BLOGCAST

GotInternshipI’m hoping that by now you all have read this posting on our website in regards to our Internship program for 2015:

“To all of our enthusiastic students and future developers: Insomniac Games will not be offering summer internships in 2015. We absolutely believe in the educational benefit that internships provide and pride ourselves on delivering an internship experience that is of great value and substance, not only to the students, but to our studio. Due to the timing of our current project schedule on yet to be announced titles, we don’t believe we can offer a truly awesome learning experience that you’ll be bragging about to your peers in the fall. But wait! Rest assured we will have internships when the timing is right so we encourage you to keep an eye out on our site for opportunities in the future. We hope you find an amazing internship this summer and wish you the best of luck in your search!”
The Insomniac Games Development Team

I’ve had several people come up to me either in person or on email and say that they really appreciated our honest stance on why we were not having interns this summer. We felt that we did not have the timing right internally to make it the “must have” internship experience that we hope all our interns have. That being said I’d like to talk a bit about why I think/feel that internships are SO important to the student population in the games industry. It’s the one thing that I think you can do to REALLY prepare yourself for the awesome experience that is game development.

Ok- so why is that? Well- for starters – you are in the building. Interns are IN the space. You can literally see what is happening. Where are people sitting, how is the team physically spaced? How are people moving around in this space? Are there informal meetings happening in the corners? In the kitchens? Is it super dark or are the shades thrown up to let in the light? You are on emails – so I sincerely hope you are reading EVERYTHING that comes through your inbox, even if you think it does not pertain to your immediate duties – READ IT. You will learn so much about what others are working on, and the thought processes that are going on with department heads and leads by those emails. It should be giving you a fuller picture of how the pieces are going to fit together – or if they are not- why and what is happening to fix it.

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Secondly – you are getting to work on a game! How amazing is that! You are working on a project that (hopefully) will see the light of day. It’s not a student project! You have coworkers who potentially created some of your favorite gaming experiences! WHAT? The dude who helped create the grind mechanics for Sunset is right over there. The artist that created a few of the incredibly memorable environments in Ratchet and Clank is around the corner, and the two who actually thought up the idea to kill off Hale are down the hall. What I am saying here is that it’s time to be brave, to be bold; walk up and introduce yourself. Don’t do it when they are working, but when they are in the kitchen, if you ride the elevators with them, or you are waiting for the coffee to brew- say “hello”. This is your chance to talk with them and have the conversations that you got into the games industry to have, and to make connections. As we all know connections are huge in this industry. I’ve talked about it a bunch of times, but I cannot stress this enough- MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS. The guy sitting next to you may be able to send an email that helps get you, your first job.

It’s also time to hone your skills. You are working with some of the brightest people around so step up it up! If you have a question – ask it. If you want to know how something works or how to achieve an effect, ask. This is your chance to improve your game (literally) with the help of industry vets. We know that in taking on interns there is a ramp up time, and questions to be asked, answered and followed up with. It’s not a surprise to us that you probably won’t finish everything as quickly as those sitting around you. It’s the price we gladly pay for having an intern around while helping to raise the bar of the next generation of game developers. This is a way we can give back to the community that we all love.

These are just a few of the many reasons of why an internship is so important and why we believe that if you’re going to offer an internship, it must have value and give you a meaningful experience. So, while we don’t have internships available this year, we know we’ll have them again when our projects provide an opportunity for you to learn and grow and inspire you! So keep your eyes peeled on this website for opportunities, and best of luck on getting an internship with any of the amazing studios that are out there!

Until next time!

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Hi Moonlighters!

Moonlighting will be shaking up its format and we are giving you the 411 before it actually happens.  While we truly enjoy our immediate interactions with everyone during our bi-weekly live exchanges,  it also limits when we can respond and when you can ask a question.  To ensure your questions are being answered even when you can’t join us, we’ve decided to have the comments section open at all times!  WHAT?  Yes – you can ask us (Kerri and I) a question at any time, 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  We will still be covering topics that pertain to recruiting, HR, culture and all things that fall in those categories here at Insomniac Games.  As before – we still won’t be covering the topics that are on our company’s other blogs or community pages. (To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or Twitter or Facebook and ask away – it’s that easy! )  But this does open the door for you to ask a question at ANY TIME!  Very exciting if I do say so myself.

We will still have a live “blog-cast” once a month with a topic that is timely, or perhaps is a question that seems to be asked a bunch of times on the threads, or a special guest speaker.  We will keep the time and date of that chat the same- the first WED of the month, at 1:30 PT / 4:30 ET.  That way if you want to really have a conversation – we can do it then.  If you just want to ask a question and get an answer in a day or two (please be patient as we do have plenty on our plate) you’ll have that option as well.  Our goal is to be as open and accessible as possible.

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Looking forward to your questions and our next live chat on June 3rd. 

See you then!

Kerri & Angela

 

 

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Join us this week, May 6th for a chat with Bobby Coddington – our Animation Director! We’ll be on line as always at 1:30 pt/4:30 et to take your questions and hopefully share a bit of knowledge. We will open the discussion early – on TUES- so that you can post a question without needing to be online at those times exactly. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now a bit about Bobby. He has over 16 years in game animation, doing character moves and story cinematics. He has also spent 10 years teaching at Otis College of Art, which is here in Los Angeles. He is the author of Introduction to Animation for Games for Gnomon school (DVD). Bobby in his years in the games industry has worked on various titles ranging from: EA Sports Knock-out Kings, Mercs, Medal Of Honor, Army of Two, and Sunset Overdrive. Bobby got his feet wet in animation by studying animation (2d and 3d) at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. That and he’s one of the nicest people you will meet in the industry! We look forward to welcoming him!

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And just our usual reminder – this is not to be a space to ask about our projects or specific games. To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or ask via Twitter or Facebook and ask away – its that easy!

Looking forward to chatting on Wed! See you then!
Angela and Kerri

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Hey Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to visit us again at Moonlighting with Insomniac! We’ll be online to chat on Wednesday, April 22nd from 1:30-2:30 PM PT / 4:30-5:30 PM ET. This edition is all about QA.  Angela is out of the office (bummer, right??) so Joe Schopper – our Lead Quality Assurance Tester will be gracing us with his presence and helping me to answer your QA Questions!

Please feel free to add your questions now, as the comments section is open!

And now, for your reading pleasure – here’s a quick bio on Joe:

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Joe Schopper, QA Lead

“Hi, my name’s Joe Schopper. I started in QA at THQ and was a full time tester there, then took some time off to go to school in North Carolina. I eventually came back to California and got a job as a contract tester at Insomniac Games. I started on Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction and have been happy here ever since. I moved up the ranks in QA from contract tester to full time tester, senior tester, and lead tester. I’ve been the campaign lead on Resistance 3, Fuse, Sunset Overdrive, and currently the new Ratchet & Clank game for PS4. I also once worked as a deckhand on a fishing boat and convinced a kid to eat an eye from a yellowfin tuna.

-Joe”

As always   – this is NOT to be mistaken as a space to ask about our projects or specific games. To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or ask via Twitter or Facebook and ask away – its that easy!

Talk soon!

~Kerri

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What is Slow Down, Bull?

It’s an action collecting game where you try to collect as many decorations as you can and complete each level before time expires.

But, that’s not easy – is it?

No, not really. You play a bull and the more you steer him – the higher his stress becomes.  If his stress gets too high, he’ll rage out and destroy the decorations he’s collected. And, of course, as you go through the game there will be more and more obstacles that are trying to stress you out, as well.

Cool. What are the controls.

Hold left click to steer one way. Hold right click to steer the other way. That’s it! Easy to pick-up and play – tough to master!

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What platform is it coming to?

It can be purchased through Steam, but is playable on Windows, Mac, and Linux/SteamOS.

How much will it cost?

$5.99 US.  But, also know that 50% of the net proceeds will go towards the Starlight Children’s Foundation!

What is the Starlight Children’s Foundation?

It’s an organization that we’ve had the pleasure of working with for quite some time now. They focus on improving the life and health of kids and families around the world. And that’s something that’s really important to us. If you’d like more information, please feel free to visit their website.

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When does it come out?

April 20th, 2015 – so very soon! Or a long time ago in case you are reading this on October 3rd, 2037. But, you can pre-order it here!

Does it have Steam Achievements?

That it does!

What about Steam Trading Cards?

That is also a thing it has. With pretty art from the game!

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Can I see footage of it?

Yup! We actually live-streamed a lot of the game’s development on Twitch. Please know that all of this is old and the game is sufficiently complete now. However, it’s fun to watch and you could even learn something! We’ll have a full trailer soon.

Can I use a Gamepad?

Yes, you can play with an Xbox controller or mouse/keyboard.

How did this game come about?

For that, I direct you to this link.  It details the history and purpose behind the project.

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Will it come to other platforms?

We have no plans for that, at the moment. However, who knows what could happen in the future.

Why a purple bull?

A purple dragon was taken.

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On behalf of everyone at Insomniac Games, I’m proud to announce that we are about to release our first PC game via Steam.  It’s called Slow Down, Bull, and it will arrive to Steam on Monday, April 20.

Slow Down, Bull is all about heart. Its hero, Esteban, is an overachieving bull who just wants to make beautiful art. The more you steer Esteban, the higher his stress elevates. Collect as many decorations as you can and complete each level before time expires, but be careful not to trigger an Esteban rampage, lest he destroy the decorations he’s trying to gather. Slow Down, Bull features beautiful hand-drawn art, stylized characters, unique gameplay, and of course, humor.  At its core, Slow Down, Bull is an action-collecting game with a beautiful school craft art-style. We think you’ll enjoy exploring the five worlds while meeting new critter friends and avoiding Annette the Bullcatcher.

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Slow Down, Bull also marks the continuation and deepening of our partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Insomniac has partnered significantly with Starlight over the years on initiatives like placing Starlight Fun Center Mobile Entertainment units at children’s hospitals throughout the country.

sl_logoStarlight Children’s Foundation will receive 50% of the net proceeds received by Insomniac Games from Slow Down, Bull — no less than 30% of the purchase price. The game will be available for $5.99 US (and various equivalent prices on Steam storefronts in other countries).

So WHY Slow Down, Bull? The game truly began as an experiment. Designer Lisa Brown had a passion to try new things – things that were outside the boundaries of what we normally create at Insomniac.  She proved that she was able to create unique and unexpected gameplay mechanics with her own scripting.  Sometimes these things didn’t end up fitting the console game we were working on, but they were still cool and exciting.  So we thought, “Hey, what if Lisa was able to just go crazy and make a game all on her own?  Is that even possible?”  It sounded like a great experiment and it was a chance for us to rethink what kind of games we make and how we make them.  It was also a means of examining ways that we can keep getting more efficient as a company.

I asked Lisa for a list of five ideas for games she might like to make herself.  She made a list, and from that list we zeroed in on one in particular that she was most excited about.  It was a different kind of gameplay mechanic, one that asked the question: “What if pressing a button made the action *stop* rather than making it go?”  She drew a bull as a character and allowed you to stop it from running by pressing a button.  But if you held the button too long the bull would get enraged and trample everyone in sight.  It was simple, unique and fun.  That first prototype had taken a single day.  The full game ended up being a much longer adventure and the team grew to be five people at its peak.

Lisa and the team added many characters, new gameplay mechanics, a story, music, and an addictive set of levels.  The original question was, “Can one person make a game by themselves”?  In the end it seemed the answer was that it takes a team of people in order to create the kind of experience we wanted to deliver.  But the experiment did help us to try new approaches to rapid prototyping and to devise new tactics for creating novel game mechanics.  We’re very proud of the game and very happy that it is benefitting a great cause: Starlight Children’s Foundation.   We’re always going to keep experimenting and looking for new ways to create different experiences for the player and to find ways to keep rejuvenating ourselves creatively.

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We documented much of the development process on Twitch.tv, with many fans contributing to the game’s development (you can see the archived streams here).

We’ll be talking more about the game in the next couple of weeks leading to its release. You can follow Slow Down, Bull on Twitter here, and like it on Facebook here.  You can also Add the game to your Steam Wishlist now here.

If you run a website, a YouTube channel, or live-stream, and are interested in covering Slow Down, Bull, please shoot us an e-mail at press@insomniacgames.com.

Thanks for growing along with us the last 21 years. We’ll look forward to hearing what you think of Slow Down, Bull, and are especially excited to be supporting Starlight Children’s Foundation once again.

— Brian Hastings, Chief Creative Officer

The time for death has come.

But we will not go gentle into the good night. Not at all.

Part II next week…

Music by Ogre (Robin Ogden)
https://ogresound.bandcamp.com/album/195
https://twitter.com/ogresounds

Check out more on Sunset Overdrive and the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines right here, including a price drop and new Achievements!

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SUBSCRIBE! for weekly shows: http://bit.ly/SOYouTube

Follow us on Instagram for more Sunset TV and all things Insomniac.

Be sure to send your questions or comments to sunsettv@insomniacgames.com to join in on the fun!

This is a Sunset TV episode. We are telling you to purchase the new Sunset Overdrive add-on: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. It is something you should do. But watch the episode. Human.

Check out more on Sunset Overdrive and the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines right here, including a price drop and new Achievements!

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SUBSCRIBE! for weekly shows: http://bit.ly/SOYouTube

Follow us on Instagram for more Sunset TV and all things Insomniac.

Be sure to send your questions or comments to sunsettv@insomniacgames.com to join in on the fun!

Hello Sunsetters (we just made that up, can you tell?),

We are excited to bring you big news today. First up, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines campaign add-on is now available! Yes, we know it’s April Fools’ Day. No, this is not a prank. You can purchase this by itself or get the Season Pass and get BOTH the Mystery of the Mooil Rig AND Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, as well as, the Weapons Pack at a discount.

Man vs. Machine: The savage battle that’s been raging on for billions of years enters its latest bout in Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. A rescue mission to save Sam’s old mentors from the Fizzco Robotics Factory quickly turns into an all-out assault to counter-hack and dismantle Fizzco defenses. Don’t worry. For you, hacking equates to pulling triggers and laying waste to a bevy of upgraded Fizzco bots. Everyone has their strengths!

Featuring an all new story, weapons, traps, Amps, enemies, clothing, gameplay mechanics, and a massive new area to explore – Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines is a techtonic addition to the Sunset Overdrive universe.

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New Achievement

As an added bonus, we’re celebrating April Fools’ Day the only way Fizzie would – with the release of new achievements for ALL players. The “Worst Job in the Kingdom” achievement is unlocked by replaying and completing the “Floating Garbage” mission within par time (15 minutes) for a whopping 200 Gamerscore! There’s also the “Fizzie Says April Fools!” achievement. Complete them, and see what happens. Let the pranks begin!

Sunset Overdrive is now $39.99**!

For those of you who haven’t picked up Sunset yet, that is ok, we won’t judge, but now is your perfect chance! Sunset Overdrive is now (and will be moving forward) only $39.99! Grab it today via your favorite retailer or download directly from Xbox Live. Be sure to grab the Season Pass too which includes all the additional content for only $19.99.

**$39.99 is only in effect in the US. If you’re outside of the US prices may be different.

Content Update

With the new add-on comes some bug fixes and improvements. We want to let you know what is getting fixed. We apologize if any of these have prevented you from fully enjoying the game.

So here you go and we hope to see you all online foolin’ around in Chaos Squad.

GENERAL:

  • Fixed a bug with Game DVR where the clip is recorded to the wrong profile after switching accounts via the Xbox Dashboard.
  • Fixed a bug where a Game DVR clip would be recorded when the player has failed a challenge but reached a high score during the failed attempt.
  • Fixed a bug where Game DVR would record a clip when Night Defense was successful even though the player did not reach a new high score.
  • Fixed a bug where bombs from the Shield Buddy could potentially get trapped in a nearby player’s shield.
  • Fixed a bug where some UI elements would not appear in-game when multiple Xbox accounts are signed in.
  • Fixed a bug where the poster credits sequence would not be visually displayed, but audio could be heard in the background.
  • Fixed a bug where the piranha’s in the “Suddenly Piranhas” amp could potentially fall through the world when they spawn in.
  • Fixed a potential crash that could occur when quickly accessing the weapon wheel after respawning with a loading screen.
  • Fixed a bug where the player could potentially have a blank trap screen and not be able to edit their trap loadout.
  • Fixed a bug where the D-pad trap selection UI and various POI are missing from HUD when a secondary profile is signed in before launching.

MISSIONS:

  • Fixed a bug where not enough Fizzco enemies would spawn during the “Awesomesmithing” mission if the Chance of Lightning amp kills enough of the Fizzco enemies.
  • Fixed a bug where the failed screen would continue to appear after reloading the last checkpoint in the “Find 4Kim” mission.

QUESTS:

  • Fixed a bug where the failed screen would continue to appear after reloading the last checkpoint if the player fails to keep up with the train in the “Help a Hobo” quest.

CHALLENGES:

  • Fixed a bug in the “Excalamune” challenge where it will not end if the Spawner is killed before the Herker.
  • Fixed a bug in the “Episode 4 – Buck Stops Here” challenge where the player would be taken to their primary mission location instead of the actual challenge location.

CHAOS SQUAD:

  • Fixed a typo in one of the intro images for “Fizzco Ambush” mission in Chaos Squad.
  • Fixed a bug where some Chaos Squad missions could potentially be assigned as active in the Campaign.
  • Fixed a bug where a client would be unable to pick-up the battery after being killed by the battery in the “Power Up” mission in Chaos Squad.
  • Fixed a bug where the 4th and 5th spinners for the Chaos Squad rewards would no longer appear once the player has earned all the amps and vanity rewards.
  • Fixed a bug in Chaos Squad where the player could potentially lose their weapon loadout during the “The Floor is Lava”.

VANITY:

  • Fixed a bug where the last outfit purchased with Calista could still be displayed as purchasable.
  • Fixed a potential bug where vanity items owned could be shown as available to buy with Calista if an Insomniac Set was purchased but not equipped.
  • Fixed a bug where the Dev Shirt could potentially disappear from the players inventory.