Fractal Site Live!

We’re pleased to announce the official site for Fractal is finally live! We’ve been working on this baby for eight months now, and we can’t wait to let you guys get your hands on it. Where Auditorium was much more experience, Fractal is definitely more game, and any puzzle fanatic with a penchant for combos and cascades will feel right at home. We’ve still brought our own flavor to the genre by introducing:

  • Multi-dimensional gameplay, where you create and control pieces in up to six directions at once.
  • Dynamic difficulty adjustment, so the game stays at your ideal challenge level.
  • A new reactive music system called MusicBox, that composes music on the fly based on how you play.

Head on over to playfractal.com to check the trailer and get more details on the game! More info about release dates/platforms will be available soon on both the blog and Fractal site. Oh yeah, don’t forget we also have an RSS and Twitter feed for easy push updates. Stay tuned!

iPhone Update Bug

We are currently having a bit of a problem with the latest update of Auditorium on the iPhone. This bug only affects you if:

  1. You already own the full version of Auditorium on the iPhone
  2. You already own additional level packs of Auditorium on the iPhone
  3. You upgraded Auditorium within the past 24 hours

If you are among the people who meet these three guidelines I apologize, but it seems like your DLC content will not work at the moment. That said, we are working with EAMobile and Apple right now to get a fix ready ASAP. I will let you know as soon as this issue is resolved. If you meet these requirements and have not currently updated I would hold off until we’ve given the word.

If you are purchasing Auditorium on the iPhone for the first time this update will not affect you at all and you shouldn’t have any problems. Please accept our apologies while we are working to resolve this bug.

iPhone Releastravaganza!

We’re thrilled to announce that Auditorium is finally available on the iPhone (This is the US link, search for it in your country)! It’s been a long time coming, but we think we’ve got something here that is true to the original. If you get it, be sure to rate it and leave a comment! To celebrate, we’re running a competition:

How to enter

  1. Complete Act 4, level 3 of Auditorium on your iPhone or iPod Touch
  2. Take a photo of yourself, grinning, holding the completed level on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
  3. Send the photo to iPhoneParty@playauditorium.com
  4. If you don’t mind, tell us your name so we can congratulate you on the site.
  5. The first 50 entrants will receive a free copy of Auditorium Online

Rules

  1. The level must be clearly visible in the photo. We need to see it’s the right one, and that it’s completed.
  2. You must be clearly visible in the photo. We need to see that you’re a real person, and that you are grinning.
  3. The photo should be a plain image attachment, or a link. Zipped, Rarred, Tarballed, or otherwise bothersome entries will not be considered.
  4. We have the right to reproduce and publish your photo for promotional purposes.
  5. We won’t redistribute your email address, or use it for any purpose other than sending you your prize.

Thanks so much to everyone that made this possible. We hope you enjoy it!

MTV Game Awards Germany

Thank you, MTV Game Awards Germany!! Germany just loves Auditorium and we love them. Not only have we been lucky enough to be nominated for a Game Award we’re also in the category “Working Class Hero.” I can’t even begin to tell you how cool I think that is. I enjoy seeing any sort of love for the indie game company.

Windosill, Scary Girl, Paper Moon, and Little Wheel were also nominated. If you haven’t had the pleasure in trying any of these great games you really should. Good luck guys, your killing it! It’s really great to see indie gaming recognized. Please checkout the entries and vote for the indie game of your choice!

Fractal.

You may have noticed we haven’t had a lot of posts recently. We have a whole ton of great news regarding Auditorium that we’ll be able to discuss soon. Also, we’d gone into hiding so we could wrap up our latest title, Fractal. We’re not totally finished, but we were able to get a pretty amazing, workable version entered into this years IGF! We have our fingers crossed and hope she can keep up with all the RIDICULOUSLY CREATIVE ENTRIES.

We were at the GXL Unleashed event this weekend and were able to show off Fractal and the response was great. Not only did we see a lot of people playing an arcade game for hours at a time, we were also able to make some really crucial game changes based on the feedback. Thank you so much GXL for having us at the event. We can’t wait for next years big LAN!

Stay tuned — we’ll be throwing up more info concerning Auditorium and Fractal soon. The next couple of weeks should be very interesting indeed!

A great play.

Last week, I found out about a little gem of a game called Canabalt. Canabalt is simply stunning. The game is a short experience, but every detail is polished to perfection. Levels are randomly generated, so you can play through quite a few times without worrying about repetitive levels. The sound design, which was done by Danny B, is perfectly tuned to the experience. Take a look at the background while your jumping from building to building, you won’t be disappointed with the atmosphere.

In Canabalt there is just one control necessary, jump. The game was made for the Experimental Gameplay Project’s ‘bare minimum theme’, but I feel like it reflects what games should be as a whole. Not only is Canabalt engaging, it fits it’s audience perfectly. Usually, one doesn’t have all that much time to play internet games. When you only have a few precious minutes to spare, games like Canabalt can completely engross you and take you over leaving a great memory. I would even argue that smaller bite-size experiences like this offer more long-term value, because their memory is not tainted by hours of map/level memorization. When you play the game, you just remember how darn cool it was.

My hat is off to Adam Atomic, you’ve made us rethink game design and we cannot thank you enough for the great memory we’ll keep of Canabalt. If you like the game us much as us, let Adam know by sending him a donation. Donations can be given easily from the game by clicking a little button in the bottom left hand side of the game window.

Games: Long or Short?

Like every other day I find myself asking what is the value of a game? My normal thought process says, ‘If I’m earning $10 an hour, and the game costs $20, did I play for more than 2 hours?’ If the answer to that questions is yes, then the game was totally worth it. But lately, I’ve been thinking that is a pretty horrible metric.

For instance, I’ve been playing this little flash game called Wonder Bounce the past couple days. I have beaten the game countless times and can now beat it in just a few minutes without wanting to pull my hair out. I didn’t have to shell out a single penny for this gem, but there she is, being an awesome game with lots of value with only 5 minutes of gameplay. At this point I wouldn’t think twice about donating to Darthlupi for his creation. Does a game have to be 20+ hours of gameplay to be worth your money? For me, I’m not sure that’s really the case anymore.

So the question I have for everyone is:

How do you determine if a game is worth it’s cost in cold hard cash, and what game has recently persuaded you to pull out your wallet?

Live Performance at Naked Chocolate!

Totally not the piano I’m gonna play on.

For those of you near Philly, I’ll be performing solo piano at the Naked Chocolate in Center City at 18th and Chestnut next Thursday, July 23rd from 8pm to 10pm. I’ll be playing selections from Auditorium, some original improvisational pieces, and a couple previews of songs I’m working on for our new projects. Come on down and hang out with us! Will’s gonna be there handing out some Auditorium swag. And tons of chocolate. I don’t think I can emphasize how much chocolate these people have. I recommend the Mexican hot chocolate, but hey, I like spicy things.

On a side note, since someone keeps pestering us (I’m looking at you, hipster glasses…), we’ve finally bitten the bullet and gotten a Twitter account, so those of you that want to keep up with us every waking hour of every day can finally do so in a socially acceptable manner by visiting twitter.com/cipherprime.

And finally, following on the theme of eroding personal boundaries, we’ve added an Upcoming Events list to our sidebar, which lists events on our public iCal, which you can also feel free to subscribe to. Take that, Internet! Hope to see you next Thursday!

2BeeGames Winner!

To paraphrase Psychotronic:

AAAAAA I CAN’T HIDE IT ANY LONGER! WE WON WE WON WE WON AAAAAAAA HOLY MACARONI AAAAAAAAAA KERMIT ARMS AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Wow! I’m thrilled to announce that Auditorium has won the 2BeeGames Indie Game Competition! Thanks so much to everyone that voted for us — we definitely could not have done it without you. There were so many good games in the competition; personally, I’m a big fan of Storm. Coded in just two weeks (!), I’d love to see what it could do with more time and funding, so I’m keeping an eye out. I also thought Bucaneer Battle was a lot of fun — great manic brawler.

Congrats to Terence Lee, Edouard Mercure, and Dream Builder Studios! We’re absolutely thrilled to have been in such a great competition with you guys.

And once again, to everyone that voted, everyone that reads the blog, and everyone that supports us — we 100% could not have done this without you! You’re the best fans in the world.

Okay, I’d seriously better stop before I go into a tearful “I’d like to thank the academy…”. If you’re Stateside, have a great 4th of July Weekend!