What a cutie!

Employee of the Month: A Punch Clock

Here at Cipher Prime, we do what we can to turn our studio into a brutally efficient nineteenth-century textile factory.

For this reason, we are proud to introduce the newest member of the Cipher Prime family: a clock. More precisely, a sweet-ass retro punch clock that Aaron bought off Etsy for $20.

Though we loved Punch Clock at first sight, we grew even fonder after nursing him back to health. Punch Clock came to us dizzied and strange, insisting that the current time was 2:54 A.M. on November 14th, 1963. But thanks to the finest team of psycho-horologists available, Punch Clock’s wits were soon recovered.

Indeed, Punch Clock earns his keep: he has replaced our previous system of recording workers’ hours, which consisted of drawing smiley faces on a whiteboard. Though we will miss whiteboard’s emotive charms, like Kent Brockman, we welcome our new electromechanical overlord.

No longer will our temporal sins be dry-erased at the end of each week. They will remain for all to see, stamped in red ink, irredeemably damning us.

Have a nice day!

_____

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Now piano-able!

“Cassiel” Transcribed!

This blog post is dedicated to one of Cipher Prime’s favorite fans, Neil Sardesai, who recently transcribed “Cassiel,” the seventh track to Flight of Angels, the Splice soundtrack.

This isn’t even the first song Neil has transcribed for us; it’s the fourth. He’s also transcribed Flight of Angels‘ “Ariel” and “Fanuel” and Algorithms and Angelology‘s “Phylonoe.” And as Dain points out in his recent musing about composing the Splice soundtrack, Splice’s songs are composed to be played by three pianos, making them that much more difficult to transcribe. Holy peas, Neil.

But Neil’s awesomeness transcends musicality: he’s a renaissance man and a renaissance fan. He somehow ported Pulse (available on iPads only) onto his iPhone. And he also made us this gorgeous trailer for Splice:

We tip our hats to you, Neil. You are an official Cipher Prime hero, and we’re so, so thankful to have fans like you.

_____

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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!

Splice, Duet, and the Road Ahead

So where does Splice stand now that it’s been released on Steam? Is it going to be available through the Cipher Prime Store as well? Will there be an iOS or Android version of the game? When will we start to hear about development on Auditorium 2 : Duet, and when can we expect to see our Kickstarter rewards? Good questions. Let’s have a crack at them now, shall we?

Splice

Normally our Mac and PC games are available through the Cipher Prime Store. However, since we’re currently in the process of overhauling our store and website, Splice is only available via Steam. Splice will eventually make its way onto the Cipher Prime Store, just not until after our new site goes live.

For those with iPads, you’ll be excited to know we’re hard at work on an iOS version of Splice, and it looks beautiful! The iPad version will also include support for Game Center achievements. There are still a few bugs to work out before we can confirm a release date, though.

As for Android users, unfortunately it’s the same old story. We still don’t have a production pipeline in place for Android development, but that may change in the coming months. If you’re interested in seeing our games on Android, please fill out this survey to help us determine which devices to support.

Auditorium 2 : Duet

With development on Splice winding down, we are finally starting to gear up for development on Auditorium 2 : Duet. Last week we added a fifth member to our team, Aaron Chapin, to serve as Lead Developer on the project. The next four to six weeks will be spent developing the core architecture needed to support all the features we plan to have in Duet. To test out this new framework and our development process, we will also be making (and possibly releasing) a small arcade style game based on this architecture.

We’ll be updating our Auditorium 2 : Duet Kickstarter reward timelines near the end of next week. We’ve already distributed redemption codes for Fractal : Make Blooms Not War to all Kickstarter backers. It’s possible some of you may not have received a code. If you didn’t receive yours, please contact us by email or through Kickstarter and we’ll resend the redemption code. Next up on the list for Kickstarter rewards is t-shirts. We’ll have more details for you soon.

A Fond Farewell…

Friends,

I’m afraid the sun has set on my time at Cipher Prime. Two weeks notice was given. Two weeks have passed. Now I must ride my bike into the distance as the credits roll.

But don’t worry!

I totally cranked out a hefty collection of baller @$$ Pulse levels before throwing in the towel. Keep an eye out for that update in the VERY NEAR FUTURE (and new levels aren’t the only thing to get excited about)!

Anyway, it’s been an extreme pleasure working with such awesome dudes and I will surely miss developing games that excite each and every one of your lovely little fingers… Now I’m headed to work for these guys: www.punkave.com (also awesome dudes).

With love from Philadelphia,

Kerry

 

Kerry Joins the Team!

Hey internet,

I’d like to introduce myself as Cipher Prime’s newest team member.

It’s been just over a month since I started here at CP, but now that I’ve officially been dubbed a “Zealot”, I can finally unveil myself to all of you.

So just to fill you guys in, here’s a quick recap of what the past month has been like at the studio:

Right off the bat, Will and Dain had me designing the new levels for Auditorium HD (only after I was able to beat the game). Thanks to Auditorium’s level editor, the process of actually building the levels was relatively simple. The tricky part was coming up with puzzles that were unique, intuitive and challenging- but never TOO challenging, of course. This can prove to be difficult if you’ve been staring at the same puzzles for days on end. Needless to say, after each round of testing, the levels had to go through several iterations before they started to feel like they were flowing nicely.

From there, it was on to choosing color palettes to go along with Dain’s new compositions and re-testing the levels on the PS3 build.

Between all of that, miscellaneous design work, putting together our First Friday event, and a healthy amount of Starcraft, they’ve kept me pretty busy for sure.

You all can expect to hear more from me in the coming months but for now, I’ve got to get back to Startcraft. Just kidding… Sort of…

-Kerry