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.
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.
Starlight 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.
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.
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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