The Story Of Toby Parker & Aluna Games.

The History & Aftermath Of Aluna Games

As I often get asked this question even still to this day, I have decided to post what I’ve found so far as to me the most summed up history of what Aluna games was in a nutshell, as I have pulled and cited from Wikipedia as well. This does not cover the coming together phases of Aluna, but rather right after launch and the time following after. As anyone can edit those documents, I prefer a blog post under my own administration to deter editing of facts or outright page deletion.

Aluna Games was a video game publishing and producing company founded on the basis of publishing video games for Development Companies and Indie Developers.

Aluna Games went live as an Official launch on February 1, 2011, and set to publish numerous games. On its website Aluna Games had numerous minigames each week that it would launch, followed with updates, beta releases and / or teasers from up and coming projects. Developers who made games for Aluna used a wide variety of engines ranging from the Unity Engine, Hero Engine and even Flash.[1]Aluna sported a distinct work ethic and design style, heavily influenced by their partnership with Mik Tek Studios Founder (& Aluna Games Creative Director of Development) Michael MidKnight. Involving Game Masters within the community, engaging in game promotions and events, and garnering user feedback and suggestions via personal surveys on a regular basis was not uncommon to be seen in the early stages of the company and website.
The Original Aluna Games Company was disbanded in 2011, following scams of disappearance, noncontractual fulfillment of games and support from UK Based investor/developer “Toby Parker” after July 2011.
Mik Tek Studios partnered with Aluna Games to begin the Game On Initiative, a program for Indie Developers designed by Michael MidKnight. With the Game On Initiative, Indie Game Developers create games to have them published by Aluna Games with the design help from MidKnight.

Game On Initiative

Mik Tek Studios partnered with Aluna Games to begin the Game On Initiative, a program for Indie Developers designed by Michael MidKnight. With the Game On Initiative, Indie Game Developers create games to have them published by Aluna Games with the design help from MidKnight. Aluna Games had taken up the spot as the publisher of Sacred Seasons 2, whose first game was initially self-published and did not gather a lot of attention compared to the sequel.[2] While Aluna mainly focused on publishing games from the vastly growing Unity Game Engine Community, there was also resource becoming available for in-house production of titles and franchises.
In Early 2011, Aluna announced Frontiers, a Sci-Fi RPG. The game’s alpha-demo was set to launch at the end of 2011, whereas the game itself was set to launch in 2012.

Partners

Aluna Games had partnered with numerous groups / devs / projects:

  • Mik Tek Studios — Founder of the Game On Initiative (GOI),[3] Mik Tek Studios aided in design and in house production work for Aluna Games, as an equal partner and while also maintaining its own Design & Media Studio.
  • TacPlay Studios — Game Developers of War Season, The Feline Clan.[4]
  • SilverHelm Game Studios — Game developer of Legends of Etherell.[5]
  • Emerald City Games — Game developer of Sacred Seasons 2.[6]
  • B2 Technologies — Game developer of Farland Online.[7][8]
  • Kweiko — Game developer of Army of One.[9]
  • Marco von Moos — Game developer of Frontiers

Game Development List (Vaporware) 2011

  • Legends of Etherell (MMORPG) [10]
  • Farland Online (MMORPG) [11]
  • Sacred Seasons 2 (MMORPG) [12]
  • Army of One (Third Person Shooter) [13]
  • War Season (FPS — Multi/Single Player) [14]
  • The Feline Clan (Fantasy Adventure — Multi/Single Player) [15]
  • Origami Nation Online (First Person Shooter) [16]
Legends of Etherell (MMORPG)

Production

Aluna also produced its own game projects. Highlighting projects that were given the greenlight, or asset-funding selected game projects (by buying, designing or obtaining developer’s certain assets) would help ensure projects launched effectively and are polished. AG would also provide an online network for these projects.

Future

Possible Return of Aluna Games

During 2012 some activity surrounding Aluna Games surface around the internet, suggesting that the company may possibly make a return sometime in the near future in some form.
However, there is no evidence that this is the case at present.
The Original Aluna Games Company was disbanded in 2011, following scams of disappearance, noncontractual fulfillment of games and support from UK Based investor/developer “Tobiah Parker” after July 2011.
Aluna’s Facebook page, Website and all other social feeds were quietly taken offline to avoid public controversy.
No information was issued publicly as to what happened to Aluna, or why its servers had been turned off; despite a warm reception from internet gamers, developers and investors alike.

The Aluna Brand was reacquired into the Mik Tek Studio portfolio and is a discontinued franchise as of Jan 1st 2013.

Postmordem

Toby Parker and Vergecore Interactive

I was contacted December 12, 2012 by Toby Parker, looking to see if I was interested in collaborating in a new yet similar business venture, receiving the following;

“Hi Michael,
It’s Toby — we begun working together about a year and a half ago, I believe.
I wanted to reach out to you for several reasons, but primarily because I wanted to apologise to you.
Looking over some old emails a few days ago, I realised how I had often been an unreliable person to work with. Many people, besides yourself, have told me I am unreliable in the past and I have come to recognise that I have been in the past. However, over the past year or so, especially with all that has happened in my life lately, I have had the opportunity to grow up a little and become more aware of how things work in the world of business. I think that there were a few misunderstandings in our business relationship, and perhaps friendship, and eventually things just didn’t work out that time.
It’s been a while, and suddenly overnight (it’s bordering on 7am now), I thought that it might be a good idea to drop an email by you. I am working on a new project at the moment, somewhat similar to before, but much more developed. Much more of my time has gone into this upcoming project than went into the previous one, just to give you an idea of the work involved. I believe I am at the point where I am ready to take on the challenges of business, as I now understand it better and have more solidified knowledge and experience than before.
I understand that this is a bit of a wild proposal, but I was wondering what you thought about discussing the possibilities of you joining me on my venture, if you feel that it is right and that you want to.
It is exceptionally difficult to find somebody like yourself, who has the talent, knowledge, and innovative ideas that you do. I hope I have not blown any chance of possibly working with you again, though I completely understand if this is your choice, given what has happened in the past. However, I can promise you that my outlook on things has changed and much developed into something that may allow us both to work well together again.
Once again, many apologies.
Please let me know what you think,
Yours sincerely,
Toby”

I did not respond. I was contacted again the following day.

Hi again,
I realised that I missed out some key information in the email I sent you yesterday.
No doubt you have wanted to know why I stopped with the old project, I will explain. Firstly, there were a lot of personal problems were going on in my life at the time, and things were getting very unmanageable, and especially with minimal income coming in compared to the number of users that the site was getting. I really valued your help and support, and I did my best to support you too, with all the financial means that were available to me. I never earned a penny from the project at all, because the resources it required due to the nature of the business were very costly, and whatever leftover money I did have, I paid you for the design work that I could honestly afford. I do believe we were good friends at the time, and thank you ever so much for all the work that you did to assist me. I actually suffer from a psychological condition, one of the common side effects of which, is severe depression. This was affecting me a lot toward the end of the project, and I think that it was unfortunately something that pushed me toward doing something which had a dramatic effect on a lot of people. I’m now receiving some help for the condition I suffer with, finally.
Perhaps I am being hopeful by assuming you may possibly, even if it is a small possibility, be open to working with me again. I can promise you that I have some amazing ideas, and I know you do too. I have spent the last year doing very extensive research, and gathering tools and experience, and am prepared to fully launch myself into this with a burning passion, desire and utmost dedication. I have developed something that I believe could position us somewhere very high in the industry, however I would really like you to join me, and for us to embark on a serious, joint venture together with this. I would like to talk to you about us partnering my new project with your Game On Initiative, if you are still thinking about/developing this idea. There is a lot that I want to show you, and speak to you about. I ask that you kindly give me some time to speak to you. Perhaps if you are available on FB or GTalk, we can speak sometime soon. I think we may be on to something really special and innovative, which will also create massive turnover, for both of us, but I do need your help.
It would be wonderful if you could consider this, and even if you think that you would not like to work with me, I’d be very grateful to at least hear from you and hear how you are doing and how you have been getting on.
This is very personal for me Mike, I am sure you too, I am sure that you are respectful of that.
Yours,
Toby

There wasn’t really much else that I need to prove at this point, but I also knew from other contacts that I would be the only one familar enough with the marketing/design/ dev relations/ social media aspects based on the past business experience, and that I was very much sought after for this massive project.

Personally and professionally however, I could not honestly come to believe any of this.

I gave it some thought, and responded reluctantly.

Hello and greetings,
I would like to thank the effort you took in reaching out to me in regards to the previous work situations and mishaps that occurred while you manned the helm at Aluna. Dealing with a mixture of clientele needs and personal setbacks will undoubtedly enhance one’s ability to see the world and varied perspectives but will also yield an effective means of business and business solutions. Although I will try to keep this email to the point, although you found yourself by taking time to get things together, you have also highlighted some disastrous issues within the previous engagements that we did collaborate on. The biggest was a failure, nay, an absolute shutdown of communication at critical, pivotal, and key moments that not only made the Aluna startup incomplete, but made Aluna an incomplete experience that never was.
I myself, believed very much in working passionately on projects with likeminded people, but only if those people did indeed trust my experiences and craft enough to back me professionally, financially, but also personally. As you stated in your email, your efforts, although they were was, ended up being buried in other business actions that costed me personally the resources that I had invested into the venture. All pitches, artwork, designs, concepts, years later have begun making their way into other game design/gameplay incarnations (Steam, OUYA, Kongregate to name a few have produced similar results that water down the efforts of anything that was effectively devised and pitched).
I believed in the work enough to put my face up to thousands of people, to give the AG brand birth, realness, and to let people know this was serious.
To this day I still have people contacting me whom I don’t know inquiring on all kinds of info around Aluna, professional inquiries and personal messages asking about What happened to Toby. Is he ok. Did he die. What happened with Aluna etc etc. You may have had some things going on with your life (some that I was aware of), but, in all honesty and in retrospect, it was a dick move to leave things the way they were. I had no access to information, no site back access, nothing. It was when I saw you pulled the plug on the facebook page and removed me as an admin (so I could not save the page but couldn’t contact me about what was going on) was when I had to figure out on my own thru the drips and draps from who was left in the community.
I was left answering for your disappearance.. and it did cost me a bite of my reputation.
Even though in my mind I thought we were friends, and that you did share in my vision (even back since the major disaster of Origamy world, Nation.. .whatever), I realized that multiple times that I had expressed major issues clouding our business structure and just the delay of getting the content out there to make some sort of profit, it was never accepted or acted on. I just watched Aluna, my work as well as yours, burn completely to the ground and helpless to stop it. I can’t even really use it as a portfolio piece as its not something that was actually used. But I felt that I have digressed from the notion of the email.
It has taken me quite a while to figure out what I wanted to say, and what was necessary to say, but in the end, I want to be able to design great things, have the recognition for the work that I put forth and have the means to design and create them. Although I don’t feel comfortable at this point jumping into another venture with you in the same fashion regardless of the end means unless there was an actual need for me to be a part of an organization that I would have the access, software and business position I would need to bring great content to the masses just as I always do in my design work. I’ve worked unsuccessfully with you twice, It would not be wise to repeat the travel down this memorial river yet again in the same manner in an technically unpaid position for something that could burn out in a few months like Aluna.
I am glad that you have taken the time to reach out to explain the situation, I hope your father’s businesses are still doing well and your mother is still in good health regardless, and I do hope that you take the time to get the proper rest and time for schooling as I also know all too well how difficult it is to struggle to get everything in sync and everyone happy in order to get the bills paid and for life to progress.
As far as everything in the past, yes, I would have considered us friends, but put yourself in my shoes; would you let your friend take your fall?
Enjoy the New Year.
Michael

One week later, after a few exchanged Facebook messages, Toby Parker disappeared again. No further contact, no info, no contracts, no payment infomation. Nothing. Both websites as of this writing are for sale.

alunagames.com
vergecore.com

Contacting Tobiah Parker

Raphael Adams; who is he?

Although with any google search, my name and image is plastered everywhere when searching for “Aluna Games”, not one picture comes up with “Tobiah Parker”. Not one company page, website, blog nothing. However, someone by the name of “Raphael Adams” has been the one registering domains for Vergecore and perhaps for Aluna Games as well.

A block of Vergecore Domains where purchased 5.28.13.

Also, to point something else out which was also rather strange;

At no point was I ever paid directly from anyone with the Name “Toby Parker”. All payments were made thru a “Ray Valinejad”.

Feel free to contact whoever this person really is should you be one of those developers, business partners or just fellow followers of the story to ask him / them directly what really happened and who they really are… who knows, maybe you will get a better answer than I have.

Tobiah Parker

tobiah90@gmail.com

PO BOX 225
Halfway Street (Sidcup)
London England
DA150BX

-Fin.