Gamification and Storyfication

Logo_DefaultThis year’s going to be busy for us – to check out our new venture in the world of gamification head over to plusplay.co.nz.

The game industry here in New Zealand has gone from strength to strength and according to Stephen Knightly, chairperson of the NZGDA: “New Zealand studios are demonstrating sustainable growth and winning huge audiences globally in a highly competitive market” – this recent article from Gameplanet explains how earnings for our industry are up 86%.

PIXELATi 2.0 coming soon

As usual there’s been a lot going on at Pix Central and not much time to write about it. The coming year holds a lot of interesting developments so we have our heads down on the tasks that will help us get there.

We’ve been working on semi-secret eBook projects in the background and have had a great response in three separate tests to the first – a Te Reo language eBook. We’ll have more on this field – including our long-planned gamebooks – later.

We’re also lucky enough to be working on the new trailer for Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile – this time the launch trailer for their Open Beta version of the game. It’s been over a year since we did the Templar trailer which amazes me – time flies!

We completed the launch of Lil Trigarow Swag’s website and the soft (unannounced) launch of our music label, formerly known as Black Platinum Sound but soon to be revealed in a new form – watch this space!

We’re also ready to do Trig’s first official video – and we’re pretty stoked with the format we’re taking on… We’ve been there before but this time is going to be something special…

There’s more that can’t yet be revealed but we’ll go into it as the year progresses.

Final bit of coming soon news: the new website and PIXELATi 2.0! Evolved brand, evolved focus – coming early 2013 to a browser near you.

Let’s go 2013!

PIXELATi

NZ games in the spotlight

The New Zealand Game Developers Association has a promo video for 2011 out now on the PlayMaker Youtube channel. As of this date there are at least 26 studios in New Zealand “registered” with the NZGDA and likely a fair few more independents who are yet to contact us.

I edited the vid on a tight timeline and unfortunately didn’t have time to include many of the great titles out there but that will hopefully be remedied with the next promo clip we do.

We’ve got a lot going on in our little country when it comes to games and the best is yet to come!

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School Spirit

Nearly two months ago now we worked on a video for an up and coming artist – Lil Trigarow Swag – who recorded a rap with two mates over Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow”.

The experience has been an interesting one – the Producer pulled together a team of people (including ourselves) who saw an opportunity to create something interesting in support of a good cause – creativity and passion! Trig and his two mates – the twins, V.I.C and Daley – recorded their version hunched over a tape deck in their dorm rooms and woke up the next morning to txts and messages praising them for their efforts. The Producer of the project – a former MAGS student – heard the track and sought out a team to put a music video together.

Here’s the promo of our efforts to date.

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Introducing the Templar for Grinding Gear Games

Recently we finished directing, editing and post production on a trailer for Grinding Gear Games. The trailer introduces the Templar class, a devout fighting monk type (my words, not theirs!) who finds himself exiled for his pursuit of the truth beyond religious rhetoric.

The process of creating the trailer was a lot of fun, from the concept stage with Grinding Gear Games founders Chris Wilson, Jonathan Rogers and Erik Olofsson – who are also the primary creative and technical force behind the game Path of Exile – through to directing the voice actor (Kevin Harty, who did a great job voicing the scottish type brogue of the weathered holy man), editing the trailer and adding post production polish with twitch and motion effects.

We’re happy with the result, which hints at the depth of the world behind the game and really showcases the amazing technical capability of the engine Grinding Gear have created for their free to play Online Action RPG!

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Illegal Musik 2.0

We’ve been getting ready for our upcoming releases and also working on websites like http://illegalmusik.co.nz.

It’s version two point oh for Illegal Musik and as of now, in initial release, it’s best viewed at 1920×1080 on Firefox 5.0. Please let us know if you have issues in your browser – we’re improving the compatibility at the moment for older browsers and lower resolutions.

Game Communities and Music Videos

Changes are coming to our NZ Game Developer Community site, PlayMaker, and not just visual and structural but also behind the scenes.

I’ll have more detail to post in future but for now I’m just looking forward to the move of the site (from our current server to a larger one) and the anticipated visual overhaul!

It’s been really great to be involved in drawing the New Zealand Game Development community together again and to see the new and exciting developments that are now under way. There’s still a lot of work ahead and a long way to go but it’s exciting to see the Auckland community starting to pull together and to have the involvement and engagement of the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) stalwarts including Sidhe (who was seminal in the foundation of the NZGDA) and Media Design School. Mario Wynands of Sidhe is providing a lot of his experience and knowledge of the industry to help us build a stronger community offering and hopefully grow in new and greater ways.

We’ve also finished post-production work (editing and grading) on a music video for The Hypnotics (embedded below) and are looking at some exciting new video projects coming up in the near future. I’ll have more news about those as we get further along the path!

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Progress Update

We’re still cracking away behind the scenes here! We’ve attached two of our team blogs to pixelati.com: I’m posting my personal stuff on my own blog called “the interactivist anarchitect” at damiencaine.pixelati.com and Tom, programmer extraordinaire, is posting his technical musings on tommulgrew.pixelati.com. Check ‘em out and subscribe to the RSS feeds for much goodness!

I’ll be updating my personal blog more than this one; it’ll be full of general ramblings about games, music and movies I like as well as personal insights from my work in various fields.

We’re still working in the music scene – we’ve got an all-weekend video edit on at the moment! – and I’m constantly reminded how awesome it is to be able to witness the development of some incredible talent up close and personal. Talent like the three-man pop-rock powerhouse shown here: Crescendo Mafia. I have a bit more to say on the interactivist about this great new New Zealand band – check it out if you like this video!

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NZ’s iOS Dev Community is flourishing

There’s no doubt the low barrier to entry for mobile devices has seen a mini-explosion of sorts on the indie dev scene.

We have a great number of new studios in NZ devoted to iOS / mobile games and it’s encouraging to see that a small team of one to three people can make a name for themselves in the new democratic indie frontier!

The blog on NZ’s indie community site, PlayMaker, has been created to present work from any and all devs – no matter how big or small (i.e. not just indies) – in the New Zealand game development scene. There’s no shortage of news to post but there’re certainly a lot of iOS devs who see the limelight on the frontpage.

I think it’s something to celebrate and the latest post I’ve written for PlayMaker presents a game from a Hamilton-based developer called Ironshod. Every time a new iOS dev signs up to the PlayMaker site or makes the news (or a tweet) somewhere I make a beeline for the app store to pull down their game. I’m always keen to check out the latest from our little community and it’s always great to show support too!

Reverse Maze is an engaging little game and I’ve found myself caught up for more than a few minutes at a time whenever I pick it up.

Check out the PlayMaker post here and the trailer for Reverse Maze below.

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Trailer Editing

Editing a trailer is an exercise in pure creativity that I enjoy immensely.

The whole idea behind a trailer is to promote the work you’re presenting and to do it in a concise and engaging way. Subtle touches will move the audience emotionally and viscerally if you get them right – a quick flash frame with an accompanying ‘boom’ on the soundtrack can create excitement, anticipation and fear.

Having the opportunity to edit the trailers for Grinding Gear Games’ forthcoming Action RPG Path of Exile has been a lot of fun. The latest trailer we’ve completed presents the Duelist class and three bosses from the second Act of the game.

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P I X E L A T I

We are a transmedia entertainment company working in video, music, web and games.

We've made game trailers with Grinding Gear Games, created music videos with Illegal Musik, built communities with PlayMaker, and we're working on a casual game for Xbox and iOS called Danger Balls.

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