About 2009 (A Late Review)

I am a bit late this year, but I think it’s time again to write a few lines about the year that has passed by. It was a year with a lot of interesting projects.

In February we released an update to our 2d submarine shooter Waterstorm, adding bots (in death match) to the game. It’s great to have the game still online with over 5000 registered players.

Shortly after that, we released Black Sheep, a brain-teasing puzzle game for iPhone/iPod touch. A free lite version of the game is also available, featuring 10 exclusive levels. It was really interesting to develop this game since it was one of our first games for the platform. The full version now features about 40 levels, but we are definitely thinking of adding more levels or even releasing a new game based on the gameplay that would be even more eye-candy.

On the contract work side, we have done “Besser Essen – leben leicht gemacht” for Independent Arts Software (published by SevenOne Intermedia), a personal nutritionist app for the iPhone/iPod touch. This was actually a really great project that I personally remember as one of those where you think “now that’s how professional projects should be done”.

Later in 2009, we relaunched our website with a complete new look and added an overview of all games and apps.

The people behind Rarebyte originally met in 1999 and we all worked together as a hobby team for quite a few years before we officially founded the company. So if you count those hobby years as well, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Rarebyte in 2009. There are some nostalgic stories available here.

At the end of September, we attended the PIXEL 4.0 digital content symposium. Really great to have such events here in Austria – got to know lots of interesting people there. We will definitely be attending the next PIXEL.

Shortly after that, after being quite some time in the making, we released Lemming Rampage, our first Unity3d based game on the iPhone. I’m sure that this is one of the funniest games we have ever done. Not only fun to play, but we also had so much fun developing it. We were running out of time for the submission deadline of the Vienna Content Award 09, but then made it on the very last day – and it payed off: Lemming Rampage was nominated in the category games, in the top five of all games. It didn’t win the category (instead And Yet It Moves did, congratulations to Broken Rules), but it was definitely a sign for us that we were on the right track. We met some quite amazing people at the event and maybe this is worth more than winning the category ;)

In November, we moved into a new office in Graz, together with Solfox. Until then, I was working at my home office, so it was great to change the environment once again, to refresh my mind and to exchange ideas with others.

Actually, we had plans to release a Christmas-related game in mid-December, but unfortunately it didn’t make it in time, so we are holding this back until next Christmas – as a special surprise ;)