Klang receives additional funding, strikes a deal with Harvard Law professor

Unity founder David Helgason among backers for studio behind SpatialOS-powered MMO Seed.

Berlin-based developer Klang has announced a flurry of updates and additions to its current project, including new funding and an unusual partnership.

Firstly, the studio has received "additional funding" of an undisclosed amount. Backers include Unity founder David Helgason, Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners, and entrepreneurial investor Joi Ito. They join London Venture Partners and Riot Games' Adalsteinn Ottarson.

While the figures behind this finance have not been shared, Klang has said it is enough to "grow the studio and complete the development of the first internal release of Seed.

Seed is a simulation MMO build with Improbable's SpatialOS. The game challenges players to create a civilisation, much in the same vein as real-time strategy games, and help it to grow until it takes over an entire planet. The nature of SpatialOS means every decision or action has a persistent consequence, and the presence of other players on the planet further complicates their tasks.

To add an extra level of depth, Klang has teamed up with Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig to "construct the political framework" of Seed. The in-game political structure he helps to create is being positioned as "a defining moment in online multiplayer gaming."

The studio has also brought in 3D animator Eran Hilleli to lead the game's art direction.

"“We're building a virtual world filled with vast, player-created communities where every player-action has a repercussion in the game world," said CEO Mundi Vondi. For example, a player might chop down a tree, which affects the planet's ecosystem. This wood can then be sold on, which has an impact on the economy, and if the player chooses to, use the money to bribe another player, which affects the balance of power. We create and provide the tools and incentives to build these communities…the rest is up to the players.”

Klang was originally an Icelandic developer founded by ex-CCP devs drawing on their experience of persistent worlds from time spent working on Eve Online. The team hopes to release a playable version of Seed in early 2018.

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-06-01-klang-receives-additional-funding-strikes-a-deal-with-harvard-law-professor

Klang, Spilt Milk in first wave of Improbable's Innovation Program

Improbable has revealed the first partners in the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, including Spilt Milk Studios and the Berlin-based startup Klang Games.

The Innovation Program was announced in December last year, with Improbable stating its interest in what smaller dev teams might accomplish using its world-building technology. This is clear from the first round of selected partners, which were announced at GDC today.

  • Seed by Klang Games - A game of planetary settlement set in a shared, persistent world, created by a team including former employees of CCP Games.
  • Lazarus by Spilt Milk Studios - a multiplayer, top-down 2D shooter set in a huge galaxy populated by artificially intelligent alien factions locked in a war for territory.
  • Chronicles of Elyria by Soulbound Studios - an MMORPG built with the Unreal engine, running on SpatialOS and set in a world where characters age, die, and shape their legacy through multiple lifetimes as different characters.
  • Vanishing Stars: Colony Wars by Ninpo Game Studio - a new type of massively multiplayer real-time strategy game, played across thousands of star systems, each with their own planets to battle on.

    All developers selected for the Games Innovation Program, which is run in partnership with Google Cloud services, can use SpatialOS to create and test their games until commercial release at a "significantly reduced, and in many cases completely eliminated" cost. That includes the cloud computing fees that are essential to what SpatialOS is designed to achieve.

    "These are just the first of many innovative game projects we will be supporting through subsidised access to SpatialOS and cloud computing," said CEO Herman Narula. "We win by showing the many possibilities SpatialOS opens up to game developers, so we will be aggressively supporting innovative projects like these."

    Improbable is also using GDC as the platform to showcase integration with the Epic's Unreal Engine. A custom-built demo will be used at the show itself, which Nerula described as an "experimental" step on the way to an alpha-level SDK. "This is a huge step for our platform," he said.

Best Indie Games Announced at the 16th Indie Prize Awards During Casual Connect in Tel Aviv

The 16th Indie Prize Awards Ceremony took place at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2016. Casual Connect is a place where developers can foster relationships with other developers, gain exposure for your professional development team and beautiful games, and learn how to succeed in the new games ecosystem. The Indie Prize Showcase was bustling with developers from around the world competing and showing off their games. Find out who won and more information about their development process.


Collectively, Klang Games wanted to create an MMO experience accessible anywhere, which is why they went with creating a game specifically for mobile devices. Klang Co-Founders Ívar and Oddur both worked on EVE Online, so they understand how rewarding MMOs can be, and, at the same time, how intense they can be. The main inspiration for ReRunners was to create an MMO that anyone can play. Individually, each team member brought their own inspirations, making the game very unique – from the art style to game mechanics. Mundi, fellow Co-Founder, is responsible for the game’s art direction; he wanted to create a game in pixel art, as it is recognisable and timeless. Early Sega and Nintendo platformers were an inspiration, like Sonic and Mario, especially for art direction.

"Getting the balance for an F2P game to include monetization mechanics was the biggest challenge. It’s an aspect that we’re always developing." – Jonathan Baker, Klang Games

ReRunners allows the player to create their own experience based on their playing style – they can explore the Overworld and challenge their friends at their own pace, or immerse themselves in the game, and fight to become the greatest Runner of all time!


'ReRunners' Gets New Multiplayer Features and Live Streaming

Rerunners: Race for the World [Free] is a very entertaining runner that we enjoy here at TouchArcade Towers (despite some monetization issues). The latest update lets players challenge friends and others to a 1v1 race, an attempt to make the game more social according to the developers. In this new mode, you get two options: you either race your in-game or Facebook friends in a Buddy Challenge or do a Quick Challenge that matches you against random players. In the Buddy Challenge you have to bet coins before entering and then the winner gets to collect them all. So, bragging rights and money, what more could you ask for? Since there's the betting side of it, this feature comes with a Fair Play option the equalizes skills and items.

The Quick Challenges mode comes with its own Daily Leaderboard, and players get rewarded on a daily basis based on their current position on the Leaderboards. So, a nice competitive boost that should make ReRunners even more fun. The update has also added one other major feature, although it's not currently working as far as I can tell. ReRunners will now take advantage of iOS 10 ReplayKit Live, which will allow you to stream your runs on Mobcrush and other similar apps with the touch of a button.

'ReRunners: Race for the World' Review – Massive Multiplayer Platforming Gold

Yeah, you read that right. ReRunners: Race for the World [Free] is a massive multiplayer online platformer. Kind of. You never actually see other live players, but the world is populated and alive regardless. And it is freaking outstanding. I have been utterly hooked by this game for the last week. Not only is the actual gameplay smooth, fun, and functional, but the crazy, vibrant, psychedelic world that you’ll explore is almost worth the price of admission alone. Or it would be, if this game even had a price tag. There is a ton of expressive, creative content, with loads of customization options for your character and upgrades. I implore you to read on, my friends, for this is one of the most original games I’ve had the good fortune to be completely addicted to this year.

ReRunners was developed by Klang Games and published by Tilting Point and Games Alliance. In it, you’ll compete in platforming races against the recorded ghosts of other players. Because of this random element to the matchmaking, every race is unique, but doesn’t suffer from lag and allows you to pause or use unique abilities that slow down time and such. Players can bring different items into the run with them, like mines and speed boosts and thrown bombs, and they can also pick up coins before you. I originally thought that while the races used ghost recordings, the over-world surely must have been populated by real players. It feels so alive, and at times it will seem like you’re directly interacting with people. Nope. Apparently they’re all ghost recordings according to what I’ve read. At the very least, this means you don’t have to worry about the world being empty and barren in the future, which is exactly why I was originally going to tell everyone to get in on this action now before it’s too late, because it’s kind of magical.

That little tangent aside, let me break this down for you. You are one of many runners in the weird and zany world of King Klang. You compete in races to prove your love and loyalty to him, or something. The story is as nonsensical as the entire world, which is full of strange creatures; humans, animal, and otherwise. Some of the NPC’s in the over-world will have dialogue for you, and any item shops that you can access from the menu can actually be found and entered in the over-world. You’ll also see fruit and coins in the over-world, which re-spawn from time to time. Collecting fruit gives you experience and reduces the recharge timer for your energy. Sadly, this is a freemium game with energy timers, but wait! Don’t get too upset about that. The recharge rates are way better than I’ve seen in some other games (*cough*The Blacklist*cough*), and while races take up energy, running around the over-world, exploring and finding hidden stars, is totally free.

In addition to coins and energy, you also have the premium currency gems to think about. Gems are used to instantly get more coins, skip upgrade timers, and buy cosmetic items. One of the best aspects of this game is the crazy amount of customization. Beside the dozens upon dozens of potential outfits, your head can be one of several human options, animal, mythical creature, alien, robot, or heck, even an ‘O.’ Your head can literally be a big 'O' shape. These items can be quite overpriced, but as purely cosmetic, I’m okay with that. The personality of your character is only enhanced by the fantastic emotes and pre-set messages available to you at any time. Your main use of coins is in the character upgrades and items. Upgrades affect your base abilities, like top speed, acceleration, jump, and double jump. You can also unlock and upgrade a glide and sprint ability. Once you’ve paid for an upgrade, a timer counts down to its completion. The items you buy and upgrade consist of boosts for use during races. While racing, these will constantly recharge, so you can use them several times per race.

Getting 3 stars in a race isn’t always as simple as being in first. It’s a score based affair. You’ll almost always need to be in first to get three stars, but you’ll also usually need a good time, good amount of coins, and possibly a player kill or two, as all of these boost your score. You might have a hard time at first, not just because you’re not very upgraded, but you won’t have all the items. Picking and choosing which items you take into which race is the main strategy you’ll use. Learning the fastest way through a map is always fun though. Despite facing down ghosts, the races still always feel competitive and exciting. Your overall stars are used to unlock new areas and secret areas with even more races. Once you make it through the first island, across the bridge, you’ll probably notice an influx in the amount of coins you can get. I found it much easier to upgrade stats and items at this point. This is also the point when the environments go from islands/forests/castles to crazy bubble gum and cotton candy colored wonderlands, with all new hazards finding their way to the tracks.

One of the initial drawbacks to this game is the sheer amount of stuff on screen. The interface comes off as very cluttered at first, but that’s just because there are so many aspects to the game. Once you take a couple minutes to try every button and learn the ins and outs of the game, it all makes perfect sense and is pretty simple. Every so often you’ll get a free chest, also via timer, and you can earn chests with accumulative score across all of your races. Bronze chests are the worst, but still appreciated, whereas gold chests will get you loads of coins, upgrade timer reductions, and even cosmetic items. Sometimes you can double your rewards after a race by watching an ad, or just get a couple free gems for doing so in the over-world.

There is a lot to this game, but I love almost all of it. The energy mechanic is the main drawback by a country mile, but it completely refills every hour. At the moment, there’s a bug that might keep your timer from refilling, but the developers have already sent the fix in to Apple. Regardless, the timer recharges pretty quickly. I’d love it if we could pay our way out of the bolt system entirely. The developers have been extremely active in our forums , and they’re listening to all the feedback, so drop on by and give them a line. With some tweaks to the freemium element, I could easily see this being a game of the year contender, and I mean that. The pixel art is universally detailed and gorgeous, the environments are unlike most I’ve seen, and racing has proven to be consistently enjoyable. The game is not only fun, but wonderfully, absolutely silly and unique.

Source: http://toucharcade.com/2016/07/29/rerunners-race-for-the-world-review-massive-multiplayer-platforming-gold/

Lightning-fast competitive racing game ReRunners launches on Android and iOS

ReRunners is an odd sort of game. Not only a total mouthful, this MMO platform racing game managed to bare itself in front of the App Army and survive more-or-less unscathed. This is definitely something to appeal to the more competitive of folks, allowing you to race at break-neck speed against friends or total strangers.

The main thing to take away from ReRunners is it's just mad and daft as a brush. With over 60 colourful levels, a multitude of characters to use/customise, a ton of items to use against your enemies, and so much more, this cracking racing game is well worth a go.

Nip over to iTunes or Google Play to pick up ReRunners for free.

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'ReRunners: Race for the World'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

ReRunners: Race for the World

This is kind of a strange Game of the Week post because, to be frank, I have a lot of criticism's about this week's pick ReRunners: Race for the World [Free] from Klang Games. The thing is the core concept and its execution are enough to look past the shortcomings in ReRunners, and this is the game that's been responsible for wiping my battery clean the most since its release earlier this week. I just can. Not. Stop. Playing.


ReRunners is a speedrunning platformer where the main hook is that you get to race against the recorded runs of players from around the world, whose ghost avatars are running and jumping through levels right alongside you. It's not in real-time, but that actually doesn't affect the fun of competition, and if anything it's a far better choice for devices that typically can have spotty connections. Racing against these ghosts works beautifully, and I've had so many exhilarating moments exchanging leads with other runners, making deft leaps and bounds through particularly tricky terrain, and having some extremely close finishes that have me leaping out of my seat when I finally cross the finish line. This game is capital F fun.

So what's the problem? Well, as fun as the game itself is, ReRunners is a convoluted beast. It's free to play so there's two currencies to learn the ins and outs of, there's an energy system that's got a confusing recharge system, there's an ability upgrading system which also has timers, and there is a ton of virtual buttons plastered all over the UI at any given time. This is a very overwhelming experience when you're first getting started, which can be a bad sign when you're aiming to hook new players within the first minute or two of trying out a new game.

The thing is, it's all not as scary as it seems at first. The currency works pretty much like any typical free to play game, and the game gives out more than enough to make the progression feel normal with lots of cosmetic in-game items for you to burn any real money on if you're feeling impatient. The energy system is confusing but generous, and I've yet to run into a stopping point during extremely frequent play the past few days. The UI is overwhelming at first, but actually highly functional and once you learn what everything does you actually admire how well the developers designed the flow of moving in and out of the different parts of the game.

It's a good thing the gameplay in ReRunners is so damn compelling, because it's not often a mobile gamer will put a lot of time into learning the ins and outs of a game before simply moving on to the next one. It's not even like I set out to learn how the game worked, it's that once I got a taste of actually playing the game I found myself compulsively coming back to it over and over again, and eventually, you just start figuring out anything that seemed confusing at first.

ReRunners definitely has some room for improvement in certain areas, and the developers seem more than open to the feedback they've been receiving in the forums, but this is truly a game that platforming fans shouldn't miss. Even if it feels overwhelming at first, stick with it, because it's a very rewarding experience and one game that I picture staying on my iPhone and becoming a daily habit for a long time to come.


ReRunners review - Doing laps around the competition

MMO platformer racing game sounds like a bit of a hard sell, even for the most skilled salespeople.

But somehow ReRunners: Race for the World not only manages to bring all that together in a neat package, but it's also damn good fun to play.

It's a bright, beautiful world filled with things to find, hidden areas to explore, and plenty of races to win.

Get your shoes on

The premise is fairly simple: you have to run as fast as you can to the end of a level, racing against up to five other people.

You can run left or right and jump, and there's a multitude of different routes to take to get to the end, some which are faster than others.

There's coins to pick up as you go, which add to your score as well as your coffers, and can be used to level up your skills.

You also earn stars at the end of the race, and you'll need to earn quite a few to keep progressing through the game.

Everyone's a winner

Handily, you don't actually need to win the race to earn all the stars available, as your coins and overall time contribute to it as well.

This means that even if you're not the best of runners, you've still got a chance of progressing through the game and not feeling held back while you're learning the game.

There's also exploration levels to run about in, tracking down hidden stars and talking to NPCs, and an Arena mode that acts as a ranked competitive mode for racing.

It's a lot to get your teeth stuck into, and you will, because the racing is just so enjoyable.

Your runner handles perfectly, and the level design harks back to classic Sonic levels, with its different paths, varying mechanics, and bright colour schemes.

Pebble in your shoe

Exploration levels are a little small, but there's still plenty to seek out within them, with high up areas you can only find later down the line, and dead ends to trick you.

The only problem ReRunners has is the occasional bit of slowdown, which can leave you running through digital treacle for a few seconds as it tries to catch up with itself.

But once you're out of that and running at top speed once more, any feelings of frustration just melt away.

Go for gold

ReRunners is unlikely to take the world by storm - its concept alone is probably a bit "out there" for the wider audience.

But if you are looking for a fast, fun platformer, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better on mobile.

It's silly, exciting, well-balanced, and a fantastically good time whether you're leading the pack or dragging behind, which is an amazing feat in its own right.