Our penultimate development day is drawing to a close. I’ve spent most of it in a seperate room to the rest of the team, putting together a press release and trying to record video with Fraps (I’m going to have to do it at home, as we don’t seem to have a PC her that’s powerful enough to record video without causing the game to judder all over the place). But I just went upstairs to check on the guys, and Paul seems to be pretty happy with how today has gone – final levels are being polished, and bugs are being stomped on with calm efficiency.
But what I want to share today is the press release that I’ve been working on. It may not quite be in its final state (Paul still needs to look it over), but that scares me not – for I am a knight of the SeeThrough table, and all my secrets are on display!
Anyway – I must give credit to this article on Gamer’s Nexus, for giving me some solid advice and examples. The main thing I’ve tried to do is make it lively and amusing, while still being very functional. Feel free to comment to let me know if you think I’ve succeeded!
SeeThrough Studios invite you to visit the polygon-noir world of Flatland: Fallen Angle
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – 26 February 2012 – With a tinkle not unlike the sound of shattering crockery, SeeThrough Studios today launched their inaugural game, Flatland: Fallen Angle. Inspired by the 1884 novella Flatland, by Edwin Abbott Abbott, Fallen Angle is the noir-esque tale of an isosceles triangle on the run from the law and hungry for revenge! Over ten astonishingly two-dimensional levels, the player must negotiate the various neighbourhoods of Polygonometropolis, and use their three angles to slice, splinch and shatter anyone who gets in their way!
Built in just ninety-six hours (over three weeks), Flatland: Fallen Angle was conceived as a way to prototype the SeeThrough Studios development philosophy – “Make games fast. Show your working.” – and its development has been accompanied by a smorgasbord of behind-the-scenes images, videos and words (including a series of development diaries on Kotaku Australia), along with a number of beta releases.
Developed without a full-time artist to get in the programmers’ way, Flatland: Fallen Angle has a crisp, stripped-back visual style, which is augmented by its many-threaded audio direction. It features narration by a semi-professional actor, music by a guy who has an IMDB page, and sound effects by a guy who doesn’t.
Flatland: Fallen Angle is playable for free, with a special Appreciation Edition available for a price of “pay what you want”.
- Original “splinching” mechanic allows the player and enemies to literally break pieces off each other.
- Ten moderately-sized levels, covering the varying socioeconomic strata of Polygonometropolis.
- Bucket-loads of audio – voice acting, music, and sound effects – give depth to the 2D world.
- AI allies (yes, “friendly splinching” is now a thing!).
- Weighty Rain™
- Behind-the-scenes features out the wazoo, for those interested in game development processes.
- The standard game is playable for free.
- The “pay what you want” Appreciation Edition features a survival arena mode and developer commentary.
- There will be sequels, even if no-one wants them!
About SeeThrough Studios
SeeThrough Studios is a trading name used by two tiny indie companies (Throw the Looking Glass Pty Ltd and Ark Games Pty Ltd) who didn’t mean to end up with so many names. Their commandant is Paul Sztajer, a veteran of numerous Game Jams and Ludum Dares (for the last one he made a competitive multiplayer time travel game based on Romeo and Juliet).
SeeThrough’s philosophy has one less prong than the Devil’s trident, but is just as pointed: “Make games fast. Show your working.”. More long-windedly, it means: Agile development methodologies, a lot of rapid-prototyping, not enough weekends, and recording every last screw-up for the pleasure and edification of the masses. We’re about as transparent as we can possibly be, down to showing our revenue as a progress bar on our website.
Flatland: Fallen Angle is SeeThrough Studios’ first release. They have a number of other projects in the works, and intend to release “a bunch” of games this year.
Catch you tomorrow for the final countdown! (cue Europe)