Spielgefährten, now live and in color!

The corona virus affects us all, in one way or another. Although the Rat King is a small team and there is no need for us to work at home now, we still feel the effects of the lock-down. In order to get rid of the uneasiness a bit we dusted off our Spielgefährten podcast, where we talk about games and game design.

This time we did a (German) live-stream on Twitch about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, a third-person shooter from 2000. We did a poll on Twitter beforehand, asking which character we should play (you can choose between Sisko, Worf and Kira). It was more popular that I'd thought it would be.

For over 2.5 hours we played as Kira shooting a lot of cardassians and talked about The Fallen, it level design, a bit of background, and other things. You can (re)watch our Let's Play here.


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A week later now we want to do another live-stream; maybe even making it a habit and doing it every Wednesday. In any case, this time we will play some multiplayer games, local coop to be exact. You can choose between Overcooked, Out of Space and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - but I am sure we will play more than one game. A bit of Spheroneers will be there to, probably.

So if you speak German and want to talk about games, visit our Twitch channel on Wednesday, 7pm (Berlin time). We also have a Discord!

Spheroneers

The Global Game Jam 2020 marks the seventh time the Rat King participated in this world-wide event of game-making and game-playing; and it is the second time we hosted the event in our home town; in the Designhaus Halle to be exact. (Before that, we took part at and/or organized the location in Leipzig.) So this is a sacred tradition for us, as game developers and as creative people in Central Germany, where unfortunately not a lot of other game studios reside. But maybe, peu à peu, we can change that this way.

Even though our GGJ location in Halle is pretty small - we had 13 jammers staying till the end - the six games made for this year’s theme Repair are all wonderful. I especially want to highlight FixItPainter, Interdimensional Matter, RoboRescue, SpaceBuddyRepair and Super Smudge! (The last one was extra special, as it became a game show with host and trophy in the end - another proof that not every team needs a programmer!)

Our own game, Spheroneers, is a local co-op multiplayer game where the players control two to four engineers; they have the task to find a sphere which contains an (embryonic) alien creature. Then they have to roll the sphere through the rooms, protect it from holes in the floor and from dangerous robots, and also use it for door switches. To ultimately win the game the group of spheroneers need to get to the final teleporter that sends the sphere home. We created a video that showcases the full gameplay of our GGJ prototype:


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As usual, not everything we envisioned got implemented (only 48 hours, after all!) - still, we are pretty proud of the end result. In fact, we think we want this to become a full game, as it was fun not only to play, but also to make. It became a very dynamic experience, as the players have to destroy and repair things (like walls, floor tiles, and of course the robots) all the time. The GGJ theme really upgraded the concept by adding a lot of interactivity and hilarity.

So if you have some time, and friends, we would be grateful if you could have a look at the game over at itch.io, and give it a test-drive. We eagerly await any kind of feedback, either here in the comments section (if this one is closed, use itch.io), or in our Discord. (If you don’t have friends, Spheroneers can also be played alone, but it might diminish the experience a bit. Find some friends!)

Global Game Jam, once again

Hey! As you might have noticed already, since December the Rat King is back in Germany, after their long trip to Brazil. It was a very event- and insightful stay, and we are glad that the Kunststiftung Saxony-Anhalt and the Goethe-Institut in Salvador de Bahia offered us this opportunity.

The big elevator in Salvador

While we're back at working on various stuff, including contract work, we also prepare for the upcoming Global Game Jam in our city. Just like last year Friedrich is going to organize a GGJ site at the Designhaus Halle, and if you're around from 31st January till 2nd February you're invited to take part!

Last year we were around 15 people, which is a nice cozy number, and we hope for a similar, if not higher amount of participants this year. Someone even created a board game within the 48 hours, which was one of our highlights.