Archive for the ‘Announcement’ Category

Epistory: It all starts with (good) intentions

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

FB_avatarMore about the game on indieDB

The beginning

When you start creating a game. When you think you have a great idea to turn into a great game. When that idea has just been tested and when your team thinks it may become that great game you have in mind. There is something you have to do without waiting. You may have already done it during the early design process but the original vision has changed now that you made different rough gameplay tests and added new members to the team. That thing – the title already spoiled it – is defining your intentions.

Whether you call them guidelines, pillars, objectives or mantra, it is the long term vision, the global idea of what you want to do with your project. You should keep it to the essential, as it will serve as a reference to drive the whole production.

Epistory is a keyboard driven game. So that is obviously one of our intentions. But there is another one we have, not so obvious, and which came from its genre. Define the genre was needed to better define the game and communicate about it, and that is exactly why it was a problem.

The Typing Game Problem

Our core feature is the full keyboard control. So I already hear you say that we could just call it a typing game and move on. The problem is that, when I think of a typing game, I have two things in mind – and it’s not just me, a quick google search will give you the same results. First, it is most likely a mini-game or an edu-game. In other words, something I do not plan to play for a long time, or to have fun with. Secondly, I will only type words. No deeper gameplay, no choices. And eventually my computer will remind me that I am not a very good typer!

Do not get me wrong, those games are not all bad – some are even really fun for a while. But they are absolutely not comparable to Epistory: the term typing game gives the wrong idea. In fact, it is probably harder to explain what we try to do with Epistory using this comparison than starting from scratch – but now that we are here, I will try anyway.

How it works - Move screenshot

Playing a game means making choices

What we absolutely want in Epistory is to make it really feel like a game and not just a typing application. For that, we believe that it requires a non-linear experience and meaningful choices. And when I say meaningful choices, I am not talking about a big decision which follows you for the rest of the game – well, not only that – but constant small choices. A few examples in games would be taking the short risky path or the long safer one, exploring the east or the west of the magic forest first, upgrading one skill instead of another… Even positioning your car in the fastest racing game implies constant quick choices. You made them depending on the track, your opponents’ position, your current speed, the ideal trajectory, and so on.

To make those choices meaningful, I try to remember that as a Past – Present – Future rule. The player needs to understand that he has a choice (Present). He has to know what it means from past experiences (Past, in this game but not only). And he has to expect something in the future from his action (Future). If it is not a meaningful choice, the player is not an actor but just obeys the game as there is no other possibility of action.

We made that one of our intentions – even if it is important in every game – to make sure it was applied to Epistory’s design. I am not going to describe Epistory’s gameplay deeper on this article – there are more to come, but we will not fall into the trap of your ordinary typing game.

Main character concept

A keyboard controlled adventure

So Epistory is an exploration / adventure game, and we like to call it like that. It gives the player the opportunity to explore an imaginary world, use magical powers to interact and fight enemies, and upgrade them as he wants.

You should see the typing aspect as an opportunity, not a constraint. Because that is what we did: using a keyboard as the unique game controller to create new gameplay experiences. Not only to type words, and not only to earn points. We like to say that you will type the story – but that is for another article.

Thanks for reading. Don’t hesitate to support us on social networks.

Website coming soon

Creatures Online Update #61

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Weekly Update #61: The Twitch Session Official Date

Read it on the forum

Hello everybody,

This week we continued working on the game, mostly on technical fixes. Some in-game animations, triggered when Norn do specific actions (watering a plant, playing with a toy…) were broken and the issue was more important than we thought (we had to fix the system handling animations, and not animations themselves).

Most importantly, the date for the Twitch session is finally set! Sorry about the delay… It will take place December, Thursday 11th at 8PM CET. For information, Central European Time corresponds to GMT+1:00.

Have a nice week and see you Thursday on Twitch!

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Some previous updates:

Weekly Update #60: The Science Kit in Colour

Weekly Update #59: Twitch news and debugging

Weekly Update #58: The Mini-Norn bug

Weekly Update #57: Special abilities and XP

Weekly Update #56: The Localization

Weekly Update #54 – 55: Let’s have a Mojito to celebrate!

Weekly Update #53: The Altar Machine

The Hour of Code

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

From the 8th to the 14th of December it is the Computer Science Education Week that will take place all around the world. The event will specially focus on the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event.

This year Belgium’s ready to take part of it with the collaboration of companies such as the Microsoft Innovation Center, The Mundaneum, UMons (University of Mons), Fishing Cactus and more…

 

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You want to participate? It’s easy! Go to http://hourofcode.com/us/fr and join millions people!

You are in Belgium and want to host the event? Contact us via Facebook or our Website.

 

 

Don’t forget to like and share the Facebook page of the Hour of Code in Belgium: https://www.facebook.com/hourofcode.be

Spread the word! 

#CodeRules !

#HourOfCode

Creatures Online Update #59

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Weekly Update #59: Twitch news and debugging

Read it on the forum

Hello everybody,

Last week we still did mainly some debug. It was actually various tasks, also different as for workload (some of them required the modifications of few lines of code, while others took longer…) :
- Fixed some invisible sprites
- Resized some textures to fix assets compilation
- Fixes related to updates in the light manager (handling the lights in-game)
- Fixed preload called twice
- …

We also reviewed some item kit products and the descriptions of some chemicals.

Lastly… I am going to have some holidays, from Halloween to the 17th of November, so there will be no weekly update during this time. However, as soon I am back, I should be able to announce you the definitive date about the Twitch session Sophie talked about some weeks ago. As for now, we know it will be during the first week of December.

Have a nice week!


See you next time and (a bit in advance) happy Halloween!

See you next time and (a bit in advance) happy Halloween!


 

Some previous updates:

Weekly Update #58: The Mini-Norn bug

Weekly Update #57: Special abilities and XP

Weekly Update #56: The Localization

Weekly Update #54 – 55: Let’s have a Mojito to celebrate!

Weekly Update #53: The Altar Machine

Weekly Update #52: Stock your items and new way to switch worlds

Weekly Update #51: Rewarding bug and departure of Marc

Penguin and cactus cross the border and work together

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Penguin and cactus cross the border separating them and work together on the video game Canteen Monsters.

This Tower Defense will be divided in two complementary games (one on PC and one on mobile phone) but in a common universe: a primary school that we must defend from the invasion of wacky monsters out of the bottom of the canteen.

Canteen Monsters is intended by its original concept: it offers an experience on two complementary platforms that allows the player to share his winnings from a game to another.

The project won at the “Interactive Experience Transrégional” organized by Pictanovo and Wallimage, intending thereby to promote and encourage collaborations between the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Wallonia.

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More about our new partner CCCP

Algo-Bot: 24 hours to succeed

Monday, July 7th, 2014

vignetteHi Folks!

The moment you’ve been waiting for has come. Algo-Bot hits Kickstarter for the second time this year and we have 24 hours to do better than the last time.

What?! 24h? But this Kickstarter will run during 30 days!

YES, that’s true but based on our observations we know that we less than 2 days to get as much backers as we can. Because Kickstarter is not about money but about backers! Backers are the key! So, every backer helps even if you back a single little dollar!

You don’t want to back our project? That’s just fine! Maybe you could share it around you and let potential backers the possibility to discover the game. Here’s a short list of what you can do to help us. Do what you want but please, do something :-)

 

  1. Back the game
  2. Watch the video entirely to increase our stats
  3. Share the page a lot on Twitter, Facebook and G+

 

Link to the Kickstarter

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Creatures Online Update #42

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Weekly Update #42: Incoming closed beta

Read it on the forum

Hello everybody,

With the closed beta incoming, we had a lot of things to prepare and it took us most of our week. That’s why this will be a small update!

However, we still managed to :
- update the localization file with some new entries
- fix some arrows displayed as default textures in the world monitor
- do a small improvement of our backsave system

 

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Some previous updates:

Weekly Update #41: Apple validation

Weekly Update #40: Fixing bugs and working on the crafting system

Weekly update #39: The Nest Crash

Weekly update #38: Chasing the white rabbit bug!

Weekly update #37: The nests

Weekly update #36: The starvation issue 2/2

Time has come!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

See the original post on facebook

You have been waiting a long time for Creatures Online and today we are proud to announce how we will bring the game onto the next level.

Very soon you will receive more information regarding the starting date of the regional beta-phase. Do you want to know more? Don’t miss our next update!

 

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Master F.I.N.D with Child Focus

Monday, May 5th, 2014

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Is your teen safe on social networks?

Master F.I.N.D, the game we developed with Child Focus is the right tool to show him the dangers of social networking.

If used safely, social networking sites lets teens keep in touch with their friends and helps them express themselves. Our game is meant to help them understand the importance of keeping a bit of privacy and setting up properly their confidentiality settings. 

In this investigation game, your teens will play a web-detective and fight the cyber criminality. They will have to join a group of detectives from the F.I.N.D and infiltrate e-Talk (a Facebook-like network) to find clues, analyze them and use high tech super powers that will help support complex investigations and solve the most serious crimes.

 

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 Master F.I.N.D is available in Dutch and French for FREE!

 

Dutch version:

iOS: http://bit.ly/1kNtV8E

Android: http://bit.ly/1kBxps3

Online: http://bit.ly/1mu5I6U

 

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French version:

iOS: http://bit.ly/1oiAK2N

Android: http://bit.ly/1fJffIz

En ligne: http://bit.ly/RgimwA

 

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Algo-Bot has been Greenlit

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Hi Guys,

We did it! Algo-Bot has been Greenlit by the community and we would like to thank you for that!

You can imagine what it means to us to have such a great community supporting the game. We are now more confident about the reboot on Kickstarter. 

If you want to get new about the reboot you can sign up to Algo-Bot’s newsletter here.

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 THANK YOU!