The Road Ahead

This post contains 3 BIG announcements. After the response to our Pulse announcement, I’d wanted to make some things very clear about the direction of Cipher Prime.

We’re not switching to the iPad.

We’re switching to Unity.

Now, we love Flash. And we’re really good at it. But it does have limitations. Auditorium and Fractal represent some of the most advanced Flash work possible for the player versions they were released on. Within Fractal, for instance, we employed:

  • A full real-time synthesizer, capable of waveform and sample synthesis and DST effects
  • Extensive real-time bitmap caching and pre-rendering
  • A simplified version of the Auditorium particle engine

to name a few. But getting all this in was no easy task, taking well over a year, and it still grinds to a halt on some machines. Additionally, using mProjector to wrap our game has led to many issues that still cannot be properly resolved (how many of you are still having resolution issues?). So, as much as we love Flash, it’s time for us to pull up our breeches and dive into a platform that is designed to handle whatever we can throw at it. This isn’t “goodbye forever” for Flash, but our focus has definitely shifted to Unity.

Pulse is our first step into the Unity waters. We’ll be releasing more details about Pulse soon, but for now you should know that it is in fact a touch-based reaction game, so the likelihood of it appearing on a non-touch platform are slim at best. We are however looking at Android tablets, and while this not an official announcement for that platform, I feel pretty good about our odds.

So if Pulse is the first step, what’s next at CP? Let’s get it off our chests:

Fractal is coming to the iPad.

We’ve signed a deal with indiePub, who helped us get Auditorium on PS3, to get Fractal ported to America’s Favorite Mobile Device. Now before you set the internet ablaze (“OMFG!! u said u weren’t switching to iPad FAIL!!! ;_;”), I’ll take a moment to briefly rephrase that: Fractal is coming to Unity. That’s right: Fractal, powered by a real game engine, with access to the graphics card, and all the fun toys Unity provides. Now that we’ve gotten our feet wet with Pulse, we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver the experience we actually wanted to deliver to begin with. Which does make the version of Fractal we have now obsolete. So we’ll be re-releasing Fractal, powered by Unity, on PC and Mac platforms.

Now for the most exciting announcement. People will likely ask why we went with a publisher for a game we already released, and if you want to know details on that, you should definitely check out what Will has to say over at indiePub. But in getting this deal signed, we’ve done one very important thing: We’ve retained all rights to the PC and Mac versions of Fractal. Why, do you ask?

If you own Fractal, you’ll get the remastered edition. Free.

Our fans are our greatest asset. Without you guys, we wouldn’t be where we are today — working in Old City, making video games, and having an awesome time doing it. We hit this New Year with a level of energy and optimism previously unheard of. We’re gonna keep making games for as long as it’s fun, and you should expect to see an awful lot out of us this year — some web, some mobile, some desktop, and God willing, some console. But all Cipher Prime.

To reiterate:  Those of you without iPads, you are not forgotten.

Now that we’re switching to Unity, we have the ability to bump up our productivity. In fact, our goal for 2011 is to release at least 3 games, bringing more entertainment to more platforms at the quality you’ve come to expect from us. This means new games will be relased cross-platform, and no fan — with or without an iPad — will be left in the dust.

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about the Auditorium soundtrack. Expect updates soon.