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Archive for June 2012

Nihilumbra On Sale!

By : arie cell
Today Nihilumbra appeared on the App Store!
We are very excited and very proud of the work we've done, when we come back from the GameLab you'll have a lot of incoming news, stay tuned!

Nihilumbra is coming. At last!

By : arie cell
We've got something special to share with everyone today. This image.

If you know what I mean...

The game has been uploaded to the App store! We will wait a few days to see if they accept it, but this means that finally, at last, after all this time... Nihilumbra will be available!
We are eager to see people's reaction.
As you may know, our team is really small and we were all working on the final steps of the development, but now... we are free! This means that we will be able to create an awesome trailer, make more updates on the blog, contact press... whatever is necessary to bring the game to as much people as possible.
For now... we just wanted to share this exciting news with all of you. I'll attach the screenshots that we uploaded to the App store, the ones that everyone will see before buying this masterpiece.
Hope you like them!

Interview to Kevin Cerdà

By : arie cell

Kevin Cerdà, our handsome game designer, has been interviewed by Carola Cudemo on Arsludica.
On the interview, he talks about his other projects, about game design... but mostly about Nihilumbra. There are some interesting facts about how the game has been conceived, about our philosophy, and  some of the reasons why we make awesome games.
You can find the original interview here, but it's on italian!

But, for our beloved readers... I've tried to translate it to publish it here, on the blog.

Let's start with the canonical introductory question: Introduce yourself to our readers speaking a little bit about you.

I’m Kevin Cerdà, a game designer from Barcelona. I’ve been working on the game industry for a couple of years and I have been involved in lots of projects. I am an independent developer,  though I was once involved in a triple A project.
Right now, you can find two videogames that were entirely designed by me: The Creature and Nihilumbra. (The creature was made by students with no budget, and it can be downloaded for free on the official blog. http://thecreatureproject.wordpress.com/)
After that, some friends and part of The Creature original team joined our forces to create BeautiFun games and started working on Nihilumbra. It’s a really original game for iOS and it’s going to be released really soon.

A triple A project. Can you tell us more about that?

Not too much, I’m afraid. I’ll just say that it was something big, for Xbox Live and I was the main game designer. It would have been something really awesome, but on the last step of the negotiation, the budget was not approved. It was a pity; I worked a lot on that design and I was really proud because I managed to introduce a lot of my personal touch on its gameplay.

Which is that personal touch? What makes your games special?

Well, I always try to mix concepts that should be opposed. Old and new, for example, or casual and hardcore. I don’t really believe in “casual” and “hardcore” players. I think that the only difference between gamers is the level of expertise and the amount of interest. I make games for people that are interested on them.
Obviously, someone that just discovered the world of games will need simpler mechanics than someone who’s been playing since child.
When I started playing games, the controllers had two or three buttons and a D-pad. Then, they slowly started to become more and more complex. Now there are lots of people that are interested on videogames, but they just can’t understand “hardcore” games, and they become bored with the typical “casual” mechanics of popping balloons.
That’s why I try to restart the history of videogames, bringing old school simple mechanics and joining them with new possibilities that were impossible to implement on those days, like 3D graphics, touching devices, online multiplayer… And I make all this to create new games that bring new experiences, have a nostalgic touch and can be enjoyed by everyone who wants to try them.

Let’s talk about your first game: The Creature. You've released it for free, right?

Yes. As I said, it’s a game created by students, and we made it to learn and to challenge ourselves. Usually students create demos, because creating a whole game is a really difficult task. We knew that no one did it before in any Spanish course, and actually… the teachers recommended us to work on a shiny, ten minutes demo… but we worked hard, and we managed to ship a whole game with story, bosses, replayability, Easter eggs… we were so proud that we wanted to share it with people. We really wanted people to try our game, so we decided to release it for free, so anyone could enjoy it.
The game keeps being downloaded every day and that’s a nice satisfaction for us. And, who knows… if some day we find a way to fund it, we may create a better, bigger and awesomener version of The Creature.

Have you ever considered crowdfunding for that?

Sometimes I consider the crowdfunding possibility. Lots of projects are appearing nowadays, and it seems that people is starting to use this method to fund interesting projects… But it’s also true that the projects that are not based on a well-known franchise, or doesn’t have famous people involved on them, doesn’t tend to success… so maybe it’s a little bit early for me to try it.

Talk us about Nihilumbra: Why did you choose to develop for iOS devices?

 It isn’t really a choice. The Apple store offers us a safe way to bring our game to the customers, and it is practically the only viable way for a company with not too much funds.
Developing for consoles is really expensive, and your project must be approved by Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo to be launched. There are other possibilities like PSN, DSiWare or Xbox Live, but the Apple store is clearly the easiest one to start with.
Furthermore, we are just five developers in BeautiFun Games, and if we wanted to make something competitive we had to focus on game development. Unity allowed us to start working on the game on the first day and it will be easy to port it to other platforms someday, if needed.

Tell us more about Nihilumbra. How would you describe it?

Nihilumbra is a serious, complex game with simple mechanics. It has been designed for tactile devices, so the complexity of the game doesn’t rely on reflexes or timing. It may look like a simple platformer, but it’s something totally different. You should stop and think to be able to beat the puzzles that you will find. Actually, it is inspired by games like Abe’s Oddysee, Prince of Persia, Hearth of Darkness or Another World.
The story and the aesthetics of the game are also radically different than what you would normally find on the Apple store. Everything looks sad and desaturated. The game is about facing an inevitable fate. The main character is cursed, and a huge mass of Void is chasing him. He has to escape forever, while condemning the places where he goes by, because the Void erases everything it touches while it advances.
To success, you will have to learn colors and use them to change the world. Painting the ground will change its physics, allowing you to slide at high speeds, bounce on walls, stick to ceilings and lots of different possibilities. It’s a game that might seem easy at the beginning, but it becomes a real challenge even for expert gamers!

And don’t you think that it’s risky to launch such a different game when all the other companies are releasing games that are really inmediate?

Every day, thousands of Apps appear on the Apple store. There are lots of copies of successful games, lots of mixes between different well-known mechanics, and lots of shiny little happy flurry animals disposed to come back home, or eat grapefruits, or build farms.
We think that is safer to make a risky game that stands out than making something more popular that will be swallowed in the stream of new games. If you try to be liked by everyone, you won’t reach anyone.
We just care about delivering fun, and we try to create games that we, as gamers, would love to play.

And… one last question. Are you planning to port Nihilumbra to other platforms?

We would like to port it to Android and PC, but everything depends on the sales on the Apple store. We don’t have enough budget to start porting it right now, but if people start buying our game and enjoying it, we will do our best to port it wherever is necessary.

Thank you for your time. I wish you luck with Nihilumbra and your future projects.

Thank you too, It’s always a pleasure.

Nihilumbra will be available on the Apple Store on June 2012. You can find more about it on http://www.beautifungames.com


By : arie cell

The Shyphonith is one of the most lethal enemies that you will find in Nihilumbra.

It's an abomination: half beast and half machine. The Void tried to replicate artificial weapons to create a precise killing machine, and this monster was the result.

As you may guess, it can shoot with an incredible accuracy. If you get inside his sight, you will have really low chances to go away without being killed.
The only way to avoid being shot is to sneak away while he's not looking, or wait until he sleeps and be silent to avoid waking him up (Tip: if you walk over brown color you won't disturb sleeping enemies).

When they are about to shoot they sound like a dentist' drill.

They can slide over blue color, and they will walk slower over brown, but their narrow legs allow them to penetrate the surface of the ground, giving them great stability and allowing them to stop safely without falling, even over slippery surfaces. They cannot be sticked to walls, neither.

This is the most changed enemy since the original concept. Originally, the Shyphonith was like this:
I don't know why, but this reminds me of a duck.

Unluckily, this enemy was boring. It needed to walk, actually we wanted something like Sligs on Abe's Odyssey. Something that you might fear. Something that makes you hide behind a rock and pray for it no to get too close. You hold your breath while it comes until it suddenly stops, turns and goes away. That's what we wanted. And that's what we made.

Turns out it's a great enemy.

Remember all this while you play Nihilumbra, and be extremely cautious with these guys... they never miss!

Nihilumbra Hyper-Awesome E3 2012 Trailer Teaser!

By : arie cell
The E3 is almost here and we are starting to see some amazing trailers.
And, obviously, Nihilumbra has something to show. And it's pure gameplay!!

This is just a small example of how the colors can be combined in Nihilumbra to create awesome combinations. We'll be showing more examples on the following days until the game is released. We hope you enjoy them!

BeautiFun Games. We are indies. But we are gonna kick some asses.

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