Midnight Studios has signed a contract with Electronic Arts to work on several upcoming projects! While the projects are still top secret and we can't tell you what they are, we can tell you that we are very excited! This is especially fun news for Charles and Kevin who both worked at EA in the past and have had a great history working with them!
I did not get to every booth at GDC 2015. So, I cannot make a comprehensive summation of the event. I saw what I saw. It seemed to me there was at least 1 more VR headset than I had expected to see. I had dinner with one of the principal engineers behind Sony’s Morpheus, and he seems legitimately excited about things he cannot tell me about (even after 3 beers). The 3 things that stick out most in my memory of the event are as follows:
1) Project Tango had a good show. It is basically a tablet device that can “see” in 3 dimensions and track your movement to much better accuracy than previous handhelds. This allows it to build a 3D world as you walk around, then the demo app allows you to throw virtual balls at the structure to watch it bounce around them. The 3D structures are chunky and clunky, but as this improves I expect to see some very interesting apps and it looks like the future to me. The people there swear that you can virtually place an object in a position near you, for example, then walk around the whole show floor and come back, and the device would show you where that object was within a centimeter or two of the position where you left it. This is much better than current devices.
2) I liked the exercise bike. We had this idea 15 years ago or so. Actually our oldest brother brought it to us. He was an EE major working at Sandia Labs, at the time. He said, he could build the hardware if we could build the software. We never really got focused on it. He started one company and we started another. I have essentially been waiting for it to be made since that time. This is the year that it happened for me, anyway. The steering uses a torsion system just as our brother had expected to do and the virtual world you can peddle around in, though simple, it was compelling. It just made the peddling seem that much more enticing that you could actually “go” somewhere and because steering itself is marvelous at distracting you from the work of peddling. We used to be waiting for the price of display technology to drop, but with the advent of tablets, the bike simply provides a holder for your tablet. You download the app. Simple. No excuses.
3) The rope swing…or was it a rope ride? It was certainly different, and I have no idea why it was there or what was being promoted. Maybe, the show organizers just thought we needed some anomaly on the floor for distraction. Now, how can I get one at the office?!
-- Charles Normann
Midnight is happy to once again be the sponsor for The Austin Mobile & Game Dev December meetup. The meetup will be next Thursday, December the 18th at the Capital Factory in Austin Centre. This meetup will feature the holiday party and the goal is to help foster social connections within the group and within the industry.
"Midnight Studios would like to recognize the life and accomplishments of Ralph Baer. We had the privilege of hosting an ideas summit at Midnight's Austin office back in 2009 that was organized by Mr. Baer and Billy Joe Cain. Kevin and I were very happy to meet Mr. Baer and found him to be a very enthusiastic, inspiring, yet unassuming person. He will certainly be missed. "
-- Charles NormannYou can read more about Ralph Baer here: Obituary: Ralph Baer
So I have been begging for weeks to post some actual art from our top secret game project and I finally got the approval! Woot! Here is a creature from the game:
It is called a Skullwing due to patterns on its wings that somewhat resemble a human skull. If you look down a Skullwing’s throat, you will be overcome by a sense of dread and lose your will to fight, possibly even falling unconscious. This allows the Skullwing to scoop you up in his maw and carry you off for any number of fell purposes…perhaps to be a prisoner for the Skullwing’s overlord.
Scary right? But looks oh-so-good ...err...bad?
Battle at Midnight II was a huge success! Employees, friends and Family gathered to watch the ultimate showdown in the fighting game arena. First up was the Mortal Kombat exhibition match with Eric “The Victimizer” playing Scorpion and Randall “El Nino” playing Reptile for the win. Next up the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Exhibition with Enrico “FlameIce” coming out on top. More spectators gathered as things started heating up for the main event: BlazBlue: Chronophantasma!
The BlazBlue challenges started with the beginners only Double Elimination Tournament. Charles “Hazamat” and Miguel “Dragon” were neck and neck for the win. Miguel, playing as Noel, constantly applied pressure, but Charles, playing as Hazama, waited patiently and favored a strong defense. Miguel, though a worthy adversary, could not hold out against the damage from Charles who secured the victory with a last minute combo!
Finally it was time for the main event: The BlazBlue Team Based Survival Kumite! The house champion, Enrico “FlameIce,”at last stepped into the ring to take on all challengers. The challengers sent forth the best of their ranks to form what will be known as team “Here Goes Nothing.” Even though it was 7 vs. 1 their chances looked grim. While some just managed to scratch the champion, others fell before they knew what had happened. It was the start of the final matchup and Enrico “FlameIce” maintained 80% of his health. The final challenger, our Double Elimination champion, Charles “Hazmat,” entered the arena playing as Hazama. The underdog managed to bring the house champion down to one hit but before he knew it, FlameIce was on him with devastating combos that leveled their scores. At this point all hope seemed lost. FlameIce went for the attack. Hazamat dodged. Just as we thought it was over, the underdog, Hazamat, used his final move and brought down FlameIce! The spectators erupted in cheers and the night was won!
It is safe to say that this night will live on in Midnight Studios legend. Many thanks to our host and sponsor: Enrico “FlameIce” Crevecoeur!
Head over to our Facebook page to view the final bracket and more photos!
Midnight is sponsoring the Austin Mobile & Web Game Dev meetup next Tuesday, at the Capital Factory, where we will be providing free pizza and beer! This meetup will feature a talk by Matt Piersall, founder of GL33K, who will discuss game audio and provide tips for working with audio creators to make great games. To learn more about this event head over to the Austin Mobile & Web Game Dev meetup page.
This upcoming weekend the Captivate Conference is happening here in Austin, TX. Some of the Midnight crew will be in attendance. Join over 1,000 professionals in the convergence of games, music, mobile and film!
Learn more here: Captivateconference.com