Overgrowth Design Blog
January 12, 2010 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Wolfire Games (Lugaru, Black Shades) is blogging the creation of their next game, Overgrowth. Every aspect of the design process, from the technical to the creative, is thoroughly detailed and illustrated, with new articles appearing every few days. In addition, every preorder grants access to the alpha version and editing tools, which are updated on a weekly basis. A great source of information if you're interested in contemporary game design! (Bonus: Wolfire and Unknown Worlds are currently selling a bundled preorder for Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2 for $40 [70% off], but only for 20 more hours!) posted by archagon (7 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm currently blogging my efforts to eat lunch.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:01 PM on January 12, 2010

What are the system requirements and when will NS2 be released?:
A 1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, a DirectX 9 level graphics card, Windows Vista/2000/XP, mouse, keyboard and of course, an internet connection. We are working hard to make sure NS2 runs well on average hardware without having to upgrade your machine! We will be releasing NS2 in the fall of 2009 (Northern Hemisphere).
Good to know they're accepting pre-orders for two months ago!
posted by pwnguin at 1:17 PM on January 12, 2010

I like to think that those in charge of naming the company could not agree on a name, so they shoved a few possibilities together. I see both Wolf Ire (tagline: You better let sleeping wolves lie, or you'll face ... WOLF IRE!) and Wool Fire (tagline: Like Steel Wool, but HOTTER!)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:18 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

There must be a German power metal band named Wolfire. I don't see how that could have been overlooked.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:11 PM on January 12, 2010

Fuck the snarkers, this is thoroughly interesting and useful to me. Thanks for posting.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:31 PM on January 12, 2010

Normally I'd think a post like this was pretty Pepsi-blue -- clearly the post is meant to tie into the bundle discount, but that discount isn't, in itself, anything Steam, GoG, or indeed any shop hasn't done a million times over.

... but, well, I just bought the pre-order pack and I hope more people do as well. :D I think this really exemplifies what's interesting and exciting about modern, small-studio games development and I think they should be supported.

What's so great about them? Well, both studios are pursuing ideas that they plainly love, since in both cases they're sequels to games they developed the hard way: essentially-free, with little or no expectation of recouping the time, effort, and indeed money they've invested into them. It shows how closely the games industry is coming to reflect the movie industry, because there's the same dynamic where big studios will only green-light safe, but generic ideas that they can be sure will get them a return on the huge development costs involved in running a big studio... whereas independant teams can pursue much more interesting things at the cutting edge. And because they're running so light, they can combine the new, modular, refined technologies that take so much of the grunt-work out of game design, with their own new engines and ideas. It kind of combines the freedom to innovate that, say, early iD studios had, with the ability to use lots of beautiful assets as needed in modern games.

Both studios have little-to-no marketing budget, but because they're honest, interesting, and transparent in the way they present themselves, and because they're savvy about using the new technologies of the net -- for instance, making so many interesting blog entries about the little technical tricks and problems of development -- they can get much more out of word-of-mouth. Hell, part of the reason I'm making this post is because their 'thanks for buying' message persuaded me to get the word out (although I hope it stands on its own too! I'm in no way affiliated with either studio, and haven't even been following them closely until now).

And because their overheads are low, they can make a relatively bold offer like this bundle deal and, from what I've seen, really get results from it. For that matter, few if any big studios would tie their products' fate together so closely with one from another, "rival" studio.

Another interesting example of this is Interstellar Marines. The title is about as generic as it gets -- sure enough, it's basically another Aliens-universe clone, although this one has SHARKDOGS. But they've made full use of the Unity engine to release really interesting, unique, and highly polished teasers ("The Vault", a static, navigable '3D poster'; and "Bullseye", a really fun, full-3D shooting-gallery game that gets you familiar with the look and feel of the weapon(s) -- one of the most important things a buyer wants to know about an FPS). Both of these are really effective ways to show off their impressive eye for detail, polish, atmosphere and design. As with the OP deal, they have a pre-order offer available... which itself is a very interesting trend, one I think has a lot of potential to really change the way games are produced. Although I do remember when everyone was crowing that the same thing would happen for music...

All this is without even getting started on how much god-damned fun the original Natural Selection was. I've also heard good things about the original original Wolfire game, Lugaru...
posted by Drexen at 3:48 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

My problem with this post is that the bundle deal was above the break, and looked like the focus of the post, plus it's very time critical (by tomorrow, the sale is over, but the post is still on the front page of MetaFilter).

Personally, if I were making this FPP, I would have included that as the first comment instead of being part of the post (even below the break). It's awesome that the development company is being open about their process, and offering an inexpensive component to make your own games is also awesome, but leave the sales details off the post.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:08 PM on January 12, 2010

« Older Another dose of Martian awesome   |   Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments