Though it’s been a while since we’ve talked about it, we have been working diligently on our Unity-powered game Swarm – Backyard Buzz. Ninety-five percent of the assets have been built and we’re currently working on the multi-player duties.
Not surprisingly, multi-player functionality has been the most difficult part of the project. Swarm is our first attempt at a multi-player game, so a lot of research was done on services and providers. In the end we chose to use Exit Games’ Photon Cloud for this first version. We found Photon Cloud hard to beat for ease and speed of getting a network game up and running.
Not much of surprise, Idaho isn’t a hot spot for game design and animation. What we have found though is that there are pockets, small groups, and individuals that have been working alone with no idea that there are others just like them. People building games, animating characters and illustrating cartoons. IAAGI was formed to help bring these like-minded individuals together to network, share ideas and collaborate on projects.
If you’d like to be involved, head over to IAAGI’s website and RSVP for the first meeting.
Whether it be a website redesign, a custom CMS or a video game, it’s not uncommon for companies to have internal projects they’re working on to help advance or better self-promote the company and its goals. Typically though these projects take a back seat to client projects.
We started Dozer Dash with the full intent of building it all the way out in a timely manner. However business happened, which made us happy, and we found ourselves using all of our resources to keep up with the incoming workload and projects.
Fast forward half a year and things are moving along better than we anticipated. So at this time our internal project, Dozer Dash, is being postponed indefinitely… unless there is a sudden interest from CAT.
After a month or so of testing, gathering some feedback and making some tweaks, Dozer Dash is ready for play. The leader board is up and as of this time we are moving forward with level 2 – Catapult Island. Have fun playing!
Last week after many hours of 3D modeling, model texturing, game development and web design, we were happy to announce the beta of Dozer Dash De-Construction Yard. The gameplay for the current and future levels will consist of piloting a bulldozer and other props in order to clear the various levels of boulders. But these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill boulders. These are the exploding variety that can damage your surroundings and cost you money.
If that sounds like your kind of fun, we hope you’ll take the time to try out our game and provide some feedback via the comment form.
About the project:
Dozer Dash will be an ongoing game project with multiple level releases planned throughout the year. The game is being developed with the Unity game engine and all development and aspects of the game are happening inside the walls of Pixel Fish Studios. It has always been the goal to develop a vibrant 3D and independent video game studio here in Boise and we feel this is an important step in seeing that goal come true.
Pixel Fish Studios was excited to learn that we are among the recipients of the New Filmmaker Grant Program created by the Idaho Film Office. Our portion of the grant will be used to develop our upcoming video game Swarm – Backyard Buzz.
We’d like to thank the Idaho Film Office for their support and shared vision of creating new jobs and opportunities for our state. Pixel Fish Studios is committed to fostering the video game and 3D/CGI industry in Idaho and creating new employment opportunities. We feel that Swarm is a key step in reaching this goal.
About the game: Swarm – Backyard Buzz will be a third-person multiplayer web-based game centered around some of the characteristics and the community of bees. Development and design is expected to take approximately one year.
We’re excited to announce the development of two new games: Dozer Dash and Swarm – Backyard Buzz.
Dozer Dash will be a single player game located in a construction environment. The idea will be to move debris and other elements into a designated containment area. The following is an early look at just a couple game items.
Swarm – Backyard Buzz will be a multiplayer game centering around some of the characteristics and community feel of bees and their lives with some capture the flag elements thrown in. The first level will take place in a backyard setting as can be seen in the following image.
We expect Dozer Dash to be be done in late 2010, while Swarm won’t be completed until 2011.
The culture of 3D animators and game developers in Boise, Idaho is taking leaps forward. For years these technical and creative types have been scattered throughout garages and bedrooms all around the Treasure Valley. With virtually no industry to speak of in this area, the inter-connectivity of this culture has never had a chance to grab hold. Pixel Fish Studios is glad to say that those days are coming to an end.
The industry will emerge in Boise and jobs will come with that. However, before the animation and gaming industries will turn their focus to Idaho over India, Canada or California, a seed must be planted and a culture must be grown. That’s the idea behind the Pipeline Development Project. It’s an opportunity for you (interested in 3D production animation and/or video game development) to emerge from the woodwork and join like-minded people in a pursuit of building these industries. Pixel Fish Studios is providing a beacon to unite this disjointed talent pool with a purpose.
The Pipeline Development Project is currently working on two projects focusing on the major pipelines presented by 3D: production and gaming. There are currently over a dozen animators and developers here in Boise, meeting and working on both a 3D animated short film called “Lief’s Journey” and a web-based video game called Swarm: Backyard Buzz.
For any questions on the Pipeline Development Project including how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re excited to announce that level 1 of our first video game is ready for beta. The game is an FPS shooting gallery with a little twist. We hope you’ll play a lot and drop us some feedback whether you like it, hate it, find some errors or just have some suggestions.