August 2016

Month Archives

TinyWars Now Accepting Closed-Beta Applications, Dev’s Talk Public Response & Fan-Art Contest

Press Releases, TinyWars

Development of TinyWars’ upcoming demo has progressed a significant bit since the last announcement of it reaching 30% completion, the team at Bizurk reports this week. ‘We estimate 30% completion based on the fact that we have done 5 out of the 15 waves that will be in the demo,’ Lead Developer Andrew Taraba had stated on the 9th of August.

‘The content of the waves has been planned out, but they have not been coded into the demo yet. What sounds awesome on paper can often need a lot more tweaking when put into the game. ‘

Since then the demo has seen a complete implementation of the ‘Tiny War’ levels — periodic occurrences wherein ‘Dark Magic’ takes over, levels switch to darker variations of their selves and players are prohibited from using the ‘Retry Wave’ feature for a pre-determined number of waves. As demonstrated in the game-play preview of August 9th, failure in any one of the Dark Magic waves forces players to restart from the beginning of a Tiny War. With the demo’s Tiny War consuming up to 6 levels then, the total number of implemented levels has now reached a wholesome 11 of 15.

While focus also bounces between rendering incomplete animations and bug-fixing, Taraba also makes it a point to address several concerns brought up by the game’s social media following that are inclusive of — criticisms of level design being too small, the color palette being over-saturated, enemies appearing to be silly and overcrowded game-play.

Reiterating that the upcoming demo is meant to only serve as a means to develop the main game’s engine while offering a prototype for public consumption, he writes — ‘For the second demo that will actually be representational of the game in 2017, of course, perfection is our aim. For the upcoming demo/prototype though, a combination of releasing something into the wild and sprucing it up as much as possible is what is considered.’

‘It is being created specifically for the purposes of game-play mechanics only, with all gathered user feedback going towards the development of the main game. One should not be too concerned about things that might include: incomplete animations, non-uniform color scheme and so forth for now. ‘

The upcoming TinyWars prototype/first demo will be entering a period of closed beta testing over the course of September-October, with the team already accepting applications via its Facebook page. Be sure to leave your interest in the same at the earliest; a bug-free version of the demo will be released to the public only after an estimated one month of closed testing thereafter.

Finally, as a prelude to the demo itself as well as a token of gratitude towards its growing community of anime-artists, Bizurk is currently organizing a DeviantArt based TinyWars Fan-Art contest till midnight of September the 12th this year. Upto four winning categories have been allotted, with their respective winners being granted one of TinyWars’ official limited edition character wall scrolls seen attached herewith.

Participants are invited to send in an unlimited number of entries as long as they are restricted to one per day and are directly related to the game’s character base itself. For a complete set of rules and regulations, visit the competition’s official DeviantArt page.

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This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which TinyWars and the Bizurk Software team is currently affiliated. One can follow up on its progress thus far via its Higher Eclectic Space.

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or the like, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About TinyWars

Developed by Bizurk Software, TinyWars is an upcoming game of the Tower Defence genre for PC, Android & iOS devices.

A journey of growth — both of characters involved and players themselves — its narrative encompasses a Tiny kingdom and its Tiny inhabitants, as they journey through the world and learn about things far greater than themselves while being under constant attack.

Following the tale of one such inhabitant, a young girl named Mary, said narrative will illustrate her pursuit of justice from those that belittle her as she journeys to save her Kingdom for good.

A large portion of 2016 has been devoted to the development of TinyWars’ first game-play demo. This demo, which stands scheduled for a late Q4-2016 release, will serve to help develop the TinyWars game engine while also presenting a playable prototype for public consumption that may not necessarily be representative of the main game.

A closed beta test of the same will transpire a month in advance, before all gathered user feedback is used towards developing a second demo that will be representational of the main game in 2017. Comprising of a portion of TinyWars’ soundtrack and early concept art meanwhile, a pre-gameplay demo is also available for download.

Twitter | Website | Soundcloud | Facebook | Wiki | YouTube | PR Contact – Andrew Taraba – tinywarsgame@gmail.com

About Bizurk Software

A privately owned subsidiary of Taracore Enterprises LLC, Bizurk functions primarily as a service provider for clients ranging from Hyundai Motors’ Official Website to popular video games like Yandere Simulator.

TinyWars is its first independent venture into the gaming industry. While CEO Andrew Taraba himself has extensive experience in the world of website & app development, the team itself comprises of both experienced artists, musicians and programmers along with novices alike.

Website

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Higher Eclectic Ground functions by providing developers of independent games with progressive press, web and social media based exposure, QA support and feedback, networking opportunities, organic audience building, PR and related services.

In addition, it also plays agent for various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – assisting them with building their portfolios, web and social media presence while also working to bring them collaborative opportunities from within the industry.

Website | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Team E-mail: team@highereg.com

Starr Mazer: DSP Kicks Off To A Positive Early Access

News

In the mere 72 hours since its launch on Steam Early Access, the Imagos Softworks and Pixeljam co-developed roguelike shoot ’em up Starr Mazer: DSP has managed to garner for itself a wholly positive response from nearly over 40 recorded user reviews and counting. While parallels drawn to classic SHMUP’s of old à la Gradius, R-Type and Nemesis continue to be prevalent, a large part of this acclaim stands directed towards DSP’s Art and Musical genius.

We are absolutely ecstatic about releasing Starr Mazer: DSP,’ the team writes. ‘We’ve worked really hard to create a polished first act for SHMUP players to sink their teeth into.’

‘Seeing the positive reception on Twitter and on Steam has all of us hyped up and excited to continue working on DSP. We look forward to hearing feedback from fans so we can build the best possible roguelike shoot’em up we can!’

A prequel to Imagos’ Kickstarter funded, 2017 scheduled point n’click-shoot ’em up blend of an adventure titled Starr Mazer, DSP entered Steam’s community-guided development model at midnight, the 25th of August, with a promotional price of $8.99 out of its standard $9.99 tag that currently lasts until the 1st of September.

In very retro side-scrolling action it follows the events of THE GREAT WAR — a near eternal battle between the inhabitants of planet Thearsa CP-IX and the alien forces of the G’ell that ultimately establishes the tone and course of events that are to transpire within Starr Mazer.

En route, players are tasked with commanding a fleet of DSP Mk. I pilots that span humans, aliens and a dog over three Acts of bullet-packed, chiptune ridden levels that culminate in a showdown against the G’ell super-ship The Adamastor.

Given the game’s fascination for roguelike elements through it all though, the traditional lives/continue system of classic shooters is done away with to have players rely on soaring through the adventure in a singular play-through.

This is enabled by hoarding in-game currency called SK:Ore, that one must use to handpick a progressively advanced team of distinctly characterised pilots over multiple attempts.

While this escapade is meant to last an entirety of nine levels however, DSP’s Early Access arrives with only levels 1-3 of Act I fully furnished. Levels 4-6 of Act II do unlock there after, yet these are but rough previews of their final counterparts.

‘We have a very specific plan of what we want to do in the game that we will stick to’, addresses Kazuo Mayeda, Imagos’ community manager in relation to DSP’s Early Access development course.

‘We are taking player feedback into consideration though and will be making changes along the way with them in mind.’  PixelJam Games’ Steam announcement over the weekend further went on to affirm the same, with the developers promising to commence bug-fixing through the course of Monday, the 29th.

The best place to leave any and all game-play related feedback then is the game’s own Steam-based forums. 

Moreover console and mobile releases for Starr Mazer: DSP — originally announced during the official declaration of Imagos’ partnership with publisher Playism — are still very much in the developers’ domain of interest;

although Mayeda states that it is a subject for after the roguelike SHMUP is fully past its current Windows, Mac & Linux supported Early Access stage.

Conceived as a passing feature for a scene in creator Don Thacker’s 2013 creative feature film, Motivational Growth, and successfully Kickstarted on 21st February, 2015, Starr Mazer is an upcoming retro-modern fusion of the Point N’ Click and Shoot ‘Em Up genres that was originally due for a summer release this  year.

Featuring modern game-play brainwaves such as the unpredictability of narrative unfolding and sophisticated role playing elements, the tale of a DSP Mk. II pilot — that wakes up amid an intense bout of amnesia in the aftermath of the galactic GREAT WAR and sets out to unravel the mysteries of his universe — was postponed when the fleshing out of the team’s self-developed content creation tool Mazer Maker consumed more time than was originally estimated. 

In order to fill the void while also preparing players for the lore and SHMUP barrage that was to eventually hit them with Starr Mazer’s release, Starr Mazer: DSP was announced last Winter as a collaborative PC/Mac/Linux/Mobile venture with indie game developers PixelJam games.

Notably, those who helped back the original game on Kickstarter are being provided with a 50% discount on Starr Mazer: DSP via this rather explanatory coupon retrieval form.

‘Next up is PAX West, PAX Six and the Tokyo Game Show. All in September,’ Imagos’ calendar now reads. As always, returning fans and those entirely new to the Starr Mazer universe can catch up and tune in to progress via its Higher Eclectic Space.

Texture Artist Paul Evans Begins Work On C&C: Tiberium Secrets

News, Paul Evans, Press Releases

Independent specialist of two-dimensional game assets and member of the Higher Eclectic network since February this year, Paul Evans, has joined hands with developers Secret Reality  to aid in the production of their upcoming mod of Electronic Arts’ 2007 real-time strategy game Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.

Titled Tiberium Secrets, the mod will see Evans playing the role of a Texture Artist within its team here from as he works towards the creation and manipulation of texture assets for various 3D models that are to populate its universe. The collaboration was initiated by Higher Eclectic Ground back in the month of June, when the network responded to Secret Reality’s job opening  by introducing to it Evans’ portfolio of work.

Tiberium Secrets - Paul Evans

The weeks thereafter involved an evaluation of his quality of style and compatibility by corresponding representatives, following which an agreement was finally signed between both parties last month.

I’m hoping to gain significant experience of how mods and games are put together,’ he states. ‘I will be thoroughly pleased when I finally see my textures come to life on a model within Tiberium Secrets.’

The Command & Conquer franchise was first conceived by Westwood Studios’ genre-defining real-time strategy game of the same name in the year of 1995.

Unfolding against a backdrop of resource gathering and base building, the saga centred itself on a global war between two playable international entities — the United Nations’ Global Defense Initiative and the militants of The Brotherhood of Nod — that witnessed them contend for control over a viral extra-terrestrial substance called Tiberium.

Greeted with widespread acclaim, the PC, PlayStation, N64 and Sega Saturn compatible game would quickly proliferate into a decade’s worth of game-based universes, their constituting sequels, prequels, spin-offs — among which has even been a first-person shooter — much after Electronic Arts’ acquisition of the Las Vegas, USA based studio in 1998.

This culminated in Victory Games’ first proposed instalment of what would have been a series of free-to-play games set within the Command & Conquer universe that only ended up being cancelled by Electronic Arts in the fall of 2013, causing the saga to descend into an as of yet unannounced future as a result.

And yet regardless it has continued to thrive by means of the vast array of community initiated modifications to its existing instalments, which Secret Reality now aims to add to by means of Tiberium Secrets.

Based within the Tiberium universe — the series of Command & Conquer games that constitute the plot established by the original — Tiberium Secrets is an ongoing partial conversion of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars that attempts to create a parallel universe of lore, structure and game-play mechanics that will stand in conjunction, if not independent from that of the main game.

While Tiberium Wars dealt with the warring factions of the Global Defense Initiative, The Brotherhood of Nod and the extra-terrestrials of Scrin, Tiberium Secrets brings to the forefront a biological experiment of infectious beings known as The Colony, 

artificial intelligence set on global dominance in the form of The Artificial Systematic Intelligence (ASI) and remnants of a shadowy division of the United States military called the Special Strategic Lunar Division (Dream 51).  

With their inspirations lying in the cancelled Tiberium projects of Electronic Arts & Westwood Studios, each of these playable factions will also arrive supplemented with unique play-styles, new story-lines and aesthetics that strive to push the limits of both the game’s engine and its existing canon. It would be natural to assume then that the mod’s development team is composed of enthusiasts inherently reverent towards the franchise.

As Secret Reality divulge though this is not entirely the case — ‘Two-thirds of our team have consistently been made up of those who are new to, or who are returning to the franchise after some time’, they state.

Yet although the motivations of our individual members naturally vary, with most doing this for their respective portfolios, the core leadership strives to pose a possible future for the Tiberium universe, and potentially the franchise as a whole, which has had limited official support from Electronic Arts for some time.’

‘We strive for quality across the board, to honor this franchise that revolutionised and started the genre of Real time Strategy (RTS). We do this to show just how far passion projects can go, and how innovation can come from unexpected places.’ 

The team further differentiates itself from other Command & Conquer mods by emphasising its focus on designs and perspectives that are futuristic to the canon as opposed to being nostalgia driven.

Tiberium Secrets commenced development circa September 2010 at the hands of Seth Brown (ModDB persona Umbrella Secrets) who independently helmed the project’s coding and art departments up until the Summer of 2011. Joined by community veterans Eric Chou (GeneralJist) and Matt Ross (Fandore) that took the lead on administration and Art respectively thereafter, Brown would go onto develop plans and core structures for each of the new playable factions before departing from the project due to personal concerns by 2012.

Progress would stay at a tentative low for an astounding two years, before Chou would go on to recruit John Netzel (CommieDog) as the project’s Lead Coder in the month of November, 2014;

Given his experience working on successful Command & Conquer mods The Forgotten and All Stars previously, Netzel proved fundamental in restoring Tiberium Wars to full pace alongside Tim Cerny (CCH Audio) taking over Audio controls.

With Chou playing project coordinator/ producer, PR Lead and Lead Writer all at once while Ross functioned as Creative Director, work on the Artificial Systematic Intelligence faction’s SFX, animations, soundtrack and infantry has taken priority ever since, with help drawn from various independent professionals both within and outside the Command & Conquer community periodically.

Also noteworthy is the fact that feedback from said community continues to stay rampant; having garnered over 360,000 views, a standing of 121 among over 27,000 projects within 2015’s Mod of the Year awards and a regular ranking among the top with every progress update. 

‘We are currently at the threshold for Closed Alpha’, the team now evaluates. ‘Our plans were to run through the phases of Closed Alpha in these coming months, and to be ready for open Alpha in time for mod of the year 2016, which typically begins in the end of November.’

‘Delays however are anticipated due to historic flooding in the state of Louisiana, where Mr. Ross resides. Threat assessment is in progress.’ Tiberium Secrets’ first release will consist of all functioning Artificial Systematic Intelligence structures, defences, SFX, soundtrack, along with the corresponding first portion of its written and audio canon for the parallel timeline.

The collaboration with Secret Reality is the first Higher Eclectic Ground has helped effect for its member Paul Evans, a Tipton, United Kingdom based artist with over four years of experience in varietal material and 2D texture creations.

Independently operating under the moniker of CraftyTextures and currently employed as a 2D artist at MACH 2 Simulations, Evans’ work process has concurrently been in the midst of a metamorphosis over the past couple of months —

— as he gradually transitions from a once predominantly Adobe Photoshop based approach to using Allegorithmic’s Substance Designer in his pursuit of realistic textures.

While the results of this along with all portfolio-relevant details continue to be documented on his Higher Eclectic SpaceEvans’ forthcoming contributions to Tiberium Secrets and the mod’s overall progress per se can be kept track of by means of its ModDB page

Details pertaining to various other openings currently available on the Secret Reality team are also present within the same.

Troglobytes Recount Global Top Round Experience, Talk Tenebrae’s Potential Demo Delay

Press Releases, Tenebrae

Being among the 15 games that had qualified for the 2016 conference of the Global Top Round Accelerator Program turned out to be insufficient in garnering Tenebrae a place among the program’s top 10 at Cologne, Germany last week.

Having presented the latest playable build of the upcoming Metroidvania ARPG to a diverse audience of developers and enthusiasts over a two day period, Troglobytes now review their experience therein as both strange and enlightening.

‘Honestly, we felt our game was a bit out of place there’, they recall. ‘There were a lot of great, colorful mobile games and even a couple of very interesting VR projects; Tenebrae (and at least one other which we really liked a lot) was not at home within the event.

‘It did gain a lot of interest however. Quite a few stopped by and played the build; we received both praise and a lot of useful feedback from players and other developers.’ The team further went onto attend marketing seminars and interact with fellow developers before concluding that it was a fruitful event regardless.

Additionally while the rest of its representatives departed for Italy soon after, Designer Saverio Caporusso managed to make it to the floors of Gamescom for but a brief meet and greet with a couple of interested publishers.

Irrespective of the bump in the road though, the Vertical Slice continues to be Troglobytes’ primary investment of energy. Said to feature improved combat, exploration, outdoor environments, advanced AI and more, while the Slice was originally slated to be released by the end of September, a delay now seems highly likely.

‘And that’s because of two main reasons — First, we absolutely want to implement all the ideas, feedback and suggestions we received,’ Troglobytes elaborates before hinting at a potential rewrite of the game’s Unreal Engine 4 based enemy AI to suit its needs.

‘Plus there are a couple of major features that didn’t make it into the GTR build; we think it’s important to have those into the Slice as well.’

Qualifying for the Accelerator Program’s subsequent stages would have guaranteed financial support at the very least. Now though, the team might have to prioritise freelance contracts for a while which in turn would be responsible for funding the game’s progress.

Of course besides helping further its base of prospective players, Tenebrae’s Vertical Slice will also aim to attract publisher based financial backing. Aware that this is an avenue that might not necessarily pan out, a crowdfunding campaign continues to be in the team’s books as a potential future course of action.

‘For now though the Vertical Slice is our focus’, they write in conclusion. ‘We’ve received a lot of interest towards our project in the last few months and are very positive about it. We’re pretty sure that sooner or later we should be making an official statement in relation to the same!’

Attached are a multitude of screenshots from Tenebrae’s latest build as shown off at the GTR Conference.

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This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods and the Troglobytes team is currently affiliated.


One can learn more of Tenebrae’s progress and sign-up to receive press releases via E-mail at the game’s Higher Eclectic Space — https://highereg.com/member-list/tenebrae-twilight-of-the-gods/

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or the like, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com

About Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods

Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods is a story-driven, fast-paced Action/Adventure RPG of the Metroidvania genre, paying homage to 80’s-90’s classics such as Ghost ‘n Goblins and Rastan Saga.

While deriving from the genre’s characteristic feature of encouraging exploration and character investment by consisting of large interconnected worlds to which access lays restricted by character ability, Tenebrae also promises to add fresh twists of its own. Currently in development for a PC and ID@Xbox release.

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents. Their mission is to create innovatively high-quality games on a variety of platforms using the latest in technology while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | IndieDB | YouTube | Steam

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Higher Eclectic Ground functions by providing developers of independent games with progressive press, web and social media based exposure, QA support and feedback, networking opportunities, organic audience building, marketing and related services.

In addition, it also plays agent for various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – assisting them with building their portfolios, web and social media presence while also working to bring them collaborative opportunities from within the industry.

Website | Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Tenebrae Exhibits Loot/Inventory System, Outdoor Environment in Latest Gameplay Teaser

Press Releases, Tenebrae

With the 2016 conference of the Global Top Round Accelerator Program afoot, Troglobytes Games builds upon the spectacle of Tenebrae: Twilight of the Gods’ April 2016 Teaser by means of an all new game-play preview.

This August Gameplay Teaser serves to highlight all major features associated with the very same build of the upcoming Metroidvania RPG that is being shown off at the conference in Cologne, Germany over the course of today and tomorrow.

These include one’s first look at Tenebrae’s outdoor environment, improved combat and control mechanics which have undergone a rewrite over the past couple of months in favour of quality.

The outdoor environment depicted on the other hand is one wherein Tenebrae’s tutorial ensues, which notably will be making its debut in the game’s Vertical Slice that is due for a September release this year.

The Teaser finally concludes with a look at Troglobytes’ implementation of Diablo-styled treasure chests & loot system that function by scattering collectable items for players to walk over and pick-up every time a chest is opened. This is of course accompanied by Tenebrae’s newly designed inventory management interface.

Up to 15 game developers will be pitching their creations at the Conference alongside Troglobytes from 12 P.M GMT later today, the top 10 of which will progress into the program’s six-month Acceleration period wherein game development and launch support is provided.

The top five graduates of this tenure will further receive investment and marketing support through the months of March-June, 2017. Preliminary photographs from the conference lie attached as assets herewith.

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This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods and the Troglobytes team is currently affiliated. One can learn more of Tenebrae’s progress and sign-up to receive press releases via E-mail at the game’s Higher Eclectic Space — https://highereg.com/member-list/tenebrae-twilight-of-the-gods/


About Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods

Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods is a story-driven, fast-paced Action/Adventure RPG of the Metroidvania genre, paying homage to 80’s-90’s classics such as Ghost ‘n Goblins and Rastan Saga.

While deriving from the genre’s characteristic feature of encouraging exploration and character investment by consisting of large interconnected worlds to which access lays restricted by character ability, Tenebrae also promises to add fresh twists of its own. Currently in development for a PC and ID@Xbox release.

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents. Their mission is to create innovatively high-quality games on a variety of platforms using the latest in technology while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Meet the team at – http://www.troglobytesgames.com/

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Higher Eclectic Ground functions by providing developers of independent games with progressive press, web and social media based exposure, QA support and feedback, networking opportunities, organic audience building, marketing and related services.

In addition, it also plays agent for various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – assisting them with building their portfolios, web and social media presence while also working to bring them collaborative opportunities from within the industry.

Learn more at https://highereg.com and for any queries, please contact the Network at team@highereg.com

Tenebrae Now Headed To GTR 2016 Conference in Cologne, Germany

Press Releases, Tenebrae

Every year the interactive accelerator program of Global Top Round selects up to ten independently developed games to provide funding, development, exposure and publisher networking support via its nexus of industry professionals.

Devoted to nurturing sustainable game studios, the entirety of the program is a five stage process that begins with the invitation of applications from America, Europe and Asia based indie games that are 60% of the way to completion with a functional demo.

Among those that partook in this year’s GTR application process back in May was Troglobytes Games, whose upcoming PC/Xbox One tale of Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods successfully passed the program’s screening process to join nineteen other selectees for its next round at Cologne, Germany.

Spanning the 15th and 16th of August at the city’s Radisson Blue Hotel this year, said round is the Global Top Round Conference responsible for picking out ten of the twenty finalists that are to be fully supported by the program’s six-month Acceleration period wherein game development and launch support is provided. The top five graduates of this tenure will further receive investment and marketing support through the months of March-June, 2017.

Cologne will see Troglobytes Games pitch Tenebrae to a diverse group of professional attendees and developers, before being subjected to a hands-on and voting session responsible for determining the top ten. ‘This year has been about working towards a vertical slice of the game’, explains Troglobytes’ Lead Programmer Luciano Iurino.

‘Post that the plan involves looking for some way to complete Tenebrae given how it has been totally self-funded at this stage. A program like GTR sounded like just the thing we needed — not only for the chance to receive a slight amount of funding, but for all the other perks it offers.’ 

The Conference’s 20 invitees will be granted $40,000 USD with one grand prize winner garnering an additional $10,000 USD.

The last that was heard of Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods served to demonstrate the game’s 3D mechanics and AI in action circa April, the completion of the female lead’s design in May, before finally unveiling its motion-comic styled introductory cinematic last week.

We have had to shift focus towards certain aspects of the game — particularly the loot system combat mechanics,’ continues Iurino while also stating that a Vertical Slice of Tenebrae is not far from completion.

‘We also had to do an almost total rewrite of the movement and control mechanics since after a bit of play-testing, we realised we weren’t entirely pleased with what we had.’

While Tenebrae now possesses smoother dungeon exploration as a result, one of the biggest conundrums known to be consuming the team’s time over the past month was if the game’s loot system must derive from Diablo’s style of scattering treasure chest items for players to pick up as soon as they’re opened —

or trigger a pop-up interface à la Skyrim that lets players organise the items they need in favour of greater detail. The team has since decided to go with the former, with Iurino also confirming the presence of a basic inventory management system in-game.

We hope to exhibit all of these features at the GTR conference as part of an advanced demo that will not only take place within the Dungeon environment seen in all our visual media, but also within the game’s first outdoor environment’, he reveals.

This outdoor environment is one wherein Tenebrae’s tutorial ensues, which notably will be making its debut in the game’s Vertical Slice. Due for a September, 2016 release, said slice will also feature improved combat, improved exploration, advanced enemy AI and an introduction to the game’s first boss.


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods and the Troglobytes team is currently affiliated. One can learn more of Tenebrae’s progress, sign-up to receive press releases via E-mail and catch a breakdown of its cinematic intro at the game’s Higher Eclectic Space — www.highereg.com/member-list/tenebrae-twilight-of-the-gods/


About Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods

Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods is a story-driven, fast-paced Action/Adventure RPG of the Metroidvania genre, paying homage to 80’s-90’s classics such as Ghost ‘n Goblins and Rastan Saga.

While deriving from the genre’s characteristic feature of encouraging exploration and character investment by consisting of large interconnected worlds to which access lays restricted by character ability, Tenebrae also promises to add fresh twists of its own. Currently in development for a PC and ID@Xbox release.

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents. Their mission is to create innovatively high-quality games on a variety of platforms using the latest in technology while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Meet the team at – www.troglobytesgames.com/

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Higher Eclectic Ground functions by providing developers of independent games with progressive press, web and social media based exposure, QA support and feedback, networking opportunities, organic audience building, marketing and related services.

In addition, it also plays agent for various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – assisting them with building their portfolios, web and social media presence while also working to bring them collaborative opportunities from within the industry.

Learn more at www.highereg.com and for any queries, please contact the Network at team@highereg.com

TinyWars’ Upcoming Playable Demo Now 30% Complete

Press Releases, TinyWars

‘We estimate 30% completion based on the fact that we have done 5 out of the 15 waves that will be in the demo,’ states Lead Developer at Bizurk Software, Andrew Taraba. The Taracore Enterprises LLC owned subsidiary has confirmed that its upcoming PC, iOS and Android based Tower Defence game TinyWars is indeed past 30% completion.

‘The content of the waves has been planned out, but they have not been coded into the demo yet. What sounds awesome on paper can often need a lot more tweaking when put into the game. ‘ The team at Bizurk has further gone on to debut fans & followers’ first detailed look at the progress of the demo by means of a game-play video.

Said video commences with the player making use of the Witch Summoning feature — calling upon a Fire unit and placing them on one of the available objects/towers. The goal here lies in preventing enemies from reaching protagonist Mary’s tower on the left-hand side of the level.

Interaction with players takes place by means of in-game dialogue based cut-scenes, which Taraba discloses have been rendered on separate video editing software altogether rather than on core game development tools.

‘We make cut-scenes first in the video editing software, watch it and make sure everything matches and is readable,’ he states. ‘Then we paste a “frame counter” in the video and follow that frame count to time everything in the game.’ A short demonstration of how these cut-scenes are timed is also attached as a separate video herewith.

This then initiates the demo’s first wave of enemies, comprising of the team’s favourite enemy placeholders that it reveals will now be present in the final demo build as well.

‘Throughout playing the demo countless times, we have grown quite fond of this character to be honest,‘ Taraba justifies. ‘He will be staying in the demo. Will he appear in the final game? Maybe not, but he’s staying in the demo and that’s final!’

Ensuing waves then go on to depict a whole variety of other enemy designs of which only four were revealed in a prior update; the reactions of TinyWars’ playable units towards each is far from randomized, stressing upon the need for players to be prudent in their unit placement prior to a wave.

This in no way implies that the battlefield will not stay dynamic; a point proved by the enemies lugging around an explosive to break through the player’s defenses and create an alternate route to protagonist Mary from the 5:23 mark of the game-play video.

To further accentuate this, the demo will also comprise of ‘Tiny Wars’ — periodic occurrences wherein ‘Dark Magic’ takes over, levels switch to darker variations of their selves and players are prohibited from using the ‘Retry Wave’ feature for a pre-determined number of waves.

Failure in any one of the Dark Magic waves will force players to restart from the beginning of a Tiny War. Taraba states in relation — ‘You need to be able to adapt your strategy at any time, don’t get too comfortable with your tower placement, be willing to sell units when necessary to adapt to the changing battlefield.’

Interestingly though, only two of these units — Fire & Melee — will be present in the final build of the game. Reasons for this lie in keeping the main game’s narrative under wraps, given how units will be unlocked via chapter progression in the full game build.

The demo itself will take place during the course of Chapter One’s ‘Grass World’ and will lack any cut-scenes related to the primary plot. Story ‘elements’ might be present, yes, however the focus of the demo will be to provide one with a challenging illustration of TinyWars’ game-play mechanics alone.

Bizurk Software is currently aiming for a Q4 2016 release of the same primarily on Windows based computers, with its mobile versions still pending testing.

Besides implementation of the remaining enemy waves, fully-developed character based animations are also in need of furnishing. Taraba attributes the time taken for actual implementation of said waves to the demo serving as an engine for the full game more than anything —

‘Whenever a new wave is implemented — each of which has new and unique enemies — those enemies and all the contents of that wave not only need to be added to the waves, but also created and programmed.’


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent talent to which TinyWars is currently affiliated. One can learn more of TinyWars’ progress, sign-up to receive E-mail updates and track down the game on social media via the its Higher Eclectic Space – https://highereg.com/member-list/tinywars/


About TinyWars

Developed by Bizurk Software, TinyWars is an upcoming game of the Tower Defence genre for PC, Android & iOS devices.

A journey of growth — both of characters involved and players themselves — its narrative encompasses a Tiny kingdom and its Tiny inhabitants, as they journey through the world and learn about things far greater than themselves while being under constant attack. Following the tale of one such inhabitant, a young girl named Mary, said narrative will illustrate her pursuit of justice from those that belittle her as she journeys to save her Kingdom for good.

In its current status, the game continues to have its levels, character roster and game-play mechanics fleshed out ahead of a late-Q4 2016 public game-play demo release. Comprising of a portion of TinyWars’ soundtrack and early concept art meanwhile, a pre-gameplay demo is also available for download.

About Bizurk Software

A privately owned subsidiary of Taracore Enterprises LLC, Bizurk is both a developer & distributor of Video Games.

While CEO Andrew Taraba himself has extensive experience in the world of website & app development, the team itself comprises of both experienced artists, musicians and programmers along with novices alike. Visit Bizurk Software at – http://www.bizurk.net/

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Higher Eclectic Ground functions by providing developers of independent games with progressive press, web and social media based exposure, QA support and feedback, networking opportunities, organic audience building, marketing and related services.

In addition, it also plays agent for various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – assisting them with building their portfolios, web and social media presence while also working to bring them collaborative opportunities from within the industry.

Learn more at https://highereg.com and for any queries, please contact us at team@highereg.com

Will Phillips’ Orchestral Mix Of Video Game Sounds

Features

Thirty-one year old Will Phillips became an official part of the Higher Eclectic Network late last week.

Thirty-one year old Will Phillips became an official part of the Higher Eclectic Network late last week, bringing to the fray high quality, orchestral based original music compositions that predominantly aim to create immersive gaming environments.

Beginning with an affinity for the trumpet at the age of 11 that was quick to metamorphose into an ardour for music arrangements, local live performances and the thorough comprehension of musical notes, Phillips’ professional music career comes rooted in the study of Music Education & Music Performance at the University of Kentucky (’04 – ’08).

Of course it would first have to begin only semi-professionally in the year of 2010 before picking up speed, turning into a full-fledged career and immersing him headfirst in the realm of Film & Games.

Now OST’s of recent indie ventures such as that of Oointah Games’ Death By Game Show, Game Samba’s Star Trek: Alien Domain and Bake450’s mobile game trilogy of Bread Kittens, Bread Puppies & Normasaurus Rex populate his portfolio that otherwise remains ridden with compositional work on media such as Australian Zombie short The Curethe fantasy web series of Dagger Kiss, followed by the arrangement and transcription of music for various live-performing, often theatrical ensembles.

All of this, along with smaller scale tasks such as that of creating logo stingers, short musical themes and jingle type audio work derives largely from the Jazz, Latin, Rock and Funk genres — infused majorly with orchestral melodies from traditional instruments and synthesizers if need be.

‘My main influences come from the great modern film composers, like John Williams, James Horner, and Michael Giacchino and of course the pioneers of game composers, such as Koji Kondo, Jesper Kyd, and Nobuo Uematsu’, Phillips adds. 

As one would imagine then, his work process is heavily reliant on layered discussion and careful collaboration with game development clients over critique and constant feedback throughout an employment period.

‘Once a concept is formed over a negotiation of rates, deadlines and if necessary a written agreement, I begin writing,’ he reveals. ‘Once the first track is nearing completion, or there is enough to at least provide some insight into my perception of what the developer is seeking, then I will send out the track (or partial track) for them to make any comments and critiques of the music.’

‘This process may continue until both parties are on the same page. From then on, as each track is nearing completion, they will be sent to the employer to ensure everything is heading in the right direction; Then each track will be produced to full quality once everything is in full swing.’  

This naturally ensues until the entirety of a given task reaches fruition — before finalised music pieces are ideally beamed out to clients at least a week prior to deadline in favour of room for revisions.

Flexibility is also prevalent — with the artist’s negotiable rates varying as per the task at hand, project budget and potential; revenue share agreements are considered accordingly, with the established price of his musical contributions often split between upfront payments and the post-release sales of a game.

‘Music is a huge part of my life,’ elaborates the musician who still continues to perform with numerous local groups despite preoccupations in digital media‘My main performing group as of right now is a 4-piece rock/funk band called Home Grown Head; We perform quite a bit locally and regionally, with hopes to continually expand our reach. I also perform with various other jazz, rock, jam, and even country bands, either playing an integral or background role in each ensemble.’

‘Outside of the musical realm, I enjoy playing games and watching films — which is largely what influenced my decision to pursue game and film music as a career.’  With the Network already having begun its active propulsion of Will Phillips’ music work within independent gaming circles, the musician’s subsequent compositions, an elaborate breakdown of his modus operandi, terms and references will now stay constantly available at his Higher Eclectic Space. Be sure to leave him a comment therein to get in touch.