Wind Catcher Games

Games by Josh Raab

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!

Post-GDC Stretch

Hey all, long time no update… mostly I’ve just been banging away at my various grad school projects. I’m pretty excited about all of them and hope to have more to say about them soon, but here are some brief descriptions of my final projects…

Chomp: 2 players share a single controller, each manipulating one jaw of a fish as you swim through the ocean. When you see a good fish, try to chomp down on it by moving the jaws together at the same time. I’ve mostly worked on design, though I also wrote the main menu music. Zlata Barshteyn is the programmer and project lead, Trevin Hiebert is doing sound design, and Jenny Jiao Hsia is our artist. For Andy Nealen’s Minimalist Game Design class.

Chomp Screenshot 1

Bandit Kings (temporary name): A CCG ( collectible card game) where you swap cards permanently during play. Whatever cards you end the game with, you keep! When you create a deck, you customize your cards with names and pictures. You’ll use these bandits and treasures to battle opponents and snag their best cards. Each card has a “Glory” rating which is used to assess your deck’s prestige – the more Glory you have, the better you’re doing! Designed with Misha Favorov, Char George, Elyse Lemoine, and Maria Saint Martin for Eric Zimmerman’s Game Design 2.

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Geneses: An abstract real-time strategy game where your only resource is time. As a fledgling god at the end of a cosmic cycle, you strike out across the world to discover the Altars of the old gods, which house their sacred power. You build holy Beacons to spread your influence across the land, and you win by connecting the Altars you find back to your home base or “Genesis”, slowly adding their power to yours.

Geneses Screenshot 1

In other news, I received proofs of the materials for Nika and finalized the dimensions of the pieces. Aside from one minor issue, everything looked great and appears to be on schedule to ship in July. I also submitted Nika (as a board game) to IndieCade this year, so, fingers crossed!

Finally, I hope to know soon what my summer plans are. I’ll let you know when I know!

Josh

To GDC!

Today I head to San Francisco for GDC, where I’ll be volunteering for the second year in a row. If you’re there, you can see me in my “emergency cone orange” volunteer t-shirt. I had an absolute blast last year and this year should be even better.

My main conference goal (when not on duty) will be to find a summer job or internship at a game dev company outside of NYC. I’m also hoping to show off Nika and Crystal Brawl and spread the word about Studio Mercato, plus the general stuff like meeting new people, seeing old friends, and learning more about design.

If you, person from outside NYC who probably received a business card from me during the conference, might be interested in hiring me for the summer, drop me a line at joshr2121@gmail.com. As a quick reminder, I’m an MFA grad student in game design with plenty of design experience and some technical proficiency. At the very least, thanks for taking the time to remember me and check out my site!

On another note, here are two nice, quick reviews of Nika on Intel’s site and PopMatters. Cool!

Kickstarter Complete!

The Kickstarter campaign for Nika is over. The final reckoning:

532 backers
$14,401 raised

Amazing! To everyone who backed the campaign, thank you so much. To everyone else, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to purchase the game. We’re hoping to release the app version this summer as well, so keep an eye out for that too!

Josh

Nika Kickstarter: 2 Days Left!

The Kickstarter campaign for Nika has been going great.  We’ve surpassed 500 backers and raised well over $13k. There’s only 43 hours left in the campaign at the time of writing, so grab a copy while you can!

Help spread the word and we can make the $15k stretch goal. If things really go crazy on the last day like they did on the first, who knows – maybe we can get all the way to $20k!

Also, Emma Larkins did a great video interview about the game – check it out!

Nika Hits First Two Stretch Goals! (Also, play it at IndieCade East)

The Kickstarter campaign for Nika is going great! We hit our first and second stretch goals with ease, and now we’re eyeing the third, a very cool and very useful wooden turn marker. Check it out:

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If you’ve backed already, thank you so much! You are wonderful. If not, I guess we can still be friends.

Either way, if you want to help us reach those last couple stretch goals, please help spread the word! You know, on Facebook and Twitter and… Pinterest… LinkedIn? I dunno. Just talk to people on the internet, is what I’m saying. Or in person. Tell your friends, tell your acquaintances, tell the people.

If you’re in the NYC area, you can also come check out Nika and Crystal Brawl this very weekend at IndieCade East! It’s being held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens from Friday to Sunday! Along with the rest of Studio Mercato, I’ll be helping show Crystal Brawl on Saturday from 4-6 PM, and Nika on Sunday from 4-6 PM. IndieCade is also a legendary indie games institution (which is possible, apparently) and we’re super lucky that there’s an East version of it as of last year. It’s going to be cool. Hope to see you there!

Josh

Nika Funded, Almost to First Stretch Goal!

Great news: Nika reached its Kickstarter goal within about 27 hours! With 23 days to go as of right now, we’re pressing on to our stretch goals.

At $10k, we’ll add a strategy guide I’ve written.

At $15k, we’ll include a stylish wooden turn marker from Chris.

Best of all, at $20k, we’ll include an expansion pack with optional rules and new variants, including new art on stickers to be put on the backs of the pieces. They’re all pretty cool and I want you to have them, so please, help spread the word!

NIKA AVAILABLE ON KICKSTARTER

Friends! The day is at hand! You can finally purchase Nika for the mere pittance of $25 (including shipping) on Kickstarter!

Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2002188924/nika-a-game-inspired-by-ancient-greek-geography-an?ref=live

Thank you very much for your support!

Josh

…Or So

Today is of course Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means the folks at Kickstarter are probably not in the office to give final admin approval to the Nika page. Should be up tomorrow though!

Nika KS Jan 20th

Hey all – there’s been a short delay with the Nika Kickstarter, but it should be up and running on the 20th. Sorry to keep you waiting!

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