NEWS FROM THE TEAM

Kickstarter Update for the Community

We're as excited about getting this show on the road as you are, but we needed to delay the launch another week or so. In the interest of being completely transparent about what's going on, here's the deal: Is it here yet? Short answer: no Long answer: As soon as the video and page are finished Longer Answer A couple of factors: We're synching up with media coverage. The game resonates with everyone we talk to, and we have gameplay footage (exciting!). The success of this kickstarter will depend on our ability to make a compelling pitch (page/video) and then...
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Dammit Jim! I’m a Coder not an Artist!

When you've worked as a game developer in a really big company, it helps you to appreciate the unique challenges of indie game development. When you have to take on all the responsibilities of running a studio and making a game at once, that can take you really far out of your comfort zone. While that can be scary at times, it's also incredibly exhilarating. It allows you to discover new things about yourself and forces you to evolve in directions you wouldn't expect. Working for the big guys The bigger the company, the more management is required to keep...
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Kickstarting like it’s 1979!

We looked at various funding options available to us, and I am pleased to announce we'll be kickstarting in about two weeks -- November 12. So mark it on your calendar. It will run for the standard month, and the funding goal is basically the min-spec for Astrobase Command and what we strictly need to have the core game. Here is where we're at: I want to thank all of you who have contributed up until now on the forums with design discussions and other feedback, as it's very important for us as developers to gut-check what we're thinking and...
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Cartridge Program: Modules

In this post I'm going to talk about our first datapad program -- the module builder.     But first, a bit more about the datapad. The datapad screen real-estate was adjusted to fit a full 16:9 widescreen, so it has a standard aspect ratio. It's native resolution is now 624x351. While normally it sits on the shelf, it's fully draggable around the screen.     (more…)
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De-signing the Design: the Semiotics of Choice (Part 2)

Last week we talked about this: That guard helped me kill the dragon in the background five seconds earlier. So what's going on here? The Sandbox Narrative Conflict Narrative in games is still a trigger and state-based affair. Let's say I have two NPCs -- Bob and Mary. If I talk to Bob before Mary, it advances a game state and Mary gives me new dialog. If I talk to Mary before Bob, it advances a different game state and Bob gives me a different dialog than he would if I talked to him first. If I walk within 10...
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First Audio Interview!

Hey everybody! Just a quick update to point you toward our recent audio interview with SamuraiRabbit! Enjoy and tell us what you think in the forums!
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De-signing the Design: the Semiotics of Choice

This week we're going to talk a bit about design theory. Semiotics se·mi·ot·ics noun 1. the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication, as language, gestures, or clothing. 2. a general theory of signs and symbolism, usually divided into the branches of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics. Symbols are the language of video games If you see a red bar near your character that has no instructions or label, you assume this represents "health" and decreases with damage taken. A blue bar near your character that has no instructions or label is...
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Cartridge Life

Last week we talked about the in-game desktop. This week we're going to dive into one of my favorite features: the datapad. As I mentioned last week, the datapad's display has its own style which is a separate style from the game GUI, and the rest of the game. This creates immersion -- in the real world my iPhone sits next to my Windows laptop, and each display is stylistically distinct from the other. And both are distinct from my living room (which is stylistically IKEA). In fact, if I woke up one morning and every device and every piece...
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HUD-aches

We've been kicking around what to do with the HUD since at least July. This is a chronicle of our journey. I'll spare you the awful mockups/prototypes. Iteration 1, 2 and 3: Standard 4x game HUD There is a lot of information a player could potentially want to see on the screen as he's playing Astrobase Command. So kind of the default was to go with a standard 4x game HUD, because there's a lot of intersection in terms of the kind of information (resources, unit details, module details, etc) a player could be tracking. This was our starting point....
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Dobro Dosli to our new Croatian contingent!

Hey everyone! We just got some coverage over on Bug Online (One of Croatia's top IT sites)! Welcome to our new friends!
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