Before Triple X Tycoon there was a bathroom on the 18th floor of an apartment in the Bronx, New York. There was a tasteless imitation-stone carving on the wall with the words “Boy Toilet” on it in blue letters. Above this was an image of some kid happily taking a piss.
We began as an adult variety blog and newsletter in December 2012. I remember pitching JBurns about it on my way to the grocery store in cold uncomfortable weather via phonecall. We were a year fresh out of high school without a damned thing to lose. At the time I hadn’t built a website in five years, not since middle school. We had no idea what it would become. But the name, we thought, was funny!
By the beginning of 2013 a small site was built to showcase an upcoming (at the time) 2D sidescroller that still influences the company in small ways to this day, marking the first real attempt at using the name in a commercial capacity.
Well, that didn’t work out. And for a brief period I dabbled in flash animation, searching for what would click as something I could do for the rest of my life. Later, Joy-Toilet became an affiliate label on various other minor projects before we decided not to renew the domain for that year and move on. Two years and a few shitty jobs later the name was revived and taken back to its roots as a humor site that would provide “Anything But Shitty Entertainment!”
I’m not sure when we decided to use fictional names but we took the idea and ran with it. Going so far as to create fictional personalities to go with them. With stories loosely inspired by weird shit that occurred in our own lives. Coincidentally it made for some funny pieces. This was also the beginning of our Politely Prank Calling Prostitutes webcast that did well for some reason.
Over time other areas of this new little budding media company flourished while the parts remained still largely under-developed. This was due largely in part to us all having ever more crappy demanding day jobs. Although around this time I was lucky enough to land a few contract gigs as a games journalist which, to some extent, has kept me
cursed qualified enough to write about digital nonsense to this day. But honestly those positions did teach me a lot, I gained a whole new view on the game development process. Thus building on what I already knew from making them in the past.
I wanted to apply this newfound knowledge to what we were doing and decided to again try and establish a small sub-label with an emphasis on the bizarre and unusual. Shortly after drawing up some ideas for our new project we suffered a big loss of data in a server migration. Joy-Toilet, was gone again. But there was something else.
In a nutshell, our misfortune with the data loss was due in part to lack of control over our software processes. This admittedly resulted in me developing some serious NIHS as a developer – Not Invented Here Syndrome. Never again did I want something to fail without really knowing and or understanding why to the most obscure detail. Before the loss, in the background I had already started work on a game engine that did certain subtle things very well but some obvious things not so well at the time. It was a ground up approach.
This was the engine that would eventually evolve to become Magic Fever. But we needed a way to test a few things without having to fully commit to all the headache that comes with developing a commercial thing, so we made First Paradise. A purely experimental experience.
It had both a dormant procedural mode and multiplayer capabilities although neither of those actually made it into an update because honestly we knew that eventually we’d have to go big or wind down for good. It was around the time of that realization, a year+ after releasing FP as a thing that can be played from start to finish with some small kinks, that Soup joined as a partner. A couple of months later we announced Triple X Tycoon with full intention to use a light mod of the already text-centric engine to release the game as a very tiny, turn-based strategy sim. It would have been out in December 2014, it looked like this.
You didn’t want that, and neither did we. We decided, why make a shitty game when we could probably make a better one. We didn’t go through all the trouble incorporating to put out shitty games! There are 18 posts on this blog that have become a chronicle of that process since. Here’s another trip down memory lane:
Now we’re talkin’. So what’s next? We’ll show you, soon, but not today. It’s 7am and as usual, I haven’t slept. So in case I collapse for days into 2017, Happy New Year!