October 2016

Month Archives

Troglobytes Games Unveils Vania, an In-House Dungeon Generator for Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods

Press Releases, Tenebrae

Troglobytes Games have announced that the next iteration of their in-house, procedural dungeon creation engine that is formative of Tenebrae’s Metroidvania experience is now fully functional. Called Vania, the engine not only serves as a successor to Daedalus — a random Maze & Dungeon generator plugin for Unity3D, that the team had previously developed under the moniker of ArtskillZ — but also overcomes several of its pitfalls.

While Daedalus’ Unreal Engine port was initially used to develop Tenebrae’s environments, it was revealed earlier this year that the plugin’s tile-based nature was preventing the team from achieving visually stunning level design. The development of an all-new dungeon generator — alongside Daedalus co-creator Michele Pirovano — to circumvent the issue was further hinted at at the time.

‘Yes, we’re talking about the same ‘engine’ we were referring to back in February,’ clarifies Tenebrae’s Lead Developer Luciano Iurino. ‘The new iteration though is game-specific, it’s been written ‘ad hoc’ for Tenebrae to support its gameplay needs. ‘

For one, Vania intelligently handles the development of lock/key systems and the generation of rooms fundamental to player progress by itself. ‘If the designer decides that the player must acquire the Double Jump skill to progress within a level, Vania will place a room where the player can find such skill,’ the team elaborates.

‘It will further generate a guaranteed, subsequent room where this skill will be put to the test before you can go on and complete the level successfully.’ Additionally, features such as Filters and Variation Sets/Groups also play a significant role in ensuring seamless visual design; environments such as Castles may now be automatically generated, with Vania placing tower-like rooms in the higher zones of maps, while spreading dungeons, cellars and sewers in the lower parts.

This is of course supplemented by the intricate and complex design of dungeon rooms themselves, each of which generates doors, loot, enemies and other populace according to player status and RPG values. Attached are images of Vania’s height based Filters in action; purple areas represent tower-like rooms, while light-blue regions correspond to dungeons.

While the new engine iteration was admittedly well-within development during the course of the game’s various event appearances this year, it is now being prepared for full-fledged testing. The public unveiling of Vania is Troglobytes’ first demonstration of progress, since previously announcing the indefinite delay of Tenebrae’s public demo launch in favour of quality.

Also being worked upon at this time is the game’s AI and combat mechanics, the latter of which has involved the extensive study of older generation Metroidvania titles on the team’s part. ‘Here at Troglobytes, we have plenty of old gaming consoles and even an old arcade cabinet,’ divulges Iurino.

‘We’ve been firing up older games, altering their speed to better study actions, animations and their relationship with the controls, frame by frame. We’ve decided to focus on a couple of specific titles, the most useful being an old Castlevania game which kind of drifts away from the standards of its legacy mostly because of its combat mechanics. ‘

‘We think it’s the perfect title to draw inspiration from, so we’ve started working from there. We’ve kept what we think is interesting, and changed what we’ve felt is ‘wrong’ or, in some cases, ‘outdated’ for a modern game scenario. ‘ Stay tuned for illustrations of the refactored AI and Combat in action over the forthcoming weeks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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 at any instance of time, opt-in for E-mail updates/press-releases via the game’s Higher Eclectic Space. 

To get in touch with the team for any queries, 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 | Website | Instagram | Facebook | IndieDB | YouTube | Steam | E-mail: info@troglobytes.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, 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 | E-mail: team@highereg.com

Halloween Update Brings Boss Rush Contest, Spooky Sprites To Starr Mazer: DSP

Press Releases, Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer: DSP’s Halloween themed update is officially a go, bringing to the roguelike shooter its second Steam Early Contest of the month and a plethora of sinister-looking extra-terrestrials to contend with in-game. Entering the code tricks on DSP Early Access’ title screen now launches the Halloween Boss Rush Mode.

Active till the 31st of October, Boss Rush has players assemble their own elite squadron of DSP Mk. I pilots in an attempt to defeat three menacingly powered-up bosses in the fastest personal time possible. With crucial seconds lost alongside every pilot downed, the top three participants with the fastest recorded times on this dedicated Leaderboard are to be awarded prizes at the end of the contest period.

These include the –

– Ace Pilot Grand Prize

Add a complete custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

Plus win the Official Starr Mazer T-Shirt from Fangamer

– Wingman Runner Up Prize

Add a complete custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

– And The Top Dog Third Prize

Add a custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

All of these of course, being subject to the terms and conditions listed on the Contest’s official declaration of rules and regulations. Making their debut alongside are sprite swaps, with various in-game enemies & elements now substituted for themed variations of their usual selves on account of All Hallow’s Eve. Note that both Halloween features will require DSP’s latest playable version of 0.396 to be active.

Boss Rush is Starr Mazer: DSP’s second Steam Contest, with SK: ORE Attack! having previously tasked players with establishing their highest scores on a beefed-up version of the game’s first level. The Halloween Update was also shown off at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo this Saturday, the 22nd of October, where team members Kazuo Mayeda and Vanessa Williams were in attendance with DSP.

Attached are shots from the event and a sneak peek of the themed sprite swaps for your viewing pleasure. Both features were well enjoyed and received. The team will next be seen at Day of the Devs in San Francisco, California on the 5th of November.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game’s Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein. Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which the Starr Mazer universe and the Imagos Softworks team is currently affiliated.

One can easily follow up on DSP and its sequel’s progress thus far at Starr Mazer’s Higher Eclectic Space.

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or request a review copy of Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About Starr Mazer: DSP

Starr Mazer: DSP is a side-scrolling shoot’em up in the same vein as classics like Gradius and Lords of Thunder with a roguelike twist on the traditional lives/continues system.

Players take control of a squadron of DSP pilots with different ships, weapon loadouts and voices in their quest to liberate planet Thearsa CP-IX from the alien forces of the G’ell. Their mission is to battle through nine frantic arcade levels, countless waves of enemies, 3 powerful bosses, and take down the G’ell Super Ship in a singular run.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | Twitch | YouTube | Steam | Contact – Kazuo Mayeda: kazuo@imagosfilms.com

About Imagos Softworks

Imagos is the final form. Nostalgia in HD. An indie game studio in Seattle, WA with stories to tell and childhoods to recreate.

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

Beats of Fury To Feature Rock The Rooftops, a Caleb Cuzner Composition

Caleb Cuzner, News, Press Releases

Video game background musician, sound designer and member to Higher Eclectic Ground’s network of independent game talent, Caleb Cuzner, is now one of five global musicians that have contributed to the Rhythmic Bullet Hell of Bubble Head Games’ upcoming Action Music game Beats of Fury.

Cuzner adds to a 13-track OST spanning the Electronic, Trap, House, EDM, Dubstep, Post-Rock, and Metal by means of Rock The Rooftops — a three-minute composition of the Heavy Metal genre that will constitute a singular level of the Rhythm Game – Bullet Hell blend.

Due for an early 2017 release, Beats of Fury is the tale of two brothers — Rock & Electronic — confronting the forces of evil musical beats over 13 levels of melodic chaos.

Each of these combine the Rhythmic genre of games with that of the Top Down shooter, tasking players to synchronise their Mouse, Keyboard or Xbox Controller assigned triggers to the barrage of enemy notes that continually fall within predetermined target areas.

Doing so successfully keeps a level’s designated electronic/rock tune going, hence challenging players to make full use of their musical sensitivities and trigger-happy tendencies in creation of what developers Bubble Head are calling the rave of the independent game scene.

This will come supplemented with local, co-operative plus online multiplayer, alongside an Endless Mode that has players compete with the rest of the world in establishing their highest in-level scores across a global leader-board.

At the core of this experience of course is an original soundtrack comprising 13 diverse musical tracks, each of which corresponds to a set level of the game. Higher Eclectic Ground’s introduction of Caleb Cuzner’s prolific portfolio of musical work to the development team as they sought a Rock-based composition earlier this year, was quick to materialise into Rock the Rooftops. 

Beats of Fury was Greenlit by the Steam Community on the 20th of October, 2016, barely ten days since its posting on Valve’s popular platform.

It has also previously garnered awards in the form of Casual Connect Europe ’16’s Best Audio Game and the Audience Choice Award at Egypt’s Run Double Jump ’16.

‘We wanted to add another dimension to how you experience music, and that’s why we are making Beats Of Fury. Thank you to everyone that has supported us so far! This is only the beginning!’ state the three-man, internationally based development team spearheaded by Egyptian Aly Ameen.

‘It was a pleasure for us to work with Caleb Cuzner, he could not only deliver all the samples that we needed on time — but also our specific needs for the track. We needed the Rock tune to possess certain features to fill a specific point in the hierarchy of the level design of the game, while also being affordable for us as a team of indie game developers.’

The collaboration with Bubble Head Games is the first Higher Eclectic Ground has helped effect for its member Caleb Cuzner, a United States based freelance audio artist that has to his name well over 900 compositions written for games, film and live performances since 2007.

A vast majority of this has been coordinated via the Game Maker Community forums through the years, wherein he often operates under the moniker of Nijgall while studying music composition at Brigham Young University, Utah.

Complementing this experience is an eloquence in a wide variety of musical genres, that he renders available to independent developers of games both commercial and non-commercial in scope.

He does so either by crafting individual tunes pertinent to the requests he receive, or by directing them towards his self-maintained library of royalty-free music.

While more on his modus operandi, his musical prowess and services continue to be recorded on his Higher Eclectic Space, a closer look at Beats of Fury and all development progress henceforth may be kept track of via Bubble Head Games’ official website.

Closed Testing of TinyWars’ Upcoming, Public Prototype Begins; Beta Being Rolled Out In ‘Waves’

Press Releases, TinyWars

Closed testing of TinyWars’ upcoming, publicly playable prototype officially commenced earlier this week on Thursday, the 20th of October. Having garnered applications from fans, followers, anime & tower defence enthusiasts alike for over a month, the closed beta test will now transpire over a period of 2-4 weeks in three ‘waves’.

‘The roster of beta applicants has been divided three groups,’ explains Lead Developer Andrew Taraba. ‘A third of these are currently testing the first version of the Prototype. Bugs and complaints brought up by this group will be addressed by our programmers, before a revised version of the Prototype is rolled out to the second group and so forth.’

Although no dates as to the actual commencement of each ‘wave’ have been set in stone, applicants can expect revised builds of the Prototype to be rolled out to respective groups on a weekly basis. All of this of course, in favor of establishing a recursive flow to the Closed Beta that sees bugs both small and big being addressed before concluding circa 20th November. A fully revised edition of the Prototype will then be released to the public by the end of the same month.

With more than a year of development on record, the TinyWars Prototype is in no way a complete representation of the main game but rather — a crude, functional demonstration of the game’s tower defence engine. Serving to keep fans engaged in its development while also providing the developers with valuable feedback pertinent to general game-play experience, all opinion gathered during the course of both the closed and public beta of the Prototype is meant to go towards furnishing of the actual saga.

‘After the Prototype has been thoroughly tested and perfected (and I don’t expect it to be 100% perfect at this point, but polished up enough), we will begin work on the actual, official, real TinyWars game!’ elaborates Taraba. ‘The idea being, that once the first few levels of the actual TinyWars campaign have been developed, we can release them as a true TinyWars demo and give players a real experience of what is in store for them!’

‘I hope people will get a taste for the unique story-telling and tower defense/siege game-play we want to bring to the table.’ Regardless of its commencement, those willing to partake in the closed beta can still apply by leaving a message on TinyWars’ Facebook page. Attached are various screenshots from the Prototype’s current build.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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 the game’s progress thus far and opt-in for E-mail updates 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

Play Starr Mazer: DSP At PRGE 2016; Halloween Updates to Feature Sprite Swaps, Boss Rush Contest

Press Releases, Starr Mazer

Visitors to this year’s Portland Retro Gaming Expo are next to be offered a go at Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access. Held at the Oregon Convention Centre in Portland, USA, PRGE will run from Friday, the 21st of October, through Sunday, the 23rd.

Despite the Exhibitor Hall being open on both days of the weekend, the roguelike SHMUP will be seen present therein only on Saturday, the 22nd. ‘Once again we are really excited to be a part of PIGSquad’s retro event in Portland!’ announce the development team of Imagos Softworks. ‘The indie community down there is awesome and we’re honoured to be invited!’

Although an official booth number is yet to be provided, the developers assure that tracking them down on the floors of the Exhibitor Hall should be no hassle. Meanwhile DSP’s first Steam Early Access contest, SK: ORE Attack!, concluded on the 14th of October with Steam user B3_Custom being deemed its winner during the team’s 3 P.M P.D.T stream last Friday.

B3_Custom wins the official Starr Mazer T-shirt and also gets to add a custom First, Middle and Last Name to DSP’s in-game pool of playable pilots. Now set to launch in its wake is the Halloween Boss Rush Contest; teased last week, the Contest will have participants conquer a barrage of enemy bosses (plus added twists) as quickly as possible in a specialised level of the game’s Early Access build.

They must do so in command of their squadron of in-game pilots, with the three fastest players being awarded prizes at the end of the Contest period. The Halloween Boss Rush plus guidelines will go live on Monday, the 24th of October. This will be preceded by a Sprite Swap over the weekend, with various in-game components being substituted for specially crafted Halloween-themed elements as a build-up to All Hallows Eve.

Be sure to follow the SHMUP across social media and/or Steam to stay updated as and when these take centre stage. Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game’s Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.    


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which the Starr Mazer universe and the Imagos Softworks team is currently affiliated. One can easily follow up on DSP and its sequel’s progress thus far at Starr Mazer’s Higher Eclectic Space.

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or request a review copy of Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About Starr Mazer: DSP

Starr Mazer: DSP is a side-scrolling shoot’em up in the same vein as classics like Gradius and Lords of Thunder with a roguelike twist on the traditional lives/continues system.

Players take control of a squadron of DSP pilots with different ships, weapon loadouts and voices in their quest to liberate planet Thearsa CP-IX from the alien forces of the G’ell. Their mission is to battle through nine frantic arcade levels, countless waves of enemies, 3 powerful bosses, and take down the G’ell Super Ship in a singular run.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | Twitch | YouTube | Steam | Contact – Kazuo Mayeda: kazuo@imagosfilms.com

About Imagos Softworks

Imagos is the final form. Nostalgia in HD. An indie game studio in Seattle, WA with stories to tell and childhoods to recreate.

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

SK:ORE Attack! Starr Mazer: DSP’s First Steam Early Access Contest Ends Today, 5 P.M. PDT

Press Releases, Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer: DSP’s first Early Access contest SK: ORE Attack!, is all set to wrap up at 5 P.M. PDT today, the 14th of October. For a period of two weeks now, players have been pushing against a beefed-up version of the game’s first level in an attempt to establish their highest scores on this Leaderboard.

With nearly 100 entrants so far, the highest scorer will be picked out and applauded by the development team during today’s episode of Starr Mazer TV. Said grand prize winner will not only be awarded the official Starr Mazer T-Shirt, but also the opportunity to have a custom First, Middle & Last Name inserted into the game’s current pool of playable pilots.

Also making an appearance during the episode will be the developers of Friday Night Bullet Arena, Red Nexus Games Inc. The Starr Mazer ensemble were previously seen at this year’s GeekGirlCon last weekend, showing off the latest Steam Early Access build of their roguelike SHMUP.

‘It was awesome seeing kids as young as 5 or 6 pick up and play the game,’ they recall. ‘They were very responsive to the game and figured out the systems quickly. Even though they had no idea what a SHMUP is or classics like Gradius were — they still intuitively picked up DSP.’

While Act II of III is currently being polished for a Thanksgiving release, up next on the docket for the month of October is yet another contest plus Halloween themed sprite swaps, the team confide. More on that in due time. Attached meanwhile are images from GGC 2016, a shot of Daniel — the only GGC visitor that managed to beat the first Act of DSP — and a teaser of the Halloween sprite swaps, respectively.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game’s Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein. Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which the Starr Mazer universe and the Imagos Softworks team is currently affiliated. One can easily follow up on DSP and its sequel’s progress thus far at Starr Mazer’s Higher Eclectic Space.

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or request a review copy of Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About Starr Mazer: DSP

Starr Mazer: DSP is a side-scrolling shoot’em up in the same vein as classics like Gradius and Lords of Thunder with a roguelike twist on the traditional lives/continues system.

Players take control of a squadron of DSP pilots with different ships, weapon loadouts and voices in their quest to liberate planet Thearsa CP-IX from the alien forces of the G’ell. Their mission is to battle through nine frantic arcade levels, countless waves of enemies, 3 powerful bosses, and take down the G’ell Super Ship in a singular run.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | Twitch | YouTube | Steam | Contact – Kazuo Mayeda: kazuo@imagosfilms.com

About Imagos Softworks

Imagos is the final form. Nostalgia in HD. An indie game studio in Seattle, WA with stories to tell and childhoods to recreate.

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

TinyWars Prototype Nears Completion; Apply Now For Closed Beta!

Press Releases, TinyWars

Having concluded on the 19th of September, all seven winners of the TinyWars’ 2016 Fan-Art Contest were announced on the 29th of September as follows –

Each of this were picked by a panel comprised of the game’s development team, artists and Higher Eclectic representative, that also made it a point to pick out a host of Honorable Mentions from the roster of participants.

Besides providing the upcoming tower defence game’s following with the opportunity to bag one of seven limited edition character wall scrolls, the number and focus of the 70 entries received has proved particularly insightful as Lead Developer Andrew Taraba reveals.

‘Character Kumo appears to be extremely popular, featured in 23/70 entries.’ he gathers. ‘What this tells us is that, regarding the pacing of the game and how long we spend time with each character, Kumo’s arc could do with a bit of lengthening.’

This is of course pertinent to the plot-line of the main game, most of which continues to be kept under wraps by the team. Work on TinyWars’ first publicly playable demo/prototype meanwhile has been ongoing ever since; while core game-play content has now been fully implemented, technical minutiae is in need of ironing before entering a period of closed-beta testing.

These include the design of a Main Menu system, Level Complete screen and the inclusion of ‘Test Controls’ that will enable testers experiment with the game-play engine’s various run-time parameters. (Spawn enemies, add in-game currency, etc.)

The purpose of this upcoming demo/prototype, as reiterated by Taraba several times before, will be to demonstrate and evaluate the working of TinyWars’ gameplay engine. Consisting of a singular sandbox level that has players confront up to 15 waves of enemies, nearly all of its visual and game-play features will be subject to change.

It will also of course be released to the public post a month of closed-beta testing, with all user feedback being used in shaping the main game.‘Someone had suggested that we call this a “Siege Game” because “Tower Defense” has such negative associations with it,’ Taraba reveals, further adding that TD is now often regarded as stale or dead.

‘Games like Radiant Defense which had been on the app store’s top list several times and other great TD games are all inspirations for TinyWars; However, I will say that I am generally disappointed with most tower defense games that are anime themed.’

‘Why do I want to play anime themed games? Is it to see overly sexualized witches with subpar gameplay? No of course not; We have a compelling story to tell and I hope that our hard work, whether in writing or in the gameplay, will not go unnoticed!’

Those willing to partake in the closed beta are invited to message the developers via the game’s Facebook page. A more concrete time frame and date of release for the same will be announced shortly. Attached are the seven winning entries in order of their listing, followed by previews of the prototype’s Level Complete and Game Over screen drafts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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 the game’s progress thus far and opt-in for E-mail updates 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

Play Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access at GeekGirlCon ’16, Act II by Thanksgiving

Press Releases, Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer: DSP and the fragment of its crew comprising creator Don Thacker, producer Lindsay Peck and community manager Kazuo Mayeda will be in attendance at this year’s GeekGirlCon! Held at The Conference Center across the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, USA, GeekGirlCon is an annual two day commemoration of women’s contributions to science and technology.

As exhibitors, artists and gaming enthusiasts take to its floors from the 8th to the 9th of October therein, Starr Mazer: DSP’s latest Early Access build will be found propped up at Booth 3005 on the third floor. Having previously attended the convention last year, the team are enthusiastic about taking their Pixeljam co-developed roguelike SHMUP to a less familiar crowd.

‘We hope the Geek Girl Con goers will try out Starr Mazer: DSP and give us some informative feedback as we proceed through Early Access!’, they write, also promising to bring along pins, papercraft and fliers for visitors. Last seen at the Tokyo Game Show, DSP is currently in the midst of having its Act I of III polished amid extensive community feedback on Steam Early Access, as per this Roadmap.

Art and programming focus has also begun to transition towards Act II of the game, with the developers revealing that a Thanksgiving 2016 release for the entire Act is imminent. Owners of the game meanwhile can also partake in SK: ORE Attack, DSP’s first Early Access contest.

Players are tasked with setting their highest scores on a beefed-up version of Level One till the 14th of October, while one grand prize winner is granted both an in-game feature and an official T-Shirt. Over 30 entries have been recorded by the Contest Leaderboard so far.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game’s Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.


This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which the Starr Mazer universe and the Imagos Softworks team is currently affiliated. One can easily follow up on DSP and its sequel’s progress thus far at Starr Mazer’s Higher Eclectic Space.

To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or request a review copy of Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About Starr Mazer: DSP

Starr Mazer: DSP is a side-scrolling shoot’em up in the same vein as classics like Gradius and Lords of Thunder with a roguelike twist on the traditional lives/continues system.

Players take control of a squadron of DSP pilots with different ships, weapon loadouts and voices in their quest to liberate planet Thearsa CP-IX from the alien forces of the G’ell. Their mission is to battle through nine frantic arcade levels, countless waves of enemies, 3 powerful bosses, and take down the G’ell Super Ship in a singular run.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | Twitch | YouTube | Steam | Contact – Kazuo Mayeda: kazuo@imagosfilms.com

About Imagos Softworks

Imagos is the final form. Nostalgia in HD. An indie game studio in Seattle, WA with stories to tell and childhoods to recreate.

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

Tenebrae’s Public Demo Release Delayed as Developers Attempt Return to Metroidvania Roots

Press Releases, Tenebrae

Two mega-screens with the Tenebrae logo and footage set on loop, while numerous developers helped play-test the upcoming ARPG’s latest build — is how Troglobytes members Luca Eberhart (3D Artist) and Giuseppe Lagonigro (Programmer) may best recall Game Over, Milan.

The duo had taken to the underground Italian gaming festival from the 24th to the 25th of last month with numerous fixes and additions to various game-play minutiae, hoping to gather crucial public feedback before delving into yet another development cycle preceding Tenebrae’s public demo release.

With them now having attended a total of three events over the span of two months (The Global Top Round Conference, Germany in August & Modena Nerd, Italy in September) though, the experience of it all has had a much deeper impact on the game’s current development strategy.

‘After showcasing Tenebrae in its intermediate form at three different events and having the Higher Eclectic Network play-test it for a month now, it has become quite clear that the current build does not show off our vision in all its potential,’ the team has concluded.

Tenebrae has been one to garner continuous praise for its graphical polish ever since transitioning from 2.5D to 3D earlier this year. Yet admittedly even while showing off core mechanics in progress, its builds have far from truly demonstrated the team’s envisioned twist on the Metroidvania genre.

‘We need to work harder to implement several key features that make up the meat of Tenebrae’s experience,’ they continue.‘Some of these features are those that make a great Metroidvania experience: backtracking, re-playability, a robust lock/key system, etc. Then there’s those such as a fully polished combat system; we believe we are on the right path but the Vertical Slice is certainly lacking in these areas.’

Consequently, the game’s Vertical Slice that was originally intended for an end-of-September release has now been pushed back indefinitely in favour of quality. ‘Tenebrae’s demo will be out when it’s done,’ the team now surmises.

‘Existing testers will be able to play the next builds though, and who knows, we might be attending several other events in the future, so we’ll keep looking for precious feedback during the next months.’ Through it all, the game will indeed continue to evolve publicly; as the developers address its shortcomings by revisiting inspirations, implementations of various new features and mechanics will continue to be shown off on a periodic basis.

The search for publisher investment meanwhile will proceed regardless of the demo’s delayed public release. While Tenebrae continues to be self-funded up until this point, Troglobytes had first addressed the game’s need for monetary support post their return from the Global Top Round Conference in August.

‘Going with a publisher is only one of the possibilities,’ they write, hinting that while publishers continue to be approached, strategies such as crowdfunding are also being considered.

‘Such an ambitious project needs financial backup to see the light of day, but we’ll try to stay true to our indie nature as much as possible. We’ll see what the future brings!’ 
Images from the team’s Game Over, Milan appearance are attached herewith. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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 at any instance of time, opt-in for E-mail updates/press-releases via the game’s Higher Eclectic Space. To get in touch with the team for any queries, 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 | Website | Instagram | Facebook | IndieDB | YouTube | Steam | E-mail: info@troglobytes.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, 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 | E-mail: team@highereg.com