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Collapsus is Now on Steam Greenlight and Free Weekly Builds Are Now Live

As you may know already, 2016 was a huge year for us. Tons of events and interviews, a few awards, the studio remodel… even the release of our second game, Radarkanoid! Throughout all this time we were prepping for the release of Collapsus. With us being picked up as Nintendo Licensed Developers and us prepping for the Kickstarter, we knew that it was only a matter of time before we were ready to launch the game!

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Lost Interview: Nintendo Love Affair - Meet Wraith Games

Much like with our post last year where we re-uploaded a lost interview we had with the blog "GamerProblems". Sometimes blogs go down and their content goes with it. The awesome people over at Nintendo Love Affair interviewed me last year about what we were working on and a bit of our history, but unfortunately, their blog is now just that... history. Luckily, they've allowed us to re-post that interview here so it can be preserved. Enjoy!

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Puzzling Modes - A Talk About the Puzzle Mode in Collapsus

Hey, all! Sorry about not getting this piece out sooner. Everyone over here at the studio is sick as a dog (well, almost everyone… thank goodness for Skype commuting). So, in this article, since we’ve talked at length about some of our Special modes and Accessibility options we figured it was finally time to have an in-depth look at one of our oft-neglected modes: Puzzle mode!

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Collapsus For Everyone - Collapsus and Accessibility

Here at Wraith we talk about accessibility a lot… and I mean A LOT. I’d go so far as to say that it’s one of our foremost tenants; which is actually pretty weird seeing as we just only really started thinking about it in 2013 or so! We really started focusing in on accessibility when one of our team members, Ryan, tried to play Collapsus and couldn’t because of his color blindness. It was a real eye-opener (pun very much intended).

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Features, Features, Features!

Hey all! In today's post I wanted to talk about all sorts of features in Collapsus. I know we did a feature post a while back (and a lot of you already know what Collapsus is all about), so today I'm going to focus on either features that we haven't really talked about on here before, or, if we have, not in a large amount of detail. It's go time!

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What an EVENTFUL Year!

It has been one heck of a year for events! Expos, conventions, conferences... you name it! Over the course of this year we've been to 13 events. Wow! We've been in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis and more! It's been pretty amazing to say the least.

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The LOST Interview

Lately, we've been doing a lot of interviews. It's been great! A while back we even had a whole blog post about them! Now it's probably high time we do another post of that nature, but until a couple of the interviews we did actually hit the web, that will have to wait. No, this time I'd like to highlight an interview we did back in February for the website Gamer Problems that's no longer online. Well, until now, that is! See, they had some sort of massive server overhaul and all their content before May was wiped out. Bummer! Thankfully, we just so happened to have that we had a backup of the interview and wanted to share it with you all.

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Nifty in the Top Fifty!

Is it Monday again already? Wow! We've had a pretty busy week, to be honest. With the holidays quickly approaching and dev ramping up in a big way (especially with the Versus mode in Collapsus), and us finally reaching 1000 Twitter followers, time really does fly! Well, on this week's blog post, we have something very special to bring up!

All throughout last week, SlideDB started off Round 1 of their big 'App of the Year' competition. We didn't think much of our odds, but we took to our social media to see if we could drum up some votes and you know what? We made their 'Top 50'! (And if you haven't voted for us in Round 2 yet, why the heck not?! Seriously, please go do that! There are only 6 days left as of writing this. Go on! *Shoo* I'll wait.)

Hot dang! It is such an honor to be in this position! We've been working very hard make Collapsus the best game we possibly can and I guess, somehow, it really showed! When we went to OGDE last month, we had very positive feedback from all of the wonderful people who played the demo, but with over 2500 other games in the running, we never thought to land in the Top 50 for 'App of the Year'! 

Really awesome people playing Collapsus at OGDE 2015

It occurs to me that with the influx of new traffic from both Twitter and SlideDB, a lot of you may not know as much about Collapsus as those who have been with us for the long haul. Last week we made a post about all of what Collapsus has to offer (it's a really long feature list and if you haven't seen it, you may want to. You can do that here). Right now, I want to take a little time to talk about the Collapsus development process, if you'll indulge me.

Back in 2006, when I had first started trying to make games and before there really was a 'Wraith Games', I had wanted to make a game for my mom, who at the time was really into puzzle games. Over the course of several months, I had whipped up a prototype that would soon become known as Collapsus. I took inspiration from many notable (and fairly disparate) sources; particularly the likes of  puzzle greats like Tetris, Bejeweled and Puzzle League (and oddly enough, the movement of a Rubik's cube). The end result was a game where you try to match 4 or more colored blocks in a line by destroying undesirable blocks. The entire game is built on a unique risk-reward centered resource management mechanic because, let's be honest, it's just more fun to break blocks than to swap them! While this prototype was still very rough, I knew I had the start of something worthwhile, but at the time had no way of bringing it to the next level, so it just sat there on my computer, collecting proverbial dust while I finished school.

Cut to many years later... After I had moved out on my own I decided to show my then girlfriend the old prototype which she immediately fell in love with. I'm pretty sure that without it, she wouldn't have agreed to my marriage proposal the very next year. She told me to stick with it and keep making improvements, so I ended up doing just that, after finding new friends who were much, much better programmers than myself (including, eventually, her as well), that is. My new team helped bring new life into that unpolished game and together, we made improvement after improvement until we were confident that we had made a fun, unique, and addicting puzzler!

Now we have actual studio space, a Kickstarter on the way and wonderful fans like all of you! We may not make it any further than the Top 50, and if not, it's sure been awesome just being here. Don't get me wrong, all of us very, very much hope we do... but just knowing that all of you brought us to this point and that the game we love working on has resonated with so many of you even before it's out makes all this worth it! Thank you!

But seriously... go vote for us

A tale of two overhauls

It's been a long time and we have much to show for it. As you've seen, we've made a complete overhaul of the site, going from a blog-thing to a sleek new Flash format. Not only can can you still find news (obviously), but we have all sorts of new pages over on the toolbar over on the right as well. One of the things to note in the Gallery are all new (totally revamped) screenshots from Physix. We've taken most of our time (after updating the site) to try and bring new life into the game (because that's really what it should be all about). There's been a massive engine overhaul over the last few months (which still aren't even complete) which add all sorts of new elements to not only the graphics, but the gameplay and overall stability as well. It's a bit of a leap and the game is still evolving as time goes by, but we hope all of you are happy with the upgrades so far. Make sure to tell us what you think by following us and commenting on our Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages (links also on the right).  As for anything else, we're hoping to have more frequent site posts as development rolls along as well as a new video coming when the engine updates are complete. Until then make sure to Play Harder!

Details... Details!

Holy!... It's been a long time since the last blog post, hasn't it? Well, I'm just sort of here to tell you guys a little bit more about our project: Physix. A few of you have played some loose-concept demos like the one at A&G Ohio and the one available on the S8G forums, but that really doesn't really give you a feel for what the game is truly about. If you've been following our Twitter (which I don't know why any of you would), you'd see that we were in the process of constructing a new demo while in Michigan recently. Unfortunately for many of our fans, the demo is sort of a while off, so that leaves me with the job of hyping you guys up.
Many of you have seen our YouTube video of the practically ancient A&G demo, and this has gotten many of you excited. Unfortunately, it has also turned many people off from the project with laggy response, poor lightmap quality, and just plain awful graphics. We assure you that this was a very early adaptation demo, and a lot has changed since 2008. Heck, just look at our screenshots on this page. All of them are in game. Not only that, but we're working with some new FX shader support to make it look even better (though that's a little hard... Man, it's pretty!). By looking at the demo, one can notice a practically linear romp from chamber to chamber completing very lack-luster challenges. This is not the case in the final build. Many people who play the demo have pretty much the same thing to say about it: "It's fun, but why is it called 'Physix'?" Here is where we blow your mind (not really, because that could get messy): throughout the progression of the game, using various level features (we say that because you don't have, like, some sort of reality-bending gun... you actually have to do it in level), you can bend the very laws of physics to your will: gravity, inertia, all that good stuff. That's sort of tricky in a first-person environment. Most of you are used to physics manipulation in the way of seesaw puzzles and gravity guns (not pointing any fingers...*cough* Half-Life *cough*...). The difference between standard first-person shooter fair and Physix is quite simple: Physix just simply isn't a shooter! Now you're thinking, "What's with the pistol?" It's more of a puzzle-solving element than a weapon... yeah, weird, I know... but it works. That's the thing. How are you going to shoot a switch all the way across the room if you can't touch it? Can someone say, "G22"? Exactly. Our approach to interesting puzzle-solving is deeply immersive; our goal is to make you think outside the box. I hope we don't disappoint.
We should have a new video relatively soon and a new demo following shortly thereafter. It's going to be a while, but bear with us. In the meantime, we are working on a little side project to keep everyone's appetite in check. Not saying anything, but let's just say a lot of our old fans will be pleased.
That's all we got for now. Check out the new website; it's at the same URL, but we've made a lot of changes, so visit it while it still has that new out-of-the-box smell. Check you guys later!
(This post was originally made on the now defunct GamePro Labs site)

Our First (Labs) Blog Post

I've never really been one for making blog posts, so as you can imagine when I couldn't figure out HOW to on this site, I was overjoyed... but then when I received an email addressed to all of the "Labs" members from the big guy saying that we all needed to keep people updated... I unfortunately had to figure it out.
It's sorta weird, you know? When I was growing up, all I ever wanted to do was make games. I guess the word I'm looking for isn't "weird"... it's actually "surreal" (by the way, I have a fun fact: You know those three periods "..." It's called an ellipsis, just so you all know). After high school, there was a lot of pressure on me to "do something with my life". My roommate would always make fun of me for "thinking that I was a game programmer"... See, in his mind, games where these multi-million dollar undertakings by a crack team of Japanese super geniuses locked in a room for hours on end with bowls of ramen and no sleep for weeks... Well at least I had the last part right!
I think the biggest mistake I made when I first started out was that I tried too hard to be that stereotype or at least the outcome of it. You know what I mean... Those action packed, space epics about guys in armor, huge guns and ego to boot! Graphics that could burn your corneas out and sound scores by the freakin' Mormon Tabernacle Choir or whatever!!!
Face it... You can't do that with a budget that can be added up with your left hand...
This, kiddies, is why Project: Zion FAILED!!! Yeah, I loved the concept, my pizza box odyssey of mine (if you don't know what I'm talking about, that's okay... Only about 12 people in the whole world do and even less of them care).
I started to hate everything that was gaming. I couldn't even pick up a controller without feeling guilty that I gave up on my dreams. Fortunately for me, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is hereditary and I found myself pre-ordering Valve's Portal. Yes, that's right, NOT "The Orange Box", just Portal (I wasn't really interested in the rest of the box's contents, so I just sent out for the overly priced copy of the now critically acclaimed puzzler by itself). Guess what: It wouldn't run on my old PC!!! It sucked so badly. I ended up letting my friend Bill's brother "borrow" it (I use THAT term loosely... Three years later and he STILL has it!) from me. I was only after I got a 360 and a discount copy of it could I behold the splendor that was the Aperture Science Center and GLaDos. I was shocked by how awesome it was: One of the best games EVER! I was also shocked as to how good I was at the game, solving most of the puzzles before my friends could even line up a shot (usually). I started thinking about it, it's development team, and it's predecessor: Narbacular Drop and I wondered: "Why can't more games be like THAT!?!" That sort of simplicity. That sort of fulfillment. That sort of almost "indie" flavor! Why can't there be more games that awesome... Who can make such a thing?
Then I remembered: I'M A GAME DESIGNER!
I then grabbed up my team of ragamuffin programmers, writers and artists and began to work on my NEW masterpiece: Physix... a First-Person/Puzzle game with a different look on what fun is in a game. I didn't want to be a Portal-clone, though; it had it's view, and I wanted mine. I don't know about you, but shooting things in the head got old around Halo 2! I wanted to have a game with a gun, but no enemies, if that makes sense (which it probably doesn't, but you'll see when it comes out). I remembered my favorite subject in school was art... but physics was okay too and I wanted to play off that: Gravity, friction, inertia and the like. Bend THOSE to your will so you can run away from an evil scientists lab, all while being tested on how creative you were with your surroundings in the confines of each challenge.
We whipped up a quick demo (which probably could have been better if we took more time on it) and set up a booth at Ohio's premier gaming convention; A&G Ohio! We asked our fellow gamers to rate it on how much they liked it from 1 to 5 and surprisingly enough, the average was around 4.5! They loved it, though I don't think they much cared for me.
Well all sorts of other stuff has happened sense then and, hey look: We've been slated for publishing! I just hope that our finished project puts a smile on at least one gamer's face, even if it doesn't change the world of gaming like all us designers hope.
I, or at least some on on our team will keep this updated, so keep on reading... Remember: Play Harder!
Wow, that's a lot of text... did I write all that? Sorry for making you read so much!
(This post was originally made on the now defunct GamePro Labs site)

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