The Black Pants team is still a bit dazed from the last few weeks of finishing the game, so if you have technical issues running the game, please bear with us while we catch our breath. We’ll try to address each and every one of your questions, it just might take a little bit of time.
Thanks to everyone who’s been along for the ride, please continue to support honest videogaming, and enjoy your slicing endeavors!
since our last release of Tiny & Big: Up that Mountain! (VERSION 0.6), we received lots of fine, helpful feedback.
We just want to bow our heads and say thanks to every human who sent error logs or provided criticism.
And thanks to everyone who blogged and did videos and walkthroughs. All of this support is a great morning motivator, similar to coffee, maybe better!
A lot of people were made aware of our game when we were featured by Nerd³, who honored us with an awesome little walkthrough of Episode 0.
If you still have any error logs and dumps lying around, feel free to send them to email@example.com and we’ll continue cleansing bugs.
And now: Feature Time.
Greetings from the wintery realms of Black Pants Studio,
Ladies and Gents!
YAYHAR! We’ve found a great partner in Crimson Cow, a little, niftey publisher from Hamburg.
They are going to cover retail distribution of Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers in German speaking countries.
So much for the updates,
we’ve prepared a series of articles “The guys behind Tiny and Big” to introduce you the core team of Black Pants that is working on Tiny and Big. Todays focus is on our comic artist Sebastian Stamm.
Sebastian is an illustrator and animator, born in the deep dark forests of Frankonia.
At Black Pants Studio, he is the one who makes all the artworks, graphics and textures.
He is the one behind the witty character- and storydesign. In addition to working on Tiny and Big, he is finishing his illustration graduation, as he’s still studying at the school of Art and Design in Kassel, Germany.
He lives in a small apartment on the fourth floor of an old house with his gal Julia. He enjoys fine cookery as well as canned meat. His main passion is reading comic books, which made him amass a huge mountain picture books by different authors. He is mostly interested in indie comics and likes Rob Schrab, Geoff Darrow, Dave Cooper, Warren Ellis, Bill Wray and stuff like that. As an old console afficionado, he’s gathering and restoring old video game consoles from time to time. Under his couch, you can find some gems like a C64, ataris, a odyssey 2001, a donkey kong micro vs. system, and some more electric waste.
Cheers fellow indie friends, this article is for all you guys and gals out there who didn’t stumble upon our game Tiny and Big – Grandpa’s Leftovers, yet. We would be glad to give you a short introduction.
The game is about a nerdy guy called Tiny, who’s only heirloom of his dear grandpa (a nice pair of white, fine rib underpants!) was stolen by his sandbox nemesis Big. Equipped with a self made ray cutter, a gripping device (snitched from the local hardware store), a few “Mannheimer” rockets and a fine attitude, Tiny flags down a taxi and sets course to the desert, where Big has disappeared…
Accompanied by his only friend, an annoying and jabbering rucksack, Tiny needs to solve lots of puzzles to reclaim his beloved underpants by cutting down an entirely destructible desert environment. But he has to use his tools wisely to get to unreachable spots in the game.
Tiny can use his mighty laser to cut and form any object at will. To move objects, Tiny can choose between a grappling hook to pull, and a rocket to push pieces into position. Of course, as the game proceeds, combining your tools gives the player a unique and sandboxy variety of possibilities to solve puzzles. We created an artistic, very personal and comic-like visual style. To achieve this rather illustrative look, we developed several techniques; Like in a hand-drawn comic picture, the shadows in the game are hatched in pencil-like strokes. As the hatching is based on hand-drawn textures, this adds a more natural and unique feeling to the visuals. Some of the textures were produced in traditional comic manner with ink and pen. To round up the look, we use cel-shading with a fine-tuned shader, which creates an outline as well as crease-lines on both characters and environment.
To see Tiny and Big in motion, please watch our latest alpha trailer:
Regards from the Black Pants headquarter! Feel free to vote for Tiny and Big in the Indie of the year 2011 competition.
If you wanna follow Tiny and Big, you can do so on:
Dearest friends of Tiny & Big, behold! It’s been a good while since our last update, but things are going swell. Over the past 3 months, the levels have been assuming more and more of a level-ish shape and kept growing rapidly. Furthermore, Black Pants Studio has absorbed another human being.
From now on, full-time level designer and officialese member, Tobias “Hat” Bilgeri is supporting us in building levels, finishing the game and dragging people to beverage offering parlours.
You can see his splendid short films and movies here: Bilgeri.eu
AND We were asked whether it’d be possible to submit fan art. Why, yes it is! Just send your pieces at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll proudly present them on our site and on indieDB. We’d be much more than honoured to receive some of your art!!! Alas, here’s a little sneak preview of the recent status.
We have slapped some toony walls of rock onto the cliff, giving it more detail and structure.
The pyramid is being filled with new textures right now. Contrast of the different elements is raised by dark glowy and mysterious material.
Glowing with gloe! Screenshots include material from the later-in-the-game levels, like: The Statue of …, The Place where Things Are In Disturbance, At the Tip of a Horrible Moment.
So far, lasery greetings and best,
Stamm and Jones (on behalf of Black Pants)
Hello everybody, to celebrate the upcoming GAMESCOM event in our good ol’ home country Germany, we want to give you an overview of what we’ll bring to the exhibition. Currently we’re close to finish 3 of the 6 planned levels. We also recently finished a nice „secret“ tutorial for you to learn how to use the following tools, which can be used in a creative and destructive way.
Tiny can use his rope with a grappling hook to pull stuff around. It allows him to move heaviest rocks in a useful position.
The laser can be used to slice almost everything in the world into little pieces. This tool melts through heavy rocks like a hot knife through butter. You can create useful platforms or use it just for fun.
Finally, Tiny brings a load of selfmade rockets to the ground, to push elements with a doseable but firm flaming burst anywhere he wants them. A good tool for the technophile but lazy pusher!
Currently the The Bowl of Trying, The Fall of Great Altitude and The Gap between Here and a Rock awaits you for playing.
Black Pants Game Studio will present the current stage of development of Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. We would like to invite you to our press conference, which will take place within the scope of the A MAZE Indie Connect.
Press conference – Indie Connect
Date: 2011, Fri. 19th of August 11 am
Location: Cologne Gamescom, Hall 04.1 Business Area, Booth D031 – E030
A MAZE Indie Connect booth
Date: 2011, Wed. 17th – Fri. 19th of August
Location: Cologne Gamescom, Hall 04.1 Business Area, Booth D031 – E030
If you’d like to play Tiny and Big or if you prefer a personal presentation in a more familial surrounding, we can arrange a meet & play during one of the three days from Wed. 17th – Fri. 19th of August. To set up a meeting, please contact us.
We started flirting with the IGF more than one year ago, when we just missed the submission deadline for its 12th installment by approximately two months. Back then we wanted to submit our prototype demo “Up That Mountain“. Perhaps it was some kind of weird destiny to fail that deadline, because who knows whether that old demo would have brought us as far as “Grandpa’s Leftovers” was able to. After the student entries were published, we realized that our chances to see San Francisco were pretty slim. There were just short of 300 submissions and a lot of them were amazingly good. In our previous contest, the 2010 Indie of the Year Awards, we probably were as far away as possible from touching an award, which we attributed to the large amount of great games. Even bigger the surprise when we were nominated for the IGF Student Showcase. We quickly decided we had to show more than just one level at the IGF, so we declared the following weeks crunch-time. Eventually, we didn’t finish all the levels we planned, yet we were highly pleased with the build we took to California.
On the first day of GDC we had plenty of time to inspect the location, watch the carpet being freewheeled and participate in the conference. On Tuesday we went head-first into action, and prepared our exhibition booth.
After setting up the machine and doing final test runs, it was time to look for an evening beer and to relax. So we went to the IGF opening party, where we met some of the other student showcase guys, like Richard Flanagan, the creator of FRACT and winner of the Best Student Game award, and Philip Tobitoski, one of the developers of Octodad.Wednesday was our first real exhibition day, which was enormously overwhelming and exhausting. The whole day was spent explaining our game to developers, publishers and press. But the number of contacts and friends we made in the development community must have been ten times higher than during our whole development phase. Simply a stunning experience, and we encourage every indie developer to visit the GDC some day, it’s as good as everyone says it is.
At the awards ceremony, we enjoyed the privilege to sit at one table with Mojang, joined by bottles filled with finest beverage. You can watch the ceremony in all it’s glory at GameSpot. Afterwards, we walked our way to a party, which NVIDIA had handed out invitations for, offering free food and booze to our delight. Even rice that turned out to be onions didn’t reduce the whole festivity. The next day was sweetened by an interview we gave to German television in Haight-Ashbury, and we spent the last evening in San Francisco at a certain pub, which shall not be named. After all, it was a blast to be at GDC! Having some time left to visit tasty places like In & Out Burger, and one serving nameless food in Chinatown didn’t hurt either, as did encountering hobos hiding in makeshift shrubbery to yell at people. Goodbye San Francisco. We’re hoping to see you again!
Interviews and reports
gamrFeed – VGChartz
Nerding Out Episode 4 – GDC Part 2 (from 1:46)
While we were still marvelling at the wonders of GDC, we got spectacular, thrilling news: Tiny & Big had made it to indiePub’s Propeller Awards finals, despite stiff competition of 150 submissions. Next stop, Austin, Texas.We had initially planned to take 2 weeks off after GDC, and travel the US of A. At first we did that for a few days, and then took a flight from Seattle to Austin, arriving a day late to the festival. At the SXSW Arcade expo hall, everything was already ready to go. The guys and gals from indiePub really worked their butts off and made sure that we only had to take care of presenting our game, and nothing else. It was a welcome change from the IGF, where they basically tell you “Well, here’s your booth guys, have at it.” Not to mention they payed for flights, a nice hotel room, and even food (also, even booze once. Oh indiePub, you know how to get us Germans).
Despite the nice accommodation, the festival turnout was not really comparable to the IGF. We met a lot of gamers who liked the demo, and a few people from the industry, but all in all it was pretty relaxed. The atmosphere was incredibly friendly, and gave the indie developers a great opportunity to socialize. In the end, everyone had more fun than they would have expected. Shout outs to our friends Robin Arnott (Deep Sea), Pete and Sam (Creo), Chris and Vladimir (Chewy), Marco and Matt (GLiD), Thomas (Skinny) and Uncanny Games (Uncanny Fish Hunt)!The festival was topped off by the Independent Propeller Awards show. It assembled all the developers, press, and hosts Adam “Atomic” Saltsman and Meredith Molinari, for an evening of high-brow entertainment. No, really, despite technical hiccups, the indiePeeps did a great job again. The suspense was quickly over for us, as the second award announced was the Unity Development Award, and it was bestowed upon Grandpa’s Leftovers. Adam actually stated that some of the judges liked to call it the “Awesome Game Award”, just because they liked the game that much. That was a very nice moment for us right there.On the subject of Unity, although they stated in the award description “the winning game does not need to be developed using Unity”, it’s probably fair to say that this award puts some kind of label on Tiny & Big. Our own Scape Engine is the technology powering all the freaky stuff going on behind the scenes, and it’s as much a part of the game as the artwork and design. However, no offence taken, just making sure to prevent any confusion.To finish on a lighter note, after the awards show we went out to let the parteying commence, and managed to wind up in a club promising sharks below the dancefloor! Only it was a day sans sharks! Oh the disappointment! Yet, we made the best out of it and danced like it was 1991…
Interviews and reports
At this third and final award ceremony we participated in the category for best concept of young academics. Because this award is a national one, here’s a short explanation of its meaning: The award is an initiative of politics and economy. It focuses on games which are innovative, and of high cultural and educational value. The categories are best concept by young academics, best game for kids, best game for teenagers, best serious game, best mobile game, best browser game and best overall game.Half of the time on the road to Munich was spent discussing our chances to score the award. Arriving at the scene, we smoothly slipped ourselves into cheap tuxedos and walked to the ceremonial place. Coming back from the US, we were used to large spaces, but the award ceremony was much smaller than the IGF’s or IndiePub’s. Our category only had 34 submissions (and this was the category with the most entrants). Running with us for the award were two more nominees called BeatBuddy and daWindci. The ceremony itself was very exiting and the host presented all the games pretty passionately. This was a huge and very nice surprise for us. Then suddenly, excitement destroyed our faces at the moment our game was called. We stumbled upon to the stage in a rubbery manner, and received a pretty nifty trophy with built in LEDs (means you can even turn it on and off).Following the German Computer Game Award were the LARA awards, which prize international games. The entire show lasted for more than two hours (you can watch it below). After receiving the award, we were delegated to our first VIP photo shoot on a red carpet in front of an advertising wall like the royals of royaltonia. This was a very weird experience, imagine a dozen photographers shouting at you; “Look here!” and “Do this or that pose!”
After this interesting event we gave a relaxed interview to some very nice guys from our hometown. They are working for an online YouTube channel called GameInside. You can watch a snippet of the interview down below but it’s in german only. After the whole show, we stored the pillage in the car and had good evening spendage at the “P1”, where food was solely served in glasses and we had some bursting laughs with the guys from Threaks.
Interviews and reports
Entire Show (from 36:38 – 41:52 german only)
Interview with GameInside (from 17:23 – 19:15, german only)
The Best Student Game award went to FRACT, and it’s completely deserving, no question about that! So congratulations Richard, keep it up!
GDC is now over, and it’s been a blast! We met so many nice people, and the IGF atmosphere was exhilarating. If you are an indie developer, you should definitely consider submitting your game to this festival.
We will be in Austin for the upcoming weekend, to join the SXSW Festival and hopefully bring an award home with us. We are currently travelling through the US, so there probably won’t be another update here on the site until we get home. If you want to get updated on the awards situation, please follow us on Twitter!
Thanks everyone for a great time, keep it up guys & gals!