Klang at PC Connects London '19: Next Generation of Multiplayer Games

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Klang bossman and bowling champion – his words not ours – will be talking about the Next Generation of Multiplayer Games at PC Connects London this coming Monday. We've already had a preview of the talk in the studio and it's pretty darn amazing.

As part of the talk, Mundi will be exploring the history of multiplayer games; how they began and where they're going. The session will also feature some info on Seed and how the game will be able to host hundreds of players at any given time.

The session, titled Next Generation of Multiplayer Games, will be taking place on Monday 21st January at 3:20pm (GMT) at PC Connects London, a part of PocketGamer Connects London. Find out more about the conference here: https://www.pgconnects.com/london/pc-connects/

Who's this Klanger? An interview with Matt Weichselbaum

Not sponsored by Nike

Not sponsored by Nike

It's time! Time for another episode of Who's this Klanger? for your eyeballs. This time around, Game Engineer, Matt Weichselbaum, is in the hot seat to talk about his background, Klang, and cowboys...

Matt, why don’t you start by telling our readers a little about your working background and experience.

I graduated with a BA in Computer Science doing front-end architecture and website stuff, but I was always coding games throughout college, especially around the end of my sophomore year. The first thing that I ever built was a Galaga clone, naturally. For one semester project, I built a Pokemon-esque game with a world editor feature, which was pretty intense. I loved the whole experience! I've always been a huge gaming nerd but I never thought game development was a realistic career path...until now!

My career after college began as a Software Engineer for an education company, then as a Software Engineer for a healthcare company back in the US. In 2017, I moved to Berlin to work for a startup accelerator as a Technical Advisor, then as a Senior Software Engineer at BCG Digital Ventures. After some needed self reflection, I knew I had to pursue game development, stuff that I've been passionately creating in my spare time for over six years - building space shooters and AI simulations.

So, how'd you end up becoming a member of the Klang Gang?

I'd known about Klang for probably around four years now, when the studio was still developing ReRunners. I thought about applying to Klang while I was still in the States, but never hit the submit button. But I knew that Klang was the only studio I wanted to pursue.

When I started to look for new job opportunities in Berlin, I went into full stalker mode, befriending everyone that I could on LinkedIn, trying to find a good connection to Mundi or Oddur. A friend of mine is an Icelander, so I reached out to them if they knew any of the Klang founders. She responded with, 'yeah, I'm sitting across from Oddur right now. I'll let him know.' Not too long after this, it was my first day as a Klanger.

What excites you most about Seed?

That the scale and the ambition of this project is enormous! It was always a dream to work on a huge project; I'm someone who likes tackling big problems. The scale of the tech is the most interesting thing ever for me. I'm also a big sci-fi fan, so that's an extra bonus.

Are there any games that have inspired you?

I've always loved space shooters. I played the Star Wars TIE Fighter and X-Wing games growing up in the mid-nineties, back when Windows 95 and joysticks were a thing. Those are still great games! Also Freelancer and Independence War 2 are my old favorites from around that time.

Born in Boston and raised in Texas, would you describe yourself as a Boston Terrier or a Texan Cowboy?

Well, I guess I'd have to say the Cowboy, although I don't really feel like I'm from Texas anymore; I haven't lived there in over 20 years. I do like the mystique of being a lone ranger. Maybe I also like wearing the leather chaps. Who knows?!

Stay tuned, readers, for the next part of Who's this Klanger? coming to you soon!


Happy Holidays & Thanks for 2018!

I know it's not nice to brag about your achievements, but it's our blog, so we'll do what we want!

We've put together a short video with a rundown of Klang's milestones throughout 2018 as a self-reminder of how far we've come, and that we couldn't have done it without your support!
Thank you so much!

See you in 2019!

- The Klang Gang

Who's this Klanger? An interview with Sabrina Seltenreich

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It's been a while, but we thought we should drop a surprise episode of Who's this Klanger? just before the holidays! This time, I sat down with QA legend, Sabrina, to talk about her background, cats, and big rocks...

Sabrina, why don’t you start by telling our readers a little about your working background and experience.

“When I finished school, I felt very lost and directionless. I truly felt like there was not a single job in the world that I would like, that I’d be good at, and that I’d ever be given a chance to try out and prove myself in. After some needed self-reflection, I ended up moving to Berlin more or less overnight, crashing at friends’ places, and through one of them finally ended up with an internship at an animation studio, which eventually led to my first real job.

Some time had passed, and a friend suggested checking out a QA role for a company that made databases; said company also shared an office (and management) with ZeroScale Games. It wasn’t long until I was asked to help them out with QA for their game projects, which basically meant doing all their QA work, as it was a pretty tiny studio. I felt very thrown into the cold water and had to learn a lot very fast, but I really loved being part of game creation. Because the studio was so small, I got a lot of insight into the production of video games as a whole and I was loving it!

My next job was in localization QA, but being so far removed from the actual process of creating games, it wasn't for me. I love working alongside devs and feeling embedded into the team, rather than communicating only through tickets. Luckily,  a former colleague (and by now one of my best friends) from Zeroscale told me about Yager Development looking for QA Technicians, and even more luckily they decided to hire me. I was working on Dead Island 2 until it was canceled. That was a hard day!

After Yager came Sandbox Interactive. I was excited to join as Albion reminded me of my Ultima Online days, and it was great to work closely with the community, as Albion was already in open beta when I joined the team.

Now I’m at Klang, working on the most exciting title of my career yet!”

And with that in mind, how'd you end up becoming a member of the Klang Gang?

“I was told about the position by a former colleague. Klang hadn’t really been on my radar before, but the more I learned about Seed and the more I heard about the team, the more I wanted to be in. My first week at Klang I was walking on air! Four months in, I’m still very much in the honeymoon phase.”

Amazing to hear! So, what excites you most about Seed?

“Initially I was just taken by the beautiful art style, it’s so unique and fresh and cool. I still take screenshots all the time just because it’s so pretty. But by now, I’m much more intrigued by the sheer scale and the strong vision behind it. I keep hearing that we have to be crazy to undertake such an ambitious project, but I think I’d rather work on something crazy than on something boring any day.

Personally, I can’t wait to see the first players breathe life into the game. What they're gonna come up with, how they're gonna shape the world, and how they're gonna use the tools we’re providing. And, from a QA standpoint, how are they gonna break it, of course.

I also love science fiction, so working on a game with this kind of lore is just a dream come true!”

Are there any games that have inspired you?

“I love Monkey Island, Loom and all those old point-and-click adventures. Humor and storytelling are essential to me. I was very much a Nintendo kid, and the Zelda and Metroid games hold a special place in my heart. Even before I knew enough English to understand what’s going on in the game, putting in that golden cartridge was just something magical. And later, Ocarina of Time made me daydream about making my own games (which mostly looked suspiciously like OoT reskins).

Donkey Kong Country was one of the most fun games series of my childhood. Mario was a big part of my childhood as well, so I have to mention those. Then there was Final Fantasy VII, which just has the best atmosphere.

I got into Ultima Online for a bit, and loved exploring the world and having fun with my friends.

And The Sims, which brought out my inner interior designer and inner psychopath in equal measures. It’s very hard to stop listing things so I’ll just do it now.”

Enough of this video game nonsense, tell us more about your cats!

“Haha! I have too many cats, which means three, since a sane person has two cat slots. Mütze is 16, thinks my face is a perfectly fine surface for walking on, and wants your food, my food, that lady-over-there’s food, and could you order him a pizza? Strangely enough, he’s pretty skinny.

Merle, 13, is the neglected middle child and the friendliest cat in the world. Persian-Maine Coon mix, shakes your hand in exchange for a treat. She also likes brushies.

Schmu, 7, is afraid of everything, but wants your attention in the form of tummy rubs. There’s a lot of tummy, and there are never enough tummy rubs. She’s also a bully.

As a team, they like to sit on the comics I try to read, walk over my keyboard and drink from my water glasses.”

Your also an avid boulderer, what's your favorite rock of all time?

“You mean, like, Dwayne Johnson? I’ve only started bouldering last year, and I only do it inside. There are a few bouldering halls in Berlin that I go to in a rotation, that way you always get fresh routes. When I started last year I was very afraid of heights, and would sometimes start crying when up on a wall. Now I’m pretty much over that, and only cry when I run out of snacks or adventure times ends, like a normal person. I can really recommend bouldering, it’s a great mix of puzzle and exercise, and the atmosphere in most bouldering halls is great.

Basically, a group of people taking turns in failing at getting up a wall, but sticking with it, and being happy for each other when they succeed. So if you’re afraid of heights or performing/failing in front of people, give it a try, you’ll get over those fears in no time. It’s also just a lot of fun!”

Thanks, Sabrina. That was a great one! We'll be bringing back this series next year, featuring the latest members of the Klang Gang.

And, while you're here, we're hiring! Be sure to check out our vacancies here. Are you the next member of the Gang?

Improbable brings Unreal gaming Unity with its SpatialOS GDKs

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Our hardworking friends over at Improbable are continuing to knock down the technical limitations facing smaller studios with the recent launch of the SpatialOS GDKs for Unity and Unreal. This means smaller studios can now easily build epic MMOs without the overwhelming network requirements.

For Klang, SpatialOS allows Seed to be this vast, continuously running simulation without the headaches of server limitations, as all of the game logic is living on SpatialOS. Plus, we were a part of the process of making the Unity GDK package, so we're fully behind this initiative!

Improbable's SpatialOS GDK package follows four different development philosophies to help build amazing projects. Check 'em out:

1. Faster iterations, boom!

2. Familiar workflows, boom!

3. Fast and high performance, boom!

4. Open development and customizability, boom!

By now you’re probably interested in finding out more about these GDKs, huh? Make sure to head on over to the SpatialOS website and check out more info to see if this is something for you. To be honest, it will be.

Congrats, Improbable!

Klang at Gamescom 2018

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Gamescom is taking place next week, which means we're looking forward to playing Switch for the whole duration of our four-hour train journey to Cologne. And secondly, we're excited to be meeting a bunch of great people and talking more about Seed, of course!

Unfortunately, we won't be talking or showing anything publicly about Seed this year. Instead, we're being low-key and have a schedule jam-packed with press, business-related ventures and doing our best to prevent hangovers. BUT, if you see us walking around, please say hi! We might even have some Seed merch for you...

Let's go, Gamescom!

Series A Funding Round for Seed is Signed, Sealed, Delivered

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We're extremely excited to announce that the Series A funding round for Seed has been secured! And what's more, the round was led by Northzone, with additional support from Makers Fund, Novator, and firstminute capital. What an honour!

Northzone has previously invested in, among others, Spotify, PlayRaven, iZettle, and Avito, so it's inspiring to be a part of this esteemed roster.

To quote Mundi: “We're truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations. We're honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

To quote Paul Murphy, Partner at Northzone: “Klang has everything you’d want as an early stage investor - massive vision, experienced team, and an incredible early version of the product. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team to help bring Seed to market.”

More information about the round can be found over on VentureBeat here: https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/16/klang-games-raises-8-95-million-for-space-colony-online-simulation/

Thank you for the support!
- The Klang Gang

Come and Unite at Klang's Unite Berlin Party!

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As Klang is known for its raging parties (trust me, it's true), we're throwing a party to coincide with Unite Berlin to celebrate the event, and well, any excuse for a party.

After an action-packed day of workshops, presentations, and networking, come and let your hair down with Klang, including free drinks and music all night long (well, until 1 am).

The party will be located a stone's throw from the main Unite Berlin venue, STATION-BERLIN, which means you can easily pop over for a drink, or two, or three.

So, here are the details:

When? Tuesday 19th June

Time? 7 pm, straight after the Keynote session, until 1 am

Where? Tor Eins, Möckernstraße 26, a 5-minute walk from STATION-BERLIN and U-Bahn Gleisdreieck

Let's Unite! Let's Klang! Let's Party!

Be sure to RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/klangs-unite-berlin-party-2018-tickets-46970941350

Join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/241384383300331/

See ya there!