Category Archives: game development

Fun, Frantic and Free, Camelina Caper Releases Today on iOS and Android Tablets

Take control of Gerald, a fish living in dangerous, jellyfish infested waters, desperately collecting chains of algae to keep the timer running and the score counter ticking, and grab the Camelina flowers for a quick boost. You’ll need speed and precision to achieve high scores, so challenge your friends to see if they’ve got what it takes to beat you!

Camelina Caper Screenshot

Camelina Caper, the latest project from GameTheNews.net, is a light hearted glimpse into the work of Rothamsted Research, produced for the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival exhibit Alpha & Omega; making fish oils in GM plants. The exhibit will be first showcased at Cheltenham Science Festival Explore Zone on the 7th-8th of June 2014.

Omega-3 fish oils are beneficial for our health and can help reduce our risk of heart attacks. However, they are a finite and limited resource. Looking into solutions for sustainable sources of omega-3 fish oils, Rothamsted Research scientists have modified Camelina plants to accumulate omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.

Camelina Caper is now available for free on Apple and Android tablets.

Coverage so far…

Camelina Caper Screenshot

GameTheNews to Join Europe‘s First Newsgames Hackathon

The New York Times’ most popular story of 2013 was not an article. It was an interactive quiz. The Times They Are A-Changin. Games as the defining medium of the 21st century are obviously starting to disrupt journalism.

In order to accelerate this process the independent game studio, the Good Evil and the Cologne Game Lab are organising Europe‘s first Newsgames Hackathon in Cologne, Germany this spring.

Journalists, programmers and game designers are invited to conceptualise and produce working prototypes in 48 hours. The results will then be presented during this years Clash of Realities, an international acclaimed computer game conference.

The young genre has already been tried out worldwide by innovative media companies like The New York Times, Huffington Post, Wired, BBC, Channel 4, The Guardian and Le Monde.

“In a clear distinction to classical linear approaches Newsgames allow the interactive experience of content and are very well suited to explain systems“, says Marcus Bösch. The german journalist and co-founder of the Good Evil is the Hackathon’s initiator.

For several years he has been busy exploring Newsgames. After having given workshops, talks and media appearances on the topic he, together with his game studio, has designed PRISM – The Game: Germany‘s very first Newsgame, published by Arte Future.

Now the Good Evil in cooperation with the Cologne Game Lab, an institute of the Cologne University of Applied Science, wants to bring together journalists, game designers and programmers on May 6th and 7th.  Dr. Tomas Rawlings from GameTheNews, shortlisted for a GamesIndustry.biz Innovation Award, will hold a keynote,“We see newsgames as a means of talking to gamers about the world around them in a language they understand. Games as a form has expanded and we’re seeing them being put to use for everything from curing cancer to teaching maths. When it comes to news and current affairs we’re right at the start of an exciting journey.“

Attendance to the event is free of charge. Anyone interested can apply online until March 20th: http://newsgames-hackathon.tumblr.com/applyhttp://newsgames-hackathon.tumblr.com/apply Participants from Austria or Switzerland can apply for a scholarship that covers travel and hotel costs thanks to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Forum Journalismus und Medien in Vienna. Deutsche Welle, Germany‘s international broadcaster is the main media partner of the event.

Newsgames Hackathon. May 6th and 7th in Cologne, Germany. The results will be presented during this years Clash of Realities Conference on May 8th.

Coverage:

BBC Radio 1xtra Game by Auroch Digital Launches

Tuesday 18th March saw the release of new game by Radio 1xtra ‘Fire in the Booth’, developed by Auroch Digital. Released as part of the 1xtra ‘MC Week’ event and featuring voiceover by Radio 1xtra DJ Charlie Sloth and cameos from several other of the station’s DJs. Fire in the Booth’ was announced live on air on Wednesday 19th March and is available to play free at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/games/rapbattle/.

Huge thanks to Force of Habit and Infinite Playground for their assistance with this project.

Fire in the Booth - Title Screen

Fire in the Booth – Title Screen

Fire in the Booth - Ingame Action!

Fire in the Booth – Ingame Action!

Fire in the Booth - Player vs Sarah Jane Crawford in a rap battle!

Fire in the Booth – Player vs Sarah Jane Crawford in a rap battle!

Ndemic Creations brings Plague Inc. onto Steam with help from Auroch Digital

Updated! The game is now out on Steam Early Access. There is much more info on the game’s official page. Also see this article on Polygon. The trailer is below:

Twitter and Facebook have been a-buzz with the recent news that the developer of smash hit mobile title Plague Inc will be releasing the much anticipated desktop version, Plague Inc: Evolved very soon. Auroch Digital is proud to announce that we have been working with Ndemic Creations to help make Plague Inc. on desktop a reality. The new version will see the same captivating gameplay with the addition of multiplayer, user-generated content and much more. Plague Inc: Evolved launches to Steam Early Access on the 20th February. The game’s official page can be found at plagueincevolved.com and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Plague Inc: Evolved Announcement Image

Part-time Book-keeper Job Opportunity at Auroch Digital

Auroch Digital have an opening for immediate start for a qualified, experienced book-keeper, initially for 2 days per week. Please send CV and a covering letter to debbie at aurochdigital dot com.

Note - this vacancy has now been filled. Thanks.

Job Opportunity for an Experienced Designer/Producer

Update: The application process is now closed.  Thanks to those who applied.  If you wish to send your CV for possible future positions (code/art/design) please do.  Thanks and have a great holiday!

Auroch Digital have an opening for an experienced designer/producer for a 3 month contract initially, starting in January. Be part of a growing indie studio working on a wide variety of games projects. This role will be based at Bristol Games Hub. Please send CVs and a covering letter to debbie at aurochdigital dot com by 5pm on Wednesday 18th December, with interviews taking place on Thursday 19th, although do please get in touch if that’s an issue. Feel free to share far and wide. Thanks

No recruitment agencies, thank you!

Chainsaw Warrior Launches on Mobile

Chainsaw Warrior link23rd September 2013, Bristol, UK: The classic boardgame ‘Chainsaw Warrior’ first published by Games Workshop in 1987 and converted into a digital title by Auroch Digital launches today on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch and follows on Samsung Samsung Devices via Chillingo’s 100% Indie later this week. (Update: Also now on Google Play & Amazon Apps)

Announced in July, it caused excitement with those new to the game interested in discovering a classic, and nostalgia with fans who fondly remembered playing it. The game sees players trying to save New York from dire peril as twisted forces spewing from a spatial rift attempt to rip the city from this reality into theirs. The fate of the city rests solely in the hands of a lone cybernetic solider known as the ‘Chainsaw Warrior’. As the eponymous hero, the player must battle through a zombie infested Manhattan tenement in order to locate the controlling intelligence behind the dark army swarming from the spatial rift. The game was renowned as a tough challenge and this new version remains so.

The digital version of the game has been created by Bristol based indie developer Auroch Digital. Auroch Digital’s Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings announced the release: “We’re really pleased with what we’ve created. The team has done an amazing job in creating a brilliant mix of the best of the boardgame with the possibilities of digital. I feel it’s both a fresh and nostalgic take on a classic game. We hope our fellow gamers enjoy facing the thrilling challenge of trying to save New York. Not all will succeed!”

It’s wonderful to see this great game re-worked for today’s platforms,” said Jon Gillard, GW Head of Licensing ‘I can’t wait to get my pistol grip chainsaw revved up and stuck into some zombies.”

“It’s always great when a game comes to Samsung Apps as an exclusive,” says 100% Indie co-founder Chris Byatte, “but when it’s got such a dynamic legacy as Chainsaw Warrior, it’s especially exciting. We’re all classic gamers here, and to see important titles like this reborn through the smartphone platforms for a new generation of players is one of the reasons we love working in this dynamic industry.”

The game is out on iPad, iPhone for $4.99/€3.99/£2.99 and follows on Samsung Samsung Devices via Chillingo’s 100% Indie later this week at the same price point. A wider Android, PC and Mac release is set to follow soon after. To keep in the loop with the project you can like Auroch Digital on Facebook or follow them onTwitter. The game’s information page can be found at chainsawwarrior.net

Time go get moving as you only have #60mins to save New York!

Chainsaw Warrior screenshot (iOS)

Chainsaw Warrior screenshot (iOS)

If you’re a games journalist or blogger, please contact debbie a-t aurochdigital.com for a review pack.

Coverage so far (iOS version):

Android version Converge:

Games Workshop’s 80s Classic Chainsaw Warrior is Back

Chainsaw Warrior link22nd July, 2013, Bristol, UK: The seminal hit board game Chainsaw Warrior, made by Games Workshop back in 1987 is set to return this year in a digital form. The original 80s game was a notable rarity in that it was a solo board game that pitted the player not against others but against the clock. The game saw New York balancing on the precipice of darkness as twisted forces from another reality attempted to rip the city from this world into theirs. Standing between them and the destruction of the city was a lone figure, the brutal and mysterious Chainsaw Warrior. As the eponymous hero, the player had to delve into a zombie infested New York tenement to locate the source of the evil spewing through the spatial rift and destroy it before he was destroyed. The game is being created by Bristol based indie developer Auroch Digital for mobile and desktop platforms.

Chainsaw Warrior Main Image

Chainsaw Warrior Main Image (Click for larger image)

Auroch Digital’s Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings explained why they are resurrecting this mutant and zombie infested classic; “It’s a game I played as a kid and loved. I see it as the pre-cursor of First Person Shooters when video games technology could not really do the first person or the shooting. For me this is not only a great game, but a classic of board game design – a solo shooter that really challenges the player. When we spoke to Games Workshop about developing a game this was the top of my list. I loved the 80s style of the game and we’ve kept much of that in our design as well as faithfully translating the gameplay. Don’t expect to win the game easily. This was the Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day. Players didn’t want to buy the game and run out of challenge at first play. The game has many ways to kill you and is unafraid to use them – which makes it all the sweeter when you finally win.”

As well as its challenge, it also flies in the face of current trends in social aspects in games. Chainsaw Warrior is firmly an individual experience, Rawlings explains, “This is about you against the tide of darkness. Chainsaw Warrior is the last hope for the city and time is running out. Ultimately I wanted to make this game because it is one that needs to be brought to digital with all guns blazing and chainsaw-blades revving, and that is what we’re going to do!”

“Chainsaw Warrior is a classic fantasy solo board game experience that established itself as one of Games Workshop’s best sellers from that era of our history” said Jon Gillard, Games Workshop’s Head of Licensing. “It was actually the first game I bought when I joined the company, and like many other enthusiastic gamers, I enjoyed playing it for years. We can’t wait to see it being brought to a whole new generation of digital gamers who can enjoy the dramatic struggle against seemingly unwinnable odds, as well as the remorseless ticking of the clock.”

The game is due to release on iPad, iPhone and Android at the end of summer at a price point and date to be announced soon. The PC and Mac versions will follow soon after. To keep in the loop with the project you can like Auroch Digital on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The game’s information page can be found at chainsawwarrior.net

News coverage of this includes:

Our favourite tweet about the game so far!

REACT: Jack the Ripper 125 (JtR125)

We’re pleased to say that we’re part of the collaborative project exploring the interactive documentary form as part of REACT, called JtR125:

November 8th 2013 will be the 125th anniversary of the murder of Mary Jane Kelly by an unknown assailant known as ‘Jack the Ripper’. This project uses original photography and 3D game elements to experiment with making a ‘playable documentary’. Exploring notions of crime, news reporting and ethics, players will interact with characters, discover clues and piece together the story, drawing parallels between contemporary society and this infamous crime.

JtR125 Image

Endgame:Syria Developer Turns from Civil War to Drug War with NarcoGuerra

Newsgame developer GameTheNews.net, today released it’s latest offering; a game about the War on Drugs in Mexico entitled NarcoGuerra. GameTheNews.net caused a huge debate following Apple’s controversial decision to reject Endgame:Syria from the App Store. This new game examines the ongoing conflict from the perspective of the Mexican authorities trying to stamp out the drug trade within their borders. In NarcoGuerra the player must attempt to retake Mexico’s regions from cartels while also dealing with corruption within the police force itself.

As part of the global War on Drugs, the conflict in Mexico escalated around 2008 and since that point the human cost has been very high, with over 80,000 people having been killed. Rawlings defends the use of this as subject matter for a game, “Better that we are talking about this topic and why it is happening, whatever the medium being used, than we turn a blind eye and pretend it is not going on. Games are part of the way we understand the world we live in and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done on this game as it engages people while expanding that global conversation.” The game’s designer, Tomas Rawlings remarked, “The War on Drugs has been going for over 40 years now and we wanted to explore why that is. In reflecting the world around us a singer might write a song, a filmmaker produces a documentary and a journalist writes an article, as games developers we express our interest via games. But just because our form of expression is through games, this doesn’t mean we take the subject any less seriously. This game aims to engage players in the issue and get them to think about why this war is still going on despite the billion spent on it.”

NarcoGuerra is now out on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, PC and Mac for $0.99/£0.59/€0.79. This is the first newsgame that GameTheNews.net have charged for, with all their past titles having been released for free. Rawlings commented on this decision, “This game is the biggest newsgame we’ve created which has taken a lot of time, effort and expense. Charging a small amount for this title helps us cover the costs of our highly talented development team and funds us to continue creating newsgames, many of which will be free. This is a premium newsgame and I think it is right that its price reflects the efforts to create it. All news organisations have to make income to pay staff – we’re no different in that respect.”

Screenshot from NarcoGuerra

Screenshot from NarcoGuerra

NarcoGuerra - Can you End the Unending War?

NarcoGuerra – Can you End the Unending War?

NarcoGuerra Screenshot

Press Coverage:

“Game the News is one of the more interesting indie game developers working at the moment: specialising in games based on topical news stories and campaigns.” Stuart Dredge, The Guardian