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!

EGX 17: Klang to discuss the Future of MMOs (with other awesome studios)

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Tomorrow, Klang will be heading to EGX 17 in Birmingham, UK, to join an awesome panel of studios to discuss the future of MMOs. And, if you're going to be at EGX, you should totally check it out!

Klang's Co-Founder, CTO, and coding champion, Oddur, will be joining Spilt Milk Studios, Bossa Studios, Automaton Games, and the Chief Creative Officer of Improbable, Bill Roper, to discuss the revolution going on in the MMO genre and the potential it holds.

Using their own experiences in helping mould the genre, these MMO big guns will be delving into their inspirations, how boundaries are being pushed, and how much further online worlds can transform the way gamers play games. It's going to be insightful as heck!

The panel, which is titled Breaking Rules and Making Worlds: the Future of the MMO, will be part of the event's Rezzed Sessions, and taking place on Thursday 21st September at 3:30 PM (GMT+1). I know for sure Oddur is excited to be there, so be sure to join and find out more about Seed!

Fun fact: Not only is Birmingham the home of Heavy Metal, it's also the home of Jonathan, which says a lot about him.

It's official! Prof. Lawrence Lessig is working on Seed!

As you may or may not have heard, Harvard Law Professor and activist Prof. Lawrence Lessig has joined us to work on Seed...and we're super honoured / excited / overwhelmed to have him on board!

Prof. Lessig has spent his career studying constitutional law, and he has been helping new democracies to form the legal frameworks for governance. Now, he's working with us!

Saying it's an honour barely scrapes the surface of how we're feeling right now. But, before I get too melodramatic, here's a very brief overview of what will make this collaboration interesting:

In 1999, Prof. Lawrence Lessig published CODE and Other Laws of Cyberspace, the first comprehensive book about "cyberlaw". The book also works as a blueprint for the main framework of Seed's political structure.

In brief, the idea is that CODE functions as a law in "cyberspace", with the hard questions for the future of digital technology dependent on the tradeoffs between LAW and CODE; CODE being the architecture of "cyberspace" or a regulator.

You can learn more about CODE and Other Laws of Cyberspace here: http://www.code-is-law.org/

VentureBeat also published an in-depth interview about our collaboration with Prof. Lessig, which is extremely interesting to read. I very much recommend checking it out: https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/31/law-professor-lawrence-lessig-vast-online-games-need-a-political-structure/

Oh, and here's a quick overview of his background:

Prof. Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.

We're extremely excited for this collaboration and for the future of Seed. Just watch this space!

GDC 2017: Klang Gang Does San Fran Part II

We're finally going to pop our GDC cherry next week and we can't wait! In fact, not only will it be our first time at the event, it'll be the first time that we show off our latest project outside of the confinements of our studio in Berlin!

For those who don't know, GDC is the world's largest professional game industry event. Normal attendance of the event is around 30,000 people; that's basically a tenth of the population of Iceland. Imagine that many professional nerds in one place.

So, why will we be there, again? Oh yeah, we're going to be exclusively demoing the latest prototype of our new, upcoming project! Without giving too much info away just yet, it's a MMO simulation that will knock your socks off. But, that'll come in due course, dear friend.

On top of that, Mundi will be speaking during the session, Building Worlds with SpatialOS: Developers Discuss Next-Generation Online Gaming, hosted by Improbable. He'll join a bunch of great speakers to talk about Improbable's SpatialOS, the platform we're utilising to run this ambitious project. It's going to be a good one!

To see the world exclusive demo of our MMO simulation, make sure to be at Room 2014 in the West Hall at 10am on Thursday, 2nd March.

If that's not all, we'll be offering an exclusive, press-only, demo to play the game for yourself. Be sure to reach out to me, jonathan@klang-games.com, to arrange meeting times.

See you there!

#KlangOnTour

We Won!! Klang does Casual Connect Tel Aviv

Last week, Mundi and I got back from our trip, after the most insane airport security checks, to cold and gloomy Berlin. But, we're still walking on Tel Aviv's sunshine as we won not one, but two awards for ReRunners at this year's Indie Prize Awards ceremony, as part of Casual Connect Tel Aviv!

I'm not going to lie, we were both pretty, pretty hungover during the awards ceremony, which amplified the shock of being awarded the trophy for 'Best Game Design'. It's incredible to be nominated for an award, let alone win won! There were so many great games nominated (I've listed some of my favourites below); it was really inspiring to see them all on a big screen during the nominations.

As our disbelieve was wearing off, ReRunners won its second award, this time for 'Best Multiplayer Game'. At this point, our acceptance speeches were rather brain-dead, borderline absurd – blame the three nights of partying. But, we're super grateful for winning a second award, repeat, second award. In fact, we won so many goodies that the staff at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport weren't too happy about it.

Casual Connect was a blast! Three days of indie showcases, partying, exciting new games to play, good people to meet, nice food, and a free bar (which was too good). If you've never been before, or want an event to make connections and expand your gaming business, I really recommend Casual Connect. The next event will be taking place in February 2016 in our neck of the woods, Berlin, so don't miss out.

I also want to mention how beautiful Tel Aviv is! It would have been wonderful to have stayed longer and seen more of the sights, but unfortunately, we had to get back to the office. I'd also like to give a shout out to the best falafel and hummus sandwich ever! I can't remember the name of the street food stall, but, I really do miss you.

Mundi and I would like to thank all the awesome people we met during the event and those we had drinks with. Especially, the following people: Alexander and Marek at Gamajun Games, Daniel at Craneballs Studio, Marat at Wargaming, and Anders at Priori Data. A huge thank you goes out to Yulia and Sasha at Casual Connect; thanks so much for inviting us and for your hospitality.

Be sure to check out the following games, too: Take Cover (iOS and Android), Disco Dave (iOS and Android), Heroes Rage (iOS and Android), Planet Nomads (Windows, Mac, Linux), and Notes of Obsession (Windows).

See you in Berlin!

Klang's Obligatory Favourite Things of 2015 list

It may be corny. It may be obligatory. But, why the hell not do it! Who doesn't love comprising and reading “Best of Lists” at the end of every year? Well, we're among those people who love it, so here we go.

However, to spice things up a little, we've gone for a “Favourite Things” list, rather than the traditional “Best of” list.

We asked a few select members of the Klang Gang about their favourite things of 2015. Well, that's a lie. We asked the whole team, but not everyone had the time to get their answers over in time. That's the life of a developer. There is no life.

Anyhow, here's the rundown.

Ívar – Klang Co-Founder/Game Designer/Overlord

Favourite Mobile Game of 2015: Hearthstone

Favourite Console Game of 2015: Fallout 4

Favourite Thing Watched: The Jinx - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Favourite Thing Discovered in Berlin/Real-Life in 2015: The nanwich place close to Görlitzer Park

Favourite Thing Listened to in 2015: Plantasia by Mort Garson

What Are You Most looking Forward to in 2016? The global launch of ReRunners!

 

David – Sound Designer/SFX Builder/Jingle Master

Favourite Thing Found on the Internet: thewirecutter.com

Favourite Thing Watched: Fargo 2

Favourite Thing Listened to in 2015: Fading Frontier by Deerhunter

What Are You Most looking Forward to in 2016? 2016 has not been groomed or planned yet

 

Clement – Animator/Visual Creator/Smoker

Favourite Mobile Game of 2015: Hearthstone

Favourite Console Game of 2015: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Favourite Thing Found on the Internet: probertson.tumblr.com/

Favourite Thing Watched: Anything Rick And Morty

Favourite Thing Discovered in Berlin/Real-Life in 2015: Paris!

Favourite Thing Listened to in 2015: The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie

What Are You Most looking Forward to in 2016? Bill Plympton's REVENGEANCE

 

Mundi - Klang Co-Founder/Art Director/Mind-Warper

Favourite Mobile Game of 2015: Rayman Adventures

Favourite Console Game of 2015: Fallout 4

Favourite Thing Found on the Internet: Too disturbing to list

Favourite Thing Watched: Too disturbing to list

Favourite Thing Discovered in Berlin/Real-Life in 2015: Too disturbing to list

Favourite Thing Listened to in 2015: Too disturbing to list

What Are You Most looking Forward to in 2016? Too disturbing to list, and the global launch of ReRunners!

 

Jonathan – Communications/Community/Brummie

Favourite Mobile Game of 2015: The Walking Dead: Road to Survival

Favourite Console Game of 2015: SOMA

Favourite Thing Found on the Internet: Various viral videos about cats

Favourite Thing Watched: Making a Murderer

Favourite Thing Discovered in Berlin/Real-Life in 2015: Klang Games (no joke)

Favourite Thing Listened to in 2015: Exercises in Futility by Mgla

What Are You Most looking Forward to in 2016? Making sweet ReRunners videos

 

That's it. The end of 2015, and the end of this list. It's tough to decide which one was more enjoyable.

Thanks for all your support in 2015! Bring on 2016!!

Skills to pay the bills?

A month ago, GameIndustry.biz posted an interesting piece on differentiating whether mobile games are based on the skill of the player or whether they possess the illusion of skill, revealing that the U.S. mobile chart is dominated with the latter.

Tilting Point’s Jesse Divnich dropped some candid heat by stating that, "No one is actually good at Candy Crush, but some people actually believe they are." Although we have the utmost respect for King, he’s pretty much spot on here.

"In these non-skill-based games, you can tell me how many hours you've played, how much money you have spent, and I should be able to tell you within a good degree of certainty how far you are in Candy Crush, what level your town hall is in Clash of Clans, how many times you've ascended in Tap Titans. For some, it is a scary thought to know that the most commercially successful games on mobile are really just well-designed rollercoasters. It's not a negative concept, it is simply what works in free-to-play mobile," explained Divnich.

This raises the interesting point in my mind to where ReRunners lies in these two factions.

I would say that the formula for figuring this out is based on whether the player can progress throughout the game by XP grinding and in-app purchases, or whether the player needs that little extra
Je Ne Sais Quoi, as the French say.

What we pride ourselves in ReRunners is the game’s ability to appeal to both casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike. If you’re the kind of player who wants to explore leisurely and collect things at your own pace, you can do so. But, if you want to become the best of the best, you’ll have to grind and level up your character, which in essence is an illusion of skill.

However, you’ll have to use the four elements of skill -
concentration, precision, input, and timing – to win Races…and for some, just to cross the finish line. Players will need to keep their cool and timing precise under pressure. I'd say that ReRunners fits slap-bang in the middle.

Either way you look at it, it’s an interesting dialogue to explore.