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Festive Fun!

Festive Fun!

group-photoAfter a year of lots of hard work, including some great new features for Fishing World and the release of Tile Twist World, it was time to enjoy a little festive fun!

Shortly before Christmas we spent an afternoon enjoying some games in the office. We all got to open our gifts from our Secret Santas which included an awesome Harry Potter themed cushion for Alice, a book of pranks for Greg (which has put Graeme slightly on edge) and lots of very warm, cute and fluffy winter socks!

We then moved on to a den building contest – having been collecting boxes for several months in preparation, we split into two teams and each one raced to get the best boxes! We had half an hour to build the best den we could, before the den judge Richard graded them on stability, aesthetics and size.

It was a very close call, with both teams desperately vying for bonus points, but eventually the winner was decided – the Castle den!! You can check out both of our creations below.

winning-dendenFinally we settled down for the much anticipated ‘Graeme’s Christmas Quiz!’ This included a stat guessing round (did you know that, on average, 1000 people in the UK are injured by their own Christmas tree every year?!), some Christmas film acronyms, and the customary music guessing round. We also got to enjoy some delicious Biscoff cake courtesy of Lauren.

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Keep an eye out for a blog on the second part of our Christmas fun, coming soon!!

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Award winner!

Award winner!

Last week SyncDevelopHER held the 2nd Annual DevelopHER awards in Ipswich. Alice, one of our talented programming team members, was nominated for the Best Newcomer award and, we are very proud to say, won!!

Here’s Alice enjoying her trophy!

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The DevelopHER Awards is a not for profit award ceremony that is designed to raise the profile of women in technology in East Anglia and in doing so, help encourage the next generation of women in tech by providing female role models.

Huge congratulations from all of us Alice, and thank you for being a wonderful member of our team!

 

A Frightful October!

A Frightful October!

This October we’ve had our helping of scary experiences!

Part way through the month we held our second Murder Mystery evening! Everyone took on a different character linked to the Heavy Metal band ‘Satanic Saints’, and we got together to investigate the murder of its lead singer Tarantula.

The night was led by Kim Detective Rachel Owens, and there were many suspects after Tarantula’s money, love or fame. Stoney Walker, the band’s bass guitarist, was an obvious suspect due to his paranoid delusions and obsessive behaviour. Other guests included Peaches Van Helden, Tarantula’s ‘porn star wife’; ‘The Skull’, an obsessed teenage fan; and Sabrina Hitchmen, a PA on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Lots of guesses were made but in the end it was revealed that the perpetrator was Rick Rocker, a roadie, who seemed to think singing classic rock hits to himself at random points throughout the night made him ‘down with the kids’ – he had been in love with Tarantula and murdered him after being rejected! We had lots of fun again and will definitely be having another Murder Mystery evening in the future.

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Then came Halloween itself; the bar had been set high from last year’s costumes (see our blog about them here but there was definitely a good effort this time round too! Costumes included Ghostly Bride, Mad Scientist and a very creepy Red Riding Hood Wolf! We had fun confusing a woman who came to deliver a package, and our newest temporary staff member Lauren certainly had an interesting introduction when she came to visit before starting the following day.

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And while Kim came dressed as Gerard, Gerard had his own Shark costume, courtesy of Lucy.

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After a day of fun and games in the office, including our new favourite the Hat Game, we headed into Ely for a Ghost Walk. We got to hear lots of local tales of ghosts and ghoulies, and explored some of the most haunted areas of the city, still wearing our costumes of course; finally, we all headed home to scrub off the face paint and fake blood and enjoy our free sweets from the Ghost Walk!

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Inspiring some creative writing!

Inspiring some creative writing!

Recently we were able to help out a class of schoolchildren using our games as part of their learning!

Mr Tregenza teaches 8-11 year olds in England – he got in touch with us as he was using our game “Escape from Darkmoor Manor” with his pupils. We were happy to help out by sharing a bit of the concept material from the game for his class to use.

The class played the game together and used it to inspire some very creative writing which they kindly shared with us – in fact, they enjoyed it so much that they decided to do the same with another of our narrative driven adventure/escape games – Facility 47!

Check out some of our favourite extracts from the work the children did:

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Luke:

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Charlie:

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They even made a display of some of their work on the topic! We’re so proud.

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Mr Tregenza and class! We’ve printed lots more of our favourite bits and stuck them on our office wall :)

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Inertia Fun Day!

Inertia Fun Day!

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It had been a while since our last release party so we thought it was time to celebrate the hard work we’d been doing to create and release new games over the last year including Petal Match, Facility 47 and Cross-Stitch World!

We settled on our now traditional children’s soft play area trip – but we decided to try something a little different in the daytime before we went. We started off with a yummy meal in a local pub and then it was time to start THE ELY TREASURE HUNT (Expertly planned and delivered by our very own Graeme)!!

We each had to trust Graeme to install an app he’d made on our phones (luckily he has a little experience in that sort of thing…) and then we split into two teams and set off into the wilds of Ely.

The treasure hunt came with a map which led us to various local landmarks; at each one we used the augmented reality feature of the app to reveal hidden clues… numbers and letters which led us to secret hidden boxes! Inside the boxes were some treats for us (chocolate coins are important sustenance during a busy treasure hunt) and messages from ‘Ernie the Ely Eel Catcher’, who was trying to convince us that Oliver Cromwell, one of Ely’s most well known former residents, was not the hero he is sometimes portrayed to be.

Both teams managed to complete the treasure hunt, with only a few hints needed! Graeme got plenty of exercise as he biked across Ely keeping an eye on both teams, and we also got to practise our social skills when we had to ask an employee at the Oliver Cromwell museum for one of the boxes!

We all had a very enjoyable afternoon and were extremely impressed with Graeme’s hard work – you can check out some photos from the treasure hunt below.

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After all that excitement, we moved on to two hours of running around in a play area playing ‘zombies’, ‘capture-the-flag’, ‘find-the-flag’, ‘move-around-the-whole-play-area-with-a-ball-between-your-knees’ and ‘spin-on-a-pole-til-you’re-dizzy-and-then-fall-over’ (that last one was a new invention for this year).

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Lastly it was time to relax and visit a bar in Cambridge, where we enjoyed a few cocktails and some Busted songs before heading home to get some sleep and rest our various play area related injuries at the end of an awesome day :)

 

Here Be Dragons...

Here Be Dragons…

IMG_6154It was a quiet Thursday afternoon in the Inertia offices when a wild Greg appeared and exclaimed “Let’s get a dragon!”.
“Why would we need a dragon, Greg? Do we intend to take back the iron throne?”
“No not that kind – although that would be cool – a bearded dragon!”
And,  not 24 hours later, we were busy assembling a flat pack vivarium to house our new colleague! We may have made a mess of the office, but we managed to get it fully functional (temperature gauges and heat lamps included) before the end of the day which is when we rushed out to the reptile centre (conveniently around the corner).
And so, meet Gerard the Bearded Dragon!
He likes locusts, carrots and long baths. In fact, here’s him having his first bath; he had a bit of splash and looked as though he was enjoying himself. Of course, we all gathered round to watch the lizard in the washing-up bowl because who wouldn’t?

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He’s only been with us a week and we’ve made sure to give him lots of cuddles and attention.

We’ll bring you another reptile update as soon as he’s grown into his beard!

 

Our Latest New Release - Petal Match!

Our Latest New Release – Petal Match!

We’ve just released a brand new Facebook game into the world!

communityPetal Match: The Secret Garden will look familiar to players of our existing game, Mahjong: The Secret Garden. The gardening elements of the game are the same; you are given a secret garden which is yours to fill with beautiful and exciting flowers, trees, decorations, buildings and more, and you also get to travel to and explore many exotic islands in both games.

In Petal Match however the gameplay element is brand new! Players get to play exciting new match-3 puzzles. Make swaps to match up flowers of the same colour; there are different objectives to meet for each level. Take your time and pick your moves carefully – the fewer moves you use, the higher your score!

There are lots of special tiles that can help or challenge you throughout the game. Pesky weeds will need removing to clear the way for your matches and rotten fruit can wilt your flowers if you don’t get rid of it quickly! But don’t worry – you can use watering cans and fertiliser to perk up your flowers. If you match up more flowers at once you can create garden gnomes who’ll help you out by zooming through and collecting whole rows and sections of flowers at once. Our favourite helper here in the office is the bee – bees will always do whatever they can to help you meet your objective, be it getting rid of tiles that are in the way or making your flowers count for more!

You can even combine different helper tiles together for some pretty spectacular score-boosting effects (we won’t say too much, but when you get the chance try out a gnome with a sickle…).

Take a look at the game for yourself – check out the screenshots below and click here to start building your own secret garden and journey through the many exciting match-3 puzzles. You can also visit and like the Facebook page for the game to stay up to date with all the latest news!!

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The one with the Hammock

The one with the Hammock

On a sunny Tuesday morning recently after a group meeting, we returned to the main office to be greeted by 6 huge boxes and there was no doubt as to what they contained… Six very brightly coloured giant bean bags! After unpacking them, they had to be tested out thoroughly of course (something we are experts in), before being moved to their new home upstairs, which provided us with some exciting mid-morning entertainment. To go along with the bean bags we also decided that a hammock seemed like a brilliant idea, because well… who doesn’t need a hammock in their office?! They should be compulsory for all workplaces! Now we have the perfect place in which to relax away from the main downstairs office and the ideal spot for us to spend our Wednesday Social evenings.

Here’s a sneak peek at the new relaxing/comfy corner of the office as well as the fun we had when they arrived (All that’s left is to convince everyone that a slide is the logical thing to get next!):

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Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

There’s been a few Birthday’s in the office recently, which of course means 1 thing… CAKE! Everyone at Inertia loves a sweet treat, with the exception of Graeme who doesn’t like cake, and a few office members are keen bakers (Kieran keeps promising Monday Cakes, but these haven’t made an appearance yet) which means there is often something pretty tasty to try. Here’s a few of the things we have been enjoying recently:

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Murder Mystery Night

Murder Mystery Night

Last week we tried something a little bit different for our social night – we held a Murder Mystery party!

Everyone was assigned a character and instructed to fill in their own back story. Food was purchased and decorations set up and we were ready to start the evening!

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The night was organised by Kim, who acted as the host – Kimbrella Kumbra, the owner of the Black Panther casino where the mystery was set. A famous Elvis impersonator, Al Shookup, had been murdered and it was everyone’s job to try and figure out whodunnit! After taking in each other’s interesting costumes (take special note of Graeme who played a recently fired gladiator actor), we started chatting and introducing our characters.

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We enjoyed trying out our US accents, which seemed to change between different regions frequently. At first, a lot of suspicion fell on the reporter Flynt Coal, due to his frantic note taking. Other guests included Alex White who played a hit man under cover as a Scuba Diver, Chenaynay an escort who was once jilted by Al, and Tommy, Al’s singing coach, who was in a famous band known for their hit ‘hmm-bop!’.

The finger was also pointed at Randy, who carried two guns with him that night and had been seen heckling Al in the past. It emerged that he had lost a gun in that very casino and this had been used as the murder weapon!

Finally, after lots of discussion, suspicion and wild accusations, the guesses were made and the murderer was revealed! Greg, who played Tommy, had been having a secret affair with Al and killed him to avoid being outed to his wife!

It was definitely an unusual night, but a very fun one. We will definitely be hosting another one soon!