Hey, all! Man, it's been a busy last couple of weeks! Sorry for not posting as regularly as I would like as of late. It's been a while, so without further ado...

So, we've been getting quite a lot of press lately (as you may already know very well from our previous two posts here: http://blog.wraithgames.com/2016/04/if-were-being-pressed.html and here: http://blog.wraithgames.com/2016/12/the-pressing-issue-of-press.html). It's always really great to be getting some more eyes on the studio and our projects. Heck, being featured in the JournalNews was huge for us. We thought it may be the biggest press we'd be getting for a while. Boy, were we wrong!

There were actually two HUGE pieces of press that we received this month. On January 4th, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on 91.7 WVXU Cincinnati (NPR) alongside Clayton Belcher of Jolly Crouton Media and Rob Buchheit of Nectar Game Studio. We talked all about the process of making games as well as the Cincinnati Game scene (especially IGDA Cincinnati). It was a blast being on the radio! You can hear that, well, here: http://wvxu.org/post/how-video-games-are-developed-and-challenges-multi-platform-world

The other HUGE piece of press was on January 7th. I was invited to Cincinnati's Fox19 (WXIX) to talk about Collapsus. I was interviewed by Catherine Bodak and even though the interview wasn't incredibly long, it was really awesome that they had me on to get the word out! You can see that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SKeL7CkLSg. Now, for whatever reason, my mic wasn't on properly so there's a bit of a popping sound, so sorry about that.

Now, that's it for press, but on January 13th, I was asked to speak at the Fairfield Rotary Club about accessibility in video games. While most of the audience weren't really "gamers", what they do understand is helping people! The talk went over incredibly well and afterward I got to talk to some of the movers and shakers of Fairfield and may have laid the working for some cool new things coming up! They even gave me a really nice pen for coming to talk! Sweet!

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the Collapsus weekly builds for a smidge. We're currently on Week 4 (you can play for free, here: https://wraithgames.itch.io/collapsus) and we're showing no signs of slowing down! What I wanted to go over is just some of the features added since we started doing the weekly builds:

  • The addition of "Obsidian", "Meltdown", "Heavy", and "Wizard" Special Modes
  • The addition of "Shuffle", "Karma", and "Obsidian" blocks
  • Graphical additions and tweaks (new menu items, powerup effects, logos, etc)
  • Bug fixes (including web exclusive fixes such as the "fullscreen" and resolution glitches from earlier weekly builds)
  • And more!
We hope that if you've had a chance to play Collapsus on the web so far that you've enjoyed it and will stick with us as we make it even better and that if you haven't you'll give it a try soon.

With the events of last year, all of the amazing press, and the awards Collapsus has won, we're so happy that everyone's been giving it so much attention. This year will mark even more events and press (and hopefully more awards) and we hope you keep supporting our weekly builds, and hopefully our Kickstarter and Greenlight campaigns coming up. Without you guys, Collapsus wouldn't be what it is, and together we can make it even better! 

Hi, this is Kristy. I’m one of the programmers here at Wraith (and Jay’s fiancee). I’m also designing the puzzles for Collapsus. This is my first blog post. I hope you all like it. As you know, we’ve been pretty busy here at Wraith trying our hardest to get Collapsus out as soon as possible. 2016 has been a really big year for us. We’ve been to 13 conventions this past year, and have had more interviews and press than I can count. We’ve had literally thousands of people pick up and play Collapsus. We even managed to get people hooked on it who claimed they didn’t like “this type of game” or seemed generally disinterested. I always tell people that Collapsus is like a Rubik’s Cube that plays Tetris. And it is. We’ve brought something brand new to the table, and we want it in every person’s hand.

In other news, Collapsus has made it not only to the Top 50 for App of the Year this year, but we placed! Collapsus placed Number 4 in the “Upcoming Apps” category! Awesome! Last year it also made the Top 50, but didn’t place. To think that we’ve come so far! We’re so very proud! To think that this game started out as a hobby project for one person, and now it’s become this big thing that everyone seems to love (who would’ve thought?). And we want to make it even bigger!

We’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who voted for Collapsus on Slide DB! We could not have done it without all of your support! You guys are the greatest! Rock on!

Like I said, we’ve been pretty busy getting things hammered out as quickly as we can. Early access is now on itch.io and Jay and Mark have been working on weekly builds (this is our second week live). If you’re itch-ing to play the game, head on over here: https://wraithgames.itch.io/collapsus and check it out!

While that’s been going on, over the last couple weeks I’ve been working on puzzles for Puzzle Mode, over 50 of which I’ve built so far. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that we’re going to have over 200 puzzles in the core game as well as (at least) 365 (different) daily puzzles! Whew! I’d better get cracking!

Jay sure has been getting cracking lately. This week he’ll be interviewed on the radio station WVXU as well as -- get this -- on Fox 19 news! How exciting! I’m not exactly sure when these will air, keep an eye (and ear) out for these interviews!

That’s all our news for right now! Stay with us as we keep you updated on progress and weekly builds!

Late on Saturday, we got some VERY good news! Thanks to all of your awesome support, once again our game, Collapsus, made it to the Top 50 of SlideDB's "App of the Year" awards! This was a big deal for us last year and an even bigger deal for us this year! Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive of us (and Collapsus) at events, on social media, even in the press! You guys are awesome!

Now that we're in the Top 50, we actually very much need all of you to go vote again for us. WHAT?! WHY!? Well, for some strange reason the votes that get you to the Top 50 and the votes that actually win the award are separate. Heck, I feel bad even asking for it since everyone was so awesome about going out and voting the first time. Unfortunately, though, if we're going to win I have to ask you guys to vote and share. Luckily, this is the last one... for this year... well, for this particular award this year... *cough* No... wait. It's December. Yeah. Just this year... now NEXT year...

Okay, okay, I kid. Seriously, though. We really couldn't have made it this far without each and every one of you! Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts!

You can vote for Collapsus again (or for the first time... we don't judge) HERE: http://www.slidedb.com/games/collapsus

So. What's next? Well, today (the day I'm posting this, not the day I'm actually writing it, which is the day before), I'm heading off to Talawanda High School to represent Wraith to a bunch of game design students. Then, in January, we're heading to the Fairfield Rotary Club to give a talk and will also be featured on the Cincinnati radio station WVXU with a couple other Cinci game developers! Pretty cool!

As for Collapsus: we've got some big news! Mark has said that the weekly builds should be ready to launch this month (maybe this week) so all of you can get all sorts of Collapsus goodness for FREE as some sort of early access, public beta... thing. Yep! That means builds every week until the game is done! How cool is that?

So, yeah! Looking forward to finishing up this year with a bang! With your help, we can bring home App of the Year just in time to see the start of the long overdue weekly builds! After that? The Kickstarter, Greenlight, and then release! During that we will hopefully be up for some more awards and event appearances, too... so keep your eyes peeled!

Well, until next time!

Hey all! Back in April, we made a post all about the awesome opportunities we've had to be featured by various press outlets (a link to that post here: http://blog.wraithgames.com/2016/04/if-were-being-pressed.html). Since then we've had TONS more press and we'd like to share them with you. So enough build up; lets dive right in!

Now, this time around, we're not going to do it in chronological order, but rather based on theme (you'll see what we mean here soon). So, for starters, let's take a look at our big newspaper article from the Journal News last month!

So, for starters, I can't express how cool it was being in the paper. Now, being both a paperless studio and a studio that currently has no plans on physical releases, we often talk like much of the tech field about how "print is dead". Maybe we were a bit too hasty! As soon as this hit, people were calling us up talking about how they "saw us in the paper" and stuff. Very cool! You can read the article online as well (though it's not quite as good as the one that made it to print): http://www.journal-news.com/news/local/local-startup-releasing-first-major-video-game/ls0axLXXqWJNP8C8AKQwiN/

If being in the Journal News was the coolest press experience, then being in this article by CLE Tech was the one we're proudest of! After coming back from GDEX (the Ohio Game Development Expo) this year, we never would have thought we'd land on this article as one of their Top Picks of the show! This is absolutely amazing! Apparently they're wanting to do a couple more pieces on us as soon as Collapsus is out... it's all so exciting! 

From the coolest, to the proudest, to our favorite(s)... the IndieView Podcast (http://www.spreaker.com/user/indieview/episode-9-wraith-games) and the Game Over, Game On Podcast (http://gameovergameon.podbean.com/e/lexplay-2016-with-jay-kidd-of-wraith-games/)!

Man! Both of these podcasts were BOSS! Seriously. For both of them, we just sat down and literally talked for hours. Now, obviously nowhere near all of it made it into the episodes, but it was a great time. This wasn't just an opportunity to come on and talk about the studio and our games, no, we honestly forged some real friendships here. There are plans to do more of these and lemmie tell you, it can't come soon enough!

Then last (but CERTAINLY not least!) we have the four straightforward interviews we did. Those would be with GameDev Cafe (http://gamedevcafe.com/2016/10/25/get-know-gamedev-jay-kidd-wraith-games), Orange Bison (http://orangebison.com/entrance-collapsus-puzzle-gaming-interview-jay-kidd), Slickster Magazine (http://www.slickstermagazine.com/collapsus-physix-developer-interview), and Miketendo64 (https://miketendo64.com/tag/wraith-games)!

Holy cow! All right around the same time, we ended up doing four (well technically more since Miketendo64 actually did 4 all on their own... so 7?) interviews all about Collapsus, Physix and the Wraith studio all at once! These were all pretty straightforward, but the care that each one of these sites put into making sure they got the whole picture of us was very much appreciated. Again, there are some plans to do followups with these guys too, and I gotta say, it's going to be great when we do!

So, yeah... that was a lot of press all at once! It makes sense when you consider all the events we went to this year and the improvements we made to Collapsus, but wow! Actually, both those topics would make great posts here soon, too! Anyway... before I go I wanted to leave you with 2 brand new Collapsus GIFs (of hopefully many more to come). Enjoy!

Hey all! Wow, this has been a huge year for events! We've got 13 under our belt after wrapping up Pandoracon, and boy, we put way more effort into Pandoracon than the others. Now, that's not to say that the others weren't work, of course they were, but we really put in the extra mile on this one...

You see, with all the other events we had this year (and pretty much any events we've ever had), it was just us and our booth. We had our tablets, stands, tablecloth, and advertising materials. Pandoracon was different, though. For our return to Pandoracon (we went there in 2013 as well) Aloysius Fox (the director of the convention) made us official event sponsors and tasked us with providing a game room for the event!

This game room (dubbed the "Wraith Games Retro Game Cave") featured NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, PS1, PS2, Dreamcast, Xbox, and Xbox 360 games (sorry Genesis fans, we couldn't find our Genesis cords!) as well as tournaments for Smash Bros Wii U, Soulcalibur 2 and 4, and Halo 2 and 3! These tournaments actually went into the convention's "house points tournament" (think the Hogwarts House Cup from Harry Potter). It was all really awesome!

In addition, we offered a VR demo and had our Radarkanoid arcade cabinet running in the room as well. Our artist Lance T. Miller and his wife also set up a booth in the room to sell some of his famous Bicycle-licensed steampunk playing cards and fantasy art. They really meshed well with the whole aesthetic of Pandoracon, for obvious reasons!

Not only did we do all the gameroom/VR demo stuff, but we also had our normal Collapsus booth, and ran three panels: Making a Game Studio, Accessibility in Games, and VR - Past, Present, and Future! The game studio and VR panels went amazingly, but unfortunately, the panel I was most looking forward to giving, the games accessibility panel, had literally no attendees. It was at 11 am on Sunday (right when the con opened on the last day) and most of the convention was a ghost town until later that day, so it's a shame it didn't have a better time slot... it's a very important subject that more people need to be aware of!

With all of this going on, it was really tough trying to make it all work. There were many times throughout the weekend where nothing should have worked, but thanks to my wonderful team (with little to no help from me) everything went off incredibly smoothly. This weekend we were nearly all hands on deck, only missing 4 team members (and having 3 additional people help out to make up for it) and boy did we need it. To be honest, though, Pandoracon really showed that we could do more stuff like this in the future!

Well, this is the last event for the year! It's time for us to take a much deserved rest (well, from traveling, at least). We should have TONS of new Collapsus news here soon, as well as a follow-up to our "If We're Being Pressed" article and "The Lost Interview" article! So we'll see what we have going on in the weeks to come...

See you then!
Hey all! Wow, we're exhausted! On October 22nd we went up to Dayton for The Ohio Gaming Brigade's "Dayton Designed: Game Night at Star City Brewing Company" (wow that's a lot to type; certainly not Twitter friendly!) then on the 28th, we headed down to Lexington for LexPlay and on the 29th, we went up to Columbus for GDEX! Yup, with both LexPlay and GDEX being two day affairs, we actually split up the team and took them both on! Then on November 3rd, we hit up our own hometown Hamilton for Alive After 5: Game Night! Here's how it went...

Let's start off with Dayton Designed. It was a pretty neat little event! See, the premise of Dayton Designed was to bring out local developers of both the tabletop and video game variety and let a bunch of people try their games out and give feedback. Weirdly enough, we were the only video game developers there (it was Adam, Natalie and I on this one). There were all sorts of amazing board games, card games and tabletop games surrounding us; all of them independently made. Take a look:

You can see that this place was packed. Oh, what was this place? It was the Star City Brewery in Dayton, Ohio (just a hop, skip and a jump north from us). This place was great. It was all decked out like some sort of medieval pub. It even had really cool medieval iron works for the doors. Now, while we didn't imbibe anything of the alcoholic variety while we were there (we were on the clock), they did have amazing butterbeer (yes, like from Harry Potter) and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans!

We had lots of people head over to the table and we were rarely less than 4 seats filled. Anyone who sat down and played for awhile got a ticket for the big raffle that was going on. This was a pretty sweet gig. They even had little comment cards to help designers get some constructive feedback. We pretty much aced it all across the board. Funnily enough, everything anyone suggested was already ready for the build we took to our next 3 events! I guess it's one of those "great minds think alike" type of things.

So, the next event was LexPlay in Lexington, Kentucky. It's a great place. It's a lot like Cincinnati. This is LexPlay's first year and was run by the awesome people from RunJumpDev. Those were the same guys who did Vector Conference (along with EKU, of course) that we did earlier this year. For their first year, they really blew it out of the water! This was a great event! Like all new events, the turnout wasn't huge; but the people who were there were absolutely amazing!

While we were there, we played so many awesome games, including a version of X-Men vs. Street Fighter that used what were basically DDR pads combined with fighting sticks, a really awesome deck-building card game, and even a hip-hop RPG. There was some real talent here.

Just like with Vector, we were joined by some of our friends from EKU (they were in the booth next to us). We got to play more polished versions of the games they were working on for Vector (and generally just pal around with them). Unfortunately, one of our programmers, Mark, who is an EKU grad student, couldn't make it.

We even got interviewed by two podcasts while we were there: Game Over Game On (the episode is live right here: http://gameovergameon.podbean.com/e/lexplay-2016-with-jay-kidd-of-wraith-games) and the WAMCast (The Weekday Afternoon Morning Show). Unfortunately that interview isn't out yet. Hanging out with these guys was some of the most fun I've had at an event in a while. We've even invited them up to Ohio sometime to partake in the Municipal Brew Works located below our studio.

Next, we have GDEX. We were really looking forward to GDEX this year. We went last year for our first time (back when it was called OGDE) and man, was it a killer! This year was no exception... well, that's what I was told, at least. While Natalie and I went down to LexPlay, Adam and Kristy went up to GDEX, located at COSI in Columbus. It was a real shame that I didn't get to see all of our GDEX friends this time around (though Game Masters and COSI After Dark did help alleviate that pain a bit earlier this year)... and it was definitely a shame that Eric, who was supposed to go on this trip, ended up getting sick. These things happen, though; and this allowed Adam and Kristy to rub elbows even more.

Apparently we made a pretty big splash at GDEX this year, though. CLE Tech actually did a write-up on their favorite games of GDEX, and guess who was at the very top of this list (here's a hint: http://www.cletech.net/2016/11/07/top-picks-from-gdex-2016/). It was me... Di... Oh, wait. I, um, mean, it was Collapsus! This was pretty flattering. It's really great to see so many people take a shining to Collapsus. Heck, according to their Twitter, it's sort of infected their entire office (insert maniacal laugh here).

The last event was right here in our own hometown. One block away from our studio, actually. Literally in the same building where some of us live. See, if I haven't mentioned it before, I live in Artspace Hamilton Lofts, which is a live/work environment for artists, complete with its own gallery. Now, we don't actually use that as the Wraith Games studio since we have studio space at the Hamilton Mill; we do often participate in Artspace events. This event was called Alive After 5, and wasn't just for Artspace. The first Thursday of every month, the entire downtown area opens up to the public for cool activities centered around a theme. This month's theme was: Game Night! Artspace thought it was appropriate if we demoed for this one, for obvious reasons.


We even got to roll out the Radarkanoid cabinet!

So, pretty needless to say, the past few weeks have been PACKED! This isn't even mentioning all the cool meetings we've had or the other pieces of press who interviewed us, or even just the work we've been doing on actual development. Those are probably blog posts for another day. Not next week, though. We have yet another event next week. We'll be off to our second year at Pandoracon! This time around, we're actually media sponsors. That means we'll be hosting an entire room of retro gaming goodness called the Wraith Games Game Cave, as well as our normal demo table, AND we're giving three talks! Not only that, we're even dragging along our Radarkanoid arcade cabinet, and we've been busting our butts trying to get a Physix VR demo ready to showcase. This event is going to be HUGE for us! It should be, because this is our 13th (and last) event of the year. It's this weekend in Cincinnati if you want to stop by. More info here: http://thepandorasociety.com/pandoracon/

We really hope to see you all there. Next week's blog will be about Pandoracon coverage, and then after that, dev stuff! Catch ya later!