Archive for the 'Apps' Category

The Harlem Globetrotters Trick Shots

Friday, September 28th, 2012

We’re on the verge of an official release of The Harlem Globetrotter’s Trick Shots on iOS and Android. This game was a lot of fun to work on, and not only was it fun to make, but it has been non-stop fun for us to play while making it.

If you’d like to be notified when the game is released, you can sign up on the official Harlem Globetrotters fan page.



Jacob Robinson

FWA Award for Snacksss

Monday, June 11th, 2012

While we were at E3 2012 showing off Snacksss to the press, the great folks at The FWA had a surprise for us!

Snacksss for iOS received Mobile of the Day from The FWA, one of the largest and most well known reward sites in the industry who only give awards to the best of the best. We’ve been following The FWA for nearly 10 years now, and it is an absolute honor to see our game receive an award.

A big THANK YOU goes out to The FWA judges for giving us this awesome award, we truly appreciate it.



Jacob Robinson

First Post Announcement at E3

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

We announced Snacksss earlier today at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, officially signaling the game’s release, which is just now starting to be picked up throughout the web.

Snacksss is a fast-paced physics game that challenges player reflexes and accuracy. iOS users play as Snacksss, a hungry rattlesnake that must be flung across the screen to snag his prey, keeping combos going with mid-air attacks, while evading the hunter and the hawk before time runs out. Players can also challenge their Facebook friends to top their score.

For a limited time, Snacksss is available for free for iOS devices. To learn more about Snacksss, please visit http://www.snacksss.com or join the Snacksss community on Facebook at facebook.com/snacksssgame. You can also watch the Snacksss video trailer here.

Snacksss is just one of a number of mobile and social games that we plan to release over the next months, while we’re working on a new web title for pro gamers and our upcoming flagship game which is slated for later in the year.



Jacob Robinson

The Making of Snacksss: Part 2

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The Making of Snacksss is a series where we reveal what went into making the Snacksss game, from concept to a finished product on the App Store.

The Artwork

In this update, I’m having a Q&A with the CEO of Saizen Media, Davide Bianca. Davide is responsible for the art direction of Snacksss, and his team did the concept and final art for the game. Davide and team are simply amazing to work with, and we often partner with Saizen Media specifically because of the level of creativity they bring to everything they touch.

 

What were the inspirations for the style you chose for Snacksss? Anything from your childhood?

Davide: Ever since we started discussing the visual look and possible visual approaches for Snacksss it was obvious that the game needed to have a very vivid and humorous look and feel in terms of art direction. We needed something that could dedramatize the survival aspect of the gameplay, and immediately connect with the user-base. We wanted to focus on giving a very cute, humorous and vibrant experience to the users, so the choice of the color palette, the facial expressions on the characters and body language, as well as the visual effects, were all done in a specific way that would allow for high-pace gameplay, and yet have a good laugh every time you play the game.

As far as inspiration, it definitely resonates with a lot of the classic cartoon genre, a Looney Toonish feel in terms of backgrounds, and warmth of the color palette, even if very loosely referenced, while the characters are definitely more of a modern twist on stylized character design. Everything was created in traditional style 2D with Photoshop, then animated with After Effects, and plugged into the Unity engine which the game runs on.

 

How do you feel your team’s art separates Snacksss from what’s out there now, and what are some favorite styles from iPhone games that you play or like?

Davide: The app market is full of great titles and successful IPs, and of course inevitably the success of some titles sets the bar for whole new genres and the standards of new products and franchises to come. With Snacksss we wanted to have a very unique approach with visuals from the get go, something that can be easily identified and remembered. Each game needs a specific approach for key visuals and characters that fits the style of gameplay, storyline and game mechanics; given the simplicity and fast pace of Snacksssʼ gameplay we focused on a style of shapes, body language, animations, and overall mood that would set the game apart from the rest and make it a unique experience.

In terms of my favorite styles, as said above, I think the style-choice needs to live in conjunction with the choice of mood and story, tightly weaved into the fabric of the game as a whole. What happens in the game and how the user interacts with it dictates the rules for visual representation, so that the experience comes across as coherent and organic. Games like Aurora Feint, Angry Birds, 1112, JetPack Joyride and Hero Academy, even if radically different between each other, have proven to be perfect examples of the above, and are my all-time favourites.

 

What was the greatest challenge with producing the art for Snacksss?

Davide: Probably the greatest challenge was creating a set of animations that would work well within the gameplay even at high speed, without losing detail and seamlessly integrated into the environment. We wanted to create simple yet effective character movements and visual effects (clouds of smoke, power spins etc) that even if short in terms of cycling/looping would be representative of the style and overall choice for art direction; so we opted for very few animations with a lot of personality, this allowed us to bring the game together organically and focus on how to trigger the right animation at the right time, avoiding memory hogging, delays and performance optimization; a lot of work and attention smoothening the animations and gameplay, so we worked in conjunction with the dev team to integrate them smoothly and flawlessly.

 

What’s your favorite character in Snacksss and why?

Davide: Definitely the rabbit! He is so deserving to be eaten! Ahahah

 

Top score? C’mon, you know you haven’t reached more than 50,000.

Davide: 483,000 … for now ;)

 

483,000 is not bad… I guess I’ll refrain from sharing my score after that :)

Thanks to Davide for taking some time to tell us about the art of Snacksss! Next update, we’ll talk a bit about some of the challenges we faced during the game’s development.



Jacob Robinson

Snacksss is Free until May 28th

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

In celebration of passing 12,500 LIKES on Facebook we’re giving away Snacksss for FREE until May 28th! Get it from the App Store now and spread the word. Everybody likes Snacksss!



Jacob Robinson

The Making of Snacksss: Part 1

Friday, May 11th, 2012

The Making of Snacksss is a series of blog posts where we reveal what went into making the Snacksss game, from concept to a finished product on the App Store.

The Concept

Over the years, even before the iPhone existed, I had always wondered what it would be like to make a simulation game where you lived the life of an animal in the wild, whether it be a bird, or even a rattlesnake. Games have always been about controlling some other character and vicariously living through them and receiving the experience as close to first-person as you can without physically being there. So, why not a game where you live as a rattlesnake?

Enter Snacksss, a concept originally born to be a simulation game, until after much thought, we realized a simulation game just isn’t quite as fun. In fact, to some it may even be a bit gruesome! The wild isn’t always all  that pretty. We also wanted to make sure Snacksss was a simple and easy enough game for users to play and get a taste of before we started creating a lot of content for it. We planned on adding in a lot more features up front, but we strongly believe that community feedback is critical to a game, and because there’s nothing out there like this game, we have no examples to live by.

If my team were helping me write this blog post, they’d tell me to tell you about the combo moves in the game. When I first designed Snacksss, you moved from left to right on the screen and THEN ate your prey. You would also not be able to fly through the air but rather would need to reach up and eat a bird as it got close. Early on, I had gotten into a debate with the team on keeping it as realistic as possible, but they were so insistent on making Snacksss be able to do combo moves while in the air, that we changed the gameplay to match that. To this day, I have to admit that they were right and people are continuously raving about how much fun it is to make combos. The combo moves are a lot of fun, and we may add some more moves soon that will be even more killer.

In my next update, I’ll be co-writing with Davide Bianca, CEO of our partner studio, Saizen Media, who is responsible for art directing Snacksss and why it looks so fantastic.

Before I leave you, I’m sharing a funny image which was used as reference for the game’s depth. I’ll get some flak from the team and Davide about it. Talk about a work of art! :)



Jacob Robinson

Snacksss is now available on the App Store! Go get it!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

We’re excited to announce that we’ve released our iOS game, Snacksss, on the App Store today. This is the first of many First Post games to come up this year, and we have had an absolute blast making this one.  You can get it from the App Store by searching Snacksss, or going directly to it.

Cult of Mac has also a great exclusive write-up about Snacksss on their site, be sure to give it a read (the headline is oddly misleading, but the article clarifies I only had a hand in the titles). They are also giving away free promo codes to download free copies of the game which can be found in their comments, so be sure to get them while the codes are available!



Jacob Robinson