Category: Publicity


Indievelopment 2014

Yesterday (April the 7th) was Indievelopment in the Netherlands. A small conference in Utrecht with speakers like Paul Weir, Clemens Scott and Jonathan Blow. Apart from the great talks many dutch indie-games were showcased. You could play games like Metrico, Reus, Symmetrain and -of course- Caromble!
This wasn’t our first showcase, but it was the first time we had to build our own booth. This was our setup:
20140407_173753
It was great to hear all positive feedback and see people really enjoy our game. We would like to thank Indievelopment and all people involved for a great day!

Interview with the Crimson Owl Team

The interview with our team is finally online! Check it out if you haven’t already:
gamekings_logo(It’s in Dutch)

Moving Pictures

Some weeks ago our beloved team member Pascal pitched his idea for our next trailer. He actually made a raw dummy trailer, which was very fun to watch! We unanimously decided to work out this idea and add a tiny bit of extra quality to it.

Since that moment we’ve set all gears in motion for our upcoming trailer. The story board is being drawn. Several unfinished art assets are being, erm, finished. And, our audiophiles from Nineyards are producing some vivid music.

We could of course show you the raw material, but that might spoil the experience of the final product. Unfortunately, it’ll be a little while before it’s finished. But when it does, we hope it’ll put a big smile on your face. Hopefully, it’ll also help to get those final Greenlight votes we so desperately want!

We are already looking forward to next year’s Oscar nominations.

Gamekings!

For Caromble! last Friday was a sad day. Our kitchen table desk remained empty, and no work was done on the game. All our developers were working at their day jobs.

In contrast, last Wednesday was a great day. The whole team had swapped for Friday and we were at my place, because Dominique, Steljos and Jasper of Gamekings were visiting us for an interview.

Check out the Gamekings.tv next weekend to see it! DSC_0507

Making a video game trailer

How to make an awesome trailer? That’s the question. Last Friday we discussed our upcoming trailers. We try to release a new trailer soon!

According to Kert Gartner’s helpful blog post there are some important rules of thumb when creating a video game trailer. In my own words those are: entertain, shoot quality footage, tell a story, keep it focussed and short.

Entertain

When I stumble upon a new video game title – for example, on a video game website – I skip the text and I first watch the video game trailer. If the beginning isn’t entertaining I probably move on to the next article. For me, a trailer is THE source of information about a video game and the first seconds are crucial.

Of course it’s hard to entertain everybody. But, when the quality and tone don’t match the actual game, it might work against the game.

That’s why we concluded that we must take the time to create some quality trailers. In particular because a good, entertaining trailer contributes to letting the world know that Caromble! is a great game!

Thankfully, for our next trailers we will get the help of our friend Jasper who happens to have studied Film and Television Studies and who likes to create and edit movies.

Brainstorming about trailers

Shoot quality footage

Although I like pixel art and the pixelate effect we use in our game, it’s expected to have a high resolution trailer with a minimum of 720p. This means capturing insane amounts of raw data on a machine that doesn’t drop frames while recording.

Caromble! is not yet finished. We would really like to release a new gameplay trailer soon, because we made a lot of progress since our last trailer in February. However, at this point we can’t capture all the footage we would like to put in our next trailer.

Tell a story

In its simplest form this means to structure the trailer. Give it a beginning, a middle and an end.

Caromble! has a story which we incline to focus on in our upcoming trailers. However, while brainstorming about our trailers we discovered that the game’s story still has some gaps… So, before storyboarding the trailers we have to finish our writing.

Keep it focussed and short

This is a general rule in communication and it also applies to video game trailers – and blog posts.

The end.

Steam in the Livingroom

machines_livingroom

We always planned to release Caromble! on PC, Mac and Linux. But right now it might just be that we’ll be able to launch on a console as well.

While Microsoft and Sony are preparing for the next-gen console war, this week Valve showed it too has some tricks up its sleeve. The people behind Half-Life and Steam made three announcements that might one day completely blur the lines between consoles and desktop computers.
Gabe Newell, the owner of Valve, already made clear he wanted Steam to be an open platform, accessible to everyone. The first move in this direction was the launch of Greenlight, opening up the Steam store for Indie Developers. In the light of an open platform, launching a closed console like Microsoft and Sony are doing seemed an unlikely choice for Valve.

The first announcement was Steam OS: a Linux-based operating system to play steam games and stream media. A few days later it became clear that the rumors about a SteamBox we’ve been hearing for a while were true. But instead of the SteamBox being a closed console, Valve is working with multiple partners to bring a variety of console like machines (running Steam OS) to the market in 2014. Heck, it’ll even be pretty easy to build your own SteamBox.SteamController

The main problem with using a desktop computer in the living room is that you have no place to put your mouse and keyboard, so it’s no surprise at all what Valve announced last: a controller. But instead of playing it safe and going for a Playstation/Xbox-like controller, they are making a controller with multiple trackpads. This has the advantage that the Steam controller will be able to simulate mouse movements and is therefore compatible with all Steam games at launch.
Of course, a trackpad never gives you the kind of feedback an actual button would. Therefore, Valve has equipped the controller with “super-precise haptic feedback” to give you information about speed, boundaries, and thresholds.
We already added Leap Motion to support to Caromble! a while back. It worked very well and even allowed us to play Caromble! on the floor at Gamescom. With that in mind, I think Caromble! would work very well with Valve’s new toy.

It seems unlikely that Valve will spend the same amount of money on marketing the SteamBox as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, but since the SteamBox will likely evolve over the years (just like Steam did), times might just become very interesting…

As we wrote before, we already support Linux for Caromble! (with Mac support underway). With the announcement of the SteamBox, supporting Linux just got even more attractive. If we could just get our hands on one of those controllers… Exciting times!

Levels in the new theme

A few weeks ago, our artist Thomas S already showed some of the newly created assets for the new theme: Metropolitan/Commercial style. We have been working hard to create some levels with these and I got official permission to give a sneak peek:

A train that rides more reliably than ours in Utrecht Doesn't the Alien boss look scary!?

We hope you like it! It’s not only the graphics style that is different in this theme. There will be some new gameplay features that could lift you right up:)

Also nice: this week the gaming news website Gamingbolt published a piece we wrote in their section ”Developer journal’. You can read it here. We hope to have some more journals there soon.

Oh, and if you accidentally find yourself  in Amsterdam tomorrow evening, you should go to Pakhuis de Zwijger. There will be another Control Gamelab. This time it is on making Game Trailers. We hope to learn enough to make our upcoming trailer super awesome! Expect it on youtube soon, of course with moving footage of our new graphics theme.

 

Back from Gamescom

gamescom

We are back from our two-day visit to Gamescom.

This Wednesday we left at 6:30 from Utrecht and arrived two hours later in Cologne. First we went to the Holland Pavilion to check our own game. To our surprise it didn’t work. The gaming pod which Caromble! was on featured multiple games which you could browse. Unfortunately, the game browser couldn’t start our game. As we couldn’t fix this at the spot, we called our headquarter in the Netherlands to fix it (Thanks, Thomas D!). Next we checked some other indie games in the business area and talked to its developers. Afterwards we visited the public Gamescom areas and enjoyed the over-the-top booths of the big companies. In the evening we had dinner with fellow game developers at the Neumarkt, visited a jazz bar, and let the massive Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) impress us.

gamescom

The next day was all about meeting people, and to show our game to them on the laptops we brought. We had some scheduled meetings, but most of the time we tackled people, mostly press, to talk about our game and get to know each other. It’s hard to get in touch with the right people when they don’t have a booth, and when it’s impossible to read their business card from outside their personal space. In the evening we ended our Gamescom tour at the Holland Pavilion which was really crowded at that time because of the great games and free drinks.

Meet us at Gamescom 2013

Coming Wednesday (21st) and Thursday (22nd) we will be in Cologne at Gamescom. Hopefully we will raise some more awareness for our stunning game!

Caromble! can be played at the Holland Pavilion (Hall 4.2, booth number B-030) because our friends at Dutch Game Garden put our game on INDIGO.

We don’t have a booth ourselves, but we will pop up everywhere to let you play our game (with Leap Motion if you like), talk about games and game development, or talk business.

Would you like to meet us? Please contact us via Twitter: @caromble@oxpal@peter_cc_heil,  @raymondbijl

See you in Cologne!

Visitors!

PR and marketing are two things I had never thought about before I started to work on Caromble!. Or to be more accurate, not until I had been working for Caromble! for at least over a year. And I don’t think anybody in the team did.

So I guess that it could be expected that PR and marketing would turn out to be the most surprising aspect of game development for me. The thing that is so surprising about it, is how much fun it is. Being a computer science / programmer kinda guy, doing something such as PR never crossed my mind, and it would never have expected to enjoy it.

The fun thing about PR is that it is all about talking about your game. We are indie developers, and that means we are making Caromble! because that is the game we want to make. Which in turn means that we are devoting ridiculous amounts of spare time to it, and we are very (very!)  passionate about it. So talking about Caromble! is the most natural thing in the world for us. In fact, I’m pretty sure that some of our friends would appreciate it if we would enjoy talking about it a bit less.

kjik-online-visitors

So why all this talk about PR and stuff? Well, two reasons. First reason, we recently had the pleasure of having Berend and Atusa from the up and coming game website kijk-online.com over for a visit. We told them all about making a game in your spare time (and working less to have enough spare time), and about our plans for Caromble! The cool thing about kijk-online is that they are running the website in their spare time, pretty much like how we are developing the game.

The other reason is that we got a really nice mention in the British game-magazine gamesTM. They did a piece on EToo London, and named Caromble! one of their four highlights of the event. Which is a really great honor, given the amazing amount of great games the good people organizing EToo managed to put into such a small venue.

 

GamesTM