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

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

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!


Sound Judgement (A PUN!)

by Tim
Wed, January 5, 2011 -- 22:18 UTC

IGF LogoThis Monday, the Independent Games Festival annouced their Finalists and, to our great surprise we noticed our little Jamestown listed under Honorable Mention for Excellence in Audio!

As those who follow @finalformgames on Twitter will already know, we submitted Jamestown to the Independent Games Festival this Fall. Like most IGF entrants, we held secret hopes of recognition deep in our hearts, but saw it more realistically as a good opportunity for some exposure and a deadline to push hard for.

Needless to say, we are delighted about this unexpected honor! Many thanks to the IGF and judges for their kind acknowledgement.

Given the circumstances, we think it fitting to introduce you to the gentlemen who so carefully crafted our audio experience, and to share with you a little about how we approached the audio for our game.

First of all, we’re pleased to introduce our composer, Francisco Cerda, who works with us remotely from Santiago, Chile.

Here is one of his 4 compositions that went out with the IGF build, entitled “War Upon the East Frontier”.

As an added bonus, we’re pleased to share a brand new track, entitled “Into the Dark Sector”.

I had the pleasure of meeting Francisco while he was visiting Berkeley in 2008. A friend of my former housemate, Francisco stayed with us for a few days, on a few occasions sitting down at the piano for an hour or two of improvisational play. What I heard was expertly performed, dynamic, and emotionally powerful.

We exchanged contact info before he returned home, and have stayed in touch since. When the time came to select a composer, we worked with a few (truly amazing) candidates, but ultimately could not refuse Francisco’s passion, versatility, speed, and sheer compositional might.

Francisco Cerda

The man behind the music.

We decided to eschew the traditional shooter chiptune soundtrack, inspired instead by games such as Ikaruga, Gigawing 2 and Under Defeat. Our milieu and story suggest a more conventional orchestral instrumentation, so we tried to marry that style to the intensity of a wailing Joe Satriani guitar solo. What we ended up with is something that we feel is greater than the sum of its parts.

For sound effects, we turned to our old friend Justin Mullens, with whom I worked on several past titles. While we can’t as easily represent his work here as Francisco’s, suffice it to say that his steampunk-inspired wood/brass/cloth approach to the UI sounds offers something new to the shoot-em-up landscape. He scratch-built all the sounds in the game, employing every trick in the book to find some coherence in the crowded sound space of a 4-player shoot-em-up.

JustinRecordingFireHose

Here is Justin recording a fire hose, that most elusive of sounds.

We are all honored to have our hard work acknowledged, and to be able to bring this honor to the oft-overlooked shmup genre in general. We are working hard to continue to improve the audio experience for our game, so that by the time it ships to you it will provide an even richer experience than what the judges saw in October. After all, the most important external validation can only come in time, when the game ships to the world at large.