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Pulse Available on Google Play!

androidannouncementWe are super excited to announce that Pulse is finally out for Android tablets via Google Play.  We know a lot of our fans have been patiently waiting for our games to make it to their platform of choice!  We love you and we always try to listen to you!

If you have an Android tablet, we welcome you to an absorbing world where you are part conductor, part note-captor, and part multi-touch master.

Pulse has been a featured iPad Game of the Week as well as the recipient of many accolades from the mobile gaming community, and we hope to keep it up on the Android side of things!

So pick up Pulse, our third Google Play title (next to Splice and Fractal)!   Check out the Pulse Google Play page now so you can start conducting over an hour’s worth of gorgeous original melodies.

GetItOnGooglePlayPulseAndroid

The Birds and the Bees

Where do Cipher Prime game ideas come from?

What we love most about being a game company is bringing our crazy ideas to life. When we’re not doing our “normal work” (chipping away at our main studio project, dealing with customer support, yelling at each other, etc.) we’re making silly little prototypes for fun.

But every so often we’ve got to knuckle down and make a cool product. So how do we do it? And how has our process changed over the years?

Auditorium

Cipher Prime started out as an interactive media company, doing Flash and other web development work. At that point, games were just a twinkle in Cipher Prime’s eye. Long story short, Auditorium began as a very different experience from what it is today. Young Dain and Young Will explain it all in this video (1:40-2:40):

Fractal

Our sophomore game, Fractal, was a more “traditional” creative experience, since we tried to design it from the ground up. It began as a competitive multiplayer arcade game, with everything prototyped out on paper, but ended up having something of an identity crisis as each member of the team gravitated toward making their own vision of the game. Fractal’s present-day arcade mode, puzzle mode, and campaign mode were each refined by different team members!

Fractal on paper.

Wanting to unify the creative process, Cipher Prime team members agreed in the future to make a prototype first, then show it to the team. If the team likes it, the team builds on it.

Pulse

Will drew the concept for Pulse out on a napkin. Nobody else thought it would work as a game. I mean, come on–it was on a napkin. So he built it out in Flash, along with a level editor. By forcing the rest of the team to play by tapping the dots in time to the music, Will convinced Cipher Prime to do its first rhythm game.

Splice

In 2011, Cipher Prime attended the Indiecade festival in Culver City, California. While there, Dain ended up coming down with a pretty terrible fever and was stuck in his hotel room the entire weekend. So what do you do when you’re stuck in the middle of a game development convention, having fever dreams about rearranging binary trees? You make the prototype to Splice. Afterward, he pitched it to the rest of Cipher Prime, and we ran with it.

original splice

Feedback and Intake

Our two pre-production games for Auditorium: Duet (Feedback and Intake), were initially based off designs made by Will. For Feedback, Will came up with a radial pong design, Andrei built out the first prototype, and after joining the team, Aaron rebuilt it from the ground up. Intake, likewise, was actually based on the first game that Will ever made! The team took on his game concept and fleshed it out as a Cipher Prime title.

Feedback and intake.

Duet!

So, what are we doing with Auditorium: Duet? Well, we’ve already got a very basic prototype (the original Auditorium), and we know the feeling that we’re going for: a rewarding, cooperative multiplayer experience. We’re big fans of iterative development, and we like “proving” ideas to each other by building them out and making sure they feel right.

We’re building Duet through feature-based prototyping. We have a bunch of ideas for how we want to extend Auditorium, all of which are varying degrees of crazy: new visual styles, new camera motions, new controls, and new genre-bending experiences. But we’re implementing them slowly, as a team, and making sure that they work.

Pulse Top 10 iPad Music Game: 12 weeks and counting!

It seems like only yesterday (hah!) that Pulse: Volume One released on the iTunes App Store.  Now 12 weeks later, it’s still rocking the App Store’s top 10 list for iPad music games!

To celebrate, and bring even more players to the party, we’re running a limited time sale beginning now.  If you’ve got an iPad and haven’t tried Pulse yet, now’s the time.  We’ve reduced the price to $1.99 (60% savings over the regular $4.99 price) now through next Wednesday this Friday.  You can get it here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/pulse-volume-one/id432667443

Those of you already playing Pulse and waiting for the next update, rest assured, it’s on its way.  As Kerry mentioned in our last post, an IndieCade contest requirement has thrown a wrinkle into our updating plans.  That said, we’re getting the content all ready and will be pulling the trigger as soon as all’s clear with IndieCade.  This should all be happening later this month.

And, if you’re a current Pulse owner and fan, tell your friends that now’s the time to check it out at a great discount!

 

Update:

Thanks to the phenomenal response, we’ve extended the sale through Friday, August 12th!

Patience is a Virtue

Now we know we’re a little past-due on Pulse’s newest update but fret not, dearest dot tappers. We will deliver. Our second free update features four brand new levels, a slew of small bug fixes and a major performance increase!

Last month, we received a good deal of feedback pointing out that our “Philly is Golden” update might be a bit too challenging for the more casual gamer. We certainly want to maintain a nice balance between the simpler levels and ones that induce sheer panic (ZOMGTHIZIMPOSIBAL). To ensure this balance, we put our guest artists on hold, went back to our synthesizers and cooked you up a handful of tracks that range from easy and breezy to moderately tricky.

Needless to say, we’re beyond excited to push this puppy into the world BUT here’s the rub:

We’ve entered Pulse in this year’s IndieCade festival and while they’re reviewing our game, we’ve got to keep it the same as it was when the judging process began. Pulse would be disqualified if we were to make any changes to it — and we wouldn’t want that! After all, it was at last year’s IndieCade when Pulse was first conceived.

So please bear with us! We’ll have that update out as soon as possible and we WILL make up for lost time. We’ve already got our next four guest artist tracks in the pipeline and will make damn sure to release them before you go hungry for levels again. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. Y’all are the best fans an indie studio could ask for, and without your helpful feedback and constant support, we would be nowhere at all.

Remember, The Pulse soundtrack is still available on the Cipher Prime Store and we’re ALWAYS looking for new music to put in Pulse. If you are interested in submitting or making a track for the game, please shoot us a cyber letter addressed to pulse@cipherprime.com!

P.S. No cats were harmed during the creation of this blog post.

A Promise is a Promise.

You know when we said we’d be releasing new tracks each month for Pulse? Well, we try our very best to make sure we’re not liars. So you can go grab that update now. ( almost a month to the day )

It seems a company’s word isn’t worth a lot these days and we really hope we can change that at Cipher Prime. It’s taken a few weeks longer for Apple to approve our update, but we’re all ready now!

Announcing the First Philadelphia Artists in Pulse!

In order of appearance and level difficulty:

Cooper and the Fantastic Machine present “klokwerk
George and Jonathan present “tidbits
Ghost Fight presents “veedja
Zilla Persona presents “follow my voice

Each one of these artists hasn’t just contributed music to Pulse, they created brand new musical works specifically for the game and we couldn’t be happier with the results. In our eyes, these guys are true rock stars.

For us, this is the first of many musical collaborations. We’ll be taking a deeper look into these artists as the months pass and presenting many more. We always need more artists, so please contact us if your interested in getting involved with Pulse.

Some of these tracks are a bit on the harder side (Follow My Voice is ridiculous!), but we’re trying to get more medium difficulty tracks for the next update.

In case you missed our last Pulse announcement, you can grab the original soundtrack from us ($4.99) or the iTunes store (more than $4.99).

On the other side of life, we’re in the middle of finishing the port of Fractal, then we’re going to go back and take a look at a certain outstanding soundtrack. Look forward to updates on that front soon.

As always, we want feedback! Please help us spread the word of Pulse!

Seduce your lovers with Pulse: OST

The Pulse: Official Soundtrack is finally released!

Seduce your lovers with 8 sexy tracks of ambient deliciousness, arranged by increasing difficulty and complexity. All our wonderful mp3 tracks, including our bonus level, “Pacemaker” (deemed too difficult to play) can be purchased off our site for 4.99 USD. No DRM!

And here’s our simple request – though you can also purchase our soundtrack off the Apple Store, (7.92 USD) please support us by buying it from our site! Apple iTunes purchases only give us the fraction of the purchase price, while store purchases fund our dwindling supply of pizza.

BENEFITS OF BUYING PULSE: OST FROM OUR STORE :

CHEAPER $$$

-supports us, the developers and the musicians!

-comes with additional bonus track, “Pacemaker”

-we think you’re beautiful

We love Apple, but we love you more. That’s why in addition to the soundtrack, an update for Pulse will be available in about two weeks. We have quite a bit of music in front of us to play with, so prepare yourselves; lots of awesome tracks are comin’ atcha soon!

 

To purchase Pulse: OST visit  https://store.cipherprime.com/music/pulseOST

GDC 2011: Wrapping up the Experience

This year’s GDC was a pretty awesome week for us. One of the highlights was being able to show off our upcoming release Pulse. We’re thankful it made a great impression on both Macworld and Pocket Gamer, but we’re also thankful we were able to play around with a lot of cool games from other developers. We were lucky enough to be judges for the IGF (Independent Games Festival), and want you to know about a few games we loved:

Solace, in all its glory.

  • Solace is a great indie music game, and we love the guys behind it,who we fist met this past year at Indie Cade. Rob-thanks for giving Will a badge. Dan, you and the Danish game have a special place in our hearts. If the rest of you don’t know what we’re talking about here, that’s okay. The most important thing is that you give Solace a look. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Helsing’s Fire, from Ratloop is an innovative puzzle game that’s a hell of a lot of fun. We met the guys behind the game when they presented at the Flash Gaming Summit. We truly love them, and love to see our friends doing well. Nice work, boys!

    Solipskier in action. See what we mean about the rainbows?!

  • Solipskier is an addictive, fast-paced game created by our friends Mike and Greg. We have a lot of respect for them because they run a two-man studio, and crank out awesome games. Make sure to check out Solipski… especially because it has rainbows. Any game with rainbows is a win in our book.
  • Bit.Trip Runner, by Gaijin Games – We love the Bit.Trip series, and the team over at Gaijin. We look to them for inspiration and always enjoy hearing about their successes, since we’re both similar studios. Chris Osborn, who’s had his hand in the game, was a wonderful addition to our GDC experience. The conference wouldn’t have been the same without you, buddy!
  • Nidhogg. No seriously, Nidhogg. There’s not much to say about this fantastic game, except that it’s one of the best ways to kill a few hours. We played a round in the office not too long ago (Will won, of course) and can’t wait to make time for a rematch. Don’t let the old school graphics fool you: Nidhogg will rock your socks off.
  • Shot Shot Shoot – This is Will’s personal favorite for the iPad, and a game that we feel is worthy of competitive gamers everywhere. It was one of the nominees for “Best Mobile Game” at IGF, and we couldn’t agree more. The visual simplicity of this “minimalistic dueling game” will have you trying to conquer your friends. Trust us; Will’s already clocked in some serious hours.

Honorable Mentions

  • Amnesia won Best Audio, and for good reason: the game wouldn’t be what it is without the haunting soundtrack. The game shows off an attention to detail that we haven’t seen from anyone in quite awhile. Check this one out.
  • Bastion is a neat action RPG that has some seriously awesome voice-overs. Overall, we dig this game.

PS: Minecraft.