Hi Backers, (I probably should have saved that awesome update title for our next update, but I couldn't resist :)
Things are heating up, and I don’t just mean, summer is here. Of course Move38 just kicked off our Summer Game Design Internships with 5 wonderful game design interns. Another welcome addition to the Move38 family is our new favorite team member (everyone voted and agrees), our 3-pawed furry mascot, Ernie! He’s a rescue from Nepal and is constantly making sure that we are getting enough exercise in this busy period of design, manufacturing, and development.
How’s Commercial Manufacturing Going?
First of all, the first Dev-Kits are going out the door, and we will continue to assemble, pack and get them out the door in the coming weeks. We started with our Alpha Backers and have received helpful feedback, that will help us with the rest of the Dev Kits (there are a lot of them 😁 ).
As I mentioned in a previous update, we wanted to do the Dev Kits with a manufacturer that we are considering to also use for our commercial run. Their communication was great and they delivered some beautiful Dev Blinks. Most importantly, they work, and are ready for your creative hands to get ahold of them.
Here’s a quick run-through of the magic that went into producing the Dev Kit Blinks.
Apply solder paste to each of the panelized Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
Add the components to the PCBs (with a device called a CNC pick'n'place machine)
Program the Blinks to make sure they are ready for developers to put games on them :)
Run the simple test application I wrote to validate that RGB LEDs are working and then validate that all 6 sides are communicating. Here a gang of 6 surrounding Blinks are simply used to test the middle one's ability to communicate. "Can you hear me know?"
What EXACTLY is the difference between Dev Kit Blinks and Commercial Blinks?
Dev Kit Blinks are functionally the same as commercial Blinks, however, some have referred to them as topless. Don’t worry, these Blinks aren’t flashing indecent exposure, this just means that the electronics are exposed on the top, there isn’t a diffuser, and the button is simply in the middle of the Blink. There are a couple of reasons for their lack of cover, mostly because the original design with diffuser makes for faulty communications between Blinks. While they look pretty and are closer to the final appearance, we didn’t want to supply developers with materials that make games feel buggy. The second reason is that we wanted to get Dev Blinks out the door as quickly as possible so you can start making games.
As for the commercial Blinks, they are looking super fine and we are triple checking our prototypes to make sure everything will work, fit, assemble the way we intend. Did I mention that I designed a new carry case for the commercial Blinks? I am hoping it is not outrageously expensive to manufacture, it should be simple and straight-forward, and I think you’ll really love it. I call it the Blinks Sushi Roll 😛 See it in action here
Since the Blinks have magnets in them, the case is simply made of steel with a thin sheet of Tyvek holding it all together. The weight in the hand feels amazing and most of my friends are just asking for the case now. I have a feeling ordering extra Blinks Sushi Rolls is going to be a thing, would you buy one of these separately?
How’s Game Design Going?
We’ve announce 4 different games for Blinks, and more are headed our way. Last week we play tested a game called Oath by John Bruneau and Yuxin Gao, that is a button mashing game of influence. The goal is to make Blinks show allegiance to your color, the way of doing so is by touching the Blink when it shows your color (adding influence) and when Blinks of a specific color surround another Blink, they influence the the surrounded Blink. It is a fast paced masher, and every time we see people play testing, they are having a great time winning, or losing 🙂
The summer interns are just digging in and will be refining and balancing existing games, so if you have a Dev Kit, we’ll want your feedback on play testing our games in development too! There are some nice refinements coming to both Mortals and Fracture and we still have a long list of games in progress.
In Connecticut this weekend and can't wait to get your hands in the game? You're in luck. BeRrY creators are at CT-FIG all weekend showing off their games as well as others. Reach out, send a tweet, or holla at us... so we know who to thank for all of the support.
Want the latest latest?!?!
Join us for our FACEBOOK LIVE WEBCAST @ 4pm EST TODAY (We will continue to do this on a weekly basis for those looking for more regular updates.)
Any Word On What The Six Games Being Featured Will Be?
You of course know you’ll be getting Mortals and Fracture. User created games, BeRrY and Bomb Brigade are hits with us, and in the coming weeks/months, we think there will be an explosion of new games from the dev community. We want to give the earliest supporters the opportunity to make and share games that can potentially ship with Blinks.
I Have A Game Idea, But I Didn’t Get A Dev Kit, What Can I Do?
Pitch the idea in We ❤ Blinks to designers!
With summer lovin,
Jon + the whole Blinks team (yes, summer interns means it has grown considerably)