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
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Hey guys! Sorry about the lack of a post last week. We were doing quite a lot and it just wasn't in the cards, I guess. With Memorial Day yesterday, I guess this means we've been 8 whole days without a blog post. Yikes! Hey, remember when we'd go whole months without a post? Heck, we pretty much skipped all of 2013. Dark times, dark times. I'll make sure that won't happen again and I'll also try to make sure this article doesn't disappoint!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!
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!
Oh yes, oh yes, we sure have been busy around here! We've shopped, picked up packages, assembled furniture, planed things, moved heavy stuff, assembled more furniture... we've done it all these past few days, and we have a ton to show for it!
Oh, yeah! Cant wait to start working here! The old desk was pretty terrible all the way around (though it was built like a WWII tank). This layout is so much more open and we can really get stuff done with a setup like this.
Lets take a look at our little recording area over by the greenscreen...
Murals seem pretty topical as of late because of the news that The Hamilton Mill (the building where our studio is located) has been selected to be one of several places Hamilton has decided to place a big 'ol mural! It'll be right above the parking lot. It's pretty awesome, especially since most of us have mentioned that one would look great right there.
Here's an article taking about it further: http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/murals-to-beautify-hamilton-this-summer/np7t2/ Hamilton's been all about art and urban renewal for the past few years and the results really show!
On top of that, on the inside of The Mill in the front entrance way is a super sweet new mural done by the kids at the Butler Tech School for the Arts (which is, oddly enough, where I went to school. I'm so proud!)
With all these cool murals at The Mill, it's really time we get ours started! Here's a quick shout of the unpainted wall followed by it painted (well, it's a shot of most of the wall, anyway).
So, you can see it's a pretty big, blank canvas just begging for something awesome! Well awesome is something we're going to give it! The first think you may notice, however is the big conduits running through the wall, breaking up the usable space. That's actually fine, believe it or not. See, as you may have noticed, the studio is painted with our brand colors (mostly) and we've taken the pipes, radiator and conduits and painted them, orange to match the orange in our logo (yes, it's there, go check... I'll wait).
It's a pretty striking look, to say the least. We're even getting that faucet-shaped coat rack we talked about in a previous post and painting it orange just to go with the look. Those orange pipes are pretty bold, but what if I told you they didn't just come out of nowhere...
BAM! This is an early screenshot for some sprite art on one of our smaller projects, Jet Pack Hero. It's pretty old actually. We've had it up on social media for at least a year, if not two. JPH, is a pretty cool game, but we're not really returning to it until more of Collapsus is done (and maybe even Physix).
So what does that have to do with anything? Well look at this mock-up from before we painted the wall:
And now look at this (rough, incomplete) of a mock-up our friend (and amazing artist) Lance Miller (of Lance Miller Decks) did to prep our mural:
And this other (very WIP) Jet Pack Hero screenshot:
Now it comes full circle!
The entire idea behind this mural is to play homage to Wraith's past, present, and future. Right now, we've mapped out how it's going to play homage to JPH and Fly Guy, but we also have plans to incorporate elements from our other current projects; Collapsus, Physix, Radarkanoid, AAAAH!!! A GIANT FREAKIN' CAVEWORM, RUN!, as well as other projects from our past and even future games we haven't let you guys know about yet. It'll be pretty sweet to see up on that wall... and who knows: maybe, just maybe it will fuel our creativity and inspire us enough so we can actually get finished with one of them...
That being said, today, I want to talk about more studio remodeling! Any time we post about remodeling, we get tons of people mentioning how awesome what we're doing is. That was just Phase 1 (if you remember our blog post from a few months back). Now on to Phase 2!
What you're seeing right here is our new logo decal above our green screen! Pretty slick, huh? Well, it took several hours to put up, so it better look good. For some reason, they shipped it to us in pieces! Weird. It also didn't really like cooperating with our new wall paint. No big. We got it up and we're all pretty happy with it!
As for what's next for the remodel, we're going to start by getting a standing desk. We're thinking about the larger Skarsta from Ikea.
We are still getting chairs, for when we want to sit, however. We're modifying these with casters!
After taking what seemed like a miniature eternity to get the greenscreen painted on the wall to a point where it functions as, well, a greenscreen and all of this massive rebranding we've been doing, we finally started in on the true studio remodel to fit with our new rebranded look (and we couldn't be happier with the results)! Just in time to start shooting the Colalpsus Kickstarter video and head off to OGDE, too!
Why not take a look at what we've done? Let's start at the very beginning (I hear it's a very good place for this sort of thing). Come on, I'll give you the tour:
Here, in what we call "Day 0", we took pictures of what the studio looked like, so we could mock up how we wanted it to look! It was a bland, crappy beige color that no one liked (including the directors of the Hamilton Mill, who gave us full reign to paint if whatever colors we wanted) from pretty much floor to ceiling... Yuck!
Now, the remodel isn't actually "done" (in the strictest of senses), but instead we consider this the end of "Remodel Phase 1". What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm glad you asked! We have several new things in the works to make this space even more awesome! We have a new desk, chairs and drafting table planned for next month (or so) as well as a huge surprise from one of our very talented friends that we can't wait to show off...
But we must! It's not done yet and we don't want to spoil everything, now do we? Anyway: This entire experience has been a blast and getting this place painted (and planning for more stuff here soon) has really brought the whole team closer! It will be so awesome to share more with all of you as well. For now, though, I just gotta say, "hang in there"! We have more amazing things lined up to show you soon and I'm sure you'll be seeing way more of the studio now, too!
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!
First I want to welcome a couple new team members: Steve and Chad. Steve's a very talented 3D Artist, as well as a Graphic Artist... and I hear he's decent with music too, but I've yet to hear anything he's done yet (Get on that, Steve... I'm waiting). Chad, on the other hand, is just starting his career in design and development is an intern that has been working with us when we've not had him busy with tutorials (gotta make him useful... the cheeky git). Both are awesome people to simply even know and we're excited to have them with with us.
Now, I know some of you have been curious about our up-coming mobile title, Collapsus. Rest assured that it has been coming along nicely. Even I have been enjoying the time I've spent playing it, and I'm not much of a “mobile puzzler” type of gamer. Look for some more frequent updates about it coming up soon, as we're starting a Kickstarter to help with the finishing touches. At least, that's what Jay told me after talking to Kyle and Geoff more in-depth about it.
Busy, busy, busy... so-- re-cap. Collapsus is coming along well enough that we're going to have a Kickstarter campaign started here soon. After that, we'll turn more attention to Physix and AAAAH!!! A Giant Freakin' Cave Worm, Run!!! before resuming steady development on Jet Pack Hero.
For all of you that have been patient and read my ramblings, I have a treat! We have some pictures of the office! Complete with a a husk of an arcade cabinet that will be converted to a Collapsus cabinet to be put at Arcade Legacy. We're talking large pictures you can actually see, unlike the pictures in Jay's SlideDB post!
As for additions, we've added a new way to interact with certain power-ups. Things like the Switch, Shuffle, Splash, Time-Up and Time Freeze blocks are now added to an "inventory" of sorts when broken that can be clicked on and used at a later time. Shown below next to the "Level Banner" and the Score:
Pretty nice! In addition to all that, as well as all of the consoles we're releasing on, we're in the process of working on a physical arcade cabinet that should be going up at Cincinnati's own "Arcade Legacy" shortly after launch! We also hope to get that version out on the Winnitron Arcade Network, so non-Ohioans can enjoy it as well! You can go read more about that side of development over on our website, if you're interested.
Well, that's all we have for now, I hope to post more often, but whenever I say that it takes about a year for it to actually happen for some reason, so I'll just say that I'll try my hardest. Here's hoping that you all get to play this labor of love of ours soon! After that, who knows, maybe we may actually get some work done on Physix or Jet Pack Hero?... Nah!
So... Jay may have been over-hyping this news on the Facebook page (not that you read it anyway... we all know you guys like me better!), but we now have some new office space. It's at The Hamilton Mill, somewhere Jay has been looking to get us into for some time now and I'd have to say it all looks nice! Prepare yourselves for some pictures soon.
Keep up your resolutions everyone!
And as always... Remember to play harder!