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.
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)
Posted by Paul - Thursday 6th March 2014
Foul Play is our theatre based beat ‘em up where Victorian Daemonologist, Baron Dashforth, recreates his adventures for the stage; brawls and all!
No expense has been spared for the Baron’s one night only spectacular show and it’s a game that rewards performance over pummelling, as every strike and combo has to keep an eager audience entertained!
You don’t have a conventional life bar, but a “Mood-o-Meter”. Keep it filled with audience pleasing action and you’ll be met with cheers, whoops and hats in the air aplenty! Miss your cues, get beaten around by the adversarial actors and you’ll find yourself booed off stage…
Join the Baron and his assistant Mr Scampwick in co-op play wading through hordes of combat trained actors in a variety of menacing (and/or ridiculous) costumes.
The various plays of the night represent the scarcely believable, but ENTIRELY ACCURATE tales of Baron Dashforth banishing daemons. The lovingly crafted sets vary from the automatons of Atlantis to werewolves on the misty moors of Somerset and even a cult inadvertently starting the great fire of London!
Now we’re in the process of making sure everything looks great on the Vita handheld display with the help of Four Door Lemon and in full 1080p for PS4 with our 60FPS animations. We’re not quite ready to announce what day will be opening night just yet, but as soon as we are you’ll be the first to know.
We had a lot of fun playing with the conventions and limitations of the theatre for such a grandiose tale. All in all, we can’t wait to bring our brawler, characters and humour to Sony platforms.
Foul Play is also on sale now on 360 and if you want to check out the Playstation version come to EGX - rezzed in Birmingham, UK where we will be showing it off!