Harmonix @ PAX West 2017

Post originally appeared on HarmonixMusic.comhttp://www.harmonixmusic.com/blog/harmonix-pax-west-2017/ 

While I write this on the flight back from Seattle to Boston after a long weekend at PAX West, I can only look out the window and think about the amazing time we all had at the show this year!

As we tend to do, Harmonix was out in full force with tons of things happening all weekend long. Our new location in the fourth floor lobby was packed all four days with people playing mind-blowing music mixes and whacky rhythmic sports, we made appearances on both the Twitch and Mixer stages, and we even brought a few new faces to Seattle for their first Harmonix PAX experience.

We brought our brand-new music mixing card game DropMix to PAX West. Not only did Harmonix come to show off the magic of DropMix, but our partners Alex and Sarah from Hasbro also made the trip!

We’ve been working on this game a long time and the reception to DropMix was overwhelming. The moment someone played a card for the first time they would immediately smile as they searched for the next hit song to bring into the mix. But things also got heated as players faced off in DropMix’s competitive mode, Clash. There were close, great games all weekend long and it was a ton of fun to watch. As always, PAXers came to win!

After a Tweet from Penny Arcade’s very own Tycho Brahe, the PAX enforcers had to double the size of the DropMix line. On top of that, people would keep coming back with more of their friends as “they just had to see and experience it!” We even had a brand new DropMix super fan practically live at our booth all weekend, play the game at least 50 times, and rally new people into our booth and explain the game to them. A huge shoutout to PnwSaberwolf for being such a huge fan!

Everyone who played DropMix this weekend walked away with a special edition card from The Transformers. If you missed out, don’t worry, there are still some cards to be given away at future events, including HasCon which is this weekend in Providence, RI! For those who weren’t able to make it to PAX West to hear the card in action, we made a mix just for you. Give this a listen:

That’s not all! Josh, Jonathan, and Alex from Hasbro made their way to the Twitch stage on Saturday to show off everything DropMix! Mixer also stopped by our booth to check out the game. Take a look at both below:

Twitchhttps://www.twitch.tv/videos/171828097

Mixer (timestamp 02:25:40)https://mixer.com/mixer?vod=7537598

Thanks again for everyone who came out and played DropMix. We’re only a few short weeks away from its launch on September 24th and you can pre-order it now! If PAX was a sign of what’s to come, we can’t wait to listen to the mixes you create and share!

Three days before PAX, we announced our latest game, a Nintendo Switch exclusive, Super Beat SportsIn case you missed our announcement, Super Beat Sports is a collection of five sports-themed mini games with a twist - everything is musical. Swing, volley, and score to the beat of the music to get that gold!

PAX West was the first time anyone was able to get their hands on the game, and the reception was outstanding. Children pulled their parents towards the adorable characters on our standee, groups of fans repeatedly came back and duked it out in fierce Buddy Ball competition, and many took on Thro-Bot together in Whacky Bat.

On top of it all, we gave away four Nintendo Switch consoles across the four days of the con! All players had to do was take their photo with the Beat Sports characters and share them online to be entered to win. Here are our lucky winners:

FIRST TIME PAXER ALICIA SHARES HER EXPERIENCE!

Including our amazing friends at Hasbro, 15 people joined us at PAX! For some of them, it was their first time traveling to and experiencing the con! Alicia Caillier, one of the Product Managers for Super Beat Sports, was one of the new faces to the show. We asked her for her impressions and thoughts from the show, so without further ado, take it away Alicia!

I could not have imagined a better way to celebrate my first year of working at Harmonix other than attending PAX West with the Super Beat Sports team! Having never attended an event for gamers before, I was super anxious and excited to immerse myself fully in the experience. I really had no idea what to expect… And while I was super exhausted by the fourth day, I definitely can say that this PAX was one for the books.

Checking out all of the games and insane booths in the main exhibit hall, discovering new Indie titles, showing off Super Beat Sports, dancing and singing all day along to the DropMix mixes, and meeting fans of Harmonix was incredible, but the highlight of my experience was definitely discovering the Diversity Lounge. I met some fine folks and got some cool swag from organizations like Geeks OUT, the AbleGamers Charity, GeekGirlCon and I Need Diverse Games who are all respectively working to advocate for diversity and representation in the gaming community. As a woman of color, who also works in games, this show of support at PAX was extremely welcoming.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next PAX event!

-Alicia

UNTIL NEXT TIME…

PAX West was an outstanding time for everyone involved – the team we sent to the show, our amazing support team back in Boston, and you, the fans and players of our games. You helped us exceed our expectations, and we couldn’t have asked for a better time in Seattle – even the weather was great! It was truly special to everyone on the team.

Every time we hit the road, we look forward to hearing your stories about our games: past, present and future. We saw lots of Rock Band lanyards from last year’s PAX West (go Team Analog [ed. note: Boo, Team Analog]!), Amplitude Backer t-shirts, Fantasia: Music Evolved t-shirts, families smiling playing Super Beat Sports, and jaws dropping at DropMix stations.

I’m about three hours into this flight, so it’s time for a nap before this final group of HMXers lands back in Boston. We’ll see you again at the next show, wherever that may be!

 

Wobbles Wiggles Its Way Onto iOS and Android!

Worcester, MA – August, 27, 2013 – Play Nimbus, a student founded game development team from colleges in New England, has released their first mobile title, Wobbles, for iOS and Android app stores worldwide.

In Wobbles, players safely guide a line of adorable creatures, called Wobbles, across a dangerous landscape by placing gadgets and technologies in their path. As you do this, progress your Wobbles through time and advance their technologies to help them advance through time.

"Wobbles is a unique blend of modern gameplay mechanics and the classic game Lemmings,” said Nick Mudry, Producer and Creative Director for Play Nimbus. “Wobbles is just the beginning of our adventures as a game development team. We can’t wait to share our next project with everyone very soon!”

Wobbles is won the “Best Entertainment Game” award in March 2013 at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center during the Mass DiGI Game Challenge.

Wobbles is currently available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Marketplace for $1.99.

iTunes App Storehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wobbles/id672259662?ls=1&mt=8 

Google Playhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.playnimbus.wobbles 

Amazon App Storehttp://www.amazon.com/Play-Nimbus-Wobbles/dp/B00EOSDO4I

Assets for Wobbles are available on our public press page at the following URL: http://bit.ly/WobblesAssets

For press who are interested in receiving a review code of the game please contact Nick@PlayNimbus.com and we’ll get you sorted out!

About Wobbles Wobbles is an upcoming mobile game for iOS and Android. Players play as a godly figure, guiding a line of adorable creatures across a landscape that you manipulate yourself using various gadgets. As players do this, they are advancing the Wobbles’ civilization through the eras and advancing their technology, ultimately unlocking new gadgets for you to use.

Wobbles won the “Best Entertainment Game” award in March of 2013 at the Mass DiGI Game Challenge, hosted at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center.

About Play Nimbus Play Nimbus is a mobile game development team founded by a group of students at Becker College, who are focused on creating simple, yet elegant games. Founded in early 2012 during a game jam, the team has moved forward to working hard on bringing these games to life.

Press Release: Codename Cygnus Now Available on the App Store!

Codename Cygnus, An Interactive Radio Drama, Now Available on the App Store!

Reactive Studios Releases First Title During PAX Prime Appearance

August 31st, 2013 – Boston, MA – Codename Cygnus, the interactive radio drama for iPhone/iPad by Reactive Studios, is now available for free download on the Apple App Store.

Codename Cygnus is an interactive radio drama featuring over 25 talented voice actors including Rob Wiethoff (John Marston, Red Dead Redemption), Logan Cunningham (Rucks, Bastion), Sarah Elmaleh (Skulls of the Shogun), Chris Ciulla (Fallout: New Vegas), Chris Rando (Dance Central 3), and many others.

With either a spoken word or a simple tap on the screen players can progress through the story in multiple-choice dialogue moments like those you often find in adventure or RPG games.

PAX Prime attendees can visit minibooth #676 of the Indie Megabooth to chat with creative director Jonathon Myers on launch day, Saturday August 31st.

Key Features:

  • Interactive Experience – Listen to the story unfold as the characters react to your decisions.
  • Hands-Free Gameplay – Voice recognition technology and simple UI enable tap-free gameplay that requires only spoken commands in a private setting.
  • Accessibility – Developed to be compatible with VoiceOver accessibility options for an entirely non-visual experience.
  • Episodic Content – Enjoy the story in a serial fashion the same way as audiences experienced old time radio dramas. Installments of 15-20 minute episodes are planned for post-launch release.
  • Online Saved Game – As you make decisions that impact the ongoing story, your decisions are saved securely online.
  • Character Statistics – Track your spy traits over time to understand the secret agent you have become!

Reactive Studios has also released an extended interactive launch trailer for Codename Cygnus.

Extended Interactive Cuthttp://bit.ly/CygnusExtendedTrailer
Launch Trailerhttp://bit.ly/CygnusLaunchTrailer

Codename Cygnus is available free on the Apple App Store with the Prologue episode included. Additional episodes are available for $1.99 each, or the entire set of five Mission 1 episodes is available for purchase at $7.99. Three of the five Mission 1 episodes are available for download at launch, with two sidequest missions planned for release in September.

Download Codename Cygnushttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/codename-cygnus/id687548603

Secure Login Required:
At launch, Codename Cygnus will require login to a Facebook account to purchase and download episodes. This enables the creation of an anonymous Agent Name Profile for an online saved game and quality technical support. Reactive Studios is researching alternative authorization mechanisms such as Twitter and Google+ in order to reach a broader playing audience.

Screenshots, logos and more assets are available to download from:
http://press.codenamecygnus.com/

For more information regarding Codename Cygnus, please visit the following websites:
http://codenamecygnus.com
http://bit.ly/CygnusMegabooth
http://twitter.com/codenamecygnus
http://facebook.com/codenamecygnus

To arrange an interview or receive a review copy of Codename Cygnus, please send an email to press@reactivestudios.net.

About Codename Cygnus
Codename Cygnus is an interactive radio drama inspired by old time serial radio shows. Players take on the roll of a secret agent in this interactive world and with either spoken word or a simple tap on the screen you can make choices and progress through the story. Codename Cygnus features a talented voice acting cast, episodic content and statistics to see just what kind of secret agent you have become.

About Reactive Studios
Reactive Studios is an independent game developer with operations in the metro-Boston area and abroad. Our mission is to develop compelling audio games with interactive dramatic scenarios for a reflective, story-based player experience. We produce mobile games that are responsive to the player’s in-game decisions via voice input. We aspire to create bold, reactive games.

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Press Contact:
Nick Mudry
nick@reactivestudios.net

Easy Street: Using Standard Industry Tools

This was a guest post for the Mass DiGI blog I wrote in July, 2013.

My game development history goes back many years from working on games during my free time in high school to helping out on various teams. Currently, I’m working with my own team, Play Nimbus, at the MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP).

When I started in SIP this past May, I knew I’d learn and expand upon my previous skills a lot. SIP brings 21 undergraduate and graduate students from across the Northeast together to work on several different game projects alongside industry mentors and advisors. Our team’s project is Wobbles. Wobbles, which won the student entertainment category at the MassDiGI Game Challenge back in March, is a game where you guide creatures across a treacherous landscape by placing various gadgets.

Since day one at SIP, we were aware that many problems arise during game production. Problems such as the trouble of managing all of our files as they pass from person to person, the difficulty of sending out new versions of our game to the rest of the program partners to test, (as well as our friends and family), and the challenge of being able to track who is playing our game. We quickly learned and adopted industry standard software tools such as PerforceTestFlight and Game Analytics for Wobbles – and for every project at SIP. Each of these software packages allows us to easily solve the problems mentioned above.

Perforce, a source control software, was something I have heard almost every time I talked with someone in the industry about keeping a project’s files managed. I attempted to use it once on an old project but never had a full production project that would allow me to fully use it. With Wobbles, we’ve utilized Perforce with our game files, allowing us to have a consistent and safe place where we can store our game’s files. When you have multiple programmers or artists who need to access the same files, issues occur. With Perforce, you are able to “check out” a file for editing, preventing mistakes or errors that happen when two people are using the same file.

When developing games, one thing you need to do is test them – and test them a lot. Testing doesn’t become easier the more familiar you become with the project, in fact it becomes harder. Once you exhaust the ability to just bring your iPad over to one of your colleague’s desk, you need to go further. Unfortunately, Apple lock’s the apps you create to a device, thus you must find a way to share it with new testers. That’s where TestFlight comes in.

TestFlight is a vital piece of software that we are using for testing. TestFlight allows us to easily distribute the latest builds of our games to everyone here within the program, our mentors, and other testers that may not be in the area. It saves us time and trouble and it gets us feedback from testers quickly.

One very important thing we knew we needed to do is analyze our players. Sure, we can stand next to players with a notepad and a pen and take notes but you’re not always standing next to them. So, when we send a build of our game to someone we can’t watch play, we use Game Analytics.

Game Analytics is probably the most important piece of software that we’ve used on Wobbles and all of the projects in SIP. Using analytics allows us to see who’s playing our game in-real time. We are able to see where people are getting stuck, how many people are coming back to play, how long people are playing, and many other really valuable statistics. Without this, we’d be unable to figure out how our testers who aren’t in the same room with us are doing. Game Analytics will also help when our game is released to track total number of downloads and how interested in the game people are.

The software we’re using in the Summer Innovation Program is not only ultimately benefiting our projects, but better positioning us to work in the industry. The tools we are using impact each and every project in SIP and allow us to have a streamlined, flexible workflow. Using industry standard software such as TestFlight, Perforce and Game Analytics allows us to learn more, improve our project and become better game developers.