2023 Recap

AeLa team

We haven’t posted on the blog much this year, so in celebration of a quite successful year at AeLa, we wanted to recap what we’ve been up to!

Back in January we picked up an older pitch, Aquarial, after an assessment that it felt like our most promising concept. In a flurry of work for 6 weeks we prepared a refreshed demo to pitch to publishers in the spring. While ultimately we didn’t receive any offers to publish the game, we got lots of great feedback that we largely agreed with.

We had the great fortune to begin working long-term with a client throughout the majority of the year. Working with this client was how we kept the lights on in 2023.

We also helped Dinosaur Polo Club and Radial Games launch the Mini Metro Miniversary Update for their 10th anniversary! 🎉

Aidan attempting to murder Sam

In the moments between that client work, we have pivoted on Aquarial keeping the feedback we received in mind. In fact, it’s been such a large pivot that we no longer call it Aquarial - it’s currently nicknamed Project: Fish but the title is definitely TBD. Things are going well on Project: Fish so far. We've had some really promising playtesting sessions with early prototype builds and we're really amped about the current direction.

We’re excited to share Project: Fish with you all in the new year (especially if you couldn’t make it to one of the showcases we attended, like Maker Faire Rochester)! Perhaps we’ll catch you at GDC in March???

Outside of our primary projects, we’ve had so many other interesting things going on! In no particular order:

  • Had our biennial photo shoot at The Strong National Museum of Play with Yeager Anderson Photography,
  • Shared our experience as indies with students at University of Rochester and MAGIC’s summer program,
  • Joined the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives,
  • Started an internal game club where we play, discuss, and learn from all kinds of games,
  • Our AeLa Anticapitalist Aid program donated a cumulative $1,577.10 to local organizations who help our neighbors!

And last but definitely far from least, we got to celebrate our 5 year business birthday with many close friends at MAGIC—a place that’s been so dear to us since our beginning in their incubator program. 5 years felt like a slim possibility for a long time, so it was a very sweet milestone.

5th year birthday celebration pic

Our friends in and out of the games industry around the world encountered so much hardship and pain in 2023. We feel such privilege and appreciation for the circumstances that have allowed us to thrive despite it. To everyone who had a hand to play in such a great year for us, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Here’s to a 2024 filled with more hope, less corporate greed, more unionization in games, and a free Palestine. 💖