Hey all, we're about to once again head up to Columbus for GDEX! Before we do, however, we wanted to talk about what's going on with and in Collapsus! Let's do this thang!


So, currently we're on Weekly Build #20 on itch.io with #21 on it's way for Monday (it's actually the build we're bringing to GDEX)! Right now we have a schedule set out counting down weekly builds until release. We're not going to officially say when that is, but we can safely say "soon". That being said, here's a run down of things CURRENTLY in the game:

- 3 Standard Difficulties and 2 Unlockable difficulties (unlocked in the weeklys)
- Time Panic and Gravity Rush options
- 18 out of 25 Special Modes and 16 out of 25 Plus Modes (and now screens explaining what each mode's gimmik is)
- 9 powerups
- 7 of 8 unique music tracks



 
 

We've also got a good chunk of the Puzzle Editor done and around 200 puzzles done ourselves (though the puzzles aren't implemented yet). Throughout the last 20 weekly builds we've also done a lot of bug fixes and balancing stuff.



What comes next is the exciting part (well, exciting AND more bug fixes). Firstly, we're revamping the combo system. Can't say TOO much about it, but it may turn out to be just as cool as the resource-management mechanic that the whole game is based around! Here's what elese, though:

-Finish up our accessibility options (they're mostly done, but need to be implemented after testing)
-Finish up the Puzzle Editor
-Finish and implement the puzzles for Puzzle Mode and the first year of Daily Puzzles
-Implement the remaining 7 Special Modes and 9 Plus Modes
-Implement the built-in achievement system (we have ~200 achievements designed!)
-Implement the leaderboards, save-system, and other online content
-Finish up the remaining song and sound effects
-Localize to other languages



It may seem like a lot (because it is) but it's just a drop in the bucket compared to what we've already done. After that we have to port to all the platforms we're shipping to (we have portability already working, we just have to run them on the devices) and then finish up the Versus Mode DLC (which is planned to launch shortly after the rest of the game).

So, yeah! We're trucking right along toward completion! We're going to try harder to meet our self-imposed weekly deadlines... especially with completion so close in our sights!


Hey all. This blog post is going to be a *bit* shorter than some of our other event posts, mainly because we took a BUNCH of pictures on Nat's phone and then it up and died on her. So, with not a lot of visual aid (until we can figure how to recover the pics sealed in their plastic and glass crypt) our trip just doesn't read very long. So... uh, yeah. Sorry about that.

Moving on...


This was our first year at Matsuricon! Matsuricon (Matsuri meaning "festival" in Japanese) is a Columbus-based Anime convention held every year. Now, we love us some anime here at Wraith, but the last time we went to an anime convention as a team was back in 2012, I believe (A&G, which is now dead as we've been told).


For this special occasion we were part of the GDEX Megabooth (or Minibooth as it had been also tweeted). This means that we, along with our good friends at Multivarious (who run GDEX), Shawn Tanner, Todd Barchok, Deckpoint Studio, and Multithreaded Games! It was a great lineup of devs from the upcoming GDEX 2018 and GDEX (or OGDE's) past! Also at the event was the two person team of designer Adam Wik and artist Yamerpro of the awesome card game, Galatune in the room next to ours! Galatune is a favorite of ours from Dayton Designed, so it was great seeing them there with us!




This event was actually pretty low-key for us. Being an anime convention we had a bit of a smaller crowd than we normally do, but those who did play were hooked! Though this WAS a big time for us to do some great networking (can't say much for... reasons, but our friend Griffin hooked set us up with a business meeting at one of our favorite Columbus restaurants, The Late Night Slice, where we talked about REDACTED over pizza dogs (only slightly healthier than a cup of melted butter).



All-in-all, even though it was a 3 day event, it was kind of a smaller, more leisurely event for us. There may even be plans to do more of this type of event in the future, and we certainly wouldn't object!

Now, in a couple days (the 1st of September, to be exact) I will be heading down to Louisville for LouisvilleMakesGames' Kentucky Fried Pixels launch party/ trolley hop! I'd love to see you there! I'm not being joined by other Wraith team members for this one, since they'll still be recovering from Matsuri and also prepping for GDEX (while working on the studio... and hopefully making some games)!

Oh, before I forget, RunJumpDev has posted their video of my Vector 2017 talk on YouTube (like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4arvfe6m4jQ)
Hey all! July has been really busy for us. The biggest things about July have been Indy PopCon and the plans for our new studio expansion! That's one of the reasons we hadn't pushed this out sooner. Like with the last few posts, we've got a LOT to get through, so that's it for introductions.


July 7 - 9 saw us once again back in Indiana for Indy PopCon (last years post here: http://blog.wraithgames.com/2016/06/indies-at-indy-popcon.html). Unlike last year however, Eric and Mark stayed home and Natalie and I joined Adam for this one. This year's event was bigger and better than last as well! We set up on Friday at 10am (no small task for us night-owls) and by the time the hall opened a little later, we were ready to rock!






Like with a few of our other events, we ran a Collapsus challenge where if you got to either Lv. 6 on Hard or Lv. 60 on easy, you'd win a shirt. In the past, we just wrote down your info to send you a shirt later, but this time, we actually had quite a few shirts at the booth! We had a bunch of great people come buy and not only play, but also to win one of our awesome shirts!






In addition to the regular attendants, we also ran into Jirard "Dragonrider" Khalil (The Completionist), Brad Jones (The Cinema Snob), Allison Pregler (Obscurus Lupa), and Michael Sundman (Gaijin Goombah). There were a TON of other guests as well, but these 4 awesome people were who we talked to the most. Sadly Lupa and Gaijin had to jet before getting a chance to check out Collapsus, but thankfully Brad and Jirard seemed to have a good time with it! We also had Jake Elliott, the 2015 World YoYo Champion stop by and play. He liked Collapsus so much that he said that it was, in his opinion, better than Tetris! Now that's what we call a glowing endorsement!



Other than that, I guess I'd say that the big news coming out from the show was us winning 2nd place in Slickster Magazine's "Best Game of Indy Pop" award, with our good friends over at Multivarious hitting a home run and sliding into 1st place with their game "No Mercy"! They really deserved it and we're glad that we came in #2 next to their powerhouse! On top of that, "The Established Facts Podcast" interviewed us and a few other guests while we were there as well! Be sure to check that out, too! http://www.theestablishedfacts.com/2017/07/episode-150-pop-con-2017-interviews-part-1/ 


So, on to the studio! We have some BIG news involving our studio space at The Hamilton Mill. As you may remember, our studio is ~300 sq/ft and we spent the better part of the last 2 years making is all sorts of spiffy... we'll, here's the good news. That space (211B) is being joined by 210, 212, 213, AND 214 as we expand from that little 300 foot space to a bit over 1780 sq/ft! This is a HUGE expansion... we're taking over most of the 2nd floor at The Mill (much like our friends at the Municipal Brew Works did with a huge chunk of the downstairs). The big stipulation for this expansion is that we make sure to turn this space into the "dedicated Wraith Games wing" and that it's remodeled with "Wraith's signature style" that we brought to our other space. That is certainly a "can do" on that front! But yeah... here's some pictures of the space before we sink our mitts into it:







That's basically all there is for now. There will be an article soon going into more details about the space (including our experience of looking into about 20 or so properties just to end up where we already were and what we intend to do with this new space)! Other than that, look forward to our next event appearances at Matsuricon, GDEX, LexPlay, Kabochacon, GamersGrace, and Dayton Designed as the year winds down! Hope to see some of you there! 
Hi everyone! Currently we've been out looking at properties, working on the Collapsus weekly builds, putting the finishing touched on a game jam game that went a smidge over time called MOTION.rest (it's now hopped to this years Kentucky Fried Pixels jam), and putting more work into CaveWorm, Radarkanoid3000, and Burst Lancer. There's really not too too much to talk about on those fronts, though. There is something very topical we wanted to touch on this week, however: the death of Steam Greenlight and what that means for Collapsus! After that, some other bits of news.


From its very inception, Steam Greenlight has been a decisive program to say the least. We popped on Greenlight pretty late in the game. I believe that Steam Direct, the service planned to replace Greenlight now that it's dead was announced in the same week we submitted Collapsus. It was, well, tough.


One of the things we learned from Greenlight was that more often than not, a game (especially puzzle games) were met with anger, skepticism, and trolling. With the poor reception Collapsus had initially received, at first we thought that it was us; maybe we had misjudged the quality of Collapsus. Thankfully, after poking around many, many other Greenlight pages (and talking with quite a few current and former Greenlight devs) we found that that was just how Greenlight had become. This was more than likely due to a lot of shovelware and vaporware that pushed its way through the system.

Fortunately we did manage to get successfully Greenlit in the 11th hour after a couple very strong weeks leading up to Greenlight closing down. We just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted and shared! We really couldn't have done it without you!


What will come of Steam now that it's gone and Direct will take its place, though? Really, I'm pretty sure it's too soon to tell. The barrier for entry is $100, same as the submission fee for Greenlight, so who knows if it will keep out the shovelware (although Valve has said that the uploaded games will be curated and moderated more closely now).

Just something to think about... either way, it's great to know that, once done, Collapsus IS making its way to Steam! So, on to other news!

On the 12th, Lance and I were invited to go up to Future Awesome Camp, a STEM-based summer camp in Columbus where we got to give some great talks to some aspiring game developers! It was a really cool camp. They had robotics, programming, fashion, design... all sorts of things for young budding minds. It even helped spark an inside joke about modeling rocks! Good times! We hope to work  with the programming director, Malia, again very soon!





Afterward, we got to hang out with some of the Multivarious and AbleGamers teams since they invited us to come in and see their space/ hang out while we were in town! Oh, speaking of giving talks to game devs...

Tomorrow, on the 29th, I will be giving a Skype lecture "at" Louisville Makes Games about the business side of indie development. In many ways, this is part 4 of a series that I'd been working on since 2013. See, back when we first went to Pandoracon, I gave a talk about how to be an indie game developer, then, when we returned in 2016, one of the talks I gave was the sequel, revising and expanding from what I had learned having actually established a studio. After that, a few months ago, I gave a couple talks at Vector which were on raising funds for starting your studio and what to expect in your first few years... now we have this!


To be honest, it's not like I'm expecting anyone from these other talks to be there for this one or anything, but it's kinda nice to think of it a a series in my head. Maybe if I give more talks I the future, I can keep this train rolling!

After that, on July 7th-9th, we'll be at Indy PopCon again! We'll have the latest build of Collapsus, our buttons and stickers, and will even have t-shirts for you to buy! We may also have a tablet version of Radarkanoid and MOTION.rest as well, but we're not 100% on that... which leas us into later today (I'm typing this out at 7am). Later on, we're having a big Cave Worm meeting to see if there's anything that can be done for Indy Pop this year. We've been doing a meeting every month or so for the past few months and we're pretty sure we're moving along nicely. So, keep you fingers crossed!


Lastly, since I hadn't made a blog post about it yet, we were in the Cincinnati Enquirer! The article is mostly about me even though other teams members were there during the interview (that's what I get for not keeping my yap shut) but it's a really interesting look into the history of Wraith. It's written in a way you may not expect (we certainly weren't expecting it) and we hope you find it edutaining! You can read that here: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/05/25/living-his-dream-vomit-and-video-games/344903001/


With that, I'm off! Hope to see you all at Indy PopCon!
Hey everybody! Sorry it's been so long since the last blog post. I'd written a draft for one last week, but decided to scrap it. On to pf that, we were going to have some guest writers come if for the blog a few times before that, but we had some scheduling problems. So. Yeah. This post today will be all about the progress of the Collapsus weekly builds so far! Let's jam!


Right now, as of the time of the article, we are 13 weekly builds in and are releasing the 14th probably tonight. I'm going to attempt to ouch on most of what's been getting added and changes since the last build we had for events and the weekly's themselves (especially since we know that far more of you have played at events as opposed to on itch.io)

There have been numerous big fixes (some bugs generated by the new code funnily enough, but that's to be expected), tons of graphical changes, new modes, music (finally), and some mechanical changes. Let's go over those one-by-one, shall we?

The weekly builds have a LOT of new content you may not have known about! 

So, I can really only be brief on the bug fixes. Mostly because they are rather technical, boring, and I don't quite remember all of them. There were sever glitches involving things rotating when the shouldn't or not rotating when they should, menus taking you to the wrong location (or not taking you anywhere at all), particle effects acting weird, and a sprites remaining on the screen after the field transitions to another scene. Not really any of these were game-breaking, but they sure were annoying.

As for graphical changes, oh man, were there a TON of them! Heck, the graphics have even changes wildly during the development of the weeklys. One of the biggest obstacles was having an interface for the gameplay to rotate even on a desktop computer. Now, this was always something we were going to have to tackle, but it was really our trial by fire, so-to-speak. We opted for a widescreen background (starting with an awful grey placeholder and gaining a cool, dark-toned dot background) with the gameplay in the middle and rotation buttons on the side. Hey, it works!

This is NOT a mockup! Yup, our baby is all grown up and pretty!

We finally added an animation to the Jolt power-up as well. We also re-added the Void power-up animation which had been missing from the game after Geoff left and Mark picked up the project. The Chain power-up now also has an animation (a quick white flash), followed by rainbow score text and a visible combo multiplier (mainly because no one seemed to know what Chain actually did before). We also made it when the menu buttons are clicked, they have particle effects like broken blocks (since they are styled like blocks). This was a little something stolen from Megaman X (well, sort-of). It helps get people familiar withe the breaking mechanic before even playing the game!

Teaching the player before even starting the game!

The biggest graphical change, however, was a major graphical overhaul involving nearly every graphical element! Hot dang! Blocks, power-ups, text, and most of the GUI! Funny thing is that I bet not a lot of you noticed. See, this was done 2 fold. The first reason was to make sure all of the images were sized properly to be scalable in HD. The other was for a much bigger reason. See, I had a mock-up that I'd been using since 2012. I would keep it in Photoshop and change it as graphics changed. You may know it as the "7350" mockup, since that's the score displayed on so many of the images we've showed off for Collapsus in the past.

Awful background, not HD, looks nothing like the mockups

Anyway, it seemed that no one programming the game (6 programmers across 11 years, mind) were interested in implementing the graphics the way I'd actually designed them! Well, luckily, I was able to sit down with Mark and, with come considerable edits of my own and a bit of time in the engine for him, we made the last couple builds nearly indistinguishable from the mockup! All it really took, at the end of the day, was poring in the mockup at 50% opacity and then lining everything up with that in engine... but to make sure everything worked well in HD, we had to do a bunch of math. The results are amazing, though, so we can't complain!

THIS is a mockup. See the "7350"?

Enough of that, though. On to the new modes! In addition to the 2 harder difficulties, "Expert" and "Diabolical", we now have a grand total of 14 Special (or "Challenge", depending on the day since we keep waffling back and forth on the name) modes out of 25! There were supposed to be only 20, but it's us we're talking about... did you every think we were even capable at stopping at just 20?! Those modes include:

Virus: Slowly depleting score
Obsidian: Blocks with counters become Obsidian
Meltdown: Obsidian blocks that have counters count down to game over
Fatigue: Block meter does not replenish after level-up
Chroma: Split color blocks in addition to “regular” blocks.
Flux: Gravity changing field rotates clockwise
Shake-Up: Blocks can be shuffled at will (like the Shuffle powerup)
Flip-Out: The screen can be flipped at will (like the Flip powerup) but not rotated
Acidic: All standard blocks are Chameleon blocks
Heavy: Docked blocks become Obsidian blocks when picked up.
Axis: Special mode allows gameplay to rotate counter clockwise at will
Spectre: A blind mode where you can’t see how many breaks you have
Wizard: When a block is clicked, instead of breaking it, it shifts to the next Chameleon color
Warlock: Opposite of Wizard, Acidic mode but you tap to change Chameleons to normal blocks

Yup! That's a lot of Special modes, and the rest are very close to being done as well.


Next is another huge change: we finally have, wait for it... MUSIC! Glenn has been really hard at work making a full soundtrack for Collapsus. I believe he has 6 songs done so far. They're crazy awesome! He's still working on a title theme, since we're ditching the one that we're using right now (and used in the old trailer). He didn't make it and so it didn't really fit with the others (and most of the Wraith team members are sick of hearing it). Glenn is still keeping several elements of it, though, because it did get a lot of praise at several of the events we went to.

We also had sound effects for a while. Those were made by me and not Glenn... and, quite frankly, they sucked! Glenn offered to go back to the drawing board with me, so that's nice of him. They will probably sound like they fit the tone of the rest of the sound design now. I'm not an awful sound designer (I did all of the Radarkanoid sound effects, for example), but my style really didn't fit with Collapsus. Glenn will do a much better job than I did, I'm sure.

Yeah, look at all THAT new content!

We also made some gameplay tweaks/additions. For one, we have a new Karma powerup, which clears the board of those pesky Chameleons blocks. It comes and goes (and no, I will NEVER get tired of making that joke). We also tweaked "The Bag" (the algorithm by which blocks spawn) to be a bit more fun (less Nova blocks, for instance). The weeklys also saw the introduction of the Shuffle powerup, which does exactly what you think it does, Split blocks for certain modes (they're really fun) and Obsidian blocks in a couple other modes that only clear when they reach the (true) bottom of the screen. We even have a Time-Freeze powerup! As you can probably tell, much work was put into making cool new Special modes. Rest assured, there were some balancing and power tweaks in the normal modes here and there. Luckily not much else needs to be done on that front!

Needless to say, we've been busy! Heck, Kristy's been working on the puzzles for Puzzle mode. She's got a huge chunk done, and we haven't even implemented that mode yet! This is all while she's been working on Radarkanoid3000 and our game jam project, MOTION.rest. It can't take much more time now!

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print for this week (and it sure was a long one). Hopefully next week will be about MOTION.rest or our latest newspaper interview. Either way, catch you then!