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March 21, 2012

Dusty Monk closing Windstorm Studios

It was three years ago when we heard that one of the start ups forming out of Ensemble Studios would be Windstorm Studios. Unlike the other endeavors undertaken by ex Ensemble staff, Windstorm had one unique element about it, the studio was to be founded and run by a single person – Dusty Monk. In order to do this Dusty had to sacrifice a day job and work full time on a project that he was greatly passionate about to pursue publishing his very own video game. After all, working on your own video game as a one man band is no easy task and can only be accomplished with passion and drive. Luckily there was no shortage of passion where Dusty was concerned, he single-handedly went about commissioning freelancers to help him build his dream game.

 I’ve had the opportunity to work with some extraordinary musicians, sound designers, artists, and voice talent. And I’m extraordinarily proud of the work we accomplished together

Writes Dusty on his final blog post.

Windstorm successfully launched Atomic City Adventures (the case of the black dragon) on August 19th 2011. This was a fantastic accomplishment having spent over two years creating and designing his own truly unique game. There were hurdles along the way, initially Dusty hoped for the game to be a large-scale MMO, however there were unfortunately difficulties in securing a  publishing deal. After all, it can’t be easy to get publishers on-board working as a one man band. However this did not stop Dusty and he continued full speed ahead to launch Atomic City Adventures as a full-blown RPG.

Just over 6 months since the games launch it has been deeply unfortunate that despite all the efforts Dusty went through to produce Atomic City Adventures, it was unable to produce the sales that Dusty had hoped for.

Atomic City Adventures has never produced the kind of sales necessary to sustain itself or the company. There are a number of reasons for this, and those lessons are things I will take forward in my career. And though I still firmly believe in the franchise itself, and I believe that with enough funding, time, and effort it could be promoted and molded into the product I originally envisioned, I found that I personally simply didn’t have the time – or really the desire – to work a full-time job to earn a living, and to spend every additional waking moment working on Atomic City.

Personally I had always considered Atomic City Adventures to be a very unique game which was taking bold ideas and producing something that we haven’t seen before in the video games market. Crime busting set wildly into the future with hover bikes and flying vehicles was certainly an exciting and fun concept. I believe the game achieved its goal and the end was result was certainly a fun experience to play through. The concept certainly has legs and I do agree that if given the opportunity with funding it could be taken further into an awesome MMO project.

It is not reasonable for Dusty to invest further time into the project without additional funding and unfortunately personal reasons and balancing life’s dynamics means that Dusty will be returning to a full-time day job going forward. Dusty will be re-joining some of his Ensemble co-workers at Robot Entertainment where he’ll continue making independently published games, but now as part of a larger team. Robot will be lucky to have Dusty on board who has clearly demonstrated outstanding flair and talent crafting Atomic City from the ground up.

I wish Dusty all the best in his role at Robot Entertainment and I am sure this is not the last we will from Atomic City Adventures.

Read Dusty’s full blog post about Windstorm Studios closing


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