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Max’s Pirate Planet on sale for $0.99 June 12-18 to celebrate Father’s Day.

Max’s Pirate Planet on sale for $0.99 June 12-18 to celebrate Father’s Day.

 

VANCOUVER, BC, June 12 2013 – Avast, Me Hearties! Starting on June 12th and going through June 18th, the salty crew at Slant Six Games is offering Max’s Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure, their hit children’s board game app, for just 0.99 cents to celebrate Father’s Day! 

For less than a single dabloon, families can take part in a globe-wide adventure and compete for Barnacle Bill’s fabled sunken treasure. Along the wayplayers will get to battle sea monsters, race against giant whales, and duel other players for pieces of a treasure map, with ample opportunity to show kids why they are ‘The Scourge of the Seven Seas’! 

“Many of us at the studio are parents, so we were eager to do something in honour of Father’s Day” said Brian Thalken, Managing Director at Slant Six Games.

Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure Lite™ is available now for $0.99 on the Apple App Store and Google Play. This is a pass and play multi-player game that is suitable for children ages four and up. To learn more about Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure visit http://www.slantsixgames.com  or watch the official trailer at http://www.youtube.com/slantsixgames

Screenshots are available at http://www.slantsixgames.com

Join the Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure™ community at http://www.facebook.com/maxspirateplanet or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/maxpirateplanet and use the hashtag #MaxPiratePlanet.   

 

About Slant Six Games
Slant Six Games is an award-winning, independent game development studio located in Vancouver, British Columbia that specializes in creating quality interactive experiences for console, mobile, and PC since 2005. Our titles include: Galactic Reign, The Bowling Dead, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, SOCOM: Confrontation, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo and SOCOM: Tactical Strike. Our proprietary game engine Hexane™ is a leading edge technology solution for development of AAA-quality games across mobile and console platforms.

Press Contact:
Ruth Spink, Marketing Director, Slant Six Games
rspink@slantsixgames.com
1.604.637.9800

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Max's Pirate Planet Review - The Mommy Gamers

"I would definitely recommend this game to any parent looking for a fun time with their kids."

Thanks for playing, Mommies!

You can read the full review here.

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Max's Pirate Planet gets 5/5 from Kidzworld!

“This is the best board game app on the market. You can try the LITE version for free to see if it's fun."
 

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5/5 For Max's Pirate Planet From The iPhoneMom!

"I enjoyed Max’s Pirate Planet.  I think that this would be a fun game for kids to play while they are traveling, or just at home.  If you would like to share a new pass-and-play style board game with your kids, be sure to check out Max’s Pirate Planet!"

Read the full review here.

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Max's Pirate Planet in The Globe And Mail!

Max's Pirate Planet: A Board Game Adventure was featured in The Globe And Mail's 'Apps We Love' column this week!

"It’s simple and fun and you’ll always have everything you need to play in the palm of your hand."

Read the full article here.

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Max's Pirate Planet Review - Pappas Appar

"The best thing about Max's Pirate Planet, I think, is that the children can have fun and play together and that it not obvious who wins. It is not necessarily the most important to be skilful in duels and defeating monsters .... Max's Pirate Planet is primarily an entertaining app but it applies also to think a little logically." (Translated from Swedish).

Full Article

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Slant Six Games releases Max’s Pirate Planet LITE™

Slant Six Games releases Max’s Pirate Planet LITE™

 

VANCOUVER, BC, May 14 2013 – Avast, mateys! Max’s Pirate Party Lite™ is launching today across iOS devices in support of the hit children’s board game app Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure. Set on a thrilling pirate-themed interactive spinning globe, Max’s Pirate Planet Lite™ offers a free trail for kids to participate in an exciting board game-style race to find Barnicle Bill’s fabled lost treasure with up to three friends.

The Lite version provides players with either thirty minutes of play time or one full round that can be enjoyed without locked content. Brian Thalken, Managing Director at Slant Six Games, said of the launch: “After receiving feedback from parents, we were eager to release a “try before you buy” version that could give them a glimpse into what our game has to offer in terms of a safe, fun and educational interactive experience.”

Created with children’s entertainment experience top of mind, players will set course for adventure as they traverse the interactive board and complete in a variety of pirate-themed mini games to uncover pieces of a secret treasure map. Along the way players fend off hungry sea monsters, duel with friends in a swashbuckling swoiree of swords, and blast cannons like a real buccaneer! Once a player has completed the map, they’ll be taken to Barnacle Bill’s secret hideout where they can defeat him for his fabled gold and win the game!

 

Max’s Pirate Planet Lite™ is available now for free on Apple Mobile Devices. This is a pass and play multi-player game with a purchasing option that is suitable for children ages four and up. To learn more about Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure visit Apple App Store or http://www.slantsixgames.com  or watch the official trailer at http://www.youtube.com/slantsixgames.

Screenshots are available at http://www.slantsixgames.com

Join the Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure™ community at http://www.facebook.com/maxspirateplanet or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/maxpirateplanet and use the hashtag #MaxPiratePlanet.   

 

About Slant Six Games

Slant Six Games is an award-winning, independent game development studio located in Vancouver, British Columbia that specializes in creating quality interactive experiences for console, mobile, and PC since 2005. Our titles include: Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure, Galactic Reign, The Bowling Dead, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, SOCOM: Confrontation, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo and SOCOM: Tactical Strike. Our proprietary game engine Hexane™ is a leading edge technology solution for development of AAA-quality games across mobile and console platforms.

Press Contact:
Ruth Spink, Marketing Director, Slant Six Games
rspink@slantsixgames.com
1.604.637.9800

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Galactic Reign Contest!

Galactic Reign Contest!

Tweets From Space!

We want to give away some Galactic Reign swag and here's how you can win it!

Send us a tweet from the perspective of one of your Galactic Reign crew members! Including a picture is encouraged! Make sure to tweet us at @SlantSixGames with the hashtag #TweetsFromSpace (can be whatever) and we'll choose our favorites to win some awesome Galactic Reign swag!

Examples:
- "Just saw like 400 LASERS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW! If I'm still tweeting, I guess they're ours?" #TWEETSFROMSPACE

- "All these proton cannons and they can't install one working toilet" #TweetsFromSpace

- "I'm supposed to go on a recon mission to find some resources. Crossing fingers for a Space Burger King. #TweetsFromSpace

Contest ends Wednesday May 22 and winners will be announced the following day. Good luck, Space Fighters!

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Mother's Day Contest!

Hey everyone!

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, we want to give away some free copies of Max's Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure to enjoy with your family! To enter, all you have to do is tell us your favorite thing about your mom or kids in your best pirate voice! We'll pick five winners to receive a download code!


Example: "Yarrr, she be kinder than all the scurvy dogs I know put together!"

Contest ends on Sunday 12th May and winners will be announced next week! Please send your entry to either our Facebook Page or Twitter account!

Good luck, mateys!

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“Ahoy Pirates! You Ready for Adventure?”: Developing Max's Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure

“Ahoy Pirates! You Ready for Adventure?”: Developing Max's Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure

By Kelly Fennig, Producer on Max's Pirate Planet and at Slant Six Games. Follow him on Twitter!

(I get a mile-wide smile every time I hear that line....)

Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure is a swashbuckling digital board game for Apple and Android tablets and smart phones, as well as for the Amazon Kindle Fire. Players find treasure chests on a globe and play interactive mini-games in order to get them. The objective is to get four chests and defeat Barnacle Bill, and along the way Players can also duel other players for their chest to get ahead or stay ahead. So like most board games we played as kids with our friends and family, it is both single-player and pass & play multi-player (up to 4 players), but it is also a step beyond – the technology allows for a game that was not possible from boxed board games.  We designed it with children four years-old and up in mind, but as we were making it, we found that it wasn’t just fun for kids, but for anyone who was once, or still is, a kid.

One look at the title screen, and people will realize it’s not the standard fare we are known for making at Slant Six Games. Let’s be clear, it definitely doesn’t mean we’ve changed direction on the type of games we are known for making (no, no, no! We still love our tactical shooters, zombies and blowing stuff up!), but just like Galactic Reign demonstrated earlier this year, it means we like to flex our game versatility and pedigree (and modesty!).

“Legend has it….”

The origins of Max and his Pirate Planet go back to just under a year ago. We had just finished making Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and we were pitching new ideas for games we felt would be fun to play. We are gamers of all genres here, and like playing every type of game! In May 2012, we had a design jam: an internal brainstorming competition where we split into small teams to quickly create game prototypes.  In one week, a team of six people designed the game on paper and created a prototype of a board game on a globe, with tokens wearing pirate hats, searching for treasures.

The game as designed in the Jam was ridiculously fun to play; however, another game equally as compelling came out of the Jam that we wanted to make first (The Bowling Dead, available now on iTunes and soon on Android). But a board game…about pirates…on a globe…played on a tablet: something about that just felt right and stuck!  Probably because it was so different from what we traditionally do, the game was not forgotten. It was a breath of fresh air!  So when the opportunity arose, the sails unfurled and we said “Why not? Let’s make a kids game and see what happens?”

And thus “The Grand Experiment” began.

“The Chests are Protected by Monsters you have to defeat!”

I always referred to Max’s Pirate Planet as “The Grand Experiment” because it introduced a bunch of novel conventions never considered by Slant Six Games to this date:

  • Self publishing a game with original IP.
  • Making a board game.
  • Making a game for Android and the Amazon Kindle Fire.
  • Making a game with a very short timeline and a small team.
  • Making a children’s game. (This was probably the scariest one for me)

In true form to the Design Jam, we wanted to set some constraints for ourselves: let’s make this game in less than four months and with an average headcount of seven people.  It was pretty aggressive, but doable.

We formed the core team in mid-November. Since we wanted to keep the headcount low, we chose a team that consisted of mutli-disciplinary people: Programmers who could draw, Artists who could animate, Artists who could code. (heck, I even rolled up my sleeves when needed to fill in gaps!) For any specialty skills we we’re deficient in (audio, visual FX, etc), we’d “contract” out to a revolving door cast of experts within our company who would jump on the team for a week, do their magic like a ninja and then smokebomb out. The nice thing about a small team size is that we all had equal say in the design.

We started pre-production in mid November 2012 with the goal to spend as much time in pre-production as possible.  The things we wanted to get out of it before heading to production were:

  1. Make the game fun, easy to understand and not too simple or difficult for children of ages four and up.
  2. Create some compelling and visually appealing characters.
  3. Prototype out all the mini games and play test them thoroughly to ensure they will be fun for our target audience before investing too much time developing art.

The original game from the Design Jam was quite complex and had a lot of strategy element. This was suitable for teens and older but we quickly learned after watching children play our initial prototype and some existing board games that we needed to add one more goal before going too far: Try to understand how a child’s mind works when playing a game!

We were so fortunate to have a resource nearby through our Art Lead Sean Barner. His brother Dr. David Barner, who teaches in the psychology department at UC San Diego, specializes in child psychology - ages 5-8. He helped steer us in the beginning and then we just started watching and learning from the kids who we brought in.

So we tore the original game rules down to their bare bones and concepts (Pirates; globe, get treasure) and, just like an experiment, we started reintroducing and adjusting the rules one at a time to make sure the game was still fun and playable by our audience.

We spent weeks conceptualizing the playable characters, each time checking in with the children to see what stuck and what didn’t.  Our final cast is the amalgam of character designs from 3 different artists.  Max came later – our executive producer Mike Kerr brought up the suggestion of an “aspiring Narrator Character”, and I’m glad he did – Max is actually quite dear to my heart now.  It’s funny but true: it seems everyone who has played the game can identify with or is attracted to some “thing” in a character (their name, colour, clothing, scar, eyebrows) and can easily pick a “favorite”, and I feel we assembled a really great cast of characters!  This is largely due to the final designs by game artist Jen Morgan.

Our Design Lead Sarah Mah worked with our target audience to determine which types of minigames and mechanics would be fun and easily learned; immediately following that, our programming lead Peter Chan would prototype each of the mini-games in rapid succession: in the matter of two weeks most of our minigames were playable and tunable. Every time a game was available, we tested it against our li’l pirate testers.  So going into production we were confident that our games would easily come together.

So after 6 weeks of pre-production, we started production on January 7, 2013.

“Everybody Ready?”

Production ran from January 7, 2013 to March 8th. Nine very short, very focused, very very fun weeks. 

Each week we were changing the look, evolving the prototypes, adding new gameplay elements and testing our changes with the children (we always needed some fresh kids to get some fresh eyes…).  Each week, the game looked and played better than the previous – all the time spent in pre-production totally paid off and helped make production so smooth.

Our studio audio-guy Dorian Pareis found us a found fantastic composer Billy Martin to do our score. In true indie fashion, the vocal talent for the game was all found in-house (for example, Max is actually one of our environmental tech artists and Skully is our Studio Art Director).

Like most games developed, people stayed late, but it wasn’t because we were crunched for time (believe it or not, we were actually on schedule the whole project) but because people wanted to make it even better. It was like playing a video game in the wee hours of the night and going “…just one more level”.  Making Max’s Pirate Planet was as addicting as playing it!

By the end, most of the rules that were in the Design Jam prototype found their way into the final game in some way or another, and we even added a couple of surprise features too for those who are willing to poke around the screen, try different gestures, and look for different ways to win the game. 

 

“Let’s go Adventuring!”

Watching the kids (and “big kids”) play was probably the biggest treat. So was watching parents play with their kids. It brought back some nostalgia of when I was young playing board games with my parents: they would teach me the rules, and then I could teach my friends so we could play together. And even though the parents are 20+ years older than their children, they’ll still have fun playing with their kids (and even find themselves challenged at times).  To us, the tablets allowed a dynamic change to the family board game concept that wasn’t possible when I was a kid:

  • The board doesn't need to be flat anymore - we made an interactive globe
  • Using HDMI cables or Apple TV/AirPlay, the family can watch teh game on a big screen while the tablet is passed from turn to turn.

Probably one of my most favorite memories is watching a pack of Cub Scouts play our game.  Over twenty children were playing the game in a room and the energy could only be described as “exciting pandemonium.”  Some kids were dueling each other for treasure while others chose the exploration route.  Other kids were the first to get to Barnacle Bill but would lose a few times, only to have someone else swoop in behind them, steal one of their treasures and beat Bill; snatching victory from defeat! Yet another Scout found one of our surprises and his eyes went wide with excitement.

A typical game lasts 20-40 minutes; when a game ended; they immediately started a new one and began another adventure!  This was the first time some of the team working on the game saw a play test of this scale, and we knew this was something special we were working on.

“Well Yo-Ho-Ho and Off We Go!”

Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure was a real treat to make and I love playing it. I’m very proud of all the games we’ve made here at Slant Six Games, but since this was so novel, this one is special to me and I feel it is an amazing compliment to all the games we have made (and we currently have in the works). It was created, designed, and inspired internally by our staff and published by us and it is a fun family game for people of all ages.

(And for less than the price of a coffee, to me it is amazing value…. but I’m biased J)

Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure is available now for on iTunes App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Kindle Fire Store.

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Max’s Pirate Planet on sale for $0.99 June 12-18 to celebrate Father’s Day.

  VANCOUVER, BC, June 12 2013 – Avast, Me Hearties! Starting on June 12th and going … more

Max's Pirate Planet Review - The Mommy Gamers

"I would definitely recommend this game to any parent looking for a fun time with their … more

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