I loved the gaming year of 2019. It was an in-between year for me where I worked on many different things, and very different than the intense 2018 (which was all about Yoku’s Island Express release). But quite a lot of games played:
To start, my game of the year was Subnautica. Released on consoles in December 2018, I played it obsessively in January and was already quite certain the experience would be unmatched for the rest of the year. There are so many things in that game that inspires me as a game-designer: An amazing combination of open-world gameplay with a steady trickle of smart narrative to advance the story. Great balance of deep and accessible base-building. Gameplay progression that isn’t afraid to hold back some of the best (and probably most expensive) features until late – all the way up to the final sequence. Using depth as a soft progression blocker was super-effective and gave many wonderful tense moments. And doing all this as a small team using early access is such an impressive achievement. I’m struggling every day to stop myself from playing the upcoming expansion until it’s out of early access.
Thursday night was such a huge night. We won a BAFTA with Yoku’s Island Express for Best Debut. Getting up on the stage in from of the world completely threw me off in a way I didn’t expect, and I didn’t manage utter more than some quick thanks from my memorized list of all the amazing people that was part of its development. I’ll try to correct that here instead.
First half of the year wasn’t a very active one for me due to finishing up the development of our own Yoku’s Island Express. However, after shipping Yoku, I’ve dedicated a good chunk of time to making my games-backlog smaller. The Game of the Year contenders for me this year was all indie: Celeste, Dead Cells and Hollow Knight. (This might be because I haven’t yet gotten to the AAA beasts of God of War and Spiderman, but I will!)
We announced Yoku’s Island Express on multiple platforms the other day. I’m kind of excited that we can talk specific platforms for the game, and I wanted to say a little bit about what that means for us. For Yoku, we use a proprietary engine, Continue reading Multi-platform Underware→
This June, it will be 10 years since I first released Colors! as a prototype for the Nintendo DS. Since then, it has lived on a multitude of platforms like iPhone, Android and PSVita, but no version has been so successful as Colors! 3D for Nintendo 3DS, which still is one of the best sold titles on the Nintendo eShop and one of the top reviewed titles for the platform.
PS4 – The Witness, No Man’s Sky, Dark Souls III, The Last Guardian, ABZÛ
Xbox One – Inside, Trials Fusion
PSVita – Knytt Underground, Child of Light, Need for Speed
iPad – Hearthstone, Crashlands, Reigns, Super Mario Run
Mobile – Pokémon Go
PC – This War of Mine, Stardew Valley, The Flame in the Flood + 20 more
Pretty awesome year, right? Even the Vita got some love, but I’m very much looking forward to next year’s Switch for a new portable gaming console. The Witness takes home my Best Game of the Year award, with Stardew Valley and This War of Mine as the runner-up. This was the year of the survival/crafting game for me. I feel the mechanic has been very explored now, but I can’t help myself from getting dragged into it. This War of Mine was the most inspiring one for me, due to its phenomenal mix of procedural and designed content in combination with its intense narrative wrapper.
While grabbing coffee at the office today, I started chatting with some of Arrowhead’s game-designers. We were talking about MOBAs and since I haven’t really played any of those, I asked them to describe the drafting process I had seen on the TV broadcasts of the recent world championships. I found it very fascinating how the two teams take turns not only drafting from the list of heroes, but also get to ban others so the other team can’t pick them. I think that mechanic is interesting on many levels, and after a brief period of talking about it I suddenly came up with a design for a card-game using some of the same concepts. Here are the rules: Continue reading Draft/Ban poker game→
It always feels good when you spend a few hours getting that idea in your head down on “paper”. This is a concept of card-base adventure game with semi-realtime combat that I mocked up a few weeks ago.
Trading-card games as a mechanics for video-games seem to getting more popular every year. I’ve spent a bunch of time in the excellent Hearthstone recently and they nail so many things in that game. Blizzard being awesome as always.
Watching painting playbacks are cool, but it has always been bugging us that there haven’t been any good tools to export those playbacks as videos. If you ran the original version of Colors! for Nintendo DS, you could use the ColorsDraw tool, but we stopped supporting that quite a while ago and it doesn’t work on newer versions of Colors! (like Colors! 3D). So we are very happy to announce the video export feature for Colors! for Android.
If you are running the full version of Colors! on an Android device running at least 4.1 (Jelly Bean), you can now export any painting playback as a video-file. In the future, we hope to bring this functionality to Colors! for iOS and perhaps more importantly, to allow this directly from colorslive.com, but for now this is an Android 4.1 exclusive feature.
This update also brings Colors! for Android up to par in terms of gallery features, where all the good things that Colors! 3D user have been using for a while, like followers, search and tags, are now available.
Colors! for iOS has also received a nice update which includes the reference photo features that I know many of you have been missing.
We are very happy to announce that Colors! is now available for the iPad. This is being released as an upgrade to Colors! for iPhone, which can now be downloaded as a universal app in the App Store. To celebrate this, Colors! will be on sale for $2.99 for the next two weeks. We are also putting Colors! for Android on sale for $2.99, so all the Android users out there does not feel left out. So take this opportunity to give your smartphone or tablet with some Colors! love.