Switch Update, New Hire and Office Stuff

Hello friends!

Back this month with another update, and there’s a good bunch of stuff to talk about! We’ve been busy, and would like to share the things we’ve been working on. Before we dive in though, I’d like to invite people to join our Discord to communicate with us, find players, and generally be part of the community.

Switch Progress

Surely you all want to hear about the Nintendo Switch progress... trust us, we feel as strongly as you do about wanting to get the game out on the platform! We’ve sent the game for certification a second time, and got back the report with some more bugs. Some of them are trivial, while some others are quite a bit harder to track down. Specifically, there are a couple that only show up in full release builds of the game and don’t show up in the debug version. What that means is that when a build is played as if it were a full retail release, we see a bug, but we don’t get any information about how or why it happened. In a debug build, we can see the behind-the-scenes about what the game is doing and where the issue might have come up, making tracking down the issue much easier. We’ll track them down though, squash em, and get back into cert as soon as we can.

As we’ve said many times, we’re not announcing a launch date before we’ve passed certification and are 100% sure we can hit the launch date. That means not only passing Switch certification, but also submitting to certification for PS4 and XboxOne as well to make sure the new content passes and is ready to launch across all platforms. Once we know we’ve got that down, we can announce a launch date and start bugging press and YouTubers about the update.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

Kate Leaving and Genevieve Joining

If you saw the update video we posted yesterday you’ll know about this already, but if not, here it is!

Kate announced she would be leaving Clever Endeavour to pursue a job more focused in creative writing and less in community management. She loved community management and (seemed to?) enjoy her job here, but she was also working part-time in narrative design and has now been offered a full-time position at the company where she was working. We’re super happy for her, and as much as it sucks to have a great employee leave, we’re happy that she will be pursuing the career of her dreams.

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We started looking for a QA tester (quality assurance) just before we found out that news, and we ended up actually looking for someone who can do both. It’s a rare breed that has the skills to do both jobs, but I think we found the candidate we wanted. Genevieve has great community management background and a wide variety of skills and interests that I think will make her a valuable member of the team.

You’ll see more of her buzzing around in the community, and we can do a proper intro a little bit later.

Stuff Around the Office

We bought plants! We also made a silly video introducing those plants in a 90s sitcom style:

We also built a computer! Well, ish. We started building a computer for our new employee and right at the end, discovered that the power supply didn’t fit properly in the case. It has a tiny little “eco” button which is positioned just awkwardly enough to ruin everything.

We ordered a new case, and will be either returning the other one or donating it as a ferret play-pen. That may or may not be entirely made up.

Links and Things!

Last month we started including links from the team of cool things that they like around the internet. Usually these things have little or nothing to do with games, but we feel it’s a good way to share cool things with our community and hopefully learn something!

Kate (we’ll put her first, in honour of her great service here at Clever Endeavour):

The Met Gala is a celebration of the kind of fashion that only suuuuuper, super rich people can afford. It's a costume ball for people with too much money, and the outfits are incredible works of art. Also, Rihanna might be the next pope.

 
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An oldie but a goodie; Rich shares this 2009 TED talk by Simon Sinek about approaching problems from the "why" perspective as opposed to the "how" perspective. Super insightful!

Fabio shares the most ridiculous link of the bunch… at least in Rich’s opinion. I have to share this because we don’t discriminate against links. Apparently “Gil is a surrealist genious; IMDABES is his most famous song so far”, you can hear it here.

Ben, sharing the second most ridiculous link: In December, we learned the Pentagon had a secret UFO program, but what's the context of this groundbreaking revelation? Steve Bassett, UFO lobbyist and conspiracy theorist, sheds light on it all in this short 2 hour lecture.

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Thanks everyone for the continued support :)

Thoughts from PAX 2018

A few weekends ago, Rich went to PAX, the massive gaming expo that happens in Boston every spring. There, he played a bunch of cool games. A large bunch of cool games. In fact, by his account, he saw and played around 40 games, and took notes on each and every one. He tells his story below:

The reason I went to PAX was to see what the current market is like, meet other developers, have some meetings, and try to get some inspiration for whatever it is we're doing next. Below are my three favourite games, but it should be noted that I didn't spend much time looking at games from Montreal teams because I already know them, so those will be omitted from the list. Sorry Montreal friends!

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Lonely Mountains: Downhill by Megagon Industries was probably my favourite game I played at PAX. The game is a downhill biking game with a beautiful low poly art style, where your goal is to make it to the bottom of the mountain. The coolest thing I found about this game was that you can play in two ways: you can either try to get the fastest time, find the best shortcuts, and race down while making precise turns, or you can take your time and explore the scenery and enjoy the ride. I'm the kind of person that would explore and see if I could find all the secrets, and maybe come back for more competitive play as well. Really excited for this game!

The next favourite game, which I've seen before but just had to mention because it's outstanding, was The Messenger, by Sabotage Studio. It looks like a classic NES platformer executed absolutely perfectly.

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With echoes of Ninja Gaiden, this game does a great job of giving that retro, nostalgic feel while keeping some of the elements of new games that we know and love, that the NES simply didn't have the capacity to do. I see this game a bit like Shovel Knight, in the sense that it stands out from the indie retro platformer crowd by very clearly showing that it's a professional throwback executed with great care.

Last but not least, was a game called Synthrally by Roseball Games. The below gif is a bit confusing, so I'll explain.

You play as a red or blue shape / character, and a disc is passed back and forth. Your goal, depending on the game mode, can be to not get hit by the disc, to knock the disc into another players target, etc. When it comes close to you, you can press a button to hit it back, shoot it with an arrow, or use other abilities to move the disc. There was actually a lot of depth to the game, and when playing as teams of two there was even more depth; players had to choose their class and abilities and try to compliment each others' play style. While I think the game is really great, I wonder if its minimal art style won't hurt it down the line, similar to how Videoball was a fantastic game but might not have had enough flair to attract the average gamer. Time will tell, but I hope it does well.

All in all, the PAX trip was really great. I learned a lot, practiced my analysis of design, talked to some cool devs, and got a good snapshot of what's happening in the indie scene. I'll admit I didn't see much of the AAA world, but I did see another billion class-based shooters and battle royale games. 

See you next time!

Switch Update, Company Updates and Fun Links!

Hello friends!

We finally have news on the Switch! We submitted it to Nintendo certification, and we have absolutely no idea how long it will be until we pass. There were some bugs reported and changes that need to be made in the build before we can resubmit, and we're working to solve those issues as soon as possible. I know it's not the most encouraging and precise news, but at least it's a step in the right direction and we can assure you that the whole team has this as the number one priority. Normally this goes back and forth a few times until a game passes, so we're still at the start of this process.

We won't announce anything about the new stuff that's coming when Switch launches until we announce the launch date, and we won't do that before we pass certification. The reason for this is that people often announce dates early, then miss them because of unforeseen issues. We want to minimize that, so we're better off not say anything yet rather than telling you (potential) lies.

We’ve also started a new video series while trying to connect more with the community, and you can see two of the videos below. #AskTheDevs: Is a Hot-Dog a Sandwich? (and other questions), and some updates from our programmer Ben about changes we’re making to the game.

If you have questions or want to follow along, be sure to join our Discord and/or newsletter!

Interesting Links and Things

We're also starting a new initiative where each member of the team shares a little something that piqued their interest in the last month. We tend to have really interesting conversations at lunch about all sorts of things, from science to movies to food to... well, everything really. Why not share some of that good stuff with you?

Ben wants to share with you that the United States may currently be in the process of revealing the truth about UFOs and alien life? He suggests that you start here.

On a lighter note, Alex wants you check out this recreation of the Transformers intro redone in stop-motion using toys.

As spring makes its way in, Rich (the hungry one of the bunch) thinks that you should check out this collection of burger recipes to spice up your barbecue life.

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Ever heard of McMansions? Thanks to Kyler, you have now. It’s pretty amazingly bad.

On a similar thread of tackiness and over-the-top design, Kate suggests to check out the ATBGE subreddit.

We found the process of sharing these to be pretty fun, and we'll try to keep doing them. Let us know what you think on our Discord or on Twitter!