HEY! We are releasing a new game and we are so excited!
The Red Strings Club is a cyberpunk narrative experience about fate and happiness featuring the extensive use of pottery, bartending and impersonating people on the phone to take down a corporate conspiracy.
The professed altruistic corporation Supercontinent Ltd is on the verge of releasing Social Psyche Welfare: a system that will eliminate depression, anger and fear from society. However, the bartender of a clandestine club and a freelance hacker don't regard this evolution as an improvement but as brainwashing. Alongside unwitting company employees and a rogue empathy android, the duo will pull all the strings they can to bring down this scheme.
Cyberpunk Thriller Narrative: Uncover a mysterious corporate program that promises a blissful existence while debating what does happiness means and what lengths are permissible to obtain it.
Psychological Bartending: Read your customer's’ mood and mix the perfect cocktail to manipulate the client's emotions in order to gather the information you want and progress your agenda of stopping Supercontinent's plans.
Genetic Implant Pottery: Design genetic implants at a high-tech lathe to change the attitude and direction of the corporation’s most influential executives.
Vocal Corporate Espionage: Assume the voice of important figures in the Social Psyche Welfare project and play their own motivations against each other over the phone to uncloak their plans.
We joined Familiar Game Jam 5 a couple of weeks ago (October 23th-25th) and we want to tell everyone about it: it was AMAZING.
Its format and rules don't differ much from a regular game jam (48 hours to make a game under a specific theme), in fact, you can submit a game online to the FGJ via gamejolt whenever the jam is live. But the magic happens at the live gathering they host in Sevilla, Spain. They take a really good care of the participants, they fed us with delicious pizza, burgers and arrocito con carne, and offered beer and refreshments the whole weekend. Survival supplies apart, the brightest highlight for us were the good vibes, they treated us so well and made us feel so comfortable that everyone had a great time and were able to focus on just making games, having fun, and playing with other developers.
I haven't attended many live game jam gatherings, but the couple I've been before had this, in my opinion, big flaw: They tried to add too much content to the event! I mean, trying to make a videogame in a weekend is already challenging enough to in addition be dealing with game pitches, brainstormings, talk about your team, mid-dev progress expositions, speed networking etc.
I’m really fond of game jams, ailment prototyping and experimenting. I truly believe that the best way of learning how to make games is to just make games, hospital and to fail as much as you can. In this aspect, there Fear Syndicate Thesis, our game for Ludum Dare 33, has been a great learning experience.
The theme this time was “You are the Monster”, and the idea behind our entry was to make a post-apocalyptic debt-collecting sandbox. Don’t ask me why, but on paper, chasing helpless people, beating them and dragging them through the dirt with your rope looked like fun at the moment. After all, the theme was to make the player experience the role of the monster, and this activity seemed quite monstrous to me.
We worked frantically to fit everything we could inside this over-scoped game, we felt confident, and hell, we got the world-travelling, narrative system, action, economy… a lot of stuff done and ready in just the first 2 days. And then the last day came: content creation. I had a story ready about a guy who starts working for a syndicate which rules over a dried lake: whoever wanted to start a business in that land had to ask for this syndicate’s permission and couldn’t refuse their funding. The main character’s sister could not keep up to the debt payment, so the syndicate took her husband as a slave until they could repay the debt. This was the initial setting for the game, so the idea was that you’d start collecting debts for a good cause, but in the process you would harm a lot of people and, in the end, when you manage to pay your brother-in-law’s debt, you’d go back home to find the house burnt to the ground and your family hanged with a blood graffiti reading: MONSTER. But then I made the first mission.
This first mission was about looking for some people who built a church, the world was big, so you started wandering and talking with NPCs that gave you hints to find this church: “I think this church is south from here”, “It’s a normal house with a tiny cross on the door”, “I heard they all wear purple”... following this leads, you arrived to the church, and started chasing them and beating them to the ground while they dropped money and blood. It wasn’t fun. It made me feel bad. I learned that violence without challenge, without an opposing force, is not fun, is the opposite of fun. At least, if you’re not that kind of player who enjoys beating random pedestrians on Grand Theft Auto.
I tried to look for a way to make it fun, but there wasn’t enough time to add challenge, enemies or to substantially fix the horror behind this gameplay. For the first time ever on a Ludum Dare, I said to my friends that I was sorry to waste their work in art and music: I decided to give up, I wasn’t going to submit this. So I tweeted about giving up. However, as part of the magic of Ludum Dare, some people replied encouraging us to finish. Just submit! That’s the philosophy behind Ludum Dare! They were damn right. Game jams are meant to experiment, to learn and to have fun.
So, at this point there were only 6 hours left. What can I do with all of this that could be relevant? This game makes me feel bad, how can I avoid that? Couldn’t get anywhere and the clock was ticking, so I finally faced the question of why should I avoid this game making you feel bad. Then decided to convert it to a “poem about violence”. In less than 6 hours, I mixed all the assets mindlessly in an attempt to create pointless entertainment around violence just to lead the player to the reflexion that violence implies deeper things than just hitting and killing things. I wanted to share what I experienced developing the empty fun behind violence without opposition. I also used the opportunity to experiment with Game Maker Studio and played with the camera, coloring, scaling and other things to represent how the main character loses his shit as you keep obeying the syndicate for no apparent reason. The final result is quite bad, but Fear Syndicate Thesis taught me far more things than other game jams with which I was satisfied. I learned about fun, about myself and to not fear failure again. We should all fail more often, and game jams are the perfect environment for that!
There’s a lot of wisdom hidden in closure. So, please, my fellow game developers, finish your games.
Guided by the desires and votations of the community behind the crowdfunding of Gods Will Be Watching and after months of hard work we finally finished the last chapter of this epic space tale:
Set twenty years after the close of the original game, players will again be tasked with making tough decisions in the tense conflict enveloping the galaxy. Liam, the leader of the fallen freedom fighter organization Xenolifer, gathers the scattered members of Sgt. Burden’s old unit and embarks on a desperate quest to change the past and prevent the oppressive Constellar Federation from ever coming to power.
If you already own Gods Will Be Watching, you can update your game for free. If not, to celebrate the release of the DLC, Gods Will Be Watching will be discounted 75% off during this week!
We are super excited to finally release this closure to the Gods Will Be Watching universe. We hope you enjoy the ending and of course, we'll keep making games so, please, stay tunned! :D
It’s been a month since we announced the fanart contest and we have a winner. And what a winner, salve this piece of Sarah eating Marvin’s leg is just amazing, viagra 100mg it conveys so much feeling into one frame, buy cialis telling explicitly what the pixels hid behind their iconicism: the crude reality of surviving in the wild eating your partners, and the psychological impact of that told through Sarah’s eyes.
Bravo. Thank you very much.
The work is called "Please, Stop Watching." and Here you can get it in high resolution, it well deserves it.
We are very happy to send its author Musivara, the complete physical collector’s edition of Gods Will Be Watching!
Of course, even if we can’t reward every single piece of fanart, we want to thank everybody who sent us a little piece of happiness in the form of a visual tribute to our game because every single work makes us smile and fuels our will to keep making games. Thanks, guys, we love you.