Major Updates in Progress!

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So last week I submitted a list of changes and updates I wanted to do to our website to refresh our image and just to bring our online presence ‘up-to-date’. I got an email from our artist, Erica, today letting me know that she had some of her own ideas for an update and asking if Michael and I wouldn’t mind her going ahead with them. I thought, sure! An updated look would go great with all the new information that’s soon to be added on there.

By the tone of her email, I was thinking I’d perhaps see some minor layout changes, but when meeting time came around I was sent a whole new website! So, it looks like we’re going to have a major overhaul on the look of the site to go along with the new things we have in the works here at the studio and I couldn’t be happier about it.

With a more modern design, photos and bios of all our team members and a thorough list of all our services and products, I hope you’ll like our new site as much as I do and we call all look forward to seeing it sometime in September.

In the meantime, please make sure to visit BizXMagazine’s website and vote for us as your favorite ‘website wizards’ as we’ve been nominated for a BizX award! http://www.bizxmagazine.com/nominations.php

 

An exciting announcement! Mirror’s Hope coming soon!

We here at First Age Studios have many new and exciting things in the works!

We are very soon going to be publishing our very first book that is called Mirror’s Hope. It is in the genre of a dark fantasy romance and our test readers are have given us great feedback about it so far. We will keep you updated on all the exciting news in the coming weeks and as soon as we know the release date we will let you all know in advance. Here is a sneak preview of the back of the book, let us know what you think.

Everything has a price…

In a self-serving dystopian society, Mirena’s kind-hearted nature leaves her socially outcast. Daunted by the task of trying to initiate change herself, she tries desperately to conform to the expectations of the cruel society around her.

That is, until she meets Tendro…

General to the Panarch’s armies and a rising star in government, no one expects Tendro Seynor to be the prophesied Avatar of the Light, but that’s exactly what he’s become. Alone, he doesn’t have the resolve necessary to follow the path destiny has set before him; but that all changes when meets Mirena and falls in love with her simple faith.

Brought together by fate, Mirena and Tendro must find a way to change their world for the better or risk the consequences of being on the wrong side of an all-powerful tyrant and his unforgiving Generals.

Can they tip the balance of power in their world, or will the lengths they have to go get them in too deep to get back out again?

‘Moo’ving into the Mobile Market!

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Bovine Bash is the name of our newest title and it will be coming soon to the Android Marketplace. We really think you’re going to like it.

In June we began a collaboration with Chris Atkinson, a talented designer who had a concept he wanted to see reach mobile phones. Using his design and concept for the game, we brainstormed about what it might look like and how we could put it together for him. A month later, we had a working prototype of Bovine Bash! with the art style you see in the title screen shown above.

Believe it or not, the hardest part was coming up with a title for the game. We spent hours tossing names back and forth, making horrible cow-related puns and parodying every name we could think of by adding cow, cattle, moo, bovine, ect to it. Still nothing really stuck. The breakthrough came when we heard the music composed for us by Stephanie Tellier. We sent the art and the music along with a whittled down list of titles to Chris and he came back with ‘Bovine Bash!’

Considering the gameplay involves trying to avoid bashing cows with your red pickup truck, I think the title gets the point across pretty well.

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In Bovine Bash, you control a red pick-up truck driving along a several lane wide dirt road by tilting your mobile device to the left and right. The faster you tilt, the faster your truck changes lanes and by doing this you can avoid the cows and fences in your way.

Which is easier than it sounds of course, as the speed progresses the longer you drive and the obstacles grow more frequent. Hit a fence and you lose a life, tracked in the top left corner, but hit a cow and it will splat up against your screen and impede your visibility making it harder to see what’s coming as you drive along.

You can clear the cows from your windshield by rubbing them off, and as the game goes on by playing minigames… all of this while still driving and trying to steer clear of the other cows and fences in your path.

If you’ve played Birds of a Feather or Pulse Point, you’ll know right away that this game fits in well with other games we’ve made in the past. The biggest difference of course is that this one, is for your phone or tablet.

….And it has cows that go splat!

Bovine Bash! Coming soon to Android Marketplace

Designed and Published by Chris Atkinson, Production – Justine Alley Dowsett, Programming – Michael C.A. Patoine, Art – Erica Villeneuve, Music – Stephanie Tellier, Special Thanks so far to: Kevin Dowsett (QA)

You might have noticed a few changes…

You may have noticed a few changes around here and the Facebook Page. Like the name, for one…

I don’t want to give everything away just yet, but let’s just say that there are big things in the works here at First Age Studios. We’re looking further into expanding into new markets while still doing what we do best, creating video games for everyone to enjoy and custom digital media to promote our clients’ businesses.

As most of you know, I’m an author. And while, I’ve developed a passion for video games working with my partners here at First Age Studios, my dream has always been to make it as an author. Not an easy task, I assure you.

Being a successful author takes far more than just writing a good book. You have to edit it, format it, and design a cover, then publish it, figure out where to release it and who your audience is, and then market it over and over again in hopes that people will buy it and like it well enough to tell others to buy it too.

Or, better yet, buy the sequel.

All of these tasks take time and expertise and it is virtually impossible to to it all yourself, even if you have all the talents necessary. Then, there’s having the budget and the marketing power to get your books onto shelves or into the public view… very difficult from the perspective of being a self-published author with limited resources.

I was lamenting this to my sister, Murandy Damodred, when she had a brilliant idea. Why not use the resources and connections of the business I already had to publish my books?

With that simple question, everything clicked for me. With everything I want to accomplish under one roof, I’ll be able to streamline my efforts and still be working on making First Age Studios great, while fulfilling my dreams. And if it works, and our first title is a success, then we can take it from there and make other author’s dreams come true while still providing quality products to our clients.

One thing is certain though, it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of know-how to pull this off, but I think considering what we’ve accomplished so far, we’re up to the task!

I’ll keep you posted on this new development, but for now…

Let the games begin!

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Next Title game in the works!

Being between projects is an awkward place, but we’re not going to let it get us down. Instead, we’ve decided to throw ourselves into our next game and make it better than ever! The only problem is deciding which platform to make it for.

Over the past week we’ve fleshed out our concept, worked on planning the tutorial and basic level design and started sketching some assets to get a feel for what the game might look like, but the real sticking point is going to be deciding where we release it.

Places we’ve considered include:

1. Windows phone and Xbox live.

~We figure we’ve got a little experience with how the Xbox community operates and what it takes to get a game released on there, but we’d need some costly updates to develop for windows phone and we’re not sure on how that market will receive us to make it worth our while.

2. iphone

~We now are the proud owners of a mac computer, so we thought we’d try making games for the iphone. Unfortunately the market on the apple app store is kind of saturated, so that might make it difficult to get noticed.

3. Online platforms such as Big Fish, Kongregate, or elsewhere

~There are pros and cons to each of these options as well. Big Fish requires that we provide an hour free demo, kongregate is a great place to reach a large community of gamers, but monetizing the game through ads is a slow process. Other places the hosting, monetizing, and marketing would largely be up to us and probably not yield great results.

So there’s lots to think about, but what we can say is that our next title is coming and one thing we can promise is that it’ll be Off the Hook!!

Justine Alley Dowsett and the First Age Studios Team.

 

 

 

Under Renovations, but there are big things coming!

Due to some changes made by both Facebook and Firefox, the Crimson Winter Facebook game is going to be undergoing some necessary renovations. We know some of you will miss being able to team up on your friends and the thrill of winning battles in the daily war, but we’ll have the game back up and running as soon as we can with some improvements to make it run more smoothly.

And to celebrate Crimson Winter Facebook Game’s return we’ll be running a contest to win free e-copies of Crimson Winter: Ruins of Sapphire, so keep your eyes open for that as well.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy at the studio coming up with our next title. It’s still too early to announce it, but the talk around here has us leaning towards producing our next game for Windows Phone and the Xbox and we’re really excited and pulling out all the stops for this new project hoping that it will be our best one yet.

In addition to working on that, FAS is also looking into expanding our repertoire into cinematography. We’ve made a book trailer for Crimson Winter and you can check it out on youtube.com: 

Coming soon we’ll be putting together a promotional video for First Age Studios and if all goes well, we may be offering promotional videos as a service to our clients!

Speaking of promotional videos, Michael and I were recently interviewed for Cogeco cable’s Plugged In to promote our games and our company on Windsor’s local TV station. No idea yet as to when the episode will be aired, but we’ll keep you posted!

 

Justine Alley Dowsett

Business and Marketing Director

First Age Studios

Celebrating Auxilium Magi’s release on Xbox Indie!

It took a while for the approval process, but we are proud to announce that Auxilium Magi is now available for the Xbox! So head to the Xbox marketplace yourself or find a friend with an Xbox to take you there and test out the free demo or download the full game for only $3. We’d really appreciate it and you’d be helping to support us to make more great games!

Want to check out the game online first? Read about it on our website: www.firstagestudios.com where we’ve listed key features and posted some screenshots to help you get a look at the game and if that’s not enough, you can also check out the trailer on Youtube.com or visit the Xbox App Hub for more information.

We’re really excited to see our game join the Xbox community and we hope you are too! So please check it out and tell your friends. We know you’ll love the quirky and humorous story, the fast paced game play  and the challenging two-player mode.

let the games begin!

New Blog Design!

Not only do we now have a YouTube.com channel but we’ve updated our blog design here on WordPress.com and we’re also in the process of re-vamping our website!

After our first year in business we thought it was time to re-examine our why we’re here, where we want to go next and how we want to get there. The answer to that is that we want to focus on games. We’ve got a few games out there already, Crimson Winter on Facebook and Birds of a Feather on Kongregate being great examples, but we want to make more games, and better games by building on what we’ve learned so far. We especially want to make games for others; people who have websites or companies who want to use games to advertise and showcase their products or ideas. It’s a pretty unique form of advertising, but what’s more memorable than a game that you want to keep playing so you can get a high score, or unlock the next level or achievement?

Even though our primary focus is games, we also want people to remember that we still make advertisements, logos, videos, and website templates. Anything you or your company might need to make your website more colourful, engaging and interactive. If you want an example, just take a look at our new banner ads above, we think they get the message across, don’t you?

So, 2012, let the games begin!

Justine Alley Dowsett

 

Introducing Auxillium Magi for Xbox Indie!

Hello again everyone!
I know it’s been a while, but don’t worry, First Age Studios has been hard at work! We’ve got a new title game in the process of being released. It’s currently on review by other developers on Xbox Indie, but it will hopefully be available to the public in two weeks time. If you have an Xbox or access to one, be sure to check out Auxillium Magi for Xbox Indie.

Here’s a link to the game’s trailer on Youtube.com.

Auxillium Magi has both a story mode and a two-player mode. Play through all ten levels with two bosses, as you defend and rebound attacks with shields created by an ice mage and a fire mage. Then, try the two-player mode and go head to head against a friend to see who can survive the longest when bombarded by spells from all sides.

That’s all for now, but we’ve got more in the works. Keep your eyes open for our next exciting project!

Auxillium Magi features art by Erica Villeneuve, programming and design by Michael C.A. Patoine, Production by Justine Alley Dowsett, story by John Redman, music by Stephanie Tellier, and sound effects provided by soundsnap.com. The trailer has been provided by Kieron Wells and a special thanks goes to him and our other playtesters, Robert Dowsett, Sabrina Wiese and Adam Giles.