Aug 30 2010

Dwarfs!? featured in XboxHornet!

Walter Desmond of the XboxHornet (http://www NULL.xboxhornet, a site mainly covering Xbox Live Arcade and Indie Game Channel, contacted me during gamescom and asked if I had the time to answer some questions when I got back! Of course, I quickly seized this excellent opportunity to take a quick break from the coding ;)

The preview article can be found here (http://www NULL.xboxhornet I think it’s a good, short read if you’re curious about the progress of the game and the differences between the beta and the finished product. :)

Aug 25 2010

Post GDC

GDC and gamescom were both great! gamescom was huge, and our school had its booth in the same halls as Blizzard, EA, Square-Enix among others! We only had one computer, at a sort of bad spot, but it worked. Our most important lesson from the event was that some In-Arcade help is probably needed! You can’t really expect people at a place like that to play through the tutorial… :P

Some people actually did, though, and the vast majority of those who learned the game really enjoyed it!

My three personal favourites of GDC/gamescom was (in no particular order):

1. Don Daglow

Don Daglow (http://en NULL.wikipedia‘s session about how to target a game was extraordinary in many ways. Not only was it informative and inspiring, but Daglow is also very funny. Seriously! Some parts of his presentation was almost stand-up-material, without compromising the integrity of his message.

2. ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2

I had a late encounter with the first Guild Wars, and quite liked how it stood out from all WoW-clones out there. When I heard there was a sequel in the making, I got really curious. Since then, ArenaNet has made several bold announcements on how they’re going to approach the design – no regular quests, no “evil vs good”-player factions, scaling encounters and so forth.

Some of these choises either didn’t quite make sense to me, or made me worry that they wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Looking through the schedule for the GDC sessions, I noticed ArenaNet would have an hour for explaining the design behind the Dynamic Event system, for which I quickly reserved some free time.

The session was very interesting, and was not just some defense speech, but a detailed walkthrough regarding the design process. Eric and Colin explained the reasoning behind certain decisions, their method of iteration and discussed issues that arose as well as their solutions. The first thing I did when gamescom started (and all the exhibitors had the place for themselves), was to try it out. To make it short: it really works. If the huge gamescom demo was any indication, Guild Wars 2 will be one badass game!

3. The Parties

The four hours each day on the floor was compensated by great parties pretty much every night! What was great about these was not the frequent open bars (which was pretty sweet too), but rather the chance to talk to some really interesting people! Robin is one hell of a mingle master, so we managed to strike up good conversations with lots of cool people, including a live-producer from BioWare, and Eric & Colin from the Guild Wars 2-team!

All in all, it was a great trip, with lots of fun! A tip if you want to save some money when there: buy water as far away from the fair as possible! On site you can buy water for €7 / litre and eat at Subway for €10, or you can take a free tram ride and have a monster kebab with drink for €5, and then buy 1 litre of cool water for €0.25! :)

Aug 18 2010

Tripwire Interactive to publish Dwarfs!

It’s raining in Cologne, but good fortune is shining upon us as Tripwire Interactive – creator of games like Red Orchestra (http://www NULL.redorchestragame and the very popular Killing Floor (http://www NULL.killingfloorthegame – is going to be our publisher! After top-secret talks in a hidden bunker made of environment friendly ivory with diamond plating, we are now officially teaming up to bring Dwarfs to the masses!

When we were considering the possibility of looking for a publisher, we wanted one we knew had the experience and skill to do it well. After the discussions with Tripwire began, it quickly became obvious to us that they knew what they were doing. They had great ideas about effective marketing, and have established relationships with big players all over the world. We are absolutely confident that Tripwire Interactive is the perfect fit for us and our Dwarfs!

Nothing says love like 15 minutes spent in debug mode to bring you this masterpiece of electronic emotion!

Alan Wilson, Vice President of Tripwire Interactive:

“We met the team in Gotland in 2009 and loved what they were doing. Since then, Dwarfs has started stacking up awards and has now become a full-featured game, which is great fun and maddeningly addictive – which has been proven by how hard it is to get people here in the office to stop playing it and get back to work! ”

Here’s some info on Tripwire, in case you time travelled here recently and haven’t read up:

Based in Roswell, Georgia, Tripwire Interactive is an entertainment software developer and publisher founded in 2005 by the award winning mod team and winners of the 2004 edition of the “$1,000,000 Make Something Unreal” competition. Released in early 2006, Tripwire Interactive’s debut retail title Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 achieved both critical and commercial success garnering several awards including “Multiplayer Game of the Year” and “FPS of the Year” for 2006. Killing Floor, Tripwire’s second title, jumped straight to the top of the Steam best-seller list and instantly became one of the top-ten most played FPS games in the world. With some of the most played PC Multiplayer games on the market and over 1,000,000 units sold on PC, Tripwire Interactive have proven that with hard work, determination, and great distribution partners, independent game developers can still make a big splash in the games industry.

For more information visit Tripwire Interactive’s website at (http://www NULL.tripwireinteractive

Dwarfs is expected to get released on Steam and US retail sometime this fall! Keep your beards combed until then!

Aug 10 2010

“Dwarfs!?” at GDC and gamescom!

First off, let me apologize for the long-lasting radio silence! The beta-testing has been very useful for improving the stability of the game, as well as getting feedback on the game itself (although in my dreams the forum was used more). We’ve since been busy adding some new stuff behind the scenes, and there’s also some interesting development that will be announced shortly!

Anyway, we’ll be attending Game Developer’s Conference (http://www NULL.gdceurope and gamescom (http://www NULL.gamescom NULL.php) in Cologne (Köln) with our school! At GDC, playable games will be rotated on one computer (because our booth there is pretty tiny), and at gamescom, you’ll be able to witness some extravagant constructions made by other students from GAME! To tell you the truth, though: if you read this, don’t come to the booth to play Dwarfs! Play it on your own computer, and then spend the time at the booth talking to us or playing some of the other games. After all, gamescom will be packed, and unfortunately we’ve got a very, very small portion of the GAME-booth!

GDC starts August 16, and we’ll stay until the end of gamescom, August 22. I’m going to bring my laptop, and try to bring you updates! :)