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Developer Blog

Clinical a Short Story set in Blood of Sol

The inhaler wheezed like a dying horse as Ginzsby entered the crowded emergency ward. Freaks, creeps mutants and scum were lined up; waiting to be triaged or bleeding out. The riot had ended with the BG Company agreeing to treat all members of the block ward for free. Berkley Genomics was the biggest heath and genetics corporation in the solar system. They appeared as white knights but underneath, they were sharks taking what they could.

 

Jeffersons plague was nothing more than a predicted reaction from humans from earth, to the permanent settlement on New Mars. A debilitating disease that wasted the infected and eventually killed them.

 

The BG Company announced a cure about five days ago, already out of supplies, time and patience the blockers (dwellers of the blocks) had decided to take the cure, that’s where we came in; the Red Dragons. We held positions between the riot and the clinics on levels 310 to 298, a big territory held by a score more gangs. Armed with mono swords, heavy SMGs and occasional RPG we were more than a match for most gangs. Secure in our positions we went around the “job” of extorting, terrorising and running the show until they came and turned most of us into charcoal. Hailing from old Earth, hired goons with hired haircuts; speaking a variety of arcane and forgotten languages like Swedish, German and French none of them speaking Martian street chat.

 

Armed with lethal weapons like plasma flame throwers, micro missiles, robot wolves and drones. They cut a swath through us all the way to that clinic warehouse. Then those creeps began launching missiles and grenades as if they were children with fireworks for the first 4th of July. The promptly destroyed the supply of Jefferson’s cure, burning the warehouses to the ground.

 

Like ghosts those black clad mercenaries methodically moved through our turf. Fighting was fierce, we won some they won more; and in the end they got what they came for. That’s why I’m here in the hospital, with my finger in this guy’s belly wound. “Now Hanz, tell me what the fuck you were doing”

 

By Morgan, more to come

Categories
Developer Blog

Creating a new IP from Scratch

All Lies on You
Majestic Nights Logo

It was August 2013, it was raining and I was wearing sunglasses. In a flash I had the vision of an Isometric RPG like game set in the 80’s with all the trimmings. How could I do such a game on a small budget but where we were going we didn’t need roads!

 

Majestic Nights came about in its early concept the team latched onto it like Indiana Jones snatching a priceless relic. We had come off a big multi-year project, Frozen Hearth, and due to mixed reviews and numerous perfect storm events we didn’t want to enter into the fray with something so massive quite so soon. One year and one month on, Majestic Nights is ready for preview, though as we say: it’s all in the reflexes.

 

Stick around and I’ll tell you why we did it, what we learned and where we hope it will go. First thing we wanted to do was learn to really tell stories well in games. We had a huge amount of narrative for Frozen Hearth that we didn’t get into that game. Secondly, we wanted to do a smaller project that would serve as a break for a bit for the team. And finally, when you have an idea that ‘feels’ right, and test it and turns out to be good: follow it.

 

Majestic Nights springs from my love of finding and researching secret information, and this game exposes those secrets in a fun way.  And after all, why do us Indies get into something so challenging as making games?

 

Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory*.

*Both Fortune, and Glory, sold separately.

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Press Releases

New ‘Game Services’ Department

Epiphany Games has created a game services department to better serve the needs of corporate Australia and our overseas partners. The Game Services department focuses primarily on creating fun and engaging mobile games and products for partner companies. Epiphany’s primary platforms are iOS and Android, however Epiphany has produced larger projects for the PC platform.

 

Recently Epiphany has delivered three mobile games in parallel for one customer, integrating into a large existing iOS and Android application framework. Previously this year Epiphany created one game and one physics-based Android screen-saver for a large US-based Entertainment Company.

 

Epiphany hopes that this new department of the company can help facilitate the transition from traditional marketing and brand-support forms to fully designed and well crafted game-based experiences.

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Developer Blog

Catchy Pitching

Recently I had the privilege of sitting on a panel of judges as some small local game developers pitched their game concepts at us. We were there to discuss their ideas, not just on a gameplay front, but also (and probably more importantly) from a business standpoint. Sitting in a smallish room, the other judges and I watched these guys and girls show us their ideas. While the ideas were pretty much all solid – though they could all have done with a bit more time on their design, which is understandable as they had all only had a few weeks to develop – it was the pitches themselves that needed the most work.

 

This in turn caused me to think about pitching. For most devs, it’s not really something they have to do – yet at college or uni, or in this case an incubator, it was expected that these programmers and designers jump up and give us a 5 minute (which is a very small amount of time to convey as complex a subject as a game design) spiel on their work.

 

Good pitching is really a direct-experience thing – something that takes a long time and a lot of attempts to get right – or at least get to a point where it’s acceptable. While there’s not really any class or book or advice that is going to be anywhere near as good a teacher as just doing it a whole lot; I myself have had to do dozens and dozens of them, and while I am in no way a pro at it, I’ve definitely gone through enough of them to have figured out a few things which I thought I’d share…

 

When pitching your game, don’t tell us how passionate you are about games. The people you’re speaking to will assume this is the case. You also don’t really need to mention that you’re gamers. Almost everyone who works in developing games is into games. You have limited time to impress your audience, and there are better ways to use this time.

 

Try to focus on talking about your game. Always open with an introduction of your company – not yourselves – but keep it quick. Discuss the gameplay, and the elements of your game that are interesting and different – in the typical ‘why would I play your game over *insert other game here*?’ sense. Be prepared for this question – whether they ask it or not – you’re still going to have to cover it in one way or another.

 

Keep your introduction to the narrative and any world-setting brief. Publishers don’t really care too much about the narrative; they want to know you have a narrative and a rough idea of it to see if it’s an original concept. If you have a game with a campaign, just stick to the dot points, keep it to a sentence or so.

 

Lastly, you can’t ever fully prepare for a given pitch – different people are going to react differently and ask different questions – so you need to develop (or be one of those lucky people who have it naturally) the ability to think and talk on your feet, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to Know. Your. Material.

 

At the end of the day, pitching is not really something that can be taught, or leaned from a book. It is something that is best learned simply by doing it. If you’re in the position at Uni/College, or even work where you’re having to give one or more of these sort of presentations, the best advice I guess I can possibly give is just to believe in your concept – the confidence in your voice and your manner will come with a bit of time and practice, and confidence is a key to success for almost anything.

 

– Sam