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Podcast #3 – Eine Woche Gamescom-Wahnsinn und die Indie MEGABOOTH

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Nach über einem Jahr gibt es die dritte Podcastausgabe. Diesmal geht es um die Gamescom und welche Spiele wir dort gespielt haben. Außerdem waren wir Teil der Indie MEGABOOTH. Ihr braucht also neues Zockerwerk oder wollt wissen, was wir die Woche über so erlebt haben? Hört rein!

Achja, sorry für's Schmatzen, wir essen Hustenbonbons en masse.

00:00:00 Intro
00:00:36 Indie MEGABOOTH Watch the trailer!
00:00:50 Die Hintergrundgeschichte der IMB auf Polygon.
00:05:00 The Witcher - Wild Hunt Gameplay demo
00:06:20 Risen 3 Sexismus und Patty Trotzdem, hier auch mal der Trailer.
00:09:00 Olivers Spiel heißt übrigens Sky Arena.
00:10:00 Armello von League of Geeks
00:14:00 The Talos Principle von Croteam
00:19:00 Gang Beasts von Boneloaf und Broforce von Freelives
00:20:00 Dex von Dreadlocks
00:22:00 Affordable Space Adventure von Knapknok
00:25:00 Renowned Explorers: International Society von Abbey Games
00:29:00 Tengami von Nyamyam
00:31:00 Wayward Souls von Rocket Cat Games
00:32:00 Wander
00:33:00 Machineers von Lohika
00:34:00 Ghost of a Tale
00:38:00 Below von Capy
00:40:00 Wir war die Messe für uns und wie kam TRI an?
00:41:00 Speedrunners von Double Dutch Games
00:42:00 Cosmonautica von Chasing Carrots
00:43:00 Dragon Fin Soup von Grimm Bros
00:44:00 Der Beatbuddy!!! Hier koofen.
00:45:00 Where is my Heart? von Bernie Schulenberg
00:47:00 Thorstens Independence Amazing
00:49:00 Team Indie von Brightside Games
00:49:30 Splee&Glob von Frame 6
00:51:00 Nelly Cootalot
00:52:00 The Masterplan
00:57:00 Scheiß Magictrailer. Naja, ich übertreibe vermutlich. Hier.
00:59:00 Rive von Two Tribes
01:03:00 Ein Hoch auf René Meyer!
01:05:00 Respawn Danke Alex für die Einladung zum Talk!
01:06:00 Michael Cherdchupan ist Teil von Insert Moin und Kollisionsabfrage

Übrigens: In unserem Podcast haben wir schändlicherweise vergessen, die großartige Retro-Ausstellung in Halle 10.2 zu erwähnen! Dies sei hiermit nachgeholt - zwar kamen wir nicht dazu, uns die Exponate anzusehen (aus genannten Gründen), aber Friedrich nutzte die Möglichkeit, TRI auf der Retro-Bühne vorzustellen. Dank dafür! ... und ein drittes Mal Danke an René, da er uns half, unseren Kram - unter anderem unsere Booth-Dekoration - wieder nach Hause zu bringen!

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Tschüß, bis nächstes Jahr!

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Publisher + Gamescom

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One day I want to make a visualization on how often we postponed TRI.

But don't worry, this is not going to be an article about the thousandth delay; instead I'll describe how excited we are about the upcoming deadlines. Yes, you read correctly, we have a deadline. Since we have a publisher now we can fully focus on developing the hell out of TRI and face our release with some professional help in marketing and publishing. And we are going to be at the Gamescom this year. Not as guest, but as exhibitors.

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But first things first. We teamed up with the publisher of games like Cloudbuilt and Deadly Premonition - our new best friends are Rising Star Games! We are very glad that we found a fair and communicative partner with a ten-year experience and an eye for indie 3D games.

What it means to have a publisher in exciting, but also fast fluctuating times like these was shown by the positive responses to the announcement on my Facebook timeline. Despite the fact that many of my friends and colleagues are indie devs and even more studios every day join the business model of indie development.

Anyways! The graphics won't use normal maps, you won't get to shoot a weapon on innocent foxes and we will never add in-app purchases ;) In fact: Nothing will change for you guys, except that we mustn't adjourn TRI anymore, which is important for us! I also hope - since we never had a publisher before - that the transition from our Early Access shops will go on smoothly. If you bought the game it will stay yours, no matter where the game is published later. This change and also the fact that Early Access has kind of a bad reputation nowadays, are the reasons why we are not going to bring out TRI on Steam now, but wait until it will be nicely polished AND finished in September.

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With the help of Rising Star Games we could also effort to have a visual appearance at Europe's biggest game event in Cologne this August. We will be in town to show TRI for a whole week and invite you to come by and meet us! Until I am able to announce where we will be find - have some new artworks!

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You want to learn more about how we made TRI? Have a look at our Making-of videos!

Try TRI before it's even out. It doesn't suck 50% less than the average Early Access game!

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Making-of episode 4 and new screens

Two years ago we had a fully playable version that still neglected story completely, but the triangles worked together with the level design, finally. At this time we heard of other developers trying out "early access", which had the more precise name "alpha funding", back then (or in our case even pre-alpha funding ...). I loved playing these games and seeing diamonds-in-a-rough developing into more playable and polished games with every update.

I analysed everything I found out about these alphas and wrote down The pros and cons of making a game alpha. At the same time we decided to jump into the cold water to try this infamous new method to get early feedback and funding with TRI. The funding didn't work out, but the feedback was pretty motivating. For the first time we had feedback from players and we realized what Early Access really meant: whatever you plan your game to be, players might have their own visions or show you issues that you wouldn't have recognized without somebody playing the game that isn't you.

This version isn't available (anymore), although I wonder if this is fair, since people paid for it. And the current version doesn't look anything like the current one. So, for those of you who missed out this experience, Friedrich and I played it for you again.

Of course we also push TRI forward, instead of just looking in its past. At the moment we try to fix little nasty bugs, polish finished levels with physicalized or animated objects and smooth out puzzles or paths that people got stuck in. Have a look at some of the examples:

At the moment we also work on cutscenes, finishing monologue and story text and mentally prepare for attending the Gamescom in Cologne in August. And finishing the whole project ... somehow ... soon.

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The Golden Sparrow – Der Goldene Spatz 2014

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Last week we received the 'Goldener Spatz' (means 'Golden Sparrow') for TRI. The award is not only a very beautiful pipe-blown glass sparrow, but important for us for mainly one reason: the jury consisted of children only!

The children that applied and were selected for the jury position were all boys, so they were aptly called GameBoys. They were not just asked to play games and choose one among them for the award; the children also needed to be able to articulate what they like, what not, and why. Therefore we received their statement printed on the certificate together with the cute little Golden Sparrow.

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We like the idea that the Children's Media Festival does not only award movies, games and websites for children, but also let them form their own opinion. A jury so young has an interesting advantage as well: the opinions were mostly created without tactical or political decisions. They presumably didn't consider trends nor fame, but followed purely personal taste.

Maybe I interpret too much into this, but it was highly enjoyable for Friedrich to talk to them after the award ceremony in Erfurt, Germany, and hear their thoughts concerning our game TRI. We like how much they engaged with the game, developed their own ideas for what could be added and also were not too shy to criticize it.

We realized, by receiving an award made for and by children, that we should totally aim for children as an audience. Especially because TRI is challenging but non-violent, imaginative, and it triggers what most children love most: curiosity and exploration.

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Photos by Florian Hohmann @hohse

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EGX Rezzed, Amaze and Making-of part 3

Birmingham - EGX Rezzed 2014

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The REZZED, including 2 days of visiting Birmingham, were a blast! The convention is full of interesting games, diverse genres, from AAA to smaller and very experimental indie titles. It was really fun and rewarding to be chosen for the nicely arranged Leftfield Collection. And to have TRI presented to young kids, families, a whole bunch of YouTubers, and curious players for the first time after two years of work was a really good feeling! Of course, meeting other devs and talking about their games was pretty cool, as well.

I really feel that I should have written more about the Rezzed, since our days in Birmingham were absolutely enjoyable and also important for us, to show the game around. But unfortunately, we take the final sprint to the release of TRI, which makes writing up all the events nearly impossible.

A Maze Berlin 2014

At least I have to mention that we visited the third edition of Germany's very international Indie Festival A Maze in April, again. Being there is always a big highlight of our year! It feels almost like coming home to the place where you belong. The A Maze is a crazy colorful exhibition with all sorts of games you might or might not imagine. From weird stuff you never fully understand, to multiplayer games you can play for hours, to pieces of art and artistic expression, students' works and polished diamonds smash hits. Not to forget workshops and talks. This festival is always so fully packed with interesting people, enlightening talks and fun games that I just get crazy, not knowing where to jump first.

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Making-of TRI episode 3

For the lack of written blog posts we made this third episode of our making-of story. This time we talk about our first prototype and why it was scrapped, again.

We soon have some fresh news for you at the end of the month, as we're working on the Steam integration! Until then we need to give this guy here more interaction, voice and animation.

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Update for TRI, Making-Of 2, Game Jams, Presskit

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We finally could release a new version of TRI - after "ObliviousFox" comes "OptimusFox" (or in numbers: the game has now version 0.4.1)! Here are the most important changes:

  • Fixed missing collision geometry in level "Tower of Nowhere"
  • Hidden stone parts now save and load their position correctly
  • Kami part of Level "Prisons" is now beatable
  • Changed level info in the pause screen
  • Loading screen can't appear anymore when loading right after death

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If you got the game via any platform (Desura, our own website, IndieGameStand, GamersGate) we recommend you download the new version as soon as possible, as you can't complete the game otherwise. (Sorry for that!) While we're at it, we'd also like to mention that TRI is now also on itch.io.

      Making-Of, Part 2!

We filmed the second installment of our TRI Making-of series! Have a look:

You can find the first part on YouTube.

      Game Jams!

Two weeks ago, the 7-Day-Roguelike Challenge 2014 started. Tradition demanded that we should participate, and so we did. Unfortunately our ideas didn't trigger the right motivation, and in the end I (Friedrich) started on Friday alone, with only 2.5 days left, to make a small game named Variablo that already got a bit of nice press coverage. In Variablo you have to not only walk through a dungeon and kill monsters, but also move parts of the dungeon around like in a sliding puzzle. It's inspired by the board game Master Mind. It's fairly short.

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But wait, there's more - this Saturday, Mini Ludum Dare 50 starts - and I am the host! I had several ideas in mind for the theme, but ultimately decided to please the fans and announced that participants need to make a Demake.

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Demakes are remakes of already existing games that use a "less advanced" technology - like going from 3D graphics to 2D - or they only present a subset of the original gameplay. Officially the MiniLD starts Saturday and ends Monday, but you can create and upload the game until end of March.

      EGX Rezzed

We changed our plans and decided to fly to Birmingham, UK, the next week, to visit the EGX Rezzed. So if you're around from Friday to Saturday (28th - 30th), and want to have a chat, we will be near the Leftfield Collection (where they exhibit TRI) from time to time! Hope to see you there!

Of course, we will still visit the A MAZE. / Berlin in April. Phew, a lot of traveling around in such a short time frame!

      Presskit

Last but not least Jana took the time to create a new presskit for not only TRI but also about us and our company. She used the excellent presskit() by Rami Ismail. We also have subpages for Pitman, Tumblox and our game jam games now, complete with descriptions, screenshots and videos.

That's it for today! Thanks for reading!

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TRI – Beta, Greenlit and a making-of

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1. Beta

The last months really were a blast. I think for the first time of the development of TRI we managed to stick to our schedules.

After a lot of work and headaches to create the final levels, we now have 16 of them - each more beauti-weird than the other. Ready to keep you busy for around eight hours in our spaces of gravity-madness and color.

  • We also added some gameplay elements like solid light rays - tubes you can reflect like light rays, but are able to walk on.
  • And there is a new effect which greyes out the region where you won't be able to set the other two points and make a full triangle. So creating them will be quicker and more fun!
  • The last levels are not fully tested, but you will be able to play through the complete game from now on.

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If you want to have a look at the new content check your favourite platforms to get the latest version!

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GamersGate2. Greenlit

Since September we were climbing the steep mountain of Greenlight. After swiftly getting the first 65% ("To the Top 100") we somehow camped in the stormy regions of 70%, took some steps upwards whenever a new batch got greenlit and fell back when we didn't manage to loudly beat the drums for people to recognize us there. But in February we finally reached more than 90%, also through the help of HOCGaming, who did a bunch of Twitch.tv sessions with TRI.

At February the 19th we completely skipped the Top 100 and got greenlit by Steam! We are so very happy and want to thank everybody who supported us on this way!

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3. Making-of

Because the release date is crawling nearer and nearer (and won't slip through our fingers that easily like it did before), we decided to filma little series of stories that led to the creation of TRI. Have a look at the first episode, in which we talk about the beginning with the Ludum Dare #20 version.

The upcoming month are going to be very stressful AND exciting. TRI will be presented in the Leftfield Collection of the EGX Rezzed in Birmingham from March, 28th-30th and we are going to attend the A Maze in Berlin from April, 9th-11th. It would be cool to see you there, as it is an truly amazing event for indie game developers and gamers alike.

In the meantime we will be working on the characters, animations, cut scenes, sounds, voice overs and polish, polish, polish. So, stay tuned and if you played the beta, we would love to hear your feedback, of course.

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Global Game Jam in Leipzig

I wrote this article after a request to GGJ organizers to tell stories about your own location. It got published on the GGJ page, as well.

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You might have heard of Leipzig as a game city, once. Until 2009 the GDC Europe and the Games Convention were hosted in the capital of Saxony, Germany. But since it moved to Cologne in 2009 (and was renamed to “Gamescom”), there was not only a huge convention missing. The absence of game developer events were visible and it hurt to realize that the city became unimportant for the developer scene. Besides, Leipzig has a sparse population of game companies – few of them dedicate their 100% manpower to game development only.
But even without company clusters, big names, game events and conventions, we have a very cool monthly regulars' table hosted by René Meyer, who owns the world's biggest retro console collection. Usual visitors are professional game devs, journalists, a twosome who owns the Retro Games Store, a company that has Germany's biggest board game distribution, musicians, amateur game devs and indies like us.

But we still have very few to no events where game devs exchange and show their skills. Although we knew of game jams like Ludum Dare or the Devmania Overnight Contest, we never heard of the Global Game Jam – until we met Zuraida (GGJ Dir) in Berlin at the local BIG Jam, where we learned about this global madness. Totally enthusiastic to participate in the Global Game Jam I started a web search for locations near Halle/Leipzig. Error. The next local event was in Berlin.

Die Teilnehmer des GGJ 2014 von Klaus Bastian

Die Teilnehmer des GGJ 2014 von Klaus Bastian

So we did something I totally hate, but which was necessary to be part of the jam: we searched for rooms and became organizers ourselves! Together with Klaus Bastian from the local university HTWK we started the first GGJ location ever in Leipzig.
Now that we got the location and the knowledge to set up everything there was only one thing left for completion: people. Where the hell would we get people for a jam from a city that has no huge game developer community?

René and Klaus started everything super-professional and sent out press releases to local newspapers and it worked! They responded and wanted interviews to learn more about the event. Afterwards, people I never heard of appeared on the website and subscribed to be part of this new jam thingy.

When the jam started on Friday, the 27th January 2012, people showed up and we managed to develop seven games. Yes, I'm talking about seven games here! But the jam was not only about creating games. Thanks to the event we got to know new people, exchanged addresses for future works and finally had our own one-weekend game development event in the year.

Vorstellungsrunde von Klaus Bastian

Vorstellungsrunde von Klaus Bastian

Additionally to the jam we opened up the “dev cave” on Saturday for visitors, introduced the open development not only to families with their little game-devs-to-be, but also got new people interested for the upcoming jam. This event worked out so well, we continued encouraging people to jam with us the following year.

2014 we are going to host the third edition of the Global Game Jam in Leipzig and everybody is super excited. We want to grow and try to find even more interested people from around Leipzig.

Thank you, creators, executives, directors and admins behind the Global Game Jam. You guys encourage local scenes with this amazing concept of worldwide jamming! Because of your already established concept and infrastructure you motivate us to get out of our holes and force us to find like-minded people. And the greatest thing: it doesn't matter if there was or is an already big scene.
Go create your own location, or make more of the already established ones!

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