Wind Catcher Games

Games by Josh Raab

Archive for the month “June, 2014”

Nika Sample Copy!

Today I received my advance sample copy of Nika!

box photo 2

board photo 1

It’s an amazing feeling, having my name on that box. The components are all lovely, and I’m grateful to Eagle Games for doing such a good job on them. I’m also looking forward to finally having a copy of the game that actually fits in a backpack, instead of having to carry it under my arm like I’ve been doing for the past few years. Lesson learned: convenience of storage and transportation is a factor when prototyping.

I’ll be showing the game off to as many people as I can find to play it in Montreal this summer. I’ll most likely be leaving this copy at Concordia University’s TAG Lab as thanks for hosting me at Critical Hit.

How’s that been, you ask? Well, I’ve worked on three games so far…

Still is a meditative game inspired by memories of childhood and my love for walking around vast public spaces at night when no one else is around. Starting in a forest and moving into a city, the player may choose to explore and seek out bits of written narrative. The game plays with perception, with its three sections evoking feelings of being first lost, then awed, and finally trapped. I created Still along with Li Zhi He and Winnie Song.

– Welcome, Inspector is more or less a digitally aided role-playing game for five players. Set in a (technically) fictional capitalist dystopia, four players are brought into the Bureau for Economic Assessment and Rehabilitation (B.E.A.R.) for questioning by the fifth player. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say it involves headphones and a program called the “Sonic Isolator”. The team included myself, Pierre Depaz, Andrew Goudreau, Li Zhi He, and Tuuli Saarinen.

– Spacebro Justice Rocket! is a rhythm combat game controlled by the High-5000, a custom-built controller that uses pressure plates and an Arduino to detect high fives, fist pounds, and elbow bumps. What more could you want? I worked on this with Anh Chi Bui, Nick Kornek, and Louis Sciannamblo. Special shout-out to Nick for assembling the High-5000.

The Critical Hit site has loads of great documentation, including interviews, game summaries, a blog, and tons of fantastic photos. The other games from the program have been as cool as mine if not cooler, so go check it out!



End of MFA 1st Year, Now To Montreal!

With the MFA end of year showcase at NYU on May 22nd, my amazing and exhausting first year of grad school finally ended. Though Chomp and Bandit Kings were present, I mostly manned Geneses, which got quite positive response. We’re planning on submitting that to a few festivals, so hopefully there’ll be some more announcements on that front within a couple months. Also, if you haven’t seen it already, the show and the program have been getting some pretty sweet coverage from publications like Kill Screen and the goddamn New York Times.

As for me, since the show I’ve been enjoying some much-needed rest, hanging out with cats, and catching up on games I’ve been meaning to play. On June 5th, however, I’ll be leaving NYC for…

Critical Hit! Until the middle of August, I’ll be jamming away at Concordia University in Montreal, making weird experimental artsy games or something. The program looks pretty great, and I’m damn excited to be heading up there (along with fellow MFA students Pierre Depaz and Winnie Song).

As for Nika, I’ve just contacted the publisher and learned that there was a slight delay, but the game should be arriving in your home in early August. I’ll be receiving a sample copy within a couple weeks – can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Lastly, the Studio Mercato projects are both making major steps forward. The Nika app shouldn’t be too far away from finished – we just need to add visual polish and possibly AI, then we’ll push it out the door. We added a major new class-switching feature to Crystal Brawl and are currently overhauling our level design process. Both Crystal Brawl and the board game version of Nika are being submitted to IndieCade, so I hope to have at least one reason to buy a ticket to California this October!

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