New Year, New Job

Man 2015 was tough. Tough for various personal reasons but mostly from a work perspective, I never expected a new job.

2014 was a tough year for Mastertronic, this much was public knowledge but I never really expected what happened in 2015 to be the end result. After working at Mastertronic for 12 and a half years it all came to an end when the company entered administration.

This was a real blow, myself and the rest of the publishing team had been working hard over the last few years to really try and build up a fair publishing business for indie developers and it felt like it was finally starting to reach a point it was going to pay off, if investment had arrived I think it would of done. Thankfully the developers we were supporting got their games transferred back to them on Steam so hopefully good things will come to them direct over the next few years, they all deserve it.

I am a firm believer in all things happening for a reason, and out of this very sad news came a new job offer in the form of a Producer role at developer Mediatonic. I seem to have a thing for companies that end in ‘onic’.

So in early December 2015 I accepted the offer and began a new journey working at a development studio rather than a publisher.  My immediate responsibilities are in looking after games like Foul Play and Hatoful Boyfriend (plus Holiday Star) but going forward it is going to involve some very exciting new projects that I can say nothing about… for now.

After the lows of 2015 I am very much looking forward to what 2016 and beyond holds.

 

Sym is out now!

Sym is a puzzle-platformer that explores social anxiety disorder. Play as Josh, a teenage boy trying to reconcile a maze of two contrasting worlds that coexist within the blank spaces of each other – his perception of reality, and the world he created to avoid his fears.

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Sym is a game that came to us rather than us finding it, the developers got in touch with us because the game was stuck on Steam Greenlight (something we hear alot) and they wanted some help from a publisher to help get the game noticed.  We took a look at a build and I think pretty quickly fell in love with its looks, it has a very striking art style.  The other very interesting thing about the game was the message behind it, the social anxiety message was something worth supporting, especially from my point of view as this is something I do suffer from.

It didn’t take long for a deal to be agreed and we set about making it known we were publishing the game. A few months later it was greenlit by Valve and we set about getting the game ready for release.

 

The developers Atrax Games are Italian and based in Italy so timezone wise this made my life alot easier, I think the only real issue we might of had was the language barrier. While they speak English very well I suspect certain language subtleties caused a little confusion on both sides, nothing that caused any major problems though as they worked very hard on improving and localising the game ready for release. The only thing that slowed down this release was localising it, this is always alot more work than developers think it is, especially if they haven’t done it before. It can throw up alot of issues that you just had never planned for.

Overall I have been very happy how Sym has gone since we signed it, I hope the team at Atrax Games enjoy the release and I look forward to seeing their future work 🙂

Sym is out now on PC & MAC.

 

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The Weaponographist is out now!

In the effort to post more about what I do for a living I plan to talk a bit about each of the games Mastertronic release. So kicking this new initiative off is The Weaponographist.

The Weaponographist is the second game from indie studio Puuba, we published their first game (Concursion) on Steam for them last year. Not long after this release Danny Garfield came to us with his next great idea for a game to see if we would fund it. Obviously we liked what we heard and said yes 🙂

We came very late the party with Concursion, it was stuck in Steam Greenlight and we agreed to get involved to get it out and released so I had very little idea what working with Danny and team at Puuba was going to be like for a full project.  It didn’t take long to realise that Danny was a proper workaholic, and a true gent. From the moment we saw the first build until the release build he and the team have worked their socks off. One of the reasons its actually releasing ahead of schedule!

This was also the first time we had started to use external playtesters, we had been gathering quite the list of people that wanted to help out so I enlisted a small amount to give me gameplay feedback on the game. I used this with our own feedback to help Danny tweak/improve the game as you will play it today. This was incredibly useful in making the game better and it will be something I do again. Thankyou to everyone that helped out on this.

By the time this post goes live the I will have prayed to the Steam gods that the magic release button has worked correctly and that people are enjoying the game. Release days are a little stressful even when games are as on schedule as this, you never know what might go wrong or if people are going to enjoy the game, all you can do is hope you have done a good enough job to give it the best chance possible.

The Weaponographist is out now on PC and MAC, so go take a look 🙂

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Dream is now available on Steam Early Access

It has been a busy few months (when isn’t it I hear you say) and the result of this is one of the games I have been working on being released on Steam today, via the Early Access program.

Dream is a first person exploration game set, well in the main characters (Howard) dreams 🙂

Made my 3 great guys at HyperSloth the game will launch on Early Access today with Act 1 of the game available to play.  More content will get added as it gets completed.

Here is the trailer we created for the launch:

Dream has alot of great things going for it, it looks great and has a great soundtrack.  I am really looking forward to player feedback to help make this a really great game!

 

The Chaos Engine – The Chaos is Back!

Another game that has been taking up my time at work is a (if you like) remastered version of the Bitmap Brothers game, The Chaos Engine.

http://www.thechaosenginegame.com/

This version will be coming to Steam later this year, including on-line co-op for two players amongst all the usual Steam features you would expect.

The game will be playable at this years Rezzed show, which is going on this weekend.

Come play if you are there.

 

Montague’s Mount – Arrives on Steam Greenlight

One of the games I have been working hard on for months now has finally appeared live on Steam Greenlight for people to hopefully vote ‘yes’ for.

Montague’s Mount is a first-person psychological rollercoaster ride through isolation, desolation and one man’s tortured mind, set against the bleakness of an isolated Irish island. Created by one man development team Matt Clifton aka PolyPusher Studios.

You can see the trailer here:

You can vote here (please?):

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=146521424

Enjoy!

 

Serious Sam Double D XXL – Cooperative Madness Trailer

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As ever here in the Mastertronic world of which I work in I have been a busy little bee getting our next Xbox LIVE Arcade release ready for release to the lovely gamers of the world.  This game is of course Serious Sam Double D XXL as you can see from the post title and video above.

This is the first announcement trailer for the game that went live today, introducing the other playable character in the game… Huff, isn’t he just adorable?

Serious Sam Double D XXL will be hitting Xbox Live Arcade on the 20th February 2013 costing only 800 of your lovely Microsoft Points.

 

Blast from the past – Carrier Command

The best part of the last few months of my working life have been taken up with a game due out at the end of Sept 2012, Carrier Command: Gaea Mission. Created by Bohemia Interactive of ARMA fame, and published by Mastertronic (at least outside the US).

Some people will probably remember the original Carrier Command, but not many under a certain age so not much point talking about it  but this is a new version of the game for PC and Xbox 360.  Basically you have a big old ship you control that is home to four MANTA’s (flying ships of death) and four WALRUS’s (tracked vehicles of death) which you use to conquer islands and expand your resources.  You can either take direct control of these units or control them from an overhead map view and let your AI do all the work.

Its a fun mix of strategy and action and has actually translated to the Xbox 360 really well.  This is a game you can lose ALOT of time to so you will certainly get your monies worth 😉

Anyway can’t say too much until review hit so here is the latest trailer 🙂

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