News

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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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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

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.

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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 8th from 1:30-2:30 PM PT / 4:30-5:30 PM ET. This edition is all about Programming.  Adam Noonchester – one of our Gameplay programmers will be joining us.  Adam joined Insomniac in 2008, from an unusual space… I’ll let him tell you about his interesting background.  He’s a wealth of knowledge, so this is an opportunity not to be missed!

We wanted to create our post a little earlier than normal this time around to give you an opportunity to visit us at your own pace and ask your questions.  So…. here’s your chance! Please feel free to add your questions now, as the discussion is open!

As you wait for the updated info – feel free to ask your programming, HR, Insomniac related questions below.  We’ll see you on April 8th to answer them!

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!

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We are excited to announce that Outernauts is now live on Google Play, worldwide! You can now do battle and tame the galaxy from your Android phones or tablets. What’s more, there is cross play support with iOS, so you can battle your friends, join alliances, chat, and conquer challenges and tournaments no matter WHICH platform you have.

New to Outernauts?

For those new to Outernauts, please make sure you check out our comprehensive FAQ and join our forums to discuss any questions you may have. Or just jump into Global Chat in the game and ask away. Please read our Chat Rules first though.

Refer a Friend, Get Rewards

If you have completed the tutorial on any device you will get a unique Referral Code (under Settings menu). Give this to a friend who just started the game and you BOTH get rewarded as they level up. There is no limit to the number of friends you can refer. Just make sure they enter you code after the tutorial is done. You can’t go back and enter it later.

So come on and join in. It’s free to play, so you have nothing to lose! Except maybe the amazing time you are going to be spending breeding, evolving, fusing, enhancing, and battling your beasts!

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Hi Everyone!

Just like we promised – We’re Back!  After a week at GDC 2015, Kerri and I are ready to share what we saw, heard and thought about our experience in San Francisco.  Our feet have recovered- hope yours have!  We look forward to hearing from you if you were there- what you saw, what you liked and if there were any awesome talks you attended.  If you were not at GDC – then we will try and fill in a detail or two for you too! Same time –Wed, March 11th, 130 pm PT /430 pm ET, and we’ll compare notes and share.

Also be sure to follow us on twitter – @InsomniacHR for updates and fun tidbits about Insomniac!

Thanks- Kerri and Angela

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HELLO Everyone!

Thanks for checking in with us!  Normally we would be having a Moonlighting session today to answer all of your burning questions on life at Insomniac, how to get into the industry, and all kinds of other interesting tidbits and facts.  Sadly- both Kerri and I are SWAMPED with projects (one of them being GDC next week)  so we are pressing pause.  What that means is that we will not be on the air today at 1:30 pm PT/4:30 pm ET, but what that does mean is that we will be back after GDC, on March 11th,   to answer all new questions and to give a recap of GDC from our perspectives. If you are heading to GDC – we hope you stop by and say “HI”  at our open house at the Palomar Hotel!

We look forward to chatting with you March 11th!

Also be sure to follow us on twitter – @InsomniacHR for updates and posts throughout GDC and beyond!

Thanks- Kerri and Angela

We hope you have been having a blast traversing around Sunset City. If you haven’t played yet, there is still plenty of time to cash in on some great holiday sales!

Many of you have been asking us on social media about Sunset Overdrive swag. Well we are happy to announce that we have partnered with Teespring to bring you our first Official Sunset Overdrive Apparel. Check out our first round of shirts here. Hurry, these are only available until 12:00am PST on December 8th! This is to allow for shipping in time for Christmas (at least to US address, International may take longer).

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This is the FIRST time we are even making this design – originally featured in our E3 2014 trailer. This shirt will be available in long and short sleeve, women’s sizes, AND in hoodie.

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Sexburger

Everyone’s favorite burger joint, now in t-shirt form! Available in long and short sleeve.

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Fizzie Flakes

Start your morning off right with Fizzie Flakes! Available in long and short sleeve.

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On top of it all, because it is the holidays, we are offering a Shipping Discount on all your orders. You just have to make sure you include the promo code in your URLs. Check the descriptions on the shirts or click on any of these below to get the Free Shipping links.

Chemical Smile: http://teespring.com/chemical-smile?pr=SHIPLESS
Sexburger: http://teespring.com/sexburger?pr=SHIPLESS
Fizzie Flakes: http://teespring.com/fizzie-flakes?pr=SHIPLESS

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Hi. My name is Marcus. While not acting as Creative Director on Sunset Overdrive, I enjoy listening to music. One of the amazing benefits of this incredible job I have is getting the opportunity to work with artists I love. The music in Sunset Overdrive is exactly that- music I love. From the very early days of working out the rough ideas that would become the game, Drew (Murray, Game Director) and I would make mix tapes for one another to express our ideas tonally. We had a shared affinity for hardcore and punk rock, the music we’d grown-up listening to, but we’d also included styles that exemplified facets of the world that became Sunset City- from the strutting nature of Glam Rock to “classic rock” to proto-punk to electroclash to new wave to shoegaze and artists that defy genres. The point is, even before we knew what the game was, we were using music to define it. And one of the coolest things in the world is that we got to work with many of the bands that were on our original ‘inspiration’ list (created over two and a half years ago).

Audio Director Paul Mudra and I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect sounds to fit Sunset Overdrive. We worked with Pyramind Studios and Cutting Edge Group to locate the sounds that drive the action. As a result, Sunset Overdrive has a soundtrack made up of original songs created by bands Cheap Time, The Bronx, Dan Sartain, Bass Drum of Death, Meat Market, BOATS!, and Brenna Red. The bands created the songs incorporating story elements from the game and were edited to create “sub-mixes” that are layered in depending on the intensity of action in the game, so the more intense the action, the more full and intense the songs will be. These bands fit the tonal qualities that work for the theme and tempo of the gameplay and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Sunset also features great licensed tracks from bands FIDLAR, Cheap Time, The Death Set, Carbonas, The Glockenwise, The Blind Shake, Cerebral Ballzy, Bass Drum of Death, and Zig Zags. Everybody should go see these bands if they play in your town because they are all incredible.

And as if that weren’t enough, we also had a chance to work with Buzz Osborne. A while back, Jon Paquette (Sunset’s Lead Writer) came to Drew and I and said that he wanted to write a mission where the player had to put together a concert for a sick kid and asked who we’d most want to work with. It took me exactly zero seconds to reply with The Melvins. Buzz Osborne is such an incredible inspiration because he works incredibly hard and creates unique, relevant music. All hail King Buzzo!

Dreams really do come true:

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Buzz Osborne (left) and Marcus Smith (right)

Timing is everything! Friends of Insomniac and contributing band The Bronx have a new album out now from their alter egos, ‘Mariachi El Bronx’ (“Be who you want to be!) Also go see them live at one of these upcoming events! You won’t regret it!