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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Steam Dev Days – Day 1

Day 1 of the first Steam Dev Days was an interesting one for many reasons, most of which I wont bore you with as its more interesting for me and my work but my real surprises of the day were:

 

Steam Controller: This is something I was eager to get my hands on and see what the fuss was about (is there fuss?) however what struck me most during the presentation on the subject was just how much Valve have thought about the design and how they are still adapting it now. They have put shed loads of thought into this design and how it will work for users. For example all bindings people make get shared to other users, which means in theory the best, most used set will get used for people that don’t want to mess around setting them. I am looking forward to giving it a proper play with either tomorrow or when I get home as they were kind enough to give us each one in our goody bag!

 

 

Steam Machines: I have really struggled to see who Valve were going after with these machines but after its presentation it became alot clearer.  They just want to give gamers choice, the choice to pick a spec they want/can afford and use it how they want with access to all their library of games in whatever room you want.  It also became clear they are convincing the bigger publishers/developers to support Linux so hopefully all games will work on it.  Some of these boxes are small enough that they will fit most places, I can see a use for one in my home now but not quite sure I would pay out for one.  To our surprise Valve said we were all going to get one to take home today, and they weren’t joking!

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So I look forward to giving it a test out with SteamOS.

 

There were plenty of other interesting talks on Early Access, Steam in general but they will sound pretty boring to anyone who doesn’t actually work with things on Steam.  All in all though the first day was great and Valve have done a great job so far, its great to see normal people who love their job talk about what they are doing and how they got there.  I look forward to tomorrows sessions.

 

Steam Dev Days – we have come a long way…

So after 2 planes and nearly 5000 miles I am sat in Seattle wondering what Valve have in store for their first developer conference (Steam Dev Days).

 

 

I have decided what talks I want to sit in on (which is pretty organised for me), but it was harder than I thought as there is plenty going on.  For me though I am most interested is the Steam Controller and Valves thinking behind the Steam machines as I am not completely sold on them.

I did have an interesting conversation earlier that basically said the Steam controller once you are proficient with it can be as good as a mouse and keyboard and might even be better?  This is something I find hard to believe but am excited to give a go to find out.

 

It wouldn’t surprise me if Valve had some announcements to make to catch everyone out, nor would it surprise me if they didn’t…  Will Steam go open?, will they make their own Steam boxes? Will Half Life 3 be announced?

 

Who knows, but I will be tweeting from the event the best I can and will do a write up of each day on here.

 

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!

 

When life catches up with you… blogs don’t get done!

It seems like every time I actually get time to write something all I do is write excuses why I haven’t posted anything, well this time is no different!!

The last few months have been consumed by work and mainly one game, Sniper Elite V2 for the PC.  The game launched on the 4th May 2012 but has taken up so much of my work time its unreal, but all worth it.  The game is a little old school in design but is great none the less so please give it a try… on PC 😉

Other than that youngest wizzy of the family is now 6 months old so is keeping our hands full, but I have been playing a combination of the following… Tribes: Ascend, League of Legends, Bastion, Legend of Grimrock and Crysis 2.  Crysis 2 is nearly finished which then means I can move onto playing The Witcher 2 finally!

A little game called Diablo 3 is out next week… I must somehow find both the money and time to play this 🙂

Defense Grid – The Awakening

Defense Grid, or what I like to call the bargain of the year so far… is a Tower Defence game on the PC (also on XBLA).  One which I have ignored for a while now, which is odd as I am a sucker for Tower Defence games but I guess those needs have been taken care of via my iPhone and vast amounts of them available on the AppStore.

The other day I noticed Defense Grid was on sale on Steam, so figured why not and picked it up with all its DLC for around £2 something.  Best £2 something I think I have ever spent on a game.

While it maybe doesn’t break the mould when it comes to tower defence gameplay, it does all the usual parts very well.  I like that flying units have their own paths, I like that you have to defend cores being stolen (as you have a chance to kill the enemies on the way back) and I like the setting (robotic, alien, futuristic) as well as it being a challenge.

 

If you like tower defence games then this should be a must buy, it is still 50% off while the the Steam Summer Sale is on so grab it now!