To Boston and back;
The first quarter of 2017.
Welcome to the first the blog post of 2017! We’ve got a fair bit of hot goss to cover so let's avoid flopping about here and jump right in!
Getting the news
The year started off with the delightful news that we had been selected to be apart of Omegathon! A competition where 32 contestants battle it out through various games until only 1 remains. These games can be anything from cards against humanity, to super mario bros, to giant Jenga. This year they had selected our little black and white ninja game to be the round two decider, whittling down the competition from 16 competitors to 8.
We had to send at least one team member over to teach the competitors how to play and in a team of three it's never an easy conversation to have, deciding who gets to travel overseas and who stays…
Fortunately, here at Pine Fire Studios no one really cared!
Unfortunately, the reality was that only ONE of us could go.
In the midst of all the excitement somehow the good people at AIE had gotten wind of what was happening, and they liked what they were hearing. With some string pulling and some sly winking we where able to get funding from both AIE and the ACT government.
The entire trip was now covered for not just one person, but TWO people. Bloody ripper.
So it was locked in. Kieru was going to be at PAXEAST...if only for an hour or so.
As amazing as this news was it was incredibly last minute, leaving us with just two weeks to get our shit together.
Here at Pine Fire Studios our shit is never together.
We needed a new build with improved hit detection, cleaner light bakes and all new menus, which wasn't something we had really touched before.
The pressure was on once again, but this time we weren't showing Kieru to a few people at a time. We were showing off for hundreds of people, all at once, for a continuous hour.
Twenty-five hours on a plane, one hour on the stage.
A week out from our departure and there are cameras in the office. WIN News is doing a story on how amazing of a space Game Plus is when someone drops the goss that we’re on our way to Boston.
The next morning those same cameras are pointed at us, and a couple hours after that our gorgeous mugs are making regional news.
The experience itself was pretty weird... Fake deving for the cameras, pointing at things that weren't there, pretending to like each other etc. etc. The timing couldn't have been any more perfect though and really helped us gain the support of a lot of Canberra game devs, which was awesome.
It seemed like in a blink of an eye we had gone from finding out about Omegathon to getting dropped off at the airport, but there we were, boarding the flight from Canberra to Sydney to catch the next flight to LAX then to our final destination, BOSTON.
If only the flights felt that quick.
Regardless of our flight experience (which was actually pretty rad) we had made it. Pine Fire Studios was in Boston, two days away from the big doors of PAX opening up to the public. We were feeling on top of the world, despite the -12 weather.
All the contestants were amazing, and we were so glad to have those 16 sweethearts test our game. It wasn't without it’s hiccups but they were patient and understanding and all super generous with their feedback. To any of the Omeganaut's reading this; thanks for playing, we hope you like the shirts :)!
It's still hard to gauge how much of a success our attendance at PAXEAST really was but regardless it was amazing to meet so many awesome people and see just how big these kind of events can get overseas; in fact it was incredibly eye opening and inspiring.
When we got back, it was straight back to work.
Back in the 'Berra.
In the wake of Boston came the sobering reality that we still had a lot of work do it, and two major questions that still needed answering;
#1 How pretty can we make Kieru? Now that the artists have time, what how far can we really push the look of our black and white ninja game?
#2 How fun can we make Kieru? We’ve honed in on all the crazy ideas we’ve had over the years and cut the fat. What's left are some amazing game modes and combat ideas that all look great on paper, but how well do they work in practice?
The answer to both of these questions should reveal itself within one month's time, when we have a functioning build of a brand new game mode in an all new level.
That's right folks, within a months time we will be showing off a brand new game mode that is NOT team based death-match. More TBA as we wouldn't wanna give anything anyway right now but be sure to keep an eye on our twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to get all the juicy deets first!
We'll leave you with a hot fact; April 14th, 2017 marked the two year anniversary of Kieru getting Greenlit. That is insane.
For all the continued support and interest we want to let you know that it means a lot, and especially for those of you that have been waiting patiently those two years, we say THANKYOU!
Till next time.