The majestic and proud PocketGamer leading the trend as always with an awesome announcement of our iOS intentions, followed up with echoes around the globe by some excellent international sites. We’re over the moon to get this sort of coverage! Here’s a round-up of it all…
Huge thanks to all the websites who’ve given us coverage so far. We’re very grateful and humbled. Now, we’ve got two weeks left before we submit the PSVita version so we better get on with that. We’ll give you more news on that and the iOS version very soon. In the mean time, keep on truckin’!
The game is a throwback to that simpler and brighter era, but to call it “old school” would do it a disservice – this is a thoroughly modern creation, albeit one with a streak of retro rebellion coursing through its fruity veins.
They also asked us some questions about how we go about making games in our own home-grown way here on PocketGamer.biz
There’s nights in Birmingham, Sleaford, Edinburgh and London but tonight it’s down in Cardiff. In the Chapter Arts place no less where Barry Island spent a few absinthe sozzled evenings in his youth.
We’re coming down to be a tiny part of it too, and we’re asking for people’s help! (Because that’s what gonzo developers are often inclined to do!)
When we were up in Dundee a few months ago, we found that on the whole, the difficulty of our Avoid Droid prototype was a little high for some people. Dying is inevitable, but from observing a large sample of people it looked like we needed to notch things down a little. Not *too* much, but definitely down to what we’d become accustomed to after months of closed off development.
So tonight, we’re coming with a super duper master plan…
LIVE TWEAKIES FIDDLING
So this time, Charlie has made a special build with a tweak-slider that lets us make things harder or easier dynamically in the field! INSTA-ADJUSTO-FEEDBACK-O-TRON 3000
So we can observe someone playing, get their feedback on the difficulty, make a little adjustment here and there… and get instant feedback on the tweaks. Should be really good – we’re really excited to try this system out in the wild like this. There really isn’t anything better than being able to watch people play your game and work out where changes need to be made to make people happiest.
So if you’re down at Modern Playing tonight at the Chapter, do come and say hi and give us a hand with getting the trickiness nailed! We’d really really appreciate it and any feedback at all.
So, for the last couple of months, Charlie has been coding and designing the prototype for our next game and it’s now at a state where we can show it to you guys.
Starting a new game is a fantastic time where the team can share the birthing process of an idea, and as it grows each of us can find ways we can use our unique skills to make it the best game possible.
So what sort of game is it! Well, it’s what we’d call a mental arithmetic adventure RPG.
Travelling through distant lands you will meet monstrous creatures which you’ll battle using your powers of fast mental arithmetic as they pose you increasingly demanding maths problems.
What we’ve got right now is a vertical slice which show-cases the combat, navigation, animation and random map generation. Let’s have a look at a video of the most recent prototype:
There’s a loooooooooooooong way to go now until we’ve got a completed concept, let alone the finished game. We still need to prototype quests, treasure chests, boss fights… along with any other features we choose to add to make the game play experience better.
The place-holder art you can see in the video will be replaced by the hand-drawn work of an illustrator (who we will tell you more about soon).
The music is in the process of being researched. Barry is up ’till the wee small hours every night researching medieval music to bring you a hint of authenticity in his own inimitable style.
Anyway, we hope you enjoyed the video and continue to follow the development of our game as it takes shape!
So, we had a great time at the TIGA 2012 awards. We didn’t win anything, but then we only entered two categories. It was absolutely hilarious seeing our game on the big screen along side all those other whopping titles, a memory which we’ll never forget.
It was a fantastic evening and we met loads of awesome, awesome people. The Stick Sports Ltd. team were ace, we got to chat to Gary Penn from Denki about TV detectives, and nice man from Edge magazine said he’d heard of our game! Hooray!
We know what you’re all wanting to know though… what was the food like?
Starter was celeriac with a pear and bits of blue cheese. It was quite nice.
Main was chicken with some potato. Lovely chicken, nice gravy. Charlie was particularly happy with the gravy.
Pudding was a really nice apple pie with a bit of ice cream, which is just what Barry fancied so he was happy too.
So even though we didn’t win, it was fun. We managed to flood the twitter feed at one point by orchestrating all our friends to simultaneously tweet about Frutorious. We also liberally scattered some fliers about encouraging game journos to support our tiny team and silly game. A few of them found their way onto the front of Future publishing but we have only the wine to blame for that.
Here’s a video of our evening’s highlights…
Other highlights included getting Bad Hotel’s nomination video soundtrack stuck in our heads (it was a spoof of M.E.T.H.O.D. Maaaaaaan but with B.A.D. H.O.T… Elllll.)
Also chatting to a lovely guy called George who made the lovely, zoney Cubes for iOS who offered to help us get our heads around Unity 🙂
The categories we’re in have some fantastic games and excellent examples of the best of British work, so being alongside them and having our game recognised by industry peers is really really cool. Proper job!
Here’s the groups…
SCE London Studio – DanceStar™ Party
Aardman Digital and Turner Broadcasting – Dino Donkey Dash: The Amazing World of Gumball
Reflections a Ubisoft studio – Just Dance 4 Infinite State Games – Frutorious
NaturalMotion Games – CSR Racing
First Touch Games Ltd – Score! Classic Goals
Lionhead, Microsoft Studios – Fable: The Journey Infinite State Games – Frutorious
thechineseroom – Dear Esther
Fireproof Games – The Room
Reflections a Ubisoft Studio – Driver San Francisco
JohnnyTwoShoes – Prevail
We just wanted to thank everyone who voted for us. You guys are all fantastic and we’re so grateful for your help in getting Frutorious and our tiny team nominated. Without you guys playing our game, helping us and sharing our updates and taking the time to vote, we wouldn’t have got here. It’d just have been me and Charlie voting and that would have been a sorry state of affairs.
Whatever happens at the awards, this is super exciting! We’ll be sure to let you know how we get on… in the mean time though, we’ll be cracking on with the update for you all 🙂
Hello! We thought we’d give you an update on the progress of Frutorious.
Well, we’ve just sent out our penultimate build for testing. Everything is in the game now apart from the tutorial and any last tiny bugs we might catch – which means we’re weeks away now from submitting the game to the AppStore.
We can’t even begin to describe how much fun it’s been to make Frutorious: we can all agree we’ve put our heart and soul into bringing it out, and we couldn’t be happier with the final result.
Being only weeks away now until we can finally get it out into the wild and in the hands of gamers, we’ve had time to reflect about the development process: what made it fun, and what made it tricky.
Every member of Infinite State Games lives in almost opposite ends of the country, which means during the entire development, neither of us has seen each other in person once! However with some late night texts, goofy but life-affirming impromptu Google + video calls and the wonders of DropBox our physical distance never became an issue for us. We always felt deeply connected to each other and the game. Most evenings one of us would get a text from another with something along the lines of ‘Dude, let’s put a beard on the sprite in Pro!’ or ‘Dude, let’s put in a ropey looking owl that goes for you if you get too close!’ or similar surreal proposition.
When it came to making the levels, we were lucky in that Charlie had written an absolutely brilliant in-game level editor in which we could place objects, test it all out, then dump it over as an email to be put into the game. It took two of us about 2 months to make all 108 levels in the end. Of course, the best bit about having the editor on our phones was the fact that we could make levels ANYWHERE!
We made levels on beaches, in fields, on hills, trains and on park benches. We’ve made levels in Dundee, Glasgow, Somerset, London, Wales and in Newcastle. We made a level during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. We made a level over the Jubilee concert (we stopped for Tom Jones, mind you.) We even made a level on top of Glastonbury Tor in the off-chance that it was blessed with ancient druid magic (and between you and me, I think that worked.)
When the levels were done to our satisfaction, we asked a team of hand-picked wonder testers play through all the levels in a random order, rating each one for fun and difficulty. This way, we got told which were the levels that needed improving on, and also an idea of what our difficulty curve should be like. This worked EXCEEDINGLY well, and within minutes of having all the results in, we had a game in a sense of order. A few tweaks here and there, and suddenly we had our ‘GOODNESS GRACIOUS; ITS A GAME!’ moment.
Now, with the last morsels on the task list approaching sign-off, submission to the AppStore is imminent. Then… well it’s fingers crossed we’ve got the word out to enough people. All said and done, we just want people to play it and smile; that’s when our job is complete. One thing we can say for certain, we are all going to miss working on this one, and we think how much fun we had making this really shows in the soul of the game itself – and that’s something that you just can’t buy.
Music is a very important part of the development process for us at Infinite State games. We always start our games at Infinite State Games by writing the theme tune.
It sounds like a curious place to start, but after we’ve thrown ideas around so that we have a nebulous concept of the game we want to make, we next go off and write the title screen music.
Herbert Spencer said ‘Music must take rank as the highest of fine arts – as the one which, more than any other, ministers to the human spirit’ – and we think that as much as concept art can spark the imagination into concepts and ideas, music is the best medium to get across an initial ‘feel’ for a game.
It’s not all that crazy, Spielberg always likes to start with a poster for his blockbuster movies. Whatever works for you is whatever’s best, and we find music is a great way to impart the proposed vibe of a game.
Today, we put the finishing touches on the Frutorious soundtrack. It’s a whimsical mixture of dub, g-funk, 8-bit cheese and folk music – and here it is presented in glorious stereophonic sound for your listening delectation!
Pop on your headphones or enjoy from any speaker to achieve a sense of mischief and merriment inspired by the music from Frutorious