What about 2019?

Happy new year everyone!

I know, it’s almost february, but it’s my first blog entry of the year, so I’d figure I’d start by saying that. So how was january? I hope it started good and strong! It certainly did on our end.

Just last week we were hanging out with the always awesome Sophia Drake from Steel Media, during the Big Indie Pitch/PG Connects Event they just did in London, and it was a whole lot of fun! And this is from someone that’s starting to feel the burn of what has become a Tradeshow season that now last throughout the whole year, and trust me, knowing you’re never more than 2/3 weeks away from getting on a plane for a couple of days might seem fun at first, but after a while it’s a tiring blur of faces, airports and hotel rooms. A beautiful tiring blur if you’re into it or if the event was any good. And I’m happy to say that this was the case on both accounts.

Not only was the event full of devs with cool and interesting projects (and ironproof livers, if the party after was any indication), but the event itself was full of super interesting talks about the very interesting last year we’ve had in the industry, and the super duper interesting year that 2020 is shaping out to be.

So, let’s recap.

On the digital storefront side the war has already started and it’s raging like crazy, with the Epic Store becoming the biggest threat Steam has had to face since it’s inception, snaching titles big & small with each passing week. And it’s the first time that I can recall where we’ve  seen Steam even blink back to its competitors by lowering the 30/70 revenue split for games for games that make over 10 Million dollars (not really something that affects us…yet :P), yet that measure has not stop a slow but constant exodus of games both big & small reaching exclusivity deals with the Epic Store for the last couple of months. But they are no means the only player in this particular fight. Microsoft seems to be getting ready for a mayor one-two punch after going on a Studio shopping spree for the last couple of years, and all signs points to them preparing a killer lineup for the next generation while building up one hell of a great service with their Xbox Pass model. And even Netflix, in a way, has been affected by this war for the real state of our entertainment hours. They said as much themselves.

And speaking of the next generation, rumors are that there are already next gen dev kits out there in the wild (trust me, I wish I knew for certain), and you can almost feel it in the air, that “silence before the storm” feeling that comes the year before a new generation drops. That’s not to say there are no games coming this year. I know for a fact that half my office is deep down in Kingdom Hearts III as we speak (as the youtube feed we share at the office has suddenly become a festival of “everything you need to know to play Kingdom Hearts III” videos, and personally I can’t wait to see what the game “Dreams” (by the makers of the great Little Big Planet) ends up being and what things will the most creative amongst the gaming community ends up doing with it. And…Shenmue III? Will it finally drop this year? As a backer for that kickstarter I’m both hopeful and terrified of what ends up happening with that game, but however it shapes up, at least we’ll finally have an answer to one of the most famous cliffhangers in the story of games. Probably not the most infamous of the lot (I’m looking at you Half Life), but it’s right up there.

So yes! There are definitely reasons to be excited for 2019. But 2020? I’m calling it right now, that’s gonna be a year to remember.

What do you think? What are the things you’re looking forward before this generation ends and what are the things you’re hoping for when the next one lands?

References

https://kotaku.com/indie-developers-dont-like-steams-new-revenue-sharing-p-1830830493

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-18-netflix-we-compete-with-and-lose-to-fortnite-more-than-hbo

https://kotaku.com/microsoft-buys-four-independent-studios-1826713096

 

It´s coming…

If we didn´t make it clear in our previous post, we love KINGDOM HEARTS, and because we are waiting to play it… we decided to talk about the Final Fantasy 15… LIE!

How can we miss this great opportunity to talk about one of the games that had a great impact on us. At the end of the day if something characterizes us as gamers is that we love to talk about those games that have sucked hours and hours of our lives.

And, although we are more than excited to see what we have Square Enix prepared for us we can only look with certain doubts to the future.

What? A post that can say something bad about the Kingdom Hearts? Well the truth is that because we are the biggest fans is harder to fullfil our high expectations.

Think that we are talking about people who played the first Kingdom Hearts, I specifically was 13 years when I tried that game, and my demands to consider an outstanding product were less. Over the years I have been trying several games that have hooked me so much (or even more…) and what I used to see as a good touch in a game may now be seen as something necessary to enjoy a quality working.

Also, being honest, it doesn’t help much to work in the industry, where you are constantly testing new games that teach you completely new worlds and infinite possibilities. This, does nothing but raise our demand for quality to new games, because we do not see an end to the creativity of people and their ability to surprise us.

What will Kingdom Hearts bring us? Will there be any new mechanics that will impact us? Innovate gameplay? Will the story itself be enough to satisfy? And the end? Will it be another Mass Effect that had a MHE ending to an incredible story?

If long (VERY LONG) productions has shown us is that you do not always have a clear objective in mind with the game that you try to fulfill. And there is no greater example than the aforementioned Final Fantasy 15.

Anyone who has played the game with a critical eye notices that there have been several hands behind this development and this fact does nothing good to the game. It is bad because the central idea of the game fades, the goal of the product loses essence and ends up becoming a mix of games rather than just one. And sadly, for that, and many other reasons, Final Fantasy 15 has been a “failure” to the studio that has not yet reached expected numbers(some bad rumors estimate that neither have recovered what was invested…)

And it is easy to forget that the first teaser of Kingdom Hearts 3 came out on PLAYSTATION 2. How you hear it! In this consoleThere was a secret ending on KH2 itself that left a whole generation wanting to play more, but did not want to play the games that have been coming out (that the truth be told were not all bad) we wanted to continue the story of Sora.

It is this kind of fear and emotion together that make us see how amazing this industry is. We want to play it, but we don’t want to be disappointed. The truth is that we always say how lucky we are to work on what we like but in this particular case working and testing everything that the industry can offer is a negative…

NO, WE TAKE IT BACK, WE LOVE KH AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BLAST WITH IT!

Happy new year!!!

Happy New Year!

We are back in the office and we cannot start this year without wishing you all an amazing 2019!

Truth be told, as any human, dwarf or elf, it is hard for us to start working again after enjoying our holidays. But we are lucky to work in that what we love and that is the best experience anyone can get.

How can we start this 2019? We had a lot of ideas but we think the best one is to look back and see what 2018 to try to look to the future and see where our industry is going.

The first and most obvious answer is that 2018 has bring us a lot of joy with amazing games such as “God of War” or “Red Dead Redemption 2”. I still lose a couple hours every day in those worlds!

But 2018 was not only a year for big productions, the indie scene had some incredible hitters, and the teams that did them proved to be full of amazing talent! We loved games like “The  Messenger”, “Celeste” or “Gris”to say a few. Even more, after writing this I will go home and start a new game.

And the list just goes on both big and small: “Smash Brothers”, “Moonlighter”, “SpiderMan”, “Dragon Ball Fighter Z” (it only took a decade to have another good DBZ game), “Monster Hunter; World”… Whatever you’re into this year has been an incredible embarrassment of riches when it comes to the videogame industry (and just a plain embarrassment in some other subjects if we’re being honest, but that’s a talk for another time).

So let’s look forward to 2019 and lets try to make it the best year yet!

Ok, done, this year is going to be AMAZING. Let’s start by saying:

KINGDOM

HEARTS

3

AT F*** LAST

Many of us are old enough to have enjoyed the release of the first Kingdom Hearts game. In the beginning, I remember that in the beginning people were not exactly sure if the mix of Disney and Final Fantasy Characters was a great idea, but after a couple of gameplay hours everybody I knew was on board! It was the begging of something big. And let’s be honest, 90% of our studio is going to buy the game at day one and dump as many of hour free hours as we can on it.

Having said that, we have to mention “Crash Team Racing”, my god do we love this game! Now that I’m writing this I figured that we are old, the games that we want to se are sequels or remasters (Sorry Crash, I love you; I spent hours and hours in front of the TV racing with you).

So let’s talk about “Anthem”, we loved the trailer and we would love to see more about this game! It’s really promising! We also loved “Sekiro: Shadows die Twice”… Who cannot love a ninja with and flame throwing arm! If you don’t trust me look at this photo, amazing right?

To finish the post, this year has been amazing… and 2019 seems to be interesting. What a time to be alive!

The gamer community and its achievements

We love being gamers, there are several things that make us feel proud of such a great and wonderful community , but without a doubt we love the great feeling of charity we all share. You wonder how are we able to establish such a statement. Well the truth is that you only have to get into Twitch or any major magazine in the industry to find out about a charity marathon that is occurring at this time. And we should not underestimat this fact, as the gamer community has managed to gather a fairly impressive amount of money in the various charitable marathons.

That is why we want to talk today about two of the charity marathons that we like. On the one hand “Child Play” and on the other hand all “GDQ´s”. Child play, for those who do not know about it, is a marathon of different streamers that collaborate with several hospitals around the world. To put you in perspective, since 2003 they have raised about 44 million dollars for charity, it is incredible!.

The goal is to improve children’s lives with toys and games.  This marathon is a clear reflection of the gamer society standing up for what they thinks is good. Among its most famous streams is Desert Bus for Hope, that we are sincerely in love with.

This section of the Child´s play is based on playing the famous Desert Bus game, known as one of the worst games in history. Trust us, see a gameplay on YouTube and you will see what we say. The game is based on driving a bus through the desert for 8 hours. Sounds interesting? It’s not. There is no interaction with anything, just a little animation that we do not want to reveal exactly at what minute it happens. Try it! You could even find the fly! We have to say thatwe can only mention one of the streams but there are many great talent streamers that help this cause. And this is really nice, seeing how such a big community is able to unite for such a good cause makes us feel genuine pride in our industry and community.

On the other hand, we are also fans of the “GDQ”, these marathons do not have as much impact as Child Play but have managed to establish itself as a benchmark in the gamer community. “GDQ” brings together the best speedrunners of the current panorama twice a year to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. These marathons are in winter ,with the so called “Awsome games done Quick”, and in summer, with the “Summer Games done Quick”.

These marathons began, like many in this industry in the house of one of the current directors and have now reached numbers worthy of any titan of this industry. Currently they raised around two million raised per Marathon, the 100% of this money goes to “Doctors Without Borders”.

It is to admire all the effort and passion that many gamers put to help and contribute their little bit to such amazing causes.

Our Tribute to Stan Lee

This sucks, we should not swear in this blog but for once we are going to skip the rules because we believe that no expression can describe so well what we feel about the death of such an incredible person.

It is strange that there is still someone who does not know any work of this wonderful author. It has created a world that has filled a huge amount of people with dreams and fun. Who has not seen an episode of Spiderman at a younger age? (or not so young)

Truth be told, the death of Stan Lee marks the end of an era.

How could we honor him but with a review of the amazing games inspired by his work? And that’s the thing, Stan Lee didn’t only influence the way comics are today. Many of his ideas, characters and story beats have served as inspiration for so many games in some way that it’s impossible to track the whole extend of his influence, but let’s start with an easy one.

For simplicity’s sake, we decided to limit it to two games so that the post does not become too long.

On the one hand we want to honor the wonderful Spider-Man (obvious, no?) But not the one that just came out on Playstation 4, but the one on Playstation 1. We are aware that it may even be the case that our younger readers do not know this game, but I can assure you that for us at that time, that game had it ALL. I still remember going to the school to talk for hours with my friends about certain zones or how to beat some bosses, like Carnagetopus (yes, in the end carnage assimilates doctor octopus, late spoiler warning).

It had action, punches, the costumes and without a doubt the best of all this… the swinging, good lord the swinging! It felt so good. So much that many of us just waited for the new game of Spider-Man to be finish just to feel that sensation of seeing our friendly neighbor hanging from an arachnid fluid.

On the other hand, there was also a little game called Wolverine’s Revenge for Playstation 2, which is amazing! I think this game was not as famous as  the first Spider-Man was (because although it had Wolverine and that’s cool, it didn’t have cool swining) but what the hell, that’s the wonder of Stan Lee. He has created so many universes that even a less famous game like this can make anyone have a great time, and man I had one!

This game was really simple, you put yourself in the claws of Logan and you used them at all times to cut every single organic or inorganic being that happened to be in the way. Although under this argument the game does not seem too attractive the truth is that the controls were very fluid and the graphics made us feel in the skin of Wolverine. Also the stealth mode increased the experience of living a typical adventure of our favorite mutant and it made you enjoy every second of the game.

We wanted to focus especially on these two gems created by the Marvel universe but we know that there are thousands of games that have moved generations. Which one is your favorite?

For all this and much more: Thank you Mr. Lee, may you rest in peace.

I’m a sucker for a good story.

I’m a sucker for a good story.

Hi there, it’s Ade, thanks once again for stopping by! What was I saying? Right, I’m a sucker for a good story, that’s a disclaimer I figured best to have up top because these weeks, with the release of the omnipresent Red Dead Redemption 2 and it’s sales figures Vs the triumph of Call of Duty Black Ops 4, the eternal debate of “is narration in games important/dead?” is rearing its ugly head again like it does every couple of years or so.

So since everyone and their dog is chiming in, I figured I’d give my very personal and super biased opinion on the subject. Plus this is the internet, so if you like what I say you can always send this post over to whoever you’re arguing with and say: “See? I told ya!”, and if you disagree I’m more than happy to tell you why I’m right and you’re wrong, so 1v1 me no scope, noob (it is my understanding that this is how the internet works these days, yes?… I miss the age of forums).

But back to the subject. For those that are looking at the block of text down bellow and thinking “hell no!”, lemme give you my cop out answer right now on the single player narrative experiences vs purely online and say both are as important, but for those that want me to elaborate a bit I would say this: Isn’t the question itself flawed?

Let me zoom out a bit and ask you a different question. What is, for you, a good story? For me, I tend to use the very broad definition of the term, a good story is a sequence of events that happens to you, around you or at you through any type of medium, be that experienced, written, heard, seen or interacted with. Those events produce such an impact in your brain that it decides not only to allocate a permanent spot in some corner that will let you recall them even after decades, but also makes sure to arrange them in a way that gives you easy access to them in case you feel compelled to share them with someone else, or maybe even just for yourself. And if we humans are made of memories, then those memories are shaped by the stories we keep within ourselves.

So with that definition in mind I fail to see the conflict between narrative driven games and those that are focused on creating a multiplayer experience. Can’t we enjoy what both types of stories bring to the table? Because last I checked there are about 2.3 billion players in the planet and I don’t know a single person with the exact same taste as the next. As GiantBomb’s own Vinny Caravella loves to say and I love to repeat, there’s never been a better time to play video games, there are so many studios out there making games of all types and sizes that it’s a bit hard to understand the worry that narrative driven games are going away, if anything, I’d say that narration in games has never been stronger.

I can understand that if you were a fan of the CoD Black Ops storyline you might strongly disagree with this statement right about now, and don’t get me wrong, I  happened to find those campaigns quite endearing myself and I’m sad to see them go (technically delayed… but we both know what I mean), but when something ends something also begins, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about our industry is that for better or for worse nothing is allowed to stay buried for long.

Let me give you a example. When I was growing up my favorite studio was probably Black Isle, the makers behind classics such as Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate or Planescape Torment. When they closed doors, my friends and I were devastated. We thought “that’s it, we ain’t playing those types of games ever again” (we were also too young and innocent to even consider the human drama behind a studio closing). Yet, years later, not only do we have Obsidian with some of those very same developers making EXACTLY those games in the form of the great Pillars of Eternity, InXile with Wasteland 2, or Larian Studios with it’s Divinity: Original Sin saga. But if that wasn’t enough, the closing of Black Isle also prompted the creation of a little studio known as Bioware, so we can also attribute KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age to what I thought was the end of an era.

So yes, right now if you’re a first person shooter fan it may seem like the end times have arrived. The fiery comet-god of death known as Fortnite has come to destroy those stories you liked… for know, but don’t worry, sometime down the line they will return, and if you don’t mind shooting demons from mars in Doom or crushing cyperpunkish looking nazis in Wolfenstein instead of future military and robots, you could say they never left.

I have come to destroy half of your single player campaigns!

And yes, many of those that enjoy a structured narrative, myself included, would say that the emergent narrative that you find in battle royales could never rival a well crafted story. And then I got my first chicken dinner and my heart was beating so fast during those last firefights that I honestly thought it was going to jump out of my chest and high five the monitor. Sure, it wasn’t an incredibly crafted world full of incredible details and even better writing that lasted 150+ hours like the Witcher 3, nor was it a deeply layered and fantastically delivered tale of existentialism, transhumanism and other -ism that I’m not going to get into like the wonderfully sad yet hopeful Nier: Automata, it was just an instant, a rush of adrenaline and activity followed by shared cheers with friends, but still I wouldn’t trade that moment, that “story” for any of the above, and the fact that we’re told we have to choose I see as a false dichotomy in and of itself. I refuse to believe that I’m the only gamer out there that enjoys playing online with his friends and has good stories to share with them about it, while also enjoying long, short, “mainstream” and super weird single player games. And if the data of online vs single player tells me anything is that there are enough players for both types to keep improving, diversifying and growing as our industry gets as big as it has ever been. So I don’t think that the way we tell stories inside of that space is going away. On the contrary, we’ve never had such a glorious cacophony of diverse voices and experiences in our history.

True, it might not be that one game you like made by that studio you love , but many of that talent will be absorbed into the different creatures called Studios that crawl through this ecosystem we call the videogame industry (cheers and good luck to all the TellTale and Capcom Vancouver people, I hope all of you landed on your feet), and from that melding of talent new and never before seen ideas will be born, such is the cycle of death and rebirth in our industry at present. I should know, I worked for SOE on their EverQuest Landmark project and other Ip’s right until before they became Daybreak, and many of us were let go in the process in a rather unexpected and sudden fashion. And from there, other studios were  born to add their voices and their stories into the increasingly complex and fascinating world of video games. For example Fraxel Games, our own studio. And we are working on a tale that we want to tell you guys about love, cats and the end of the world, but that’s a story for another time.

Perhaps if there’s one thing for certain is that the format in which you like to consume your stories is never going to remain the same, and that’s shitty if you like your stories told in a very specific way, but if you’re up for a suggestion it would be this: look around, all around you, and look well. For the first time in our history the whole world has the capability of telling stories to one another all across the globe in a wide variety of formats, so do you really believe that narrative in games of all types is going away any time soon?

I´m an indie guy at Madrid Games Week

This time it’s our turn to talk about the Madrid games Week.

In this stream of events there is no way to stay in the office but, the truth is that this time we had a bit of an advantage since Madrid is a city that catches us much closer than the previous ones. The video game events in Madrid have not gone through their best time, in recent years they have changed several times of event confusing the majority of gamers who were approaching it. Yet this year has been one of the best we can rememeber!

Where do we start our adventure? I will follow the example of our old publications and begin by mentioning how beautiful and wonderful Madrid is.

Although it is true that the event was a little far from the center of Madrid. You can not stop visiting areas as amazing as “El Retiro” or “Gran Vía”. If you come those are emblematic areas where you can either rest or take a “tapa” with a cool and nice drink.

The truth is that “El Retiro” is a huge park where one may even get lost if you are not careful enough.

Going back to what’s really interesting, the event lasted 4 wonderful days. As is normal in this type of events the first days there was not so many peopl, and we took this time to play all that was within our reach.

I love Smash (no, I have no complaints about Piranha Plant, although I can understand the arguments against Incineroar) so I did not hesitate a second to go to the Nintendo area and get to know the people who work there. And man I was lucky! Not only did I meet people who were passionate about what they were doing, but we also had a long time talking about Smash. But good after 5 (I lie, in reality there were more) games I got to leave the controller because I did not want to overuse and there was already a little queue. I continued to look around a while in the Nintendo area and reach to the Pokemon area. The truth is that, although I still accept criticism about the inclusion of Incineroar in the Smash I enjoy a lot all the games of this great franchise, even more, I consider myself a Pokemon master (I even had a dark past in which I did streaming Pokemon, please like/ subscribe). So I decided it was time to take a picture and go back to our stand.

OR SO I THOUGHT, because on the way I found this wonder

And yes, I’m also a fan of Kingdom Hearts, only this time, for reasons that still do not understand too well I decided not to try the game. When the game comes out (it’s possible to say this is going to happen, right?) I want to experience this possible work of art that has gone through so many hard times. Let’s remember past examples of games with such an anomalous production and the controversial that resulted in the end (if FF15, I speaking to you). But you have to be positive! I’m sure the game won’t disappoint.

I must admit that I also thought of taking the key home, as this type of events usually throw all the decoration after using it (a real waste) but then I realized that the key was about 4 meters high and talking it to my house would be an odyssey , well no, it would be impossible because my roofs are not so high, so I gave up my attempt.

After all that time I was back to work. Here you have the stand that we had. And our colleague Julio who is an artist, you know a real artist, of those who draw and express his art.

While it is true that the position that we all recieved was not excessively large this was not a problem, it was even better to be closer to our companions and on more than one occasion we shared the players who were waiting in one and another position to play.

One of the best memory (believe me there are many) that we have of the MGW is the food, it sounds weird, because many times in these events you do not eat in the best way but we found a LOVELY Japanese food stand. The truth is that they were great, they were super friendly and we decided to eat there every day. (Yes, the one in the corner is my colleague Julio, and I told you he was an artist)

We also met a lot of people. But we would definitely like to mention the Pop Culture guys with whom we did very good friend and were guided by all the hidden parts of the events. No doubt that they are incredible people for the event that encouraged everyone!

And since you have seen the promotional poster of Hearthstone, I leave here a picture of the tavern they mounted. A group of musicians appeared every couple hours and began playing music instruments and allowed you to live the experience of the tavern. Very funny and simple, Blizzard you are marketing champions.

For the first time in this type of events we were asked if we could give a small conference on our study and our latest project “Catpocalypse Meow” and without hesitation we decided to throw us on the track. The truth is that we had a great time and we loved the response of the public. We can’t be more excited about our game and the acceptance you’re having!

And if you do not believe it, look at these cats and tell me that they are not made with pure love and affection. So much love and affection have that we were able to win the title to best indie of the event delivered by “Reyes del Mando”. He made a tremendous illusion and gave us a lot of strength to continue with “Catpocalypse Meow”. It’s easy to say that fast, but we really loved receiving this award because it assumes that we are communicating in a correct way the idea we have of this industry among other things. .

I can only thank you for reading up to this point. It is thanks to people like you that we move forward with enthusiasm; In the indie market is not easy to succeed, but certainly no one can deny that the tour is exciting and that the friendships you do on the road become unforgettable.

I´m an indie guy in Poznan Game Arena

Hey Everyone!

It’s Ade again, and it’s Tradeshow season in these parts! And what a season, what a season!

For everyone in the industry in Europe fall is the season of packing up your bags and heading to a whole plethora of shows all across the old continent & beyond, and for us it was the first time we got to show one of our games, Catpocalypse Meow, on the floor of an international Arena. What Arena was that? Well none other than the Pòznan Game Arena (or PGA) in Poland! Wanna see our booth? Tadaaa!

For us, hailing all the way from Spain 3000 km away, it was also a fun excuse to go on a road trip and see some cool places such as this one:

Isn’t it neat? If Dishonored 3 ain’t happening over there it definitely should. And speaking of Dishonored and it’s cool mechanical contraptions, check this clock out. I mean, shouldn’t that be somewhere in The Clockwork Mansion?

So yeah, Europe? Hell of a place, lots and lots of history everywhere you go if you’re into that sort of stuff (I super am). But do you know what I’m also into? Games, of which where plenty at the PGA. Speaking of, The GIC (Game Industry Conference) was also happening right next door, where thanks to the help of Steel Media’s very own Sophia Aubrey Drake we got to take part in the Big Indie Pitch (Our inscription got eaten by internet goblins and still she was nice enough to let us participate, thanks again, Sophia!), a very cool speed dating type event where you have 5 minutes to pitch your game to a combination of industry people before you move onto the next table. It was great fun and I definitely recommend it to any indie out there that wants to practice and polish their pitch, because if there’s something we learned is the importance to frontload the really important/cool information, get rid of the fluff and distill the essence of whatever you’re making into something that you should be able to explain in 5 minutes or less, or as another member of the industry told me while we were there “make it sweet and make it tight”, so let me pass on that very useful piece of wisdom.

 

So was it useful? Well, considering I would be pitching our Catpocalypse Meow project 40+ times during the next 14 days immediately after the Big Indie Pitch, I would say VERY much so. Here’s a picture of our energy levels about half way through:

And here’s me right after the 40+ meeting.

That was a lie, that’s actually Dani, friend of the studio and our unofficial photographer during our Euroscapade, but I thought the picture was great, so there you go.

 

So what about the PGA? It was great! Not only getting to show our little project in front of so many people, but also to meet (and drink!) with so many indie studios from Poland and from all across Europe! It’s always inspiring to see so many people from so many places gathering in one spot for the common love of our chosen artform. Like these nice people from the Akademia sztuki w Szczecinie I’m flexing with (which google says is the Szczecin Academy of Arts), they had a plant that could do music and some other real cool and experimental stuff!

But it was not only indies we met! We also got to hang out with people from cool companies like Techland, Warhorse, 11Bit Studios and more, which one of the best parts of the job, getting to say hi and thank you to people who’s games you like. For example, here’s me with some of the people responsible for the recently added Winterhome campaign in Frostpunk that’s currently kicking the everloving poop out of my management sim loving butt. Super cool campaign if you’re a bit of a masochist like myself and enjoy punishing scenarios, 10/10, would recommend.

But it was not only indies we met! We also got to hang out with people from cool companies like Techland, Warhorse, 11Bit Studios and more, which one of the best parts of the job, getting to say hi and thank you to people who’s games you like. For example, here’s me with some of the people responsible for the recently added Winterhome campaign in Frostpunk that’s currently kicking the everloving poop out of my management sim loving butt. Super cool campaign if you’re a bit of a masochist like myself and enjoy punishing scenarios, 10/10, would recommend.

Making video games is a difficult and unpredictable task

Every studio has a couple of hidden disciplines that sets it a part from other studios, these disciplines are not easily spotable at a first glance, but depending on how strongly adehered they are to the psyche of the team they can elevate their work from a videogame to a masterpiece.

FraxelGames is no exception. We also got a couple of hidden powers, depending on which member of the family you ask these powers can change, but thats ok too, it is part of the magic. I will tell you which ones are the coolest ones I think we have: we got the powers of fun and endless learning. They don’t sound as sexy as “talent” or “passion” but don’t forget that before the most amazing art, the most complex programming, the most innovative design, the best soundtrack or the smartest marketing; there are people, people with goals and dreams.

This is the most interesting part because dreams by themselves can’t do much, the same as a great idea cannot turn itself into a good videogame without a great execution
So here it is where the willingness to learn comes to play, when someone is eager to learn they pay attention to what is going on, they are focused on one thing, using common sense and thinking carefully on what they have to do, without forgetting to enjoy during the process.
Making videogames is very hard and unpredictable, there is no recipe or path to follow, it isn’t a science or even an art, it is more like an alchemy, you throw in everything you have and hope for the best, this is why hundreds of times it becomes a struggling process and frustration is constantly knocking at your door demanding the best title the world has ever seen within one of the most competitive industries in the world.
This is where we add the fun and the passion that allow us to keep going and never stop doing what we love, at the end of the day we know making games is an exciting task but it requires common sense and staying grounded, like Robert Greene said “creativity is the mix between discipline and a child’s spirit”; gosh he was right.

All of this sounds a little bit huge for a single year old studio with people that have been even less time making videogames but still, we manage to create little sparks that with more effort can turn into a fire.

We make a lot of mistakes and we will make many more, Steve Jobs taught me that making mistakes is good because it means you are making decisions, it means you are able to move forward. We aren’t the best company, probably not your favourite one (yet) but let’s not forget that our brains learn, remember and acquire experience by repetition, that’s why we should never stop thinking we are awesome and feeling like we are huge

All gamers are crazy.

Good afternoon!

This time we have a slightly shorter entry than usual as we have to much work to do!

But we still wanted to take the opportunity to talk about one of the biggest unknowns of the video gaming market, its tendencies and consumer behaviour.

The first and great truth about this topic is that; all gamers are crazy. Jokes apart the truth is that the gaming community has a special behavior, which is not always easy to predict.

There are several marketing agencies that dedicate themselves exclusively to predicte results with the intention of discovering the next great hit that will come and let their client anticipate the Competition.

However in such a global and changing industry we must be careful with this data because over a single night a new game can appear that changes the panorama in a radical way. One of these examples is Fortnite; although the genre of Battle Royale existed for a couple of years before Fortnite, was the only one who managed to reach the consoles, computers and mobiles of 3, 6millones of players at the same time. What are the reasons for this triumph? Without having data that confirms it I would venture to say that it was a mixture between a relatively little used genre, a good campaign by the streamers and the attraction of a niche market that until then had not raised the possibility of playing a shooter in such a free way. But this is just my humble opinion. What do you think was decisive for Fortnite to achieve this success?

Although of course all the aforementioned goes to the genre that will succeed, there are several metrics within the industry that seem relatively stable over the years, for example, it is true that most people in the world play from their mobile.

For a pure gamer this is not the gaming we love, but we must understand that when it comes to monetizing and getting benefits mobile games are a great source of revenue. One of the reasons for this triumph is the fact that most people in the first world have a device and access to recognized games is simple.

For putting you in position according to data taken by AEVI in 2017 a 44% of the Spaniards played video games and 32% of these used the Smartphone or tablet as a means of recreation, this supass the consoles in 9%. From here you can draw several conclusions but I would dare to say that it is because of the fact that it is cheaper to play in this type of devices and that we have full access to them.

It is thanks to agencies like AEVI and DEV that small indies studies received some information that would otherwise be tremendously costly and difficult to achieve. And as you well know, money and indie rarely coincide!

So we can only thank these associations and encourage you to follow them on social networks to show our support!

PD: I love the song that Sebas put last week so I put it again this week!