Russian Subway Dogs - GIF dump #3!

Russian Subway Dogs - GIF dump #3!

It's time again for a big Russian Subway Dogs GIF dump, collecting progress animations from our twitter and giving them a bit more context. Lots of polish, new features, and funny bugs to check out!

We're also taking Russian Subway Dogs on tour this summer, hitting Devcom and Gamescom in Cologne, Germany as well as PAX West in Seattle, USA. More info at the bottom of the post!

If you're a journalist attending any of these events and want to preview the game and learn more about Russian Subway Dogs give us a shout

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They Bleed Pixels now available in Japanese (and English) on Playism.

We're happy to announce that They Bleed Pixels is now available fully localized into Japanese and DRM free on Playism! 

Buy They Bleed Pixels on Playism
DRM Free + Steam Key (Win/Mac/Linux)

On sale $7.99 this week!


We've had this localized version in the works with the Playism folks for a while now, but have been waiting for the Crimson Update to be complete before going forward. I worked closely with Playism, picking appropriate Japanese fonts and altering layouts to work with them and I'm honestly quite proud of the results. I think we really managed to incorporate the translated text while preserving the original typography and design, which can be a tricky balance. 

It's been an interesting process. The Japanese character sets are very different from English. Not only are most words shorter but many characters are denser, more complex and have more curves and less straight lines then the roman character set. This creates a unique challenge given much of our text layout in They Bleed Pixels was built around a blocky pixel font and a thin flowing art nouveau script. 

The solution I decided on is a mix of finding a good blocky Japanese font with a similar weight and (where it's appropriate) leaving the original English in and incorporating the Japanese text as a design element. A trick I borrowed from some of the better visual localization I've seen in manga and anime translated in the other direction. I've included a bunch of screenshots from both versions of TBP in this post for comparison. 

Japanese media has been a major influence on my art so it's been really amazing to see the reaction from fans in Japan over the last few years, some of whom I've been lucky enough to meet in person at Tokyo Game Show and Comitia.  Not to mention the amazing fan art and let's play videos they've produced! I hope this localization encourages them to give it another play-through and introduces a whole new audience to the game. 

Big thanks to the fine folks at Playism for their work localizing the text and spotting all the places where we messed up entering it into the game! I also want to the thank the Japanese fan(s) who created the unofficial translation patch that this translation replaces. There was a long period where that was the only way to play the game in Japanese. I know there are many players who were introduced to They Bleed Pixels through their work. If you're reading this, hats off!

For English speaking players this Playism version is also the first version available completely DRM free with zero Steam integration. If that's important to you or you hate online leaderboards for some reason you can now buy this version and still get a Steam key with all the bells and whistles! 

Also this week the folks at We Love Fine dropped a new They Bleed Pixels shirt featuring art by graphic designer Charles Noard! You can pick it up in both unisex and women's fitted styles in a range of colours. 

Buy They Bleed Pixels Merch on WLF

New Build of the Game and My First Time Doing Real Life Guerrilla Gardening!

I was up late last night with Andrew prepping a stand alone copy of the GG:SoR prototype and submitting  it to IndieCade for consideration in this years show (I also submitted Cephalopods). Then I was up relatively early today for my first ever real life guerrilla gardening experience!  Sort of practising 'method game design'.  Here's a gallery of photos:

I love that the little corner plot my sister Mara and I planted with local plants ended up with some kid's Pikachu painting on its 'please water me' sign. A video game related sign really does seems appropriate.  The whole thing was organized by the awesome folks at the Toronto Public Space Committee who are involved in a whole bunch of community projects in the city and  as it turns out the spot they'd chosen to garden was conveniently at the end of my street! It was a lot of fun and a lot less hard work then I was expecting with so many people helping out, I'm hoping to get out a few more times over the spring and summer and do some more. Maybe also make some seedbombs if I have a chance.  EDIT: there's a posting with more photos up on the Toronto Guerrilla Gardeners Blog.

For those who are interested in what the new version of the game we sent IndieCade looks like here's an in game screen-shot:

Screen-shot from current prototype (click to enlarge)

As you can see the new GUI I talked about last post is in.  It not only looks better but also makes it much clearer what flower is selected, how many seeds you have and whether or not it's a plant type you can throw over an area (left corner),  or have to dig in a single spot to plant (right corner). I'm looking forward to showing this version to some new testers and seeing how much this helps them learn the basic game play. We also added more of the sounds I recorded before GDC in.  Unfortunately some of it isn't working for me... we have this idea that smell-so-goods smell like tasty food to civilians, however most of AI "barks" I wrote to convey that idea just react to the smell ("Mmm... who's baking pancakes?") without making it super explicit that they're reacting to a smell ("Mmmm... it smells like fresh pancakes!").   Unfortunately the sprites are too small to clearly convey that they're smelling the flower's pollen so it just seems like they have a random love of various foodstuffs.  I'm going to add a visual 'smell' emote to help, but now I  know that I need to be overly explicit when writing "barks" like these for the final version of the game.  It would probably also help to add a custom "bark" when they arrive at the flower, something like "huh, where are my pancakes!?".   On the flip side the audio for radioing in a tree drop worked like a charm:

Because the prototype is a pretty stripped down and doesn't have any sort of scripting system for tutorials, the current playable version uses a series of short levels with one page tutorials in between.  Clumsy and a bit text heavy but I'm hoping they get across the info someone new to the game needs to play.  I'm pretty happy with how they look given the constraints.

An example tutorial page (click to enlarge)