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AstroDoge Swag!

Distinct, engaging, meaningful. These words have been used by players to describe AstroDoge's incredible art. It's been called genius, life changing - worthy of a place at the Louvre next to the vastly overrated Mona Lisa.

Finally! You can have a piece of this art for yourself, in a form that will surely last forever.  At least until you spill coffee on it and cut it into rags to stain your deck with.

Behold! AstroDoge t-shirts!

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AstroDoge Very Update 1.3 Much Available!

Good news everybody! We've updated AstroDoge so your space travels can be oh so much smoother.

AstroDoge 1.3 is now available for Android and iOS.

Update notes:

Optimized asteroid generation algorithm for better memory usage.

Slowed down the parallax background x-axis movement.

Optimized the instructions, so the game is easier to learn.

Added "Audio on/off" in settings.

Check out the game here!

Click here to download the AstroDoge Press Kit (15MB)

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Scapa what?

Here's a little something we've been working on: SCAPA FLOW. It refers to a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, which served as a base for the British Grand Fleet during both World Wars.

The player takes the role of a U-Boat captain hunting for ships carrying war munitions. The game play is half hunting and half talking. As you pilot your submarine you need to discern civilian ships from Royal Navy by using the radio to contact the other ships. 

A German U-Boat hunting for Royal Navy.

A German U-Boat hunting for Royal Navy.

There's really no clear way to win... if you sink an enemy ship you aren't per se rewarded. What's to reward about death and destruction? The goal is not to break the Declaration of Paris and it's harder than you might think.

The game is inspired by the particularly tense months leading up to February 1915, after the Germans had declared they'd be engaging in unrestricted submarine warfare. In essence it's a point in time in which technology was changing the rules of warfare. The Germans had the naval superiority to decimate the enemy's supply lines however if they sunk civilians they risked drawing new foes into the war.

As usual, history has much to teach us about the world today. The game and historical setting tie into an underlying theme: in war nobody wins.

You can read a more in-depth account of the development process over at realityisagame.com.

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Developing the Status Quo story

Most of our current projects here at Wero are one-off games. There's one project we have which is a fair bit more complicated, and draws on a number of skills we've developed in other industries, namely film and television. Status Quo is an episodic story-driven game. It's likely going to take a long time before we secure the funding we need to kick it into high gear, so in the meantime we're working on the storytelling.

Whereas with other projects our story might be just enough to hold the gameplay together, this project is all about the story. It's about talking with characters, exploring the environment - being driven forward by a desire to solve a mystery.

We're working with a couple of dynamos in our "story department" (we'll have more on them to come). One is a comic book nerd, and the other is a sci-fi nerd. We mean "nerd" in the most flattering possible application of the word: these two are passionate about telling great stories. We're also all approaching this as a world building opportunity. 

Yes, we're all tackling the project as if our world it will one day spawn billion dollar Hollywood movies and triple A games! Okay... that probably won't happen, but we're making sure it's designed that way anyway. 

Here's what we've been up to:

1. Developing a "world bible": this document is getting pretty lengthy as we capture all the decisions we've made about the political, economic, historical, and environmental facets of our world.

2. Characters: In addition to outlining the psychological, social, and physical details of our characters, we've been discussing their lives before and after the events of our story, so we can pull them into future story telling in our world.

3. Lore: we've been developing the history of our world across hundreds of years. Not only does this give us a significant amount of material/artifacts to make our world feel a little bit more alive, it gives us opportunities to explore some of the more interesting events via other media.

There are certainly a lot of big players in the "transmedia" world, many siphoning off marketing dollars from Hollywood trying to create content to promote feature films. Others, like the latest Disney acquisitions Marvel and LucasArts, have been building worlds for years and then selecting pieces of the story to extend across games, comics, and movies. 

Star Wars, which seems to me like one of the first major "transmedia brands" had kept meticulous track of its "world" right from the beginning. They didn't nail it with every piece of content, but everything they've made (or allowed to be made) played a particular role in developing the characters and the stories in the universe. Just watch the Clone Wars cartoons and Star Wars: Episode III will make just a little more sense... or play The Old Republic MMO to see how the universe got started.

As a tiny studio all we can do right now is develop what we think is compelling IP. We're bringing all the passion about great stories that we can muster to putting memorable characters and environments in front of players. We figure if we develop sandboxes for future stories - and one of these sandboxes becomes one that people like to play in - then we'll be on our way!

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