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.
Horses, Chupacabras and QVC don’t often get mentioned in the same breath, but together they’ve been keeping us pretty busy. This week we launched three great projects – Sun River Equine Ranch, Goats R Delicious and a QVC commercial.
Sun River is a Treasure Valley non-profit that uses horses as therapy tools for kids. We spent many hours with the Sun River staff getting to know them, their needs and understanding the life-changing events that can take place at the ranch.
Goats R Delicious has been in multiple stages of design and development for the better part of 15 months. The project includes four 3D animated shorts, three websites, multiple viral videos and a Unity-powered video game for the iPhone and iPad.
The QVC project included 3D animation and special FX for a hair treatment product.
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.
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.
When talking to people in Boise about the greatness of Unity and all it can do, it’s sometimes hard for them to get passed the video game aspect of it. Perhaps that’s because when they ask about the technology, some of the first words to come out of our mouths are, “video games”, so our bad. Though we do go on to explain that the possibilities beyond games are vast and many.
To show a great non-gaming use, the folks at Scion have embraced the power of 3D and Unity in this cool little visualization tool. It’s even got some funky beats to go along with it. You’ll need the Unity plugin, but’s it worth it. Check it out at http://www.scionnation.ca/scion/build-price/tc#build-your-scion
Unity recently released version 3 of their game engine with a host of new features and nice-to-haves including export to XBOX 360 and PS3, Beast Lightmapping, source-level debugging and new lens effects.
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