BLOGCAST

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Hi Everyone –

Wednesday, August 12th at 1:30PM PT / 4:30PM ET, for our monthly Moonlighting session, we will be chatting with our rep from Starlight (www.starlight.org) Kyra Tyson about all the cool things that they as a charity do, and how Insomniac is involved with them.  We’ll talk about Play in May, and the other drives that we do, and how you can be involved in the process. Should be a great time!

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Thanks – Angela and Kerri

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Hi Moonlighters!

Our Monthly Blogcast will be live on Wednesday, July 1st from   1:30 PT / 4:30 ET.  We are hosting a chat about lighting this month! And of course will take other HR questions as well if you have them.

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There will be more details about our guest coming shortly but until then the question forum is open so go ahead and ask away and we’ll chat with you soon!

Looking forward to your questions and our next live chat on July 1st!

Kerri & Angela

 

Hey everyone,

We know Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac, and PlayStation fans have been waiting to get a glimpse of Ratchet & Clank for PlayStation 4. We’re excited to bring you that first look today ahead of its playable debut on the showfloor of E3 next week.

In this trailer, you’ll see a few glimpses of footage from the film, and then your first-ever look at gameplay footage directly from the game coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in Spring 2016. Check it out:

We knew early on that we didn’t want to just up-res Ratchet & Clank (PS2). We started out thinking of Ratchet & Clank (PS4) as a “re-imagining” of the 2002 original, revised to tie in with the deeper version of Ratchet’s origin story (as seen in the film). We envisioned a curated Ratchet & Clank experience that borrowed from the spirit of the classic PS2 titles while infusing some of the best elements from the Ratchet & Clank Future games.

We ended up with a new game, with elements based on the original—but now with modern controls, several new planets, new and updated gameplay segments, all-new Clank gameplay, all new boss fights, new flight sequences, and more, all constructed to take advantage of the PS4’s graphical prowess. Throw in James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet, and you have a new beginning.

The fresh start means we changed the arsenal up quite a bit as well. As always with Ratchet & Clank games, you battle your enemies with an out-of-this-world arsenal. The majority of Ratchet & Clank (PS4)’s arsenal are weapons that weren’t in the original game. That means both new weapons and fan-favorite tools of destruction from the Ratchet & Clank Future series will fill out Ratchet’s kit. From the brand new Pixelizer (which transforms enemies into explosive 8-bit pixels) to franchise favorites like the dance-party-inducing Groovitron and wise-cracking robotic bodyguard Mr. Zurkon, Ratchet & Clank’s arsenal has never been better.

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When we were asked recently to come up for a special bonus for fans that support Ratchet & Clank (PS4) by pre-ordering it, we went back to the list of our favorite weapons that we hadn’t yet brought to the game. In the end, it was a no-brainer, and I’m ecstatic to say that when you pre-order the game, you’ll get access to one of my all-time favorite weapons from Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando: The Bouncer. The Bouncer launches a bomb that releases a plethora of tiny homing bombs that bounce towards targets. One of the most effective and spectacular Ratchet & Clank weapons ever.

We couldn’t be more excited to debut Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation 4 and the silver screen next Spring. For all the latest updates, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Help Ratchet and Clank save the galaxy for the first time, again!

If you have questions, we’ll do our best to answer them in the comments below.

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Many of you have played Sunset Overdrive in the months since it launched on Xbox One last holiday. We’re so grateful for all of your support and great feedback on the game.

We ran a trial period a while back and got a great response, so we’re going to do another trial through Xbox Live Xbox’s Trial and Deals with Gold! Running from June 9th through June 15th, Xbox Live gold and silver members can download the full game and play it* for up to three hours.

Additionally, the full game, season pass, and digital deluxe edition will all be 33% off for Gold Members during this period as well.

For best results with the three-hour trial, we recommend waiting for the game to download to 100% before you begin playing. While you can play earlier, you may have to wait for the game to continue installing!. Further, if you do quit the game mid-trial, be sure to actually exit the application (Xbox Home Button -> Menu Button -> Quit Game), to stop the timer! If you leave the game open while switching to another app like Watch TV, the timer may will continue in the background.

We hope that if you haven’t played Sunset Overdrive yet, you’ll take this opportunity to experience the first few hours of the game. And if you have played it, check out the awesome deals on the Season Pass (which includes two new story add-ons: the Mystery of the Moo-oil Rig and the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines) or tell your friends who haven’t played yet!

Thanks again for all of your support of Sunset Overdrive!

*Chaos Squad (Multiplayer) does require a gold subscription.

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Over the course of the month of May we have released a steady stream of mobile games on iOS. We have compiled information about all three new games into a handy blog post for you to consume. If you haven’t played any of (or all) of these, we encourage you to check them out. We do not take responsibility for any addictions that may occur though.

Bad Dinos ($2.99)

A new kind of tower-defense game that makes the rest feel ancient! Protect the Poundrok family while rescuing its adventurous son from the clutches of a high-flying pterodactyl. Junior Poundrok yearned to fly but not like this. Now his family must pile into its rockin’ Winnecavo to retrieve him while guarding against incoming stampedes of ill-tempered dinosaurs!

Bad Dinos evolved from our games such as Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. It fossilizes traditional tower-defense games by introducing a new gameplay mechanic that lets you pit your enemies against each other. Capture dinosaurs and unleash them to fight in strategic battles while you wreak havoc with upgradeable traps and turrets. Defend against the most feared dinos such as triceratops or the dreaded T-Rex as they traverse dynamically changing maps to destroy your mobile cave home. Bad Dinos also features stylized hand-drawn graphics and Jurassic snark inspired by classic cartoons. There are absolutely ZERO in-app purchases. Pay once and play.

Digit & Dash ($1.99)

Digit & Dash is the tale of a robot and alien duo separated by a mutant hot dog that splits their world apart. (Yes. A mutant hot dog.)

Control both Digit and Dash by jumping, slamming and dashing as they speed through mind-bending, dangerous levels. Use well-timed jumps and slams with Digit or Dash to propel the other higher in the air to avoid bigger obstacles. Activate switches and unlock pickups through skillful timing and fast-twitch responses. Help Digit and Dash topple the massive mutant wiener and reunite! Digit & Dash does not include any in-app purchases.

Fruit Fusion (Free)

Fruit Fusion challenges players with a unique and addictive match-three mechanic that allows you to fling fruit across a volatile reactor core. Unlock delicious upgrades by successfully matching more fruit! See how big you can grow the reactor by chaining massive juicy combos. Fruit Fusion also features a sweet art style with a custom soundtrack done by various employees of Insomniac, including Ted Price.

This game pre-dates Outernauts (our first browser/mobile game). It was always a studio favorite internally, but wasn’t quite right for Facebook at the time. Since releasing Outernauts on iOS and Android, we decided it was time to share our little obsession with the world. Grab it today for FREE!

So there you have it. Check out the newest members of the Insomniac family. Stay tuned on Twitter or Facebook for updates on when some of these might be coming to Android as well. If you haven’t already, check out our first mobile game, Outernauts, on iOS and Android for FREE.

GotInternshipI’m hoping that by now you all have read this posting on our website in regards to our Internship program for 2015:

“To all of our enthusiastic students and future developers: Insomniac Games will not be offering summer internships in 2015. We absolutely believe in the educational benefit that internships provide and pride ourselves on delivering an internship experience that is of great value and substance, not only to the students, but to our studio. Due to the timing of our current project schedule on yet to be announced titles, we don’t believe we can offer a truly awesome learning experience that you’ll be bragging about to your peers in the fall. But wait! Rest assured we will have internships when the timing is right so we encourage you to keep an eye out on our site for opportunities in the future. We hope you find an amazing internship this summer and wish you the best of luck in your search!”
The Insomniac Games Development Team

I’ve had several people come up to me either in person or on email and say that they really appreciated our honest stance on why we were not having interns this summer. We felt that we did not have the timing right internally to make it the “must have” internship experience that we hope all our interns have. That being said I’d like to talk a bit about why I think/feel that internships are SO important to the student population in the games industry. It’s the one thing that I think you can do to REALLY prepare yourself for the awesome experience that is game development.

Ok- so why is that? Well- for starters – you are in the building. Interns are IN the space. You can literally see what is happening. Where are people sitting, how is the team physically spaced? How are people moving around in this space? Are there informal meetings happening in the corners? In the kitchens? Is it super dark or are the shades thrown up to let in the light? You are on emails – so I sincerely hope you are reading EVERYTHING that comes through your inbox, even if you think it does not pertain to your immediate duties – READ IT. You will learn so much about what others are working on, and the thought processes that are going on with department heads and leads by those emails. It should be giving you a fuller picture of how the pieces are going to fit together – or if they are not- why and what is happening to fix it.

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Secondly – you are getting to work on a game! How amazing is that! You are working on a project that (hopefully) will see the light of day. It’s not a student project! You have coworkers who potentially created some of your favorite gaming experiences! WHAT? The dude who helped create the grind mechanics for Sunset is right over there. The artist that created a few of the incredibly memorable environments in Ratchet and Clank is around the corner, and the two who actually thought up the idea to kill off Hale are down the hall. What I am saying here is that it’s time to be brave, to be bold; walk up and introduce yourself. Don’t do it when they are working, but when they are in the kitchen, if you ride the elevators with them, or you are waiting for the coffee to brew- say “hello”. This is your chance to talk with them and have the conversations that you got into the games industry to have, and to make connections. As we all know connections are huge in this industry. I’ve talked about it a bunch of times, but I cannot stress this enough- MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS. The guy sitting next to you may be able to send an email that helps get you, your first job.

It’s also time to hone your skills. You are working with some of the brightest people around so step up it up! If you have a question – ask it. If you want to know how something works or how to achieve an effect, ask. This is your chance to improve your game (literally) with the help of industry vets. We know that in taking on interns there is a ramp up time, and questions to be asked, answered and followed up with. It’s not a surprise to us that you probably won’t finish everything as quickly as those sitting around you. It’s the price we gladly pay for having an intern around while helping to raise the bar of the next generation of game developers. This is a way we can give back to the community that we all love.

These are just a few of the many reasons of why an internship is so important and why we believe that if you’re going to offer an internship, it must have value and give you a meaningful experience. So, while we don’t have internships available this year, we know we’ll have them again when our projects provide an opportunity for you to learn and grow and inspire you! So keep your eyes peeled on this website for opportunities, and best of luck on getting an internship with any of the amazing studios that are out there!

Until next time!

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Hi Moonlighters!

Moonlighting will be shaking up its format and we are giving you the 411 before it actually happens.  While we truly enjoy our immediate interactions with everyone during our bi-weekly live exchanges,  it also limits when we can respond and when you can ask a question.  To ensure your questions are being answered even when you can’t join us, we’ve decided to have the comments section open at all times!  WHAT?  Yes – you can ask us (Kerri and I) a question at any time, 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  We will still be covering topics that pertain to recruiting, HR, culture and all things that fall in those categories here at Insomniac Games.  As before – we still won’t be covering the topics that are on our company’s other blogs or community pages. (To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or Twitter or Facebook and ask away – it’s that easy! )  But this does open the door for you to ask a question at ANY TIME!  Very exciting if I do say so myself.

We will still have a live “blog-cast” once a month with a topic that is timely, or perhaps is a question that seems to be asked a bunch of times on the threads, or a special guest speaker.  We will keep the time and date of that chat the same- the first WED of the month, at 1:30 PT / 4:30 ET.  That way if you want to really have a conversation – we can do it then.  If you just want to ask a question and get an answer in a day or two (please be patient as we do have plenty on our plate) you’ll have that option as well.  Our goal is to be as open and accessible as possible.

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Looking forward to your questions and our next live chat on June 3rd. 

See you then!

Kerri & Angela

 

 

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Join us this week, May 6th for a chat with Bobby Coddington – our Animation Director! We’ll be on line as always at 1:30 pt/4:30 et to take your questions and hopefully share a bit of knowledge. We will open the discussion early – on TUES- so that you can post a question without needing to be online at those times exactly. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now a bit about Bobby. He has over 16 years in game animation, doing character moves and story cinematics. He has also spent 10 years teaching at Otis College of Art, which is here in Los Angeles. He is the author of Introduction to Animation for Games for Gnomon school (DVD). Bobby in his years in the games industry has worked on various titles ranging from: EA Sports Knock-out Kings, Mercs, Medal Of Honor, Army of Two, and Sunset Overdrive. Bobby got his feet wet in animation by studying animation (2d and 3d) at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. That and he’s one of the nicest people you will meet in the industry! We look forward to welcoming him!

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And just our usual reminder – this is not to be a space to ask about our projects or specific games. To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or ask via Twitter or Facebook and ask away – its that easy!

Looking forward to chatting on Wed! See you then!
Angela and Kerri

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Hey Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to visit us again at Moonlighting with Insomniac! We’ll be online to chat on Wednesday, April 22nd from 1:30-2:30 PM PT / 4:30-5:30 PM ET. This edition is all about QA.  Angela is out of the office (bummer, right??) so Joe Schopper – our Lead Quality Assurance Tester will be gracing us with his presence and helping me to answer your QA Questions!

Please feel free to add your questions now, as the comments section is open!

And now, for your reading pleasure – here’s a quick bio on Joe:

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Joe Schopper, QA Lead

“Hi, my name’s Joe Schopper. I started in QA at THQ and was a full time tester there, then took some time off to go to school in North Carolina. I eventually came back to California and got a job as a contract tester at Insomniac Games. I started on Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction and have been happy here ever since. I moved up the ranks in QA from contract tester to full time tester, senior tester, and lead tester. I’ve been the campaign lead on Resistance 3, Fuse, Sunset Overdrive, and currently the new Ratchet & Clank game for PS4. I also once worked as a deckhand on a fishing boat and convinced a kid to eat an eye from a yellowfin tuna.

-Joe”

As always   – this is NOT to be mistaken as a space to ask about our projects or specific games. To do that – just head on over to the Community forum or ask via Twitter or Facebook and ask away – its that easy!

Talk soon!

~Kerri

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What is Slow Down, Bull?

It’s an action collecting game where you try to collect as many decorations as you can and complete each level before time expires.

But, that’s not easy – is it?

No, not really. You play a bull and the more you steer him – the higher his stress becomes.  If his stress gets too high, he’ll rage out and destroy the decorations he’s collected. And, of course, as you go through the game there will be more and more obstacles that are trying to stress you out, as well.

Cool. What are the controls.

Hold left click to steer one way. Hold right click to steer the other way. That’s it! Easy to pick-up and play – tough to master!

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What platform is it coming to?

It can be purchased through Steam, but is playable on Windows, Mac, and Linux/SteamOS.

How much will it cost?

$5.99 US.  But, also know that 50% of the net proceeds will go towards the Starlight Children’s Foundation!

What is the Starlight Children’s Foundation?

It’s an organization that we’ve had the pleasure of working with for quite some time now. They focus on improving the life and health of kids and families around the world. And that’s something that’s really important to us. If you’d like more information, please feel free to visit their website.

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When does it come out?

April 20th, 2015 – so very soon! Or a long time ago in case you are reading this on October 3rd, 2037. But, you can pre-order it here!

Does it have Steam Achievements?

That it does!

What about Steam Trading Cards?

That is also a thing it has. With pretty art from the game!

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Can I see footage of it?

Yup! We actually live-streamed a lot of the game’s development on Twitch. Please know that all of this is old and the game is sufficiently complete now. However, it’s fun to watch and you could even learn something! We’ll have a full trailer soon.

Can I use a Gamepad?

Yes, you can play with an Xbox controller or mouse/keyboard.

How did this game come about?

For that, I direct you to this link.  It details the history and purpose behind the project.

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Will it come to other platforms?

We have no plans for that, at the moment. However, who knows what could happen in the future.

Why a purple bull?

A purple dragon was taken.