Winning Blimp specialises in sci-fi themed games that pay homage to the classic 16-bit games of the Nintendo SNES, Sega Genesis (Megadrive) and Commodore Amiga. Based in both Osaka Japan and Florida USA, Winning Blimp is headed by Bear Trickey, a former game designer from Kyoto-based studio Q-Games, and Alex May, a multi-discipline graphic artist and musician.
At the start of August we were invited to San Francisco to the Casual Connect event, to deliver a presentation about our music-first approach to game design, and how this applied to our game Mosaique.
Casual Connect has recently posted footage of the presentation. It targets game designers, but even if you aren’t a game designer and just like music and games, you may find our approach interesting! Give it a watch!
At the recent Casual Connect event in San Francisco, Bear and I received the honour of winning the Director’s Choice Award for excellence in game design, as well as two nominations for Best Mobile Game and Best Puzzle Game.
Having our game appear in Apple’s WWDC Keynote presentation was a thrill, but actually being at this event and seeing all the other excellent independent game titles, and then having our game chosen from among them was a real privilege.
Mosaique has been on the market now for 6 weeks, and we’re very happy to report that it has earned a string of modest accolades (and one not so modest accolade), and has generally been received very well! We’re delighted that so many people have been enjoying our game.
In total Mosaique received more than 30 reviews and mentions from online media. Following are some highlights from these:
March 15 – Gamespot selected Mosaique as one of their five “Must-see” games from the inaugural BitSummit event in Japan: “This iOS puzzle game from the Winning Blimp indie duo may appear all too simple, but appearances can be deceiving.”
May 9 – Gamezebo review: 5/5 “Classic, intuitive gameplay. Praiseworthy design decisions. Beautiful sights and sounds.”
May 14 – Joystiq review “Mosaique is a low-key affair, and perfect for either a bit of mental exercise on the go or some extended Zen meditation on the couch.”
May 23 – Touch Arcade review: 4/5 “With soothing, almost meditative music playing, and a hyper-focus on the game’s sole mechanic, Mosaique can be downright distracting to the extent that the rest of the world can seemingly fall away and disappear. Falling under Mosaique’s spell, my entire world became these giant, differently hued pixels. Even though there’s not a ton of depth here, there’s something very absorbing about the game that’s difficult to articulate.”
June 4 – C-NET: Game of the month “Mosaique, with only seven puzzles, sounds tiny — but even tiny games can dream big.”
It seems Apple also took a liking to Mosaique, featuring it in their New & Noteworthy, What’s Hot and Popular Puzzlers features. This amounted to 3 consecutive weeks of Mosaique being accessible from the Apple App Store top page. And to top it all off, this:
Yes, that is indeed Apple’s 2013 WWDC Keynote presentation, and it is indeed Craig Federighi demonstrating iOS7. And no, we haven’t doctored this screen grab from the presentation; that is actually Mosaique in the top spot of this screen of games, along side some pretty hefty gaming heavy-weights. What an incredible honour!
Beyond all of this though has been the positive reaction from the many wonderful people who downloaded and played Mosaique. Below are a few selected excerpts from user reviews from both iOS and Android stores. Thanks everyone! We’re just so happy you have enjoyed our game.
“The amazing user interface and sound are noticeable as soon as you launch the game. I sort of wish it was its own little device instead of an app.”
“Beautiful, luxuriant animation. Good choice of textures, colors, and flavors make this a pleasure to play. The music keeps things on a mellow keel. There will soon be entirely new adjectives to describe this game.”
“Give it to the kids while you’re waiting for your table at the restaurant to keep them entertained and calm… And then take it back later, because you’ve thought of a different way to approach the puzzle. I’m enjoying it a lot!”
“Brilliant, addictive mechanics. Outstanding, unobtrusive yet elegant soundtrack. While technically you can put this game down at any stage, I find I rarely do.”
“The game is exactly what logic game supposed to be – simple to learn, hard to master, beautiful but not distracting audiovisuals, short playtime. There are not many such games.”
Posted May 12, 2013. Categorized as Media Highlights
Recently I was honoured to be featured in Gamespot‘s compelling documentary series “Lost Between Levels”.
This series is the first that I know of that documents game development culture and community in various interesting places in the world. They have previously covered Boston, Stockholm and Seattle, and following on from the seminal BitSummit event in Kyoto they covered the Kansai region of Japan, which includes Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Below is the interview with me, but I can earnestly recommend the entire series as a fascinating insight into this wonderful industry and all the genuinely great people who work in it.
A few weeks back, a small rental hall in Kyoto saw the first ever BitSummit event; a gathering of developers and media for the simple purpose of promoting the activities of Japan’s independent game developers.
Literally shoulder to shoulder in the cosy event space, all 180 of us (just a bit under double the headcount that organiser James Mielke had expected) mingled together in an atmosphere that could only be described as electric. It was a phenomenal success, with real significant relationships being made and smiles all round. Can’t wait for the next one!
We were also fortunate to get coverage for our new game “Mosaique” from Gamespot, which was a special privilege.