A Bit Of Back Story
Hi, I'm Jeff McArthur and I started BlueGill studios way back, when I was pretty much just a little kid (now I'm a big kid). I was at the age when I wanted a name to brand any projects I worked on, and it took me quite a while to chose one. I ended up choosing BlueGill Studios.
The Bluegill is a small fresh water fish native to most of the Northern American hemisphere. The name reflects my passion for God's incredible creation, as well as my interest in small things. I liked the idea of naming my studio after something small yet resilient.
Our first attempt at game development was back in 2001 using the Coldstone Game Engine. Unfortunately the engine was buggy and never got updated to work correctly, with the recently released Mac OS X. Still, I had a lot of fun creating maps and running around in them.
The next step was to jump into 3D game development using actual coding and scripting. After looking around at 3D engines I decided I wanted to use a-soon-to-be-released engine called Unity. It was a crazy idea for a single artist with no affinity to learning programing and no programmer friends. But I purchased an Indy license in faith right after the engine's first release in June 2005.
Unity was a great purchase. It pushed me to learn how to create 3D artwork for games, as well as learning a lot of core info on how 3D games work. Best of all Unity had (and still has) a very friendly development community and I was able to team up with a programmer (Kevin Linderman of BlueTorch Studios) to work on my first 3D game project Open Fire.
We released Open Fire on May 30th 2006 and within 3 months had surpassed 150 thousand downloads. For a simple free arcade game made by 3 amateurs 150k downloads in only 3 months seemed overwhelming! In December 2007 I teamed up with another programmer (Timo Weiße of DynamicHead Media) and we created a racing capture the flag game prototype for the 3DU game competition. We placed 12th of 24 entrants, but it was a great learning experience.
During all of this activity, my lifelong friend, Joe Quigley, learned to program and then purchased a MacBook Pro to replace his PC desktop. Under my advice he tried out Unity. He promptly purchased a license and we have teamed up like we've always dreamed to do. We are now working together one a bunch of Web games targeted for online game portals, such as Shockwave.com. Each of us is learning and improving our skills in new areas of our field such as rigging, animation, Web 2.0 integration, and server and client-side programming.
My dream for BlueGill Studios has remained the same since its conception: to create a fairly formal studio located in Guatemala that creates games that honor God and that are edifying to the player. We have a special interest in the Latin American gaming market, and our current games aren't even a shadow of what we have dreamed and what we are shooting for!