Fractal now $0.99 for one day only!

Things are really starting to come together at Cipher Prime.

Thanks to you, we’ve got one of the top 10 music games on the iPad. We’ve got a great new work schedule that’s keeping us fed, rested, and sane. I think I actually saw Will eat a vegetable the other day. And to top it off? Fractal for iPad is done.

That’s right. Fractal : Make Blooms Not War hits iTunes tomorrow, Thursday, August 18th!

So here’s the deal. On Thursday morning, we’re moving the official Fractal website from www.playfractal.com to its new home here at cipherprime.com. When we do that, you won’t be able to purchase the legacy desktop version anymore. Why? Well, as previously mentioned, we’re taking all of the enhancements we gained by porting Fractal to Unity and taking it straight to the desktop. Also, as previously mentioned, if you already own the legacy desktop version of Fractal, you will get upgraded to the new version absolutely free.

Here’s the fun bit. We’ve been so stoked about this re-release, we figured it’s time invite more people to the Fractal family. And that means it’s sale time.

From now until Thursday morning, you’ll be able to purchase the legacy version of Fractal for only $0.99.

And yes. If you purchase Fractal during the sale, you will get the upgraded PC/Mac version when it is released — free. Think of it as a pre-pre-order. So head on over to the store! I guarantee — you won’t be disappointed.

 

P.S. Oh yeah. Fractal is coming to Steam. I don’t think we mentioned that before.

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.

It’s Update Time!

So, now that our little baby has been unleashed into the wild we’ve been able to find a few of those silly bugs. We have also had plenty of feedback on the updating system and have changed over to a much better method. Unfortunately, that fix will not be present until you upgrade. In no particular order, here are the currently fixed bugs in v1.0.1:

  • Score Loading Bug – Scores were not always loading properly, resulting in what looked like a loss of data. If you had this bug you will now be able to see scores saved previously.
  • Resolution Positioning in OSX – Occasionally the screen would not center itself after a resolution change had been made.
  • Intermittent Black Screen on Load – Very rare, but in some cases the game would not initialize the display properly.
  • Windows Users Will No Longer Have to Uninstall to Update
  • Arcade Scoring – arcade scores will now save to the newely selected scoreboard once you change modes
  • Update System Changed – hitting “No” when asked to update will tell the application to ignore the update for one week
  • Added Native Resolution Option – this is a double-edged sword… Fractal will look fantastic, but we doubt that the performance rendered by this option will be bearable for anyone. We decided that it should be added as an option anyway, because it’s been one of the most requested features.
  • Random Performance Tweaks ( We are still actively working on performance related issues )

This update of Fractal is available now on the Cipher Prime Store. Please give us a holler if you find any other bugs. Enjoy!

Fractal is Finally Here!

It has been a long and challenging year for us here at Cipher Prime, which is why it is with overwhelming joy that we can finally announce the release of Fractal, our latest effort downloadable for both Mac and PC.

Fractal almost defies explanation; we’ve been working on it for 15 months and we still can’t sum it up in a sentence. As with Auditorium, it’s insanely complex to describe but incredibly intuitive to play.

Here’s a bit about the game:

Push on fractals. Arrange them into clusters of seven or more to make a Bloom. Watch the Bloom as it explodes with glory, gaining you seven or more clears. Progress through levels by gaining clears, using power-ups and specialized fractals to aid you along the way.

The most exciting part about this game is its diversity. There are different styles a player can utilize, each one having strengths and weaknesses. Best of all, there are three different modes of play, so varied that they feel like entirely different games:

Campaign Mode
This is the Grand Adventure. Each level has a different challenge you’ll have to face. You have a limited number of pushes which you can gain back in various ways. There’s no timer so you can play at your own pace — whether you choose to sit and think or click wildly is up to you. The levels are shaped by the way you play them — do well in one and the next might be forgiving; show off for a higher score and you might find yourself running out of pushes. This mode is all about going at your own pace and relaxing.

Puzzle Mode
Here’s where we test your cunning intellect. You’ll be handed a particular number of pushes in a very specific situation with concrete goals to achieve. Each puzzle forces you to push the limits of the rule system; some puzzles have ten solutions, others only have one. Aside from being tons of fun, puzzle mode will help you gain an acute understanding of what is possible in the world of Fractal, which will improve your gameplay considerably.

Arcade Mode
Here’s where we flip Campaign Mode upside down. You’ll be given infinite pushes — so go crazy, click all over the place — however the catch is that you’ll be timed. The clock starts with 20 seconds. Only special fractals with a clock symbol will give you time back, so you must choose where to click wisely. Choose from three different playing styles: Speed, Agility, and Confidence. Each one will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Like Auditorium, music is a crucial element in the experience. Our new MusicBox audio engine is capable of building songs on the fly, generating unique melodies based on the gameplay and adding or taking away elements based on progress and circumstance.

Fractal is our attempt to turn a simple concept into a rich audio-visual experience. The game seems to come to life, flourishing vibrantly as you progress and withering in fear when you fail. The environment serve as an indication of your position in the game; a seasoned player can sense danger without ever looking at the HUD.

We hope you’ll enjoy the game as much as we do. With local and global scoreboards in each mode, you can track your progress with other players around the world… Maybe you’ll even beat us some day.

Give the Fractal demo a try at www.playfractal.com. The full version, complete with all three modes of play, is available for $14.99 at https://store.cipherprime.com/promo/fractal.

You can also purchase the full-length Fractal theme, “Iterate!”, at https://store.cipherprime.com/purchase/15 for $0.99. If you preordered, you should see a free copy of the theme sitting in your CP Store account. This is just a small way for us to say, “Thanks!”

Soft Launch Time

For all you tuned-in cats, we’ve been having a rather… interesting time these past two days. We had to postpone the Fractal Launch until this afternoon because of server related issues yesterday. Today, Media Temple was DDoS’d and we were thrown for another loop. Internally, we’ve been having stupid issues with Windows 7 permissions and uninstalls. Fast forward to 12:14 AM EST, and we’ve obliterated all our nice little “obstacles” with a smile on our face ready to say, “You can now download Fractal from the Cipher Prime Store.”

We will be posting an Official Announcement tomorrow along with a reminder email for everyone who preordered or is a part of the mailing list.

If you preordered you’ll also notice a nice freebie in your account. Dain whipped you ladies and gents up a sexy Fractal Theme. Since you love us enough to preorder, we love you enough to give you something a little extra. For anyone who missed the preorder, the track will also be available for $0.99 at www.playfractal.com

Thank you so much for all your patience. As with any release, I’m sure there will be bugs. Please shoot an email to support@cipherprime.com and we’ll do everything we can to help!

Thanks from the Fractal Team (Will, Dain, and Ben)!

Uh oh! Launch Postponed until Tuesday Afternoon

I sure hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve been running a lot of download tests today and we just weren’t happy with the results. Preorders have really picked up over the past few days, so we wanted to make sure nothing goes wrong and that everyone will have a happy fast download. Unfortunately, we were not very pleased with these results earlier in the day. Luckily, we have now reworked the downloading system and are extremely happy. All the tests we’ve done in the past few hours have been superb to say the least.

However, it’s very late over here now and we’re a bit hesitant about hitting that button. No matter how much you test, you never know what can happen. For this reason, we are holding back the Fractal Launch until tomorrow afternoon ( Tuesday, May 25th ). I cannot apologize enough. In the end, we are only trying to make sure everyone has a better experience.

We are incredibly excited and cannot wait until tomorrow afternoon! See you then!

Last Day For Fractal Preorders

We are really excited to announce that today is the last day of preorders. At midnight EST tonight we will be shutting down the preorder system. Until then, preorder for $9.99 and receive a 33% savings off our launch price. Head on over to the store and preorder now!

This is also very exciting, because it means the launch is right around the corner! Keep your eyes peeled for news on the upcoming release. More news VERY SOON!

We have also launched a new unified mailing list system today. This means you’ll no longer have to worry about receiving multiple emails. You can easily unsubscribe or subscribe at any of our gaming sites.

Also, we would like to offer a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped spread the word about Fractal. Keep it up!

Fractal Demo is Live! Preorder Today!

We’re pleased – stoked, even – to announce that after 15 long months, Fractal is (very nearly) done! Head on over to www.playfractal.com THIS VERY INSTANT to play the demo and log a high score!

To celebrate, we’re accepting pre-orders! Fractal will list for $14.99 (a dollar for every month of development), but from now until May 20th, you’ll be able to pick it up for $9.99 – $5 bucks off, or a 33% savings! Some things you might want to know about Fractal:

  • It’s Not Bejeweled. Do you like to think? Miss “easy to learn, hard to master” gameplay? Then buddy, do we have the game for you! Fractal is powered by a simple mechanic that fuels complex emergent patterns.
  • It’s Big. We’ve designed a deep game that tickles every part of your brain. Fractal has Campaign Mode for progress junkies, Puzzle Mode for Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts, and Arcade Mode for the ADD – prepare for hours of work-destroying gameplay!
  • It’s Downloadable. That’s right! Fractal is PC/Mac compatible, and you’ll be able to download both versions with your purchase.
  • It’s Coming Soon. Fractal will ship in late May, so pre-order now to get your best savings!
We absolutely have to thank each and every one of you – your support for Auditorium, kind words, and friendly reminders that we haven’t updated in a while remind us that we have people out there that care what we do. As always, questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.
We hope you enjoy Fractal!

What is going on?

So, we have been INCREDIBLY busy. Let me tell you a little about what we’ve been doing.

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Flash Gaming Summit about “Monetizing Your Game Outside of Sponsorship” with Colin Northway(Fantastic Contraption), Daniel James(Three Rings), Sian Yue Tan (Rocketbirds) and Moderated by Andy Moore(Steambirds).  I think the panel went well and you can always watch it online at the Flash Gaming Summit Site and let me know what you thought. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to hang out and relax with everyone from the panel. Overall the FGS was a great experience and a MASSIVE upgrade from last years event.

After the FGS we quickly went right to the Game Developers Conference. One talk in particular by Kellee Santiago and Robin Huncki (thatgamecompany) called “How to Manage an Exploratory Development Process“, ignited a fire here in our tiny office. We spent the remainder of March refining what we were doing and how we could do it all faster and with less frustration. Making original games is a ton of hard work and requires a lot of positive energy. We also talked at length about Nick Waanders and Kees Rijnen (Slick Entertainment) session called “SCRAP METAL: Pushing the Envelope with a Team of Two.” Learning more about their process helped us identify a few things we have been doing right and just didn’t even know it. All of this learning has played a major role in the development of our new title Fractal. Overall the GDC was well worth it and has helped us a lot. We also had the pleasure of meeting so many fantastic ladies and gents.

Right now, we are in the final stages of testing with Fractal. As long as everything goes as planned we will be releasing in just a few weeks. Tentatively, we’re setting our release around the beginning of May.

The Indie Love Bundle was a huge success and it looks like we’ll be unifying our whole purchasing system to work on the framework we built for the sale. I have been actively communicating with a few other Indie Developers and it looks like we’ll be able to throw up a new bundle not very long after the Fractal Launch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have any titles in that bundle, but it will be a great value all the same.

I apologize to everyone for the lack of updates on our side. Everything has been CRAZY and we’ve been feeling very overwhelmed and just haven’t had the time to keep everyone in the loop. We’re going to start making a much more active effort in that regard. If you feel like we’re not staying on top of things make sure you drop us a comment and let us know!