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Take it Slow - An Editorial

Hey everyone! Eric again... looks like I might start handling these more often. Maybe. Likely. Kinda. I don't know. Ask Jay. I just usually write the pretty stories. He seems to think I can write more editorial pieces as well. So, here we go. If you don't like it, not my fault. Blame the “Boss Man” and not me. I want to talk about the developer to publisher relationship in gaming today. Or at least, what was the relation and what seems to be changing about it recently. At least from my point of view.

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The Ghost of Events Now and Yet to Pass

Hey all! Last week I said that this week's blog would be "completely different". So it is written, so it shall be! A bit of quick housekeeping, though. As of late we've picked Collapsus back up hard and heavy. The plan is after the studio remodel is done, we should then film the Kickstarter video and have the weekly builds start up around that time as well. Speaking of the remodel, if (and I mean if) our current plans really do come to pass, then the studio remodel should be finished (yeah, both Phase 2 & 3! Hot dang!) some time next month. As for Radarkanoid, it's ~90% done, but there is an unusual bug (or possibly our terrible math) preventing its completion. Either way, the solution should hit us soon and after that's done, we'll get it out the door as soon as we can. It's all pretty cool, right?

Well, with that being said, on to the topic at hand: Conventions! 



No, we're not planning another convention trip (well, kinda, but I'll elaborate on that near the end. Prepare to be disappointed). No, I wanted to talk about the conventions of the past, who we met, and some of what we learned. Okay? Okay.

The first convention we went to as a team was A&G Ohio in 2009 (several of us were part of the convention scene beforehand, but just as fans). We weren't yet "Guests" as of 2009, but instead had a booth in the Artists' Alley. It was pretty awesome! Our booth was located next to the awesome fantasy artist Jason "Bandit" Adams. This was right after production on the prototype of Physix started and just before GamePro Labs picked us up. We had a live demo of the game playable on the floor and everyone loved it! Sadly, we didn't take any pictures of this one. 

The next year we were invited back to A&G 2010, this time as "Guests". Guests get to sign autographs, hang out in the green room, get free tickets, all that jazz. It's a way for the convention to be able to market you as an attraction and for fans of your work to be able to meet you. The only thing is that A&G, while being about animation and gaming, rarely hosts developers. It was pretty unusual that we even had our demo in artist's alley the year prior, since AA is usually for hand crafted merchandise and/or illustrations/paintings. We weren't even selling anything. It was just an opportunity for us to get the game into the hands of some potential fans and maybe get some valuable feedback... and boy did it work! We had made such an impression that time around, that that was the key reason they brought us on as Guests. 

We brought another demo, this time getting to show off the gravity mechanics that had been absent in the previous demo. We got to meet tons of awesome people, including fellow guests DC Douglas, Troy Baker, and the ever hilarious Chris Patton. For nerds like us, this was pretty humbling, to say the least. We also made long-time friends with Erik Ferris and Glenn Dubois (AKA chiptune artist Glenntai) of Nerdfit Network!

Aaaw. Look at how thin I was! ;P

The year after that, we attended A&G yet again as Guests. This trip was a bit of a zoo. We had a lot more to do this time around. It was fun, but really took a lot out of us. This was the year we met Brentalfloss ;)


After that, we didn't hit up any more Cons until 2013's steampunk convention, Pandoracon, where I (sadly not the rest of the team) was invited as a Guest to give a panel all about being a game developer. 2013 was pretty slow for us in general, to be honest. You may have noticed that there was only one blog post made then, and it was about Pandoracon. Heck, it was originally just a Facebook post that was added to the blog later on. Despite not being an eventful year, it was one heck of a con, though! Panel turnout was nice and people asked tons of questions. The panel ran over its alloted time because we were all just having a great time talking about game development. Afterward, several people joined me in the lobby to talk even more. I really feel that they learned a lot. I think I did, too! Unfortunately, there weren't any pictures taken there either.

The next time we made an event appearance was OGDE 2015! You all know how that went!  We met so many awesome developers, journalists and some of the awesome people behind the AbleGamer's charity. Not only did so many people play (and apparently love) our Collapsus demo, but we got to play so many amazing games! It was so awesome and we plan on attending again this year as well, if they'll have us!


Other than OGDE, this year may or may not see many events for us, though we really hope so! This year we hope to submit Collapsus to IGF and IndieCade. Hopefully we also get to attend IndieMEGABOOTH at Pax East in 2017, if Collapsus sales do well.

We love going to events and getting to hang out with all of you. Heck, if you want to see us at a particular event (or you are someone who helps organize one), drop us a line and we can see if we can make it happen! Next week: Collapsus probably? 

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.

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