There’s Bloom Enough for the Both of Us
By Brad Jones
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he arduous development of Studio Fawn’s Bloom has met yet another hurdle in the form of a similarly titled project by students on a game design program at the University of Southern California. Fawn’s Bloom finally found funding as a result of the studio’s third attempt at a Kickstarter campaign last December, but a blog post published to the studio’s website last night by Lead Designer Dani Landers alerted fans of the game to what she described as an ‘ugly situation’. Cliqist spoke to Dani earlier today regarding the latest challenge that Studio Fawn is facing.
“This is a small industry, it is just insane to have two games with the same name coming out and being covered around the same time within the same area,” Landers said. “I also found out USC went to GDC (Game Developers Conference) last month—a convention I was going to be showing our Bloom at next year. What if a writer hears about Bloom next year and goes “Oh, Bloom? I saw that last year, it’s that USC game, no need to drop by again…“
In her blog post, Landers states that she made several attempts to contact members of the development team and staff at USC, but was ‘ignored’. However, when she learnt that the other Bloom was being promoted with a view to being released as a digital title, she saw fit to speak to the head of the project on the phone. In her blog post, Landers states that she was then told that her emails had been ignored because “…faculty told him we were nothing to be worried about.”
Cliqist spoke to Michael Zyda, the founder of the USC Joint Advanced Games Course, to try and get their side of the story. According to Zyda, there are no plans for a commercial release for Bloom, as past projects from the program that have done so haven’t been particularly commercially viable. “Most people look at the project as something to help them get a job, not to make money,” Zyda told me.
An easy fix to the problem looks unlikely at this point, with Studio Fawn unwilling to change the name of their project and the feeling at USC being that their use of the name won’t interfere with the work being done by Landers and her team.
It’s a real shame to see the great work that both of these very talented sets of people are doing be tainted by a seemingly superficial squabble over naming rights. Both teams are very happy with their work, with Landers describing her team as hoping to produce something “different and special, drawing from our deep love of games” and Zyda describing his students’ work on their game as ‘beautiful’. Both projects deserve your attention so to find out more about Bloom by Studio Fawn, visit their homepage here, and for a look at Bloom by students studying at USC check out their website here.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/brad1.jpg”]Brad Jones is a Yorkshire-born writer currently spending his time in Scotland and the Northeastern United States in roughly even measure. He likes to write about things like genre movies, pro wrestling and video games. You know, the stuff that will be considered fine art in thirty years but no one gives the time of day just now. You can find Brad on Twitter under the handle @radjonze. [/author]