I develop games alongside doing a full-time job and I also have a family to look after. This is a similar situation to a lot of indie devs; it isn’t easy, but we all have that secret ingredient that drives us to find the time to do it: passion.
But even with passion it’s difficult finding time to work on your project alongside all these other responsibilities.
We’re continuing to improve the game ahead of its steam release, and this week we’ve made another improvement which we think fits the ‘medical’ feel of the game really well. We’ve changed the way scanner errors are generated.
Our first fully fledged review has been done by the good people over at Nivel Oculto and we’re thrilled to announce to they’ve given SORS a ‘Recommended’ badge which is their highest distinction!
I always loved the FPS games of old that would allow you to cheat really easily. Simply bring down the console, type ‘god’ and you were away. It wasn’t about using the cheats to beat the game (where’s the fun in that?), but about playing around with the game, all with a blessing from the developers, who made cheating so easy.
It’s those experiences from my younger game-playing days that inspired me to create the ‘cheat word’ system in SORS. Except this time, it’s all part of the game. The hospital CEO doesn’t like it, but the other doctors use them to help them with patients whenever they can.
We're on the home stretch now. This is a very exciting time for me – I’m currently working on the polishing SORS so that it’s ready to release to the world.
It’s easy when you get to this point to see why people say that you could spend a whole year polishing a game. I’ve resisted the urge to add in new features or anything crazy, and so far polishing is going well.
We attended AdventureX festival in London last weeked. We demoed our current game in development, SORS. The thought of real people (who weren’t friends or family) playing the game did make me nervous, but happily everyone seemed to enjoy it and we got some great feedback.
I thought I’d write a brief retrospective of what went well and what didn’t, so that anyone else in a similar situation can draw on my experience. I hope it helps – especially for those people who haven’t been to a festival yet to demo their game, and are new to it all!
According to a recent report(1) 74% of US k-8 teachers use digital games in their classrooms, and they report the games have positive effects on their students.
This is great. We want to help get more classrooms using digital games, and for older age groups also, especially for STEM topics. To do our part, we're creating a free ‘study guide' that will be available when SORS is released.
Arguably one of the most challenging aspects of game design is adding that ‘spark' that makes the game interesting and unique.By ‘spark' I really mean anything, from enemy behaviour, to music, to dialogue/story - all these things can make a great game.
Science can't help with all of them, but it can provide some really unique and interesting ideas for your game. Don't believe me? Check out some ideas below - they're all inspired by science!
It should have been obvious. Keep pushing Dinghy Dog until he bites me, and then I can get some of his hair so I can complete the hangover cure and get Guybrush back to normal size.
Thanks to our early demo releases, we’ve had some good feedback on SORS so far. One thing that’s become apparent is that a lot of people were skimming through the text in the game. The fools! How can they play a game and skim through the text! They’re obviously ‘noobz’.
This is the first in a series of posts in which we ‘celebrate’ the release of our first game demo, SORS, by discussing its design and development. You can play a demo of SORS here.
There’s an acronym they use in the army (I’m aware of it from my hardened days in the school cadet force, and when I say hardened, I mean I was a pretty fat teenager in a uniform). It’s known as KISS, and stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
It starts off as an urge. You’re not sure why, but you’re craving something. Soon it starts to take hold- it’s all you can think about. It starts to make you mad, you can’t take it any more. You have to do this thing, something in your head is telling you. You can’t let go of it, and gradually your own free will fades and you become a mindless slave. Your life is over.
If video games and the media were a couple, they'd be the loud, passionate/obnoxious (delete as applicable) pair that often graces a party. You know the type- fighting one minute (violent video games cause real-world violence!), passionately kissing the next (video games slow mental decline) or sneaking off to the closet for a quickie (advertising video games).
But what about video games and science? A less obvious pair like the quiet couple by the wall, perhaps, but as is often the case, a couple of more integrity, sense and history than the loud couple everyone notices.
So we’ve been hard at work this week finalising the game design of Monkey Panic. In light of that I want to take this blog post and discuss game design for a moment.
Game design is about creating the mechanics (rules, rewards, punishments, etc) for the game. It’s probably not something you’ve thought about because any good games you’ve played will have been designed so well, you won’t notice that you’re learning a new set of rules to play them with. Also, you’ll only be playing with the final design, which are actually based on many iterations of failed designs before them.
Welcome to our brand spanking new website! We're currently developing an exciting new game called Monkey Panic. This will be the first in a long line of great games we've got planned that will showcase the wonder of the natural world. Sign up to our email list so we can keep you updated on the progress (and be first to hear about exciting opportunities to get involved). In the meantime stick around, enjoy the site and find out some new stuff.
Feedback? Questions? Ideas? Great! We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch and email us.
Scan and diagnose patients whilst solving a sci-fi mystery. More info »
We develop digital games inspired by real science. Our games are for everyone and you don’t need to know any science to play them – we want players to have fun, but if you feel like learning a bit about the world along the way, our games let you do that too (and then you can impress your friends with knowledge).