Posts tagged videogames
Posts tagged videogames
We’re going to StoryWorld!
While it isn’t a fantastic new theme park, it’s a fun-filled conference and expo in Hollywood, CA. It’s sure to be an absolute blast, especially with such noteworthy keynote speakers as Sean Bailey, President of Production at Walt Disney Studios, and Damon Lindelof, creator of the beloved TV show LOST.
Our very own Karen and Lucas will be in attendance live-demoing The Time Tribe beta. If you’ll be there and happen to see either one of them, be sure stop on by to check out our great game and say “hello!”
Should you not be in the area or are unable to attend StoryWorld, enjoy these four new screenshots showing off our player customizable Coat of Arms, rooms, and more!
PAX Prime 2012 officially came to an end yesterday, and the exhaustion is definitely setting in. I’ve never attended PAX before, much less flown to Seattle, so it was definitely an adventure!
There were a ton of things to see, people to meet and see again, dozens upon dozens of kiosks with amazing merchandise to purchase, but more importantly there were some fantastic video games. I could go and list every single game that was there, but I’ll spare you all and briefly talk about my overall experience. Unfortunately cell and Internet reception was horrible in the actual convention itself, and not so great elsewhere, so I profusely apologize for being unable to Tweet and post on Facebook as often as I wanted to. Then there was the issue of my photos coming out a bit wonky thanks to the flash on my iPhone and the darkness of the convention. Aside from those two setbacks, I had a fantastic time.
Like I mentioned last week, I did attend many industry events/parties that took place in the evening and had a fun time. During the day and on the show floor it’s a bit more difficult to engage with your peers and network, making the evening events much more crucial despite the fact that your feet are wanting to fall off and you feel like you could sleep for several millennia. In the actual convention I was slightly disappointed that there weren’t that many attendees in cosplay (dressing up like your favorite movie/comic/anime/video game/etc character), but I imagine that Dragon*Con in Atlanta taking place at the same time is the reason why.
Seattle is a beautiful city, especially the downtown area where the convention takes place. Everything is within walking distance, and I even got to see something special Sunday night that I’ll be sharing with you all later on this week (hint: it involves a very famous Egyptian Pharaoh).
If you’re a fan of comics, anime, or video games I highly suggest you try to attend PAX Prime in Seattle, or at the very least PAX East in Boston that takes place during the Spring. Not only will you get to see a ton of stuff, but you’ll be surrounded by tens of thousands of your peers!
Finally, I’ll leave you with this hilarious image where PAX provided dozens of beanbags for attendees to rest on. Only problem is the sign above instructing people to not plop down upon them. How can someone reasonably resist not plopping down on a comfy sea of beanbags?!
This week we’re hopping in our DeLorean, flooring the accelerator to 88 mph, and taking a trip to PAX Prime in Seattle!
Arriving on Thursday, we’ll be hitting up some of the hottest industry parties and attending all three days of Penny Arcade’s popular gaming and comic expo. While we have no booth presence this year, I’ll be roaming around the show floor checking out all there is to see – and sharing it with you all!
Well, not exactly fun, unless you like roller coasters (I don’t), or other sadistic forms of activity based on manic shifts between sick stomach-pit dread and impossible euphoria.
Lucas and I have spent much of the last couple of weeks testing the earliest playable versions of The Time Tribe. This exhilarating - but humbling - experience makes me actually believe all those Hollywood stars who claim never to watch their finished work on the big screen. Even the parts of the game that do work leave me fretting about how our baby will be received, out on its own in the big bad world…
But still… still…. we can actually play this game we made, for real, W00T!?!?
Well, at least in fits and starts. And better yet, before too long, you’ll be able to play it too!
Stay tuned, the best is yet to come…
Originally posted on Lucas’s blog at Silverstring Media
I’ve spent the last three days attending the Games For Change festival in NYC. With keynotes by Jesse Schell, Jane McGonigal, and Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, among others), it was a really interesting mix of game design, activism, and inspiration.
Much of the content over the three days was fascinating, though of course there were ups and downs – some case studies that weren’t very interesting, some major organizational difficulties, etc. There was a really great talk by Scott Nicholson about games in the library and how to partner with librarians to bring your games to communities (during which he revealed that, including school libraries, there are more libraries in the States than there are most major fast food chains combined).
I was here of course with Karen on behalf of The Time Tribe, it being the game for change I’m working on. Much of the content over the three days was stuff we kind of knew – principles of game design, the power of games to make for better education, all the stuff we’re predicated on. Though of course it’s always nice to get a refresher on those things and the excitement that can come with it. We got a few good ideas out of it for the planning of content going forward.
But one of the things we noticed was that when it comes to educational games, the focus is almost always on games in the classroom, games with measurable educational results. And those games always have such huge guidelines that must be adhered to, and so often result in, well, not fun games.
It really just drove home for me, I think, that The Time Tribe really isn’t “an educational game”. We’re a game. We’re an awesome adventure game with an epic storyline and time travel. The fact that it’s historically accurate, that there’s more information available if you want it, that it will get kids thinking critically and understanding multiple points of view and cultures, is just a bonus.
We want to be a game first, and while games have an amazing potential to bring change in an individual, to educate far better than the typical modern classroom, we can’t ever let a desire to do that get in the way of the desire to make a great game.
While The Time Tribe partially takes its cues from “virtual worlds”, a common tween gaming favourite — having characters who exist in a persistent world they can log into, play minigames, collect currency, customize — its primary gameplay takes its cues from classic point-and-click adventure games.
A big part of those games is the so-called lock-and-key puzzle, which at its most basic is requiring an item to get through a door, but also involves things like finding (hidden) items to give to certain people, getting items from one person for another person, etc.
There are several quests in the ‘prologue’ launch episode of the Time Tribe, and many of them are some kind of variation on this classic idea. We think there are some neat twists to the essential formula, but essentially they are what they are.
But this means that we need the possibility of having a bunch of different items that a player could pick up lying around a bunch of different rooms in the Keep. In the picture above, you can see one image of the Great Hall LITTERED with items. We were very impressed when we looked at this image and saw the care with which our developers over at Dubit arranged all those items. They’re not just icons placed on an image, they’re objects fully in the world — our llama’s even wearing one!
When it came to the music of The Time Tribe, there was no question in our minds: we wanted something beautiful, orchestral, magical, hummable. We wanted John Williams, basically. What we got was pretty close — our composer Francesco d’Andrea created a gorgeous prologue theme that really evoked the magic and mystery of The Time Tribe, and went on to compose several more tracks for us, some of which you can hear in our teasers.
But when it came to the actual in-game music, we wanted something a bit more interesting, more dynamic to what you were doing in the game than just a single piece of basic background music.
The standard video game music process is to have different music for different places — forest music, city music, dungeon music. But for the prologue episode we’re launching with, the game takes place in one location: the Keep. Admittedly, there are many rooms in the Keep — Library, Great Hall, Kitchen, Bedroom… But they wouldn’t be that different, musically.
But we also have four different characters, each with very distinct personalities, and we thought the game should feel different depending on who you’re playing.
So we brought on composer/producer Devin Vibert to help us out. He took Francesco’s compositions and arranged them to be game background music — but he took it to the next level. The melody of the music is played by different instruments and arranged differently depending on which character you’re playing as — while the background changes slightly depending on what room you’re in.
What we end up with is music that seems like one coherent piece, but is actuallysixteendifferent variations that you will hear in the game.
In the audio clip above, you can hear bits of the melodies for Lewis, Kate, Will, and Iris, and then the Great Hall orchestration behind it at the end.
Also, please consider helping us out on our Kickstarter campaign! We have only a couple short weeks to raise enough money to help us finish this project. If you pledge at least $35, you can get a complete copy of the soundtrack, too! 22 tracks total.
To make this game everything we want it to be, we need a little help getting to the finish line. Please check out our Kickstarter campaign — full of lots of new information and some amazing opportunities as rewards — and please, share widely! If the spirit moves you, please give as generously as you can, as Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition!
We’re looking for $25,000 to bring this thing home, and in exchange we’re offering physical timekeys with cool bonus swag exclusive to Kickstarter backers, access to the beta test of the game, and much much more.
Please check it out, and thank you so much for your interest and support!
- Karen and Lucas
As we embarked on this journey, we discovered pretty quickly that yes, it does actually take a lot of work to make a game. And when there are only really two of us doing all the designing and writing and idea-ing, we kept finding all these little things that we hadn’t thought about having to do that had to be done. Things you don’t think about when creating the big picture — like what happens when you try to “Talk To” the fireplace?
But it’s been an amazing process, and every once in a while I had to stop myself, and stare at my screen, and think,
“I’m writing a dialogue tree for a video game right now, as a job. …Wow.”
This picture is what it looked like when I was editing those dialogue trees and the entire walkthrough for our prologue launch episode of The Time Tribe.
The invitation-only pitching workshop held for MassChallenge Semifinalists at their Boston headquarters on the night of May 7 was buzzing with excitement.
The Time Tribe joins 299 other startups chosen to advance to the Semi-finals of the MassChallenge 2012 Accelerator program, from a pool of 1,237 applicants hailing from from 35 countries and 36 states!!
This is really exciting news.
MassChallenge is the largest startup accelerator competition in the world, and the first to support such a large number of early-stage entrepreneurs showing promise of significant social and industry impact.
But we’re only halfway there. Next challenge is to make that leap to Finalist. By providing amazing support to Finalists *free of charge,* MassChallenge frees up indies like us to focus on what we do best: making a fantastic entertainment experience for you!
· Office space and technology
· Expert mentors
· Legal advice
· Training and events
· Co-founders and team members
· Media opportunities
· Funding and Investors
Karen’s hard at work on the deck for her Round Two pitch this Thursday. Cross fingers for us, and and we’ll keep you posted!
Despite the fact that at the end of the day, it’s primarily a videogame, we’ve always conceived of The Time Tribe as an experience that would cross the digital/analogue divide with ease. That’s because much as young ‘digital natives’ love technology and consider its daily use as natural as breathing, kids never lost their love of playing with physical objects they can take to the playground, stuff into a backpack for show and tell, or add to a burgeoning collection on a shelf.
Interesting to see that JWT predicts a burst in the ”fetishization” of real world goods - including physical counterparts for digital activity - among the world population at large, as one of their Top 10 Trends for 2012!