college funds to hire a professional voice cast to do the voiceover work. And he built it all on top of the Torque Game Engine because he liked the way it just worked. Everything else he did himself.
Like most game development cycles, what started off as supposing to take 11 months to build went over budget and over schedule, and it was two years later before Atomic City Adventures saw the light of day. But here it is.
He finds he’s made a game that he likes to play, and so does his family. And he hopes that you and your family will give it a try enjoy it as well.
Source: Windstroem Studios Website