Eufloria HD on PlayStation Vita
The official announcement is here! This is what I posted on the Sony blog:
Vita loves Eufloria HD
by Rudolf Kremers, Creative Director , Omni Systems Limited
Hello Friends! Eufloria HD for PlayStation Vita is coming out very soon.
To be precise: Dec 17th in the USA and Dec 18th in the EU.
This makes me happy indeed.:-) As an indie game developer I remain amazed at the journey this game is taking, and the superb response it gets from fans. And as a proud Vita owner it’s fantastic to be able to announce this release.
“Having released a few different iterations of Eufloria over the years I’ve come to appreciate that each one poses a new challenge. How do we adapt the controls to joypad? Does the game speed work nicely? Are the visuals “right”? Generally there are real problems to overcome before you can settle on a solution that is right for everybody. Well, This Vita release is quite different, but in a very positive way. Here’s why:
Performance: Eufloria is a funny old game. It may be “just” 2d, but you end up controlling thousands of seedlings across dozens of asteroids, zooming in to the level of individual blades of grass, or zooming out to see a bird’s eye view of an entire asteroid belt, all within the space of seconds.
This works really well, and is very pretty, but admittedly can be a bit of a strain on the game’s frame-rate. As a result we have often tried to lock the frame-rate to 30fps, and this is a pretty good compromise for most levels. On Vita however, we found that with we could push things much harder, and as a result the Eufloria HD Vita release runs at 60 fps in almost all circumstances. NICE!
Controls: Not only does this performance increase make the levels much smoother, it really makes the controls super responsive. More so than I anticipated… The superfast update we get from running at 60f fps, combined with the Vita touch screen makes for a very immediate and tactile experience. It’s a very different feel from the PlayStation 3 release, which I am very proud of, but requires one to get used to radial controls on a joypad.
This new release offers dedicated and refined touch controls, which supports a broad range of play styles. Because we allow the player to play at three speed settings, it is possible to luxuriate (yes it’s a word) in Eufloria’s ambient mood, strategise nicely at double speed, and really go for it at triple speed. And it all feels natural.
I actually had to get used to how quick and easy it was to control the game. (And I know it pretty well). Panning and zooming is insanely crisp, and when you speed the game up (a nice feature anyway) you don’t lose any control at all. The screen is sensitive enough to deal with the responsiveness, but not so sensitive that it becomes fiddly. It becomes 2nd nature very quickly.
Visuals: Eufloria HD has (rightfully IMO) received a lot of praise for it procedural visuals. Alex May created a look that took inspiration from Japanese art, watercolours, nature… not really typical sources of inspiration for most games. But that is what is cool about indie games. You can do whatever you feel is right for your game, without corporate stakeholders being a huge influence or worse; vetoing anything too risky.
We have also integrated the play mechanics in the visuals, so the entire look of the game is designed to deliver vital gameplay information through visual cues. You can “read” the game very well, after spending some time with it.
Ironically, Vita’s excellent screen worried me a bit. Because of its super high pixel density (bear with me) the visuals can become very sharp, which could alter the overall feel of what we achieved. In reality it has given us the best of both worlds. The almost hazy and zen-like quality of the visuals is intact, but a new clarity is added in places as well. You can easily see the small details on the game’s inhabitants, enhancing the game’s readability. I like this a lot.
Vita loves Eufloria HD!
This port was developed by Titanium studios, and they did a wonderful job in my opinion. The lovely surprise for me is that, without detracting Titanium’s achievement, how well it all gels on this hardware. Great port meets great platform.
I am a life-long gamer, and remain a huge fan of all kinds of different devices, but I must say that I have fallen in love with the Vita. This means I’m pretty excited that we can add to its gaming ecosystem with the newest (and in my opinion best) iteration of Eufloria HD. Vita is already a home to some amazing indie games, and I hope that people will appreciate Eufloria HD in a similar light. I am playing through it myself again, and despite my knowledge of the game (I did design it after all) it feels fresh and immersive again. Hopefully you will feel the same.
Let me know what you think in the comments below? I can answer any and all questions you have. Alternatively get in touch via our website: www.eufloria-game.com (www.eufloria-game.com).
Win Win Win for Eufloria HD!
A few months ago we submitted Eufloria HD for something called the Big Chip Awards. They are the main UK awards for digital agencies outside London and are hotly contested. They had a (best use of) games category so we decided to have a go. We were allowed to enter two categories so also entered the design one because, well, why not?!
And you know what? We got nominated for both, much to our surprise! We assumed it was to add a bit of flavour to what we thought where primarily web targeted awards.
I nearly didn’t go to the ceremony itself as I only knew a non gaming friend of mine there plus we’re all really busy with Eufloria Adventures, Bitcoin research, and other gaming projects. Still, the lovely people at Playrise (Tabletop Racers) organised a table and Manchester is an easy trip across the Pennines. It was just me as we didn’t even really think about a bigger outing as we’re very busy and these aren’t game industry awards so we didn’t think we had a chance. We also never win anway so had pretty much resigned ourselves to always being the bridesmaid as it were.
Fast forward to Thursday night. After a Champagne reception and a splendid dinner, the design award comes up. They show some pretty cool looking sites and then Eufloria last of all.. and then they read out our name.
We’d won. WE’D WON!
We’d finally ****ing won something! And Rudolf/Alex/Mark et al weren’t even there. Aaargh! I definitely gave a shout of delight but felt a bit silly having taken on all these design agencies and won. Apparently several in the audience were, ahem, asking who on earth we were. At awards like these, people tend to know each other.
So there you go. Eufloria HD, finally a full award winner. Not a nomination, not a runner up award, but the top prize. Totally unexpected so I was really chuffed for all of us. Now time to sit back and enjoy the night with a few drinks, at least once I’d persuaded my phone network that yes, Rudolf, Alex and Mark did indeed need to see a picture of the trophy.
Next up is Best Use of Gaming, for which a mate’s company was nominated, ourselves, and Playrise. We’d already won, the others hadn’t so far, and Playrise had even organised the table which allowed me to be there. I fully expected both games to beat Eufloria anyway, even more so now.
And then we won again.
Eh? What? I couldn’t believe it.
I apologised a lot to everyone, then walked up for another award. And felt very silly indeed. I had to answer a couple of questions on the stage, like where everyone else was. I mentioned that this was a collaboration and that no one had thought we had any chance of winning.
So yeah, two awards. 100% record. Woohoo!
Only… it wasn’t finished.
I didn’t realise but there was a grand prize for the best of the Big Chips 2013. I was busy tweeting when I got a nudge from my neighbour, looked up, and saw that we’d just come out on top against the North’s top digital agencies and won the main award of the night, their Grand Prix award. It’s gold coloured so it must be special.
I have never, ever been so embarrassed. And there will never ever by a more coy award winner. I turned and shrugged I think. I knew that a lot of people in front of me cared a great deal about that award in particular and had worked really hard, and yet we’d just won it. Not that we hadn’t near killed ourselves any number of times developing Eufloria.
What is it they say in Team America?
TEAM EUFLORIA! **** YEAH!
Thanks to everyone at Big Chip, Playrise, Yippee (another award winning game company that night), and special congratulations to everyone who has contributed to Eufloria over the years.
The press release is over at TunaHQ and you can see what they said about Eufloria here.
The Bitcoin Bundle
So now you can buy Eufloria with Bitcoins, and more besides!
The Bitcoin Bundle: Top indie developers support Bitcoins
Pay What You Want in Bitcoins for hit indie games Eufloria HD, World of Goo, And Yet It Moves, and Spirits.
Thursday 16th May 2013: The Bitcoin Bundle launched today, allowing Bitcoin users to pay whatever they want for four multiple award nominated Indie Games and contribute to the EFF. Unlike other bundles, this is entirely based around Bitcoin, the much talked about on-line currency. Not only do users buy with Bitcoins, but the developers are paid in Bitcoins.
Support has come from 2D Boy (World of Goo), Omni Systems (Eufloria), Spaces of Play (Spirits), and Broken Rules (And Yet It Moves). The developers all wished to show support for the nascent currency, seeing it as a way for players and creators to become a step closer together.
Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate as a currency with no central authority. It can be used to pay anyone, anywhere in the world, almost instantly, anonymously, and without paying bank or other significant charges.
“We created this bundle to be special – it’s exclusively handled in Bitcoin. We didn’t just want to have it as a payment option, we wanted to promote the currency itself”, said Alex Amsel, director of The Bitcoin Bundle.
Marek Plichta, from contributor Spaces of Play, says more creative businesses should be paying attention to Bitcoin. “Digital distribution removed the need for publishers as the middleman between customers and game developers. Bitcoin might be able to do the same thing for all kinds of creative businesses and help them thrive.”
The Bitcoin Bundle is available for 2 weeks, from now, Thursday 16th May, until 30th May 2013. The games are DRM free, available for PC, Mac and Linux, and are on Steam where available. 10% of all proceeds will be gifted to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org/).
Bitcoins may be purchased from various companies, including Blockchain.info (International; not UK), Coinbase (US), BitInstant (US), and BitBargain (UK). The Bitcoin Bundle uses industry leading technology from Coinbase to handle Bitcoin transactions.
For more information
Official website: http://www.thebitcoinbundle.com
Press pack: http://www.thebitcoinbundle.com/press/bb1presspack.zip
Buy Eufloria HD with Bitcoins
It seems Bitcoin has been getting some more publicity recently. I’m a bit of a fan so I suggested to Rudolf that we accept Bitcoins. We’re considering how to go about this if other people think it a good idea.
In the mean time, if anyone does want to have the Eufloria HD beta on PC, Mac, or Linux (as was in the Humble Bundle) then send us a message through the contact page, let us know when, how much and from where you have gifted, and we’ll get a build to you. At the moment we (well, I!) have to do this manually so please bare with me. I’m not online 24 hours a day!
Pay With Bitcoin
How much are we charging? PAY WHAT YOU WANT!
Bitcoin payments will most likely go to funding us being able to accept them officially in some form so, as the saying goes, please give generously.
BlackBerry 10 and Innovation Nomination
While we’re hard at work on Eufloria Adventures, we have two bits of news for you.
Firstly, Eufloria HD received a nomination for Most Innovative Game in the Best App Ever awards 2013. This adds to our growing nomination list which keeps putting a smile on our faces. Thanks to all of you for playing.
Secondly, we’re now officially out on Blackberry 10 (BB10): Crackberry Mini Review. It plays really nicely on RIM’s new devices so hopefully they’ll be a success. RIM themselves have been brilliantly helpful, especially when we had a last minute hardware issue, so special thanks to them.
Meanwhile, here is a random Eufloria Adventures montage!