Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Guacamelee! 2 Post Launch Roundup

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Hey everyone. This is a little round up of how things have gone since we released Guacamelee! 2 on Steam and PS4. If you have not had a chance to catch the Launch Trailer then today is your lucky day:

 

And continuing with more good news it turns out some other people enjoyed the game also. Check it out:

 

Guacamelee 2 feels exhilarating, like spelunking with a pogo stick. In this way it surpasses many of the classics it pays tribute to and demonstrates why it’s an altogether different animal.” -ETHAN GACH

Kotaku, https://kotaku.com/guacamelee-2-the-kotaku-review-1828490950

 

Guacamelee 2’s clever humor, challenging platforming, and beautiful world make for a worthy followup.” -JONATHON DORNBUSH

IGN, http://ca.ign.com/articles/2018/08/21/guacamelee-2-review

 

Guacamelee 2 is one of the best executions of the Metroid formula. Juan’s adventure stands apart in a crowded genre” -KYLE HILLIARD

Game Informer, https://www.gameinformer.com/review/guacamelee-2/an-excellent-but-familiar-return-to-the-ring

 

The game never stops finding new ways to hook you in, to the point that even the most painstaking and intensive playthroughs feel like they just fly by.” -JUSTIN CLARK

GameSpot, https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/guacamelee-2-review-ready-for-a-challenge/1900-6416962/

 

If real-world wrestlers need to catch their breath between the splashiest of moves, Guacamelee! 2 will have you catching yours from its whirlwind sense of comic and gameplay invention.” -AARON RICCIO

Slant, https://www.slantmagazine.com/games/review/guacamelee-2

 

Also, there were lots of other people who took the time to write about Guac, and we’re thankful for them all. And you. Especially you.

PaxEast 2018 Roundup

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Howdy all. We just got back from PaxEast 2018 and had a great booth in the IndieMegaBooth, AND a great time meeting lots of DrinkBox fans. Why is PaxEast only 4 days? Let’s make it the entire week!

Nobody sneeze…

The Guac2 booth!

Nerd Patrol

 

 

Also, some people were kind enough to drop by for a visit and write their thoughts about Guacamelee! 2:

IGN WHAT’S NEW WITH GUACAMELEE! 2 – IGN ACCESS

Destructoid Drinkbox Studio’s Guacamelee 2 brings back that lucha machismo

AppTrigger Guacamelee 2: Winner winner chicken dinner | PAX East 2018 preview

GamingNews Guacamelee! 2 Interview — DrinkBox Studios Co-Founder on Juan’s Next Luchador Adventure

The Young Folks PAX EAST 2018 INDIE MEGABOOTH: Guacamelee! 2 Interview with Drinkbox’s Graham Smith

Dual Shockers Guacamelee! 2 Interview — DrinkBox Studios Co-Founder on Juan’s Next Luchador Adventure

Thanks! And if you haven’t followed us on Twitter, be sure to do so @DrinkBoxStudios

This is how YOU can play Guacamelee! 2

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Looking to get your hands on Guacamelee! 2 demo? Well let me tell you HOW below. A few options are described below:

GDC 2018 (San Francisco)

Come see us at the Indie Mega Booth GDC 2018. Moscone West Hall 3rd Floor during the day Wednesday to Friday

Don’t have a pass to GDC, no problem! Come see us at The MIX on March 19th, 7PM to WHO KNOWS. 981 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

And apparently we’re at the Sony Booth Wed-Fri of GDC? Who knew? (OK, we knew) GDC Expo floor at Space 601 in the South Hall

But you know what, we love ALL the coasts, so catch us over on the east coast…

PAX East 2018 (Boston)

Can you handle the gauntlet of PAX East? Well we probably can’t. Never the less, come to our booth from April 5th to April 8th 2018 at the Indie Mega Booth!

Adieu to George

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Our dear friend George will be leaving the studio for brighter pastures (or to the “farm” in the country. In addition to excellent design work, George also was a Photoshop genius, a PhD in twitter, and cool guy. So – let’s celebrate by looking back on some of his best work, take it away George:

###

Severed / Last of Us 2 Crossover:

Neil Druckmann had just finished playing through Severed with his daughter and tweeted us to tell us about it. This was about the time that the trailer for Last of Us 2 came up, and this was one of the scenes in it. The severed hand laying there just screamed photoshop-time.

The tweet:
Severed complete! Thanks, @DrinkBoxStudios for one insane ride. My daughter and I loved it. Highly recommended

 

Shitty Spiderface paint drawing


This was actually by one of our programmers for a Severed Fan Art contest. It took an entire afternoon, and has since appeared on a shirt in the office. Considered to be the Mona Lisa of our time.

 

Alternate Universe Spiderface

This one was created in Google Drawings while an unnamed designer was supposed to be doing enemy design work. An imagined alternative plot where you’re actually playing as the 100th iteration of Sasha. Sasha refuses to believe her family is gone, and that she can fight to win them back, but denial is the most predictable of all human responses. Rest assured, this will be the 100th time the spiderface demons have destroyed her, and they have become exceedingly efficient at it.

Yeah this concept was struck down.

 

Flameface Fidget

This is Drinkbox Studios staying current and cool during the great fidget spinner craze of 2017. *dabs*

 

Graham in VR

This came about after Graham – one of our studio heads, tried to argue with me (with a straight face) that we’re at least more than a year away from all sitting in dark rooms with future suits on and headsets strapped to our faces. I tried to stay positive, looking towards the future, and imagining what Graham would look like if he would only just believe.

###

Thanks George!

Trophies: Part 2

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Warning: Some of the links in this post lead to some strong language! NSFW

The last blog post was about my pseudo-scientific look at analyzing trophies. This time around I want to share the best aspect of trophies: the pun-based names and amusing cultural references. That’s why for Trophies Part 2, I’ll look at the motivation behind some of my favourite trophies that we made.

 

Finally, monsieur, a wafer thin mint:  Absorb 1500 objects (Tales from Space : Mutant Blobs Attack)

Mutant Blobs Attack was all about eating the world around you, and becoming huge. Who else ate a lot? Well monsieur did. Monty Python might date a few people at the studio, but they certainly were an influence on humour of our games.

(timestamp @ 301s)

Graduation Dinner : Eat the valedictorian at the end of Chapter 1 (Tales from Space : Mutant Blobs Attack)

I especially loved this trophy, not just for the irony, but that it played out so well in game. The idea of Blob rolling through a graduation, eating everyone, especially that go-getter valedictorian is too much fun. Are we a bit salty? Maybe.

Want us to untie you?: Talk to a Goat (Guacamelee!)

When I first heard Adam Sandler’s What The Hell Happened To Me I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard. Granted, re-listening to this comedy compilation again makes me realize it has not stood the test of time. Anyway, it only made sense to celebrate in Guacamelee! when first meet your mentor/best goat friend UayChivo by doing a callback to the best skit on that Sandler CD, hands down:

(timestamp @ 57s)

I AM ERROR: Complete the I AM ERROR quest (Guacamelee!)

As many of you know Guacamelee! is a game where you play as a meme. Wait, I mean, there might be a few memes in the game. Anyway, a villager in Guacamelee! is an homage to a classic Zelda 2 character (bug?). Check it out

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_am_Error

(I just noticed Guacamelee! is referenced in the article! Cool! …and no, we didn’t add that ourselves)

 

Boom-Shack-Calaca : Defeat Calaca (Guacamelee!)

Boom-Shack-Calaca is a bit more complicated. Let’s say, a LOT more complicated. It is based off “Boom Shakalaka”, which in itself is a hilarious pun on Calaca, the final boss in Guacamelee!. But depending who you ask, the reference to that originates from different sources. And if you grew up mid 90s like a lot of us, the term was rampant.

For many, it is a throw back to embarrassing your opponent in NBA Jam:

While for others, it brings back memories of MuchMusic Dance video parties in the early 90s.

But, the 90s apparently was all over the term, because you also could lovingly remember it from Fresh Prince or House of Pain:

 

Interesting enough though, it seems to have originated with the great Sly & The Family Stone song “I Wanna Take you Higher”. Today has been a real learning moment.

https://youtu.be/am04NZL8pA4

(timestamp @ 280s)

Hope you enjoyed! Tweet us your own favourite!

 

Trophies : Part 1

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Sometimes I like to poke around the trophy statistics at tracking sites like PSN Profiles for our games, to see if any meaningful data can be pulled out. Now – this is a dangerous proposition as there are a lot of caveats associated with any insights you might gather this way; for example, only self-reporters appear in PSN Profiles, so one is not getting a true distributions of all players. But hey, who cares!

I of course like to compare our two versions of Guacamelee!: the original that was released on PS3/PSVita vs. that of Guacamelee!: STCE released on PS4 (among many other platforms). By looking at the completion %’s of different trophies throughout the game, one can get a rough picture of player drop off throughout (again the caveats here are numerous, but let’s go with it).

Below is a chart showing the % of players attaining trophies within the game that are linearly encountered through a full standard play through:

Become a Luchador

Kill the Alebrije

X’tabay-Bye

Defeat Flame Face

Licking his Wounds

Defeat Calaca

 

Now, immediately one can notice an overall decrease in completion for Guac:STCE – again many factors are involved here (e.g., Guac:STCE had more content inserted into the game) – but interesting never the less.

 

Of interest to me is that two significant difficulty changes were implemented between Guac & Guac:STCE :

  1. Making the platforming in the Tule Tree more clear
  2. Making the Jaguar Javier boss fight slightly easier

If I compare the ratio of completion fractions (below) at each trophy between Guac & Guac:STCE I can notice that there seems to be an improvement in completion between the two games after the Tule Tree; so perhaps the Tule Tree improvements worked!

Although the same cannot be said for the Jaguar Javier improvements; I did go back through our support emails and calculated we received 140% less “Jaguar Javier” hate emails for Guac:STCE, so I consider that a win.

To be honest with everyone, this little blog post has really just resulted in me having way more questions than when I started. For example:

Q: Guac:STCE received less hate mail than original Guac, did the emergence of YouTube video “how-to’s” reduce some of this gamer rage?

Q: Was the bigger drop off between Guac and Guac:STCE a result of the additional content, and what we’re seeing is just a normal % user drop off over time?

Q: Guac:STCE was free on PS+, so does this mean there is a larger group of “less hardcore” players (versus those who would seek out a Metroidvania in the form of the original Guac), and this explains the drop off?

NOBODY KNOWS. Either way, browsing Trophy data can be a very interesting exercise.

Love you all xoxo.

Canada Day at the Office

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Howdy all, this week I asked around the office for anyone to share what they got up to on Canada Day. I mean, sure, people might or might not of watched fireworks. But what else do DrinkBoxers do on Canada’s 150th birthday? (which, honestly, is pretty young as far as countries go). Let me share:

 

Graham:  “I spent Canada Day back-country camping with my wife and dog at the amazing Bruce Peninsula National Park.”

 

 

Michael “I got the platinum trophy for The Last Guardian, yet again, on my girlfriend’s account, thanks Meghan!”

 

Steph: “I went antiquing and found creepy clowns.”

 

 

Ryan: “We found fish-ladies at Nathan Philips square while the Cuban-Canadian Jazz Collective was playing on Saturday.  They didn’t speak, but still managed to convince a train of kids (including mine) to follow them around.”

 

In conclusion quite a mix of everything for Canada Day. And, although this wasn’t a competition, I think we can all agree fish-ladies was the winner. Oh, and if you would like to see the actual Parliament fireworks, here you go:

 

 

Michelle Obama gave us an Apple Design Award!

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Alright – well – I might be exaggerating a bit with the Michelle Obama thing, but let me present you the facts and you can decide for yourself:

1) We received an Apple Developer Design Awards for Severed (WHAT?! Awesome!!)
2) Michelle Obama was at WWDC
3) We received the award at WWDC

Ergo, Michelle Obama gave us an Apple Developer Design Award. QED. (It’s basic science, really)

While you may or may not believe this exactly, let me at least PROVE that we were at WWDC.

I lined up early on Monday morning to pick up my badge before the Apple Keynote.

This was my first time attending WWDC, and I was really surprised by the size and enthusiasm of the Keynote crowd.

Even with my early arrival, the only seating left was in a back corner of the room. Experiencing an Apple Keynote in person was pretty cool!

A few hours after the Keynote, I met up with my Apple contact and went to the Platforms State of the Union.

Immediately after the State of the Union, I was shepherded into a curtained-off area of the conference building. There were a number of other developers in this area, including a few game developer friends. We were all lined up single file side-by-side, and told (under embargo) that we had won an Apple Design Award!

We spent the next hour talking with some of the top Apple executives about our games / apps, as well as the upcoming Apple features we were most excited about. We were told “no photos” but I managed to snap one quick one of our award 😉

On Tuesday morning, WWDC attendees were treated to a “Fireside Chat with Michelle Obama”. She spoke about her time at the White House, the programs she ran while there, and gave tips on how to stay focused and not become overwhelmed in today’s political climate.

Shortly after Michelle’s talk, we met up again at the same secret area to talk with journalists from around the world. Here’s a photo of John Geleynese giving the journalists a quick rundown of what they were about to see while the developers waited patiently.

Overall it was a really fun couple of days with a chance to catch up with old friends, as well as make some new ones.

Thanks so much to Apple for the Award, and for all their support both before and after the launch of Severed!

 

Zoomorphism

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Are we going to E3? Are we not going to E3? Back and forth! Well. Turns out we’re not going to E3, which is a bit disappointing – because one always needs their dose of spectacle once a year. That got me thinking, if I had to zoomorphise the different conventions, what would they all be? Let’s try:

E3 – Liocock

If I had to choose what animal pair represents E3 – it would be a lion and a peacock. A Liocock. First, a lot of big industry mover + shakers show up to E3 – the business folks, the “suits”. The top of the games kingdom so to speak (to some). Now, a peacock – because E3 is OVER THE TOP loud noises, bright lights, and sometimes not a lot of substance…

Gamescom – Wildeherd

There are so many people at Gamescom. SO MANY PEOPLE. I almost ran my first time looking out at the throngs of gamers. It reminds me of the huge Wildebeest migration that takes part in the Serengeti every year, it is truly amazing. (check out a video about it, or even better, see it in person!) I would cross a Wildebeest with a German Shepherd, because, I think of a German Shepherd when I think of Germany – where Gamescom takes place. This would be a Wildeherd.

 

PaxPrime – Sqotl

PaxPrime is a Sqotl. A Squirrel and an Axolotl. First – PaxPrime was the first convention to be “off the people”, a convention for gamers by gamers. And a squirrel to me is the most down to earth animal. Squirrels just seem to hang out with you whenever I’m outside. Camping – squirrel. Sitting in the park – squirrel. Pumping gas – squirrel pops out of the garbage to say hello.  Second is the Axolotl, because, PaxPrime can really get freaky, and, what is freakier than an Axolotl?

 

GDC – Eleer

Finally GDC. There are a lot of wise people at GDC, some real creative legends. So a wise animal like an elephant seems fitting. Second is a deer, for all those young and innocent looking aspiring game makers wandering around, a bit stunned in the lights surrounding them. I will call this animal an Eleer.

 

Thanks for playing!

DrinkBox Fav YouTube Sites Part 1:

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

A lot of YouTube watching gets done at the DrinkBox offices. And I mean A LOT. Sheesh. I decided to take action – and see what folks at DrinkBox are subscribed to and watching these days. So, in no particular order:


George says:
Geek & Sundry
The go-to channel for geek culture. Weekly shows with Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, and host of Critical Role – a game of D&D played by voice actors (DM’d by Matt Mercer).

BONUS: [George watches a lot of YouTube]

Adam Savage’s Tested
Adam Savage (of Mythbusters) and co. talk tech, model and prop building, makerspaces, cosplay, and a tonne of other cool geeky stuff, with a few new videos every day.

https://www.youtube.com/user/testedcom/

[And if you for some reason you’ve never watch Felicia Day’s beginnings, watched The Guild . It’s great. Well, ok, it’s only great if you played a lot of MMOs]


Graham says:

My pick for the Blog post is Youtube channel “Beyond the Guitar

This guy, who is INSANELY talented, picks music from games / TV / movies and transcribes it for Classical Guitar.

One of my favorites is his Castle Theme from Super Mario World:

He only has 10k followers. That makes me very sad

[Everyone, don’t let Graham be sad and make it 10001 followers]


Michael says:

My pick for the Blog post is the Youtube channel “noclip”

Danny O’Dwyer, known from his host and producer work at GameSpot.com, has created a crowdfunded video game documentary channel called “noclip”.

These are lovingly crafted features telling the stories behind great video game titles old and new. They have a wonderfully timeless feel to them.

This documentary on the development of Spelunky was very interesting to me:

There’s bound to be at least one story you’ll be interested in!

[Everybody, Michael is really enthusiast so you should probably listen to him]


Me says (Chris M)

Alright – well, I felt why not mix it up and have a channel not games related, but one I hold dear to my heart. Global Cycling Network is a funny group of “blokes”, who have videos on every aspect of competitive cycling. If you have a question they’ve probably answered it.

I mean, ever wonder how to ride and look like a Belgian professional bike racer? They got you covered:

[I don’t troll my own entries, c’mon]


Stay tuned for Part 2 which will appear, sometime in the future – or potentially never. xoxo DrinkBox