The inkle blog
Happy new year, everyone!
To celebrate the new year - and to take a few weeks off from actual development for once - we've spruced things up around here, with a brand-new layout for our website. From the front-page you'll now be able to see all the projects we've worked on over the last two years, from Sorcery! through Poems By Heart via First Draft of the Revolution and Frankenstein. Browse around and let us know what you think.
Also - we're looking to expand. Like what we do? Check out our join us page.
Oh, and if you're waiting on the Android release of Sorcery! - stay tuned, it's coming, promise.
2013 has been an amazing year for us, full of surprises, challenges, nerve-wracking moments and some real head-scratching about the size of a phone screen. And we just received the best Christmas present of all, which is this little badge:
If you don't recognise it, that's an Apple "Best of 2013" emblem, awarded to a handful of apps deemed the very best-of-the-best of the year's output to the App Store. This particular one comes attached to Poems By Heart, the app for memorising and sharing poems that we designed and developed for Penguin Classics USA. Poems was our first release of the year and came out last January, and was a headline app in the Education section of the Store for several months. It's now just been updated with additional content as well.
Sorcery! 2 has now been out just over a week, and several thousand people have entered the city: some of them have even left again. It's been an exciting week for us, trawling the internet on the look-out for reviews, which ranged from enthusiastic 5/5's like this one on Slide To Play to this 8/10 Silver Award-winning review on Pocket Gamer which reads like the reviewer had something of a harder time of it. The overall result is good - our Metacritic score is 88, three points up from last time around..!
Today is inkle's second birthday - and in another way, it's also Sorcery!'s, because today Steve Jackson's Sorcery! 2 has hit the App Store, ready to take you on an adventure into Kharé, the Cityport of Thieves.
The first few reviews are already in: Capsule Computers gives it 9.5/10, while at Pocket Tactics they went the whole way to 5/5, and at Gamezebo they say its "so artistic you'll want to hang it on your wall", with a 5/5 review.
A couple more bits of wordage on the internet in the last few days:
Lastly, inklewriter gets a brief but lovely mention in the Not A Game podcast on game authoring tools.
Here at inkle we've just submitted our release build for Sorcery! 2 , and finished up our trailer for launch, which leaves us with nothing left to do but sit back and wait for launch. So we've been filling the time with talking.
First up, a guest post about the creation of Sorcery! for Pocket Tactics, talking about how we developed the first game, and what we've done to make the second one bigger and more expansive. Want to know why the Blade Runner adventure game was one of our influences? Read on...
Today is not the launch day for Sorcery! Part 2. Today is, instead, the day we reveal why Sorcery! Part 2 has taken so long. Here's the first one (and she's just gone live on the App Store right now):
We've been busy for most of the last two months wrestling the city of Kharé into some kind of shape, and while we're still a short way off announcing a release date for the sequel to Sorcery!, we've been talking a lot recently about working with text, and what we discovered over the last two years.
A few weeks ago, Mostly Books, an independent bookshop in Adelaide, South Australia, ran a competition for short stories by young writers made using inklewriter. The entries were judged by recent Creative Writing graduates from Flinders University and the results are now in, and we're pretty impressed, and wanted to share them here.
If you've not listened to their show before, BigSushi does podcasts with indie developers but with a twist - they ask as much about the games as they do about the people who make them, and their programs always make for really interesting discussions that go all over the place. We talked to them for about an hour about inkle, game narrative, Sorcery!, the console industry and a whole lot more. Take a listen. There's also a few bits of exclusive information about our plans for Kharé in there too.
We got in touch with them through our friends over at Nyamnyam, so do take a listen to their show if you're interested; and they've also interviewed Jonathan Myers whose interesting audio project, Codename Cygnus, is busy working itself into a Kickstarter frenzy.