Budgie Smuggler Games has been a long time coming. But our origins story is one of gaming fandom run amok. (Also, this story will be told entirely in the third-person, so settle in for a short yarn.)
Many years ago, both Matt and Josh were happily playing with their Mechs in the world of BattleTech. As is ever the way in the case of creative minds and big sand boxes, they had gotten into Fan Fiction in a big way.
Josh had built a website and forum for a fan fiction group, just as Matt was starting to write what turned into a Fan Fiction gaming epic. Matt was pointed towards Josh as the person to talk to about getting a website or forum set up for the Kapteyn Universe AU, and from that point on they got to chatting.
Over the course of a couple of years, a friendship blossomed and the two shared many a story of glory and failure about games, Star Wars, life, and anything else they could think of.
Eventually, Matt lured Josh into the Kapteyn Universe, where thirty players from across the world were involved in a vast strategy game, role playing factional leaders. The game became the basis for Fan Fiction novels and Alternate Universe sourcebooks, as honestly, when there is no budget and no need to sell, you can go nuts with what you create. Within no time, Josh had upended the world, leading one faction to almost total ruin, then taking another to the height of its power, all whilst learning to fear Andrea and her mastery of strategy along the way.
It was at this time that the two began to really get down their method of collaboration, creating several AU sourcebooks, as well as working together officially in the BattleTech universe. The creative processes that underpin Budgie Smuggler Games today were developed during this time, as the two mad fans plotted out over a century of story development for their little alternate universe.
Whilst all this was going on, Josh had the idea of creating his own gaming company and looked around for a suitable IP. Once he settled on Renegade Legion, Josh sent Matt an intriguing email that simply said “I’m working on a special project – I haven’t had a chance to talk to you about yet – but it requires the signing of an NDA. I need to finish up the legal jargon, but expect one this week.”
Matt was watching Gladiator at the time and responded with “We who are about to die, salute you!” For those familiar with the now defunct 80s version of Renegade Legion, the use of a Roman term was appropriate, but also unintentionally gave Josh a fright, as he thought Matt may have worked out what was going on. His reply of “Odd response, but strangely relevant” followed with the NDA and the words “Sign this shit and get it back to me ASAP.“ From that point on, the two began the process of forming Budgie Smuggler Games and creating an all-new Renegade Legion.
You might say at this point, the rest is history, but that is not entirely true, as there was still much work to be done. However, that is a tale for another time.