Two years of Signal

Today marks the two year anniversary of the initial release of Signal to Noise!

While a sentimental day for the team, it was honestly somewhat annoying in the days following the launch in 2015. There were some technical problems at launch (Windows 10 had just taken over millions of computers and Unity, the engine for Signal to Noise, did not yet have full support for it), and much of the player base was not at all the target audience we were going for with the game’s design. Alongside some problems outside of our control, we had our own share of mistakes as well. This made the launch less-than-stellar, but we decided that the support we were shown leading up to the release of the game was enough reason to stick with what we believed in and to continue updating the game to make it what we truly wanted it to be for the player.

The initial launch was admittedly timed poorly and was premature for where it was in the development cycle of the game at the time. We had plenty of development issues earlier in the year, and that was technically the fourth time we had built the game (all earlier versions were redone because they didn’t feel right to us). We got a few pretty poor reviews, but took those back to our desks and continued to work on the game to fix the problems seen by both ourselves and the players on Steam. It was during this time of updating the game that we went strong into more contract work to keep things going, as sales of the game obviously weren’t supporting our further ambitions.

Since that launch of Signal to Noise (and even before the launch), we’ve learned many things regarding the current state of the game industry. I’ve always paid close attention to what goes on, and especially now there’s much I disagree with and think isn’t optimal. It is these observations we’ve made that have led us to developing several things in tandem that will work together to help in furthering games as a medium, giving people a lot of fun and memorable experiences.

Next week Solanimus will be announcing multiple projects that have been in the works that are sure to affect anyone who reads this. Throughout this week starting today, I’ll be sending out cryptograms to people, and everyone is encouraged to share the cryptograms with whoever they want so that solving it will be a group effort. Encrypted are messages that hint at everything we’re announcing next week. You’ll also be able to find the cryptograms on our social media accounts which are linked in the upper right on the home page.

The first people to send each of the solved messages to us (through email, direct message, mention, etc.) will win some pretty cool exclusive things having to do with the announcements.

Best of luck figuring out the messages this week! I’ll be back next week with the announcements.

~David

Signal Splash- Complete

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Aw yiss… Monday!

Signal Splash- Complete

Hey! David here from Solanimus.

Some people might know that I really like Mondays. I kinda don’t like the later part of Sunday, and I kinda don’t like Thursdays, but Monday for me feels like I hit the reset button. It gives a lot of hopeful possibilities for the week! Well today is Monday and it’s about time for a post. I’ve missed some posting here on the Solanimus site, and finally have the newsletter integration pushing new posts through to the newsletter members (subscribe to that newsletter on solanimus.com, people!), so time to catch up a bit.

Solanimus has been mainly on contract work, as those following on the site will know (yea, a broken record, I know). We’ve been working to get back into a good position to focus more on our own IP again, and we’re definitely getting there. Had a good meeting recently, and some old team members are coming back alongside the fact that we’ve added Ethan on board who’s doing quite well. As I normally say, we’ve got a lot in store for you all!

One thing entrepreneurs I follow seem to talk a lot about is your edge which I guess could also be referred to as your attitude advantage. Well, the Solanimus edge is coming back with a vengeance. Ok, maybe not vengeance exactly, but you know what I mean. We’re making a comeback, and the comeback is real. Signal to Noise is still being worked on, and a new game is on the way which we’ll be talking more about shortly. There are other things we’ve been working on, too, and it all will be working together in a way.

I always like to say we’ve got a lot in store for everyone, and that it’s “coming soon!” all the time. Well, I can promise you this: it will be worth the wait. ;)

~David Klingler

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Video Games Day

I normally stay fairly focused on the Solanimus activities (it is the company website after all), but today I’m talking a bit about something else for Video Games Day today.

When I was really little, I didn’t play video games. It was my brother that got me into games. My father, the graphic artist, had already got us using the computer, but when I was four years old, my brother got Earthworm Jim Special Edition for Windows 95. It was funny because I didn’t even want to play at first. It wasn’t long before my brother got me to play, and that was it! To this day Earthworm Jim Special Edition is my favorite game.

I’ve had several perspectives on video games at this point: developer, champion, collector, etc…. All perspectives have shown something great to me, and I feel in a unique position to see the medium of games as I do today. I started Solanimus on September 16th, 2011 with a purpose of furthering games as a medium.

That anniversary of the founding of Solanimus is coming up later this week. I will be posting that day too, but for now, I just want to thank my brother for getting me to first play.

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Update on activity

Hello!! David here as always. Just wanted to give a quick update today on what’s been in the works at Solanimus!

We had fun in the Limited Run Games and Mighty Rabbit Studios building in Apex NC and made progress, but we’re making internal changes that made it so it wouldn’t be beneficial really for everyone at this point to continue the deal as it was before. We cooperatively decided that Solanimus will be moving back to Fuquay Coworking, but of course we’ll still be splitting a bit of some of the guys’ time to help with shipping for Limited Run. At this point the start date for returning to our full membership at Fuquay Coworking is October 1st. Huge thanks either way to all our friends at Limited Run and Mighty Rabbit!

I recently talked more with a programmer that had spoken with me after my talk at ECGC earlier this year, and the conversations went so well that he’s expected to begin work with Solanimus on October 1st as well! Welcome Ethan!

Lots of contract work still going on for the company at the moment, which I’m mostly manning alone, but there’s of course plenty of other stuff in the pipeline. You’ll be amazed, trust me. Patience is a virtue!

~David Klingler

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Signal to Noise with Live Music proven at ECGC

The East Coast Game Conference went well last week (so did Pixelfest, for that matter), and Solanimus finally showed Signal to Noise to event attendees with the live music from Eight Bit Disaster at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh NC! The game analyzed the music in realtime as it was being played on stage and then affected the game right there in front of everyone’s eyes. The whole thing turned out great, and I want to shout-out/thank Tom Klingler, my uncle, for his help in getting it all to happen. Of course, thanks to Eight Bit Disaster as well!

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John Romero (Dangerous Dave, Commander Keen, Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, Gunman Taco Truck, etc.) did his keynote and it was cool to say the least. It was mostly about the early days of id Software along with programming principles they followed during that time (and some before and after id). I was the only person in the audience that had seen one of the photos in the presentation and that made me laugh. I also talked with him later on in the evening and he said he remembered me from GDC two years back and that we had talked about Ms. Pac-Man for like half an hour. That also made me laugh because his memory is so ridiculous!

The talk I did on Thursday morning, “Creating Something from Nothing” turned out pretty well, had a pretty full room, and some pretty good questions afterwards. I believe it’s recorded, but not sure yet where the recordings will be organized.

By the way, Friday the 13th The Game will be coming out on May 26th so you should totally like play it like crazy. We have multiple friends that have worked a lot on that game and it’s going to rock your socks off… and maybe your head too (see what I did there) :D   Hopefully there will still be another Solanimus blog post before then, but just wanted to mention it either way.

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Pixelfest, ECGC, Construct

There were (obviously) some roadblocks with the porting of Signal to Noise involving some engine issues that have now been fixed in Unity. The animator, Daniel, is now checking and fixing animations that may have broken in the conversion to the updated version of Unity. Once that is completed, I’ll be able to continue with where I was in the porting for macOS and other systems.

Pixelfest is this coming weekend in Virginia. We’ll be driving up there in the morning and are showing Signal to Noise. We were hoping to have another something to show, but being spread thin on contract work has prevented that from happening fast enough. You’ll see our latest work soon enough, though!

Also looking forward to ECGC later this month. Solanimus will of course be showing there. One thing in the works is something we’ve never done with Signal to Noise before in public, but once that gets confirmed to be happening I’ll post about it on here. I’ll be speaking this year at the conference in a talk called Creating Something From Nothing. It’s mostly about the nature of starting a game company with no experience or money as well as game design itself. If any of that interests you, be sure to come at 10:15 on the 20th (time may get changed so make sure to check the schedule)! Nathan, former intern at Solanimus, is doing a talk as well, so be sure to check his out too.

Construct 3 is in beta at the moment, and is looking pretty cool. I’ve recommended Construct 2 to many people before starting out in game development, and Construct 3 looks to be a worthy successor!

I suppose I could talk about some contract work we’ve been doing lately. I’ll think about it. :)

~David

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Networking at PAX, Nintendo Switch, Zelda

Playthrough went really well in Raleigh. Got to see High Heeled Gamer again, the original interviewer from Escapist Expo when we showed Signal to Noise there! That was before the game was even controlled like Tempest, so it had changed a lot.

Then the Nintendo Switch! I had a place in line at the gamestop in Fuquay Varina NC but because we’re going to PAX, I decided to leave my place for someone else and just get Zelda Breath of the Wild on Wii U instead. I’ll have a Switch soon enough I suppose. Breath of the Wild is amazing by the way. It’s just blowing my mind with how it influences my curiosity. It’s really a masterpiece.

Later this week some of us from Solanimus are heading to PAX East in Boston. Some of us will be staying with my aunt Mickey and uncle Don (and little cousin Aaron). BIG thanks to them for helping us make this happen. Never been to PAX before, but we’re going to network as much as possible.

Looking forward to seeing cool people there!

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Solanimus at Playthrough Gaming Convention this weekend in Raleigh NC

Yes, Solanimus will of course be at Playthrough Gaming Convention this weekend in Raleigh NC. Come on by and show us how pro you are at Signal to Noise, and if you’re playing in the melee tournament (being held by the Carolina Games Summit at Playthrough) I (David) hope to see you there as well because I plan on playing too!

SignalSplashComplete

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Signal to Noise for macOS

Anyone following the progression of Signal to Noise is probably aware at this point that we took a long time last year to fix problems that we found were affecting players. The game is much better now in the eyes of many, and we’re moving ahead with porting to other platforms. It looks like the first port out will be for macOS, and we plan to have that ready and available on Steam, GameJolt Marketplace and IndieGameStand by the time Playthrough Gaming Convention comes around later in the month.

After the macOS port, Linux follows, but depending on how problematic finalizing that shows itself to be, the Linux port may be stopped at least temporarily, as we’re planning for mobile next (iOS and Android). More details on the mobile versions will come as we get closer to their release.

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SoulJam has begun, new year

Happy new year!

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SoulJam has begun, and is going from the 1st to 31st of January. It’s a welcoming game jam with a precise theme that I think will bring some creative results: ironic new year resolutions.

Wanted to mention again as well: the winning game of the jam wins $100 from me.

Check out the SoulJam game jam here: http://jams.gamejolt.io/souljam

 

By the way, Signal to Noise is at the time of writing still 80% off on Steam for the winter sale.

 

Here’s to a great 2017 for all of you,
~David

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