London, UK – January 9, 2017 – Today we can confirm the global release date for the visually striking and critically-applauded action game Brut@l. On February 9, PC gamers across the globe can enjoy this re-imagining of the classic ASCII dungeon crawler.
A procedurally-generated co-operative and single-player dungeoneering thrill ride, Brut@l fuses old-school gaming with a stunning 3D visual style to create an experience that is inspired by the earliest of videogame adventures, yet feels uniquely fresh and exciting.
Playing solo or with a fellow adventurer in local two-player co-op, choose your Brut@l hero – Ranger, Mage, Warrior or Amazon – then descend into a procedurally-generated world constructed entirely of ASCII. Your goal? Reach the 26th floor and vanquish the fearsome Guardian of the Dungeon awaiting there!
Battle fearsome creatures as you explore deeper, gain strength and experience, craft and enchant weapons, brew and drink strange potions, risk their effects and level up your hero based on the play style that suits you. Survive for as long as you can and tactically decide when – or if! – to revive your co-op buddy should they fall in battle.
As well as offering extensive single and co-op adventuring with a near infinite number of dungeon layouts and enemy encounters, Brut@l grants wannabe arcane architects the power to get creative with its Dungeon Creator. This intuitive editing tool lets you build, share, play and of course die in your very own dungeon.
“We are delighted to be working with Rising Star Games to bring Brut@l, our humble homage to old-school ASCII dungeon crawlers, back to its spiritual home on PC”, said Frank Arnot, Managing Director at Stormcloud Games.
“Brut@l is an exciting and unique proposition and we are thrilled to partner with Stormcloud Games to be able to bring the game to PC gamers after a successful run on console.”, said Martin Defries, Managing Director of Rising Star Games. It’s a blood-splattered kick off for Rising Star Games’ killer 2017 line-up”.
Developed by Stormcloud Games and published by Rising Star Games, Brut@l will release on February 9 on PC via digital retailers. To find out more, visit brutal-game.com, follow Rising Star Games on Twitter and check out the official Rising Star Games website.
ABOUT STORMCLOUD GAMES
Stormcloud Games is an independent games developer based in Scotland and founded in 2012. The studio recently launched Brut@l, an ASCII inspired dungeon crawler and roguelike for PlayStation 4, with a PC release coming soon.
After a great weekend of showing Brut@l on PC to thousands of excited gamers attending EGX at the Birmingham NEC, we were delighted to come back to the office to see Brut@l has been nominated for two TIGA awards!
The two categories you’ll find Brut@l in are: Game by a Small Studio
We’re really excited to be a part of the TIGA awards and while we’re up against an incredible amount of competition in both categories, we’re ready to Kick Some ASCII 😉
On the Brut@l PC front, we had a great showing of the game at EGX and are looking forward to sharing more news and updates in the coming months!
As we’ve discussed before, we have a Dungeon Creator in Brut@l. With this tool you can make your own Dungeon Levels and share them online for your friends or anyone else in the world to play – opening a whole world of new content to make AND play!
Our trailer below shows just how easy it is to build a level in Brut@l.
We hope you’re enjoying Brut@l. Make sure to share your Brut@l stories with us on Twitter and Facebook, or use the hashtag #KickSomeASCII
As you read this players from all over the world are exploring the depths of Brut@l
After over a year in development Brut@l launches today and we’re very excited to finally be able to share it with you all. With single player, two player local co-op and a dungeon creator where you can build, share and experience levels made by other players from all over the world we hope you get lost in our Brut@l dungeon crawler.
We’re really excited to share our first piece of content for local Co-Op in Brut@l. As we’re making a retro-inspired game (especially with our art style) it felt right to include local Co-Op as it really is a nostalgia trip for a lot of people, as well as just being an incredible way to play a game with a friend. Explore the depths of our ASCII Dungeon, share loot, level up and fight together to survive as you traverse your way down to floor 26.
Watch our video below and let us know what you think or join the conversation over on Twitter using the hashtag #PlayTogetherDieTogether
Our Saturday has started off very very well! We’re over the ASCII moon to announce that Brut@l has been Greenlit!
Of course we’re now going to celebrate by eating all of the cake, all of it.
Cake eating aside, the full team at Stormcloud would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you for making this possible, all of the tweets, likes, replies, YouTube comments and positivty really pushed this campaign forward and we’re very grateful.
We do have quite a bit to go, and just as a reminder we are launching on PlayStation 4 first, however this is a huge step towards Brut@l being on PC, Mac and Linux. We’re going to be releasing more and more content in the coming months, so make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-speed with everything we’re doing.
On the 26th of February we launched the Steam Greenlight campaign for Brut@l. We had already announced the game for PS4 but had yet to do any push for PC, Mac and Linux. At the time of writing this we’re in the top 20 of Greenlight out of over 2,000 games. We’ve not yet been approved, so if you’re reading this and haven’t voted Yes, you can do so with this link:
We’ve now been on Greenlight for over a week and I wanted to share what we’ve done right and wrong in our time promoting Brut@l so far.
We realized very early on page layout is critical to your success. Getting people into your page and then looking past just the first trailer or screenshot is absolutely vital. With this in mind we began crafting our page to get people in, keep them there, and then push for that Yes vote.
First we started with our game icon. The game icon is possibly the most important asset you’ll create, it’s how users who don’t follow you on social media will first find your game among a sea of others. For this we decided to go down the route of an animated GIF. While this was more work for our art team it was an absolute no brainier. Animated GIFs stand out against the horde of other icons all vying for a users attention and also give a better indication of what your game is. We wanted to keep the name of the game in the icon while also showing a sense of gameplay. After several iterations we all agreed upon the GIF you see below, a clear indication of our games combat focus, art style and also game name for branding purposes.
After this it was onto the game trailer and screenshot set. Due to the layout of your Steam Greenlight page this is the first thing a user will see. It’s also worth noting trailers will auto-play on Steam, so you want to hit that theme / branding instantly. Luckily we already had a really great trailer we’d used the month previous when announcing the game for PS4, we re-used this but made sure to change the end card to promote our PC / Greenlight campaign so if other outlets picked it up they could direct to our page easily.
At this stage we felt we’d convince a large number of users to vote for us, however any press, steam collection owners or those on the fence still needed more information to help sway them to hit that Yes button. We noticed a lot of Greenlight games actually seemed to almost ignore their description, we felt this was another great place to promote our game and let users know more about it.
We first wrote out our description, breaking it down into bite size chunks, for example ‘About Brut@l’, ‘,Monsters’ and ‘Weapon Crafting’. We made sure to make the text to the point and punchy. We then broke each section apart with headers themed to the game, as you can see below this added much needed colour to our page as well as a consistent theme.
Finally we wanted to add more life to the page. We had noticed some other games using this header system and animating them, after some trials it was clear that while this looked good, over doing the animation on a page could hinder those on slower internet connections, as such we kept these headers static but added in a screenshot or gif after each header to better explain how the systems work. We kept to static screenshots where possible, however some of our systems benefited from animated GIFs so we used these sparingly.
Finally due to our promotion on PS4 we had some great quotes and feedback from established outlets. We decided to add this to the bottom of our page to add legitimacy to our project. There has been a lot of negative articles on Steam Greenlight games recently, especially over games that promise the world and never deliver, this section was aimed at showing we were developing a product that would hit all of our expectations.
Once our page was completed we began the process of planning our launch strategy. We had two key goals:
Acquire press coverage on the day of launch and thereafter
Create and push daily content to maintain momentum
Several days prior to the campaign going live we emailed over 100 press outlets letting them know we were announcing the campaign on Friday. Most of the big outlets don’t cover this kind of content, but we did get pick up for a good number of smaller sites on the day of launch and this propelled us forward immediately. Other sites covered us in the coming days which gave us a notable bumps in yes votes. This coverage was really important for us gaining momentum in the early days and also stopped us from falling off a week into our campaign.
There were no guarantees on acquiring press coverage so we developed a plan for daily content.
The above shows our shared google calendar which outlined what content was going live on every day. While we did do a couple of ‘quick wins’ in the form of screenshots, we decided that we wanted to use this opportunity to not only acquire new followers on social media, but also engage our existing followers in a better way. At such we decided to double down on video and create several pieces that showcased systems as well as a Let’s Play of the game to end the week and hopefully push us into the weekend.
This content proved to be very valuable. It allowed us to promote our Steam Greenight campaign on a daily basis without sounding spammy, it showed those that came to our Greenlight page we had content and were very active, and it also allowed our current followers the ability to share new content. Reminding people on a daily basis about your campaign is critical, due to this daily content we were able to share this and remind people in the morning, then in the afternoon send out another reminder with a new piece of artwork that pushed users to the page.
Before moving onto what we did wrong I’ll summarize what I feel were the key strengths in our campaign to date:
We created a standout animated icon, trailer and Steam Greenlight page.
We created a press list and let everyone know about our campaign, no matter if they only had 2 million or 20 followers, every vote and shout out counts.
We created unique daily content that we could use not only to promote our campaign but also allow our current followers to see new Brut@ content, creating stronger ties with our most passionate fans
We replied to everyone who mentioned us on social media and engaged in conversations with anyone talking Steam Greenlight
Didn’t prepare content far enough in advance:
Our daily content idea was a good one, however the idea that we would spend the week of Greenlight ‘only making content’ wasn’t realistic, other things came up and caused some of the videos to be done nearer the end of the day versus the start, thus allowing for fewer iteration cycles. While in the end it worked out OK, it did mean we were working on content up until the last minute each day which could have back fired if something came up with the game or an opportunity arose elsewhere. In the future our content will be completed and signed off in advance of an event like this.
[img] [/img] ?!
This is a really small detail that totally slipped us by for days. If you are lucky enough to be added to a collection you need to keep an eye on what the first piece of text a user will see is. Steam takes the first line of your page as a ‘teaser’ description. Sadly our first line was a link to an image and a such we had the [img][/img] text as our description on steam collection pages. Not ideal.
Delayed Podcast and Video Appearances:
We really believe in community podcast and video interviews and make ourselves available for everyone, no matter the subscriber count. Part of our outreach to promote our Steam Greenlight Campaign was to contact podcasts and YouTube shows of all sizes, this resulted in some great connections, however due to the nature of these shows most of the time slots available to us were a week after the campaign started. We’re only going to start seeing the results of these interviews as of this week, this could be a helpful boost in our second week of the campaign, however we had initially hoped to have this content live in week one, which was an oversight on our part.
To summarize where I feel we went wrong:
Daily content was not created prior to the campaign going live, leading to a hectic launch week
Video and Podcast appearances were later than assumed and thus didn’t have an immediate impact on the campaign
And that’s us! Hopefully you find this useful and informative when planning your own Steam Greenlight campaign. A huge thank you to everyone who has already voted for us and if you’ve not already click that link below this text and do so now!
You may have noticed we tend to keep quiet on social media but today we’re very excited to not only be at PlayStation Experience, but to have the chance to share the main stage during the Sony press conference to announce our latest title, Brut@l, a retro themed roguelike that we’ll be launching onto the PlayStation 4 in early 2016.
In Brut@l you will choose your hero: Ranger, Mage, Warrior or Amazon then descend into a procedurally generated world constructed entirely from ASCII. Your goal? Reach the 26th floor, vanquish the fearsome Guardian of the Dungeon and claim his crown.
What does a world constructed entirely from ASCII look like you ask? Well, in all honestly we thought you would! This trailer we revealed at PlayStation Experience should (hopefully!) answer all your questions!
The game will also feature systems such as Crafting, Enchanting, Potion Brewing as well as a leveling system that allows you to choose skills that complement your playstyle. Each of these systems we’ll breakdown into more depth over the coming weeks and months to give you a better idea of what to expect as you traverse this Brut@l ASCII dungeon.
As well as evoking a sense of nostalgia in many gamers with our art direction we wanted to re-live some of the best gaming moments we’ve personally had over the last decade, there was only one way to do that, local co-op. Share the adventure by exploring Brut@l’s dungeon with a friend and lay waste to the hordes of enemies that stand between you and floor 26, evoking the nostalgia of all night gaming sessions from years past. Just don’t blame us if your buddy keeps all the good weapons for himself!
To top it all off we’ll also have a level editor, allowing you to craft your own ASCII themed dungeon floors and share them with friends. We’ll be sharing more on this in the future and we’re very excited about the idea of players creating their own content and sharing it with the world.
We’ll be doing regular blog posts so hit that favorite / bookmark button!
Finally we’d love to hear from you so make sure to follow us on twitter and facebook to keep up-to-date with all things Brut@l and Stormcloud! Send us a hello, preferably in ASCII, and let us know what you think of Brut@l!
Brut@l is scheduled to launch on PlayStation 4 digitally in early 2016.