Blogging the Process

So as you might be able to tell from the relative lack of activity on the site of late, we’re pretty busy with something? What is it, you ask? Well, we’re not quite ready to spill the full set of beans yet, but it’s a game. Yes, a video game. For a console. Ah, but which console, you ask? The answer should be fairly obvious, of course, since only one console offers official support for Indie games: Xbox 360, specifically the Community Games service. More details to come later.

Beyond that, however, I have to tell you that the process to date has been incredibly educational. While we’re making excellent progress to date we’ve had a few hurdles, not the least of which was simply finding enough time in everyone’s busy schedule (all of us have lives and jobs that don’t include this process, an unfortunate by-product of the need to eat). Among some other challenges, though, are things you wouldn’t necessarily realize are as difficult as they are. For starters, defining an appropriate art style was incredibly difficult, and our very talented art crew has worked really hard to come up with a look that is both unique and interesting while still being very professional. We’ve looked to some great classic titles for reference, but we’ve also been very inspired by a lot of the hand painted “retro” stylings of upcoming titles like the A Boy and His Blob remake for the Nintendo Wii.

Continue reading “Blogging the Process”

A narrowing of focus

Over the past few years we’ve covered a fairly broad range of topics on this site, blogging about anything even tangentially related to the Games Industry. At the same time we’ve provided period reviews of titles both big and small on all platforms. Heck, we’ve even covered Industry Events such as E3, E for All and others, with our team of…well, admittedly lazy but quite zealous geeks marauding about assorted booths taking pictures of scantily clad babes, playing stuff that hasn’t been released and generally having a good time.

But the raison d’etre of the Ugly Baby Studios team has always been the development of fun ideas, especially those relating to games and animated shorts. We’ve participated in (and actually did pretty well at!) film festivals with ridiculously short deadlines, we’ve worked on Mod projects, and generally had a good time doing all of it. Now it’s getting a little more serious, and so we’re honing in the focus of both our team and our site. As we move forward from now, we’re zooming in on Independent Games, with a special focus on XNA and Xbox Live Community Games (XBLC), which may just be the most significant turn to ever hit a games console or the Indie Developer scene. We’ll have some announcements coming a little further down the pike with regards to this topic.

As always, UBS will remain a blog, and as such we’ll do periodic reviews, though we’ll focus these on Indie Games (or their demos if we’re too cheap to buy the full game). We’ll blog about tools and techniques that you can use in your own Indie Games, and we’ll interview and have conversations with other Independent Development teams who’re working on their breakaway masterpieces as we speak. Any way you slice it, though, this narrowing of focus and reinvigoration of purpose will enable us to deliver a superior experience as we move forward, and we hope you’ll join us.

If there’s something specific you’d like to see covered, by all means let us know! We’re always open to hearing from you and believe me, we read every email we get from those who feel the need to drop us a line. If we can make your experience on the web a better one, don’t hesitate to tell us how.