Auroch Digital's GameTheNews.net title, NarcoGuerra, a news game focusing on the War on Drugs in Mexico, has been nominated for an award in the Games category in the 2014 Media Innovation Awards. It is a real honour to be nominated alongside the other inventive and interesting projects released in the last year; Cbeebies Playtime (by Mobile Pie) and the Daredevil Project. NarcoGuerra is a game that we are very proud of. The attention it received and (more importantly) the debates it provoked gave us confidence that we had delivered on our remit of producing an informative and engaging game while dealing with a very sensitive subject matter.
The developers of Games Workshop's classic board game 'Chainsaw Warrior' for Steam, iOS and Android announced that they have a copy of the rare original game plus the expansion cards from White Dwarf issue 88 up for grabs. The game was originally released in its physical form back in 1987 and is a classic piece of gaming history – a rare solo board game which pitted the player against the clock.
The digital version was released last year creating excitement and nostalgia with fans who fondly remembered playing it as well as converting new fans to the title. In 'Chainsaw Warrior' the player takes on the role of a cybernetic soldier as he attempts to save New York from dire peril – and in only 60 minutes. The original was noted for its challenging solo gameplay – an aspect that has been preserved in the digital version.
To win a copy of the game, players need to record a play session and submit a video link to the developers via gtn at aurochdigital dot com – the best submitted run-through of the game (on any platform) will win the prize. The developers will be marking on score, style and aggression as Auroch Digital's Tomas Rawlings explains, “Chainsaw Warrior is a battle against the odds; not only is time against you but also hordes of zombies, mutants and others creatures – plus there are traps, radiation and poison to content with. We'd love to see your choice play-throughs showing how you defeat Darkness and if it's the best of the best, we'll be sending you a copy of the original game, a real collectors’ item!” Entries need to be submitted by 17th August to be considered.
To celebrate the competition, Chainsaw Warrior is on sale for a short period (Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play). To keep in the loop with the project you can like Auroch Digital on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The game's information page can be found at chainsawwarrior.net and there is a new Reddit forum for the game at: reddit.com/r/chainsawwarrior/
Time go get moving as you only have 60 minutes to save New York! #ChainsawWarrior
The trailer is below:
Twitter and Facebook have been a-buzz with the recent news that the developer of smash hit mobile title Plague Inc will be releasing the much anticipated desktop version, Plague Inc: Evolved very soon. Auroch Digital is proud to announce that we have been working with Ndemic Creations to help make Plague Inc. on desktop a reality. The new version will see the same captivating gameplay with the addition of multiplayer, user-generated content and much more. Plague Inc: Evolved launches to Steam Early Access on the 20th February. The game's official page can be found at plagueincevolved.com and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.
23rd September 2013, Bristol, UK: The classic boardgame 'Chainsaw Warrior' first published by Games Workshop in 1987 and converted into a digital title by Auroch Digital launches today on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch and follows on Samsung Samsung Devices via Chillingo's 100% Indie later this week. (Update: Also now on Google Play & Amazon Apps)
Announced in July, it caused excitement with those new to the game interested in discovering a classic, and nostalgia with fans who fondly remembered playing it. The game sees players trying to save New York from dire peril as twisted forces spewing from a spatial rift attempt to rip the city from this reality into theirs. The fate of the city rests solely in the hands of a lone cybernetic solider known as the 'Chainsaw Warrior'. As the eponymous hero, the player must battle through a zombie infested Manhattan tenement in order to locate the controlling intelligence behind the dark army swarming from the spatial rift. The game was renowned as a tough challenge and this new version remains so.
The digital version of the game has been created by Bristol based indie developer Auroch Digital. Auroch Digital's Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings announced the release: "We're really pleased with what we’ve created. The team has done an amazing job in creating a brilliant mix of the best of the boardgame with the possibilities of digital. I feel it’s both a fresh and nostalgic take on a classic game. We hope our fellow gamers enjoy facing the thrilling challenge of trying to save New York. Not all will succeed!”
“It’s wonderful to see this great game re-worked for today’s platforms,” said Jon Gillard, GW Head of Licensing ‘I can’t wait to get my pistol grip chainsaw revved up and stuck into some zombies.”
"It’s always great when a game comes to Samsung Apps as an exclusive,” says 100% Indie co-founder Chris Byatte, “but when it’s got such a dynamic legacy as Chainsaw Warrior, it’s especially exciting. We’re all classic gamers here, and to see important titles like this reborn through the smartphone platforms for a new generation of players is one of the reasons we love working in this dynamic industry."
The game is out on iPad, iPhone for $4.99/€3.99/£2.99 and follows on Samsung Samsung Devices via Chillingo's 100% Indie later this week at the same price point. A wider Android, PC and Mac release is set to follow soon after. To keep in the loop with the project you can like Auroch Digital on Facebook or follow them onTwitter. The game's information page can be found at chainsawwarrior.net
Time go get moving as you only have #60mins to save New York!
If you're a games journalist or blogger, please contact jake at aurochdigital.com for a review pack.
Coverage so far (iOS version):
- 148apps.com (review & round up)
- maturegamerpodcast.com (review)
- pocketgamer.co.uk (review and French review)
- macgasm.net (review)
- Forbes (review)
- apprehensivegamer.wordpress.com (review)
- iGamesView (review)
- Digiboard Game Reviews (review)
- gamercast.net (and review)
- touchtapplay.com (review)
- misternizz.wordpress.com (review)
- idownloadblog.com (review)
Android version Converge:
22nd July, 2013, Bristol, UK: The seminal hit board game Chainsaw Warrior, made by Games Workshop back in 1987 is set to return this year in a digital form. The original 80s game was a notable rarity in that it was a solo board game that pitted the player not against others but against the clock. The game saw New York balancing on the precipice of darkness as twisted forces from another reality attempted to rip the city from this world into theirs. Standing between them and the destruction of the city was a lone figure, the brutal and mysterious Chainsaw Warrior. As the eponymous hero, the player had to delve into a zombie infested New York tenement to locate the source of the evil spewing through the spatial rift and destroy it before he was destroyed. The game is being created by Bristol based indie developer Auroch Digital for mobile and desktop platforms.
Auroch Digital's Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings explained why they are resurrecting this mutant and zombie infested classic; "It's a game I played as a kid and loved. I see it as the pre-cursor of First Person Shooters when video games technology could not really do the first person or the shooting. For me this is not only a great game, but a classic of board game design - a solo shooter that really challenges the player. When we spoke to Games Workshop about developing a game this was the top of my list. I loved the 80s style of the game and we've kept much of that in our design as well as faithfully translating the gameplay. Don't expect to win the game easily. This was the Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day. Players didn't want to buy the game and run out of challenge at first play. The game has many ways to kill you and is unafraid to use them - which makes it all the sweeter when you finally win."
As well as its challenge, it also flies in the face of current trends in social aspects in games. Chainsaw Warrior is firmly an individual experience, Rawlings explains, "This is about you against the tide of darkness. Chainsaw Warrior is the last hope for the city and time is running out. Ultimately I wanted to make this game because it is one that needs to be brought to digital with all guns blazing and chainsaw-blades revving, and that is what we're going to do!”
“Chainsaw Warrior is a classic fantasy solo board game experience that established itself as one of Games Workshop’s best sellers from that era of our history” said Jon Gillard, Games Workshop’s Head of Licensing. “It was actually the first game I bought when I joined the company, and like many other enthusiastic gamers, I enjoyed playing it for years. We can’t wait to see it being brought to a whole new generation of digital gamers who can enjoy the dramatic struggle against seemingly unwinnable odds, as well as the remorseless ticking of the clock.”
The game is due to release on iPad, iPhone and Android at the end of summer at a price point and date to be announced soon. The PC and Mac versions will follow soon after. To keep in the loop with the project you can like Auroch Digital on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The game's information page can be found at chainsawwarrior.net
News coverage of this includes:
Our favourite tweet about the game so far!
November 8th 2013 will be the 125th anniversary of the murder of Mary Jane Kelly by an unknown assailant known as 'Jack the Ripper'. This project uses original photography and 3D game elements to experiment with making a 'playable documentary'. Exploring notions of crime, news reporting and ethics, players will interact with characters, discover clues and piece together the story, drawing parallels between contemporary society and this infamous crime.
Online gamers and visitors to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition are today being invited to vote for their favourite science inspired game. Gamers will be able to play and then vote for one of four games developed at a 12 hour Game Jam hosted by the Royal Society in May. The Game Jam saw scientists taking part in this year’s Summer Science Exhibition team up with experienced games development studios to bring the science behind their exhibits to life.The games can be played online on the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition website or found as free PC downloads via the IndieCity website. They will also be available to play at special games stations throughout the Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society.
Players will be encouraged to vote for the game that they think is the most fun, playable and explains the science best. The game with the most votes will receive funding to be developed further - perhaps by adding another level or extra characters or making it available on more devices. Voting closes on Sunday 7th July. The games competing for further funding are:
- A Pinch of Salt: an ocean set 3D game which sees players pilot an ocean glider and measuring sea salt and trying to cover as much ground as possible in a limited time, developed by Kanko and the University of East Anglia.
- Cell Invaders: a puzzle-action game exploring the complex life of sugars, developed by Robin Baumgarten, Gorm Lai, Benjamin Donoghue and the University of Manchester.
- Out Both Ends: a biomedical puzzle game about identifying the source of an outbreak of disease, developed by Opposable Games, Force of Habit and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
- Quantum Revolution: an excitement packed space shooter game based on quantum physics, developed by Bossa Studios and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd.
Professor Peter Sadler FRS, chair of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition selecting committee, said: “We’re delighted that our first ever Summer Science Exhibition Game Jam was such a success. It was great to see the enthusiasm with which scientists and developers alike approached the gruelling 12 hour Game Jam. The games that they were able to develop in such a short time are absolutely fantastic. The Summer Science Exhibition is all about communicating the wonders of science to the public in new and exciting ways. I’ve certainly had a wonderful time trying out all of the games and I look forward to seeing which game triumphs in the public vote!”
Unity Technologies, a games development software company, has supported the Royal Society in designing and running the Game Jam, through Unity, the flexible and high-performance development platform used to make creative and intelligent interactive 3D and 2D experiences. The Royal Society is partnering with indie game distribution portal, IndieCity, to share the games produced at the jam. The vote’s Twitter hashtag is #RSgamejam
Auroch Digital produced the event and also developed a game for one of the exhibitions, Zombeetle & The Fossil Colour Quest.
Newsgame developer GameTheNews.net, today released it's latest offering; a game about the War on Drugs in Mexico entitled NarcoGuerra. GameTheNews.net caused a huge debate following Apple's controversial decision to reject Endgame:Syria from the App Store. This new game examines the ongoing conflict from the perspective of the Mexican authorities trying to stamp out the drug trade within their borders. In NarcoGuerra the player must attempt to retake Mexico's regions from cartels while also dealing with corruption within the police force itself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W8LiYAR3hA
As part of the global War on Drugs, the conflict in Mexico escalated around 2008 and since that point the human cost has been very high, with over 80,000 people having been killed. Rawlings defends the use of this as subject matter for a game, "Better that we are talking about this topic and why it is happening, whatever the medium being used, than we turn a blind eye and pretend it is not going on. Games are part of the way we understand the world we live in and I'm really proud of the work we've done on this game as it engages people while expanding that global conversation.” The game's designer, Tomas Rawlings remarked, "The War on Drugs has been going for over 40 years now and we wanted to explore why that is. In reflecting the world around us a singer might write a song, a filmmaker produces a documentary and a journalist writes an article, as games developers we express our interest via games. But just because our form of expression is through games, this doesn't mean we take the subject any less seriously. This game aims to engage players in the issue and get them to think about why this war is still going on despite the billion spent on it."
NarcoGuerra is now out on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, PC and Mac for $0.99/£0.59/€0.79. This is the first newsgame that GameTheNews.net have charged for, with all their past titles having been released for free. Rawlings commented on this decision, “This game is the biggest newsgame we've created which has taken a lot of time, effort and expense. Charging a small amount for this title helps us cover the costs of our highly talented development team and funds us to continue creating newsgames, many of which will be free. This is a premium newsgame and I think it is right that its price reflects the efforts to create it. All news organisations have to make income to pay staff – we're no different in that respect.”
- The Guardian
- Pocket Tactics
- Today In Gaming
- pocketgamer.co.uk (and here)
- ggsgamer.com (and here)
- gamewoof.com and qualityapp.net
"Game the News is one of the more interesting indie game developers working at the moment: specialising in games based on topical news stories and campaigns." Stuart Dredge, The Guardian
The Royal Society is looking for experienced games development studios to take part in new initiative that will turn some of the research on show at its annual Summer Science Exhibition into video games. The Royal Society will host a 12 hour game jam on 24th May that will see developers work with the scientists behind exhibits to produce five exciting new games.
Unity Technologies, a games development software company, will support the Royal Society in creating fun interpretations of the science that will be on show at this year’s Exhibition. Of the 23 exhibits taking part this year, 5 will be selected to take part in the game jam. The Royal Society is partnering with indie game distribution portal, IndieCity, to share the games produced at the jam.
The game jam will take place at the Royal Society in London. Five development teams of up to 4 developers will be partnered with the selected exhibitors for an all-day game jamathon from 10am - 10pm. Each development team will receive £2,000 to further develop their games after the game jam so that they are ready to be played at the Summer Science Exhibition which runs from 1st – 7th July. The games will be available free online and at the exhibition itself so that the public can cast votes for their favourite game. The team that receives the most votes will receive an additional £2,000 to further develop the games once the Exhibition closes.
Professor Peter Sadler, chair of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition selecting committee, said:
“The Summer Science Exhibition is one of the highlights of the Royal Society’s year. It provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to interact with scientists and ask them questions about their work. We’re very excited to be introducing a new element to the Exhibition this year in the form of the Games Jam. An increasing number of exhibitors have used games as a way of communicating their science over the last few years and we’re hoping that by giving some of them an opportunity to be part of the Games Jam it will bring state-of-the-art creativity and innovation to their video games and some fantastic news ways of bringing their cutting-edge research to life for our visitors. I’m really looking forward to playing with what’s created on the day!”
The Royal Society invites the UK's talented games development sector to join it in communicating the fun and fascination of science. Interested developers can find out more about the competition and how to apply from the Royal Society's website at bit.ly/RSgamejam .The event's Twitter hashtag is #RSgamejam
Links to articles:
21st MARCH 2012, BRISTOL, UK: The controversial newsgame, Endgame Syria, has been updated on Android and released on two new platforms - PC and Facebook and yet the developer is still struggling to release the original title on Apple's App Store. After three rejections, the developer has had to not only remove references to specific groups that are part of the conflict, but any reference to aswell as the actual word 'Syria' too. As a result the much-amended version of Endgame:Syria has made it past Apple's approval process as 'Endgame:Eurasia'. The developer, GameTheNews.net's Tomas Rawlings remarked, "We've come to the end of three rejections and one appeal and the only way we've been able to get Endgame:Syria out on iOS was to remove all references to the real world and sadly that changes it from a 'newsgame' into just a 'game'. We've released this game version so at least players with Apple devices can get a feel for what we originally intended for the platform. We are of course disappointed to not be able to release the game and hope that our experience informs a wider debate about how games have matured into a form that would benefit from a reappraisal by some." To help players using the App Store version to get a feel for the original title they have released a conversion guide to explain how the wording of the game has had to be changed. By contrast to Apple's policy decision, Endgame:Syria has been recognized by Games For Change, one of the world's leading exponents of how games can be used beyond play.
The updated version on Android and for PC adds newer events from the ongoing war including Scud Missile strikes and the enhanced fears over WMDs. The game is free and available now from Google Play. It is also free on PC and can be downloaded from Desura, GamersGate, IndieCity, Indievania, and GameJolt.
Endgame:Syria was launched last year and allows players to explore the difficulties and options open to the rebel side in the ongoing Syrian civil war. The game attracted wide coverage for not only its subject matter but how it was received by gaming and non-gaming audiences. The developer, GameTheNews.net, has released a wide variety of games that explore current affairs from a commentary on the horse-meat scandal to covering science and technology news.