Spidey and Colossus help some of our morning impaired employees!
Colossus surprises Spidey!
Bejiggles took a break from its creepy version of hide and seek to play with Spidey and Colossus.
Started making coffee in the office again. May or may not have been a good idea.
It’s been a while since we said anything here, and since we’ve yet to introduce our secretary…
Sanctuary has been waiting for it’s heroes to arrive, but that wait is now over!
Earlier today we all received our copies of Diablo 3 (thanks Ken)! Don’t worry we’ll make sure it doesn’t affect our production (too much).
This story comes a few weeks later than I would’ve liked…sorry I just escaped from a Wizard Time Space Paradox….it happens. But considering the Avengers comes out this weekend in Theaters worldwide this may really be the best timing.
So anyways ….Listen up true believers, because I’m bringing you this amazing and heart warming tale of action, adventure and good overcoming evil.
Kids, let me tell you the story of how I met Stan Lee…..and how I almost didn’t. As well as how Stan got to see and play Wizard Ops.
For those of you who don’t know Stan Lee….(If you don’t, SERIOUSLY??? Who the hell are you? Have you been living under a rock for the last 90 years?) Please watch this trailer, then come back to read the rest of this.
He created or co-created the foundation of the entire Marvel Universe. Spiderman, X-men, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, you name it.
Stan Lee is 89 years young, still very healthy and very sharp, always funny and almost EVERY sentence he says sounds like THE MOST AMAZING THING EVAAARRR to be said!!!!!
See this interview to get a feel for how he always talks
Anyways, recently at a comic convention here in Orlando the opportunity to meet Stan Lee came up and obviously this is every comic geek and nerd’s wet dream come true.
My friend Ken Pariser (also co-founder here at Phyken Media) and I decided this was our chance to finally meet Stan Lee. There were 2 days available Saturday and Sunday, we chose Saturday.
Knowing there was no possibility of over-powering the might of 10,000 people at once many of which were quite formidable like guy below.
We figured paying (over $100) for the VIP experience would help avoid the crowds and perhaps a bit more of a meaningful chance to meet Stan, in fact we were given a special lanyard …..but boy were we wrong!
Which by the way they mis-spelled my name! Look when you have a co-founder, its like being married…but they took it literally. Kunal Patel, not Kunel Pariser!!
This pass only indicated you were a VIP and you could have 2 autographs on any thing of your choosing and we thought allowed you a photo op with Stan as well, but there was a paper printout you absolutely needed in addition.
Naturally I forgot this printout and my VIP lanyard alone meant nothing, the photo staff made no exceptions as they said “Sir, there is no way to print it again here, you’re going to have to go get it if you want a picture with Stan.” (Oh Shit I think I left it in my car!).
Despite the hundreds waiting in line, The Photo line leading into the black curtained room was actually moving pretty fast almost like a factory assembly line (….man this seemed like a pretty impersonal experience…what did I sign up for?) Even the autograph line was pretty impersonal. He may or may not get a chance to look up
Still I couldn’t let my chance pass by, I ran nearly a mile to the end of the parking lot where we parked to only find I actually left the pass at home. I ran all the way back, took my chance and spoke to registration…..Success! they printed up a new sheet despite previous lies by the photo staff…they tell me Stan is there for another 5 minutes! So I run with all my might to find no one standing in line, and peeking inside the black curtained room I saw Stan sitting alone and conference staff member who said “sorry the camera man is gone, you’ll have to come back tomorrow.”
So here comes Sunday, I’ve returned with a pass and hopefully a chance to meet Stan. Naturally I overslept and I stood last in line.
And when my time came I walked in and said “Stan hey, I finally made it!”
Stan replied, “Well Geez I’ve been waiting all day for you! Glad you finally got your chance, sorry about yesterday. ”
We got our pic and I thought well I guess that’s it…..or so I thought!
It turned out the camera guy left immediately afterwards today as well and so Stan said “Well Kunal, I knew you had to wait a while, Looks like I’ve got some time…..so what do you do?”
And I said well we make Video Games for phones and tablets. We just released one called Wizard Ops!
Stan quickly said back “Well… is it any good?“
And so I showed him our Wizard Ops Flyer (done by our awesome artists), and said “yes absolutely, its fantastic!”
He saw the flyer and said wow these characters look AMAZING! Wizard Commandos….Genius! He asked if I had the game to show…thanks to the magic of cargo pants I had a tablet with me and he played our game Wizard Ops!!, Stan saw the action and said “This is really great…I think I’m going to show this to the guys back at the POW office”, folding up the flyer into his inside jacket pocket after writing some little note.
We then ended up chatting for the next 10 minutes or so about what he’s up to at POW (his new company http://www.powentertainment.com), his upcoming trip to the UK and his guest cameo in the Avengers. He said he was really pumped up to see it on the big screen and that it was going to be amazing. (well of course :)
He signed way more than the 2 items I was allowed and just as it just struck me to get some video of Stan to say hi at the folks back at the Phyken Offices……almost immediately a lady came by saying “OMG Stan, we’re late!” and had to take him to his next event.
But Let me tell you, this was basically a dream come true, who knows if he ever did show our game to the guys at POW but it doesn’t really matter.
Stan is a legend; he made a universe of characters and stories that have inspired several generations of people. I hope to see him again at some point, and if an opportunity came to work with him before he hangs up his mustache and glasses I would take it in a heartbeat!
In any case thanks Stan for waiting around for me
Anyways ‘Nuff Said
(Co-founder at Phyken Media)
(by Ken, the VP of Creative Development and Co-Founder guy)
Hey Phyken Media-maniacs out there! So today Ken is going to tell you a little story about how Wizard Ops became the rapid fire SHMUP and not a turn based strategy game.
Our original idea was to make a turn based strategy game about a couple of wizards trying to save a princess. Very original BTW… So early on we wanted the wizards to be able to combine their powers to make awesome attacks when their collective turn was over. It was all going to involve physics based attacks to solve a puzzle; namely how to kill all of the bad guys while getting to a level specific objective. Sounds fun, I know. We threw together a couple of attacks and made some levels and everything seemed okay, until we realized that we had to make the game work on the iPhone3g.
The joke that Apple played on us was that the first three versions of the iPhone used the same CPU, so there were no real hardware advantages in using a newer phone. Apple put a faster CPU in the 3gs and our game ran fine with that model, but we still had to deal with a large iPhone 3g user group. So with this we had to put that style of game on the backburner.
We did some soul searching and decided to make a 3d SHMUP, because preliminary trials looked good and played well on all devices. We started working on it and kind of took the Blizzardian stance that it will be done when it is done and continued to work on the game adding and subtracting sections here and there. Eventually many months later we had the game out on the IOS and people have seemed to dig it.
To tell this story we must travel back to a dark time where the world was torn asunder and chaos reigned. Actually it wasn’t that bad but back in August 2011 we were trying to figure out how we wanted our in game GUI to look in Wizard Ops. We knew that we wanted to display how much money the player had accumulated over the course of the game but we didn’t want just numbers. Instead, we wanted a symbol that the player would instantly recognize as their money.
We gave these stipulations to one of our artists who created the Wizard Piggy. Even though we love him, we had to think about the fact that our game would be available globally and not everyone will recognize a piggy bank. Because of this, we eventually settled on just a coin as our symbol but the Wizard Piggy still stays with us in our hearts (and also in the game store as well).
We asked the artist to share her insight, perhaps some thoughts on her work. This is what she said:
He’s pink and cute!
Well put, artist. Well put.
(by The Phyken Media Team)
It’s hard for us to believe that it’s been almost 3 months since we launched our first game, Wizard Ops! During that time we’ve learned a lot about developing for the mobile platform, but most importantly we’ve learned a great deal about communicating with our players.
At Phyken Media we believe that it is imperative to create a community where our players are able to freely talk to the developers who make the games. We want to hear what you think about the company and our games, whether that be good or bad news.
This mentality has driven us to launch a new initiative that will allow our players the ability to provide feedback to the developers, help shape the future of our games, and to also get a look behind the scenes at Phyken Media. The ideas we have for this initiative will start rolling out over the next month, so please keep checking back with us as we start to create this special community.
Until then, please let us know how we are doing through the usual feedback channels. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Also, be sure to check out the Wizard Ops site!