Posts in the News category

Greetings, Nano-Keepers!

Today, we’re going to talk about scratch tracks! For a majority of Nanokin’s lifespan, the tunes were intended to be done with an 8-bit NES VST, though we weren’t following rigid constraints. Over the course of development and as the game evolved in both scope and visual style, we eventually reasoned that the 8-bit tunes weren’t quite gonna cut it. However, this isn’t stopping us from composing some of our songs in that style and then updating them down the line!

We’ll be sharing a couple of scratch track samples today, it’s up to you guys to imagine what kind of wild adventures you’ll be going on to each different song! Furthermore, far down the road and sometime around release, we’ll be releasing all of these scratch tracks as a bonus, so you can hear how a majority of them initially came together!

Without further delay, enjoy a few scratch tune samples:
Sampler from the ol’ Tumblr-reno!

Until next time Nano-Keepers!

Hello once again, everyone!

Since a couple of weeks back, we’ve been hard at work playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild making tons of new Nanokin content for you all to enjoy in the future!

Today, however, we’re going to talk about something a little bit different but still relevant, streaming! A few of us at Anjin tend to set up shop maybe once or twice a week and give a little taste of what we’re working on for Nanokin, and one of us even streams a lot casually for fun, ideas, and to have a great time. So stop in sometime and get to know us!

First up is Jacob AKA MegaUltraJMan. As our in house lead animator on character art and co-animator on Nanokin monster design, Jacob tends to set up and stream pixel sessions every once a week or so, sometimes more if he’s not being too secretive! When he’s not, he’s studying and enjoying games, anything from retro classics dating back to the NES, MSX, Genesis, all the way up to the latest hits for PC, PS4, Switch, and more! So tune in for the art, stay for the conversation and great games!

You can catch Jacob streaming at https://www.twitch.tv/megaultrajman throughout the week! While he has no set schedule, he tends to stream every few days.

Next up is our resident maestro of music, the master of management, and the founder of Studio Anjin itself, Kyle! While Kyle delves into quite literally every piece of Nanokin including art, map making, character design, writing, and more, you’ll primarily catch him toiling away on stream making music. In rare instances, he might be playing some really bizarre off the wall games, as he’s always had an interest in the strange and the quirky above all else, looking for the most far out ideas and designs for inspiration. Every now and again, you might catch him collaborating with Jacob to co-compose some sweet monster jams!

You can catch Kyle streaming at https://www.twitch.tv/neonlare occasionally! He doesn’t pop out of his dev hole month, it’s kind of like waiting for a groundhog on Groundhog’s Day, but it’s always worth the wait!

Lastly, one of our Nanokin code warriors and one of the dudes making sure everything doesn’t break into a billion pieces is Nicolas! This mysterious warrior in the shadows frequently alternates between streaming strings of code and carefully planning out speedruns and tool-assisted speedruns, also making him an excellent candidate for testing and making sure things don’t break! He has a high appreciation for the PS1 era of classic games and also dabbles in art as well on his own time, drawing all sorts of odd caricatures with a strange and distinct style.

You can catch Nicolas streaming at https://www.twitch.tv/oxysofts occasionally as well!

Most importantly, while not everyone on our dev team streams, they’re just as important and if you’d like to know a little more about them or follow them on twitter, please head over to our About Us page! It’s slightly under construction at this moment, but we’re working on it slowly but surely!

Until next time Nano-keepers!

Greetings everybody!

Kept you waiting, huh?

Fortunately, we didn’t arrive empty handed! This week we want to talk to you about the state of Nanokin and how it’s evolved over the last year of development on it. While we aren’t keen to show a lot yet, let’s take a look back on the characters in their initial iteration, and in their final, current iterations.

Nas old:

 

Nas new:

Jatz old:

Jatz new:

Serio old:

Serio new:

As you can see, we initially built the game upon the premise that everything would be isometric, fitting to a smaller resolution. This allowed us to create smaller sprites in a quicker manner for prototyping the game via Game Maker Studio, furthermore it made for quick, easy creation of sprites in a timely fashion.

Things have definitely changed since then! As our hopes and dreams for this game increased in scope, so did the resolution and the care and craft that’s being put into each and every character. While the information regarding all those juicy details is being reserved for a later post, we can say that Game Maker Studio has been abandoned in favor of creating the game in Unity. Gone are the 2-directional isometric sprites of 2016, and here to stay are the 8-directional sprites of 2017!

We’re extremely excited to take this new step forward, and while it’s been in the making for a while the gears are officially turning and Nanokin is making tremendous strides. We’ve also settled on a final style for the game’s music, and at least 90% of how the game will be playing on both the overworld, and in battle.

Keep your peepers glued, because we have even more to share in the following weeks!

Until next time Nano-keepers!

While all’s been quiet, it’s only been quiet here. 

That might sound odd, but we’ve actually been pushing our focus forward on social media outlets, and even starting up an official blog for our upcoming project, Nanokin, at: http://nanokinofficial.tumblr.com/

What is Nanokin then? In short, all the answers can be found at the blog above! In short but…slightly longer, it’s an RPG adventure set in a theme park where collecting limbs and making a Mr. Potatohead monstrosity is totally encouraged! Nanokin has you creating, and battling your own monsters in a turn-based setting using an ATB system, not only that, you’ll have to solve a mystery that’s causing Nanokin to go totally wild! Players will take control of Nas, Jatz, and Serio, three youths to solve these mysteries and just maybe become the best Nano-Keepers!

We’re going to be overhauling the pages a bit for better organization, as well as adding a page for Nanokin, and an officially and unofficially announced other project! There’s not enough there to show, or talk about quite yet but rest assured we’ll update when we’re good and ready to show you all the juicy details.

It may seem as if we’re being tight lipped and mum on a lot of things, but rest assured it’ll all be worth the wait and we’ll keep you all updated as details emerge. Plus, we’ll be keeping you updated on Nanokin rumblings here as well!

Truth be told, we’ve been spending far too long waiting to show you guys games in motion, and the honest truth is sometimes it takes longer than anticipated causing us to outright neglect this site. We felt if we had nothing to show you, it wasn’t worth posting which is not true at all. The goal here on out is at the VERY LEAST to update you guys once a month. Though we’re truthfully shooting for at least once every week or two.

It wasn’t fair to you guys to keep you in the dark for 6 months, and we’ll be doing our best to be a bit more transparent about the development process as time goes on. Thank you guys for understanding, and look forward to more in the future!

Seasonal greetings everyone!

It’s been a long year, and we mean a LONG year for everyone at Anjin. We’ve faced loss, loads of stress, and a lot of wandering around in the dark on things, but we have never once stopped doing what we love!

We’re massively due for an update, and that’s just what we’re gonna do! So, first off, we’d like to welcome aboard Emil Lindgren. Emil picked up a pretty huge workload upon his entrance and has proven himself quite adaptable in our work environment, whether it’s code warrioring or helping on various artistic pieces and ideas for Abysian, he’s been a great help!

Let’s flash back a handful of months as well before moving forward. During Ludum Dare 32, our own Kyle Riley made a sweet little game titled Saber Disk! It’s pretty darn 80s and a blast to play, harkening back to the era of big frizzy hair and mega dumb mullets! For those wanting to give the game a spin, it can be downloaded from our freeware page as well as the Ludum Dare forum itself at – http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=1913

The next handful of months are a blur, to the point we missed announcing and even posting about our first large scale project, titled Abysian. While we don’t have a massive gob of information to share, we can say the game is a bio-punk dungeon crawling game, featuring combat akin to both Shin Megami Tensei and Punch-Out!! merged together. The game will feature many customizeable limbs, stats, and a sprawling game world with unique and mysterious characters to interact with. If that sounds awesome to you, we also cooked up a dev log a few months ago that you can view with your optics over here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfi83RI5psg

Did we mention we’re not even done yet? We also participated in Ludum Dare 34! While our resident code overlord, Chris, sadly couldn’t find time to participate, the rest of us cooked up a Commodore 64 inspired shmup titled Parascythe X! In just 72 hours we managed to build a 5 stage game, they may not be the longest stages but it feels meaty! The game features an upgrade system akin to Gradius with a bit of a twist, instead of knocking powerups out of enemies, you spend your score to become stronger! We’re all quite proud of being able to pull this off in the short frame given, and we’re especially proud of Emil. This was Emil’s first released game project to our knowledge, and he handled the work load like a champion, without him we would not have been able to finish on time, or at all potentially! Now, with all that hubub out of the way, you guys are free to check out the game at our freeware page, and vote at the Ludum Dare 34 competition page here – http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-34/?action=preview&uid=1913

We’d normally say “Whelp, that’s a wrap up!” but we’re still not done, folks. We’ve been hiding a deep secret from you all that we’d like to announce today, along with an impending Greenlight campaign to throw Abysian onto Steam, we are planning to Greenlight The Midnight Station. There is a catch, however, this isn’t the same Midnight Station everybody wandered through last year, we’re proud to officially announce that patch version 1.6 for The Midnight Station is officially titled The Midnight Station: Interstice! We’ve spent many tireless nights working to improve the original in almost every conceivable way, and managed to increase the game’s size to such a point that we’re going to be Greenlighting it as a full blown remake. The new feature list is pretty huge, and we’re being pretty mum about a lot of it, but I would like to list a few nifty ones for returning players and newcomers alike!

First off – We’re adding in the ability to either swap palettes or potentially including a new graphical mode akin to the MSX home computer system, or something similar to an 8 bit system like the NES. These options are still in the air for us, originally we had planned to do something WAY CRAZIER that we might show off down the line, but we simply did not have the time, nor the resources to pull something so grandiose off. Ambition got the better of us, and it honestly is what caused us to shelf Interstice for quite some time, however, we know what to do now and as a result we may revisit the art style and techniques we were employing on Interstice for a future project that fits a bit more under our scope rather than mutating beyond anything we could imagine.

Secondly – Redbook CD Audio, or at least that’s what we’re calling it a tribute to. For the people that suffered headaches from the binaural scratchiness of the original OST, we’re offering a totally remixed soundtrack featuring high quality, fully composed tracks with zero bitcrushing, zero scratchiness, and huge, full sound. Imagine the difference between say, the original Final Fantasy 1’s music VS Final Fantasy Anniversary’s music, or Ys for the PC88 VS Ys Chronicles for the PSP and PC. The difference in quality is collosal, and we hope it’ll invite a host of new players to try our game in a less nightmare inducing environment (only slightly less though!)

The rest of the new features we have to remain silent about, but know the game’s size has increased quite exponentially. We could’ve never imagined our tiny little speccyjam game becoming such a huge beast, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to everyone who’s been patient, even while we’ve been hidden away within the deepest depths of The Midnight Station and the darkest corners of Abysian for the last year without a single word. We’ll be sure to keep in touch more, but for now we digress, the sweet madness of The Architecture is calling out to us and we must answer! Until next time everyone!

Earlier this evening, our game, The Midnight Station was the focus of an article by Chris Person over on Kotaku and we have been completely overwhelmed by the sheer positive response we’ve had.

Thank-you, truly, for taking the time out to try our game and further still, for enjoying it enough to share it!

Being compared to Shin Megami Tensei and Earthbound is beyond humbling and more than a little flattering.  Each of us poured countless hours into making this game and we can only hope that our future projects receive such high praise.

If you’re reading this and checking out the game for the first time, all we have to say is that we hope you find it as unsettling as Chris did.

Happy Halloween!

– The Studio Anjin Team

So the Midnight Station has released and it’s had one hell of a reception. Most people who have played the game seem to be enjoying it immensely as much as they have been disturbed and sometimes terrified by the setting and theme and all that kind of abstract surrealist horror that we crammed into the game. This post is delving into a few things, so I’ll get started pretty quick.

FIRST THING FIRST: VERSION 1.3
Sadly we got some bad news with this version. Due to an issue with duplicate items (which aren’t good mind you, they crash the game out) the fix for this data overflow has resulted in older saves not being able to load with this new build. Your old saves are still on your machine and can be loaded perfectly fine with the older builds and shouldn’t cause too many issues but if you’re not too far in or you want to grab all the additional funcionality / bug fixes within 1.3 I’d strongly recommend updating to 1.3. The download links for dropbox (and soon Google Docs) have been updated to this build and we’ll be basing the Linux and Mac versions on this one as well. Stay tuned if you’re a Mac/Linux user, it’s coming! We’re sorry for the inconvenience this has caused but trust us, we wouldn’t want you keep you guys hanging with some of these bugs that crept through the floorboards during testing. Happy gaming guys, keep on rocking on and updating the Wiki page, theory crafting and TVtroping, it’s crazy to see so many people dig the game and want more. We’ll have to deliver in the future!

BTW, if you’re still lost with where to download the game, you can find the download links here at http://studio-anjin.co.uk/the-midnight-station/

If you’re using Chrome, go to View All Downloads, and then click on “Hurt Me Plenty” to allow the download for the game for the first few days of this release, because Chrome has to check the files first to see if it’s Spyware free (It is, don’t worry!). You can also grab it fine through IE or Firefox and we will also be posting it up on Google Docs too with an updated link when we get that stuff sorted out. Thanks!

 

SECOND THING: THE OST IS UNLEASHED!
That’s right! We’ve also got the OST released, up and ready for The Midnight Station, so if you wanna show us some love and grab the OST, maybe even donate a little towards it (It’s free, pay what you want so don’t worry about a pay wall with that) We got a lot of requests for the OST to be released so we got the album all uploaded and ready for any and everyone who’s interested. You can grab it here at https://curoi.bandcamp.com/album/the-midnight-station-official-soundtrack, Enjoy!

 

ONE FINAL THING: On Game of Throne
OK, so we’ve done a lot of thinking about Game of Throne recently, the project, the writing and the scope of it. We’re pretty in agreement that although the game is pretty fun in terms of some of the mechanics and elements to it, it needs a fair bit more time on the drawing board in order to get it up to par with what we really want to achieve with it. This comes from a lot of looking in at the game and double-checking with others around us to nail down elements which we could improve and other things that detracted from the game such as the strange mish-mash of bizarro internet culture humour with more book/series related gags and jokes. We honestly want the entire thing to be goofy and a laugh, we don’t want it overstaying its welcome or being a weird case of “I got that joke/I didn’t get that” because at the end of the day just cramming anything and everything in is going to lead to project bloat and an overall confused experience. The final product is most likely going to be a short romp through some satirical commentary of the series specifically rather than delving beyond into more memetic references and general jabs at internet culture. It’s not to say that it isn’t funny it’s more along the lines of hitting the mark and focusing on what makes Game of Thrones Game of Thrones and what makes a fun game fun. Take it from us this game will get done we’re pretty damn determined on that but it needs more time.

And so you have it, that’s our update so far on things and the inner workings at Anjin. There’s actually a few other things we’re also working up a storm but we’ll keep those a surprise until later ;). Take care folks and have fun with whatever you’re doing out there. We’ll always be waiting here at The Midnight Station. Cheers!

WHAT. WHAT. AN UPDATE?

 EDIT: NATURALLY, there was a crippling bug with the release. BUT IT’S FIXED NOW. HUZZAH. Just redownload the files and play! Your saves are fine, don’t worry about a thing! Just REDOWNLOAD it from the same link and you’re golden!

You can hold the presses and your twitter accounts chaps, we’re not dead. We’ve merely been deving. My god, we’ve been deving. There’s a lot of questions I oughta answer, but first, lets get a drum-roll folks, for something big and wicked comes this-a-way and we’re all incredibly excited for it.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I PRESENT TO YOU…

 

The Midnight Station

 http://studio-anjin.co.uk/the-midnight-station/

Indeed, this is one of the first true group projects from us at Anjin (A lot of other projects were just myself or another involved from a beta-testing standpoint). We’re super amped, super excited and super thrilled to get this off the ground and flying. It’s only a few minutes till the page opens it’s doors and unleashes the download build for the game for all to play (no doubt with bugs that may have slipped through the cracks). We’ve been testing, tweaking, retesting and implementing as much as possible for the game, and by jove it’s been a hell of a ride. It’s a strange kind of feeling, sitting here typing this all up to preface the release of a game that was initially for SpeccyJam2 but became something of a one month project. We’re posting it as a post-jam submission, but the game is big. It’ll take around 6 to 8, maybe more hours to cover all the content, secrets not included, and it’ll hopefully be the trippiest action RPG you play this side of the internet. There’s really not a good way to describe it other than it being shaped like itself. Well, The Midnight Station is kind of like The Midnight Station! You have to play it to understand what I mean.

Oh, and if you have any weird issues with Chrome saying it’s Malware? Ignore them. The file’s 100% clean, I scanned it myself. It’s because of how Chrome handles new links online and dropbox. It’s clean!

 

Beyond all this, lets get to a quick roundup of recent questions!

 

So The Midnight Station just got released. How do I download it?

The answer my friend is as simple as it looks.  You can grab it from here at http://studio-anjin.co.uk/the-midnight-station/ by clicking on the download button in the HTML5 page. I’ll also be throwing up a normal HTML page soon with other version included (we’re getting this out for Mac and Linux eventually! Just hold steady folks).

Download Links

Windows Version:

Direct Download: Grab the zip!

Struggling to download? Save us some bandwidth and use one of these mirrors:

MediaFire: Grab the zip! Don’t forget to read the manual!

 

Okay, so what about Getsuyaiba Gaiden/Densetsu?

If this Jam, the previous Jam, and just, game development as a whole goes, there’s one thing that’s certain; it takes a long, LONG time to make games. Getsuyaiba was initially conceived as an entry for Insanity Jam 2 but grew far beyond the kind of scope capable for a Jam, and the same goes for The Midnight Station. What was considered to be a week long game took around a month, but it’s a large and fleshed out world that wouldn’t have been possible with the time limit, we wanted to take the theme and run with it. All the way.

Getsuyaiba is basically the same thing, except we want to do that the full nine yards. Getsuyaiba’s getting a graphical upgrade, we’re shifting from the NES era to something much more akin to say Valkyrie Profile in terms of presentation and audio. If anyone out there is in touch with William Kage or other Soundfont guys, we could really use a Valkyrie Profile soundfont or anything Motoi as all hell for organs solos and swelling choirs! In all seriousness though, Getsuyaiba’s been moved to “when we get it done”. It’s certainly being worked on, that’s for sure, but what you’ll see when we get to posting it around should excite you immensely. Basically, if you took the elements of Gradius, threw them into an explorative style set of dungeons ala Castlevania: SotN with splashings of Final Fantasy, Dragon Ball Z and Wuxia martial arts films, that is Getsuyaiba in a nutshell. For the future, yes, but sooner than you may think!

Well, what about Game of Throne(s)?

Aah, a good question with a good answer! This basically boils down to the same thing stated above; games take time. We’ve been working on Game of Throne for a bit and the demo shown at SGDQ was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the content being thrown into it. We’ve got a lot of gameplay elements that we can’t show off because of obvious reasons, but we’re trying our hardest to pump the game out before it becomes culturally irrelevant. Naturally it’s a game to promote charity and donating to AGDQ, SGDQ and other such gaming events, so we want to make it fun to watch as well as play. A lot of humour is tongue in cheek, not all of it is referential to Game of Thrones (but it helps!) and as a not-for-profit kind of thing we want to make sure we don’t rush out demos and versions and just end up with something that isn’t fun or funny. We’ve been talking about making the game revolve more around Dinklage’s Wild Adventures but that’s all up in the air, what is happening is that the game WILL get a demo release sometime very soon in the near future, just not in September (sorry folks. It’s already been and gone!). After the first demo comes out we’ll be focusing on finishing the game so everyone has something to look forward to when the series kicks off again, be it accurate to the novels or not (it totally isn’t.)

What can we expect from folks now in the future?

Game of Throne is probably the most immediate thing coming forth unless I get obsessive over another Jam and drag everyone through hell and back to finish it. Beyond Game of Throne there is -another- project which is super secret and super confidential that we can’t talk about, but trust us, when you see it revealed, minds -will- be blown. Completely and absolutely. There’s also Barkley 2, which I’m programming up a storm on after recovering from TGS (which was amazing, shout outs to all the developers I got to see there and to Liam Raum for making it all possible! (If you’re not in the know, he’s the guy who runs Tales of Game’s). It’s a lot of plate spinning, a lot of juggling, but that ain’t stopping us now!

 

That’s enough from me, 10 minutes stand between everyone and the Midnight Station. Chaps, let’s raise our glasses to many, MANY more games to come, we’ve all crunched hard and long for this, we really hope you enjoy it! Until next time chaps ;).

 

 

CRUNCH. CRUNCH. CRUNCH.

We’ve been crunching, oh boy we’ve been crunching.

Insanity Jam has ended and a whole host of great games have been posted up, all experimenting and testing out some really, REALLY bizarro ideas. They’re all awesome, and they all deserve playing, Alamantus has done a great job organizing the event and voting is going down, so you should definitely check these games out here!

But what’s this Getsuyaiba Densetsu? What’s this thing here? Postponed? Why? What reason?

Well, in a nutshell, we wanted to do the game justice. The game has grown from a basic but ambitious Shmup-RPG Hybrid entry for Insanity Jam 2 to a game that has enough character and charm to honestly deserve a longer development cycle. The game’s always been ambitious we wouldn’t be indie devs if we didn’t try flying close to the sun but with how much progress has been made and how close we are to the finishing line on this project we want to make sure that the entire world of this game gets the treatment it deserves.

So we’re spending a good 10 extra days polishing up, tweaking, adjusting, all that good stuff to make sure the game comes out as good as we can possibly make it. We’re pretty damn excited about getting it out, getting folks all over the net playing it and enjoying the quirky kind of humour and plot that’s going down at the moment with it and we’ll be posting it up shortly on the site, so keep your eyes peeled!

Check the forum post over here at http://insanityjam.com/2/viewtopic.php?id=13 . Give us some love on the posts and check us out on development streams here at http://www.twitch.tv/studioanjin/! We’ll be seeing you 😉

 

Beyond this there’s obviously Game of Throne (just the one). We’re still working up a storm on this parody of the hit tv series and we’ll also be updating the demo shortly. The current alpha demo is still up for play, but we’ll be slamming in more content, more gameplay and more polish on the entire deal shortly.

 

Aaand if you haven’t checked it out, we also added ourselves a nanogame on android! Check it out, share it with your friends, like and try to aim for a high score if you can, it does help! :D. You can grab it here at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StudioAnjin.Flicker_Frog

And that’s it! We’ll be seeing you folks soon, stay frosty ;).

We, at Studio Anjin, take our work very seriously. We often spend hours upon hours deep in thought, scratching our heads and ironing out issues as well as tossing ideas back and forth fiercely at eachother to produce the best products that we can. I felt it necessary to post a bit of a taste of this process, so that you can all share in the fun, excitement, and hard work that goes into producing a game.

importantdevwork

Clearly, our overlord Kyle is delivering to us the most important information while we all slave away on super secret dialogue! In all seriousness, we’re hard at work plugging away on sound works for Project Nihilum and as always super busy on all fronts of Game of Throne. In fact, here’s a small preview of an upcoming boss I’ve  been working on to whet your appetites!

marspreviewmarspreview5marspreview6

Yes, those are all pieces of something MUCH larger, but you’ll just have to wait and see the rest in game. Stay cool and sit tight, though summer is upon us… winter is coming.

– Jacob “UltraJMan” Ritz