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25.11.2005Spunior
Paraworld-Shooter Announced (!)

And uh... released right away. A new game? Yes! And no. To be featured this week: a very, very special look back into the history of Paraworld. And photos from the speech recording sessions in Los Angeles!

The Paraworld shoot'em-up - a title that easily puts games like R-Type and Ikaruga to shame.

The background story: in order to make Paraworld, SEK built their own graphics engine, tools and a scripting language. Which was called USL (USL Scripting Language). After having done some basic checks, Christoph - yeah, the guy with the magical wonder slippers - and Axel - not with the SEK anymore - decided to implement a very first project based on said language.

The conception phase took about 14 months as they had to write the script, create story boards and work out the biographies of the main and side protagonists. The actual coding then took another ... 1.5 days. The result? A "masterpiece of art" that, in terms of depth, variety of enemies, non-linearity and psychological effect, can easily compete with games like Breakout and Pong. As well as setting new standards when it comes to writing and promoting the widescreen format already years ago.




The Protagonists


Round white thingy: was always the last one when teams were chosen in school.


Square white thingy: the round white thingy's big brother.


Cyan ... Stuff: former square white thingy that got promoted.


Purple Something: has to be killed. Well, just like anything that moves and isn't part of background.

Boss Enemy: had to be dropped, unfortunately. Even to this day there's no hardware that could possibly render 6 bajillion polygons at an acceptable framerate.


Prince Urs: the hero. Has to rescue his beloved and kidnapped hamster from the deepest depths of the evil space asteroid deathstar fortress dungeon's lumber room (TM).

A piece of the history of Paraworld ready to be downloaded and played! Of course, if you do that you do it at your own risk. SEK will not compensate for any damage or addiction resulting from the use of this software. Well, have fun then! The game weighs about 100kb and can be downloaded right here.

Of course, there's also been a lot going on on the press side of things again in the past days. No less than four new previews are available. If you want to know what the editors of CVG, TotalFormat, Jeux France and Jeux Video think about Paraworld, just head over to this news bit

Last but least: a while ago we promised to show some photos the crew took during their stay in Los Angeles where the speech recording sessions for the English version were conducted. There they are! Obviously, we cannot tell you who exactly was voiced by these actors due to the spoilerific nature of this information.



*drumroll* ... the studio!



Due to the lack of beds in the hotel people were glued to the ceiling by the staff at night.



Uh huh



David and Bob at work



That's just so wrong, Uwe. Diet Coke bites.



Richard and Ina



Michael



Uh Huh Part Deux



Uwe (Sunflowers) and Bill (Translator)



Localization-Supervisor-Management-Assistant-Wonderdog Poochie



Julie and Bill



Bob and Crispin.


And that's it. Wait... look, it's a precious butt shot!



D'aaarrrr. Have a nice weekend!

zee SEK Crew
18.11.2005Spunior
[insert generic propaganda headline]

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... well, no clue what was going on there. What I do know though is the fact that SEK is heavily working on Paraworld in Berlin (planet Earth, presence).

One surely cannot complain about a lack of news in the past days. No other sites than Gamespot and IGN put up some nice preview articles on Paraworld, sharings lots of details regarding the setting and the gameplay among other things. In case you haven't read them already, we've mentioned them here and here. (Also, shame on you!) Any questions left? Well, that's what our cuddly forum is for!

And what happened on the SEK side of things? The graphics department is
currently busy finalizing the cut scenes. One part of the team is modelling deco
objects, others are animating objects or characters, working out nifty particle
FX or setting cameras. Boris P. aka Bob basically texturizes anything that can't run away fast enough. Nothing for the week as "we had to remove the head of the Atroxo and create some gore map." And when he's not painting bowels, he's probably pondering serious problems such as the question whether a texture with twice the vertical and horizontal resolution has four times or eight times the resolution altogether. Seriously.

And occasionally a few unforeseen glitches can occur as this picture - provided by the mysterious ninja monkey legion - proves.



Seems like one of our main protagonists is quite ... insightful. And your surely can't say that our development process isn't transparent enough! Also, our characters certainly don't lack depth. Ha ... ha... alright, we drop it. It's not like Whose line is it anyway? got an exclusive on utterly predictable jokes or puns, eh.

And now for something completely different. We encourage young people to join the gaming industry. And we're not just saying that. We're actually doing it! As clearly shown by the photo below.



  1. Christoph - will be contributing to the next update.

  2. Anton - SEK programming trainee. Obviously enjoys working at our place. Hiding behind his chair - Andrey. (Grinning since his son just fixed some of his bugs within no time.)

  3. Orange storage thingy - not to be seen: the glowing aura of Christoph's brandnew magic wonderslippers.

  4. Yep. She did look familiar, didn't she?

  5. The number 5.


Shameless plug of the week: "Lowetec's SO's brother" happens to be part of the "fun-punk" combo Stakeout. Who're going to celebrate a record release later this Friday. Chances of you being around are next to nil, but they also have an official website! Which... uh... is only available in German.

Well, that's it for this week! Next week: some photos the crew took during the voice recording sessions in L.A. last month and a very special look into the history of Paraworld. *cue thrilling, mysterious music sample*

Have a nice weekend, ladies&gentlemen!

zee SEK
04.11.2005Spunior
SEK - Slipper Tales

Huh? The usually non-existent saturday update's already online on friday? No, no, it's the imaginary and equally non-existent thursday update... thingy being overdue. And in today's episode: lots of photos, game development secrets and ... stuff.

The Monitombola is the societal event of the year. Or something along those lines. It happens to be a give-away contest in which the team members have the chance to win ... monitors that have been sorted out. The raffle was spiced up by hot chili cooked by David "I'm from Graz/Austria, so don't you dare calling me 'big city forester'" Skreiner.




An anonymous SEK employee commented: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Based on that insight one could say that 17 out of 20 people to try out the chili are, well, stronger now. (Also, on a really unrelated note, we're hiring again. Check out the jobs section. K THX BYE.)

That's it? No, not really. Most of the voice samples have arrived by now and many of them already have been edited, refined and integrated. Polishing is what the level design department currently busy with as the singleplayer levels are running through the final testing cycles. The graphics department again is modelling, creating marketing assets and ... we'll get to that later on.

And now on to sharing some secrets of game development. If you thought creativity, a large budget or enough man power are the major ingredients for a good game then you'd be ignoring the central factor: the quality of the slippers. Geez. This chart, like, totally proves it!



Clearly empirically validated, the excellence of the development process is positively correlated with the slipper standards - if not even fully determined by it. Psychologist Prof. Capt. O. Bvious, who was involved in the analysis, added that "it clearly is empirically validated that the quality of the development process is probably determined by the quality of the slippers worn by the persons involved in the making of a game."

And since all things related to slippers have a top priority at the SEK, we ordered a few upgrades in order to assure that the productivity of our developers stays as good as it is. And as soon as the new 'hardware' arrived, people stormed to the door and grabbed them like hungry hyenas.



And finally, the ultimate proof of the controversial theory!


New and old



Wearing old slippers / Wearing new slippers


Last but not least, we got a few news regarding our cuddly SEK contest. Gorm, the winner, received the prize and put it up at a precious spot.



(Also, check out the cute teddybear to the upper left!) And since we really do appreciate the submissions and the work that was invested into them, we'd like to thank everyone for participating! Check out what our dear Neox came up with for you!



You can also get a 1280x1024 res version right here. Well, well, a delicious desktop wallpaper, isn't it? That's it for now!

Have a nice weekend!
 
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