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Dear Friends and Forgers,

Firstly, you’re beautiful. Yep. You. You’ve made our lives better and brighter. Which, is why this is so hard. But, let’s rip off the band-aid. As of July 1st we’ll be closing down the Forge located at 239 Chestnut Street.

For some of you, you may have just become a member. For others, you may have been here for 5 years. No matter how long, you’ve probably had the chance to make some pretty cool friends. We might be closing the Forge, but those people won’t be going anywhere. We’re all friends and we’d like to urge everyone to keep being awesome and keep supporting each other. This has always just been about the people anyway 🙂

You might be wondering about Dev Night. Who would of imagined a few friends hanging out once a week would turn into a 70+ person event. Dev Night has truly become a fantastic gathering point for all us. Sadly, Dev Night will have to move too. But, there seem to be quite a few places that would love to have our badass community. We’ll have more news soon as it comes.

Please feel free to write us with any questions or concerns. This is also a pretty trying time for us too. So, if you have the time to offer any help–we sure could use it!

Thank you all so much!

To our bold future,
Will and Dain

P.S.
FOR CURRENT MEMBERS:
We will be keeping Slack and moving over to a Patreon with a much cheaper membership fee. This money will be used to keep Dev Night running.

If you have any personal belongings in the Forge, please remove them before the End-Of-Day Monday the 20th or get in touch with us about your items. We’ll be selling things in the next week to help offset the shut down cost of the Forge.

Support Our Friends!

This week, we’re giving shout-outs to two awesome Cipher Prime friends whom you should totally support,  Phil Kahn and Greg Lobanov.

Phil Kahn: Webcomic Writer

Friend of the studio Phil Kahn co-writes fantasy webcomic Guilded Age, which is regularly featured on Joystiq’s “Sunday Morning Funnies.” Yesterday, Phil and gang launched a Kickstarter campaign to back Guilded Age Volume 2 and Guilded Age animated shorts. So check out the comic, and if you can, help creative people create stuff.

guilded age

Greg Lobanov: Game Developer

Regular dev nighter Greg Lobanov just got back from featuring his game, Perfection, at IndieCade at E3. Perfection is a surprisingly soothing puzzle game about cutting shapes to fit into outlines. It’s available for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. Here’s Greg demoing the game for Destructoid:

Support an up-and-coming game dev. Try Perfection and achieve nirvana and stuff.

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Like what you hear? Join our mailing list. 

Conventions, Concerts and Couples!

We’ve got two upcoming events and a special bulletin to make. Here are the deets:

1. Philadelphia GameLoop

Like talking about games? Dislike being told what to talk about? Come to GameLoop!


What: GameLoop is a self-organizing conference–an unconference, if you will–wherein attendees decide the subjects of talks democratically.

When: Saturday, May 18th, 2013, 9:00 AM

Where: 

University of the Arts
Terra Hall, 16th Floor
211 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

How: Register here!

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2. Dain’s Performing

This Saturday, Dain Saint will be performing at 8static, a monthly chiptune music event. This 8static will be hosting A-Rival’s TRUTHCANNON album release party, and Dain will toast the evening with an all-new set of vocal-based songs. Should be awesome.

When: May 11th, 2013; doors open at 7:00 PM

Where:

PhilaMOCA
531 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

How: Register here!

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Lastly,

A shout-out to resident bad boy Nikkolai Davenport, who (in true nerd fashion) got hitched on May 4th. May the force always be with you, Nikko and Jillian. Congratulations, guys!

Gaming and Neurodiversity: Learn to Play, Play to Learn

When we started making games, we didn’t make them with autism in mind. Yet over the years, we’ve received many emails from the parents of children on the autism spectrum, thanking us for creating experiences that they could share with their children. Messages like these have raised a question in our minds: why do our games resonate with the autistic community?

Last Friday, Cipher Prime partnered with The Philadelphia Science Festival to hold an autism awareness event titled “Gaming as Therapy: A Pathway to Interaction.” At the event, we shared Auditorium, Pulse, and Splice with attendees. We also helped organize a series of speakers for the event, including Craig Newschaffer, the founding director of the Autism Institute at Drexel University, Amanda Almon, scientific and medical illustrator, and our own Dain Saint.

Dain’s talk explored the neurodiversity-friendly aspects of our games, including our approach to rewarding player action and creating accessible experiences.

Without further ado, here’s Dain’s talk!

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If you’re interested in receiving more news, promotions, ramblings, and/or snuggles, subscribe to our mailing list. We’ll love you extra. 

Show us your Auditorium: Duet Kickstarter shirts!

Attention, Kickstarter donors: we want to see how awesome you look in your new Auditorium: Duet shirts! So post on our Facebook wall, and represent your Cipher Prime swag!

You’re too sexy for your shirt. Too sexy for your shirt. So sexy it hurts.
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If you’re interested in receiving more news, promotions, ramblings, and/or snuggles, subscribe to our mailing list. We’ll love you extra. 

Community Events

Two weeks from now, we will be discontinuing the Cipher Prime Facebook page. What a way to start off the community events post, right? Well, the important thing to know is we’re not going away. In fact, we’re going to be more present than ever!

From here on you’ll start to see more news, developer stories, and current events from the front lines at Cipher Prime. All of which will post primarily through the Cipher Prime Blog and Twitter feeds. By sticking to these two outlets, we can provide more and respond better to our fans.

For those in Philly, tomorrow night is Dev Night as usual. Bring your laptop loaded with Unity3D and StarCraft II. It’s going to be a party. Also, this Thursday is the Philly Unity User Group meeting over at Indie Hall.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well (@cipherprime). This week we’re tweeting three Steam codes each day, one for each of our games: Auditorium, Fractal, and Splice.

Looking for Interns!

Cipher Prime is looking for a marketing intern and a design intern!

General Info:

Our office is located at 3rd and Chestnut. “Official” office hours are “10:00am” to “4:00pm,” and you can show up between two and five “weekdays” a week. Often we will feed you and you are always allowed to use the bathroom, but otherwise the internship is unpaid. Starcraft 2 experience desirable but not necessary.

Marketing Intern Info:

Marketing interns will assist us with improving our online presence. We make cool games and need to put our name and product in front of as many eyes as possible. Duties will include:

  • frequent updating of our blog and social media tools;
  • tracking down articles and reviews about our company and/or games;
  • responding to inquiries about our products through email and on public forums.

We are bad at these things and you must be good at them. You will be required to play our games in order to better understand them. You are expected to suggest and carry out marketing research and campaigns on your own initiative. You must also be able to write fully grammatical and polite sentences, but be fluent enough in Bad English to decipher and respond to internetspeak. Experience with social media tools (e.g. WordPress, Twitter, Facebook) is helpful.

Design Intern Info:

Design interns will create promotional material for our games and our company. This stuff distracts us from making cool games and we need your help to pick up our slack. Duties will include:

  • creating visual candy for our website and for press outreach;
  • creating screencasts of our games;
  • putting together simple films showcasing behind-the-scenes work or development.

Design interns need to know that we may reject many of your ideas and possibly even ridicule your work. We are picky people. So design interns must have thick skin. The ability to bury your resentment deeply is a plus. Design interns will be required to play our games in order to learn our studio’s aesthetic. Afterward, you will create design content on your own initiative. Design interns should have prior experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, at least one video-editing program, and VX modules.

If you’re interested, send us an email at team@cipherprime.com!

Our Very First Pizzacraft!

Pizzacraft Header

Welcome to all the r/Pizzacraft participants!

My name is Andrei and I’ll be heading up the Pizzacraft tournament. My battle.net name is Andrei-492, if you’ve got any questions.

This is going to be a quick FFA tournament.

That is, it should only be two rounds. Thirty-three participants signed up, so we’ll try and start out with 6 or 8 person FFAs, but this may change depending on who shows up. Brackets were assigned at random.

Each game may last upwards of 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how cheesy or turtle-y people are feeling.

Official Procedure:

  1. Join the chat channel “Pizzacraft”. I will be online starting at 2:00 EST.
  2. I will start setting up games at 3:00 EST (or slightly earlier if anyone wants to get a head start). If I announce the callout for your bracket in the Pizzacraft channel for your game, there will be a 10 minute grace period before the game starts without you.
    • The map selection will be any official Blizzard map with separate bases. This may mean some maps will have players starting fairly close to each other. Map selection will be random:
  3. Winners PM me, and I’ll check match history.
  4. The final round is set to begin at 4:30 EST, but this will be flexible depending on how fast the games are played. But unless otherwise agreed upon by participants, the final round starts at 4:30 or as soon as possible afterward.
  5. Pizza. The last person standing at the end of the Pizzacraft will get a pizza of their choice, on us. We’ll try to accomodate delivery Saturday night if possible. If that isn’t possible we’ll basically handle things as r/Random_Acts_of_Pizza does.
If you have any questions ask them in the Pizzacraft channel! Or message me on Battle.net (Andrei, 492)! This is going to be a pretty small tournament, so everything will be fairly laid back! Have fun!

Thanks everyone for participating! And good luck!

Brackets

(You can zoom and pan.)

Streaming/Casting:

The Drexel Dragoon’s CSL team was kind enough to offer streaming and casting for the tournament. The video and chat are embedded below.

Watch live video from Drexel Dragoons on www.twitch.tv

Nerds: Rage, Rejoice and Game

When our good friend, rapper, and Pulse music contributor Justin Giza aka Zilla Persona told us about his nerdcore showcase, NerdRage, we were psyched to help support the non-profit event.

Featuring 9 music groups from California to Kansas, the 2nd annual NerdRage promises to celebrate “all things nerdly,” according to the founder. Studio 34, a yoga-studio-turned-music-venue will host this year’s glory of chiptune, nerdcore, chip hop, and Nintendo-sampled beats.

Cipher Prime’s own Dain Saint is also performing at the event, inspiring us to help support all things geekly and awesome. So we’ve decided to provide incentives through the event’s Kickstarter, a donation program that supplies funders with awesome gifts.

The incentives include:

Pledge $5 or more:

A redemption link for a copy of Cipher Prime’s award-winning game Auditorium (Win/OSX/Linux)!

Pledge $10 or more:

A copy of Auditorium, plus a soundtrack for Cipher Prime’s newest game, Pulse. We’ll even toss in your ticket to Nerdrage!

Pledge $15 or more

All of the above, plus a CD copy of Zilla Persona’s “You Wouldn’t Think.” Oh yeah, and stickers. Everyone loves stickers, right?

Pledge $50 or more

LIMITED REWARD    ( 6 of 10 remaining)

All of the above. Plus, because you’re so awesome, some of the artists are taking you to lunch the day of the show (June 18th). Expect bundles of stickers, showers of free music, and heaps of compliments.

 

 

 

NERDRAGE v2 is June 18th in Philadelphia, PA!

Tickets will be $10. Studio34, 7pm-11pm.

 

POWERLIFTER (Wichita, KS)

Dr. Awkward (California)

Madhatter (Wichita, KS)

Zilla Persona (PA)

Shammers & Lefthand (Outer Space)

King Pheenix (NC)

Kris Keyser (NJ)

Dain Saint (PA)

Attack Slug (NJ)

 

Tickets will go on sale May 20th. Check the official Facebook page here.

Extra Credit: A Look at Cipher Prime from Down Under

Imagine being asked to pick just two game studios out of a sea of thousands and analyze them for an assignment. Well, that’s exactly what Simon Lydiard had to do. Simon, who attends Bond University in Australia, contacted the Cipher Prime team a few weeks ago about including us in his work. Naturally, we were pretty excited that someone across the globe was really into our games. Even more exciting? The other studio Simon put us up to is Bungie, which you may recognize if you’ve played a little Halo in your day.

In his report, Simon showcased the differences between a large and small studio, noting that no matter the size, communication, innovation, and a love of the job are all key components for success in the video game industry. “Each developer has conducted themselves in a respectful way to not just the industry, but to their fans,” he writes.

“Bungie keeps fans updated on their website and maintains their pristine image through careful handling of any public relations issues. Cipher Prime engages their fans in the same way, but is also heavily engaged with social media such as Twitter. The ability and importance of following up a product is just as important for each developer as the creation process itself.”

He also talks about the challenges surrounding game creation, and highlights the fact that trial-and-error is a huge part of how time is spent. Simon’s insights into the creative process behind our game, Auditorium, is a testament to this. The report touches upon the hard work that goes into making any indie game a hit, and we’re flattered that Simon calls us “one of the elite small development studios in the world.” Not too shabby, to say the least!

When it came to his report, Simon says picking Cipher Prime was a no-brainer. “I have played Fractal and Auditorium into the ground. When I got my new headphones, I played them all through again.” Simon is also anxious to get his hands on Pulse, our upcoming release.

Why such a game-centric assignment, you ask? Simon’s on track to graduate this year with his Bachelor’s Degree of Computer Games, and has a major in IT. After college, he plans on doing Master’s level research about games and mobile learning. He’s also thinking about working at his university as a designer and teacher. Sounds like some pretty sweet gigs, no?

Simon considers himself to be the typical, average gamer in his spare time. He likes to sift through various app catalogs to find indie treasures, but also makes a point of playing the big titles. We think it’s pretty awesome that someone like Simon is a fan of ours, and we look forward to seeing where he ends up in the industry. Thanks for writing about us, Simon! Keep up the good work… and tell that professor of yours we gave your paper an A+!

If you’d like to check out Simon’s full report (it’s a good read), visit his website and contact him there. You can also follow him on Twitter at @simonlyd.