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Misc. News

Jennifer Wilde Kickstarter Successful

Jennifer Wilde, from Outsider Games, has just passed its £11,000 funding goal on Kickstarter!

The goal was reached with 262 individual backers, with the most popular donation tier being in the £10 or more category at 102 backers.  

Last year the team at Outsider Games launched their first PC game, Wailing Heights, on Steam to positive reviews and several award nominations. Since then they’ve been working hard on developing Jennifer Wilde as their next big project. 

There’s 3 days left to go in the campaign. The team at Outsider have revealed stretch goals to aim for in that reminding time, including text localisation and console versions of the game. 

Jennifer Wilde is a Point & Click 2D adventure game with a unique comic book inventory design. As Jennifer discovers clues to her father’s death, she sketches illustrated notes in her book; which the player can study, rearrange and combine into a comic book-style story. Use this illustrated knowledge to confront characters, prompt their memories and link clues together as you discover more about Jennifer’s father’s hidden past, and the truth behind his death.
 

 

 

 

Categories
Education News

Gaming Aim High Diaries #4

Contiuning our series of Gaming Aim High Diaries, Chloe Gowdy talks about working at company Outsider Games

For my first 4 month placement I was chosen to be with Outsider Games run by Stephen Downey. For my first month there, the crew were all busy completing their game Wailing Heights, a body hopping musical adventure 2D game, so I spent most of my time helping them out by play testing the game and writing down any bugs throughout the game that I later gave to the programmer so that he could fix them. It looked pretty stressful for everyone as the release date was getting closer and closer and everyone wanted the game to be as perfect as possible so we were all over the place trying to get any possible bug or issues that happened in the game fixed, and finishing up any last minute assets that still had to be put in the game. On the day of the release (27th of april), we all took the day to relax in the studio and played lots of board game as we constantly refreshed the Steam page to see how the game was doing on the first day. 

 Chloe with the Outsider Games team after release of Wailing Heights
Chloe with the Outsider Games team after release of Wailing Heights

Even though the game was released I wasn’t done with the game just yet as Stephen wanted to have Steam achievement icons for his game as well as Steam trading cards and badges. After discussing what the achievements will be, I went into Photoshop to make several icon versions and showed them to Stephen who then gave me some advice on how to make some icons look better and once we were all happy with the icons, Stephen put them on Steam to be approved. It was fun to see the achievements appear in the game as I was testing it to make sure they were all working properly and appearing when I completed an achievement. We didn’t have any issue with making the achievement icons, but when it came to the trading cards, I had a lot of trouble getting everything to be approved by steam, especially for the badges. Stephen and I did a lot of research on how the trading card system on steam worked and how the badges are not allowed to look too similar, but even so I had to make the badges several times before they got properly approved on steam because they said our badges still looked too similar. But we eventually got there and it was still fun to come up with all these different ideas for what the trading cards and badges should look like and see it come to life on steam.

 Chloe hard at work in the Outsider Games office
Chloe hard at work in the Outsider Games office

After I had completed these tasks, there wasn’t anything left to do on Wailing Heights, so I started to work on their other project Jennifer Wilde, a point and click adventure game. They already had their 2D artist working on all the main stuff for the game so I mainly took care of designing UI for the game, think about what the main menu should look like and any other smaller 2D tasks I could help with. I am mainly a 3D artist so I wasn’t very confident in my 2D skills but Stephen was very helpful and was always there to come over when I asked for help r advice on something and he would correct me in any perspective issues I was having with my drawing and gave me advice on making my art better, which was very helpful and taught me a lot.

I finished my placement with Outsider Games at the end of July, and started my next placement with The Design Zoo. Overall I had a great time learning 2D and it was a great experience to see a game in its late development about to get released, and I look forward to learning more in my next placement.

Categories
Developer News Industry News

Northern Ireland talent among TIGA Awards nominations

Northern Ireland talent is among the nominations for the 2016 TIGA Awards which will take place on the 10th November at the Christ Church Spitalfield in London.

Three games developed in Northern Ireland have been nominated in three separate categories. Blackstaff Games’ Safari Slides is nominated in the Puzzle Game Category, Iglu Media’s E1027 is nominated in the Educational Game category and Outsider Games’ Wailing Heights is nominated in the Visual Design category. Italic Pig’s Kevin Beimers is also part of the team behind The Bunker which is nominated in two categories.

Safari Slides is a mobile puzzle game where players follow the adventures of the Safari families as they cruise their way around the world hitting every water park as they go! At each park they attend it’s your job to get them from the top of the park to the bottom, unscrambling the slides as you go.

In E1027 players explore the home of renowned architect Eileen Gray, E1027, regarded as a 20th century architectural masterpiece. Players are tasked with restoring the building to its old glory and uncovering the secrets within it.

Wailing Heights is a coffin-rocking, body-hopping, musical adventure PC game, set in a village which is home to vegan werewolves, hipster vampires and soulful zombies. Play as music band manger Frances Finklestein who arrives in Wailing Heights and is charged with the crime of being alive.

Kevin Beimers is a Northern Ireland based video game developer who was a writer on The Bunker. Kevin is currently working on his own project Mona Lisa, a stealth adventure game were players play as a Renaissance robot who is also the 16th century’s greatest art thief.

For the full list of nominees visit the TIGA website. 

Categories
Developer News

Successful Assembler participants announced

Northern Ireland Screen has announced the decision for their Assembler Programme.

The Assembler Programme is aimed at the early stage development of 6 games with the aim of one of the selected projects going into production in 2017-18. Projects will go through 3 stages of development. Publishers and distribution partners will be invited to each stage of the process to select projects that they see potential in and to feedback to developers

The 6 projects selected for the Assembler Programme have been awarded Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through Northern Ireland Screen.

Dog Gunnit – Toll Inc

Dog Gunnit is a ‘90s style arcade driver and shooter where 2 players take control of a man and his dog in a buddy-cop tale where they must overcome an initial dislike of each other to take out the bad guys.

Terranaughts – Outsider Games

A side-scrolling, turn-based action role playing game set on the planets of Farset 13, the furthest human-colonised solar system, humans walk among an often-dangerous civilisation of dinosaur like alien species. With no plant life to replenish the Oxygen humans consume, it becomes a limited natural resource, and the few human inhabitants of Farset 13 are taxed heavily on the air they breathe, with the threat of armed bounty-hunting tax collectors looming, should they fall into debt. Play as one of these bounty hunters, with an initial goal to combat and capture anyone with tax debt. 

Journey Sauvage – Boom Clap Games & Blackstaff Games

Journey Sauvage is set in a fictional and fantastic galaxy with central characters loosely based on Phileas Fogg and Passepartout’s “Around the World in 80 days.” As the player, it is your task to guide the protagonist and your trusty assistant through a series of planets featuring exotic landscapes, alien civilisations, robots and bandits via an array of intergalactic vehicles.

Juiced – Match Head Games

Juiced is a 3rd person action platformer where players chase and capture fruit and veg creatures, known as “Crops”, in order to make the smoothies. Each crop has their own unique way of moving, and some have special abilities that make them unpredictable when first encountered. Players must learn their behaviour or risk being caught in sticky strawberry jam, burned by citric acid or crushed by a swarm of angry grapes.

Children of Geometry – Enter Yes

Children of Geometry is a story-driven third-person hack-and-slash game set amidst the streets of Carrickmass; an urban wasteland run amok with delinquent hoodies who lurk amongst the digitally augmented nightmares. Micky and his closest friends must make their way through Carrickmass on their journey to Blackspoint – a costal viewpoint – where Micky’s older brother took his own life; but not before leaving a geo-tagged suicide note. The journey to Blackspoint isn’t safe.

How to Kill Monsters – Coffee Box Games

A 2D Strategy role playing game (RPG) where the player fights off monsters with giant mechs. The player commands an isolated society in a post-apocalyptic world of colossal monsters, where they have to balance combat with resource management and faction politics.

 

Categories
Industry News

Production begins on Jennifer Wilde: The Ghost of Oscar Wilde

Outsider Games is partnering with comic book publisher Atomic Diner to adapt the best-selling and award-winning comic book Jennifer Wilde as a point & click adventure game; Jennifer Wilde: The Ghost of Oscar Wilde. 

Jennifer Wilde: The Ghost of Oscar Wilde received funding from Northern Ireland Screen supported by Invest NI. 

At the start of the Jazz Age in Paris in 1921, young French artist Jennifer Chevalier becomes embroiled in death, espionage and revolution which takes her across the three nations of France, England and Ireland – ably assisted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde. 

Jennifer believes the recent death of her father was no ‘accident’. Finding a chained locket in her father’s hotel, Jennifer attempts to use her childhood gift for talking to ghosts to call his spirit back. Unwittingly, the ghost recalled is that of Oscar Wilde, famous Irish playwright, whose affair with Jennifer’s father has bound his ghost to the locket. 

Jennifer and Oscar find themselves involved in schemes of murder, ghosts and intrigue as they attempt to solve Jennifer’s father’s murder, and develop a deep friendship along the way.

Developed by Outsider Games and the team behind Wailing Heights, Jennifer Wilde: The Ghost of Oscar Wildefeatures black and white, ink washed 2D graphics that perfectly capture the aesthetic of the original comic book. 

Jennifer Wilde’s script comes courtesy of original series author, Maura McHugh, whose writing credits include Mike Mignola’s Witchfinder comics, and Barron’s Twisted Myths and Twisted Fairy Tales. 

Categories
Developer News

Outsider Games launches its Steam Greenlight campaign for Wailing Heights

Outsider Games launches its Steam Greenlight campaign with a new coffin-rocking trailer for Wailing Heights; A body-hopping, musical adventure game, set in with a horrific hamlet of modern monsters.

After a booking mix-up, Frances Finklestein, former manager of The Deadbeats (the greatest 60s rock and roll band in the world), finds himself imprisoned in Wailing Heights; home to the likes of vegan werewolves, hipster vampires, Motown zombies, gossiping ghosts and all manner of well-adjusted supernatural taxpaying homeowners.

A mysterious cellmate teaches Finklestein to “body¬-hop”, leaving his corpse behind in the holding cell and jumping from ghost to vampire to werewolf to zombie. Each creature’s skills and abilities give him access to places no human should ever set foot, while bringing him one step closer to getting his own body out of lockup and getting the hell out of the Heights. But of course, it’s never that easy…

Wailing heights features a story by Kevin Beimers (Hector: Badge of Carnage, Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark), comicbook-style visuals and an original, eclectic soundtrack from Motown Zombies, Hipster Vampires, Barbershop Ghosts and Irish-folk playing Werewolves. 

Wailing Heights received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and is due for release on PC, Mac and Linux early 2016. For more information, screenshots and production blog, visit www.wailingheights.com