Wii love BigBen 27th, February 2009
We're happy to announce the port of our beloved game "Mad Tracks" on the best selling console.
The game will be very similar to the Xbox 360 thanks to our in house advanced "Vrooooom" engine and our dedicated Technical Director - Tranbouille.
More on this dev real soon.
Handbrake on. 20th, January 2009
Lots of you are asking us where ToW is.
Thanks for asking, we love getting attention, even if we always want more.
Well ToW is finished and pretty much ready for resubmission at Microsoft, but we're dealing with a few hickups that should not change a thing in the future experience you'll have playing this fantastic game.
Thanks for being patient, we promise our next XBLA game will be on your HD faster!
Happy 2009 1st, January 2009
Load Inc. wishes you, your family, your friends, your business associates, your pets, your publisher, your developer, your tax man, your boss and everyone in Liverpool a very very very healthy, happy and prosperous 2009.
Boobies !! 14th, October 2008
Lots of fans (and other people too) ask us where is ToW.
The good news is that the game is finished and we are each time more excited to present it to people here and there (they seem to like the game a lot too).
The bad news is that Microsoft hasn't yet approved ToW (we're told there are a lot of games in the process of)...
Since what we mostly do on ToW is wait around, we made these furry boobs for you.
We hope you like them.
Have a fantastic day!
Trading cards. 24th, September 2008
Boy was it fun to grow up in San Francisco back in the 80s and 90s.
We were celebrating each week end egemonies of the 49ers and the Giants.
Times when people from the bay were trading 'Jesus' by 'Joe Montana' in everyday conversations.
I remember vividly those endless picnicks on the Candlestick park lot, the back of the truck open as a bench. Sharing a moment with the family.
I was a Montana fan, just like everyone.
I was also very fond of Tracey, and as I wanted all of her attention, I gave her my signed trading card of a flamboyant Joe Montana going for the 70 yards killer pass. The pass eventualy ended up in Jerry Rices hands, but Tracey never fell for me.
If only I had known better.
A few years (decades) later - that was last week - when Herve (our AD) came out with the idea of ToW trading cards, I was all in.
It's not much, they're not even printed! But you'll get a chance to see them soon I hope.
12 cards for 12 cars.
Next entry will announce ToW leaving for certification at Microsoft. Can't tell you when the next entry will be!
Have a good one!
Ex-East German Achievements. 25th, August 2008
Ok so I'm back from Leipzig GC last week and boy was it a serie of life achievements!
Year after year, I found out that in Leipzig english was more a concept than a language, you basicaly have to do with your three words of scholar German, a array of hand signs and a LOT of patience!
I admit, lots of english speaking industry people were there (including friends, fellow developers, customers, future customers, never in my life customers and some other I still have to find out what it is they are doing in the video game business).
But still, when you're in a restaurant and nothing looks like something you ever put in your mouth and the waiter answers you in German with a thick Saxe accent - you think it's a good time to start a diet.
Yes, I'm exagerating, we will 'miss' Leipzig next year, and these three years were fun.
Talking about achievements, our friends at www.360sync.com, www.achieve360points.com and www.xbox360achievements.org gave the list away, with icons and all!
Make sure to check it out.
Achievements and short dresses 27th, July 2008
Summer finaly arrived in Paris. You got to love terrasse lunches, short dresses, refreshing fountains and overall happiness. But come on, admit it, it's nothing compared to a good achievement hunt!!
Looking at my GamerCard, you can see I'm not too good at a hunter (GamerTag: DenisDenis), but I always get a kick when I unlock a new one! I'm amazed at how persistent some gamers can be. I remember how fast we had our first 200 points gamers on Mad Tracks a year ago. It took them half an hour. I played three weeks to get 165/200 on Uno - get my point.
Here at Load Inc. we take our job very seriously. Our expresso machine is checked every 6 months, we only hire the finest employees and we keep our fart boxes refrigirated. We've also asked the community what was their favorite achievements, why and what kind they hated. By doing so, we're closer to what people really want (don't get me wrong, we still dictate what the remaining 8 achievements are).
With the help of our buzz partners Rob and John (from SandboxStrat) we even threw a couple of contests (*) to have player designed achievements. It was no easy task for them, finding the right achievements not knowing a thing about the game was tricky. Also, it was somewhat of a challenge for us because achievments coming from contests were not designed in the game design's original architecture, implying changes at the last moment.
Four happy gamers actualy won and have their names in ToW's credits.
I'm curious to see if they will be skilled enough to unlock their own achievement.
I know I'll try and if I don't succeed, I'll just have to go and watch short dress from my favorite terrasse.
(*) thanks to destructoid.com and xbox360achievements.org for their support and quirckyness.
I'm free! 18th, July 2008
Here at Load Inc. we've been talking a lot about the free trial version of ToW lately.
Last year we got pretty lucky because we did not spend too much time on it and got really close to a very good 'Mad Tracks' trial version.
This 'try before you buy' system required by Microsoft is a double edged sword. Here at load Inc. we like it a lot - maybe because we're daring or just a little stupid (who said 'french'??).
Double edged because if you give the right feeling, people are going to buy like crazy - no matter what the press says. On the other hand, if your teaser is no good or ill balanced, people are going to walk away, even if your game is good overall and that's the sad news!
As a consumer I believe in trying. Here's a sample of the last trial experience I had: a German car, a computer, frozen yogurt, a cleaning company, online music and of course every XBLA games that Microsoft is throwing my way. I also played the (very) few trials on PSN and got irritated to have to buy some other games to see if I would like them just to find out they were not my cup of tea.
I have to admit trying helps a lot to make up your mind. I'm not going to buy a product I don't like - well I actualy buy video games I don't like, but it's partly my job.
The conversion rate difference between a good trial and a bad one range from 1% to 25% (I'm purposely not talking about cases under 1% and over 25%).
As an example, if 100.000 xbox fans were to try ToW on it's release day, we could sell from 1.000 to 25.000 games. So here's my two cents on what makes the difference:
1. Front window appeal: how does it look before playing? Do you feel comfy with the menus? Is there an eye pleasing factor? Did you identify the genre, the universe?
2. Learning curve: can you play the trial version? Is your frustrometer maxed out? You would not believe how many trial versions I abandonned because I just could not play!
3. Interest: was the trial challenging enough? Did you get the feeling you did everything there were to do in the game? Did you try the demo several times to improve your score?
4. Peep show effect: you can look but are you sorry you can't touch? Did you see something that turned your gamer hormones on? Did you get achievements that are only confirmed if you unlock the full game? Were you able to try different modes? Did you get a feel of multiplayer? Did you check the leaderboards to see how you would rank?
Trust me, combining these is not an easy task. We had vivid arguments on what to give, what to show and what to keep secret in the trial version. In the end we're pretty happy with what we're going to give you.
Because in the end, this trial version we worked on so hard is yours - for free
Sweat! 16th, July 2008
Today I tested a new almost complete version of ToW. Well at least I started testing, then quickly realised I was playing.
I mean really playing ToW - with people cheering behind me, real fights with AI, discorering tracks, improving this curve, and all. It's a good feeling to realise what we've been working on is getting somewhere. This game definitely looks great, like it's the first XBLA triple A.
Now I can't wait to have people play the game, see them smile, curse, laugh, concentrate, start again and finaly hand you back a sweaty pad.
After all, that's why we do what we do.
Crossing the bridge. 3rd, July 2008
Today is the last day of school (here in Paris! Come visit!). Now of course school for me is long gone, but I remember this time of year, when class was lighter, days longer, homework over, and great months of summer were ahead.
Summer is like a bridge taking you from one place to another. People move, change jobs, meet the love of their life, rest, learn to swim, meet new cultures, work on their house, do all kinds of things. Here at Load Inc. we'll be finishing ToW. The game is coming along fine, we're often surprised at how good our work looks. I'll get deeper in this in my next entry.
Making a video game is going from bits and pieces, ideas, lines of code, designs and sketches to a finished game. Just like crossing a bridge. When you're done, you're not in the same place.
A little like leaving Brooklyn to step in Manhattan, right Rob?
Happy bridge crossing to everyone this summer!