Posts tagged "story"


26 Nov 2009
Latest news on Monsteca Corral

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Indie wiiware™ game ‘Monsteca Corral’ encounters Pikmin comparisons

Liverpool, November 25, 2009 – The much anticipated Wiiware™ title, Monsteca Corral will soon make its gaming debut this coming January 2010 after almost 18 months of development. The British indie game developer Onteca, only recently announced the launch of their first game this month which sparked off debates as to whether or not an indie company could bet all the odds and become another ‘World of Goo’ story.

The casual game that could only best be categorised as being in the same genre as Pikmin and Flower, has fought the immediate comparisons made when such prominent titles were mentioned. The developers at Onteca have taken everything with a pinch of salt, and are confident that once players delve into the surreal ambient levels of Monsteca Corral that previous misconceptions will be amiss.

Monsteca Corral is an independently developed title focusing on fast paced fun-puzzle gameplay, targeted at anyone and everyone who enjoys pick up and play games with no hidden agenda to subliminally take over their life. You play on your terms and you the player control a herd of peculiar named orange creators, formally known as Sdompes’. The cute and not so bright Monsters, who once activated, need help to avoid being dismembered by invading robots. So instead of watching the poor creators run dim-witted riot, it is your job to accumulate and guide them successfully through each level.

You take the role of a Monster Herder, flying above them and saving them from the dangers of their changing environment and the ever growing ominous robot population. As your Sdompes’ run through each level, you guide them towards ‘Energy orb’ bonuses that are scattered throughout the habitat; these will increase the communal power of the herd.
As Herder, you can:

• Use Wiimote to create deviation paths that block off dangerous routes for Sdompes’.

• Use Wiimote to allow Sdompes’ to follow a route.

• Use Wiimote to allow Sdompes’ to split and form a sub group.

• Use Wiimote to help Sdompes’ damage the robot environment.

• Use Wiimote to make your Sdompes’ jump and shake and sing.

As additional levels arise, the game emerges as a cross-country running game with Sdompe migrating through the different and ever changing environments of the Monsteca World: Stomping through Desert, Open Plains, Wooded Highlands, Forest, Wetlands and City in their bid to make it home safely.

screenshot 2

Monsteca Corral is set to be released through the Wii Shop Channel in 2010, venturing into a new family of games for the Wii™ console. Monsteca Corral will invite people to experience a totally new and innovative method of gameplay with a fresh perspective on a classic genre.

03 Nov 2009
The Mystery of Finance

Having attended an Investment Event last night I started to wonder about how and why people invest.  I am currently reading Quicksilver by Neil Stevenson which is set in the 17th/18th century which is a period which marks the invention of finance, paper money, short selling and many other wonderful things.  Almost as soon as money was invented so was fraud, bubbles and bankruptcy.  At one point in Quicksilver everyone discovers that the Goldsmiths kind of early bankers have empty vaults and all their money has gone.

Surely we have learnt something from these kinds of shocks, well clearly not as the recent history of banking shows.  So thats great but what does it teach us about now.  Well it is clear that within 5 years there will be more online revenue in the games industry than through retail.  When you go for lunch everyone has an idea for an iPhone app (always a good sign of a boom) 10 years ago it was ideas for websites or was it tulip bulbs I forget.

We all like to follow the crowd and investors more than most, this is generally good if you can get in early enough but strangely investors are running scared of iPhone and haven’t even really noticed that download games change the rules.  There have been a couple of big investments I think Glu mobile got a fair amount of money but most UK investors have a strange disconnect they know iPhone is successful but don’t seem able to unpin the risks.

02 Nov 2009
Event Preview: Develop Liverpool

7820_146337498548_509638548_2857868_3796245_n Hello everyone, i thought i would insert some information about the Devlop event this Thursday which i will be attending along with some other members of the Onteca family. See blog for full event programme.

This Thursday sees the popular Develop conference make its debut appearance in Liverpool.

Set to bring together the best and brightest game developers from across the UK for a day of learning, sharing ideas and networking, Develop in Liverpool boasts an impressive range of sessions and panels. Below are details of the currently confirmed panels.

Highlights include the keynote by Michael Denny, senior vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Europe, and speakers from Bizarre Creations, Natural Motion, Team 17 and Jolt.

Those interested can still register here; tickets currently cost £265 plus VAT. The event takes place at Liverpool’s Arena and Convention Centre, and offers a unique opportunity in a city many consider the cultural capital of the north.

The sessions:

OPENING KEYNOTE: Quality, Relevance, Innovation
The talk will provide a visionary insight into what Sony Computer Entertainment First Party studios are looking for now and in the future when commissioning Original IPs from Independent developers.
Speaker: Michael Denny, senior vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Europe

EVOLVE: Turning Browsers into Gamers for Fun and Profit
The biggest platform with the most potential isn’t owned by a manufacturer or run out of Redmond. Web browsers and social networks host tens of millions of games a day, bring gameplay to new audiences, allow innovative new gameplay ideas, come with a diversity of business models, and are wide open to new entrants. But what can traditional games companies bring to the party, and where should you focus your efforts for maximum impact and reward?
Speaker: Dylan Collins, Jolt Online Gaming

CODING & PRODUCTION: PlayStation: Cutting Edge Techniques
The talk will provide an overview of the current state of the PlayStation platforms and games from a technical perspective. There will be a coverage of several real-world examples of cutting techniques as used in recent and soon to be released PlayStation3 and PSP titles developed by Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studios.
Speaker: Neil Brown, senior engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

ART & DESIGN: Blocking to Rocking! The art of LEGO Rock Band
Travellers’ Tales has won endless plaudits for the distinctive and humorous characters in its LEGO games. But having mastered a plastic fantastic take on much-loved cinematic heroes, how would its artists tackle real life musical legends for LEGO Rock Band? Matt Palmer, Head of Animation at TT Fusion, gives us a unique insight into capturing the essence of Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and the game’s other rock gods in LEGO guise while operating within the constraints of the Rock Band format.
Speaker: Matt Palmer, head of animation, TT Fusion

EVOLVE: Five App Stores Under the Microscope:
iPhone, Blackberry, Android, DSiWare, PSP Minis
There’s plenty of excitement around digital distribution of mobile and handheld games, but it’s early days – the various stores are finding their feet, while developers figure out how best to approach them. This session will look at five key digital stores: iPhone’s App Store, BlackBerry App World and Android Market, as well as DSiWare and PSP Minis. What are the trends in terms of pricing and categorisation? Which games are doing well and why? And how are developers increasingly looking to release games across several or all of these stores?
Speaker: Stuart Dredge, online editor, Mobile Entertainment

CODING & PRODUCTION: Role of the Production House in Game Development and Marketing
Created during the early development stages of a video game, concept movies can often lay the foundation in the creation of new games. They can be used as an influential selling tool by developers to gain universal buy in from international publishers whilst also giving the development team a vision of what they’re working towards, helping lock down important factors such as the overall look, style and feel of the game. Some of these movies never see the light of day once the game is complete but others serve a multifaceted purpose and are used as a powerful internal and external marketing tool. Tony Prosser, Managing Director of Lancashire based CG Production House RealtimeUK, will be speaking about the role of concept movies in games development. He will also discuss how they created some of their most well known concept movies and marketing trailers including Motorstorm for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Split/Second for Disney Interactive Studios and Napoleon: Total War for Sega.
Speaker: Tony Prosser, managing director, RealtimeUK

EVOLVE: What the Music Industry Can Tell Us about Digital Distribution
The last few years have been turbulent for the music industry as it grapples with the transition from physical goods to digital distribution. What can the games industry learn from the music industry as the sales and delivery of interactive entertainment increasingly move online? Simon Watt of Universal Music reprises his very popular Brighton talk with an updated explanation of what the music industry has got right – and wrong – and what it means for games.
Speaker: Simon Watt, vice president technology, Universal Music Group

CODING & PRODUCTION: How to Get More From your Music and Audio Team (panel)
Harry Potter, Project Gotham Racing, Heavenly Sword, The Getaway, and Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series are just a few of the titles covered by the careers of an illustrious panel of leaders in their field. Whilst managing hundreds of thousands of game audio production dollars, procuring music, dialogue and sound design services from both in-house and external game and movie sound resources, these senior players fully recognise the commercial imperative and inextricable link of what they do in audio provision with corporate goals, gameplay objectives and console technology. Drawing on their years of experience seeing the good, bad and downright ugly of audio in games, they will distil critical insights for producers, programmers, artists and designers about how to get the most from their audio team and thereby realise the maximum potential for sound, music and dialogue to rock their game production.
Chair: John Broomhall, independent audio director
Panelists: Dan Bardino, SCEE; Adele Cutting, EA; Nick Wiswell, Bizarre Creations

ART & DESIGN: Resurrecting the Alien Breed franchise
If you’re lucky enough to have a much-loved retro game to work with, how do you bring it up-to-date without damaging its DNA? Team 17’s design manager John Dennis outlines some of the challenges and opportunities the studio has faced in bringing its classic Amiga game Alien Breed back to life in the form of Alien Breed Evolution, which it is set to self-publish for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Speaker: John Dennis, Team 17

EVOLVE: Keeping Northern games development on the map (panel)
Game making has a long history in the North of England and much to be proud of, but there’s no denying recent years have been tough, with key studios closing and others fading from prominence. What can be done to ensure the region remains a hub of game development excellence, and what help is already available? Could local studios do more to support each other, or is it better every studio fights for itself? A panel of leading insiders debates the issues.
Chair: Toby Barnes, MD, Pixel Lab

CODING & PRODUCTION: A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting
The talk focuses on the techniques used in the real-time lighting implementation for Blur, but with a particular bias for how things were done for the Playstation3. Beginning with a high-level discussion of the problems at hand the swiftly talk moves into how these were initially solved in a cross-platform way, but then later optimised for Playstation3. Along the way the speakers share their thoughts on light pre-pass rendering and SPU programming techniques, and offer a helpful ten-step guide to migrating your lighting to the SPUs.
Speakers: Stephen McAuley and Steven Tovey, Bizarre Creations

ART & DESIGN: Why is Playing Games Fun?
Recent research in neurobiology reveals multiple ways in which the “pleasure centre” of the brain can be tripped, and thus multiple ways that players enjoy games. This research also dovetails with the latest player satisfaction models, which show that different players enjoy very different aspects of play. This session explores seven different ways in which the brain responds to play, each corresponding to a different play style, and thus different kinds of videogame. By understanding the variety of ways that a game can provide enjoyment, developers can learn why their games are fun – and how to make them more fun for a greater number of players.
Speaker: Chris Bateman, MD, Hobo International

EVOLVE: Digital Distribution: From Blue Sky to the Bottom Line (panel)
Signing a deal with Steam is no longer enough. From branding to social media marketing; from price discounts to community management, this panel will address what developers need to do to maximise revenue from their digital distribution strategy.
Chair: Nicholas Lovell, GAMESbrief
Panelists: Mark Morris, MD, Introversion Software; Tero Virtala, CEO, RedLynx; Oliver Birch, account director, PlayReplay

CODING & PRODUCTION: 6 Ways to Get More Bang for Your Buck
The bad news: budgets are tight and time is short, yet everyone still wants quality. The good news: there is no shortage of talent! Outsourcing, offshoring, contractors and freelancers – thousands of externals are ready to help you stay under budget and make better games, or, if handled badly, to wreck your project. From formal outsourcing to co-development and remote teams, Beriah’s Kevin Hassall reveals six tricks to get the very best from this wide world of talent.
Speaker: Kevin Hassall, Beriah

ART & DESIGN: Open Mic – Voice Control in SingStar the Method and the Madness
Applying cutting edge technology to casual games in a way that enriches the end user experience in a non disruptive way. Voice recognition technology is notoriously unreliable and most user experiences with existing technology have been poor. The voice recognition technology in SingStar was designed to allow users to select songs and navigate menu options. This presented its own set of unique challenges from both technological and usability standpoints. This presentation will cover the challenges and pitfalls of using voice recognition technology in SingStar.
Speaker: Charlie Hasdell, designer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

EVOLVE: We’re All Indies in This Together
Digital distribution, downloadable content, and casual and social games are fast re-writing our ideas about what a game can be. Leading this charge are a new wave of small, innovative and entrepreneurial developers with very different business models – and often different aspirations – to the conventional games industry. Enter indievision, a new trade body for a new breed of studio. For the first time in public, founder Robert Swan outlines why the new indie sector needs to work together, and what joining indievision can do for you.
Speaker: Robert Swan, co-founder, indievision

CLOSING ADDRESS: The Ups and Downs of Backing 60 Start-Ups
Richard Farleigh, High Tech Entrepreneur and Dragon (from Dragon’s Den)

Networking Party!
After the conference, you will have the opportunity to network with delegates from an event running alongside Develop – Software City – designed to showcase the region’s dynamic technology sector. Now running in its third year Software City attracts an international audience and is an opportunity for businesses and investors to make valuable connections, share ideas and hear from world-class entrepreneurs.

Develop in Liverpool and Software City have teamed up to host a joint post-conference networking party for all their delegates. The party will be held in PanAm on the Albert Dock.

Your Develop pass will allow you free access to the party where you will have the chance to meet attendees and speakers from both events, including Software City’s star speakers Richard Farleigh of Dragon’s Den fame and Julie Meyer co-founder of First Tuesday, CEO of Ariadne Capital and one of the recently announced ‘online dragons’.

Information supplied by Develop.com event article

21 Oct 2009
New Entry – Monsteca Corral

Me

Onteca have once again expanded their digital clan and taken on-board 23 year old Public relations (PR) graduate Sophie (yes you read it right, PR not a games programmer). You may ask why does Onteca, an interactive media company need the likes of a publicity thirsty PR hound? Because somebody needs to spread the word and show off all the boys hard work.

That is where I come in, my name is Sophie, I have moved ever so graciously from my home in Newcastle to the lovely city of Liverpool to do a 6 month internship with Onteca and North West Vision and Media. My role within the company over the next 6 months will to organise the press / social media and the marketing campaign of their new Nintendo WiiWare game Monsteca Corral.

I come from a background where video games were only played when I was procrastinating from university work, forced upon me at family gatherings and the odd time when my curiosity for my mental age was tested on the DS Brain Train. So basically long story short, I am not a gamer, I don’t know any of the techy lingo I hear spouted around the office and when someone asks me what is my favourite video game I just go blank.

However there is this myth that to market a game the marketeer must know the ins and outs of the gaming industry, this I am proud to say is not true. To market a video game the most important thing to know is who your audience is, how to communicate with them and ability to promote your material in a way that they can relate to.

Leading up to the games release in January 2010 Monsteca Corral will gradually build upon its presence within the on-line stratosphere, giving gamers a sneak peek into what the game has in-store for them.

Over the next 6 months you can follow Monsteca Corral’s journey through the Onteca blog, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates. Watch first hand the release of a new video game and see its progress.

Feel free to drop me a line at sophie@onteca.com if you have any questions about the game.

22 Sep 2009
Monsteca Corral

So what’s the game about then i hear you ask.

First things first, Monsteca is more than just a game.
Now this isn’t some marketing speak where I tell you that it’s not just a game, it’s a way of life or some crap (would I do that to you?) no no no,
What I mean is, monsteca is a universe of different ………. things.

There is in the pipeline

Web games
Wii game (monsteca corral)
monstecacorral
Cartoons
A board game
A massive wiki

And more, all taking place in the monsteca universe.

Here’s some backstory.

The Monsteca Backstory

In the beginning there were monsters:

and the monsters lived side by side in general disharmony. Completely
unable to work as a team, the monsters roamed free within their
habitats and occasionally risked being painfully dismembered by other
monster species if they strayed too far from home –
and this was the way of the monsters and so life went on, until a small
and mysterious do-gooding alien life form arrived
who went by the name of:
The Maker
and The Maker (being called The Maker) made. More specifically he made
Robots. He created the first robot ‘chip’ and implanted it into the
first robot Central Processing Unit. The Maker created the robots with
a belief that they would improve the lives of the monsters and provide
some form of order and structure for the world. As with all great
beliefs it went horribly wrong once the Maker showed the robots how
they could make each others units and was hence discarded by them as
they felt he served no purpose.

The Biguana:
Thus the ‘chip’ has been passed from C.P.U to C.P.U and it has become
outdated and damaged causing the robots to behave more erratically.
So The Maker has become increasing weary and fearful of his own
creations. The Maker now lives a solitary existence.
He did however once save a small Biguana monster from the jaws of a
Blind Polar Dog and made him a robot tail to replace his half eaten one
knowing that for Biguanas ‘balance’ is very important to their survival.
The Maker is aware that the robots are not behaving in a responsible way
but fears he can no longer control them.

have now created their own environment in the form of cities and
mines. Robot consumption of world resources and materials is now of
epic proportions.
Collectively the robots view the monsters as a nuisance and have recently
been enslaving them for their own purposes Certain types of robot may be
persuaded to think differently if it is seen to be logical to do so but
.
the present C.P.U (Central Processing Unit) is not exactly logical.

has succeeded in line through the passing of the ‘chip.’ He controlsa
all of the robots but he is gradually experiencing more breakdowns/
crashes, glitches etc. mainly in his logic and understanding
functions.
The present C.P.U is not a nice C.P.U. He proved incompatible with his
compatible unit partner and she left him with a 2nd unit daughter who
he struggles to relate to due to her caring unrobotlike nature.
The Present C.P.U is responsible for the current anti monster regime
which he believes will advance robitilisation. He’s begun to ‘clean
up’ monster populated ‘trouble spots.’

Wii Story
In the world of Monsteca, the Sdompé are undertaking their annual monster
migration from the Southern Desert areas. Normally this is quite straight
forward, with Sdompés running in herds towards the nearest resting Astro
Maggot, symbiotically stirring it into action, then jumping aboard and
taking off to better climes through desert, highlands and open plains
eventually arriving at the Northern Wetlands.
But this year the wicked robots have interfered with their migration by
building cities that are polluting and destroying the monsters’ natural
habitats.
It is up to the Herder, flying overhead on the back of a Manderray, to
help the Sdompé migrate successfully across the robots increasingly
unfriendly and urbanised world.

25 Feb 2009
Liberatis – an early alpha version of an MMO produced by a group of Young People

Onteca is proud to announce the unveiling of a playable Alpha of our Mediabox Project, ‘Liberatis’ (a name thought of by a young person working on the project). This is an MMO created by young people, for young people. It involves some violence, within a Tolkienesque ‘fantasy’ setting, because that is what the young people called for. It is still at an early test stage, but is playable.

Given the theme ‘Freedom’ this is what a group of 14-19 year olds came up with

A screenshot from liberatis

A screenshot from liberatis

Over 50 young people worked for four months to make this game. First the young people planned out an overall story, a premise, a series of characters and detailed paper-based maps and Level Design Documents for each section . Next they had to painstakingly learn the skills they would need: Maya to create the 3D assets; Photoshop to create the mood-boards and textures; the Torque level editor to create landscapes full of trees, mountains, valleys and towns in which the game could be played. Onteca provided support and training at every step.

Onteca then worked on integrating all these elements into a playable game, to the design of the young people and under the direction of their representatives.

Some of the most academically inclined young people on Merseyside worked alongside young people from a local Special School who had learning disabilities. Everyone addressed themselves to the same tasks and were expected to prodice the same results. Sometimes the young people would work alongside each other, sometimes they would split into school and project based groups. Standards were high across the range of schools, with genuine talent and IT ability coming from all groups involved.

Areas worked in were amonst the most economically disadvantaged in the country. That said, the young people who involved themselves in this project were eager, polite and creative. Hopefully, they will learn from being part of the making of Liberatis, and consider a career in the North West’s still healthy Games Industry.

Thanks to all the young people involved, and Onteca hopes you like the game you helped create.

An alpha version of the game is available to download here to install it, just download and run.

if you get an error message mentioning python when running the game on certain versions of vista you will need to run the game as an administrator