Filtering by Tag: Physix

MADNESS! 4 Events in 3 Weeks!? (Dayton Designed, LexPlay, GDEX and Alive After 5)

Hey all! Wow, we're exhausted! On October 22nd we went up to Dayton for The Ohio Gaming Brigade's "Dayton Designed: Game Night at Star City Brewing Company" (wow that's a lot to type; certainly not Twitter friendly!) then on the 28th, we headed down to Lexington for LexPlay and on the 29th, we went up to Columbus for GDEX! Yup, with both LexPlay and GDEX being two day affairs, we actually split up the team and took them both on! Then on November 3rd, we hit up our own hometown Hamilton for Alive After 5: Game Night! Here's how it went...

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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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4 Short Updates From Wraith

Hey all! Things have been going really well around here as of late, though, if I'm being honest, today's blog post will probably be pretty short. See, most of you already know roughly what we have to report on anyway, so none of the news is really "huge" or anything. With that being said, here are "4 Short Updates From Wraith" (and yes, that is supposed to be a Simpsons reference hidden behind several layers of incomprehensible). Let's rock!

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If We're Being Pressed...

Hey all! Planning on doing another relatively easy blog post today, especially since all of the upcoming Collapsus blog posts will more than likely be rather lengthy. Today, I wanted to talk about press. You know, like journalists. Specifically, I wanted to talk about our history in the press and where you can go check some of it out. Let's start with the more recent ones and work our way backward.



Over the last few months, we've been interviewed three times (once in February, once in March, and once in April, as it turns out). The first one was by Gamer Problems, then Unstoppable Gamer, and finally, Nintendo Love Affair.

The first interview we did in this recent cycle was with Gamer Problems in February. Gamer Problems is a UK based gaming blog that mostly focuses on doing reviews and editorials pertaining to AAA console releases. Luckily, they also seem to do the occasional interview with smaller studios as well. We mostly talked about the development cycle of Collapsus, our inspiration, challenges and the like. You can read it here: http://gamerproblems.co.uk/2016/02/wraith-games-interview (UPDATE: The GamerProblems website lost most of it's date a while back and the interview is down. You can view and archive of it here: /blog.wraithgames.com//2016/08/the-lost-interview.html on our blog)

Gamer Problems

The second wasn't as out of the blue as the others. It was by Unstoppable Gamer, which is a division of the awesome AbleGamers charity. We had talked to some of the guys from AbleGamers back when we went to OGDE in November. They really liked what we were doing with the colorblind options in Collapsus, so they said they wanted to get an interview done after the holidays. This is that interview: http://www.unstoppablegamer.com/interview-with-wraith-games This one, as you can probably guess, primarily focuses on the accessibility options in Collapsus, and our thoughts/feelings on accessibility in general. It's a pretty important topic for us, so this interview was probably our favorite of the three.

Unstoppable Gamer

The third was with Nintendo Love Affair. These guys are awesome. They're a fledgling Nintendo fan-blog from right here in Ohio. They mostly talk to 3rd party Nintendo developers or indie developers... luckily, we're both! They have a great sense of humor and doing this one was a blast! This one, oddly enough, was mostly about Physix! It's always great to get to talk about Physix, despite how slow-going the development process is. You can read it here: http://www.nintendoloveaffair.com/p/about-nintendo-love-affair.html (UPDATE: The Nintendo Love Affair website is permanently closed. We're talking with their main editor about archiving the interview on our own blog. Stay tuned!) 

Nintendo Love Affair

Now, before all that, shortly after OGDE, JamSonic did a write up on us and Collapsus as part of an OGDE recap series. This one wasn't an interview, but an overview of Collapsus and their experience playing it and talking with us. The good news is that they loved doing both! You can read it, right here: http://jam-sonic.com/ogde2015wraithgames

JamSonic

Before all of these, though, we were featured elsewhere a few times. Back in 2010, while we were attending A&G Ohio, I was interviewed by my good friend Glenn Dubois (Glenntai) of The Nerdfit Network. Well, I say "good friend" only in retrospect, because this was actually the first time we had ever talked at that point! Do one interview, pickup a long-time friend (actually a few long-time friends, counting the rest of Nerdfit)! Best. Interview. Ever! Anyway, I digress. This interview was about the demo of Physix we had brought to A&G. Cool thing is that it was an audio interview. Sadly, it's not up on their site anymore (all of their older content was wiped a few years ago after a website upgrade), but luckily, I still have a copy. Be warned, however: not only do I sound like a major dork, but Physix (and all of Wraith, really) is a very different animal now. What I say here basically has nothing to do with the Physix you'll all be playing here soon.


We appeared briefly in a Hamilton Journal News article last year as well:


Other than that, we did appear a couple times in Indie Game Magazine in 2010 as well, but not as part of an article or anything. We had just donated to Jordan Magnuson's awesome GameTrekking project, so they had mentioned us. We may have also been mentioned in a 2009 issue of GamePro Magazine as well, but whether or not it actually happened is a bit of a mystery. This was supposed to be a lead-up to an entire article about Physix when we were part of GamePro Labs, but Labs folded before our article was even printed. Heck, GamePro itself folded not long after. To be honest, I have half a mind just to buy a few old back issues and give it a look-see. I may even write about it if I do.

Well, that's basically it! We're always looking to be featured in more articles (and no doubt will be as the Collapsus' Kickstarter approaches). If you have a blog or journal or something and would like to interview us or have already just done an article on us and would like to share, you can reach out to us at support@wraithgames.com 

Next week: Probably Collapsus! 

Remodel Updates & Blogging About Blogging

Hey all! You probably know this if you follow our social media, but I've been sick the last few days with some sort of cold. I'm feeling much better now, but I still feel like crap. That's why I'm going to soft-ball it today with a nice and easy post. The topic of the day is more remodel stuff and the blog itself! Lets hit it!



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!








Developments in Development

Hey all! Sorry about not posting a blog last week. We had something lined up, but then some personal things happened and that particular post no longer seemed appropriate. Nothing too dire, don't worry. Live and learn, I guess. Well, anyway, this week I figured we'd play it a bit safer and just talk about direct news again, so buckle in! Oh, hey... look up top there: a new blog logo! Nice!



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!

Fighting Gravity

It's Monday, and you know what that means! BLOG POST! YEAH! It may just turn out to be a rather short one this week, mostly because I figured we could let the images speak for themselves. Images? What images?! Well, I'm glad you asked. We have some great new WIP images from one of our awesome projects! For once, it's not Collapsus (though we do have some updates on that front, too, with some awesome stuff that'll be posted on our social media all throughout this week). Now, at long last, this is a post about Physix!

Our work on Collapsus has been proving very popular as of late, but whenever we talk to people about our projects, Physix is what gets everyone's engines really running! Over the past year, we've been working rather quietly on porting Physix to Unity (as you may already know). The original demos we showed off to the public at places like A&G and on YouTube (which is the same build that GamePro Labs were going to publish before they folded and that Blitz 1Up was looking into before they did the same) were built in DarkBasic Pro/FPSC (which isn't really unusual for us seeing as the Collapsus prototype started in Stagecast and the "real" game was originally in Corona SDK). We had started off just porting the assets we were using in the old builds straight into Unity with code mostly by then new (and now gone) programmer Dante who you may know from his work on our earlier web game FlyGuy (which is, also oddly enough, based off a terrible old Stagecast prototype from around the same time as the original Collapsus prototype... small world, huh).




Anyway, it was going pretty well, until Dante had to depart (which isn't particularly unusual for a startup, let alone an indie game studio). I know what you're thinking. "Jay! I thought you said 'this past year'!? Wasn't the Unity port started in 2012?" Well, other than being oddly specific, it is indeed accurate. After Dante's departure, we took a bit of a break from working on Physix to focus more on getting a solid version of Collapsus out and really just picked it back up late last year.

We decided to use what we could of Dante's code and scrap the rest, with new programmer Jon (who weirdly enough has recently departed in a similar manner to Dante back in 2012) charged to create a functioning framework for all the gravity-shifting awesomeness Physix has to offer. Oh, boy he did not disappoint! You may be familiar with these cryptic pictures from our Twitter last month:



Yeah! That'd be them. Well, Jon's not much of an artist... that's why we have Steve! Here's a bit of what Steve's been working on that's gotten us so excited! Excited enough to make this post now of all times, at least:




Now keep in mind, I pretty much had to pry these away from Steve who was working very diligently on tons of new Physix art and that these are very, very early into his process. Heck, he should have even more awesomeness as the weeks go by. Really, the point of this is that we've gotten a surprising amount done in (relative) secret especially since Physix wasn't anyone's priority alpha in quite some time. With Collapsus' development winding to a close, however, we've begun starting up our engines again and we're ready to defy gravity once again!

Okay. Guess that wasn't all that short after all! Well, stay tuned both on here and on our social media as we pump out more Physix content now along with our usual Collapsus development progress!

Lots and lots of Collapsus (and EVIL!)

Oy! This is just getting comical. I swear, every time I say I'm going to post more frequently, I just don't. So here's an experiment: I'm not going to post anything until I'm 70, and if that doesn't improve things, well, that's the best I could do. There's a lot of news so I'm not going to post it all here. Over the last month or so, I've been posting lots of news regarding Collapsus to our IndieDB page (including lots of videos). Here's a link to that and you can catch up on all the articles that I failed to inform our main site about. Also, if you're on Google+ and you haven't seen any news posts (and actually, to a lesser extent, Twitter too), I'm really sorry. Sometimes I just forget that other, non Facebook social networks just even exist, but that is going to change as I'm not the only one within the team who is going to have admin access to our social networking accounts. Updates will happen, I promise.

Now, as for Physix, it's still being worked on, but as I said before, it's sort of a “done when it's done” type deal. We love working on it, but obviously 3D games take a lot more time, effort and man-power than something like Collapsus or Jet Pack Hero. Speaking of Jet Pack Hero, remember how I said I'd release more information about it? I lied. I'm just going to let you guys hang there wondering what it is, with just hearing that it exists and those two very early screenshots in our gallery to tide you over. I'm evil, I know. The reason for this, though, is that two of our three programmers are heading back to college and can't devote time to three games at once, so JPH will just have to wait until Physix and Collapsus slow way down.

Other than that, all I can say is to make sure you follow our IndieDB, because that's where most of the true development logs are going to be. Hope to see you there!

New Project + A Look Into How Wraith Works

This isn't much of an update post really, other than to say that yet another game that we've been working on for a while finally coming into the light (just not quite yet). It's called Jet Pack Hero! It seems kinda weird announcing yet another project without even finishing up a first, but rest assured, that will change soon. For those who don't know, Wraith is an eclectic hodgepodge of indie developers and all of us have day jobs (of sorts). We only have two programmers at the moment, one of which is in college. Add to that our primary game writer who a single father and a few volunteers doing other odds and ends and don't ever get paid other than the occasional pizza night and you can see where things get weird. Then there’s me...

I'm a full-time stay-at-home freelancer designer (both graphic and web) and I spend most of my free-time either sleeping or working on one aspect of Wraith or another. I'm the primary game/sound/level and web designer, only artist, secondary writer and I also handle everything on the business end as well. Wraith has been my passion ever since I started it in 2005 when I was still in school. Being a freelancer, my normal workload is erratic to say the least, but when I'm not pulling my hair out from long stints of tight deadlines, I'm left with empty voids in my schedule that if you could shout into them, I'm sure you'd hear a might impressive echo.

This being said, I can often make several “bundles” of assets for projects on our huge list “dream games” and still have nothing to do with my self allocated “Wraith Time” waiting for a convenient opening in a programmer's schedule but pick up assets from another game and work on them, while other times, I'm so swamped, I get programmers pounding at my door for assets for projects while trying to balance my less fun, primary job.

I guess you then may be wondering why I never get around to posting anything, that's where it gets project specific: Physix has been going on for years, but we had to switch to Unity because our old one was incapable or holding the awesomeness that is Physix, while at the same time, not having an on-staff modeler means that we frequently need to wait for freelancers. Right now everyone is not only learning Unity still, but we're patiently awaiting some brand new models from a German freelancer who appears to have no idea when his non-exclusive media will “hit the shelves”

As for Collapsus, the programmer working on that one just got out of collage for the summer and is frantically trying to push the game into Beta before he returns. Fly Guy's been pushed onto the back burner due to no one really seeing it on Kongregate and with no feedback, making an iOS version is out, but we'll more than likely just take our iOS assets and make a new web version and call that one case closed. Which leaves us with Jet Pack Hero and I'll save that for a later post :P

Updates, Crunch and Sleep

Well, okay. I guess this was inevitable, but I still felt weird about posting it. The old engine for Physix wasn't moving anywhere so we (after much discussion) have switched to Unity 3D. I guess the biggest thing that needs to be said is that we made this decision back in November. The major problem with doing a massive engine switch on this scale is that we basically needed to start from square one. If what you're thinking is “Yikes!” you're on the same page as us. Luckily for us, 100% of all our media is salvageable (and we already did) and we still have all of our level designs and neat little puzzle ideas stashed away. I guess it's just more of a “mechanical” square one, as we have to code all of our mechanics from scratch again. It's no big deal, and honestly the game will be better for it.


We started the conversion at the beginning of March, and if all things go well, we'll be making the IndieCade deadline of May 1st with sort of an “Alpha-demo” (or is that a “Demo-alpha”?). It's a long push, but both of our programmers are working diligently and even if we don't make this one, we should be poised to submit to the IGF deadline in October. Throughout this month, I will hopefully be posting things more frequently, showing off the new things being implemented so no one's in the dark. One of the amazing things about Unity is that it is simultaneously more robust and ultimately easier to get the desired effects we want than our old engine, meaning the content pipeline is much much faster.

As for our other projects, Collapsus and Fly Guy, Collapsus is nearly finished, but it's on hold while we work on Physix (we are just a few guys, after all) and Fly Guy is undergoing some serious design changes as our prototype that hit Kongregate wasn't exactly “explosive”. Though to be honest, we knew it wouldn't be. That's why we put the prototype out there: so we could make the real game better. The only problem is that we didn't get much feedback, though from what little Kongregate feedback we have, as well as a multitude of personal and professional feedback, the final mobile game will be spectacular.

We've also started working on a few other smaller projects, many of which will never see the light of day; but for those that do, we're going to try this new little idea. It's called “Wraith Minis”. Whenever we have a little tiny game that some of our team members made in their free time, or just all-around team efforts made just for the fun of it, we're going to release some. Most of them will be for free on iOS, Android and web (ad-driven, of course), and they should theoretically come out more often than our other “major” projects. Of course this doesn't mean that we're going to be whipping out little project after little project, as these are just things that we've done in our free time; and it wouldn't be fair to our team to make these on a regular basis, it wouldn't be fair to expect you to play an entire library of our pet projects and it wouldn't be fair to our big projects, which would be neglected and start to cry.
In all honesty, that's pretty much it. There's not as much comedy in this as I usually try to do, but we're technically in “crunch” and I haven't gotten much sleep. Hope you all like the changes.

BOOM! Updates Ahoy!

Hi everybody! Just a few quick things to update since I haven’t posted anything in a while. Firstly, as you can tell, there's a new site theme we're trying out. I think it looks spiffy. So that you can tell us what you think about the remodel (or anything else for that matter), not only do we still have a Facebook and Twitter, but we now have a Google + as well! On top of that, we've acquired WRAITHGAMES.COM and WRAITHGAMES.NET so you can get to here from there as well as our .ORG

Thirdly, but surely not least of all, we're officially announcing 2 new games:

The first is Collapsus, an Android/iOS puzzle game that long-time followers may remember the taste of and the second is Fly Guy, a free-to-play web game. You can visit our gallery for some early screenshots uploaded with this post.

I know what you all might be thinking, and no, Physix WILL be keeping on-keeping on and on top of that we hope to have new screens, videos and a playable demo soon... we've just had more work on to do to make it awesome enough for the “final beta” mentioned a few months back and we'd rather post something huge rather than smaller things here and there.

Collapsus and Fly Guy are just some side projects that “turned real” faster than anticipated, that we hope will be out soon. As always, we're taking the “it's done when it's done” approach with Physix and these new games are the same way, but we think they’ll be out considerably faster than Physix.

Again, let us know what you think by visiting our social network pages and keep on PLAYING HARDER!

Little Nemo's Adventures in Shaderland

You know what? Updating is hard. I mean really hard! Development is the relatively easy part. It's making awesome screenshots, videos and blog parts on a semi-regular basis that brings me to my knees. Let me explain:

We've been working hard on Physix as usual. We've got some music tracks hammered down, the menus and what little HUD pieces we're using are nearly complete as well. Right now we're once again waiting for some engine tweaks to be made and most of the effort around here is devoted to particle effects and shaders which are mostly done, but there's always something with a project like this.

Still not sure when you guys should expect a release, but we've been talking with some publishers and for anything to move further with the marketing end, we need to have a final beta out and that's what we're working on right now. Not exactly sure if we're ever going to have an open beta, but that may be something to consider if there's enough of you out there who want to give a swing at it before it's out.

Other than that, not much really. We've gotten beyond any sort of mass experimentation or major changes/fixes. It's kinda boring here in dev-land for the time being. Just more chugging away at assets and stability. We usually like to have a post here a month, but it's been kinda hard (like I said before) with nothing much notable going on. While we're adding even more environmental media to flesh out scenes and remove the dreaded “flat-wall syndrome” most of it needs to be tweaked before it matches the aesthetic of the rest of the environment to begin with, so no pictures of that and since the other changes are more for stability or logistic reasons, many people wouldn't be able to really see a difference if we posted about it ad nauseum anyway.

Don't get me wrong, when it's done it will be glorious (in our opinions at least), but for the time being there's just not much to report. We'll try to keep you all posted if something drastic happens, but for now it seems like snoozeville. Speaking of which, I'm going to go take a nap and then tweak some shaders... Catch you later!

At Last... Actual Progress!

A&G was amazing (as it always is). Thanks to all of our fans who stopped by and the new fans we picked up over the weekend as well as NerdFit and Brentalfloss for being awesome! We have some pics from the con up in our Convention Gallery and some shiny brand spanking new Physix WIP screenshots in our WIP Gallery. We think they look good, we hope you do too. We also have a new video up on YouTube... oh yeah, and below as well:


Hope you enjoy. We're nearly done on the graphical department unless something catastrophic happens between now and then. Stay tuned for some more updates!

Pros at Cons

It's that time of year again. That's right, it's A&G Ohio! Or at least March 18-20 is anyway. We're once again guests and like the last couple years prior, we have more exclusive WIP to show off. Like last year it's at the Holiday Inn Eastgate in Eastgate, Ohio. Pre-reg has already ended, but 3 day passes are only $35 each at the door. Veteran voice actors Wendee Lee and Scott McNeil will be attending along with Brentalfloss, Nerdfit Network and many others as well!

Our big panel is at 4pm on Saturday, but we'll all be around enjoying ourselves like we always do, so feel free to strike up a conversion if you see any of us. We hope to see you there!

Earth, the Final Frontier

Greetings from the far-off year of 2011! With this new year, we've set out to make ground shaking progress an our, well, "work in progress". That being said we need to clear a few things up first.

Apparently the reactions of the new screenshots were very "polarizing" for lack of a better word. Some people love the "new", sleek, sci-fi look and others think the new style is far too reminiscent of a spaceship (you see what I did there?) than the modern-ish, industrial factory/warehouse/laboratory-thing we had originally planned for Physix. To be honest while we've had some downtime waiting on our fabled engine updates, we've just been fooling around with different styles for the heck of it to see what we like best. We don't totally know how the final product's going to look yet, but it's a process. It will more than likely take elements from both art styles and make something greater than the sum of its parts (or so we hope anyway. It could just look like a big pot of cookies and cream gumbo... never mind, that's just disgusting). Just thought you all deserved an explanation. We hope to be making more frequent posts as the project get closer to a solid Alpha build. Hang in there. For now just Live long and... Play Harder

(BTW: Yeah, I know. Two Star Trek references in just over a month's time. "Bah" you say! Well "bah" to you! It's my blog and I'll make all the references I want. Make it so, Number One!)

Don't Tell Scotty

Hey guys! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We did. Though to be honest, it's been pretty hectic around here and quite honestly, we don't have much to show for it. Work on Physix has been pretty much centered on the graphical side of things (working on shaders and the like) and despite all that, the game doesn't seem to "want" to look all that much better than the screenshots we posted in our gallery a little while back. Keep in mind though, it's still better, just not much better and we don't know if the engine can “take much more of it captain” if you know what I mean, so the graphical improvements may have to stop soon for better or for worse. Also, as you can tell, we made yet another change to our site as our web ADHD is a driving force on our way to world domination. We hope to be improving it even more as time goes on, but for now, this is what we've got.

Anywho... We here at Wraith have been feeling a mite generous, as in the last couple months, we've managed to donate a bit of money to some causes we think are awesome. Get Well Gamers (a company that puts game consoles in hospitals for sick children), GameTrekking (helping fellow indie designer Jordan Magnuson travel around the world and make games about his experiences) and Indie Game: The Movie (an awesome upcoming documentary about indie game design, development and culture). We hope you take some time and look at these projects too, as they are very close to our hearts.

We hope to have more updates due to the easier-to-post blog format, but whenever we seem to plan posts, that never really works out, but hey. We hope to keep everyone informed so if there are no updates here, look out for some on our Twitter or Facebook. As the winter approaches, we hope you all keep toasty and 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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