Year Four: right now.

by Mike
Mon, July 2, 2012 -- 4:24 EDT

Incredibly:

Final Form Games is 3 years old today!

final form guys

And, for those of you who’ve been wondering: we are still at it. As we prepare to move to a new office, we’re happy to announce that we are in the very first, super-early, gestational and unpredictable stages of planning for our second game. Game 2! It’s an exciting time.

That said, Game 2 (codename: A Zound of Zanzibars) is going to be a bit of a mystery for a while. We’ll be quite busy performing our experiments and throwing everything away several times and going on spirit journeys and meditating under waterfalls and so forth.

But the day’s gonna come. We’ll keep you posted.

***

Likely To Be Asked Questions (LTBAQ):
What is Game 2 going to be?
We honestly don’t know yet. It’s still very, very early in development. But it’ll be super cool!

Will it be a sequel to Jamestown?
That’s looking unlikely. We have several other ideas we’re pretty excited about. But as always, we reserve the right to change our minds at any time, and for any reason. Because the universe reserves the right to throw unpredictable randomness into our path constantly, our acceptance of ambiguity has worked out strangely well for us so far.

Will it be a shmup?
We love shmups dearly, but are looking forward to trying something different for our next project. However: see above regarding our right to change our minds.

Surely you know something specific?
Nothing we’d be comfortable going on record with yet. We appreciate your patience!

What’s a “Zanzibar”?
What? Hmm…

When will it come out?
Oh, come now. :P

***

So yes. Game 2 (new codename: Captain Jameson’s Pinata Disaster) is coming. It may not be coming soon, but it’s coming soon enough. Hit the follow/subscribe buttons to make sure you know the moment that “soon enough” becomes “right now”, and we’ll see you then!


Help stop the SOPA & PIPA crazy-train!

by Mike
Wed, January 18, 2012 -- 20:11 EST

We interrupt this game development blog with an uncharacteristically political announcement:

SOPA and PIPA are two dubiously-named and appallingly-written bills that various corporations in the U.S. would like very much to see signed into law. While they purport to aim at stopping online piracy, the vague and poorly-considered language in these bills would actually be far more effective towards the goal of stifling expression and innovation on the internet at large.

Wikipedia has a nice write-up here that should get you up to speed.

As a struggling start-up game company that relies entirely on the digital sale of our content to make a living, Final Form knows the impact of online piracy better than most of these bills’ authors. Our first (and so far, only) game Jamestown has been downloaded illegally countless times, so please believe that we understand that piracy can make life hard for creative industries.

However: even though we think the bulk of online piracy is categorically lame, the SOPA and PIPA bills are not going to do anything useful to solve this problem. Moreover, we would never trade in the internet’s freedom of speech in exchange for what they seek to accomplish. Someday, there may indeed be legislation that takes a responsible and technically-informed run at creating enforceable intellectual property protections online, but today is not that day. What we need is a scalpel, and what we’re getting from our government is a diesel backhoe.

So if you’re interested in supporting the continued existence of the open, secure, and free Internet that you’re reading this on right now, please join us in the fight to stop these bills from being signed into law.


Well, that happened.

by Mike
Tue, January 10, 2012 -- 5:56 EST

And so it ends…

Today marks our first full-team workday back in the office since the Holiday Juggernaut Of Savings started to drive its promotional deep-discount drillbit through the month of December. Thanks to its tireless efforts, we have emerged here in 2012 with a few updates to share:

  • We were fortunate enough to participate in the most successful Humble Indie Bundle to date! In addition to being very good for a deserving charity or two, the bundle’s sales also made a real difference for several indie studios (including us!). Thanks for your support, Humble Bundlers!
  • Also fortunate: our participation in Steam’s Holiday Sale, complete with special gift pile achievement and a daily deal on Christmas Eve! We thank you also, Steam cheeve-sploiters! ;)
  • Jamestown (and its DLC) is now available on PC, Mac, AND Linux! Thanks for waiting, you bosom friends from distant shores!
  • Main effect of being involved in those promotions: lots of new users! Welcome! Thank you!
  • Side effect of all those new users: lots of new bugs! Dang it!

As you might expect, we’re about to embark on Jamestown BugBash 2012: The Bashening. In the coming weeks, we’ll do our best to address as many of the known issues as we can. We hope to patch soon on all platforms, and will let you know (where you = the internet at large) as soon as the first batch of fixes goes hot. For your patience, know that you have our thanks.

BONUS NEWS:

  • We’d like to introduce our very first official programming intern, the extremely talented and also-still-in-high-school Drew Wallace! He’ll be working with us for the month of January, and by “working with us,” of course I mean “hurtling at breakneck speeds through a terrifyingly dense and complicated game-programming boot-camp/obstacle-course/torture-chamber of Tim’s devilish design.” Nevertheless, we have high hopes that his dishwashing skills will soon rival our own. Programming! Programming skills! Did I say dishwashing?
  • Displaying what can only be described as sound judgement (PUN 2X!), indie-darling-to-be Tom Francis has selected a trio of musicians for his upcoming master-spy-meets-malevolent-electrician espionage game Gunpoint, and our very own Francisco Cerda is among them! Well done, Francisco! We are now even more excited about this game than we already were!

FINALLY:

This is just to say, to all our players, contributors, reviewers, distributors, friends, and most of all our families: thank you for your support. The possibilities of 2012 seem to stretch out towards the horizon in all directions, and we can’t wait to pick a heading and start putting more miles on this company’s tires.

We’re glad to be with you, friends of Final Form, here at the beginning of the next thing.

Sincerely,
Mike, Tim, and Hal


You may also want THIS.

by Mike
Tue, December 20, 2011 -- 1:57 EST

Ever wish you could wear your Jamestown fandom on a snazzy new dress shirt?  If so, we have some very good news.  And for those of you whose absolute favorite ship in Jamestown is the charge ball?  Man oh man are you in for a treat:

Detail

Yes, folks: offical Jamestown merchandise, suitable for the workplace or distinctively-attired night-on-the-town, is now available!  Okay, maybe not suitable for all workplaces.  A government job might be a reach.  Or, like, an oil rig.  But you get the idea: PRETTY DARN CLASSY.

Detail2

The nice folks and avowed Jamestown fans over at sinn d’signed have taken a unique approach to game fashion with their new player_1 line of garments, where (to crib shamelessly from their own words on the subject) “the spirit of each game is celebrated in a sophisticated and fashionable way.”  They’ve already released a neato Space Pirates And Zombies shirt in a similar style, their Jamestown shirt just dropped, and they have a few others in the pipeline.  Follow ‘em on twitter to get in that loop!

I’m not going to promise that this news comes just in time for the holidays, but it certainly might if you act fast!  Consign yourself to the Gifting Hall Of Fame with that special gamer in your life!



And remember: THAT SPECIAL GAMER MIGHT EVEN BE YOU.


You want this.

by Mike
Wed, December 14, 2011 -- 0:45 EST


HIB4_logo



Humble Indie Bundle 4 is available as of today, and even if we weren’t in it (which we totes are), we would still immediately categorize it as a Dreadnought-Class Über-Bundle, Mark 4.  LOOK AT ALL THIS HEAT IT’S PACKING:

———————————————

Jamestown

(awwww yeah first on the list cuz this is our blog)

The Jamestown Original Soundtrack

(not a game, but putting it on this list anyway cuz damn, y’all)

Super Meat Boy

Bit.Trip Runner

Shank

NightSky HD

Plus, all you gotta do is beat the average to throw these bad boys on the pile:

Gratuitous Space Battles

Cave Story +

———————————————

Not only is this bundle to be feared and respected, but also purchased at whatever price you think is fair for 5-7 seriously excellent games, plus a little sugar for a few of our fave charities (Child’s Play and the American Red Cross).

Of course, all these games are DRM-free, and all of them will run on PC, Mac, and Linux.  So yes, those of you who are sensitive to context clues are absolutely right: Jamestown is now available for the Mac and Linux!

HIB4_lineup2

We are thrilled to be keeping such amazing company in this bundle (SRSLY HOW RAD IS THAT LINEUP?!?!) and we hope you find it to be exciting as well.

Now.  If you are reading this on the same day that we posted it, you have just fourteen days to convert this information into a fun-filled holiday for you and yours.  Don’t kid yourself: a train this fast and sexy isn’t going to come back into the station for a good long while, SO GET IN HERE! :D


CON-QUIS-TA-DOO-OOOR!

by Mike
Tue, November 15, 2011 -- 1:09 EST
It’s been a busy week.  Briefly:
We have released our very first DLC! Jamestown: Gunpowder, Treason, & Plot is now available at Steam for just 2 bucks, but it’ll go back up to 3 in a few days, so get while the gettin’s good!
It features three new ships and their historically-semi-accurate pilots, which are discussed and characterized at length here.  There is also a mysterious fourth bonus ship!
And that’s all very cool.  But the big news I wanted to share today is something that’s been cooking over here at Final Form HQ for even longer than the DLC has: THE JAMESTOWN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK IS UP ON BANDCAMP, Y’ALL!
Virtuosic composer Francisco Cerda (who composed the bombastic, fully-orchestrated score for the original game) has been hard at work putting together this soundtrack. It features extended and remastered versions of several favorite tracks (including the 9-minute long “Lost Temple of Croatoa Suite,” which simply must be heard to be believed), in addition to a special bonus track – the game’s main theme revisited for solo piano, performed by Francisco himself.
For those of you who are curious about Francisco’s process and inspirations, he gave an extensive interview with www.3dgames.com.ar right after the original release.  It’s full of anecdotes and insights into how the Jamestown score came to life, and you can read it right after the jump:
The Jamestown OST is available now for $4.99 on Bandcamp and Steam.

Hello there! It’s been a busy week. Briefly:

We have released our very first DLC! Jamestown: Gunpowder, Treason, & Plot is now available at Steam for just 2 bucks, but it’ll go back up to 3 in a few days, so get while the gettin’s good!

It features three new ships and their historically-semi-accurate pilots, which are discussed and characterized (at length) here.  There is also a mysterious fourth bonus ship!

And that’s all very cool.  But the big news I wanted to share today is something that’s been cooking over here at Final Form HQ for even longer than the DLC has:

THE JAMESTOWN SOUNDTRACK IS UP ON BANDCAMP, Y’ALL!

cover

Classy!

Our virtuosic composer Francisco Cerda (who composed the bombastic, fully-orchestrated score for the original game) has been hard at work putting together this soundtrack.

It features extended and remastered versions of several favorite tracks (including the 9-minute long “Lost Temple of Croatoa Suite” which simply must be heard to be believed), in addition to a special bonus track – the game’s main theme revisited for solo piano, performed by Francisco himself.

For those of you who are curious about Francisco’s process and inspirations, he gave an extensive interview with www.3dgames.com.ar right after the game’s original release.  It’s full of anecdotes and insights into how the Jamestown score came to life, and you can read it right after the jump:


Read more…


(Untitled)

by Tim
Sun, November 6, 2011 -- 0:29 EDT

Remember, remember, the 10th of November…

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

http://jamestowngame.com/treason


The PAX 10?!?! Come on out, Ashton Kutcher!

by Mike
Sat, July 9, 2011 -- 0:13 EDT

I think I speak for the entire team here at Final Form Games when I say: ZOMGPAX10BBQ!!!11!

I could spend some time writing about the emotional rollercoaster of getting to this moment. Fact is, I want to. I think it’s a pretty good story.

However, as the stalwart long-time True Fan readers of this blog know, we do tend to get a bit extemporaneous and long-winded when we’re reminiscing. Never fear! Today’s post is going to break that tradition and cut right down to the chase! IN EMPHASIZED CAPS!

——(the chase follows)——
pax10_photo

JAMESTOWN IS GOING TO BE AT PAX PRIME THIS YEAR, AS ONE OF THE PAX 10.

YES, THAT PAX 10.

WE KNOW. SOMETIMES, THE WORLD IS SO CRAZY THAT IT JUST MIGHT AWESOME.

FINAL FORM GAMES WILL BE ROLLING TO SEATTLE, AND WE WILL BE ROLLING DEEP! IN ADDITION TO THE CORE TEAM OF THREE PHILADELPHIANS, WE WILL BE JOINED BY “THE FOURTH MAN,” OUR INESTIMABLY TALENTED AND CHILEAN COMPOSER FRANCISCO CERDA.

IF YOU SEEK OUT OUR BOOTH FOR THE TWIN PURPOSES OF PLAYING JAMESTOWN AND/OR WORSHIPING AT FRANCISCO’S FEET, YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR QUEST.

AT TIMES, YOU MAY HAVE TO WORSHIP FRANCISCO IN THE PAX JAMSPACE, WHERE HE WILL BE PERFORMING SELECTIONS FROM JAMESTOWN’S SCORE LIVE IN CONCERT.

FINALLY: EVERY ONE OF THE PAX 10 GAMES THAT WE’VE ACTUALLY PLAYED IS COURAGEOUS AND FUN. WE SEE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THE OTHERS WILL BE ANY DIFFERENT. WE WILL BE HONORED TO STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THEM, IN THE AUGUST HALLS OF GAMEHALLA.

pax1

The Gamehalla we're referring to.

So: come say hi! Bring your friends!  We can’t wait!  For some of you, this will be your first chance to experience the blistering funsplosion that is 4-player co-op! For others, this will be your first time playing the game at all! To be present for either of those moments would be a true honor for us, so don’t hold back! Exclamation point!

We’ll post updates as our PAX plans solidify. For now, the weather forecast for Seattle says to prepare for rain…

…A RAIN OF COUNTLESS PINK AND BLUE PIXEL BULLETS LOLKPLZBYE!!!1!


Jamestown Has Been Unleashed!

by Mike
Thu, June 16, 2011 -- 9:12 EDT

On this very date in 1607, after a month of extremely hard labor, 104 exhausted settlers finished constructing the first fort at Jamestown (the colony):

Looked something like this.  Unclear if giant statue of Powhatan is to scale.

Looked something like this. Unclear if giant statue of Powhatan is to scale.

Jamestown (the game) took almost two years to build with a core staff of just 3 people, so… this analogy could use some work. STILL! We felt that this would be an appropriate day to take a quick break from our post-release duties and shout the following message from the rooftops:

JAMESTOWN: LEGEND OF THE LOST COLONY HAS BEEN RELEASED INTO THE WILD!!!
:D :D :D

Steam put us on their front page for four glorious days.  Right next to Duke Nukem Forever.  It's... absurd.  And awesome!

Steam put us on their front page for four glorious days. Right next to Duke Nukem Forever. How crazy is that? HOW AWESOME?!?

Not only is the game out, but people have been playing it and writing what they think about it! On the internet! Here’s a sampling from the first batch of reviews (emphasis ours):

“As for the game proper, it’s just a class act. The range of enemies, the design of them, the placing of them, the way they burst in a shower of nuts and bolts that you’ll want to collect, the way the guns feel, the music, the pacing, it’s all fabulous.” – Rock, Paper, Shotgun

break2a

“The environments, the enemies, the troops fighting in the background – every single graphical element of this game is absolutely stunning, to such degree that even those who don’t care for pixel art are sure to be pleased with how Jamestown looks. Every inch of the screen suggests lovingly handcrafted and passionate art, and soaring through it all was a joy.” – Bits ‘n Bytes Gaming

break2b

“…one thing’s for sure: if you had told me that Jamestown was Final Form’s first title, I wouldn’t have believed it. … Accompanying the stellar design are a stellar soundtrack and sound effects. The music in Jamestown is indistinguishable from a big-budget epic soundtrack, and the game’s sounds are an excellent mixture of retro and modern shoot ‘em up titles.” – GamerLimit

break1a

“In a world of me-too shooters plagued by uninspired presentation and flat gameplay, Jamestown is a standout, a breathtaking experience that not only hearkens back to the golden age of gaming but also smartly offers fresh game mechanics at every turn. Jamestown has rock-solid mechanics, beautiful art direction and depth of content, and it’s a pure joy to play.” – Press X or Die

break1b

And for those of you who think reading is so 2010, here are some of our favorite video reviews/first-looks:

ByteJacker –  “I gotta tell you: this thing, with four Xbox controllers, and an HDMI out to your TV, has got to be, like, THE definition of kick-ass gaming. It’s just really, really amazing.

NorthernLion –  One of the best indie games I’ve played this year and, as you know, I’ve played pretty much all of them.”

Total Biscuit, The Cynical Brit –  “One of these is homing! ALL OF THESE ARE HOMING!

Our profuse thanks go out to all the writers, commentators, and pundits who spent some time with our game, and then made the effort to tell the world about it!

This is Jamestown running in a Taito cabinet.  Guess we can check that off the ol' Impossible Dream list!

This is Jamestown running in a player's arcade cabinet. Guess we can check THAT off the ol' Impossible Dream list!

Overall, the response to the game has been overwhelmingly positive. Players have been going out of their way to let us know that they’re having a blast playing Jamestown, which is like a firehose of warm-fuzzy-feelings right into our sleep-deprived hearts. So, to everyone who has been tweeting, posting, and emailing us with kind words: Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

We’re also thrilled and gratified by the community that’s forming around the game. Watching our players help each other learn to play, post expert sessions on YouTube, stream Divine Gauntlet runs live from Japan, and energetically debate the finer points of Bomber usage in our Steam forums has been a true joy. ;)

Finally, it should go without saying that we are extremely flattered (and somewhat taken aback) to see our little game being compared to the works of CAVE, Takumi, Treasure, and ZUN. That said, their influence on Jamestown is hopefully unmistakable; they are our heroes, after all.

Much like that very first fort at the actual Jamestown colony, the first build of our game was hardly the last. Right now, we’re working hard to fix bugs, answer emails, and keep getting the word out about Jamestown. If you want to help us with that last bit, and you love the game, then please don’t be shy about telling the world! Our twitter hash-tag is #jtown16xx; go nuts!

More updates to follow. Until then: thanks again, and enjoy playing!


Jamestown Comes Out on June 8th!

by Tim
Sun, June 5, 2011 -- 17:19 EDT

Jamestown is coming out on June 8th

It’s official!

On June 8th, Jamestown is coming to Steam, Direct2Drive, and GamersGate.

See ya there!

-Tim, Mike, and Hal