22nd 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 (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!
Auroch Digital has just completed 3 games for Shakespeare’s Globe. Here is the press release about them:
GameTheNews, the developer of topical newsgames such as Endgame:Syria and NarcoGuerra has turned its development skills into a different area; kids games. The GameTheNews’s hosting company, Auroch Digital has developed three titles for the launch of a new digital games site at Shakespeare’s Globe, which has commissioned a number of fun activities for children in their new online ‘Playground‘ area.
What people may find a little surprising about one of the contributions to new site is that one of the games, Hemmings Play Company, is based on the gameplay engine of their controversial release Endgame:Syria. This latter title focused on the ongoing civil war in Syria. The game was banned from the Apple Store, ultimately only finding it’s way onto the market place re-branded as Endgame:Eurasia. In Hemmings Play Company the player is tasked with helping Hemmings, a bear in charge of a theatre troupe of other animals, with earning enough money to rebuild the theatre after it’s inevitable destruction. The tanks and assassins of End Game have been replaced with the Globe’s own colourful cartoon characters striving to give a good performance for their audience and deal with the daily challenges of running a theatre.
GameTheNews’s other contributions include Lute Hero; a music based rhythm game where you assist Sly the fox in playing popular old English songs such as Greensleeves and the Grand Old Duke of York. And Kit’s Wardrobe Challenge a fast paced arcade game where the player attempts to rapidly clean and repair the various costumes used during a period performance. This game is an adaptation of GameTheNews’s other popular comment on the house-meat scandal, Cow Crusher. GameTheNews’s Tomas Rawlings said, “These bold adaptations of our existing titles show how the dynamics of a game should not be confused with its subject matter. If the core functionally is robust and game play intuitive, they can become the canvass for a variety of great projects. That is just what we were able to show while working on the Globe Playground.”
Hemmings Play Company Screenshot
Some of the links to this story:
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.
Auroch Digital has been working with The Wellcome Trust to produce two fantastic session are this years Develop Conference in Brighton. The first is:
Live Pitch in partnership with The Wellcome Trust
10 Jul 2013
12:00 – 12:45
Four indie developer studios pitch their latest game ideas LIVE to a panel of publishers, investors and funders! Earlier this year four indies each received development funding of up to £10,000 from The Wellcome Trust for their novel game concepts. Now they’ll be pitching those developed concepts to a panel of industry experts on the hunt for the next big thing. These experienced individuals have seen hundreds of pitches and will be offering their take on each idea – and of course looking out for any they may want to invest in themselves.
And the second session is:
Plague Inc. – 10 Million Downloads and Counting: The Power of Realistic Game Design
10 Jul 2013
14:00 – 14:45
Plague Inc. from Ndemic Creations was one of the top mobile games of 2012 with millions of players working to infect and kill the world’s population with a deadly disease. Created as a hobby, it has become so successful that it even attracted the attention of America’s CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In this interview organised by the Wellcome Trust, we’ll ask James Vaughan to explain how Plague Inc. was created and the advantages that come from basing a game on a real world topic. We will also investigate the balance of realism vs. gameplay, discuss how to make science appealing and identify his top lessons for other developers seeking to make successful, realistic games.
Plague Inc screenshot
Online gamers and visitors to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition are today being invited to vote for their favourite science inspired game. Gamers will be able to play and then vote for one of four games developed at a 12 hour Game Jam hosted by the Royal Society in May. The Game Jam saw scientists taking part in this year’s Summer Science Exhibition team up with experienced games development studios to bring the science behind their exhibits to life.
The games can be played online on the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition website or found as free PC downloads via the IndieCity website. They will also be available to play at special games stations throughout the Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society.
Players will be encouraged to vote for the game that they think is the most fun, playable and explains the science best. The game with the most votes will receive funding to be developed further – perhaps by adding another level or extra characters or making it available on more devices. Voting closes on Sunday 7th July. The games competing for further funding are:
- A Pinch of Salt: an ocean set 3D game which sees players pilot an ocean glider and measuring sea salt and trying to cover as much ground as possible in a limited time, developed by Kanko and the University of East Anglia.
- Cell Invaders: a puzzle-action game exploring the complex life of sugars, developed by Robin Baumgarten, Gorm Lai, Benjamin Donoghue and the University of Manchester.
- Out Both Ends: a biomedical puzzle game about identifying the source of an outbreak of disease, developed by Opposable Games, Force of Habit and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
- Quantum Revolution: an excitement packed space shooter game based on quantum physics, developed by Bossa Studios and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd.
Professor Peter Sadler FRS, chair of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition selecting committee, said: “We’re delighted that our first ever Summer Science Exhibition Game Jam was such a success. It was great to see the enthusiasm with which scientists and developers alike approached the gruelling 12 hour Game Jam. The games that they were able to develop in such a short time are absolutely fantastic. The Summer Science Exhibition is all about communicating the wonders of science to the public in new and exciting ways. I’ve certainly had a wonderful time trying out all of the games and I look forward to seeing which game triumphs in the public vote!”
Unity Technologies, a games development software company, has supported the Royal Society in designing and running the Game Jam, through Unity, the flexible and high-performance development platform used to make creative and intelligent interactive 3D and 2D experiences. The Royal Society is partnering with indie game distribution portal, IndieCity, to share the games produced at the jam. The vote’s Twitter hashtag is #RSgamejam
Auroch Digital produced the event and also developed a game for one of the exhibitions, Zombeetle & The Fossil Colour Quest.
Zombeetle and the Fossil Colour Quest
Some links to this:
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
NarcoGuerra – Can you End the Unending War?
“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
The Royal Society is looking for experienced games development studios to take part in new initiative that will turn some of the research on show at its annual Summer Science Exhibition into video games. The Royal Society will host a 12 hour game jam on 24th May that will see developers work with the scientists behind exhibits to produce five exciting new games.
Royal Society Game Jam 2013
Unity Technologies, a games development software company, will support the Royal Society in creating fun interpretations of the science that will be on show at this year’s Exhibition. Of the 23 exhibits taking part this year, 5 will be selected to take part in the game jam. The Royal Society is partnering with indie game distribution portal, IndieCity, to share the games produced at the jam.
The game jam will take place at the Royal Society in London. Five development teams of up to 4 developers will be partnered with the selected exhibitors for an all-day game jamathon from 10am – 10pm. Each development team will receive £2,000 to further develop their games after the game jam so that they are ready to be played at the Summer Science Exhibition which runs from 1st – 7th July. The games will be available free online and at the exhibition itself so that the public can cast votes for their favourite game. The team that receives the most votes will receive an additional £2,000 to further develop the games once the Exhibition closes.
Professor Peter Sadler, chair of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition selecting committee, said:
“The Summer Science Exhibition is one of the highlights of the Royal Society’s year. It provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to interact with scientists and ask them questions about their work. We’re very excited to be introducing a new element to the Exhibition this year in the form of the Games Jam. An increasing number of exhibitors have used games as a way of communicating their science over the last few years and we’re hoping that by giving some of them an opportunity to be part of the Games Jam it will bring state-of-the-art creativity and innovation to their video games and some fantastic news ways of bringing their cutting-edge research to life for our visitors. I’m really looking forward to playing with what’s created on the day!”
The Royal Society invites the UK’s talented games development sector to join it in communicating the fun and fascination of science. Interested developers can find out more about the competition and how to apply from the Royal Society’s website at bit.ly/RSgamejam .The event’s Twitter hashtag is #RSgamejam
This project is being produced for the Royal Society by Auroch Digital (aurochdigital.com) in conjunction with Unity 3D and IndieCity. The accompanying image for the event can be found here.
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