Welcome to the Blackbird Interactive blog!
This is where we will be posting all the news and updates on our development process.
You can also keep up with us at our forums. They're full of discussion of our games and a good place to chat with like minded fans, or connect with our developers.
For the start of our game jam articles, click here. From Concept to Playable A few weeks ago Blackbird Interactive gathered and split the whole company into teams for the inaugural BBI Game Jam. I’ve been involved in pro-level experiences like this before and had a few observations to share with my newly-formed team: 1) This is awesome; You'll learn lots and grow as a developer. Yay! 2) A week is a really short time; it's key to go for an idea that matches our skills and we can scale up from if time permits. 3) This is a huge opportunity.... Read More »
For the start of our game jam articles, click here. Mechanical Monster Multiplayer For game developers coming off the tail end of shipping a game, having a week to scratch build something new is wonderfully cathartic. It cleans the palate and soothes the soul, flash-igniting creativity in wholly new and unexpected directions. Heaps of thanks to everyone who pitched in. No sandbaggers here. Great to work with different folks than usual, and to have the support of the audio team as we asked for way too much, to the production team for keeping us honest, and the executive team for... Read More »
For the start of the series of articles on the game jam, click here. Back To The Future: A Game Jam Odyssey Our group of seven people designed and developed a side scroller inspired by eighties era arcade games and the classic Simon Says™ handheld over the course of a week. The team was made up of three artists, two programmers (one of whom was working from Halifax), a narrative designer, game designer, and our studio’s controller. We kicked off with a whiteboard... Read More »
Last month Blackbird Interactive held our first studio game jam. This week we are releasing articles talking about the experience we had with the event, and showing you what we made! Four Games in Five Days First, a little background info. A few months back, BBI sponsored the Vancouver Global Game Jam. We had two groups participate as jammers, while several people staffed a Blackbird booth at the event. It was a fun experience held over a weekend, and it turned out to be a great opportunity to get out and meet members of our local gaming community. Full credit goes to the local game... Read More »
Yossarian King, Blackbird's CTO, has written up this extensive write-up on the making of Blackbird's first title, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. The article talks about the earlier iterations of Hardware: Shipbreakers, and the transformation from the early days of making a Facebook game, all the way to the latest release. If you want to learn more, check out the article here!
By Adam Myhill Disclaimer: Below are images from the game which include locations from the later missions of the Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak campaign. This article explains the lighting process here at BBI used on Deserts of Kharak. Here I'll breakdown the steps from start to finish, sharing some of the key ideas at each stage. Concept Art We're lucky to have such a strong concept art team and because of that almost everything starts there. Rob, Aaron, Brennan and Cody painted so many beautiful images of landscapes being crawled over by giant vehicles at all times of the day and night, in all these... Read More »
By Sacha Narine The persistent fleet is a key feature of the Homeworld franchise and Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. It provides the design team with great opportunities (and considerable challenges,) but its primary purpose is to give each player a unique and cohesive campaign experience. Each player starts with a handful of light vehicles and may expand and upgrade that small fleet in many different ways, carrying all vehicles and upgrades from one mission to the next. In order to accommodate the persistent fleet, we needed a strong “dynamic difficulty” system, but we also needed to review many combat encounters to ensure... Read More »
Transitioning Homeworld’s space-based gameplay to a ground-based RTS By Elliot Hudson - Core Gameplay Designer Before embarking on our journey to create a new Homeworld game, we reflected a lot on what made the originals unique, successful, and resonate with their audience. We had a whiteboard covered in words describing the essence of Homeworld, from the concrete (“huge ships!” “explosive battles!”) to the abstract (“loneliness”, “discovery”). We wanted to fully understand what made Homeworld great, so that we could “do the right thing” when it came to designing Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. In terms of gameplay, there were several aspects that... Read More »
By Elliot Hudson: Game Designer Disclaimer: We’ve kept much about the Gaalsien faction under wraps until now. There are no major plot point spoilers below, but we do mention a few elements about the Gaalsien that you might prefer to learn via the campaign; fair warning to those who might want to discover the intricacies of this faction on their own. “EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE” - High mobility and self-repair favors hit-and-run tactics - Multiple mobile production vehicles allows reinforcing of multiple fronts - Vehicles are specialized, providing a variety of options for dismantling the opposition The Gaalsien are heavily adapted to... Read More »
By Rory McGuire - Lead Game Designer This article is the first in a series of blog posts written by the team at Blackbird Interactive. In these blog posts, we want to provide information to our players on the factions of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and offer design intentions for how we expect them to play. Our first article will take us through several of the units on the Coalition faction, but first, we want to talk about a number of high level design decisions we made when designing our units. The two factions have been designed with separate tunings,... Read More »