24 Feb 2014

v0.6.1.0 – More Weak Force, More Magic

Version 0.6.1.0 has just been released on Steam! Changes are:

  • Chapter 7! More weak force!
  • Particles spawning on other particles no longer a problem (by magic!)
  • In-game story for chapters 1-2 updated
  • Small bug fixes

I ended up not putting the audio changes in this build, coz we haven’t adjusted the volume settings and they sound kinda horrible. If you’re desperate to hear what it’s like, you can check out the Beta branch on Steam (just right click on the game in your library->properties->betas and choose the beta branch)

Next week, we’ll (hopefully) have:

  • Chapter 8: The Strong Force!
  • Actual audio changes
  • Some weak force tweaks (I’m not sure what yet, but I’m sure there’ll be some)
  • More in-game story updated
18 Feb 2014
blackhole2

Version 0.6.0.0: The Force is Weak in this one…

Ok, I’m almost done with the bad Star Wars puns. Almost.

Version 0.6.0.0 is here! If you go to Steam, it’ll automatically update! We’ll be updating the Humble Store version in the next day or two (it takes a little bit longer…).

Watch this video to see some of the new stuff!

Here’s what you’ll find in the new version:

  • Upgraded particle, spawner, spawn point and data graphics
  • Particlepedia, linked into examination mode
  • Examination mode now triggered on Control
  • Shorter chapters (most are 12 levels)
  • Chapter 5! Black Holes!
  • Chapter 6! The Weak Force begins!
  • Level opening changed, you only have to press enter the first time
  • UI system updated (mostly this has resulted in all the fonts being Arial)

The big news is the inclusion of the Weak Force, which adds… well, it changes things. Literally. You know what they say: strength may be weird and colourful, but weakness changes people. Or at least, it’s what they would say if particles were people…

Read more…

12 Feb 2014
Screenshot 2014-02-06 17.39.54

v0.6 incoming: May ALL of the forces be with you!

This weekend we’ll (finally) be releasing a new version of Particulars: Version 0.6 (we went up a whole version number!). Sorry it’s taken so long – we had to upgrade our UI engine, which broke… well… a lot of things.

Version 0.6 will bring in the following changes:

  • Shorter chapters (usually 12 levels each) – we’re cutting a lot of the fat out
  • Chapter 5! (now with Black Holes)
  • Chapter 6! (wait, there’s 6 chapters now?)
  • Hopefully Chapter 7! (if I can get there)
  • Upgraded particle graphics
  • Particlepedia – an encyclopedia about particle physics, right in the game

Ok, so… I have a bit of explaining to do. Just before the christmas break, the SeeThrough team had a meeting that started with things that actually made sense, detoured through some concerns about the possible racism of avoiding the black antiparticles (conclusion: if people call us out on that, then it’s probably more a reflection of them, not us) and ended with “why don’t we double the length of the game?”.

Read more…

27 Nov 2013
NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise

From the Earth to the Moon

I’ve become a little obsessed with the history of the Space Race recently. This has mostly been brought on by two excellent documentary series, the predictably named “Space Race” by the BBC and “Moon Machines.” Did you know that the entire basis for the space program started with the Nazi built V2 rocket? Or that the Russians crashed a lunar probe into the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin were still on the surface? I certainly didn’t, but I was excited to find out.

If you have the time or inclination I recommend you give the documentaries a watch. It’s really inspiring to see how the efforts of so many people lead to some of our more amazing achievements.

Basically, learning about this stuff makes me ask one question: Can we go to Mars already?

25 Nov 2013
particulars_0 2013-10-19 17-15-37-33

Frustrating Elegance

In a few of the early levels of Particulars, there’s a pattern of having one or two more pairs of antiparticles available than you need to finish the level (for example, there are 3 particles and 3 antiparticles in a level where you have to cause 2 annihilations). This wasn’t the case for quite a while (because, quite simply, it’s more elegant to only have what you need in a level), until we realised just how infuriating and not fun it is to try and get a single down quark to annihilate a single anti-down quark.

Just how not fun? Pouring good beer down the drain not fun.

22 Nov 2013
  • Hard at work
  • More screens=more fun
  • Wall of Stuff: concept art and scribbles
  • Wall of Stuff: Vintage business cards
  • All the awards!
  • ...still to unpack

An Office Epiphany

We are one week into our new office space and things are going swimmingly. We are lucky enough to be in the offices of Epiphany Games, sharing the space with Flat Earth Games and Sitrep Games. We promised pictures of the new space, so here is a small collection showing out (mostly) set up area.

The blurring is there to disguise some of the Epiphany related things on the walls around the office (shhhhhhhh secret Epiphany things!)

20 Nov 2013
photo 1

The treasure of Tiger Pirate

As part of moving to our new office, we needed to pack up our old office. We had accumulated a lot of stuff (as offices tend to do), so as we sorted through everything, we kept finding things we thought were long lost. Things like old business cards and posters we never knew we had. Amongst the general detritus, I found a tiger hat. I of course immediately put it on my head. Next I came across a mostly full bottle of rum that Paul had lying around for some celebration or other. After a little more cleaning and sorting of paper (including the establishment of the “wall pile” for things that will be going up on the walls in our new office), I found the final component of tiger pirate: a cardboard poster tube to use as a telescope.

Thus Tiger Pirate was born!

Ant the treasure you ask? It was a fancy box full of a variety of custom flash drives that we had been given as a sample over a year ago. Though it turned out none of the flash drives actually worked.

At least Tiger Pirate still had her rum.

15 Nov 2013
Bodyboarding_metaphor

Steam Greenlight: An Analogy

Imagine you’ve been kayaking at the beach are now heading for shore. You’re riding a massive, powerful series of waves, and it feels like you’ll be there in no time. Then the wave disperses, and it occurs to you that you’ve made no progress for several minutes. It soon dawns on you that you’ve been trapped by a devilish riptide.

Now you’re paddling furiously, trying to inch your way closer to the beach. Time ticks past – it feels like you’ve been out here forever. Sometimes you make a little progress, sometimes you are pulled back a little. Very gradually, you’re closing the distance between yourself and the shore. Then you catch a break – a freak wave grabs you and drags you many feet closer, carrying you further in an instant than all of your strained paddling has managed. It’s exhilarating, although it does feel slightly unfair that the gods have so much more power over the situation than you do.

Still – if you were to relax, you would quickly be swept back to where you were previously and beyond. And so you continue sweeping the paddle to your left and right, arms straining, inching your way toward dry land. A lot more time passes. You are nearly ready to give up when another wave hits. This pattern repeats: long, silent struggles punctuated by brief moments of ecstatic progress.

Finally, the beach seems to be within reach. Now every inch gained feels precious as breath, and each loss like a splinter shaved from your soul. And the losses are coming more frequently now – several for every gain. Your arms burn. You’re slipping, losing your grip on your oars, about to lose everything.

And then that final wave arrives – the one that carries you in a graceful, soaring arc and deposits you panting on the sand. You feel a little relief, of course. But the elation you expected to surge through you is absent. You’ve survived Steam Greenlight, yes, but where does that actually get you, in and of itself?

Only to the threshold. Now the real work begins…