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Keyhole’s going to Stugan!

This summer, a new accelerator program will have its first course in Sweden, far away from civilization. Development teams will have almost two full months to work on their games, nestled in a cluster of cabins near a lake, “hundreds of km from cities,” according to the accelerator’s site.

There it is. Calm, serene, and probably a bit chilly.

There it is. Calm, serene, and probably a bit chilly.

The program, Stugan, is a non-profit effort by veterans from Mojang, Rovio, King, and other companies that will give developers the break from normal life they need to focus on their games and nothing else. Weekly check-ins with mentors will help teams get important feedback as well.

And 2 of the 23 slots have been given to Ryan and me!

This is the best thing that could have happened at this stage in Keyhole’s production. I need to be able to put a lot more work into the game’s story and puzzles, so this will let me set goals for myself that I’ll have no excuse at all to let slide. Two months of programming will help improve the interactions and implement functions we need to add, and get rid of a lot of bugs (and probably make a few) in the process. And the mentorship and advice will be priceless.

It's here…somewhere around here. This is the right country, at least.

It’s here…somewhere around here. This is the right country, at least.

Ryan and I will fly into Stockholm a day or so early, so we’ll have time to see a bit of the city before our two-month stint in the countryside, and we’ll spend another couple days there before we come back home. I’ve never been to Continental Europe, and the higher latitude means it’ll be much cooler, which is my favorite.

We just booked our flights, so the reality of this whole thing is finally starting to set in. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now. In exactly one month, we’ll have taken a three-hour bus ride from Stockholm to…wherever this cabin is, and spend most of the summer with the other, equally luckiest people on the planet, along with a lineup of seasoned developers and people who get the business in ways I’ll likely never comprehend.

Look at all those people! So professional / mysterious.

Look at all those people! So professional / mysterious.

I’ve never been more excited for anything in my life. Seriously, I checked. At least twice. To think that Keyhole, once a couple scribbles on a notebook during lunch breaks at a job I couldn’t wait to leave, is going to get the push that it needs to bring it closer to a complete game—and a little recognition and press exposure in the meantime—is the greatest feeling in the world. It’s like the moment I realized I could drink root beer through a licorice straw, but for my career.

Oh, I might as well show this off too. Here’s the video I sent in with my application. It was pretty fun to make.

You should follow @KeyholeGame to keep track of our adventures while we’re there. Also, we’ll be posting to r/Keyhole more often once the program starts. So subscribe to that too.

See you in a month, Stugan!

 

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