website_badges_steamwishlistAlpha Accesswebsite_badges_steamwishlist

Tag results

PAX South was unbelievable!


paxSouth2016_A

I’m back from PAX South, and still in a whirlwind of unpacking, catching up on email, and decompressing. With a minivan jam-packed with booth gear, we drove a total of 44 hours and 2600 miles (of mostly flat nothingness) to make the trip from Los Angeles to San Antonio and back. Being exhausted is a given, but I’m also thrilled from one of the best experiences of my life! It would have been logistically impossible without the generous help from two of my best friends (who also help with design/balance and music of the game). I put together a short video of some reactions to people trying out the pre-alpha build. This might seem a little repetitive, but this was literally happening all weekend long!

In the three days, there was never a moment without people playing, and there was always a small crowd around the booth. I was pretty nervous going into the show as I wasn’t sure if it was the type of game that would translate immediately to a convention floor. By the middle of the first day, I was overjoyed with its reception. Everyone got it right away, and by their second round, the concept was already internalized and they were working out next-level strategies.

paxSouth2016_C

Over the weekend I met a million different amazing people, and had an equal number of amazing conversations. This included new fans of the game, existing backers who wanted to check it out in person, new backers, publishers, press and journalists, youtubers and streamers, other developers, and parents of joyous kids. I had a list of booths I wanted to check out, but there was literally no down time (though I did manage to meet Adam Saltzman and purchase one of those adorable Overland shirts). There was some wonderful press fallout from the show though, and here are a couple of my favorite snippets:

  • “Invisigun Heroes could be the next Towerfall Ascension” – PC Gamer
  • “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it being a popular YouTube and Twitch game after its launch.” – MMOHuts
  • “A simple concept can make for the best games.” – Gaming Trend
    This article has a really good write-up about the moment-to-moment feel of the game, and some emergent tactics.
paxSouth2016_B

We ran a bunch of mini-tournaments with future Steam keys as prizes on the last day, and there was already some high-level play shining through – including newly-discovered tactics that I hadn’t anticipated. That’s the best! Congrats to all the winners, and it was such a blast to meet you all. :)

Come play Invisigun Heroes at PAX South 2016


The Kickstarter campaign is going strong – 40% funded in 5 days –  though it is about to enter the frightening and much-reported-about slow middle period. I’ve been contacting as much press and blogs as I can about the project, and I hope to keep this up as much as possible over the next few weeks. I’m in debt to you all for backing the project, and if you can help spread the word to anyone that may be interested, that will be tremendously helpful through the middle of the campaign!

pax_south_materials

I do have some exciting news – Invisigun Heroes will be playable this weekend at PAX South 2016. We’ll have a small half-pod booth in the PAX Rising indie area, and if you or anyone you know is attending in San Antonio, please stop by and give the game a whirl. I’d love to meet some of you in person and answer any questions you have, and if anyone’s on the fence about backing, there’s no better way than playing it for yourself to help your decision.

pax_south_booth

Logistically, trying to plan for PAX and running the Kickstarter at the same time is quite a challenge. To make matters more interesting, I’m driving to San Antonio from Los Angeles which will add about 4 days of round-trip driving on top of the convention. However I do get to borrow this super large display and some other gear in exchange for helping to haul along some equipment for another exhibitor. :)

I really hope I won’t be too out of commission during the drive and convention, but most likely all my email correspondence and catching up will happen each night. I also have a bunch of press meetings booked, so coupled with the booth presence I think it will give the Kickstarter a little bump during this time. So many things! I wish I could hug you all!

The Kickstarter is live!


I started drafting this post just before launching our Kickstarter, but was immediately overwhelmed upon launch. As I write this the campaign is 30% funded and it has only been two days! I’m so grateful for all the support so far, and am more committed than ever to deliver the game that all these new fans are hoping for. It is a relief to see that other gamers have an interest in Invisigun’s concept, and the comparisons to Towerfall and Bomberman put it in really amazing company.

[gfycat data_id=”TerribleLinearBernesemountaindog”]

Invisigun Heroes has been a full-time project for me for the past 1.5 years – but this meant my savings were dwindling with every passing month. My goal was to be far enough along on the project that if I ran a fundraising campaign, backers could be very confident with the promise of fulfillment. I didn’t want to pitch just a concept or unskinned prototype – I wanted something more complete to instill that confidence, and worked all the way up to what I believed was a solid pre-alpha. Since the scope of the game (online features, many varied environments) requires about another year’s worth of work, I chose Kickstarter as a means to be able to keep working on it full time.

So far it’s been a joyous and disorienting couple of days here, and I think the highlight so far was this article on Kotaku. Not only did it describe the nuances of the game better than I have, but this quote made my day:

“maybe the best kickstarter video i’ve ever seen”
– Luke Plunkett

I know that Kickstarters tend to slow down after the initial launch, but there’s a lot more excitement on the way – we’ll be at PAX South at the end of this month, so if you’re in San Antonio and attending the expo, please stop by our booth. I’d love to meet you, and we’ll have a working 4-player build of the pre-alpha for visitors to check out. Stay tuned for more info about the expo in the next few days!

New website, status update


character3character4character8b

Although I had worked in web development professionally for years, I chose WordPress as the platform for this site for its simplicity, maturity, security, and most of all, because I’d rather be spending the majority of my time on Invisigun Heroes. I fiddled with many templates over the last few months without really being 100% satisfied. A lot of the “simple” templates felt pretty heavy under the hood with complex logic and CSS to handle more situations than I needed.

It was a pretty good opportunity to take a couple days and make my own WordPress template from scratch, as well as brush up on some modern standards and tools. The biggest pleasure came from experimenting with SASS, and it really does make CSS feel more complete and dynamic. Hopefully you guys like the new site, and the best part is that it’s lean, mobile-friendly, and since I know the codebase, very flexible for future needs.

[gfycat data_id=”UnnaturalGlisteningFieldmouse”]

One of the maps on the forest planet Nemoris

On the Invisigun front, development has been moving fluidly for months with many major milestones behind me. This is the reason why things have been quiet around here, with the blog posts slowing down. I’ll try and pick up the pace in the near future though progress on the game is the #1 priority. At the moment Steam keys have been distributed to a select group of alpha testers, and it’s been fantastic to get feedback and squash bugs in a rapid fashion.

The last month has seen the game really come together with most of the final art assets taking shape. Yujin has done an incredible job with the character designs, and the sprite versions with animations are well on their way. I hope to be introducing the heroes one by one very soon!

The next leg of development will focus primarily on network and online play. This was almost completely working about 6 months ago, but I ripped it out in favor of using Unity’s brand new networking subsystem. It needs to be integrated from scratch, but should be more efficient and produce fewer corner case bugs.

It’s hard to explain, but very recently everything has come together in this leg of development to make Invisigun feel like a real game. I’ve worked in development long enough to understand prototypes, proof of concepts, mockups, and pipelines – but there is this magical line that a game crosses when it transitions from prototype to game. It’s not up to you when it happens.

Greenlit! Title change! Oh my!


InvisigunHeroes_lightBG_2x

Invisigun Heroes was greenlit in just under two weeks! I’m completely blown away, as I expected the next few months to be mostly involved with marketing efforts and driving traffic towards the green light voting. What a weight off my mind!

To coincide with the final (lengthy) leg of development towards release, I decided to make a slight spelling change in the name. For some reason “Invisagun” with an “a” felt natural to me from the get go, but I’ve been discovering over time that literally every other person spells it as “Invisigun” with an “i” by default. I figured it was better to change the title sooner rather than later, so I took the opportunity to work out the final logo as well. Thanks for all your support! I’m excited about the next steps integrating the final assets and new character art – stay tuned!

©2019 Sombr Studio LLC