AUSTIN, Texas — Perfect Dork Studios displayed a new demo of Box Macabre in the GarageGames booth at this year’s Austin GDC. The conference provided an opportunity for the team to fine tune their work before the demo is submitted to the IGF and the Indie Game Challenge later this month, sponsored by GameStop and the Guildhall at SMU.
President Billy Garretsen said, “Everyone wants to win, but right now it’s more important to us to build buzz, gain legitimacy, and get people interested. This demo is important to us because it will be the first time the game is released outside of our small development circle.”
The demo contained work from some of the newest members of the Box Macabre team, including Jeff Arthur and Spencer Neal. In addition, the team was able to network with other promising new talent. “This is our final demo,” said Garretsen. “From here on out, it’s all about development on the final product. The conference felt a little like the calm before the storm.”
Local NBC affiliate KXAN covered the conference, and included a story in their prime time newscast.
AUSTIN, Texas — Perfect Dork Studios is proud to announce the addition of Lead 3D Artist Jeff Arthur to the Box Macabre team. An industry veteran for almost ten years, Jeff has worked with a diverse assortment of companies, including Factor 5, Edge of Reality, and Terminal Reality. Jeff’s work has been featured in BloodRayne (character artist), Lair (environment artist), Hulk (environment artist), and Hunter: The Reckoning (character artist).
Jeff was drawn to the Box Macabre project based on the game’s creative and colorful dark fantasy style. “The game gives you a lot of room for creativity and imagination,” Jeff says. “I’m very passionate about this project and am having a great time with it!”
PDS president Billy Garretsen says of Jeff, “It’s very flattering when someone with this level of expertise and this type of talent wants to work on the project.”
To see more of Jeff’s work, visit www.jeffarthur.net.
I got some time to upload some images from the recent IGC event in Austin.
Jason Hughes, founder and president of Steel Penny Games, was present showing of his first game for WiiWare – “Bruiser & Scratch” – NOW ON SALE.
Joshua “Yoshi” Seaver can be seen promoting GameSalad, Gendai Games’ new easy-to-use engine for iPhone and web applications.
Aaron Murray got a lot of attention for his browser-based rpg – “Domain of Heroes”. Aaron and I spent a lot of time at the conference brainstorming ideas for co-developments between his company, Tandem Games, and Perfect Dork Studios.
For more info on IGC check the earlier post.
I wanted to announce that Andrew Sigler has been officially signed to produce the musical score for Box Macabre. Read further to hear the story of how we came together…
While wandering the showroom floor at Austin GDC I took some down time to play PONG at one of the booths. I grabbed both paddles and played by myself until I had a random partner come join me. We spent a good five minutes playing, with no regard to points, just having fun and making witty remarks. Mr. Random then introduced himself as Andy and casually mentioned that he was a composer. My ears perked up since I was in need of music for Box Macabre.
After the show I visited Andy’s site (which you should all do) and was sold. This guy is good! More specifically, he really has great storytelling sensibilities through his sound. I got in touch with Andy and he offered to create a short test track for the Box Macabre teaser trailer just to get a feel for the game. He pretty much nailed it. Watch the trailer and hear for yourself. It wasn’t a tough sell for either party; we knew we had the start of something good and now Andy is officially onboard and ready to rock and roll. Keep your ears open for preview clips as development continues.
For more of Andy’s work visit: www.andrewsigler.com
PREVIEW LEVEL MUSIC FROM BOX MACABRE:
I wanted to announce that Perfect Dork Studios is working with Helen Zhu to create creature and enemy designs for Box Macabre. Helen And I met at the Austin GDC while demoing Box Macabre at the GarageGames booth. One look at her portfolio and I was sold. She has a very good eye for biological detail in making her designs believable and functional. Her contributions will add a lot to the quality of Box Macabre, no doubt! Take a look at some early sketches and visit her website for even more examples of her work. I will post more designs throughout development.
Perfect Dork Studios unveiled the Box Macabre demo for the very first time to the public at the 2008 Austin Game Developer’s Conference. We were fortunate enough to have GarageGames allow us to show the game off at their booth since we are using their latest XNA based engine – TorqueX.
As soon as we loaded the game up on the show floor we got some initial feedback from the GarageGames reps; they spotted some glitches and bugs we had not encountered. It shook us up a little since we were afraid that the demo would not show well because of the glitches. Well we are not ones to bow down, so during lunch we sat and feverishly rewrote some code and tweaked a few things based on the initial feedback and were able to get the game play really smooth.
We did not get a chance to show this updated demo on the show floor the first day of the expo but we did get a chance to show it off to a selective group that attended the “Not IGC” event held by GarageGames that night. Most of the attendees were Torque-users, or people interested in getting into game development. For about 2 hours we took groups of individuals to an area in the back where we had the demo running to let them play through it. It was very interesting to see peoples’ reactions. Overall we had a great showing that night and we went home feeling super good about the work we had done.
The next and final day of the expo, we were able to really push the game and had many people stopping by the GarageGames booth to try it out. Even with all the noise and commotion, we had people finishing the demo in full. I tried not to advertise myself as the game’s creator so that I could hang out and observe how people played the game and get some honest reactions from them. Without a doubt the majority of the people who played enjoyed the game and had really positive things to say about it.
When making games in a bubble, it is hard to gauge how someone will react to something. Will they think it is as cool as you do? Granted, everyone could have hated the demo and we still would have pushed forward because we believe in it so much. It is just nice to have that kind of excitement from our peers and audience so early into the project. It will definitely make some of the frustrations of development easier to get through.
Where are we now? Well we are going to be showing the demo at next month’s Independent Game Conference on November 20 in Austin, Texas. It will be updated further with some music and sound this time around and potentially some graphical enhancements. We are finalizing our designs and project goals and should be in full development mode no later than January 1st.
THANK YOU GARAGEGAMES FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT
Specifically our AustinGDC homies: Brett Seyler, Deborah Marshall, Kenneth Holst, Matt Fairfax, Derek Bronson