Easily the best game teaser you’ll see all month, Canabalt creators Semi Secret & Gasketball/Solipskier designer Greg Wohlwend have just released the first teaser for their upcoming iPhone & iPad puzzler Hundreds — a “Powers of Ten“-esque macro/micro view, scored by the game’s audio designer, local-favorite ambient musician Loscil.
If this is the first you’ve heard of it, dial back a few posts to October with this longer preview of what you can expect from the game, and dig way deeper with this 30-minute “making-of” talk from Wohlwend & Adam Saltsman from the last meetup of JUEGOS RANCHEROS.
As you’ll see in the teaser above, there are only a few weeks remaining until the game’s official January 3rd launch date, when it’ll be just about the most perfect way you’ll ring in your new year. Visit the game’s website here for more information.
As I mentioned last week, this past Sunday’s meetup of our Austin indie collective JUEGOS RANCHEROS featured the local debut of Hundreds, the next game from Canabalt developers Semi Secret along with Greg ‘aeiowu‘ Wohlwend — creator of the original Hundreds prototype and co-designer of games like Solipskier — and local-favorite musician Loscil.
If you haven’t seen Hundreds before, it’s a fantastically austere & ambient action/puzzle game which I described at greater length a month back, and which — I predict — will likely be one of the next big App Store hits. That’s not just a hunch, as mentioned in my last Hundreds post, there hasn’t been a single person who I’ve seen casually start to play that hasn’t become instantly, deeply hooked.
And so, presented here is the full 30 minute talk Saltsman gave the assembled crowd (an abbreviated version of his overseas debut of Hundreds at GameCity) that goes into both the genesis of the project and the long, arduous task of taking such a simple and refined idea to its deepest logical conclusions, and paring down on all the ideas that creep in in the meantime and initially seem worthwhile but ultimately prove to be unnecessary complications and distractions.
After Adam’s talk, you also get to hear — remotely, via Skype — from Wolhwend, who takes questions not just on Hundreds and its cryptic narrative, but of his more recent game, Gasketball, and what the future holds for Mikengreg, his collaborative company with developer Mike ‘fucrate‘ Boxleiter.
As a bonus, and because I haven’t managed to edit them more cleanly into the video, below the fold are a number of Saltsman’s slides that show his early design sketches for Hundreds and early art tests from Wolhwend, to refer to directly, rather than squinting at the clip.
[This post is re-blogged from Venus Patrol sister-organization JUEGOS RANCHEROS, our local Austin indie game collective, where we'll be hosting the previously-featured game Hundreds for our latest regular meetup.]
Want to play the next hit game by the designers that brought you super stylish successes Canabalt and Solipskier before anyone else? Then join us this Sunday, November 4th, at 4PM for our sixteenth edition of JUEGOS RANCHEROS at The Highball, where we’ll be presenting the Texas premiere of Hundreds, the upcoming iPhone and iPad game from designers Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier, Gasketball), Austin’s own Semi Secret (Wurdle, Canabalt, Gravity Hook) and ambient electronic musician Scott Morgan, aka Loscil.
Semi Secret describe the game as “an abstract, minimalist, arcade-puzzle game designed specifically for touch screens featuring 100 carefully crafted levels” which “teaches a variety of increasing complex gameplay ideas without tutorials, tells a strange story in an unconventional way, and allows players to play at their own pace, cooperatively or solitaire.”
I describe it as one of the best iPad games I’ve played in ages, which instantly ensnares you into its gorgeously & clinically austere universe — every single person I’ve seen that’s laid just a tentative finger on it has immediately fallen down its rabbit hole and not emerged for hours. Now it’s your chance to find out why!
Everything will be kicking off Sunday, November 4th, promptly at 4PM at The Highball, 1142 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704! Come early to get a head-start on unravelling the mystery of Hundreds, enjoy the Highball’s Happy Hour drink specials, and say hello to the people changing the way you think about games!
One of the iPad games I’ve been dying to get my hands on for nearly a year now, Semi-Secret’s Hundreds has officially been announced with this awesomely designed new website, following a quick blip appearance during last year’s IGF (where it managed to land an honorable mention in the mobile category).
Based on an original concept from Solipskier and Gasketball designer Greg Wohlwend, Canabalt & Capsule developer Adam Saltsman has been vastly expanding on the concept, and the pair have brought in Scott Morgan, better known as local-favorite ambient musician Loscil (who you also heard contributing tracks for Osmos), turning an ultra-minimalist design into a gorgeously & mysteriously presented package.
The conceit is as simple as it can be: flat-colored circles slowly meander across the single-screen stages, harmlessly bouncing off one other, each with a digit in its center. Touching each circle inflates it, and each stage is complete when the added total of all digits equals 100.
The trick? No circle can touch another while it’s being inflated, meaning you’re forced to find perfectly timed moments to inflate when there’s no danger of a collision, something that’s clearly harder to do as the circles grow larger.
You can try a very early concept of the game Wohlwend submitted in 2010 at Newgrounds, but bear in mind that the game’s grown a hundred times more complex in the two years since, with Saltsman adding some truly devious wrenches into the works, as well as a layer of opaqueness that hints at a deeper narrative happening within the game, as seen above.
The game’s making its public debut at IndieCade this weekend — LA locals should make a beeline to it in anticipation of its release in coming months.
Though work appears to be continuing on his El Lissitzky-inspired game, Protonaut, Intuition Games’ Greg Wohlwend has also just published this latest look at a game he’s been recently teasing on flickr: Fig. 8, a game (based on an art installation of Wohlwend’s) where players are “rewarded for keeping [a bicycle's] tracks together while navigating through the surreal world of an ‘architectural’ diagram.”
It’s wholly atypical graphic and level design is actually not quite as surprising when you realize Wohlwend’s one of the designers behind Effing Hail, the previously covered game that played as an interactive version of a retro-textbook infographic.
One of the upcoming indie games I’m looking forward to the most: Greg ‘aeiowu‘ Wohlwend (designer of previously featured infographics game Effing Hail) and Andy Moore take what was originally a platformer modeled around chemical bonds, and suddenly morph their mockup into this grainy, constructivist El Lissitzky-inspired design.
The next logical step after infographics, the fairy tale music video? Infographics the game. Collaboratively created by indie devs Jiggmin and Greg ‘aeiowu‘ Wohlwend of Intuition Games, Effing Hail‘s cleanly textbook-illustrated graphic conceit is the instant draw, the game’s just as interesting an exercise in indirect control.
Your task is simple: control an updraft of air to keep falling hail in the upper levels of the bee-, sea-, dee- and effing-spheres so that it has time to grow into massive stones, which you then let fall free to crush an increasingly complex ecosystem of houses, skyscrapers, planes, satellites and civilians themselves below.
The game is only hampered by its just-on-the-side-of-too-restrictive time limit, though, granted, it’s intentionally about making the most of that time, and, like Katamari, can quickly snowball (no pun) into a near-unstoppable winning streak under the right conditions.
It’s a steep uphill climb to learning those conditions, but unleashing massive destruction does do nicely as its own reward. The game could still do well with a tutorial or unlockable sandbox mode (again, like Katamari) as stress relief after racing against the clock, but, even without, is one of the best indie developments of the month.