Postcards Have been Sent!

March 23rd, 2010, Cobalt, Gifts

Alright! I’ve left all the postcards at the post office now. Big thanks to all of you who shared your addresses :)

It would be fun to know when/if you get your card. Just leave a message as a comment to this post, or in our forums.

Cheers!

/ jeb

Postcard Reminder

March 16th, 2010, Gifts

Just wanted to post a reminder that it’s still not too late to get a real, snail-mail, postcard from us. We have 6 different variations of Project B-related prints. You will get one randomly chosen print, and a hand-written message from us (don’t expect too much though, these take a lot of time to write).

You sign up at this page: http://www.oxeyegames.com/addresses/

Please remember to write your name with the address! If you forget to write your name, I’ll send a postcard anyway, but I’m not sure how good the post office is at locating you. Guess it depends on if you are living in your own house or not :) Also, you don’t need to write anything in the name suggestions / comments box if you don’t want to. In that case simply leave it blank.

/ jeb

Monaco Won! – And Why I Voted for It

March 13th, 2010, IGF

IGF 2010

One of the biggest indie events every year is the Independent Games Festival at the game developer conference in San Francisco. It’s a competition that awards cash prizes to a number of outstanding indie games. Many of these games are still work in progress, hoping to gain some attention and maybe distribution deals. Monaco by Pocketwatch Games is one of these games, and it happened to grab both the awards for best game design and the Seumas Grand Prize.

Monaco is a 4-player cooperative stealth game taking place in… uuh… Monaco. You choose one of four characters (eight characters are planned), each with its own special abilities and skills and attempt to steal money and other stuff from various locations. These locations (banks, casinos, yachts, etc) are protected by alarms and armed guards, which makes things a bit tricky. This is Monaco’s IGF trailer:

Now, as I’ve written earlier, I was one of the judges who were evaluating the games for the awards. I was very pleased to see that Monaco won, since I had voted for it in the final round. There are two reasons for this,

First, Monaco feels like what indie is all about, at least for me. It’s the kind of game that can’t be produced with multi-million dollars. It’s too risky. Weirder games, such as Scribblenauts, seem to be exclusive to portable devices and usually don’t have multiplayer. Also big budget games need big budget content, and I can’t imagine what Monaco would play like if it was, for example, in 3D.

Secondly, Monaco is a really fun game, at least when you play it with a friend or two (as it was intended). The cooperative element works very well. Shutting down an alarm or opening a door will help everybody, and players are able to revive those that have fallen. It’s especially exciting when only one player is left alive, trying to dodge guards and revive the others. I like this sense of giving everybody in the team the chance to be a hero. And even if you should fail you get a sense of progress because the map will remain revealed when you start over. It’s like, “alright that didn’t go so well, but now I know how we should do it!”

These things put together: originality, good design, and pure entertainment, made it easy for me to pick Monaco for the IGF grand prize. Of course, there were like 160 judges voting, so I’m not alone.

/jeb

Birthdays and Postcards!

March 5th, 2010, Cobalt, Gifts, Harvest, Indie Life

birthdaysI usually try to avoid posting more than once per day, but I nearly forgot which date it was today… it’s the 5h of March! That means we have two birthdays to celebrate!

First up is Pontus Hammarberg, our own very cuddlesome artist who is trying to save mankind, one life at a time :) He has turned 26 today. Give him a cheer! :D (And in case you were wondering, Pontus goes by the internet alias “Kinten”, you may have seen him around.)

Second up is Harvest: Massive Encounter that is 2 years old today! It’s crazy how long time that has passed since its release, and how different things are now compared to back then.

To celebrate this we are going to give you a present! We are going to send out postcards (real, physical postcards) to anybody who wants one. All you need to do is to give us your home address (we’ll not use it for anything else, don’t worry), and maybe suggest a name for Project B! Anything goes, but obviously we prefer actual usable game names over “Cheesemaster of Death 2000″ ;) The best name will receive an extra present… I think.

In any case, suggesting a name is optional, so to receive a postcard all you have to do is to go here:

–> http://www.oxeyegames.com/addresses/ <–

We’ll gather addresses for about 2 weeks. I’ll post again later. (We may not send a postcard to everybody in case this becomes unexpectedly popular, since I have to write all of these by hand… so if that happens it will be first come first served.)

/jeb

UPDATE: Remember to write your NAME with the address! Our divine senses can only stretch so far…

@Oxbot Tweets Our SVN Commits

March 5th, 2010, Cobalt, Game Development, Twitter
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Hey! We’ve made a fun little tool that tweets our subversion commit comments on Twitter. You can see the comments by checking http://twitter.com/oxbot :)

What…?

Subversion, or SVN for short, is a version-control system that keeps track of our project files when we work on Project B and other games. Think of it as a wiki for files that we add and update files on. Each time a file is modified, SVN keeps track of who made the changes, and makes backups so that changes can be reverted if necessary.

Each commit is also tagged with a small comment describing why the commit was made. It’s this comment that our bot picks up and puts on twitter.

Why…?

Because we can! Also, because this will let you keep track of Project B. We want to be more open about the project, and this is a step in that direction. Actual game information, such as screenshots and a game name, will come later.

/ jeb

More Stuff!

March 2nd, 2010, Gifts, IRL Adventures

Thanks, Apoc! :D

Oh btw… We’ll soon announce the next round of secret gifts. Since the wiki went down we have had to change our plans slightly, but we have something new cooking! :)

/jeb

NGP Round 1, 2010

March 1st, 2010, Indie Life, Nordic Game Program

Two times a year for six years, that’s how often the Nordic Game Program is choosing projects for their development support grant. The program is intended to promote game development in the… uhm… Nordic countries, and focuses mainly (but not only) on games for younger audiences. Today (first of march) is the deadline for the first round of projects during 2010.

Nordic Game Program’s managing director is Erik Robertson, a really nice guy. You should head over to their GDC booth and have a chat if you get the chance. Here’s his NGP presentation from the last grant ceremony:

We have applied for the grant almost every round since it was started (2006). We missed one round because I didn’t know it was twice a year (I thought it was only once). In total we have applied with 5 or 6 different projects, I think… This time we applied with Project B (again). We still haven’t been selected for the grant, unfortunately, but it would obviously help us a lot. At least we could pay thewreck more than $3 per hour, hehe.

There are some noteable NGP recipients in their funded games list. Of course, being independent is a requirement to seek the grant, but these are the names that you may recognize:

Limbo

Limbo, one of the current IGF finalists, has received the grant two times (once in 2006 and once in 2007). Both grants were 300,000 DKK.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Petri Purho received a grant of 100,000 DKK in the round after winning IGF.

Boingo

Black Drop Studios received 300,000 DKK in 2008 for their platform game Boingo. (I just realized when visiting their site that they have disbanded! That was a surprise :( )

/jeb

Interviewed by Immortal Machines

February 24th, 2010, Cobalt, Harvest, Indie Life, Interviews

When we had our Harvest holiday sales on Steam we were contacted by the nice guys over at Immortal Machines (a part of the Colony of Gamers network). They wanted to know if we would be interested in participating in one of their nice podcasts, but because of time zones (and lack of confidence in speaking English live) we settled for a text-based interview instead.

The interview is mainly about Harvest, but we also talk a little about games that we like, and the future. You find the interview here:

http://www.colonyofgamers.com/cogforums/showthread.php?s=dc6fdb0bab7d47261bcec7f1270ad96c&t=15834

/jeb

Staying Connected

February 18th, 2010, Gadgets

rss_logo_largeI just wanted to post a reminder that you can use RSS to follow us on this blog. If you don’t know what RSS is, a simple explanation is that it’s a way of being told when the blog has been updated, instead of remembering to check the site manually.

Most browsers have a built-in feature for adding RSS feeds to the bookmark list, but I personally prefer to use an RSS reader, such as Google Reader. Or, you can follow the instructions in this YouTube explanation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU

I find RSS feeds to be really handy (I follow 158 of them at the moment)!

/jeb

It’s Payback Time!

February 14th, 2010, Gifts, Harvest, IRL Adventures

Two weeks ago a box full of stuff dropped into our mailbox at the office. (I don’t go to the office very often these days, so that’s why I’m not posting about it until now.) The package was from Daniel Wolf, who wanted to pay for a bet that he lost over two years ago. To thank him for his effort, I decided to record this clip:

:D

/jeb


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