Posts Tagged ‘Company’:
As Ben mentioned earlier most of us have been out in Texas for GDC Austin. The primary focus of this conference is, unfortunately, MMOs and since we aren’t making Cretaceous Worlds or NumNums Online much of the content for this conference was superfluous. However, Matthew and Steve, along with Simon Carless (Gamasutra/IGF), Adam Saltsman(Semi Secret/Flixel), and Brandon Boyer (Offworld), hosted an amazing Independent Games Summit, the first to be hosted at GDC Austin.
The Independent Games Summit lasted for only two of the days we were in Austin. The rest of the time was spent with our Indie brethren from around the world. These people are amazing artists, designers, and developers and very good friends of ours. It’s always motivating and inspirational to spend time with the Indies and I hope we will funnel much of it into the future of Blurst.
We’re flying back to Arizona today, but that’s not the end of our adventures. Steve and Matthew are heading to Japan for the Tokyo Game Show on Tuesday! Don’t worry though, even with all of this excitement, we’ll have the next Blurst game out on time on November 1st. Keep an eye on the flickr stream for more photos from the trip! Photos of the trip are up on flickr, check ‘em out!
While we were away our Art Director, Ben, made an impressive game design prototype that we may or may not end up using for a Blurst game sometime in the future. Check it out!
Phill Cameron recently interviewed the company about our plans for six Blurst games in 2009, our history, and our view of the indie gaming world. The interview just went up over at GameSetWatch, a clever gaming site run by Simon Carless (Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra, IGF):
With such quick development cycles for each of your games, are there a lot of ideas that don’t make it? Or are they all used eventually?
FS: There are tons of ideas that don’t make it. Our policy here is to spew out whatever coagulates in our brain soup. Naturally, most things are not going to make the cut. Part of this is because there isn’t enough time in the day or an idea is too complex, part of it is that some ideas aren’t any good, and part of it is that some ideas are just too genocidal, demeaning, horrible, abusive, disrespectful, and hideously irreverent to thrust upon the world.
For the curious, we handle interviews by dropping the questions into Google Docs and letting everyone pick at it, like so many lions gorging on downed zebra. Sometimes an answer is a single person, but we tend to mingle at the sentence-to-sentence level. See if you can guys can guess which line is by which person!
We’ve been joking about running a live webcam/audio feed in the office for awhile (mostly as a means to squash the horribly offensive atmosphere). If the Internet’s good for anything, it’s good for taking a joke and going too far with it. I think we’ve proved that.
So here you go! Fridays with Flashbang! We’re going to run a webcam every Friday for your amusement. Fridays are actually our experimental days, so people will be working on all kinds of random stuff. Enjoy!
And a chat for the feed:
The Ustream.TV page is here, if you want to view it directly on the site.
And it’s all thanks to you, dear players! You’ve driven for miles across the plains and through the jungles of the Cretaceous, perpetrating the kind of mass genocide that only a gas-powered off-road vehicle can deliver. You’ve jumped, boosted, and two-wheeled your way to victory against the pre-avian hordes, leaving a carpet of feathers (of modern aspect!) in your wake. You’ve pushed more crates than in the original Tomb Raider. You did a barrel roll! Most importantly, you’ve had fun doing it! When the day is done, that’s what matters most to us — that you folks are having as much fun playing our games as we’ve had making them. Cheers, valiant raptor hunters, and thanks for helping to save the future — one delicious raptor taco at a time!
For your amusement, here are a few more Raptor Safari stats:
Games Completed: 823,661
Scoring Events Recorded: 23,662,398
Number of Players with Over 2,000 Games Played: 7
Raptors Exported: 1,332,188
Pteranodons Killed: 12,208
Pteranodons Exported: 4,247
Most Raptor Kills by One Player: 62,687 (MisplacedMage)
Most Pteranodon Kills by One Player: 217 (MisplacedMage)
Vehicles Destroyed (all doors + hood): 115,054
Most Common Raptor Kill Method:
4,424,412 — Vehicle
169,656 — Raptor on Raptor
159,259 — Clean chain hit
151,085 — Chain clothesline
44,670 — Chain end toss
Things have been a little quiet here, but with good reason! The whole team was over in Copenhagen, Denmark, for Unity’s second annual Unite conference. It was three days of technical sessions, including a physics talk by yours truly (video should be posted soon). The weekend after the conference we hung out at the Unity offices, jamming on random game ideas. The trip was well worth it.
Phil Harrison Keynote
The conference started off with the company founders announcing their 2.5 plans (Windows editor!), before stepping aside aside to let Phil Harrison give his thoughts on the industry. This was surprisingly relevant to us. Phil is currently the president of Atari, but he was at the conference to give a broad overview of where he thinks the game industry is going. Gamasutra has a write-up here.
I honestly thought he could have been talking about Blurst several times during the keynote. In particular, Phil was promoting developing games “in the full glare of the gaming public”, moving quickly and failing early by getting ideas playable immediately, monetizing games over time rather than with one big retail push, and utilizing game analytics in the same way that Web 2.0 relied on analytics to optimize sites and services.
We’re doing a lot of this already. The original plan for Blurst was to use it as a mechanism to see which of our game ideas were accepted by gamers. We would release glorified prototypes as fast as we could, as often as we could, and then take a step back and pick the most trafficked game for further development (PC download, XBLA, WiiWare, etc). In thinking more about the site, though, we decided it would make more sense to build a model around an 8-week development timeframe. The site today, as we envision it, is actually an end unto itself, rather than a means to a different end. We’re going to focus more on aspects like achievements, leaderboards, and friend lists.
Instead of viewing the site as a support model that feeds into a download or retail premium game model, we now view it as its own standalone entity. We are no longer going to take that step back; instead, Blurst will just keep going with a collection of small, interesting games. The plan is to monetize the site in 2009 andmake it our primary source of revenue.
We capture a ton of data already, although I think analytics are much more useful to optimize one product over a long period of time, rather than a bunch of disjoint games. For instance, analytics are hugely important if you want to balance maps in a multiplayer shooters or to stabalize economies in MMOs.
We have a scrolling LED sign in the office that constantly lists numbers from our games–4,817,823 raptors killed, 61,074,141 balls fired in Splume–but most of this data isn’t fed back into our development process yet. In Raptor Safari we have a record of every scoring event: 22,840,726 records that include location in the game world, what time of scoring event it was, and what time it happened in the game. When we do revisit Raptor Safari, we’ll use this to heatmap different events. Where are the highest-scoring jumps? Where do players kill pteranodons? Which catchers are used the most?
We regularly speak at conferences, and we put a lot of effort into our talks. We feel that it’s important to share lessons learned so that other developers can get a head start. Today we unveiled technology.blurst.com, which will contain a steady trickle of code snippets, scripts, and tutorials from our developers. It will be fairly Unity-centric, but if you’re interested in game development you should definitely check it out (and if you are a game dev, but not using Unity, you owe it to yourself to look into the technology)!
November is going to be a big month here at Blurst. Minotaur China Shop will finally launch, along with the remainder of the Blurst web features. We also have three iPhone games in development with Unity’s iPhone support. We plan to submit all three to the App Store in November. We’re also wrapping up the last contract job we’ll be doing for some time.
December will be a month of recovery for us, along with some light prototyping. And then before we know it we’ll be in 2009! We’re very excited about next year. The company will be exclusively focused on Blurst, and it’s going to rock. The 8-week schedule begins in earnest on January 1st. We will have game launches on March 1st, May 1st, July 1st, September 1st, November 1st, and December 31st.
P.S. We haven’t put a fatty logo anywhere for it yet, but you can follow us on Twitter. Please do!
Minotaur China Shop iPad Tease
993 days ago
Minotaur Dance Party
1126 days ago
Visualizing Raptor Safari Data
1148 days ago