The Needles

The Needles: Beakiez: Casual Gets Hardcore

Andy Chalk | 4 May 2010 17:00
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Conventional publishers are out, too. "If we approached publishers, we might get offers to fund at the expense of our IP and creative control, which isn't something we're willing to compromise on," he continued. "I approached publishers not too long ago with a really accomplished and successful game designer and IP, and we still got tons of pressure to assign IP ownership and creative control, forcing us to raise angel funding instead, which is also no walk in the park to close. So I don't have any illusions about what would be required of us if we were offered publisher funding for Beakiez."

That leaves the team working furiously on the new "Blue Sky" patch, which will include some gameplay refinements and "an overhaul of the presentation," and hoping that it will be enough to put the game over the top. "This isn't an ordinary patch for us. The stakes are really high, and you caught us at a fairly dramatic moment," Taylor said. "We've gone deep into debt, and things are rough right now. If we can't turn this into sales, then the game may stall out."

opGames hopes to have the Blue Sky patch out by June 16 and based on this GameTrailers preview, it's a significant visual upgrade to the game. Meanwhile, work on three more "zones" is also underway and Taylor said that for the future, he hopes to see features like a playback option and greater Facebook integration added to the game, and, of course, a move to other platforms like Android, WiiWare and, dare to dream, the 360 and PS3. "These are all just ideas for now, though," he said. "There are a million things to polish and work on."

For now, opGames is distributing a demo version of the game through the website at Beakiez.com, where gamers can also purchase the full version through PayPal. I've played it and although it's an "alpha" build, it was nonetheless quite impressive - once I was able to accept that it wasn't quite as simple as I thought and that despite my best efforts, I was going to end up with a whole lot of beakies blood on my hands. It's an unusually hardcore approach for a game that belongs to such an eternally-cheery genre. I think I like it.

Andy Chalk does his best to save the little Beakiez, but it's just never enough.

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