Mars Horizon announced for PC and consoles, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics late backing now available, speaking at Develop, and lots more besides

Mars Horizon asks you to help make humanity a multi-planetary species

Gosh it’s been a struggle trying to not talk about this project of ours!

We’ve been quietly working on Mars Horizon for quite a while now and on Friday the 11th of May we were able to finally unveil it to the world.

As you’ll see on our blog post, the piece on the official PlayStation Blog, or any number of the sites that covered the announcement, we’ve worked closely with real scientists and scientific organisations to ensure a strong amount of authenticity makes it into our game about running your own space agency from the dawn of space flight to putting boots onto the eponymous red planet.

We also took our first steps into the wild world of podcasting, with an audio series about the game and the studio kicking off as part of the announcement. You can find the first episode on the Mars Horizon game page, if you like what you hear then make sure to subscribe for more episodes as they’re released.

We’ll have much more to show you very shortly, in the meantime here’s our announcement trailer.

PledgeManager now open for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

Many of you got in touch to ask about whether you could back Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics even though the Kickstarter has now ended.

And the answer is a resounding “absolutely”.

Pop over to our PledgeManager page to get started.

We’re speaking at Develop

We’ve been to events a fair bit this year, but we’ve always got time for more public speaking and we’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to talk at this year’s Develop.

Both Tom and Nina will be taking to the stage for two separate presentations, How to Make People Love You, Or at Least Love Working With You, and The Steampocalypse - A Survival Guide.

We’re absolutely thrilled to be taking part, we’ll no doubt let you know how it all goes in a future update.

Dark Future: Blood Red States store page gets GIFs

Sometimes it’s the small things that make your day.

Like a particularly well-made cup of tea. Or re-discovering a song you forgot you used to love. Or putting some sweet GIFs on your Steam store page or on your Twitter.

Ogre update brings a number of requested fixes

Version 1.5.14.0 of Ogre has deployed to Steam and brings with it priority fixes and improvements that the community has requested.

There’s a full breakdown of what’s new in the accompanying Steam Community post. A huge thank you from our team to our players for getting involved in the process.

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Making humanity a multiplanetary species in upcoming game, Mars Horizon, developed with support from the UK Space Agency

Introducing a space agency management and mission simulator inspired by real science and engineering.

We're SUPER excited to announce that we have combined rocket building, mission control and space agency management together in the upcoming strategy game Mars Horizon. Early in development, the game received support from the UK Space Agency as it focuses on the reality of space exploration. The game is in development now and is due for release in Q4 this year to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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Mars Horizon is a strategy game in which players control a government space agency. Picking between the space agencies of either Europe, Russia, or the United States, the players then control the agency to collaborate or compete in a decades-spanning campaign to expand humanity’s reach further into space. With each game an alternate history begins to be shaped and guided by the player’s actions, building iconic rockets, probes, and satellites that transmit crucial scientific data back to your customisable Earth HQ, all the while researching, investing in, and bolstering your space flight capabilities. During the player’s version of the space race, perhaps Europe works with Russia, sending satellites into orbit? Could it be that the US get this first satellite into space but that Russia achieves the first moon landing? Who will be best poised to venture to Mars because of learnings from earlier missions? Players will research new tech, expand their agency base, build rockets, send satellites into orbit, and launch a variety of missions throughout the Solar System. The game culminates in the first crewed mission to Mars, setting the stage for humanity to become a multiplanetary species.

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The UK Space Agency provided support in the form of a grant plus advice and information on space exploration and the running of an actual space agency for Mars Horizon. We are staunch advocates for video games both as entertainment but also as a medium with the power to explore real world issues and ideas. Speaking about the game, our Design Director, Dr. Tomas Rawlings said...

“We wanted to distil the wonder, drama, and the galaxies of possibility that space offers us as a species, into game form. Mars Horizon is our love-letter to the race into space and the challenges and triumphs of humanity on the way to becoming a multiplanetary species”.

Together with research into real science and engineering in the space industry, the support shown by the UK Space Agency to assist in Mars Horizon’s production has elevated and further inspired our development team.

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Episode 1 of a 3 part podcast series is also available, detailing the games’ production. You can listen and subscribe to the Auroch Digital podcast HERE - get to know the team, the process, and learn about how space engineering has been translated for the video game medium in Mars Horizon.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Missed out on the Kickstarter? Worry not, you can now back the project further thanks to the Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics PledgeManager page!

We’re very happy to announce that the PledgeManager page for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics - The Forest of Fear is now live, meaning you can now reserve yourself a copy of the game plus all the excellent bonuses that the Kickstarter campaign offered, if you missed it or were unable to back the project at the time.

If you added your support to the good fight, but wish to edit or add to your pledge, this is now possible too! We need all available personnel in the fight against the Nazi Black Sun and Nachtwolfe factions, backed by the otherworldly horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos, so head over to PledgeManager now!

There are three available tiers on the PledgeManager page;

- Enlisted
This is the basic reward tier, which provides a digital copy of the video game PLUS Free Achtung! Cthulhu Keepers & Investigator's Guide RPG PDFs.

- Cited for Valor
The next level entitles you to a digital copy of the video game PLUS All the new unlocked PDF's, PLUS a free copy of Achtung! Cthulhu Keepers & Investigator's Guide Books in PDF, and your name in the credits. (Note: that we reserve the right to edit names for obvious reasons!)

- Introductory One Player Starter Set
This MONSTER of a reward tier gives access to all of the previous pledge rewards, PLUS a starter set for the Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish game: A set of 3 Section M Investigators and 10 Badgers Commandos or 3 Black Sun Villains and 10 Black Sun Troopers*.

If you need any help with managing your pledge, have any questions, or can’t find the correct option for you, head here.

So head to the PledgeManager page now and enlist to fight the good fight. We NEED you!

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

More of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics revealed, meeting up with our pals, new website, and Ogre rumbles onto Fanatical

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics updates

As you’d expect, we’ve been marching on steadily with our progress on the development of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics. Eager to share how it’s coming along, we took to Twitter, Facebook, and Kickstarter to show some screens and footage of the game. We kicked things off with this Forest of Fear level concept for a while back...

… which would then turn into the 3D environment you see here, complete with an early look at our user interface.

Catching up with Bristol games scene pals

When not hard at work on Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, Dark Future: Blood Red States, or our secret third game, we took some time out to catch up with our friends from the Bristol Games Hub and beyond.

We’re a big advocate for getting involved in the local development scene, whether that be digital or tabletop games, so it was really great to meet up, talk shop, share ideas, and take the time to enjoy and be inspired by what the games scene has to offer.

We’ve updated our website

I’m not sure what else to write here, I mean, you’re on our new website right now!

Have a click around, see our snazzy re-design, check out our new store, and let us know if you have any feedback using the usual methods.
 

Ogre now available on Fanatical

We’re pleased as punch to announce that our adaptation of Steve Jackson’s classic tabletop strategy game Ogre is now available on Fanatical. We wanted to get Ogre onto Fanatical after they did such a great job with the pages and promotion of Chainsaw Warrior and Lords of the Night. Having our work available on multiple platforms allows us to reach a wider audience with our products while giving players more options on how and where they spend their money, which we think can only be a good thing, and it means that Ogre can be purchased across Fanatical, Steam, Green Man Gaming, Humble Store and Gamersgate.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics funded and coming to consoles, Dark Future gameplay unveiled, and articles aplenty

This month was all about our two big announced video games: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics with Modiphius and Ripstone, and Dark Future: Blood Red States with Games Workshop, plus following up on a couple of the items from last month’s blog post.

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics smashes Kickstarter targets, now coming to console too
Ending 218% funded, the Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics crowdfunding campaign was a big success, and as a part of the month-long Kickstarter we announced that the game is also coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, had quite possibly the greatest Cthulhu-related advertisement ever made by The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, hit the front page of Twitch, plus we revealed a load more details about the game, including this flythrough of the forest environment;

A massive thank you to everyone who is supporting us on this project.

An early look at the gameplay of Dark Future: Blood Red States
We decided to pretty much go quiet on DF:BRS in 2017, partly to not distract from our other projects that were coming to fruition, but mostly because the development team wanted to focus on nailing the gameplay without any distractions.

Now that the game has made leaps and bounds forward, we’re ready to start talking about it again, starting with this first ever look at the core combat gameplay;

We’ll be steadily releasing more about the game throughout 2018, we hope you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by what we’ve been making...

Making Cthulhu games, weird wars, and why Dune II is a masterclass
GamesIndustry.biz invited our Tom to write about a favourite game of his, and so our studio head decided to talk about classic strategy game Dune II. It’s all about how that game is a great game that blends well with its IP, and you can read it right here.

Tom also turned his attention to how Cthulhu, World War II, and the Nazis have, combined, been a constant source of interest to creators of fiction. You can read this piece, called The Second Weird War on Medium.

And not content with two articles in a month, Tom also heeded the call when our friends at PC Games Insider asked him to write about why developers are turning to Cthulhu as a subject for their video games. You can find out why that is, by clicking this link right here.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics announced, City of Games, Global Game Jam 2018, and more...

Congratulations to those of you who got close to guessing what we were hinting at towards the end of our last post. That’s the biggest news of the month, so let’s open with that, shall we?

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics revealed, Kickstarter already funded and stretch goals being added

We’ve been teasing for months that we have something related to the Lovecraft Mythos in the works, and on the 7th of February our Kickstarter for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics went live. A turn-based strategy with RPG elements, the game is set in the ultra-compelling world created by our partners at Modiphius, and is being published by the mighty Ripstone.

The public reaction has been fantastic, with stories already up on Twinfinite, TGN, RPGamer, 4Players.de, Tabletop Gaming, and more, and the reaction on Twitter was super positive too;

You can find out loads more about it on Kickstarter, where it was completely funded in 3 days, with stretch goals to add even more content unlocking as you read this.

We were at City of Games 2018

Don’t those orange hoodies look lovely? ;)

Yep, we were at City of Games. It was the Bristol board game expo’s first year and an absolute corker of an event. We were showing a pen and paper prototype of the Achtung! Cthulhu video game, which seemed to go down really well.

Plus we were talking about our work on Ogre and Chainsaw Warrior, complete with original copies of the board games to-hand, and we were secretly showing off a very early version of another new project that’s in the works - we’ll be talking more about this one in the coming year, but here's a picture just for fun...

And then of course we also ran the board game jam at the event. A huge thank you to all our participants, and to City of Games for putting on a fantastic show.

Global Game Jam 2018 was a roaring success

Speaking of game jams, we once again ran the Bristol edition of the Global Game Jam. It was a huge turnout, with people from all walks of life coming together to make games of all shapes and sizes.

As a developer very much linked with the Bristol games scene, we were really proud of the quality of output at this year’s event. You can try out the games for yourself over on the Global Game Jam website.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Speaking at Gamesforum and PC Connects, $5 million raised for charity, what’s coming up in 2018, and more...

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We’re back for another year of making games set in your favourite worlds, refreshed after a well-deserved break after a very big 2017. We’re barely halfway through January but already there’s loads to share with you, so we’ll get right into it.

We’re speaking at Gamesforum London 2018, and PC Connects London 2018

If you’re attending PC Connects on the 22nd - 23rd January, or Gamesforum on the 24th - 25th January, then do come and say hello to us!

At PC Connects Auroch’s Production Manager - Nina Adams - will speak about how we translated Ogre from a tabletop game into a digital game, including the challenges we faced along the way and the solutions the team came up with to solve them, meanwhile the studio’s Producer and Marketing Manager - Peter Willington - will be on a panel on the Digital Discovery Track talking indie publishing and why making niche games can be so rewarding for studios.

Then later that same week our Design and Production Director - Tomas Rawlings - takes to the stage at Gamesforum to discuss what happens when games intersect with the real world, highlighting how players engage with difficult subjects through the medium, plus Peter will make an appearance on a panel discussing the future of games media that draws on his experience as a critic and running a successful gaming podcast.

For times and more details of our talks and panel appearances, check out the full schedule for PC Connects and the full schedule for Gamesforum.

$5 million raised for charity with the Yogscast Jingle Jam 2017

Regular readers of the blog will remember that last month we announced we were part of the Yogscast Jingle Jam for 2017. With the opportunity to purchase the bundle now over, we were thrilled to learn that it raised over $5 million for a number of very worthy charities.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Humble, Yogscast, and all the developers involved!

Ogre and Steve Jackson Games celebrity multiplayer session a big success

As a big “thank you” to the Ogre community for supporting us over the last year or so, we put together a surprise for the last AD-organised multiplayer session of 2017 - a day of Ogre online gaming filled with Steve Jackson Games and Auroch Digital players to challenge.

The day featured Steve Jackson (yes, THE Steve Jackson), Winchell Chung (the man behind the iconic artwork of the original Ogre), Drew Metzger (Ogre Line Editor), Steve Martin (Designer on the adaptation of Ogre), and Jake Connor (Community Manager at Auroch Digital), plus Steven J Marsh (GURPS Project Manager) and Devin Lewis (Game Designer and Munchkin Editorial Assistant).

The event went down really well with our players, a big thank you to everyone who turned up and joined in the fun.

Auroch in the media

Though we’re currently all heads down on Dark Future: Blood Red States and some unannounced new titles, we’ve still had a bit of time to talk with the press and even write a couple of guest posts.

We were delighted to find Kotaku featuring Dark Future: Blood Red States in their big round up of British games coming out in 2018, and to be interviewed by Bammsters Rated-R. Plus Tom was asked to talk about his favourite game of 2017 (the fantastic The Shrouded Isle) for IndieGames.com, and Peter also wrote about his top 5 for God Is A Geek.

What’s in-store for 2018?

Quite simply: a whole heck of a lot! We’ll be revealing our plans for this coming year as and when the stars are right, we hope you’ll stick with us in 2018 to see what they are...

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Kickstarter success, a board game jam, a Yogscast Jingle Jam, Gamesforum interview, production methods, and fan-made Ogre videos

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As the studio begins to wrap up work for the year, December has been an interesting and highly productive month for the team here at Auroch, with a number of projects in full swing, new opportunities coming to fruition, and top secret stuff just on the cusp of being unveiled.

It’s a fitting end to a 2017 that has been intensely busy, occasionally stressful, but most of all a tremendous success for the company.

The stars are right for Cthulhu Christmas Cards on Kickstarter

After our previous success on Kickstarter we always knew we would return to the crowdfunding platform for another project, hence our Cthulhu Christmas Cards. We’re pleased to announce it was 250% funded, deliveries have started to be received, and backers seem very pleased. More from us on Kickstarter early next year...

Auroch set to run The City of Games board games jam

Another Kickstarter success, this time from our friends behind the wonderful The City of Games. The event will be a big part of the board gaming calendar here in Bristol and Auroch has been asked to run the board game jam that will take place over the weekend. We can’t wait to see what attendees create!

Fantastic series of tutorial videos from an Ogre fan

We love when our community wants to make content based on our games, and GranitePenguin’s highly informative tutorial videos are no exception. We can’t wait to see how his viewers take the strategies and learnings from them and apply them to our game.

An Agile Approach to Making Games

Being a proud member of the Bristol Games Hub we’re often asked to give presentations on our processes and internal strategies, to the rest of the development community at the Anti-Social. At the recent November event, our Production Manager Nina Adams gave an excellent talk on how Agile production methodologies have changed the way we work.

Auroch’s artist joins panel on developing within Unity

The Bristol Unity Game Developers Group meets regularly to talk all things concerning Unity, with a recent panel focusing on how people from any background can pick up the tool. Chris Raadjes - UI Designer and 2D Artist at Auroch - was part of the sold out and warmly-received panel.

“You have to find what its heart is - why people love it”

Ahead of his talk at Gamesforum 2018, Design & Production Director Tomas Rawlings has been interviewed by the event organisers. He touches upon a multitude of subjects, including how we work with IP, making newsgames, and the Bristol games development community.

We’re in the Yogscast Jingle Jam 2017

We were honoured to be included in this year’s Yogscast Jingle Jam. This annual event sees the legendary British stream team gather up a load of great games, DLC, and more to raise money for charity. We included Chainsaw Warrior and Golgotha Run, a Dark Future novel in the bundle and they seem to have gone down a storm. You can find more details here.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Huge Ogre update and Mac version, Ogrezine feature, Elections gets open source cards, working with IP, meet us at Gamesforum 2018

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An especially jam-packed update for you on what the studio has been doing this month. Let’s just get stuck straight in...

Ogre receives G.E.V. update, Mac version

Ever since launch we’ve been updating Ogre with the most requested features. The latest G.E.V. update brings with it whole new scenarios to play through, plus a number of quality of life updates that should please fans of the game.

You can see more of the game over on Ogre’s Steam store page, plus read up on the full lists of post-launch updates here.

Find out more about how we made Ogre in the Ogrezine

The Ogrezine is an upcoming Ogre magazine from Steve Jackson Games dedicated to the classic tabletop game.

We were fortunate enough to be asked to provide an article for the publication and we decided to do something a bit special: a behind-the-scenes look at the design challenges we faced when making the digital adaptation. You can read the piece that will appear in the magazine here.

Elections of US America Elections: The Card Game gets open source cards

We’ve often been asked whether we could add a specific candidate or political event to Elections and this month we’ve gone one better. Players can now access a number of the cards as open source Photoshop files over on Board Game Geek and we’re hoping we’ll see interesting new cards made by the community. For full details about all this head over to the game’s Kickstarter page.

IP thought leader piece up on Creative England

Creative England asked us to write a piece for their site about why we enjoy working with other company’s intellectual property and we jumped at the chance. You can find our article “IP opportunity: why turning fictional worlds and big brands into compelling games and play experiences can be so rewarding for IP holders and developers” on the Creative England website.

We’re speaking at Gamesforum 2018

We’re proud to announce that both Design & Production Director Tomas Rawlings and Producer Peter Willington will be speaking at Gamesforum 2018 in London. If you’d like to speak with one of us at the event, drop us a line via one of the methods listed on our contact page.

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Ogre’s released, the studio speaks, and why we’re already thinking about Christmas

It’s been one heck of a busy month for us! Where to begin...?

The release of Ogre went rather well. Most importantly, the team launched a solid game and then immediately began improving the experience based on user feedback. We always wanted to be completely transparent with the community of loyal fans Ogre has, so you can see the regularly updated patch notes here, which documents feature requests we’ve implemented, bugs squashed, and quality of life improvements made. Ogre is currently enjoying a 'Positive' review rating on Steam, which we’re thrilled with.

Steam, Humble, Green Man Gaming, and Gamersgate all supported the game, featuring Ogre on their front pages and social media channels. The title got into the New and Trending and Popular New Releases sections of Steam too which, again, was a fantastic result.

Press reception was largely positive from a good deal of outlets, with a smattering of mixed opinions too, which we pretty much expected. It was wonderful seeing screenshots and video of the game being featured on sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun, PC Gamer, PCGamesInsider.biz, Bell of Lost Souls, and GamesRadar. We were also delighted to read that the original artist of Ogre - the mighty Winchell Chung - was a fan of how the game turned out.

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More generally at the studio, though no doubt thanks in part to our work on Ogre, we’ve been talking with B2B outlets about how we convert tabletop experiences into digital ones, and the process of making games in general.

You can see these interviews on leading publication Gamasutra, non-profit industry champion Creative England, and brilliantly supportive local outlet Bristol 24/7.

And as if we needed an excuse to talk more, we can confirm that we’ll be speaking at international games conference Games Forum 2018, which we’ll share more details about in the coming months.

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Though it’s probably slightly too early for most to be thinking about mince pies and crackers, we’ve been hard at work creating a series of Cthulhu Christmas Cards, which we’ve just launched the crowdfunding campaign for on Kickstarter.

There’s loads of details about what they are, why we’re doing them, and so on on the Kickstarter page, but one neat thing some people have missed is that, since we’re games designers at heart, we’ve hidden a puzzle that runs through all six designs that come in the box.

If you’re a fan of all things Eldritch, it’s definitely worth a look and, hey, maybe you should follow us on Twitter and Facebook too, because who knows what other horrors we may have in-store in the near future…?

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Jake Connor

Community Manager for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

 

Find me on Twitter: @AurochJake, or more regularly on @AurochDigital