Get-Well Gamers UK

Posted by Ben - Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Last week we held an internal drive for everyone in the company to bring in old consoles and video games that we would donate to a charity called Get-Well Gamers. If you haven’t heard of them before, don’t worry, they’re new to the UK but have been established in America since 2001.

We first heard about Get-Well Gamers from our good friend and former employee Mary, who was already familiar with the American company and informed us that the charity was opening a branch in the UK. Once we looked into the organisation we knew it was a charity we would love to work with. The opportunity to donate our old games and consoles to such a good cause was very exciting for us as avid gamers and game developers, so we contacted Get-Well Gamers and let them know we wanted to make a donation.

The charity aims to bring electronic entertainment to young people in hospitals. As they state on their website- “Video games are an effective and proven pain management tool and provide needed entertainment for young people during long hospital stays.” This is something we can relate to in our own way. We still play games as a way to wind down after a hard day at work, or as an escape if anything in our lives is bothering us.

We invited James and Bruce from Get-Well Gamers to visit our offices and collect our donation. It was terrific for us to see how happy they were with our contribution and we’re happy to be the first of, hopefully, many to donate to such a great cause.

To donate to Get-Well Gamers UK or keep up to date with everything they’re doing, check the links below.
Twitter: @gwguk
Facebook: /getwellgamersuk

Foul Play at Rezzed

Posted by Ben - Friday 11th April 2014

With full hearts and heavy backpacks, Last week Mediatonic made the journey north for Indie Expo ‘EGX Rezzed’. The mission: to reveal Foul Play on Playstation 4 to the hordes of gamers that would descend on Birmingham NEC over the course of the weekend.

Our booth welcomed hundreds of you over the 3 intense days of Rezzed. Most of you came in pairs, but some came alone, itching for that co-op brawler fix. That’s where we come in. 

It’s a strange thing to demo a game you’ve tested for close to 2 years, and with Foul Play you start to see things differently. Stagehands and bosses become little more than walking combo boosters. Each punch, jump and parry is planned far ahead like some sort of grandmaster chess player. Foul Play becomes more than a theatre performance; when we pick up the controller it takes the form of a tightly choreographed musical. Baron Dashforth is the lead dancer, pirouetting left and right, the crowd roaring in approval as we gracefully dispatch wave after wave of stagehands without let-up. The phrase ‘Neo-esque’ often comes to mind.

Simply put, we’ve played a lot of Foul Play at Mediatonic. That made it more than awkward to be -routinely- outperformed at our own creation by an alarmingly large chunk of the booth’s visitors last weekend. “What does ‘perfect scene’ mean?”, you ask. “Why am I the ‘star performer’ and not you?”. We smile and explain, but inside our pride just took a real beating.

On Friday afternoon, our team took great joy in playing the unassuming extra, letting every stage-hands flock to you and grin as you sent those top-hats a-flying. By Sunday evening the gloves were off, and we were fighting for every single point. You made us work for them, you really did. Rezzed gamers are better at our game than we are after less than 5 minutes, and frankly it’s embarrassing.

Getting the chance to play our game with fans is always a treat, and Rezzed was no exception. But rest assured, once Foul Play hits Playstation 4 and PSVita we’ll be back for our revenge. Stage-hands will fly. Proverbial legs will be broken. The Leaderboards will tremble.

Curtain up.

Joe Walsh 

Life Drawing Sessions

Posted by Ben - Wednesday 2nd April 2014

(Sketch by Isago)

At Mediatonic one of our primary goals is to keep finding new and interesting ways to help our staff develop their skills and try things they might not have had the opportunity to do before. That’s why when Monica, one of our in house artists, suggested we could have Life Drawing Sessions in our offices, we jumped at the opportunity. Figuratively speaking that is. In reality we arranged for a model to come into our offices on Wednesday’s every two weeks.

The sessions are open to anyone in the office and last roughly an hour, providing our artists both current and budding with an opportunity to hone their skills and enhance their craft. It’s entirely up to them how they choose to spend the session and, with the life drawing society who provides the models, we’re able to give them different people to draw each time.

No need to take my word for it though! Here’s what some of our team have to say about it:-

Monica Ion, Game Artist
“The life drawing class to gives the office art team (and any others who might be interesting in drawing) the chance to practice drawing the human form. Not only is a better knowledge of anatomy really valuable - as it makes it easier to create characters and animations - it is so interesting to explore form, shadow and energy flow through a figure. Personally I enjoy it also for the chance to draw away from my computer monitor. After looking at flat photographs and images all day, the opportunity to draw from life makes a big difference. It's improving my spatial awareness and my ability to think of objects and shapes in a more three dimensional way. It's also really fun to try different kinds of mark making and experiment with how I depict shapes - just outlines, blocks of tone, simplified strokes, and so on. We’re looking forward to more sessions!”

(Sketch by Monica)


Lindsay Cox, Unity Developer
“For people like me who are learning to draw characters on the side and whose art is mostly described as ‘cave paintings’, I think life drawing is a great way to improve my skills. I have been told the only way to get better is practice, practice, practice. The format of the classes, running the model through a variety of short and long poses, kind of reinforces this. I found that after warming up with a few short poses, when it came to the longer pose I produced a better quality drawing than if I was following a book. Whether you are an artist, designer, producer or programmer (like me) I think everyone should have a go at life drawing!”

(Sketch by Lindsay)