Splice: IndieCade Nominee

Awards!

It seems Splice was kissed by Lady Luck! In June, Intel announced Splice as Puzzle Genre winner of the Intel Level Up competition. In July, Penny Arcade announced Splice as one of this year’s 10 best indie games in the PAX 10 selection. We were also nominated for the Philly Geek Awards as Indie Game Dev of the Year. And just this week, Splice was nominated for the IndieCade Awards!

IndieCade is the International Festival of Independent Games, held annually during the first weekend of October in Culver City, CA. This year, 36 games have been selected, including the KickStarted FTL: Faster Than Light, Amanita Designs’ Botanicula, and Shawn McGrath’s DYAD, just to name a few of our favorites.

Kickstarter Update!

Also, yesterday we posted a Kickstarter update. The post should bring everyone up to speed on where we’re at, and where we’re going in the near future. Backers also get a 66% discount on Splice!

Dev Night!

And last night’s Dev Night was awesome! Big shout out to everyone that was able to make it. Projects are coming along wonderfully, and it was great seeing a few new faces show up as well!

Although we’re heading to PAX next week, Dev Night is still on for Thursday as usual. Aaron will be sticking around to man the fort and host. If you are going to PAX, be sure to look us up! We’ll be exhibiting Splice for Mac, PC, and iPad at the PAX 10 booth. You can also tweet at and follow us on Twitter @CipherPrime.

See you next week at PAX Prime and Dev Night!

Project Lineup

Quick Shout-Out: Dev Night is tonight from 5pm to 1am. Bring a laptop with Unity installed. Have Sculptris installed too if you’re participating in the artist initiative.

So what’s next at Cipher Prime? We have a few projects on hand actually. While Dain and Andrei are in the process of wrapping up the iPad version of Splice, Will and myself have been working on two other side projects as we gear up for Auditorium 2: Duet.

The project I’m working on right now is really a way to help familiarize myself with the Unity developer environment, as well as the studio’s production pipeline. It’s a game called Feedback.

We have another project planned that will actually lead into development on Auditorium 2 : Duet. It’s a multi-player, arcade-style shooter that we’re currently calling Intake. The project will last exactly four weeks, and will help us establish development roles for each team member while building out the framework for Duet. Intake should serve as a pretty good test run of our new production pipeline as well as the framework. What we learn with Intake will go a long way in helping us with production on Duet.

Among the features we’re testing include multi-player mode and matchmaking, leaderboards, achievements, cross platform support, and cloud saving. Splice supports some of these features, but much of it was implemented late in the dev cycle, leading to a number of setbacks. Having the architecture for it from square one with Duet will give us more time for creative development.

If we are able to pull together a polished game in just four weeks time, Intake will be released through the Cipher Prime Store. If not, well, it’ll get placed on the back burner for a while, but we will have learned some valuable lessons from the effort. Our focus from there will be to get the level editor built for Duet.

This road to Duet is an eventful and exciting one for sure!

Chapin Chiming In

Hey, Everyone! Aaron Chapin, here. I’m the new Lead Developer at Cipher Prime!

With the addition of myself, the studio is now up to five developers. My role is to help organize and plan the development process, and keep us on track for reaching development goals and deadlines. For the past three years, I worked as a Gameplay Programmer at another Philadelphia game studio called Burst Online, where we made web-based MMO Flash games. Much like Will and Dain, I started out working in Flash and am now making the jump to Unity!

My goal, now that I’m here, is to help build up our team’s skills, and to get us working faster and more efficiently. Unlike the others, I’m the only one who went to school for programming. I have both a BS and MS in Computer Science from Drexel University, also located here in Philly. The expectation is that someone with a bit more formal training will have the necessary knowledge and ability to carry the team in cases that would otherwise cause weeks of downtime for R&D. Less downtime means earlier releases, more features, and more time to play StarCraft. (Don’t worry, I’ll try not to let StarCraft distract me too much.)

I’m excited to be here, and I can’t wait to show you guys all the cool stuff we’re working on!

Auditorium + MusicRx

Cancer f#@%ing sucks. No question about it. If you’ve ever known someone with cancer, you know just how scary and devastating it can be. You also know how important hope can be.

Through MusicRx, the Children’s Cancer Association is helping to promote a bit of hope, happiness, and comfort to children fighting cancer. The program is aimed at providing kids with a therapeutic means of escape while allowing them to express themselves through music. MyMusicRx is a place for kids to explore and listen to music, play music-based games, learn about musical artists and sports stars, and connect with others.

To help the cause, Auditorium is now available to MyMusicRx kids as a free to play game. You can also help the cause by searching for and purchasing your iTunes music through MyMusicRx.org. iTunes will donate up to 5% of all purchases to the Children’s Cancer Association.

Upcoming Dev Nights

Change in schedule folks. Starting next week, Dev Nights will be moving to Thursdays. Same time, same place. Doors open at 5pm. Game jam goes till 1am.

Dev Night Diaries

Looking forward, we’re going to be adding to the Dev Night format a bit. For one, we’re starting to put together Dev Night Diaries with interviews that showcase projects that developers are working on, the tools used, and approaches used to tackle the development process.

Digital Art and Video Games

We’re also opening up to digital artists. Each week we’ll propose an exercise geared toward learning the tools and techniques for creating game art assets and how to integrate them into Unity. Much like a study group, artists will also be encouraged to study a specific aspect of the current tool set, learn it, and present it at the next Dev Night; the current tool being Pixologic’s free to use sculpting software Sculptris. We’ll also spend a little time each week practicing the basics with Paul Richards’ THUMB WAR : Design Iteration Combat Simulation.

Ray Merkler’s Fortress

Special shout out to local Philly dev Ray Merkler and his new iOS game Fortress, which released today! Fortress is a strategy card game designed to be played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Players build a wall of soldiers to attack and destroy their opponent’s King while they try to defend their own. Simple rules belie a mountain of strategic depth!