Late on Saturday, we got some VERY good news! Thanks to all of your awesome support, once again our game, Collapsus, made it to the Top 50 of SlideDB's "App of the Year" awards! This was a big deal for us last year and an even bigger deal for us this year! Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive of us (and Collapsus) at events, on social media, even in the press! You guys are awesome!Read More
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Hey guys! Wow! It's been a pretty crazy week for us! Not only did Kristy, Natalie, and I spend all Wednesday night (and Thursday morning) setting up for the Artspace Hamilton Grand Opening (Kristy and I live there and I'm the chairman of the resident committee) but then, after spending all day Thursday actually at that event, I took a Greyhound at 3am to Louisville, KY for IdeaFestival!Read More
Hey everyone! Wow, we've had a pretty crazy week (and we're setting up for one just as crazy). Last week we were just invited to 3 new conventions (in addition to the 2 that we were visiting later this year already), the crappy under-floor in the studio was finally ripped up, and plans were made so that this week we have a meeting lined up to talk about said conventions, Radarkanoid music, showing one of our games at Hamilton's own Fitton Center for Creative Arts, and to work on the studio mural some more and get the new floor put in (after about a month being off schedule on that). This is in addition to the Hamilton Mill (where our studio is located) being flooded, and in unrelated water news, Kristy's laptop being water damaged (pushing Radarkanoid's release off by a few weeks). Aside from than that, though, just wow! I love it when all sorts of stuff like this (well, except the bad stuff,Read More
Last week we had artist extraordinaire Lance T. Miller and The One True Eric (Eric Baxter) of Nerdyish Things (yes, our part-time blog writer, Eric) in to kick this mural's butt! It seems to be coming along really well, if I do say so myself! It's really cool to look at the wall and see all of the cool stuff from games you've worked on (or plan to work on for some of them) sprawled out in front of you. It's just so awesome! Like, in the literal sense: it just fills you with awe! Okay, well it does for me anyway. Take a look:
Pretty nice, huh? It's really coming along. Only a little more sketching to do (probably another day's work worth) and then we're outlining the sketch with Sharpie. After that's the paint! Really no clue how long it'll take in total, but it hopefully won't be too long now.
That's pretty much all the news on the mural side of things. Now on to the blog news.
It's been about half a year since we started doing weekly blogs. It seems to have been a huge success! Before, blog posts were random and there was little incentive to even do them at all most of the time. This weekly format really makes us think about what we're posting and get something of value out of it. So, we're pretty sure we're going to continue this format for the foreseeable future. If it ain't broke and whatnot. Well, if we're just going to keep doing what we've been doing, what's this part about? Well I wanted to talk briefly about some things we want to be doing with the blog in the near future. A teaser, of sorts.
As you probably know, we've started up two ongoing series about the industry recently: "Where Do I Get Started" and "11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development". We should have some new posts in both of those series here soon. The cool thing about those is that it (hopefully) won't just be me and/or Eric. We're trying to get not only the rest of the team doing little snippets on them, but also maybe some guest spots from other developers we know as well. Wouldn't that be cool?!
Other than that, we have a few other posts planned. We want to do a postmortem on both the mural & the studio remodel as a whole, a few more random development posts (for Collapsus, Physix, and Radarkanoid), a Radarkanoid launch post, a Radarkanoid postmortem, a couple posts about the status of the Collapsus weekly builds (when they're going on), at least one post leading up to the Collapsus Kickstarter, a Collapsus Kickstarter postmortem, a Collapsus Greenlight post, and maybe a few more Collapsus posts as well (like for the console releases, Arcade Edition, "weird ports", DLC, promotions, and the like). Then we shift into more Physix, JPH, and Cave Worm posts, but those are a while off.
Now, setting aside the 50 million development posts I just mentioned, you can also expect a post on the shirt making process, a post on the interviews we've been in recently, a post about making our old (crappy) game; FlyGuy, a post about our old (crappier) pre-FlyGuy games, a few posts about events we're either going to be at or breakdowns after we come back from them, a few posts about the game jam we're trying to organize, and hopefully a lot more (we are doing 52 blog posts a year, after all! That's a lot of air time to fill). There's even a few secret posts we have planned that we can't quite talk about, but we're sure you'll love!
There's just so many cool ideas we have ready to spring on you... so just stay tuned!
So let's start with Collapsus. Right now we're working on several things all at once on Collapsus. We're adding some new power-ups, getting started generating the Puzzle Mode puzzles, dabbling with true online connectivity, and tons more. That's pretty much where all our effort is, if I'm being perfectly honest. This is all in the service of getting the first weekly build live for you to all enjoy. After that is the Kickstarter filming (followed by the campaign's launch), Greenlight campaign, and hopefully the actual game's launch not too terribly long after that! So exciting! We have a long way to go, but we've already covered more ground in a relatively short amount of time, so we're confident we'll get there pretty quickly. We should have a lot of new WIP Wednesday and Screenshot Saturday content for Collapsus up on Twitter as we get closer to our deadlines, so watch out for those!
As for Physix, Steve has been kicking butt and taking names in the 3D modeling department. We're going for a modular approach to asset creation and what he's whipped up (or should I say, WIP'ed... eh... get it? That bad? Okay, I'll stop.) is simply breathtaking. He's just getting warmed up, too! Take a look:
Radarkanoid basically just has one bug. We're taking time to fix that bug here shortly. It sucks that it's one little thing like that holding us back, but it is what it is.
As for the studio, it's basically still just the floors and mural. Both should be finished up really soon, with a time lapse of Lance T. Miller working on the digital painting just around the bend as well! In the mean time, we do have some shots of Kristy and I working (taken by Steve), when the three of us were working a couple weeks ago:
Other than that, we do have a few other things of note going on. For starters we're trying to set up a big game jam here in Hamilton. You'll hear lots more about that as it develops. Also, we're in the process of completing our third interview of the year! Press coverage is awesome. You'll have a blog post dedicated to that here soon, too. There's probably more that I'm not thinking of, but I guess that just means we'll have more surprises at some point!
Hope that was enlightening! We're jam-packed with all sorts of awesomeness coming just around the corner, so stay tuned! Next week: More focused thoughts? Let's hope!
Okay, so as you probably know if you've been following us, the studio remodel is going pretty swimmingly. Got the "normal" painting done and all of the spiffy new furniture in! What we have left to do, though, is order those roller shades (either in purple or orange, probably purple), get a new filing cabinet (also the same color dilemma), get the floors ordered and down, and a few other things. Lets talk those floors first before moving on.
This Wednesday we're going down to a laminate floor place and picking up samples so that way we can know what looks good in the space as well as what the Hamilton Mill will allow. They're pretty flexible with that sort of thing, so whatever we choose shouldn't be a problem, really. Right now they're really swamped with other projects anyway, like the Municipal Brew Works brewery going in downstairs, Glance Software moving form one office space to a bigger one down the hall, the mural going up in the lobby and the one going in outside, so we'll try to make the decision for them as comfortable as possible.
After the samples are done, we can install it. We're doing it ourselves with a bit of help from some family and friends. Laminate isn't a very hard install.
The mural we're partnering on with Lance T. Miller on is ramping up in a serious way. Currently he's working on a series of timelapse videos chronicling the sketch and digital painting steps which will be edited into one big video that we'll share at some point here soon. He're a great black and white shot of the digital sketch of it he did a few days ago. It's pretty sweet!
Now, there are quite a few little things going on as well. Recently we got our "Verified" badge on Google+ and we're working on that for Facebook as well, which means that we're getting a phone number for the studio here very soon since it's pretty much required. Hopefully Twitter will follow, but those badges are notorious to get.
We've also just picked up an Instagram. Hopefully the're will actually be something on it soon. We should have a LinkedIn profile and a BBB page in a few weeks as well. Speaking of social media and search, though, after the remodel is 100%, we will be having that Google photographer back to do those interior shots for Google Maps. You'll be able to do a 360° tour of our little studio!
Other than that, we have some team news. It hasn't been all settled yet, but it's possible that one former team member (who will remain nameless until the official announcement) and up to three new interns will be joining us! This is all pretty cool, especially since with Collapsus almost finished, Physix will be top priority soon and that's quite a bit bigger.
Well, that's really all there is this week. We should have even more news next week, hopefully a postmortem on the studio, an official Kickstarter video shoot announcement, Collapsus news, or a team member announcement. Who know?! Maybe it'll be one MEGA post with all of them! Hey, I can dream, right?!
Until next time!
So, we decided to take a little break from Radarkanoid (though we've still been working on it sporadically) because A. both Kristy and I are sick (and we're the only ones working on it) and B. we wanted to prevent burn out of such a small project (there are some um... "interesting" code/math problems that we're overcoming and since it was supposed to be a quick project, it was more than a bit frustrating, to say the least. We'll get it, though).
In the meantime, we're back to Collapsus (though, to be honest, we never stopped, we were working on it in tandem with Radarkanoid). Most of what we're doing right now is actually work on the Versus mode. You know, the Versus mode. Like Puzzle League, Tetris Friends, Puzzle Fighter or Puyo Pop. Those are all really, really solid games on their own, but having a Versus mode really brought them to the next level (no pun intended)!
Collapsus is already a pretty content-dense game as is, and at risk of invoking feature creep, we feel that such a mode is just too awesome not to include. Aw, who are we kidding! Feature creep has been an issue day 1 of the project back when we started it in 2006. A decade. Huh. Wow. Now I feel old. Anyway...
How we have the versus in Versus mode working is the better you do, the more "junk blocks" go over and clutter your opponents' field. Yup, note that apostrophe placement. It's not a typo. We're working with (at least) up to 6-player battles! Maybe even more, if we can. Still testing the waters on that one. So yeah... as I was saying: junk blocks are kind of a staple in the multiplayer puzzle genre and with the mechanics we use in Collapsus, it just felt right to use them.
We originally had the junk blocks be just singles, just like any other block and regardless of who sent them (or what field they were on) they'd be the same color. We figured after a while that both of those ideas were a bit dull, so we're experimenting with junk blocks that merge into one-another, complete with color coded, per-field aesthetic!
Yeah, we know, as has been pointed out on Twitter, it kind of looks like a pair of underwear, but more patterns are made depending on how they're merged, this is just a coincidence :P
We think it's pretty sleek. The version of the screen with even more players will have a bit of a different layout (and multiplayer is only available on devices with screens that can comfortably support it, as well), but this is a good guideline of how it'll probably look.
On top of that, in our design room (and over Twitter) we've been discussing how we may do a chat feature. Seems that emotes may be a fun way to do it. We should have some of those early ideas up on Twitter soon.
It's all pretty cool stuff, if you ask us! We're trying to keep these matches pretty frenetic and interesting without altering much of the core gameplay that those who have played it have grown to love. Like, why would we make it too drastically different and still call it Collapsus!? That'd be crazy! So, for the most part, other than the addition of junk blocks and new power-ups (which we'll get to in a later article) we've tweaked some of the original power-ups to do things to your opponents as well in addition to their normal, single-player effects. We're keeping the transition simple. Collapsus is best when it's simple!
We can't wait to get something playable out to you (probably in the form of our free, online weekly builds) but we'll probably have a new trailer before that. After the weekly builds start, hopefully (again, hopefully) we can get that Kickstarter campaign out the door and then working on the mode specific trailers after that. So exciting!
We hope that you can't wait to see (and play) it as much as we can't wait to give it to you! Next week: Something completely different (probably)!
As many of you probably already know, a couple weeks ago we had mentioned that we were going to start filming the Kickstarter video for Collapsus. We had everything all set: we'd gotten the script done, invited our videographer friend, Calvin and one of our artist friends, Lance (who's no stranger to Kickstarter campaigns himself) down to begin shooting the whole thing... heck, Thorne and I even finished painting the greenscreen and removed the test paint from the portion of the wall where we had planned to start painting the studio. It looked like things were going pretty smoothly.... but everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked!
Having our lead graphic designer and brand manager, Steven, in the same room with me, Calvin and Lance only served to ignite the creative fires in us! We had pretty much always planned to remodel the studio (especially in reaction to the epic rebrand we just underwent), but we had pretty much always figured that it would be after the Collapsus Kickstarter video. Nope! Not now... and to be honest what a good decision it really was!
We had already put off the Kickstarter video in order to do it after the rebrand, as to more properly represent what we as a team were becoming (and to be closer to us appearing at OGDE) but that's also why we were putting off the studio remodel. So. If we're filming primarily in the studio, why wouldn't we want it to be the new, shiny studio space we had planned that more closely represents the aesthetics and values of the rebranded Wraith? Because that would make too much sense, that's why!
But yeah; that's why we're doing this now. After we start getting more paint on the walls, we can't wait to show you what our studio space has become. Not just here on the blog and social media pages, but on our Collapsus Kickstarter video as well!
As I'm typing this it's early Monday morning (just past midnight, to be precise, so when I say it's early... yeah!) Later today we have the filming for the first half of the big Collapsus Kickstarter video, which should hopefully be finished right before we launch our new weekly builds on Kongregate (stay tuned for that in the near future). That's not what I'm really here to talk about however. I mean, how am I going to fill an entire blog post with stuff for a video that hasn't even been filmed as of the writing of this post (I'll save that for a week or two from now)? No. This post is all about another video that we've been working on the past few weeks!
We've been working on an all new trailer for Collapsus to coincide with our next convention appearance! While I can't really talk about that yet (don't worry there will be a post about it when the cat's officially out of the bag) I can say that the event staff requested a media pack, complete with an all new trailer for the event!
We've been putting a lot of work into this video to make sure it's awesome and we hope the new Kickstarter video is just as good! With the re-brand, Kickstarter, weekly builds and this upcoming con appearance, we've been pretty busy, but it looks like it's all coming together! Thanks for being along for the ride with us!