Game DevelopmentPostmortem

The Long Reach: Never Trust A Purple-Green Cute Sheep

June 5, 2017 — by Industry Contributions


Painted Black Games is a young Ukrainian mini-studio. There are five of them,  and they’re making their first game – a philosophic sci-fi thriller-adventure, The Long Reach. The team has changed many times since 2015 when it all started. It didn’t mess up the process – on the contrary, everyone who has contributed to the game, brought their unique view and made it better.

As the developers were writing the story, the lights at their office went out. “We’re in pitch darkness and –  I’m not sure, but I think something is scratching at our door”, says Roman Tomilin, the producer and programmer, as he shares the game development story.

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Hyperdrive Massacre: For a Huge Couch and Lots of Friends

August 12, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

The goal was to grow and learn while doing game development and foster the growth of a local gamedev…Click To Tweet

34BigThings is one of the biggest indie game studios in Italy. Founded in 2013 and self-sustained throughout, they launched their first game Hyperdrive Massacre in 2015, while working on their much more ambitious futuristic racer Redout. The team’s lead game designer Giuseppe Enrico Franchi shares the story. 

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Robert Winkler: Standing out with Substance | Casual Connect Video

February 24, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton


Robert Winkler was part of a panel about launching an indie studio during Casual Connect Europe 2014. During that panel, it was said, “To be a successful indie, you need to hustle. Nobody is going to do it for you!”


Robert Winkler Headshot
Robert Winkler, CEO, 5th Planet Games

Robert Winkler, CEO of 5th Planet Games, finds being surrounded by people just as passionate about games as he is one of the most enjoyable things about being in the games industry. His greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the progression of 5th Planet Games and the personal and professional growth of the team. “I grow more and more proud of them every day,” he said.

He spends the majority of his time driving the company’s strategic vision and supporting the design teams. As one of the original founders, he started out as design lead, and his passion is still in the design realm. Before founding 5th Planet Games, Winkler was in finance. His familiarity with love of numbers and spreadsheets has been helpful in many aspects of his present role.

iPad and Board Games

When not involved with the company, Winkler spends the majority of his time “playing with his house full of little gamers.” He’s obsessed with board games, playing them daily on his iPad and at least once a week with an office group. These days, his game play is focused on Lord of Waterdeep and Agricola, and, although the game he is playing is more important to him than the platform he is playing on, he can usually be found using his iPad.

Winkler also regularly plays his Xbox. “I’ve always been an Xbox kind of guy, but I haven’t really moved away from the 360 due to the lack of a killer next-gen game,” he said.

Games with Substance

Winkler believes the most important challenge facing the games industry today is making a game that stands out with enough substance to retain popularity longer than the competition. He also noted that the transition from games as a product to games as a service has been a major shift for the industry. Winkler said, “It will be interesting to see how people embrace and innovate on this model in the years to come.”

5th Planet Games responds to the challenge by continuing to build games they enjoy playing themselves. Winkler emphasizes the need to focus on fun, immersive play over everything else.

5th Planet Games responds to the challenge by continuing to build games they enjoy playing themselves.

In the future of the games industry, Winkler foresees greater stress on cross-platform gaming and deeper gaming experience. The focus will be on retaining players for years instead of just months or weeks. 5th Planet Games is already focusing on these areas and just recently launched their first cross-platform game on mobile, Legacy of a Thousand Suns.


Post-mortem: Playlogic’s Fairytale Fights (PS3 & Xbox 260)

March 18, 2013 — by Bart Eijk


Released in November 2009 for the Xbox360 and PS3, Fairytale Fights is an action hack-and-slash platform game supporting up to four players. The game combines cute looking fairytale characters with over-the-top slapstick violence. The game was developed by Playlogic Gamefactory, the in-house development studio of Playlogic. The studio previously had worked on titles like Xyanide (Xbox), Cyclone Circus (PS2) and Xyanide Resurrection (PSP, PS2). The studio also worked as first party developer for SCE London Studio on titles like Eye Pet, Mesmerize, Aqua Vita (Aquatopia in North America), Tori-Emaki and Pom Pom Party. In this post-mortem, Martin Janse tells the story of Playlogic’s game Fairytale Fights.

Instead of a making a game for children, we wanted to create a game that would appeal to an adult audience by using over the top slapstick violence and comical gore

The game started as concept for the PlayStation 2 Buzz controller party game. Gradually, the concept started to evolve into something bigger that could only be developed on the Xbox360 and PlayStation3 platforms. In Fairytale Fights, you play the part of a used-to-be-famous fairytale character on a personal mission to regain his/her lost fame by going on quests throughout the kingdom. A quest could be rescuing princesses (and princes), fighting wicked fairytale characters or finding magical treasures. The fairytale world consists of cute characters and vivid animations as seen in many 3D animation movies, but instead of a making a game for children, we wanted to create a game that would appeal to an adult audience by using over-the-top slapstick violence and comical gore that also can be seen in cartoons like Happy Tree Friends or Itsy and Scratchy from The Simpsons.

Since the game was targeted for Next Gen-consoles, we felt the game should include some unique features. One of the programmers had been working on a real-time fluid system and we wanted to incorporate this technology in the game, not just for creating all kinds of liquid effects, but also for the blood that would cover the whole scenery and drip from objects. Another idea we had was that the player should be able to slice enemies and objects dynamically so in theory, the player could slice everything he wanted in any direction he would choose.

In early 2006, a team was assembled. They started working on the high-level game design and creating a short animated movie showing some of the core gameplay mechanism and general visual style of the game. After a couple of months, the team of animators, visual designers, modelers and a game designer produced a stunning short animation that convinced everyone that this had the potential to become a fresh and fun game.