They Bleed Pixels

If you've been following us on Twitter you've probably heard me mention "TBP" a collaboration we've been working on with musician Shaun Hatton (aka DJ Finish Him).  We've been keeping the actual title under wraps till we we were ready to show some video. Last week's Gamercamp festival seemed like a perfect opportunity to properly announce the game with this short teaser.  I suggest cranking your speakers, going full screen and HD so the pixels are huge and sharp.

So there you have it. "TBP" is They Bleed Pixels, a fast paced, gothic, low-fi pixel art, platforming beat'em up with a chiptune style  soundtrack coming out on Xbox Live Indies.

You'll notice this game looks very different then our other games.    Inspired by games like Niddhogg I wanted to experiment with a more abstract,  simple style that would let me really focus on smooth and stylish animation.

In terms of gameplay, all of our games are built with specific goals in mind:

  • Night of Cephalopods: Experimenting with Dynamic Narration.
  • Cephalopods: Co-op Cottage Defence: Creating co-op play that requires players to constantly talk and plan while they play.
  • The Night Balloonists:Make a one button party game that had the same pacing and skill vs chance balance of games like bomber man.
  • Guerrilla Gardening: Creating opportunities for creative puzzle solving through the interplay of dynamic systems and AI.  Exploring themes of public space and direct action. It's a bigger game so it gets to have more ambitious goals.

They Bleed Pixels is about game feel. The kinetic joy of moving and interacting with the game and creating beat'em up combat that isn't button mashy or button heavy.  We also wanted it to be a game that was radically different from our others so we could switch back and forth and keep our brains active.

Dj Finish Him instruments.
Dj Finish Him instruments.

This is also our first game collaborating with a musician.  We met Shaun in the summer when he interviewed us for Electric Playground, a month or so later I ran into him at a Hand Eye Society social and he handed me a postcard with a link to his chiptunes mentioning that he was interested in doing game music.  I saw a good fit between what he was doing and the look I had in mind for They Bleed Pixels and a few emails later and we were set.

We'll be posting more info on the game as it gets closer to completion.  Till then I suggest you head over to Shaun's DJ Finish Him site and download his awesome free albums!

RGBfilter Interview

Been quiet on the blogging front for a bit, but not to worry we've just been busy on Guerrilla Gardening and some other projects. Here's a rather epic sized interview with the folks at RGBfilter that hopefully makes up for our absence. [blip.tv ?posts_id=3897684&dest=-1]

It was taped a few months ago, so I don't remember everything we talked about.  I know we touched on my not-so-mysterious origin story, the Toronto indie game scene, the inspiration for Co-op Cottage Defense and Guerrilla Gardening... oh and that pesky are games art debate crops up as well.

Crafty Cephalopods and Other Miscellanea.

Check this out! My old housemate and friend Jen created this incredibly awesome 'tentacled monstrosity' amigurumi from my game Night of the Cephalopods!  I love how she captured the heavy brow and creepy yellow eyes. If you want to see my own much less cool Plasticine version of the same critter check out this old post on the excellent abootplay.ca, a great game blog that covers gaming culture of all sorts (from indie videogames to LARPing) across Canada.

While you're no doubt slavishly clicking on links I provide, I also recommend you check out the Fishdog game development blog which covers games made by indie creator Angelo Yazar.  I met him last GDC and he started his dev blog after checking out this one (neat!).  He currently has a steampunk themed strategy game out called Zepilin Nations on Facebook.  I avoid the dreaded Book of Faces so I haven't had a chance to try it out.  But it has zeppelins so I figure it's got to be awesome.

I mentioned in the last post that things have been extra busy, along with Guerrilla Gardening, there's been TOJam and I've also been running a round of the Artsy Games Incubator for the last month or two.  The AGI is a workshop started by Jim Munroe (creator of  Everybody Dies) where artists, writers and other creative types learn how to make games.  I  was a participant in round 3, and learned how to make Night of the Cephalopods as part of it.  Jim asked if I'd like to take on the task of running the next round which I happily accepted.  This latest round has a great crop of new games including my small co-operative Cephalopod's spin off game (it needs a title, any ideas? It has shotguns, hammers and stars a lady scientist and her robotic manservant).

  Work in progress for un-named NotC co-op game.

Work in progress for un-named NotC co-op game.

The games will be playable at a public indie game event in Toronto soon  (announcement forthcoming) and the plan is to make them available on the AGI blog around the end of the month.

In terms of Guerrilla Gardening, I just finished a bunch of art for new plants that we're in the middle of implementing and  I'll be posting a new dev video early next week. If the slower updates are getting you down,  you can now follow  us on the Twitters !  You can also see the latest twitter update in the little box on the left side of the blog.