Uncategorized

HONOR NIGHT VI

honor
Team “REIGNING CHAMPIONS” (Anette, Mårten, Tindy, Oscar, Linus) took home the highly coveted prize once again, their honor proudly defended in the brutal bloodbath that became of the SkyGoblin office, as the sixth HONOR NIGHT came to a close, last Friday.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, HONOR NIGHT is something we made up many years ago, and has become a bit of a company tradition that we host every time we find a good reason to, such as say, wanting to PARTYYEH (said with growling neanderthal voice). This time around we’re actually celebrating a bunch of stuff (such as the awesome best-music award but also the fact that our company now has existed for 10 years. holy balls!) We also wanted to make sure to use this great office of ours to the max before we are kicked out, which sadly happens next week, when our host Senri moves off to a new location. (Where will we wind up? Not sure. Possibly collaboratory, for a while.)

honorpeople
This sixth HONOR NIGHT may very well have been the biggest one to date, with people showing up from the majority of Gothenburg’s development studios to get in on a slice of the action. Among the contestants were Zoink, Image & Form, Hello There, and lots of other studios, big and small. Some of the games honorably contested in include Elasto Mania (We actually bought the game! I wonder if anyone ever did that before?), Sumotori, Mortal Kombat II, Towerfall, and the awesome, gut wrenching grand finale was held in Mount Your Friends.

band
There to entertain us with extremely freaky music were the band with no name and their armada of mindbogglingly rad home made instruments.

Big Thanks to all who joined in on the event and also a big hug to Jon who helped organize the actual tournament, something we SkyGoblins were too busy socializing to handle ourselves!

goblins

Mathias, Theo, Henrik, posing for the IGN article

In other news, we were recently visited by IGN Sweden, who made a nice (swedish) write-up about the history and current state of Skygoblin, check it out here. Thanks Gustaf for the interview and for the excellent photo shoot, I’ll save the nipple pics for another post! :)

TJD2 wins Best Music 2014!!!

tjd2_ostWe just got the AMAZING news that “The Journey Down: Chapter Two” has won the prize for Best Music in the 2014 Aggie Awards!! The soundtrack for TJD2 was composed by the awesomly talented Simon D’Souza and Jamie Salisbury.

As you may already know, Simon passed away from brain cancer last year. I can’t begin to describe what a tragic loss that’s been. Theo, who worked closely together with Simon from the very start, has written a little about how they first met and the course of events that led up to Simon’s passing here: Simon.

Before Simon passed away, he recommended we get in touch with Jamie and ask him to help finish the music for TJD2. So we did and as it turned out, Jamie’s sound fit perfectly with where the game was heading.

In short, we had fantastic luck to strike up not only one but two top-notch composers for the game’s soundtrack! And as if that wasn’t enough, to top off the entire thing we got to add a couple of tracks by Simon’s old jazz band “Straight No Chaser” to the score! The tracks are from the “Navigation” album that Simon wrote back in 2013.

You can buy the entire soundtrack straight from Simon’s bandcamp page.
It’s only a few bucks and ALL MONEY goes to the The Brain Tumour Charity so go buy it :)

Simon D'Souza
Simon D’Souza
Jamie Salisbury
Jamie Salisbury


The Aggie Awards is held anually by AdventureGamers.com and picks the best adventure games from the past year. 2014 was a particularly strong year for adventure games that saw a number of super high quality releases, so it really is humbling to see our game among the very best. TJD2 is also nominated for Best Traditional Adventure, we’ll see who wins tomorrow!

award_final__medium

“The Journey Down: Chapter Two perfectly mixes the jazzy brass tones of Port Artue’s speakeasies and seedy back alleys with swelling orchestral pieces whenever the suspense ramps up – then reminds us it’s all in the service of good-natured, tongue-in-cheek fun, marrying its madcap on-screen hijinks with upbeat Caribbean flavour, sass and attitude.”


So what’s keeping the SkyGoblins busy nowadays? Well right now we’re bouncing around with joy from winning the Aggie, but apart from that, all three of us are working hard on designing TJD3. Every week we’re getting more rooms, characters and puzzles in place and even though it’s mostly placeholder graphics and placeholder music at this stage, most of the game is actually already “sort of” playable and – if I may say so – pretty damn cool! Still, there’s a LOT of work to do before we can even start testing the game on other people without getting a “WTF is this!?” response.

Well that’s what’s up, pretty much :)

Check out all the other winners at: http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/28100

AdventureX

So, we just got back from what may very well have been the most awesome little expo I’ve ever visited. For those of you unfamiliar with AdventureX, I’ll attempt to summarize it like this:

AdventureX is a small point-n-click adventure game specific expo, organized by screen7 with the help of various folks from the AGS community. It’s by no means exclusive to AGS titles, but more often than not, visitors and titles showed off there have one connection or another to AGS and its community. (Many were folks like us who previously had worked with AGS, but now had moved on to other tools) (AGS is a tool for developing adventure games)

The expo took place in London, during this previous weekend. We arrived Friday night just in time to hang out with some early arrivals at a pub, right next to the venue.

We came with one single objective in mind: to have fun. I can proudly announce that we succeeded with this in pretty much every single respect. Nothing beats having deeply nerdy adventure game design discussions at the pub with good friends, old and new.

We did have a little “The Journey Down” table but we rarely manned it and didn’t really make an effort to push the game. Checking out the other games, talks, panels and just mingling about was a lot more fun than just standing around a table.

Mathias held a talk on lessons learned during our TJD development, unfortunately it wasn’t filmed as far as I know, but we did manage to snag some pics. The talk mainly chronicled different types of design patterns, good and bad, and seems to have been really well received.

adventurexpanel

I took part in a panel about the pros and cons of relying on nostalgia when developing adventure games. It was a somewhat haphazard but fun rumble and I wound up mostly evangelizing the simplification of UI. I was surrounded by the awesomely talented Wadjet Eye folks, Francisco, Dave and Drew. I wish we would have disagreed more to make it more of a show. Maybe more bloodshed next time, eh?

Another high point during the weekend was meeting up with our old buddy Robert Megone, who has helped us A LOT with TJD testing. A real testing hero, whom we owe a lot. We also finally got to meet our musician Jamie Salisbury and …lol.. we all got really excited about the TJD3 soundtrack. It’s gonna blow your mind. :D

20141207_160953

Jamie, Henrik and Mathias faking seriousness

One more high point was Mathias scoring the AdventureX raffle swag bag, full to the brim with cool stuff, including a really awesome SkyGoblin mug. :D

adventurexbertram

Mathias and I pose together with Alexander and Seb of Rumpus animation

The list of cool games on display would be annoyingly long so I’m not going to bother writing them all down, but a personal favorite was Bertram Fiddle, which will be launching quite shortly on iOS. Another nice easygoing game that deserves a mention is Nelly Cootalot II.

adventurextechno

James Dearden shows off the delicious-looking technobabylon

Wadjet Eye obviously had a ton of impressive stuff on display, including Technobabylon, Shardlight and Automaticity. All worthy of your eyeballs.

Overall a great weekend. If time and money allows for it, we will definitely be sponsoring and visiting AdventureX next year again!

More pics of the event are available here and here, and videos are being uploaded right now over here.

Now back to work on TJD3 – Game of the year!