HUGE news today, as Game Developers Conference 2012 announces the first of its summit sessions, including Ponycorns: Catching Lightning in a Jar. Ryan Henson Creighton (that’s me!) will share with attendees the story of how Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Aventure, which was co-developed by 5-year-old Cassandra Creighton, became a worldwide viral hit … and more importantly, how Untold Entertainment worked hard to sustain – and even amplify – the buzz.
The wonderful announcement came amid some grumbling and criticism from certain elements of the indie game dev community, who called foul because we’ve been selling merchandise to happy Ponycorns fans across the globe (GET YOURS TODAY!). Macaulay Culkin’s name was actually invoked (referencing the way his parents hoarded all the acting money he made as a kid).
They never should have forgotten him that one time at Christmas. (Or that other time in New York.)
Rest assured, friends, that not only has Cassie earned more money through donations to her college fund than Untold Entertainment has made on Ponycorns altogether, but she also has a legally defined percentage stake in the project. By the time we make Ponycorns 7: Ponycorn Harder, Cassie will be drying her tears on a fat stack of trust fund cash. And as any of the hundreds of people who attended TOJam can attest, she had a great time working on the game.
Behold: the tragically gaunt face of an overworked and exploited child labourer.
As IGF (Independent Games Festival) adjudication continues, what’s more important is that Ponycorns rightly sweeps the entire awards show, winning not only the Moustache Craft honorarium, but also the Glorm Juerven Award for Most Obvious Weak Spot on a Mid-Level Boss. Even a single nomination means that i can justify bringing Cass to GDC, as the youngest ever game developer honoured by the IGF. Once Ponycorns pulls in an appalling number of nominations, we’ll happily suffer an angry Twitter onslaught from disgruntled indies.