Novy News | Fall 2015 | Vol 2 No 2 | Novy Unlimited

Novy Unlimited (site)
Welcome to the sixth edition of Novy News!

This is the newest update from your groovy friends at Novy. As always, this newsletter allows us to . . . 
  • provide more background on who we are and what we do (and why you're reading this)
  • brag (ad nauseam) about recent projects from our clients 
  • let you in on a few game industry secrets
  • share some brutally honest advice
  • update you on what's been going on over here during the past few months -- and give you a preview (or just a whiff!) of what's on the horizon
This issue features: Sproggiwood, Caves of Qud, Nova Blitz, Overfall, Templar Battleforce, Bob Was Hungry, Bow Hunter 2015, M4 Tank Brigade, WarBirds 2016, Alien Robot Monsters, Moon Tower Attack, Judgment, Scraps, ShellShock Live, Regicide, AGRAV, Voxel Blast, ToyQuest, Jack Nimble, and Zems. Also covered: Novy team updates and blog posts from most of our team members!

[Note: If your email program does not display images or clips/truncates message content, don't miss out! Click on "display images below" at the beginning of this message or "view entire message" at the very bottom. If you're still not getting the full Novy News experience, request a link to the entire newsletter

Hope you enjoy the news!

- Jeannie Novak & Luis Levy (Co-Conspirators)
. . . and the Novy team
Novy Unlimited (web site)
We're Making Changes!
Novy continues to grow by leaps and bounds! We've also made some changes to our main web site -- including client pages and blog posts. As always, we include links when appropriate -- so check them out!

We have four distinct service divisions: PR, Marketing, Creative Services, and Consulting/Production. Contact us if you want to browse through our new service menus :)

Our YouTube channel has been updated with playlists featuring client videos. The Novy Unlimited Tumblr blog contains photos of our adventures at recent conferences and events such as E3, MomoCon, IRDC, Indy PopCon, UCLA/CRESST, Dragon Con, and SIEGE. The Novy PR Tumblr blog contains sample images from all the games we've launched or updated.

We have some brand new additions to our growing team:

Jackie Simmons graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in PR. Prior to becoming Marketing Manager at Novy, Jackie worked at Kiz Studios -- where she focused on marketing and social media. Jackie is a pinball enthusiast and 
fluent in Japanese. She is also a member of the Atlanta Rollergirls derby team, which is ranked #14 in the world. (Her interleague home team, the Sake Tuyas, took home second place in the Home Team Championships this year!) 

Julie Morley began writing about crowdfunded gaming at The Cliqist and then went on to launch IndieRoot -- an indie game, comic, and film site. Julie is also an illustrator and is currently working on an original webcomic!

Kyle Gaddo is an accomplished writer and community manager focusing on both video games (Save/Continue, and heavy metal (Heavy Blog Is Heavy). In addition to being a musician himself, Kyle is also a photographer who has worked with major music acts worldwide. 

Here are some updates from our team members:

Cat Wendt was recently the featured guest speaker at an IGDA Sacramento event; focusing on the importance of inclusivity in game development, Cat stressed the benefits of welcoming all kinds of people to the industry as devs/players and also provided tips on best practices.

Blane Humphries helped organize the Game Studio Smackdown -- IGDA Atlanta's video game tournament for developers, by game developers! He also participated in a panel at MomoCon called "eSports, Mobas, Mobile & PC Game #MadeInAtlanta." Blane is the Vice Chair of IGDA Atlanta -- and Molly Proffitt, one of Novy's favorite industry insiders, is the Executive Chair :) 

We're also proud to announce that we've promoted Blane from Media Coordinator to Account Manager. Blane is now at our beck and call on a full-time basis ;)

We also have three terrific interns: 

*  Jessey Nettey: After introducing Jessey in our Spring 2015 newsletter, we have seen him apply his journalism skills to Novy projects. He has also created "The Bits" -- a podcast focusing on his favorite show, Steven Universe

* Marcos Montanez: Marcos has joined our playthrough team -- helping us dissect work-in-progress from prospective clients. He's the only one who calls us "boss," which is starting to grow on us :) Marcos studied Communication at Purdue University in Indiana. (Coincidentally, Jessey is currently in his final year there!) 

* Stephen Vulpitta: Stephen has returned to Novy as our resident Steam community expert; his Twitch channel focuses on "whatever he's playing at the time" -- although a lot of his followers are interested in Minecraft, Infestation MMO, and Nether. Upcoming projects include raising money for Extra Life.

Our game division is also growing: Novy Co-Conspirator Jeannie Novak -- and Jennie Wadsworth of STEAM Consulting -- are co-designing an educational game . . . with the assistance of illustrator Brandon Page, animator Brian Hoard, programmer Kyle Bolton, and our very own multi-talented Cat Wendt :)

As always, we'd like to acknowledge the efforts of "friends of Novy" Emmy Jonassen (Indie Game Girl), Pete Markiewicz (Plyojump), Adam Godoi (Adam Godoi Graphic Design) -- and our newest partner, Tamara Olson (Tamara Olson Designs).

Here's a shout out to the rest of our team: Drew Utterback (Technology Coordinator), Grace Lim (PR Coordinator), Aaron Goldman (QA Coordinator), and Alan Katana (Production Coordinator). [Scroll down for more information on what Alan's been up to on the creative services front!]

For more info on our team, see the Meet the Team section on our site!
Freehold Games (Sproggiwood & Caves of Qud)

Roguelike Nation

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brian Bucklew and Jason Grinblat of Freehold Games on not just one, but two projects! Our first campaign with Freehold consisted of launching Sproggiwood on mobile devices. The adorable and accessible yet hardcore roguelike -- featuring the artistic genius of Jaana Heiska and set in a humorous world inspired by Finnish mythology -- had already been launched on Steam with modest success. The mobile launch put the game through the roof. Here are just a few highlights:
  • more than 80 pieces of coverage within the first few weeks of launch
  • featured four times on the App Store (front page, Great Games/Best of May, top spot in "Pay Once & Play" [premium category], "15 Most Epic RPGs"
  • Pocket Gamer "Gold Award" (9/10 review score)
  • Touch Arcade's "Game of the Week" (and a 4.5/5 review score)
  • Gamezebo's "One of the Best Android Games of May" (and a 4.5/5 review score)
  • Android Rundown 8/10 review score
  • 148Apps 4/5 review score
  • Metacritic score of 88
  • two featured Gamasutra blog posts
One of the most interesting elements of this launch was the business model: Freehold rightly decided to maintain parity between the mobile and Steam versions of the game -- initially selling both for the same price of $9.99. Although the Steam price went up a few dollars after the initial sale, the mobile price remained at a high premium and is considered a "PC perfect" version of the original game!

Next up: Caves of Qud -- another roguelike, but seemingly very different from Sproggiwood. Although both games share the deep storytelling and gameplay elements and 'rules' associated with all roguelikes, Caves of Qud has a completely different 'look and feel.' Updated from its original ASCII form, Caves of Qud retains its original low-fidelity charm -- and has continued to attract a devoted fan base. The game ended up exceeding the sales of Sproggiwood -- which was already experiencing some surprising success. Caves of Qud was covered in-depth by the likes of Polygon, Indie Game Magazine, PC Gamer, Killscreen,, PASTE, and Rock Paper Shotgun.

Read more about Freehold Games' Sproggiwood (iOS/Android/PC/Mac/Linux) here and Caves of Qud (PC/Mac/Linux) here.
Nova Blitz

The Quick and the Dead

We were thrilled to work with Paul Barclay and his team at Dragon Foundry on the successful Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns for Nova Blitz -- an innovative real-time trading card game (TCG) in which games take less than five minutes . . . and you never have to wait for your opponent to make a move. Since battles take place at the same time, it's actually possible to bluff your way to victory -- if you know what you're doing, that is. The game was greenlit by the Steam community in under 10 days, and the Kickstarter campaign was funded at $51,579 -- exceeding its original funding goal of $40,000 and meeting its "avatar system" stretch goal.

Nova Blitz was covered by
 IGN, PC Gamer, OnRPG, MMOHuts, Blue's News, Indie Game Magazine, Gaming Cypher, Altered Confusion, Cliqist, TradingCardGames,, and Hardcore Gamer  -- along with interviews with We the Nerdy and

Read more about Dragon Foundry and Nova Blitz (PC/Mac) here.

Sailing Away

Overfall marks the second game from Turkey that we successfully promoted on Kickstarter! In fact, former client Nowhere Studios (of Monochroma fame) referred Pera Games to us -- and the Kickstarter campaign for Overfall was underway. A beautiful seafaring fantasy featuring hand-drawn graphics, a dynamic open world and a dash of unpredictability, Overfall allows the player to make choices at every turn that affect the world and its inhabitants -- allowing for high replayability and a variety of storylines. The game also has a turn-based combat system with three phases: mobility, utility, and attack. Overfall's Kickstarter campaign was funded at $67,768 -- exceeding its $65,000 goal.

During the Kickstarter campaign, Overfall received coverage from Indie Game Magazine, Blue's News, Hardcore Gamer, Game Informer, Cliqist, RPGamer, Pixel Dynamo, PCGamesN, Linux Game News, Altered Confusion, Many a True Nerd, and The Escapist

Read more about Pera Games and Overfall (PC/Mac/Linux) here.
Templar Battleforce

Brothers in Arms

Novy has a knack for attracting sibling teams, and Trese Brothers Games is no exception :) (Sometimes, we just like to "keep it in the family"!)  We enjoyed working with Andrew and Cory  -- veteran developers with several titles under their belts -- on their newest release, Templar Battleforce (part of the Star Traders franchise). We recently launched the Steam version of the game, and we'll be following up with a mobile launch very soon. Since the Trese Brothers have developed quite a number of games already, they have an established fan base -- and we were thrilled to witness Templar Battleforce's mind-boggling 99% "very positive" score on Steam! 

Templar Battleforce was featured in TotalBiscuit's "15 Minutes of Game" and received an 8 out of 10 from Omni Horizon. The game has also been covered in Mac Sources, PCGamesN, Blue's News, Altered Confusion, and Gaming on Linux. 

Read more about Trese Brothers Games and Templar Battleforce (PC/Mac/Linux; iOS/Android coming soon) here.
Bob Was Hungry

Eat or Die!
In the precision platformer Bob Was Hungry, players assume the role of a little fuzzball (otherwise known as a "bob") who eats to survive -- and who must scour the universe in search of food . . . complete with condiments. When BWH launched, we had some belly laughs watching a whole slew of Let's Plays -- featuring solo and co-op multiplayer. Remember: BWH is a "precision platformer" -- so death comes easily to even the most seasoned player. In addition to co-op multiplayer, there's also shared death co-op (eek!), competitive race, and competitive survival race -- with up to 8 simultaneous players. BWH's more than 170 levels are enough for hours of play  -- and additional fun if you happen to be watching others die over and over again :)

Bob Was Hungry has been covered in Indie Game Magazine, Average Nobodys, Co-Optimus, Game Revolution, Hardcore Gamer, Indie Gamers UK, Altered Confusion, Gambit Magazine, Digital Trends, and Gaming Cypher.

Read more about Shorebound Studios and Bob Was Hungry (Windows) 
iEntertainment Network (Bow Hunter 2015 | M4 Tank Brigade | WarBirds 2016)
Wild Bill's Wild Multiplayer Ride
Some of you may have heard of MicroProse -- founded by Sid Meier and John ("Wild Bill") Stealey -- which spawned such classics as Pirates! and the Civilization series. Since MicroProse, Wild Bill went on to start iEntertainment Network -- focusing on online multiplayer games, including MMOs. The company also boasts veteran game designer, Arnold Hendrick -- who created M1 Tank Platoon, co-designed Pirates! with Sid Meier, and has more than two dozen published games to his credit. 

We've been working with iEntertainment on three titles this year: Bow Hunter 2015, M4 Tank Brigade, and WarBirds 2016.  To kick off hunting season, Bow Hunter 2015 has been hosting a series of online multiplayer tournaments where players can win cash and gift cards to major outdoor retailers. Bow Hunter 2015 was covered in Blue's News, Touch Arcade, Social Times, Altered Confusion, iDownload Blog, Droid Gamers, Pocket Full of Apps, and Mac Sources.

M4 Tank Brigade has been touted as a "true simulator" that stays close to the details surrounding World War II. We love the game's
thrilling launch trailer -- created with the help of Novy Production Coordinator, Alan Katana. M4 Tank Brigade has been covered in WCCF Tech, Hardcore Gamer,, Blue's News, Gaming Nexus, Attack of the Fanboy,,, and Indie Game Magazine.

A retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel, Wild Bill has been teaming up with other retired USAF officers to give "guided flights" to journalists. He also takes part in the 
One Life Squadron Select Series (S3) every year -- 
the “longest running online combat sim event” of its kind, with more than 160,000 sorties and 22,000 kills.

So far, WarBirds 2016 has been covered in Blue's News,, Game Revolution, SimHQ, and More to come!


Read more about iEntertainment Network's Bow Hunter 2015 here, M4 Tank Brigade here, and WarBirds 2016 here
Alien Robot Monsters

A.R.M.ed & Ready!
Solo Finnish developer Markku Rankala has gone well beyond the tower defense genre in Alien Robot Monsters (A.R.M.) -- a cross-platform game with a title any sci-fi fan would love. (Imagine aliens, robots, and monsters melded together in an enemy stew -- taking the form of aerial assault bots, snake-like fiends, walking tanks, mecha bosses. . . .) With a complex tech tree, troop upgrades and the freedom to go on quick skirmishes and all out war, A.R.M. gives TD fans so much more. In addition creating this new twist on tower defense, Markku is also an accomplished composer and created the game's music.


Alien Robot Monsters has been covered in Indie Game Magazine, Hardcore Gamer, Game Informer, Altered Confusion, Heavy, Mac Sources, Gaming on Linux, Blue's News, Android Blizzard, Game Revolution, iDownload Blog, 148Apps, and Indie Gamers UK.

Read more about Kraftix Games and Alien Robot Monsters (iOS / Android / Windows / Mac) here.
Moon Tower Attack

Dark Side of the Moon

It's hard enough to establish a lunar outpost -- but what if you had to defend it from Dark Forces (troll-like, no less!)? Fortunately, weapons and towers abound -- but you have to use them wisely. Developed by Pakistan's Game Torque Studio, Moon Tower Attack features randomly-generated tower and base positions that can throw even the most expert defense out of whack -- and the A.I. is smart enough to change attack vectors based on the game's conditions. When the going gets tough, there is an "out" in the form of aerial strikes and orbital bombardments. 

Moon Tower Attack has been covered in Hardcore Gamer, Indie Game Magazine, Mac Sources, Heavy, Droid Gamers, Altered Confusion, Game Revolution, Touch Arcade, Android & Me, and Pocket Full of Apps.

Read more about Game Torque Studio and Moon Tower Attack (iOS / Android) Attack here.

"Make Hell Feel Like Home"

Thanks to our own Kyle Gaddo for thinking up this attention-getter! This is just one of the taglines that Israeli developer, Suncrash, will be testing for Judgment. The game, dubbed an "apocalypse survival simulation," was greenlit by the Steam community in just a few weeks! We've been working with Suncrash on everything from logo design and story analysis to playthroughs and interface design. The Suncrash and Judgment logos were designed by Novy Creative Coordinator Cat Wendt and Production Coordinator Alan Katana, respectively. Alan also worked painstakingly on the game's Steam Greenlight trailer -- which we feel truly captures the essence of the game. recently pitched Judgment at GDC Europe/Gamescom 2015 and showcased the game at Casual Connect Tel Aviv. Next stop: Reboot InfoGamer!

Check out Suncrash's Steam Greenlight campaign for Judgment (PC / Mac / Linux) here.
Scraps: Modular Vehicle Combat

Scrap Happy

New Zealand solo developer Bill Borman of Moment Studio has been in the shop tinkering with Scraps: Modular Vehicle Combat. Bill is a programmer and musician who was inspired by cool cars, spare parts, and Legos to develop a deep vehicle creation system that has attracted a community of creative assemblers. Throwing caution, physics and logic to the wind, Scraps allows players to create vehicles that defy reason. (Imagine assembling a vehicle that fires its guns backwards!) 

Scraps is available on Steam Early Access and has been covered in WCCF Tech, Average Nobodys, MMOHuts, Hardcore Gamer, Hooked Gamers, Video Game News, PC Portal, 3rd Strike, and Gamer's Hell.

Read more about Moment Studio and Scraps: Modular Vehicle Combat 
(Windows / Mac / Linux) 

ShellShock Live

Blast 'Em to Smithereens
Solo developer Kyle Champ of kChamp Games created a Flash game in 2011 that took off and amassed quite a following. Kyle has done a terrific job of providing ongoing updates to expand features and address player requests. ShellShock Live consists of 8-player online multiplayer battles, more than 200 unique upgradable weapons, more than 100 ranks, and fully customizable and upgradable tanks. Kyle regularly adds new game modes (such as Assassin and Juggernaut -- included when Novy handled the update campaign). The game is now at Version -- inching ever closer to an official-sounding "1.o"!

ShellShock Live is on Steam Early Access and has been covered in Blue's News,, Game Revolution, Indie Gamers UK, Indie Games 24/7, eTeknix, and Gamers Hell.

Read more about kChamp Games and ShellShock Live (Windows / Mac / Linux) here.
Regicide: Tale of the Forgotten Thief

"Ethical Games from Free-Range Developers"

We couldn't resist sharing one of our favorite slogans, from Punchdrunk Games -- one of our consulting clients who has just released a demo for its retro 8-bit RPG action game, Regicide: Tale of the Forgotten Thief. We worked with solo developer Lucia Hill-Rains on everything from game logos and interface design to story analysis and ongoing playthroughs. In Regicide, the player assumes the role of Princess Euphoria -- who is on a quest to not only save her kingdom, but to salvage her own memories . . . which were so rudely stolen after she was captured and thrown into a dungeon. 

Experience Punchdrunk Games' Regicide: Tale of the Forgotten Thief here.


Vector Gravity
German developer null2 created a captivating game called AGRAV: Inertial Orbit that allows players to create black holes and curve spacetime. The game is a dream for fans of vector graphics -- and it features design and electronic music by former IGF finalist DJ Glow. The goal of this retro-futuristic game is to release Gravmites from the void by creating black holes -- while avoiding various obstacles and activating switches. It's a difficult task, but the game's attractive design and mood make even the toughest puzzles a pleasure. 

AGRAV: Inertial Orbit has been covered in Touch Arcade, Mac Sources, Pocket Gamer, Indie Game Magazine, Slide to Play, Pocket Gamer, Game Revolution, Altered Confusion, AppAdvice, and 148Apps.

Read more about null2 and AGRAV (iOS) here.

Voxel Blast

Dogfighting, Arcade Style

Costa Rican developer Ceiba Software & Arts (featuring husband and wife team Rodolfo Mora Zamora and Adriana Lucia Céspedes) have created a world within a world, where the player battles it out inside a computer simulation -- diving into cyberspace to chase down "rogue agents." In Voxel Blast, players can choose from three ships (with unique features and weapons) and four game modes. Instead of focusing on pattern recognition and memorization, Voxel Blast is all about skill -- a deft mix of arcade gameplay and dogfighting. 

Voxel Blast just launched but has already been covered in, Hardcore Gamer, Altered Confusion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Indie Game Magazine.

Read more about Ceiba Software & Arts and Voxel Blast (Windows / Mac / Linux
ToyQuest: The Lost & Found

A Metroidvania Nightmare
Our first client from Vietnam, Hiker Games, had the most successful Steam Greenlight campaign thus far -- at least in terms of "time to greenlight"! It took about 24 hours after the press release went out for the nightmarish ToyQuest: The Lost & Found to be greenlit by the Steam community. Toys come to life in the world of ToyQuest -- but this is no Toy Story. In this disturbing Metroidvania-style action-platformer, an action figure (Brand) attempts to save his owner (Felix) from impending darkness by fighting enemy toys (such as a rat and a paper crane) using common household items. 


ToyQuest was covered in a number of outlets -- including Altered Confusion,, Blue's News, Rely on Horror, Worth Playing, Gaming Cypher, Indie Game Magazine, Play Magazine, and Indie Gamers UK.

Read more about Hiker Games and ToyQuest: The Lost & Found (iOS) here.
Jack Nimble: Attack of the Boredom Bugs

Don't Let the Boredom Bugs Bite!

Author, illustrator and athlete (2015 ultimate frisbee champ) Beau Kittredge of Snowsuit Studio has got a lot of whimsical ideas -- and he's harnessed a few of them for his latest project, Jack Nimble: Attack of the Boredom Bugs on both Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight. Partnering with Chad Stewart (Binary Solo), Beau has created a storybook world complete with Jack (a "lumberjackrabbit"), Enessa (his elephant friend), and tower animals (armadillo, porcupine, and owl). Jack Nimble is an "active tower defense (ATD)" game -- where each tower will activate only if you manually control it. Mini-games include "Soccerdillo," "Porcubowl," and "Footb-owl" -- each played using a different perspective (side, front-facing, and top-down).

The project was just announced, but it is certainly gaining momentum quickly! 
Check out Jack Nimble: Attack of the Boredom Bugs (Windows / Mac / Linux) on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight. 


A Taste of Things to Come

We're excited about the upcoming Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns for Zems -- a breathtakingly beautiful collectible card game (CCG) featuring awesome art, sound design, and some unique elements (such as a weather control system). Zems was created by solo developer Yang Pulse of Impulse Limited (with the help of a few freelancers).

For the past six weeks, Novy has provided support for social sharing on all Impulse and Zems social media pages -- creating text posts and graphic pieces such as animated GIFs and social media comps. We're currently finalizing the Steam Greenlight trailer and Kickstarter video -- and we'll be switching gears to focus on PR campaigns very soon!

Impulse Limited's Zems Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns are just around the corner. In the meantime, stay updated 

Novy Blog
Tales from the Team Trenches: E3, Dragon Con & More!
The team went wild on the Novy blog during E3 -- with clever and often passionate posts focusing on the press events held by all the major first-party developers and hardware manufacturers: Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Square Enix, Bethesda, and Ubisoft. Check out contributions from Jay, Alan, Jessey, Blane, Cat, and Jake. Jeannie Novak also posted a photojournalism-style set of images from the show floor.

Blane then set his sites on MomoCon (taking a detour to the International Roguelike Developers Conference [IRDC] in the process). Jessey jumped into Indy PopCon, Jeannie delved in to game-based learning at UCLA/CRESST -- and then Blane concluded his Atlanta con tour with Dragon Con and finally, SIEGE. (He'll be posting the latter shortly.)

Check out the 
Novy blog for these and other tasty treats!
What's Next? We've got some exciting social media and community management campaigns; product launches; corporate announcements; Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns; and some new services on the horizon. Brace yourself for more juicy news from Novy. Enjoy the fall season . . . and we'll see you again in a few months :)
Novy Unlimited, Inc. and its divisions (including Novy PR) is a product of jeannie NOvak and luis leVY, its co-conspirators. Launched in 2011, Novy PR is the first marketing and public relations firm to focus on indie games. Novy News is written by Jeannie Novak and edited by Jeannie Novak and Luis Levy. Thanks for reading :)

Oh -- and in case you missed it: Our Spring 2015 issue (featuring The Spatials, Cards & Castles, SongArc, Warhammer: Arcane Magic, VoidExpanse, Agent Awesome, Breach TD, Weaver, Kingdom Siege, Sky Wings, Dreamslide Plus, Incredible Circus Remix, Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! and BRAWL) is available for your perusal!
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