Posted by Ross

Laughing Jackal in Germany

Guten tag everyone,

Feels like ages since my last post! Sorry things have been a bit quiet from me lately. We’ve been neck deep in Gamescom-related stuff but all that’s behind us now so I thought you’d like to hear a bit about the show. Here goes…

Just two Laughing Jackal team members headed over to Cologne for GamesCom, myself and Marc our 3D artist and Unity supremo. We had an insanely early flight so we’re in Cologne by 9am the day before GamesCom started. We paid a visit to our lovely Sony Producer (a.k.a. @TheSakeDiary ) to collect our tickets then had a much needed nap back at the hotel. I got myself back out on the streets in time for the awesome Sony press conference that evening:

This was a nice experience. And I got to mingle with some industry legends, which was sweet!

Once that was over, having nearly trodden on Hideo Kojima’s foot (I can tell I didn’t because no exclamation mark appeared above his head) and chatted a bit to the incredibly nice @mikeBithell I headed out of the chaos and back into the drizzly Cologne twilight, where I was confronted by this lovely sight:

True story: Once I saw a triple rainbow. I deleted the photo by mistake. ;_;

Taking a ‘doubler’ as a good omen for beginning GamesCom the next day I headed back to the hotel and got some sleep.

Next day we hauled ourselves over the river on foot and managed to find the huge Koln Messe venue, where GamesCom is hosted. It made E3 look small! We got in nice and early, then headed to the ginormous Sony stand, where we struggled to find Flame Over at first, eventually discovering it nestled cosily inside the 18+ section of the stand, next to such prestigious company as Mode 7 Games’ awesome Frozen Synapse Tactics, Reventon’s spectacular Hotline Miami 2 and the finely tuned Velocity 2X from our pals over at FuturLab. This was the queue to get in the first day…

A glimpse at the 18+ area’s queue on the Sony stand. At times it was a 4 hour wait. T_T

We had press appointments each day, but between times we were trying to get Flame Over into as many hands as possible. Not easy when the only way into the 18+ section was to queue, for up to FOUR HOURS (I don’t think I like anything that much… O_o) in order to play games like BloodBorne, The Order 1886, and Far Cry 4.

The public days were CRAZILY busy and the place was absolutely packed, so you couldn’t really see the rest of the stand very well most of the time. Luckily I snapped a few pics on my phone (hence the poor quality of the images, sorry!) which you can see here.

There was an enormous big screen demoing upcoming games. You can probably guess that this is for Minecraft on Vita…

The days at GamesCom are long: 9am until 9pm each day, so we were stood up and selling Flame Over hard to anyone who came by. Everyone who tried the game really enjoyed it, especially those who are into Roguelike mechanics and top-down shooters, but the challenge was too much to overcome for many. I guess trade shows aren’t the best to try out games like that. I remember not having a great impression of Dark Souls at EGX a few years back, there just wasn’t the time to sink into it!

Vita games were demoed on barrels like this one. Look at our sexy flyer! Hot stuff!!

At the end of a long hard week we managed to celebrate a little in our hotel bar on our last evening. Delicious mojitos topped off a lovely last day puffed off on the praise of a wonderful PocketGamer preview of the game:

Flame Over had an excellent GamesCom all told. We had great feedback from the public and press we’d spoken to and plenty of stuff to tweak based on watching how other people played the game. And now a nice list to finish off with:

Here are the top 5 things I learnt from GamesCom 2014:

1) It’s great to get the public to play your game ahead of release as it gives you a real insight into any areas they may struggle with, or be frustrated by that you didn’t anticipate. Better to find this out BEFORE release!

2) Cologne is a fantastic city that’s WELL worth a visit. We had an amazing time out of the show, even if it was just mixing with @SpiltMilkStudio and some very drunk Germans still on a world cup high! ^^

3) Germans CANNOT sing. Ever. Having to stand by a giant stage with SingStar karaoke each and every day has taught me that much. No wonder they love the Hoff so much… :D

4) If you like beer and you like sausages (or pork in general, actually) you will like Cologne. Currywurst is delicious… O_o

5) Everyone thinks Flame Over is cool (or HOT), which makes those little tweaks in point 1 even more important!


More news on Flame Over next week I hope. Until then Auf Weidersehen!! :-)


Posted by Ross

Flame Over goes to Gamescom and gets a Trailer

Last week was a very busy week for Flame Over as we were lucky enough to be invited to be on the Sony Stand at this year’s Gamescom.  It would be the first time ever that Flame Over would be demonstrated outside the offices.  Nervously armed with flyers, business cards and t-shirts Al & Marc headed out to Cologne.  They were at the show for 4 full days and in that time they managed to get the game into the hands of hundreds of people before leaving thoroughly exhausted on the Saturday.

As you might expect from the first public showing of Flame Over, we learnt quite a lot from how people interacted with the game on their first play.  We were really surprised at how little some gamers used the touch screen for menu selections and how some people found the health bar somewhat difficult to recognise when the game was in action.  We will of course be making plenty of tweaks to the game based on the many comments we received at the show.  If you did try Flame Over out at Gamescom, then please let us know what you thought of it as every little piece feedback really helps :).

Crucially for us, the response was overwhelmingly positive from all those who were able to get their hands on the game and they all seemed to really enjoy Blaze and his antics.  I’m really proud to say that it was Mark Brown’s (Pocketgamer) pick of the show and he had this to say “It's a complex game… filled with clever ideas.  There's also a shop, miniature missions, and persistent upgrades.  And it's suitably difficult, but like Spelunky you'll be wanting another go as soon as you die.”  As you can imagine, being compared to the mighty Spelunky put a massive smile on all our faces - you can read his full report here: Impressions of the game

To round off the week for the Flame Over PR juggernaut, Flame Over also made an appearance on the SCEE PSN blog here.  Not only does the blog give an update on where we are at, but it also features a teaser trailer.  For all those of you who couldn’t make it to Gamescom 2014, before you ask, I can confirm that the trailer does indeed contain footage of Flame Over ‘in action’ :)  While the game is still pre-alpha, we’re pretty excited about how it is coming along so please do check it out.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next week, but until then you can join us on our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google+  pages where we will be posting all the news from Laughing Jackal.


Posted by Ross

No Laughing Jackal blog today

I tried, I really did. Despite my best efforts I was unable to drag Al away from Flame Over to write a blog for you all. When asked he said something about having to prepare a build of Flame Over for Gamescom before burying himself in documents.  I don’t expect him to emerge from them until next month.

Don’t despair though as when Al does reappear in August he should be bringing with him the next Laughing Jackal blog post.  Until then you can keep up to date with any news from Laughing Jackal by checking out our Twitter page here.


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