Super Crate Box is probably our best-known game. It’s a fast-paced and filled with action – a small, simple, freeware game about collecting crates. Available for both PC and Mac, the game won several ‘Best game 2010′ prizes and was nominated for an ‘Excellence in Design’ award at the 2011 Independent Games Festival.
It’s been way too long since we had any real news on Super Crate Box iOS, so we thought we’d pick it back up again at some really good news: We’ve just submitted the game to Apple for review! Admittedly, it didn’t make that original release date as the entire Radical Fishing cloning thing went down. On top of that it turned out the original Super Crate Box code is kind of a mess and the game is filled with little details that were hidden somewhere completely irrational deep inside the code. Halfbot has been doing an amazing job at finding and porting all that stuff for the past few months. continue reading… »
I would like to welcome everyone to our brand-new website! Now with better looks, proper interactivity and over 50% more usability. This one actually shows you what games we’ve made. Anyway, the new website works, so that is nice. We’ve got some other things to announce. continue reading… »
Exactly one year ago, we reckon most of you had never heard of us. Because exactly one year ago, Jan Willem and me were sitting in our little office in Utrecht and we had suddenly decided to add a single feature to the game we were about to release in twenty minutes. We quickly added some code to the website and the game and tested it.
One episode that included Jan Willem running through Philadelphia airport with his shoes in his hands later, we arrived in Austin for Fantastic Arcade. At Fantastic Arcade, we’ve been finally showing off Serious Sam: The Random Encounter to a larger audience, which has been something we’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now. We’ve also talked about the game and the process behind creating the game on Friday, although in our slightly jetlagged state that did turn out rather interesting.
Something that’s also really cool is that Radical Fishing is playable on this amazing arcade cabinet courtesy of the event & we talked about the game a bit during our Developers’ Commentary panel on Saturday. It was fun finally getting to explain how much effort went into something as seemingly crude as Radical Fishing, getting all of it to feel & be just right. We continued to talk a bit about how cloning is different from iteration & how clones endanger creative, novel games – potentially stopping them from being made at all. Finally, we explained that in the wake of the cloning thing, people told us that we should make ‘less simple games’ to avoid cloning and not ‘show our ideas’. We proceeded to show two simple prototypes we have that we might work on some more later on called FFFLOOD & Yeti Hunter because you know, screw ‘em.
The most fun thing about Fantastic Fest is meeting up with fans and fellow developers, but the Super Crate Box Versus tournament we kicked off with an opening match of titans between JW and me comes in at a pretty good second place. I’ll have to admit that JW won in a stroke of luck (I did manage to beat JW in the Bit Pilot tournament on Saturday so that evens things out – although JW would say it doesn’t). Brandon Strong took away the first place in the Super Crate Box tournament and earned himself eternal fame and a crate filled with goodies.
Speaking of Super Crate Box, Halfbot and us have decided that Super Crate Box iOS just needs a bit more time. It’s definitely getting there – the controls are tight, the gameplay is solid & we can pretty consistently have players score close to their desktop scores. We’re just going to tweak the weapons a bit more so they feel right on iOS. We believe that’ll upgrade the game from being a direct port of the PC/Mac version to being a real Super Crate Box iOS. We’re really sorry for the delay there for all of those waiting for the game, but trust us when we say we think it’ll be worth the wait.
So now to the most important part of this post, because those of you looking forward to shooting hordes of enemies in their turnbased face, you won’t have to wait for long. Serious Sam: The Random Encounter will release on Steam and other digital distribution platforms for $4.99 in mid-October. That’s right, only a few more weeks left!
We’ve been off the grid for a while. It’s been a crazy ride, the last few weeks, and we needed to focus our efforts and resources into handling a lot of negotiating & hyper-important making games. Don’t worry, it’s only going to take a little while before we can get back to giving some more in-depth looks at what we’ve been up to lately, for now, we’re going to skim every subject and that’s going to end up being a massive post anyway.
The elephant in the room is the cloning issue, of course – so let us get that out of the way first: Ninja Fishing and Muffin Knight. We’re superglad to see so many people standing up for original gameplay and experimenting with simple, minimalist and new mechanics.
Muffin Knight isn’t a 1:1 clone of Super Crate Box. We’d argue that the strength of Super Crate Box is in its minimalism and Muffin Knight turned away from that and added things like upgrades. Sure, we’d have loved to see some more original weapons, but besides that it’s pretty obvious that they put effort into their design: there’s a lot of things built around the gameplay & they differentiated the theme a lot – not because they wanted to hide that they ‘cloned’ the gameplay, but because they believed that was the best thing to do for their game. We think Super Crate Box iOS & Muffin Knight can easily co-exist without biting eachother & for us, that places it a long way ahead of Ninja Fishing.
We might revisit the entire subject later, when we’ve got some more time, as we feel its a pretty important discussion – even though it has been deadlocked forever now. For now we hope we can work for a while without our other designs being ‘tributed’.
Kert Gartner is working his magic on the Serious Sam: The Random Encounter trailer
So, back to what we’ve been doing besides these fucking politics, negotiations and interviews.
Our cooperation with Zach Gage & Greg Wohlwend for Ridiculous Fishing is going great and we think we’ll have something to show there in a while. For now, the above image’ll have to still your apetite for fishing like gramps told you about it.
Wondering whether the Super Crate Box iOS controls work? Check out the above video and decide for yourself. Halfbot and us have been working and we’ll be tweaking the controls even beyond the amount of control you have now. Someone playtesting said that “it’s almost as if the game was made for iOS” and for a platformer, we think that’s pretty encouraging.
Finally, we want to ask your attention for something important. Venus Patrol is a new website by Offworld editor, IGF-chairman and Vlambeer-friend Brandon Boyer. Offworld was a site where it seemed like videogames were actually a beautiful thing, it shunned the traditional review and delivered context, backgrounds and exploration of the medium – it brought together culture and videogames in a way that makes us miss it sincerely since it went down in 2009. Venus Patrol is the spiritual successor to Offworld & Brandon is running a Kickstarter to get his site funded for the first year.
Venus Patrol is already funded, but this Kickstarter is still worth your money if you believe that games can be more than simple products that need to be reviewed objectively in terms of ‘worth your money/not worth your money’. On top of that, Brandon has arranged some amazing gifts for backers & if you pledge more than $25, you’ll get games by Superbrothers, ADAM ATOMIC, JOUST by Copenhagen Game Collective and a secret Vlambeer project we’ve yet to announce. Besides that, there are amazing other incentives like a wallpaper by Keita Takahashi (who JW famously taught the black ball can’t go in the pocket in pool), music by Jim Guthrie and a lot more.
Main incentive remains that this industry can use a new Offworld. Venus Patrol is just that.
We’ll be talking a lot more about our turnbased RPG Serious Sam: The Random Encounter in a short while, as we’re getting it prepared for its final testing rounds. We’re aiming for a late September or early October release at somewhere around $5, so bear with us while we get this done. We’ll have some gameplay footage for you soon.