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Off-Road Velociraptor Safari

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Raptor Safari HD Development Build

Posted to Games by Shawn on February 26th, 2010

Raptor Safari Title Screen

Hey loyal Blurstizens! It’s been a few weeks since we last updated you on our progress with Off-Road Velociraptor Safari HD. We’ve been hard at work rebuilding much of the original game to eventually expand on it and add more Raptor goodness. Today we’re happy to give out our first official development build of Raptor Safari HD for people that have it pre-ordered. Those of you that have pre-ordered should be able to download the dev build from your profile page right now! If you haven’t pre-ordered Raptor Safari HD yet, it’s not too late to do so. Head over to the Raptor Safari website and pre-order your copy now! You’ll have access to the new development build as soon as you pre-order.

Much has been changed and updated in this build. We’ll always keep you up-to-date with the latest build changes on the Raptor Safari website, but here’s a few changes I’d like to highlight.

New Tuning

Though not finalized yet, Matthew has spent a better part of a month solely on retuning the driving mechanic. We’ve been taking in loads of feedback about how the driving feels and have now applied it to the vehicle physics model. Arguably the most notable of the tuning changes is that the xbox 360 controller is now supported on Windows and Mac. As another plus, Windows users will have some nice vibration feedback when using the 360 controllers. Feel the jolt of every Stunt Jump landing and every Raptor Roadkill!

New Art

Ben has been hard at work upgrading all of the original game’s assets to push the game into the Next-Gen category. You’ll notice the world is much more dense with vegetation and obstacles, most of which have been upgraded with normal maps, higher resolution textures, higher polygon models, and more. There’s still much work to be done, but what’s done now should give you all an idea of what’s yet to come.

New Effects/Graphics

You’ll notice some new effects and graphics popping into this build. We’ve implemented some Post Processing techniques we’ve used in past games like Jetpack Brontosaurus and Blush along with some other effects you’ve never seen before in our Blurst games. In the Facebook version we showed off the beginnings of real-time dynamic shadows. Now the shadows are higher quality and work on more objects in the world (for those of you with machines that can handle it). We’ve also thrown in anti-aliasing for the Danny Bs among you.

Let us know what you think! If you find any bugs/issues, have any suggestions, or just want to tell us how awesome Raptor Safari is head over to our support page and let us know! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and be a fan on Facebook to stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening in Raptor Safari HD.

And here’s a teaser of what’s to come later in the year! Yet another awesome piece by our concept artist Justin Messner.

Extinction World

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Raptor Safari HD Website, New Dinosaurs

Posted to Games by Matthew on February 12th, 2010

We’ve been hard at work on the new Off-Road Velociraptor Safari HD version! It’s been awhile since we posted at the blog, so here’s a quick overview of what’s been happening (by the way, the best way to keep up with Raptor Safari news is via our Facebook page or Twitter account):

New Raptor Safari Site

The new Off-Road Velociraptor Safari HD website has embedded Facebook and Twitter widgets, so you can easily follow us there, or simply visit the page for the latest information.  We’ll be adding new content to the site over time, so make sure you check it often!

Pre-Ordering

You can also pre-order Raptor Safari HD for early-bird price of $14.99.  If you have already purchased Raptor Safari or the Blurst Bundle Pack, there is nothing more you need to do–the HD version will automatically appear in your Blurst profile.  Thanks for believing in us!

Pre-orders will get:

  • Early access to development builds (first build this month).
  • Insider communication with the development team (give us your feedback)!
  • That warm, fuzzy feeling knowing you’re supporting independent development

We’re working out some other special surprises for pre-orders, too, so stay tuned!

New Dinosaurs!

You may have noticed that we’ve been posting a bunch of new dinosaur screenshots in the last week.  This is all thanks to our good friend Andy Schatz at Pocketwatch Games.  Andy is now working full-time on his IGF-nominated game, Monaco.  Savvy dinosaur fans may remember that he was working on Venture Dinosauria, an ecosystem game all about these great thunder lizards.

The Amazing Andy

Andy will return to Dinosauria at some point, but in the meantime we’ve worked out an exclusive licensing deal to the Dinosauria models.  We have unfettered access to the source files, so we’ll be changing them up a bit to meet our needs, but you’ll start seeing these gorgeous beasts appearing in Raptor Safari development builds very soon!

Because Andy is both a hero and a gentleman, you can use coupon code “Schatz Special” for 20% off your Raptor Safari HD pre-order.  Limited uses, so hop to it!

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Raptor Safari 64 First Look

Posted to Games by Matthew on December 15th, 2009

The new Facebook version of Off-Road Velociraptor Safari isn’t the only thing we’ve been working on at Flashbang. Most of our energy is being spent on the next version of the game, Raptor Safari 64. This new version will ultimately be a thing of perfect HD beauty. Here’s what we’re going for (as painted by the excellent Justin Messner of Time Donkey story card fame):

Raptor Safari Concept

Right now we’re planning a late 2010 release. Current Raptor Safari owners will get exclusive access to development builds of the game, as well as the final PC/Mac release (think of it as pre-ordering). If you’d like to get it on that make sure you take advantage of our 2-for-1 Raptor Safari holiday special!

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New Off-Road Velociraptor Safari Production Begins!

Posted to Blurst, Games by Matthew on November 26th, 2009

Good day, Internets!

It’s been awhile since we chatted (by the way, the best way to keep up with us is via our Facebook fan page). After we stopped our 8-week cycle we decided we should take a week or two off before we really got back into the saddle. As of last Wednesday, it’s saddlin’ time!

We have now entered full production on a new version of Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, which we’re internally calling Raptor Safari 64 (you can thank Colin Northway for that one). We don’t have an exact development schedule, yet, but it’ll be much longer than any of our Blurst projects. Right now we’re loosely targeting a fall 2010 release, scoped to be worth $15 or $20 of your hard-earned money.

So what are we up to?

Business Development

Real Live BusinessmanI’ll be honest: It’s strange to go from our own Blurst.com world, where we have zero gatekeepers between our work as ideas and our work as something you guys can actually play, back into the “real” world, where you have to communicate unimplemented ideas to others and convince them you have savvy and merit and stability and all that. A larger version of Raptor Safari is a great fit for mainstream platforms, like say console downloadable, so we’ve initiated contact with the proper authorities to make this happen.

Fortunately, we have been around for over 6 years, and I’ve been a logistics dude/co-chair at the Independent Games Festival for three years running; we do have some credibility! Still, “biz dev” is something we’ve deliberately avoided, and it’s a little uncomfortable to get back into it (like a pair of dress shoes you only wear once every three years when some relative you’ve never met gets married, and at first the shoes seem really fancy and you’re hopeful the ladies might even notice but after a few hours your feet just hurt and all you want to do is go home and watch Alf edits on YouTube).

By the way, when it comes to objectively measuring Raptor Safari’s reception, things like this really blow my mind:

Results 1 – 10 of about 1,150,000 for “off-road velociraptor safari”. (0.09 seconds)

That’s a phrase search, people! 1.1 million instances of those words in exactly that order! That was literally zero results before we launched ORVS, almost two years ago…

Game Development

The first phase of the new version’s development is to redo much of what we have already. Raptor Safari is one of our oldest Unity projects–primarily developed during the Unity 2.0 alpha, for any of you Unity nerds–and there are a lot of things we want to do to its foundation before we start adding new rooms to the house.

Our plan of attack is to first improve the production quality without increasing game scope. This means we’re now creating a nicer-looking, faster-running, better-coded version of the original game. Once we have this high water mark set, and a stable base to build on, we’ll begin pushing laterally to increase the scope, with new environments, new dinosaurs, and more things to do.

Of course, a small number of features will naturally fall out of systems as we rewrite them. Here’s the first tiny new feature to make an appearance–raptors will desperately try to fly if they find themselves in midair:

Early Access to Raptor Safari 64

Development builds of the game will be made available to players who bought the original game. We may need to cut off new users at some point, depending on our negotiations with console manufacturers; the only way to make sure you can play the new Raptor Safari during its development is to buy the game today. You can pick up at a copy over at the Blurst store, in either standalone or bundle pack flavors.

We don’t have any dates to share on when these first builds will be appearing, yet, but we’ll be wanting to get these out as soon as possible to begin testing performance/hardware compatibility. It may be a very merry Christmas!

More Stuff!

We have a few more things up our sleeve to talk about, including how our Blurst developer call for submissions is going, games on Facebook, and even a new company altogether somewhere in there. Stay tuned for more!

You should become a Facebook fan or follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop!

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Happy Birthday, Blurst! (And Some Changes)

Posted to Blurst by Matthew on October 16th, 2009

Blurst is now one year old! We launched Blurst.com as a unified destination for our quirky games just over a year ago. What a year it’s been!

Public Prototypes

Previous to Blurst we had launched Splume, Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, and Jetpack Brontosaurus on their own domain names. Our plan of attack, back then, was to release a number of game ideas “into the wild”, so real players like you could play them and help us judge the relative merit of each design. After some time we would identify a winner, and subsequently develop that idea into a $20 of value (for downloadable release on PC, console, etc).

The Blurst of Times

Midway through this plan, though, we realized that if we put all of our games in one place, we might be able to create a compelling place where people could find small implementations of cool, original ideas. If we continued to make games quickly, we could build this destination to the point where it could survive on its own, and we continue making small games indefinitely.  This thought process resulted in Blurst, and we focused the company on making it work.  Our goal for 2009 was to create six 8-week games, each one unique, to push Blurst in this direction.

To date we have released 4 of these 8-week games scheduled for 2009 (Blush, Paper Moon, Crane Wars, and Time Donkey).  Development was stressful at times, but we’re very proud of what we’ve been able to do in just two months each!  But something wasn’t working.

Changing Gears

Blurst hasn’t met our expectations.  More specifically, Blurst’s traffic has not increased to levels where it will pay for itself.  We could continue to fund Blurst’s development through contract jobs and other means, as we have been, but we feel like there are too many roadblocks between now and a time when Blurst itself pays our bills.

So we’re returning to Plan A.  We are halting development of our 8-week projects and beginning longer-term development on Off-Road Velociraptor Safari. There won’t be a November 1st launch.

We feel that launching another 8-week game won’t change the playing field for us.  No new possibilities will open up with one more game; we’ll be roughly where we are now, except two months poorer and two months behind on doing something that could change things up.  By contrast, we feel like a strong ORVS standalone version will open some doors and provide us with more flexibility and opportunities than we have now.

Future of Blurst

Raptor Safari will be our focus over the next few months, but we will continue development on Blurst itself!  There are new website features in the pipeline that we’ll launch, and we’ll do our best to support our community as we work on Raptor Safari.  If you have purchased Raptor Safari, or the game bundle, you will have access to development builds throughout development, as well as a copy of the final release.  Buy now before the price goes up! ;)

We’ll announce more details about schedule, platforms, and all of that jazz before too long.  In the meantime, thank you very much for being a fan, for playing our games, and we hope you’re as excited about Blurst’s future as we are!

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New Web Feature: Leaderboards

Posted to Blurst by Matthew on April 14th, 2009

Leaderboards have been available in-game for awhile, but haven’t made an appearance on the Blurst.com site. Until now! Leaderboards have launched for Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, Blush, and Minotaur China Shop. The other games use different scoring internals; we’ll either bring them in line with the new system or do some display for the older tables.

Take a look at Raptor Safari’s leaderboard page. You’ll see two columns of data. The left column shows the global ranking:

The right column shows your personal rank in each of these leaderboards:

Coming soon:

- Profile viewer (view someone else’s profile)
- Game viewer (view a particular game to see how scoring broke down)
- Friend list/leaderboard
- Geographic leaderboard

What else would you guys like to see?

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Flashbang Meets Kojima, Fumito Ueda, Keita Takahashi

Posted to Random by Steve on April 7th, 2009

Flashbang was ALL OVER the Game Developer’s Conference this year.  Because Matthew and I are Independent Games Festival coordinators, we get to see a side of the conference that most folks don’t. Specifically, we hang out backstage at the BIG stage, which is also where beers go to die.  Every year, we collect pictures of us hanging out with personal heroes as they come off the big stage at the Developer’s Choice and IGF awards. Check out this year’s sagging netful of decliousness:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/steveswink/

Oh, is that Ben with Shadow of the Colossus creator Fumito Ueda?  Oh, I suppose it is. Yeah, Ben’s a pretty big deal.  Cliffton B. Lisinksi was like “HOLY SHIT IS THAT BEN MINOFUCKING RUIZ?!” and insisted on a photo. True story.

A special treat: we met childhood hero/turns-out-to-be-a-super-nice-down-to-earth-dude Tim Schafer. Who has apparently not only heard of, but played and liked Raptor Safari.

*swoon*

*faint*

*wakes up hours later in an icy bathtub*

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Twitter Contest: Win a Raptor Safari Shirt!

Posted to Blurst, Games by Matthew on March 20th, 2009

We printed a bunch of  shirts for next week’s Game Developer’s Conference.  If you can find us early enough in the week we may still have a Minotaur China Shop or Raptor Safari shirt left (reprints in new colors of last year’s design).  Not going to the GDC?  No problem!

Win a shirt on Twitter!  We’re going to give away a fine Off-Road Velociraptor Safari t-shirt, in beautiful olive and yellow, to one of our Twitter followers.  To enter all you need to do is follow Blurst and tweet:

I just entered to win an Off-Road Velociraptor Safari t-shirt!  Follow @Blurst and retweet to play: http://blur.st/raptor-shirt

These are high quality prints on American Apparel t-shirts.  We’re still wearing the original run from last year; they hold up well!  We’ll let the contest run over the weekend and then pick a winner on Monday.  Good luck!

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5,000,000 Raptors Killed!

Posted to Games by Matt on November 14th, 2008

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!

The Sign records this momentous occasion!

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

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Unity Awards 2008 Audience Voting (Hint!)

Posted to Friends by Matthew on October 16th, 2008

Unity, the the engine technology we use, is holding their second Unity Awards. We actually took home first place last year with Splume, and this year we’ve entered all of our new games (Raptor Safari, Jetpack Brontosaurus, and Minotaur China Shop).  Audience voting determines the Forum Favorite award, which is worth a cool 1,000 euros. There are some great games in the lineup, so go check them out and cast your vote!  It’s worth the I Voted achievement ;)

A vote for Raptor Safari would be appreciated, of course, but make sure you check out Tumbledrop and RastaMonkey, both excellent physics games.  There are a lot of games to play, and most of these are in development and worth keeping an eye on!

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