The fact that such a small team (only 3 core people if I remember correctly) could pull of a fantastic, polished title still amazes me to this day.
So it should come as no surprise that I'm extremely happy when I found out that not only are Void Star Creations working on another title, but that it's going to be coming to XBLA. Quasi-Announced through one of the developers blogs, nothing is really known about the title as of yet. Having said that, this post on the blog makes the mind wonder...
When Void Star Creations' Poker Smash hit the Xbox Live Arcade service back in February, it was meet with almost unilateral praise. That was until people started reporting that the game was freezing up on them. A couple times now while playing along, I've experienced the dreaded freezing issues that the title suffered from.
That's right, past tense.
Drew from Void Star has given us the good word that next time you load up Poker Smash, you should be asked to update the title with the latest patch. On top of the freezing fixes, you should also see the glitched Achievements taken care of, as well as a fix related to Timed mode stats.
Isn't it nice when a developer will actually tell you what changes they are making to something you've paid for?
If the Zanthue video wasn't enough to demonstrate the sense of humor that Ryan Ellis and Void Star embody, then how about this quote:
"We joked once that we are not indie developers we are undie developers because we are all working from our homes. And sometimes that means not having to put on pants, wink wink."
Nothing I can really add to that. So, if you want to learn more about the man that spouts such poetry, check out the full interview.
[via Get Out!, thanks Danh]
Beware Zanthue and his space menace! Join the fight. Transmit those deadly messages. You are our last and only hope. End transmission.
I have to say I am loving this whole advance warning thing that's been happening. More power to the devs and publishers who are getting the word out there. Of course, it does suck the suspense out of Monday. Then again, I'm pretty bleary on Mondays anyway.
That being said, the old news is Poker Smash. Buying Poker Smash will set you back 800MSP. Any takers?
The "new" news is the fact that Crystal Quest is getting a gameplay update.
Yes, Crystal Quest will now feature a score multiplier to make it more like the Geo Wars, Mutant Storm, and all those other twin-stick shooters on XBLA. The best part though is the cost: free. All thoughts of complaining about and questioning this announcement officially left me when I saw "free". Kudos to Stainless Games for adding value for new and old consumers alike. Anyone out there convinced that they'll buy this game due to this add-on? Anyone dusting it off?
Check out our previous coverage of Poker Smash here.
Fun with press release after the break.
[via Press Release]
Waiting sucks. There I said it. Instead of waiting till Wednesday for Poker Smash you should just watch Destructoid's preview video and pretend that you're the one playing. You'll probably be stuck at your school/work/quilting circle during the day on Wednesday anyway. And who could survive the wait all the way to the evening? Not me, that's for sure. I'll probably stab myself with my needle. Um...I mean...
Poker Smash comes from Void Star Creations and fuses fast-paced puzzle gameplay with, what else, poker. The game did garner a 9.0 from the Official Xbox Magazine. Excited yet?
Ever since Tomacco's wonderful E3 Poker Smash interview, many regulars of this site have been looking forward to this quirky poker / puzzle game love child that will be (soon) "smashing" onto XBLA. CES seems to have brought this title back into the mainstream gaming presses sites as 1up has compiled a lenghty preview of the game along with a new gameplay video at GameVideos.com. Even with the familiarness of the gameplay, it still has a nice refreshing quality to the game. What do you think? Will this be a solid new addition to Xbox Live Arcade?
When Ryan Ellis isn't busy (reluctantly) battling devil-possessed giant snakes outside his house, he makes games. Heck, according to him, he might even poop them. But I try not to think about that. Being a full third of the staff of Void Star Creations, creators of the upcoming Poker Smash, may be a challenge but Ellis still finds time to blog.
In a semi-recent post on his blog, he was ruminating over the constant interplay between getting the word out (and the interest up) and giving away too much (especially to competitors). He said:
It’s a very tough balancing act. Show too much and you’ve played your hand. Don’t show enough and people wont know about you. It’s compounded by the fact that we are so small we have 0 bandwidth to devote any time to this.
And so, I sought Mr. Ellis out for some more in-depth questioning about promoting an XBLA game as well as a variety of other topics. Check out some quick snippets from his responses here and join me after the break for the full interview.
The difference between an ok game and a great game usually boils down to how many times you can revisit the features.
It's kinda surprising how many 360 owners I have talked to that have no idea what XBLA is or how to get to it.
[via Ryan Ellis's blog]
Imagine Poker and Meteos mashed together and your mental image probably closely resembles Void Star Creations's Poker Smash. But for all those out there that suffer from withered imaginations, there are now videos to be seen.
And if you like to read more about how the game works (who likes pretty videos anyway) head over to Xboxic. The short version: Tons of modes (Action, Puzzle, Practice, Theme-Playlist, Splitscreen and Online Head-to-head), casual friendly, and filled with visual pizazz. Two more videos after the break.
[via Xboxic, thanks weesheng]