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Thomas Henshell's Blog


Life is too short not to follow your dreams.

I love games and software design.  At 6 years old I was hooked when I typed in a BASIC game to my TSR-80.  I knew what I wanted to do; but how to get there? I took a very long winding road.

In the early 90's I completely ignored my studies in highschool and solely focused on teaching myself programming in C.  I made a new (incomplete) game almost every week.

During the DOT COM bubble of the late 90's I scored my first professional programming job, which eventually lead into building one of Canada's largest E-Commerce sites with a team of 25+ in C++ and XML.  But there was no creativity in it.

After 5 years I was sick of web, so in 2004 I founded a software company to enter the emerging enterprise mobile market (windows mobile, .NET C#).  Over 10 years we grew, built some amazing delivery and field force applications, won some awards, and gained industry recognition.  But it wasn't games and I was getting antsy.

So in 2006 I opened a tabletop gaming store Hobby Kingdom focused on Magic, miniatures, RPGs, and boardgames.  We've grown a great community of gamers, have awesome events, and had visitors from around the world.  But it wasn't making games.

So in 2011, with the support of my wife, I stepped down from running my software company to found Mirthwerx a two man studio to make educational mobile games.  But it wasn't making games I love.

So in 2014, with the support of a skeptical wife, I started working on the game of my dreams.  That game is Archmage Rises.  I'm a sole indie developer under the company name I've wanted since I was in highschool: Defiance Game Studio

I help others where I can; I guest lecture at Redeemer University in entrpenuership and programming. I speak at various gaming conventions around North America if I think I have something valuable to contribute.



Member Blogs

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:25:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Art, Console/PC, Indie
What is always in your face and (hopefully) never in your way? You guessed it: a great interface. In this week’s post, I explore the current state of the Archmage Rises UI.

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:48:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Making games could kill your enjoyment of *playing* games. Beware!

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 05:25:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Building a top-notch team and returning to civilization

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:12:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Production, Console/PC, Indie
Getting back into the game dev groove while life happens

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:37:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Indie
A daring indie developer embarks on a quest to rescue True Choice from the jaws of Avoidable Cost

Posted by Thomas Henshell on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:28:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
This week, the plan is to dive into the genesis of Archmage Rises

Thomas Henshell's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 09/12/2014 - 07:50]

Hi Glen, r n r ...

Hi Glen, r n r nIt takes courage to admit your mistakes, and that is to be commended. Your story is one I will be sharing with others as you have perfectly detailed the dark side of volunteers . r n r nPerhaps, if I am reading you right, you ...

Comment In: [News - 09/17/2014 - 05:38]

No no no no r ...

No no no no r n r nAs a Canadian I love buying games on Steam in US because I don 't have to pay any taxes. Sales tax is 13 here in Ontario. If they go to Canadian funds, they likely are registering the goods to be sold from ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/16/2014 - 07:59]

I 'm currently using articy ...

I 'm currently using articy draft and loving it. It does a whole lot more than just branching story. r n

Comment In: [Blog - 09/11/2014 - 07:48]

Interesting point. r n r ...

Interesting point. r n r nI had that experience with Starcraft II. For me, that game was 100 perfect. Nothing about that game was overlooked or left unpolished. Even the credits had a fast forward button I 'm looking at you UBI Soft r nAs a game dev I appreciated ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/09/2014 - 08:34]

Really liking this series as ...

Really liking this series as I wrestle through how to put branching story lines into my game.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/07/2014 - 03:02]

I totally TOTALLY agree I ...

I totally TOTALLY agree I 've often thought: what is harder I 've not yet come up with one that is.