blog

Group of people playing garden tumble tower on the patio

Summer Fun!

Like most of Europe, we here in Ely have been experiencing a long heatwave these past few months. We decided to have a barbecue at Greg’s house to make the most of the warm weather; food was bought, playlists were made and an inflatable hot tub was set up and then, in typical British fashion, it rained!!

However, we weren’t about to let a small to medium sized (well actually quite large…) thunderstorm ruin our fun!

We were lucky enough to have a couple of hours of sun first, which gave us a chance to play some garden boules and tumble tower games, get most of the barbecue food cooked (compliments to Lucy the chef!) and rescue a tired bee!

Group of people playing garden tumble tower on the patio
Some tense gameplay!
Kieran carefully feeding some sugary water to a bee from a spoon
Helping out our new friend

However, the clouds soon rolled in and the thunder and lightening began!

Group of us happily gathered under the gazebo as rain pours outside
We took shelter under the gazebo

Although the weather remained overcast for the rest of the evening, the lightening and rain did let up and the temperature stayed high, which allowed us to make the most of the hot tub.

Alice, Lauren and Berni perched at the edge of the hot tub with their legs in the water, under a grey sky
Some of us took a brief dip…
Lauren, Graeme and Greg fully in the hot tub
… while others went the full way!

Following up from our mushroom eating contest at CenterParcs, we held a raw onion eating contest which was much regretted by Greg, who underestimated the strength of raw onion taste. The night ended with dancing to some classic party songs (who doesn’t like Mr Brightside?!).

Even with the uninvited storm it was a fun evening and a great chance to socialise outside of the office. We look forward to another one next year!

GIF of Albert the Mini Doxie licking Greg's face

Canine Capers!!

Friday 22nd June was Bring Your Dog to Work Day! We didn’t need much encouragement to invite Albert, Lauren’s miniature dachshund, to work with us for the day!

Albert the Mini Doxie on Lauren's lap

Here’s what Alb got up to with us:

Albert the Mini Doxie hiding under a chair
At first, he was a little shy – it’s been a while since he’s visited!
Albert the Mini Doxie surveying the office
He eventually gathered some courage to start exploring
GIF of Albert the Mini Doxie licking Greg's face
And then, with even more courage, he decided to clean Greg’s face for him
Albert the Mini Doxie typing
Alb got to grips with using the keyboard. Apologies to any customers who received an email about bones last Friday!
GIF of Albert the Mini Doxie running away from having his photo taken
We also tried some photo posing for Catastronauts – Albert’s not a photo fan
Albert the Mini Doxie sleeping
Finally it was time for a well earned nap!

Bring Your Dog To Work Day is an annual nationwide event that raises money for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of dogs. You can find out more here!

Norwich City Centre

Norwich Gaming Festival 2018

Our Catastronauts team is currently very busy bringing the game ever closer to release, but at the start of June they managed to spare a few days to head off to Norwich Gaming Festival! Norwich is fairly close by to us, so we were excited to attend a local event and get the chance to show off Catastronauts a little closer to home!

Norwich Gaming Fest is a free, family-friendly celebration of games, held annually in the city centre. It’s packed full of indie devs exhibiting playable versions of their games; there are also unique and fun activities to try out such as retro games and a board game cafe, gaming merch to buy, gaming art on display, advice on getting into the industry and much more!

Norwich City Centre
Norwich – a fine city!

We were at NGF for three days and had a really wonderful time! The atmosphere at the whole event was very relaxed, so it was great for really getting into the game with members of the public and seeing which parts they enjoyed the most. The event is also perfect for families, which meant we had loads of younger players trying out the game – it was fun to see that our 7 year old players could still quickly figure out how to lock their teammates out of the safe room when a solar flare was approaching.

Table set up with Catastronauts and free merch
Ready to welcome our newest recruits!

On the Saturday evening, we headed to Epic Studios for the NGF pub quiz! This really put our gaming knowledge to the test, with questions spanning from retro console favourites (anybody else remember Cool Spot?) right through to the latest releases. We’re all (as you would expect) pretty big gaming fans, but gaming has such a huge field of potential questions, so to avoid disappointment we set our expectations from the off with our team name, which was 💩 (yes – the actual team name was the smiling poop emoji). However, we were pleasantly surprised that we were not right at the bottom of the list! The winning teams really impressed us with their very detailed knowledge of gaming.

While at the event we also got to chat to lots of fellow indie devs and try some of their games. A couple of projects that caught our eye this time were:
+ Locomotion, an awesomely intuitive train themed puzzler with a great art style
+ Switch ‘N’ Shoot, a one-button arcade style shoot-em-up which had it’s own special and very retro arcade cabinet at the show
+ Black Friday Simulator, which felt like being on Supermarket Sweep except you are trashing things instead of collecting them (great stress relief!)
+ The Dwarves of Glistenveld, a real-time strategy with some retro inspiration and a fun sense of humour

We had a brilliant time at the event – we got lots of great feedback about the game, experienced lots of chaotic fun as we played along with visitors, and all really enjoyed ourselves.

People playing Catastronauts
Lots of chaotic fun was had!

Have you seen Catastronauts in action yet? If not, why not grab yourself a ticket for EGX, where you can find us in the Rezzed zone along with lots of other wonderful indies! And don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest on the game!

Catastronauts on Facebook and Twitter; wishlist the game on Steam

Inertia Game Studios on Facebook and Twitter

Catastronauts Stand Busy at Rezzed

Our trip to EGX Rezzed!

At the start of April we officially announced Catastronauts!! If you haven’t already, check out the trailer below:

Eager to get out into the world and show people what we’ve been working on, we had the awesome opportunity to exhibit Catastronauts at EGX Rezzed on 13th-15th April. Rezzed is London’s biggest consumer games event; hundreds of devs gather to show off recent or upcoming PC and console projects. From solo devs and small indie studios like ours through to bigger studios, the focus is on having playable versions of the games, making for a very fun weekend for all attendees!

We packed up our many, many bags and headed up to London where the event was being held in the super trendy Tobacco Dock (we’re totally cool and trendy you see!). After a few hiccups with a couple of deliveries (thanks are due to the brilliant Rezzed team who were the heroes of the weekend!) we were set up and ready to go.

Catastronauts Stand at Rezzed
Our stand, ready to go!

The weekend was, much like a level of Catastronauts, very hectic with lots of to-ing and fro-ing and talking! Luckily, unlike Catastronauts it was not friendship breaking – in fact, we had the chance to speak to lots of other devs, people from the industry and future players of the game! There was also, thankfully, no fire.

We had lots of great feedback about the game, and a lot of people went away excited for more in the future. Tons of people came to try out the game, sometimes coming back for a second go with new friends to shout ‘SOLAR FLARE!! INTO THE SAFE ROOM!!’ at. We also had lots of lovely merch to give away (we <3 wristbands and posters) as well as a ‘Design your own Catastronaut’ competition, which is still running if you’re feeling arty!!

Catastronauts Stand Busy at Rezzed
Things got pretty busy!
Catastronauts Competition and Merch at Rezzed
We got lots of awesome entries for our competition

On the final day of the show things were slightly more chill, and we were able to each grab a short break to explore some of the other games we were each looking forward to. Some of our personal favourites included:

+ Ooblets, a super-cute Pokemon and Animal Crossing hybrid
+ Phogs!, where you and a friend work together to control a double-ended doggo
+ Forgotten Anne, a story driven adventure/puzzle platformer, with a beautiful cinematic style
+ Vermintide 2, a four player first-person action game, the newest installment in the Warhammer universe
+ Bury me, my Love, an interactive fiction where you play as the husband of Nour, a Syrian woman leaving Homs to try and start a new life in Europe

This was our first time showing off one of our games at a big exhibition, and we really enjoyed it. If you are interested in checking out Catastronauts at future events, you can catch us at Norwich Gaming Festival where we’ll be from 1st-3rd June. You can also follow us on social media for all the latest on the game!

Catastronauts on Facebook and Twitter; wishlist the game on Steam

Inertia Game Studios on Facebook and Twitter

Some of the team at Rezzed
Thanks for reading!
A bearded dragon vivarium with a black tiled floor

Vivarium Adventures!

This week Gerard had a very exciting and much anticipated upgrade to his vivarium!

Bearded Dragons live in a desert climate, so they are often kept on sand – this was what Gerard was used to as a baby, and has been living on since we became his beardie family. However, we’re always researching, to help us learn more about how to keep him healthy and happy, and we decided it would be better for him to have tiles in his vivarium.

Luckily Graeme already had some tiles which were just perfect. After some measuring, more measuring and a final measure just to check, we got the tiles cut to size and had a big spring clean to get rid of all the sand!

We all love the look of Gerard’s new viv… it reflects the sleek, modern dragon he is. It will also mean no more orange hands and feet!! Gerard himself has been in a ‘sit as high as possible and look dominant’ kind of mood since he’s come out of brumation (which is like his low-effort version of hibernation), so he hasn’t explored the new floor much yet; when he did investigate, he seemed completely unperturbed about the change!

Check out Gerard’s shiny new viv below, plus an obligatory ‘I’m a handsome lizard’ shot!

A bearded dragon vivarium with a black tiled floor
The tiles in action!
Gerard the bearded dragon posing on a rock
Feeling very chill (Can you spot the photobombing locust?)
This is where our shoes and umbrellas live!

Welcome to our office!

We thought you might like to come on an updated office tour, to see a little more about the place where the game magic happens!

Let the tour commence!!

Some of our team hard at work!
Some of our team hard at work!
This is where our shoes and umbrellas live!
This is where our shoes and umbrellas live.
Our pool table, used for many a lunchtime game, with our Catastronauts team busy in the background!
Our pool table, used for many a lunchtime game, with our Catastronauts team busy in the background.
The perfect place for a relaxing break!
The perfect place for a relaxing break.
Here's where our Catastronauts  team plan for the year ahead...
Here’s where our Catastronauts team plan for the year ahead…
Time is ticking!
We’re very excited!!
Our testing station - grab a controller!
Our testing station – grab a controller!
Our meeting room, where great ideas are born.
Our meeting room, where great ideas are born…
... and elephants wearing unicorn horns, on their birthdays.
… and elephants wearing unicorn horns, on their birthdays.
Fancy a game of Point Blank 2? Plus, can you spot Gerard?
Fancy a game of Point Blank 2? Plus, can you spot Gerard?
Here's where we enjoy our social nights, as well as some lunchtime Super Smash Bros.
Here’s where we enjoy our social nights, as well as some lunchtime Super Smash Bros.

Thanks for checking out our office tour – come back soon!

Collage of Saturday Activities

Christmas Capers!

This year for our annual Christmas do we decided to head back to Center Parcs for some more fun in the forest!

First off, before Christmas, we had a merry afternoon in the office, where we exchanged our Secret Santa gifts, listened to lots of classic Christmas songs and enjoyed some games, including Jackbox, one of our office favourites.

25434485_10161701689597037_709475905_o

In January, we headed off for a weekend at Center Parcs in Elveden. On our arrival day we enjoyed a meal at Huck’s American Bar & Grill – unfortunately, Graeme couldn’t make the trip this time, so instead we had a competition to add him to our group photo…

Comp to add Graeme

On the Saturday Alice, Kim and Laura spent some time with birds of prey, while lots of us tried out field archery. Later on a group of us made a very relaxing visit to the spa, and we also enjoyed the outdoor hot tub – so much that we didn’t want to leave it! We also had our traditional Saturday games night, where we enjoyed a new game for the office – Game of Phones! There was also lots of music, chatting, enjoying the pool table and of course, the obligatory game of telestrations!

Collage of Saturday Activities
alice bird gif

Sunday meant it was time for the Inertia Company Treasure Hunt!! We split into two teams and followed a series of clues hidden around the park, and completed some bonus photo challenges along the way! The winning team were rewarded with medals (yay!) and everyone got a goody bag of sweets to take home (yum!).

Sunday collage

We all had a blast, and really enjoyed our trip – we were especially excited that we managed to mostly avoid the dreaded winter colds! Here’s to another awesome year at Inertia 🙂

Preparing for the murder mystery

A Heroic Death!!

At the start of November, we held another of our now traditional murder mystery parties!

The day started with a bit of a hiccup when we arrived to find the office had no internet.

Luckily we managed to find other things to do to amuse ourselves…

Making a rocket
Using our creative skills to make Alice a rocket
Playing Margrave 4
Enjoying one of our classic games, Margrave: The Blacksmith’s Daughter
Preparing for the murder mystery
Preparing for our murder mystery party

In the afternoon, after many fruitless calls to our ISP we decided to start our Murder Mystery party a little early. We all got in to costume, finalised our voices and had one last read of our character sheets before gathering to play out “A Heroic Death”! This murder mystery was by Freeform Games (who we highly recommend!) and was more than your average murder mystery game. Rather than just solving the murder, everyone had their own goals to work on – this resulted in lots of treachery, blackmail, theft and wild accusations!

Everyone in costume
The SuperHeroicJusticeDoomSquad ready to get solving!
Captain Amazing!
Captain Amazing! He got some weird looks buying those knickers in Peacocks…

In the game we played a group of superheroes, the SuperHeroicJusticeDoomSquad, trapped in their base and trying to solve the mysterious murder of their manager Bernard, as well as escape the base to save the world! With a group of people with special powers, there was also lots of tit-for-tat arguing with said powers, which included some pass the parcel style stealing of important items and one player stopping everyone from getting to the buffet!

Murder Mystery Props
Some of the props from our party
Superhero Cards
Our Superhero Cards, a most sought after item from the night!

Although our heroes failed to escape their base to save the world, between everyone they managed to piece together most of the murder story (despite some excellent tactics from the murderer to throw people off!) and everyone achieved lots of their goals, including reversing global warming, gathering money to pay off debts and uncovering secrets from their own past. The debrief session at the end of the night was especially fun when players discovered who had been blackmailing them, stealing from them and lying to them all night! We all really enjoyed this murder mystery party and are already looking forward to the next one.

Screenshot of Catastronauts

An introduction to our latest project – Catastronauts!

We’re excited to be able to give you a sneak peak of one of the most exciting projects we’re working on at the moment. May we introduce…. Catastronauts!!

Life as a space cadet is never easy; enemies constantly bombarding your ship, torpedoes exploding in your hands, your fellow cadets accidentally getting you sucked into the void of space…

Catastronauts is a hectic local co-op multiplayer game, where up to four friends work together to defeat enemy ships before their own ship is taken down, while getting to grips with a range of obstacles and new weapons. You can expect lots of mistakes, accidentally killing each other (don’t worry, your ship has a cloning bay, of course), shouts of “Get the toolbox you muppet!!” (actual quote) and other hilarious fun; you’ll be able to defeat the enemy only once you start to work together.

Screenshot of Catastronauts
Guys… I think I’m on fire

With influences from co-op games such as Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked (one of our favourites for office socials!) and space-themed sims like Subset Games’ FTL, we’re working hard to produce a game that we think groups of friends and family will love playing together, with some unique new mechanics and very fun levels. Right now our Catastronauts team is focusing on putting the prototype through its paces with lots of play testing to figure out which mechanics work best together and balance the level difficulties.

Catastronauts Character Select Screen
Our character selection screen
Concept Art for Catastronauts - The Enemy Ship
Concept art for an enemy ship

We’re really excited about this project and can’t wait to share more about it with you in the coming months. You can check out some prototype gameplay in the video below. Let us know what you think on Twitter @Inertia_Game.

Let's Get Quizzical!

Let’s Get Quizzical!

Quiz
For a recent social we enjoyed our third office pub quiz, this time with Kim as a new quizmaster (so Graeme had a chance to compete)!

With music rounds, picture rounds, acronyms and trivia our two teams battled it out, and the Labracadabrador team claimed victory, with a 5 point lead over Chicken Ball-Z.

We thought we’d share a few of our questions for you to have a go at!

1. What does SCUBA stand for?

2. Name the eight core lessons which Harry Potter has to attend during his first year at Hogwarts.

3. What is the largest species of dolphin?

4. What year was Doom first released?

5. True or false – Maine is the closest US state to Africa

Ready for the answers? Click here!

1. Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

2. Potions, Herbology, Charms, Transfiguration, Flying, Astronomy, Defence against the Dark Arts, History of Magic

3. Killer Whale/Orca

4. 1993

5. True!

As always, this was one of our favourite social activities… it gives us a chance to show our competitive side outside of video games (“but I’ve SEEN bananas grow on trees!”), and to come up with puns for team names as well as some comic answers for the questions we didn’t know (does anyone else think that DEFRA might stand for “Dubious Elephant Figure Rendered by grAeme?).