Indie Games Games Champs 2010 = Drinkbox Studios;

By chrism October 20th, 2010, under News

You heard right, the 82nd annual Indie Games Games was won by our fearless athletes last Saturday down by the beaches in Toronto. Faced with fierce competition from other local indie game companies, Drinkbox championed all. Who says video games doesn’t produce athletes? (ok, I say that)

zorb inspection

Led by our grizzly veteran Graham “Take a fews licks, and stop tickin”, Drinkbox annihilated the competition to take home the trophy. Just add it to the case.

Events included Zorb rolling (you don’t have one? *everybody* owns a Zorb) and fricket (some have claimed, the ultimate drinking sport…) where the Drinkbox staff demonstrated why we’re the best at pointless stupid activities.

But wait – 82nd annual Indie Games Games? It’s true – a little known fact: Toronto invented indie games, AND computers, in 1928. Check the annals people – you can’t just google that shit.

Mathew rolling uncontrollably into Lake Ontario

Oh no.

Congrats guys!

All in all, let’s just say the office has become a little bit more glamorous in the last few days.

Updates and Shout-outs

By Ryan Maclean October 8th, 2010, under News

Hey everyone,

We’ve announced our participation in the SCEA Pub Fund program!  The official Press Release is available here.  We’re pretty happy to be a part of the program.

Also, we’ve received some great media coverage lately.  Highlights include:

  • Chris “Harveytime” Harvey’s recent PlayStation Blog post.  “Hello delicious humans!”.
  • An Electric Playground TV segment about our studio and the game (airing this weekend on G4, Monday on CityTV!)
  • New articles on Joystiq, DIYGamer and Co-Optimus

I also wanted to send a shout-out to Fire Hose Games.  We met up with the Fire Hose guys at both PAX and E3, and a few of us had a chance to try their game Slam Bolt Scrappers at PAX.  It was a fun, hectic experience .. a fast-paced puzzle game that mixes building and brawling (check it out here).  Like us, Fire Hose will be releasing their game as a PSN exclusive early next year.

.. and that’s it for now!  More to come soon.

Hello, Do I Know You?

By Chris Harvey October 1st, 2010, under News

Following on Graham’s post, I thought it might be interesting to show various screenshots and images from Tales from Space: About a Blob over the game’s development. We’ve been working on the game in some form or another for quite a while, so looking at these pictures is like a stroll down memory lane for me.

The Concept

Early Concept Image for "About a Blob"

The image above is an early concept drawing for the game. The origin of the game’s art style is on display quite clearly, and I still really like the dangly-bits on the blob. This image reminds me of working in Graham’s apartment and watching the Colbert Report at lunch on his PVR.

Blob Art!

Early Implementation of the Blob

This one is a screenshot from an early tech demo video. The blob had no eyes and absorbed objects really slowly. He was able to climb up most obstacles with ease, but was really hard to control. By this time we had graduated to working in a dark basement office.


The Game Takes Shape

This screenshot is from one of the many sample levels we built before entering full production of the game. The look isn’t too far from where we are now, although there are still a lot of differences. The blob’s eyes at this time were very different, the blob was very bouncy, and style of the people was much simpler. We were still in the basement office at this time.


Close To Complete?

This is a very recent screenshot. One blob is using a special power, and the people are much more detailed. The final game will probably look a little different from this, but not too much. Now we’ve moved to an upstairs office with giant windows that let the sun bake us in the afternoon… how far we’ve come!

The long road …

By Graham Smith September 24th, 2010, under News

Every road has to start somewhere.. This particular project began in late 2008, when all of the DrinkBox Studios employees (6 at the time), sat in a circle brainstorming ideas for the studio’s first game. Tales from Space: About a Blob was created by combining a few very different but complimentary ideas that the team had come up with. We were all pretty excited about the concept once we settled on it.

Each of the “departments” began thinking how the game would be built. This was one of the few times I actually had time to contribute to the project on the programming side and I spent a day or two playing with Box2D, managing to create the very first playable prototype of what would later evolve into our Blob:

The above video shows a prototype Blob moving and jumping around, while interacting with small objects in the environment. The Blob is constructed as a looped chain with internal spring forces between the “treads” to keep its general shape. The Blob was moved around by applying a force to all the treads concurrently, with the jump simply being an upwards impulse force.

Obviously the Blob character has changed drastically since this prototype. The Blob seen in the above video is very “stiff”, “floaty”, and slow moving. This prototype Blob also took a very long time to change directions and since then a lot of effort has been put into making a character that is very responsive to control, without losing the look of being a gelatinous Blob at heart. This was a pretty delicate thing to balance, but I think we’re all pretty satisfied with the way the Blob looks and feels now.

Giving Toronto some love…

By chrism September 17th, 2010, under News


Can’t wait to get your hands on About a Blob? Grabbing a hold of our slimy little hero will be possible at The Indie Showcase in downtown Toronto at Behind the Front Visual Arts Studios. Perhaps even more exciting, there are rumors of Graham making an appearance, if you even needed more reason to go.

Briefly – Saturday, September 18th 2010 from 7 until 11pm – 212a Adelaide st west Suite 301

PAX 2010 was Awesomerrrrrrr…

By chrism September 10th, 2010, under News

We survived the company’s first official PAX – which, isn’t that difficult since it was filled with “le wickedness”. Three days of showing off the game, receiving a bunch of positive and constructive feedback, along with being able to chat with what I like to think are future fans. Was also great to check out the other exciting indie games coming out – some high-lites for me included SpyParty (I shot a civilian :( – should of listened to Graham), Bastion allowed me to get out my “smash the shit out of everything” urge (and pleased the eyes to look at), and PuzzleBots was a fresh take. All in all, refreshing to be in such a great community – makes me proud to be a PA fan.

Although we didn’t take a lot of pics, the ones we did take are all winners. Sort of. (Ryan took them, so blame him)

our booth!
See mom, we really were there. Our booth!
pax lineup
The PAX lineup, on Sunday. Take note, this was the line more than an hour before the show floor doors even opened. Bananas.
duke nukem...
Talk of the party was definitely the announcement that Duke is back, and being done by Gearbox, so, should’nt suck.
chris with goggles
This is essentially what chris H did for 3 days – Chris, could you PLEASE leave those goggles alone and help out…

back to the future car

Roads…where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

and yet it moves booth

Great guys next to us - and yet it moves – go download it. Game rocks.

Fan Expo, PAX 2010

By Ryan Maclean August 29th, 2010, under News

Hey folks!

Fan Expo Canada just wrapped up.. some local friends including LongBow Games and a few HandEye Society members had their games on display (maybe we should have done that too!! Next year?). We participated on a panel about the local Toronto game industry along with some other Toronto-based developers, which was interesting. Also interesting: Lots of people dressed up as Storm-Troopers, Jedi, Star-Fleet Officers, Ghostbusters, Anime Characters, Zombies, etc.

Even bigger news: We will be at PAX 2010 this coming week, showing a demo of Tales from Space: About a Blob on the show floor! We’re pretty excited about it. Although I don’t want to reveal exactly what we’ll be showing, I will at least say that we’re planning some schwag give-aways. If you’re lucky enough to be in Seattle for PAX please come check out our booth: #3804 (near EA).

.. and last but not least, a *second* DrinkBox employee does a review-on-the-run for the Electric Playground! This time it’s Designer Chris McQuinn with his take on Starcraft 2. Enjoy!

Press Mentionings

By Ryan Maclean July 29th, 2010, under News

Hi everyone,

Some links to share!

First off, our very own Chris Harvey does a quick review of PSN game Joe Danger for Electric Playground’s ‘Reviews on the Run’:

Review on the Run – Joe Danger

.. and a few other mentionings ..

Canadian Press article about Canadian game devs

PlayStation Blog announcement

Destructoid post

PlayStation Lifestyle ‘E3 Impressions’

Exciting stuff!

Post-E3 Update

By Ryan Maclean July 8th, 2010, under News

We’re back from E3!

As promised, Sony put the game on display in their booth (which was great!).  It was interesting and informative to watch people try the game for the first time.  We also got to meet some of the other devs who were also showing their PSN games in Sony’s booth, including guys from Big Sandwich Games (showing Hoard) and Firehose games (showing Slam Bolt Scrappers).

Although both Chris and I have been to the Game Developers Conference a number of times, it was the first time either of us had been to E3.  E3 has a very business/media vibe to it (people running around with cameras/mics, big noisy displays, people in suits, “booth babes”, etc).  The Game Developers Conference on the other hand feels a bit more laid-back and dev-friendly.  E3 was certainly fun, though, lots to take in (some pics below).

Also: More Blob news to come (stay tuned)!

Exciting Announcements

By Ryan Maclean June 11th, 2010, under News

Hi Everyone. Welcome to the Development Blog for Tales From Space: About a Blob.

We have some exciting announcements to share!

1) Tales from Space: About a Blob (previously just About a Blob) is officially coming to the PlayStation®Network! The game will be released on the PlayStation®3 system (via PSN) toward the end of the year. An official press release is available here.

2) Sony will be showing a demo of the game in their booth at this year’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles. I’d like to extend a big *thank you* to Sony: We really appreciate the support! To anyone going to E3 this year: Please stop by the Sony booth to check out the game.

.. and last but not least ..

3) We have released our first official trailer.. Hope you like it!

As you can imagine, we’re very excited about these developments and look forward to sharing more info as we work toward the game’s release.