Studio transparency and workspace ideologies are often unique from studio to studio, and are affected by prior experiences, cultural norms, and shifting industry patterns.
Jeff Agala and Jamie Cheng discussed Klei Entertainment’s methodology for crafting not only an enjoyable title in the form of Mark of the Ninja, but also a sustainable workplace that allows for creativity to flourish. With a few key points to touch on, the duo discussed a plethora of useful tips for a room full of developers during the Indie Games Summit at GDC.
The first point they considered was “What are the biggest wastes of time during development?” and found the answer to be “Building the wrong thing.” To quote the team, “Imagine walking in a forest. It would be a waste to leave this forest and start in a new one when we’ve already spent so much time in here!” That can be self-destructive, because you spend so much time working on something that will never result in a quality and worthwhile experience.
If you were going to have two developers shack up in one booth at a gaming convention, you’d be hard pressed to find a better pair than Capybara Games and Double Fine if you’re hoping for hijinks. We’re thinking it’s going to be one of the most fun spots on the entire show floor. Oh, they’re both showing off some games, and from what we hear, a couple of other products as well.
Double Fine’s newest game, Dropchord will be playable on the show floor. It will be Armless Octopus’ first opportunity to test out the Leapmotion controller, and we’re pretty excited to see what Tim Schafer’s creative studio can come up with using it. They’ll also be showing off Brütal Legend on the PC as well.
On the flip side, Capybara will be putting a new build of Super TIME Force into the hands of the public. The game is slated for a 2013 release… hopefully a more specific date is revealed at the show. If not, we’ll be sure to dig for one.
These two teams are collaborating on more than just the booth, however. They will have a special PAX shirt available for purchase, commemorating their time together. Also, a physical box of their upcoming collaborative Steam bundle will also be on hand, awaiting purchase.
We’ll be sure to bring you all the details from the show floor when we attend PAX East this weekend.
It appears that no one can escape the “Wrath of the Dead Rabbit“, not even the studio that developed it. Our brothers in “arms”, Arkedo Studios, has announced that they’re closing their doors.
The indie studio, who was also behind the beloved Arkedo Series and the DS’ Big Bang Mini, will be splitting up and moving on to other projects. Studio head Camille Guermonprez is already working on a “publishing project”, while Aurelien Regard is working on starting a “mini-studio”.
Regard did lay out a couple reasons for the studio’s departure in his goodbye blog post. A desire and inability to make smaller games without a publisher was chief among them. The studio feels they are now too big to have success with that model. They also felt that they reached their limits with Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
The studio was careful to leave things on a “See ya” than a “Farewell”, so there’s a possibility that they’ll group back up in the future. But for now, at least, Arkedo has been put to rest.
Serious Sam Double D was already certifiably over-the-top and chock-full of awesome when it debuted back in 2011. If you don’t believe it, check out the video review. Since then, Mommy’s Best Games has been working on classing Double D, elevating it to XXL status. Now out for XBLA, the game boasts new features such as co-op (couch only, sadly), and a new upgrade system for guns. There’s also a barrage of new and still ridiculous enemies, oh, and a giant dynamite powered unicycle. What I’m saying is you should check it out. It’s available today on XBLA for 800 Microsoft Points (that’s 10 real dollars).
There’s no arguing with the success of 2D crafting title Terraria — as of September 2012 they moved over 1.6 million units on the PC. The game is on its way to Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network, but it won’t get there without a slew of improvements.
A new trailer was released, which lays out what sort of changes will be made to make the console version. New controls were promised, as the keyboard and mouse layout on the original version won’t work here. Those with HD televisions will be able to play in split-screen with up to four players, and there’s an eight-player online mode as well. There will be new armor, weapons, pets and enemies — even a unique final boss, which you can find using the new world map function. The soundtrack will also be getting a bit fatter with some added tracks.
We haven’t found a release date yet, but Terraria taught us that if we keep digging we’ll eventually uncover one. The official stance right now is that it’s “coming soon”.
Have you been hankering to spelunk (that’s a word, right?) your way through a cave that mysteriously narrates your journey all on its own? You’ll be able to do just that and pretty soon, as Sega has revealed that The Cave will be releasing before January is over.
The game will come out on the Playstation Network and Wii U eShop on January 22, with Xbox Live Arcade and Steam users gaining access the very next day. Steam users will be pleased to learn that it works on both the Mac and Linux versions of Valve’s client.
The Double Fine-developed adventure-platformer will run you $15, or 1200 of Microsoft’s moon dollars.
Developer 17-BIT’s Skulls of the Shogun is quickly nearing release, and it’s doing so on an unprecedented amount of Microsoft platforms simultaneously.
The game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 when it releases on January 30. It also features cross-play multiplayer across all of its versions.
“Skulls Anywhere is an asynchronous multiplayer mode that lets players take turns independently of each other (sending turns back and forth whenever they want),” said the game’s website, “playing against players on all the launch platforms.”
Skulls of the Shogun will run you 1200 Microsoft points, or $15. Be sure to check out out hands-on coverage from PAX East 2012 for more.
It’s rare to find a game that seems like it tried to work in literally every idea discussed during brainstorming, but Arkedo’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit feels like a shining example of that phenomenon. The production value is high, tons of effort went into the writing and the gameplay is relatively unique. But in bringing so many individual elements together, the game as a whole somehow manages to be nearly devoid of fun.
Things are as off-the-wall as they can be in Hell Yeah. You’re the Prince of Hell — a dead rabbit who rides around in a saw-blade hovercraft — and your mission is to recover scandalous pictures of you and your rubber duck, which would somehow undermine the validity of your claim to the throne. Or something like that. The unapologetically random nature of the game’s core concept extends to everything else in the game, from enemy design to level settings, so don’t expect fire and brimstone here — Dante’s vision this is not. There are casinos, futuristic dance clubs and what can only be described as Jerry Garcia’s wet dream, among a bunch of other areas. The game’s spastic, sugar-coated ADD-inducing presentation might appeal to high school students who spend their parents’ money at Hot Topic, but it’s truthfully nothing more than a bunch of incoherent nonsense that’s random for the sake of being random. Read more