Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Road Behind and how we got here... (Part 1)

Sept 2015 - We've been developing Organic Panic for 7 years, here's part 1 of the recap on how we got here...

Early Years Xbox 360 > 2008 - 2013

Back in the early days we were developing Organic Panic on the Xbox 360 - this is where Organic Panic started and at this point we had no way for anyone to play test the game outside of the room it was being developed in, for a long while nobody knew about our little game development setup. 

Click here for our early Trailer this was from way back in 2009 and shows where the game came from.

For the first 5 years or so Organic Panic was purely Xbox 360 developed, and completely secret! we wanted to keep the physics tech (DAFT engine) under wraps until we were closer to launching.

Check out some of our big changes in this earlier blog post here - This shows many of the core development changes that were made over the first years.
Core mechanics and game art style were established by early 2013 there was still a ton of work to do and the game was in alpha at this point on the Xbox 360, definitely not content complete, but the game's core identity was established.

Indiecade - Feb 17th 2013 Organic Panic goes public

These blog posts were made but not live until Feb 17th 2013 when we officially came out of the shadows and showed the world Organic Panic at the NYC Indiecade.

We had intended to launch on the 360 but then we got the bright idea of running a Kickstarter campaign and porting it to the PC and various platforms.

Kickstarter - Aug 2013

We had taken 5 years to get this far, we had the core game basically finished, but we needed a ton of artwork, music, more animation, and the final boss levels, as well as bonus levels and Coop and Vs gameplay, it was taking a long time, we didn't have the resources to pay for assets and there is only so much you can get in favors and IOU's and we really needed a injection of cash to finish the game, so we decided to run a Organic Panic Kickstarter campaign.

The campaign was actually really tough, we aimed to raise 40k which was the bare minimum we needed, (actually closer to 60k) and getting attention on our Kickstarter was just a huge huge task, it was probably the most stressful month of our lives (almost!) - We had a game that didn't look at all like your regular indie Kickstarter game, it was more a cute and playful, more console looking for sure, and it didn't look like a game with a ton of advanced tech behind it, it looked deceptively simple! - it suffered from looking casual, cute and fun while actually being quite a deep game. 

We successfully completed our Kickstarter campaign in August of 2013, through a massive intensive last ditch dash across the finish line, basically we doubled our backers and almost our pledges in the last 48 hours.

Some of this was due to some great shoutout love we got from some other successful Kickstarter game developers, some was due to Damon doing a overnight AMA on reddit and some was due to just massive hard work and reaching out. Have to give special thanks to Anne for her awesome contribution, time and dedication (without pay) - she was a superhero and really helped make the Kickstarter happen.

We also want to send a big thanks to all our backers, their support made this Kickstarter happen, and helped propel Organic Panic to the next stage of it's development.

Check out our Organic Panic Kickstarter blog update here - you can see our last minutes video!

Pax Prime and Midnight City - Sept 2013

That September we went to Pax Prime in Seattle with Midnight City (a Majesco Entertainment offshoot), a new indie publisher, with the premise of helping to market and launch indie titles without controlling the dev process. We weren't on the main Pax floor but we did get to show Organic Panic at the Midnight City launch party and to press in a private Midnight City gaming bus!


- Check out the update for Pax Prime.

Steam Greenlit - Dec 2013

Much to our surprise Organic Panic got Greenlit on Steam in December 2013, we couldn't have been happier and we were so excited to be apart of the Steam community, and Steam games.

Port to OpenGL

From the Kickstarter we decided to port to Open GL which was to take longer than initially expected, the port from 360 Direct X to Windows Direct X would have been a much simpler affair, and on retrospect is the direction we should have taken. We had been advised that Open GL was the way to go, it would prove the best code base for all further ports, this was not the case, and each port we did required the same amount of time rewriting the code libraries.

Steam Greenlit and OpenGL port update page.

Pax East 2014 - April

By this time Organic Panic had been ported to OpenGL and running on a regular PC, it was still a beta, but we had a fully functioning PC game, we decided to jump in and get a booth at Pax East 2014.
Here is our update from Pax East 2014

The reception we got was just incredible, the booth was none stop packed for 3 days, we had lines leading out of our booth into the main walkway, the attention the game got was more than we could have hoped for, to be honest it was overwhelming and humbling!

Here are some of the key moments -

Setting up the booth

The coming storm!

Damon has no idea how to stop them :-)

More and more and more

Freedom from crowds!

More and more and more

The press seemed to really enjoy Organic Panic as well, we got some of the best coverage and excellent previews, here are just a few examples of what they said about Organic Panic...

Raymond Porreca of Entertainment Buddha wrote:

"This kind of intuitive gameplay is what makes Organic Panic stand out, giving the player the ability to take control of their powers and have them overcome the challenges presented in the game is one of the most enjoyable experiences I had at PAX."

Lee Cooper of Hardcoregamer wrote:

“It wasn’t hard to conclude that Organic Panic is one of the smoothest, most enjoyable platformers in recent years. It’s smart, fun, and most certainly my game of the show.”

“Organic Panic also features a co-op mode which, without an ounce of exaggeration, is the most fun I had while at PAX East.”

David Leavitt of Examiner wrote:
“what makes Organic Panic stand apart from the crowd of other platformers is the physics engine.”

“With its funky characters, vibrantly colored stages, and some awesome devastation to reap, we’re looking forward to play Organic Panic for an extended period of time and you should too.”

Check out Part 2 Next...