A lot of people are asking me “Where’s Tarboy 2?” There’s going to be some new Tarboy footage coming out in my studio reel, but before people board the hype train for a sequel, I feel the need to explain a few things:
Soon after releasing the original film, there was a serious Tarboy game project in the works with an overseas development team, a well-known game designer and a major party’s involvement. Part way through the project, the developer had broken a critical agreement, and hadn’t delivered to what I felt was a passable standard.
At this stage, contractors were in dispute with the developer over pay, and the game designer had left, having not received his first cheque. I had already spent close to a year building a trailer for pitch materials, as well as the assets for the first level and much of the character animation. I still cringe a bit, thinking about the sheer volume of wasted art I had built for it. The developer did not accept my wish to terminate the project, and I spent many more months digging myself out of the legal hole to get the game rights back. It was an exhausting time.
Shortly after this, I began work on Tarboy 2, but I was burning out. I completed the first main sequence, but didn’t feel the quality was up to scratch. It just wasn’t in the spirit I had hoped for it, so I pulled the plug.
I’m not working on anything Tarboy related currently, just the odd artwork and branding content for my social media. I can’t realistically see myself getting back to it anytime in the short to medium term. I’m more interested in doing smaller illustrations, and seeing where experimentation takes me. I do have ideas for Tarboy-related shorts, but this isn’t something I can promise on, as I’ve experienced first-hand how announcing a project pre-emptively isn’t good for me, or the fans.
Working on anything Tarboy related is a bit of a mindfuck, juggling my own expectations on it, while knowing that the most dedicated of you have been waiting years. This isn’t to crap on anyone who’s asked about Tarboy 2, I did promise you guys a sequel, and the sheer love people still have for it years later is something that blows my mind.
I need to detach from the bad history surrounding Tarboy. I plan to focus exclusively on other projects. Hopefully this post will unglue some creative blockages and take some weight out of it all. This news has been a long time coming, but I felt it was important to let a few matters settle before speaking about it, just to get some distance from the mess of it all. It’s never been my intention to string anyone along, or drag out a long tease by posting dribs and drabs of seemingly Tarboy-esque, robot-themed content.
This post is to help clear the air so I can get on with what’s feeling eerily like a second creative phase in my career. It’s been ten years since I finished Tarboy, and looking back, it was the catalyst that started a lot of important things for me. But a lot of new things have begun to fall in to place, and I’ve never been more excited about where my animation could go. I have a new short ready for imminent release, and although it’s shorter, it’s probably my first film since Tarboy that’s taken that same level of focus and work. Thanks to all the supporters of my work who’ve stuck around. It’s been a slow road getting here, but I think it will have been worth the wait.