StaalMedia was present at the Spiel conference in Essen.
We’ve met some very interesting publishers, who might be interested in publishing our game Witch Hunter.

 

Glimpse the Future

 

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Filed under Artwork, Witch Hunter

No Sunny Day: Being dragged into the Clone Wars

Hello everyone. My name is Yoeri Staal and I am angry.
You might have never heard of me, or my game Cloud Wars Sunny Day, which is now available in the App Store.

But I did not put it there.

The game appeared in the vast portfolio of an unknown person, who according to his (or her) name “shao zheng”, lives on the other side of the planet. The portfolio is filled with games ripped from many different developers.

It finally happened, a cloner found my game. He stripped the protective layer, fiddled around inside, and inserted their own filthy code. Then uploaded and presented my work as his own.
Sending it out there like a cheap prostitute, ready to claim any little cash it would make.

Calling him a cloner is an understatement. There are discussions about what is a clone and what isn’t. Can a game developer own a game mechanic? Can they own a brand name? If you change the assets, is it still a clone?
In this case there’s no doubt. The game is exactly the same, including all assets. When you boot up the game it even shows my company logo. The only change is the new obtrusive ad on startup, making the game unplayable. What drives a cloner to do this? Simple cash of course.

pG6VCNY382MV0 IMAG0368
The original game (first) compared to the clone (second).

There is no gatekeeper on the App Store, you can do whatever you want, as long as you pass the first threshold. To take a game down, one has to jump through hoops and fill in forms. These copyright claims take a lot of time and effort, and only after the damage was done, someone cares about proof of ownership.
For the cloner it’s a simple process: insert some ad code in someone else’s game and upload it. Any cash it makes is pure profit, split between the cloner and the App Store.

Newgrounds solved the problem over a decade ago. Every user was able to vote for a game, and if a game would fall under a threshold, it was destroyed. The stores are filled with bad games, ratings mean nothing. Bad game developers are requesting 5-star ratings, returning the favor.

This cannot go on forever. At this rate, the quality of the App Store will further drop, and people will turn away. So please, stop the endless stream of clones, and improve the value of peer review.

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Quotes from Wild Ride West

Quotes from Wild Ride West

Wild Ride West is still far beyond the horizon, but here are some quotes from the upcoming game.

“The Desert Cat’s gang and their queen have been blockading Fort Allen, and no one can seem to get supplies in. His honor is willing to pay good money to see to it that these supplies make it to their destination, and even better money if you don’t look too closely at what they are.”

“This equipment is very sensitive, please don’t touch it. Wouldn’t want anything to go boom would we? “

“If I ever get my hands on those desert cats so called queen… well, lets just say it’ll take time to get the stains out. “

 

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Filed under Wild Ride West, Writing

King of Cloud Wars – Color Tests

 

King of Cloud Wars – Color Tests

We spent some time figuring out the best color scheme for the King of Cloud Wars.

For a game called Sunny Day, some of these look really cold!

Cloud Wars - King concepts

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Filed under Artwork, Cloud Wars

Announcing… Witch Hunter

 

Announcing: Witch Hunter

Development has started on StaalMedia game Witch Hunter, a card game / video game hybrid.
The game will be playable in two versions: a (physical) card game, or a video game on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Expected release: End of 2014.

Witch Hunter - Betrayal

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Interview with GameSauce

Check out the full interview with GameSauce!

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Filed under Lecture, Wild Ride West, Work in Progress

Board the Wild Ride West

A small prototype continued to grow into the most ambitious project we’ve ever done. Where do you draw the line, when is a project good enough for release? In this presentation, Yoeri explains the making of Wild Ride West, from concept art to cinematic scenes.

What are the dangers, but also the advantages of not setting strict boundaries on your dream project?

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February 13, 2014 · 1:37 pm

StaalMedia: Wild Ride West business cards

StaalMedia will be present at Casual Connect in Amsterdam on February 11-13.
Each member of the 4 man team will carry their unique business card, each with a different member of the Wild Ride West cast.
This makes the business cards double as collectible cards, and you can collect all four.
Not all are equal in rarity, so get them in time!

Wild Ride West business cards

Wild Ride West business cards

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Wild Ride West in Amsterdam

The Chase - Wild Ride West

The Chase – Wild Ride West

Our upcoming game Wild Ride West will be showcased at Casual Connect in Amsterdam!
In addition, Yoeri Staal will present a lecture about development of Wild Ride West and project management in general.

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Filed under Announcement, Wild Ride West, Work in Progress

Lecture: Designing Intelligence

Spending time in the design and prototyping stage of AI can pay off with a more challenging, more capable and more immersively humanlike game system.
Lecture given at DevGAMM in Kyiv.

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