Henry Ryder

Boss Alien Christmas party

This has been both a productive and enjoyable year for the studio – seeing several new faces joining the festivities at this year’s Boss Alien Christmas party.

We had a moment to reflect upon how we got here, and realise how lucky we are to work alongside such an awesome crew of talented ninjas.

Boss Alien Christmas party 2013

Social here...

Add a comment

Henry Ryder

Boss Alien Xmas

boss-alien-xmas-card
We have a few noble traditions we strive to uphold here in the Boss Alien studio including…

  • Fridays are bagel day
  • Around Christmas time we wrap Mr Richard Bangs in fairy lights

So it is that time of the year again – where we are getting ready for the festive season in our own unique way.

boss-alien-xmas

Social here...

Add a comment

Henry Ryder

Restoration in CSR Classics

This may sound a bit of a cliche, but I have been a fan of racing games since I was a little boy. To be part of this particular project is just out of this world, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to add on to it’s success. There are multiple aspects of the game that get me excited. The most exhilarating has got to be the carefully selected choice of classic vehicles that are featured throughout the game. All my personal favourites have been included: the Ford Mustang 390R, Shelby Mustang GT500, Dodge Charger R/T, Pontiac GTO,… and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Impala unloved - CSR Classics

One really rewarding feature in CSR Classics is the ability to restore classic cars to pristine condition. As an admirer of these vintage motors, I was lucky to be working on the restoration concept. I looked closely at live examples of vehicles. I studied the amount of detailed work collectors put in their cars, restoring some neglected models back into perfection. This was a great learning experience and broadened my interests in iconic cars even further. I took everything I learnt and poured it into the game, allowing players to digitally feel the same joy of restoring their own classic cars.

The first thing that came to mind, designing these neglected cars, is adding rust and dirt. It is a happy coincidence that my misses likes to visit the studio from time to time. As we were brainstorming ideas with the creatives she casually mentioned adding bird droppings to the windows to instantly make even the most expensive cars look scruffy. I actually have never seen a game with licensed cars with bird poop scattered across their windows. It stuck with us, no pun intended.

My all time favourite car is the GT500. It is unique as it is made out of a combination of fiberglass and steel. This was interesting as it isn’t the easiest material to work with. Making it look neglected took a lot of effort! Fiberglass… doesn’t….rust. It just doesn’t deteriorate like other parts. So as you can see, I had some challenges throughout this whole restoration process. Ultimately I made it work though, respecting the different materials used to create this specific car.

GT500 restoration - CSR Classics

Little details like fingerprints, smears, rust, dirt and more have been individually designed for over thirty cars. So every car has been made to look unique. I hope you like playing the game as much as I liked working on it.

Enjoy CSR Classics.

Social here...

Add a comment

Chris Bowles

CSR Classics!

”CSR Racing with classic cars” – who wouldn’t jump at the chance to be a part of something like that! From those words to ‘CSR Classics‘ going on to be Editors’ Choice in the App Store and one of the top 5 games in over 80 countries seems like no time at all.

For me, as Designer and Product Lead on ‘CSR Classics’, having the chance to make this game was a dream come true. Was it because I got the chance to create a sister product to the mighty CSR Racing? Of course! Was it because I’d get to re-unite with the crazy-talented ex-Black Rock guys and their crew at Mad Atom? Definitely! But really, it was the fact that I’d get to make a game with my all time favourite car in it. No, not the gorgeous Shelby GT500 or the legendary Ford GT40 or even the Shelby Cobra. The car I’m referring to is of course the Mini!

CSR Classics Mini 1275 GT

I knew more about this car than any other when we started making ‘CSR Classics’ but when you find yourself walking through the car park at the Goodwood Revival and can list the make, model and year of every other car then you know something has got under your skin!

Boss Alien Goodwood Revival Ref Trip

Every now and then in game dev, if you’re really, really lucky you get to work on a game where the hard work doesn’t feel like hard work. This only happens when the people you are working with are top gun and the game is one that everyone is excited about making. ‘CSR Classics’ was one of those games and I think it shows when you play it.

Social here...

1 Comment

Henry Ryder

Develop award

As fans of booze, revelry and socialising, we’ve been to a fair few awards ceremonies in our time. We’re sometimes lucky enough to be nominated and occasionally we win!

We’ve won TIGA and Mobile Entertainment awards in the past which were great but last week the Develop Awards happened in our home town of Brighton. We consider this therefore to be the best conference in the world and the best awards ceremony! We were honoured to receive four nominations and then surprised and absolutely delighted when we won the award for Best Internal Studio! Here’s a picture of us surprised and delighted:

Boss Alien Develop Award

Social here...

Add a comment

Henry Ryder

CSR Racing – 1st Birthday in Thorpe Park

alien-thorpe-park2

To celebrate a very busy and magnificent year for the studio since the launch of CSR Racing, we relocated to Thorpe Park for an adrenaline punctuated day of research into the nature of fun.

One of the many reasons why we would return to Thorpe Park, without a moments hesitation, is that during a roller coaster ride adrenaline is released from the adrenal gland into the blood stream. The fight-or-flight response caused by such craziness, triggers the release of endorphins which being endogenous opioids contribute to the ‘high’ felt by all thrill seekers.

Also worth mentioning adrenaline produces enhancement of long-term memory, so we should remember how fun it was, in greater detail for longer.

Science!!!

Social here...

Add a comment

Henry Ryder

Social here...

Add a comment

Jason Avent

Boss Alien speaks at GDC 2013

Hi, I’m Jason Avent, the Studio Head for Boss Alien and I was asked last year if I’d speak at GDC 2013.  I eagerly agreed as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  I’ve been a few times to GDC and it’s THE conference for video games and it’s held each year in San Francisco.  It’s a giant conference with hundreds of brilliant talks.

I did a talk about CSR Racing and how it broke the mould in Freemium.  It was one of the first free games to have really high production values while still retaining the simple mechanics that seem to characterise free to play games on mobile.  I wanted to make the point that our high production values don’t just apply to fancy graphics.  Sure CSR’s visuals were fantastic for the time and were up there with the best of all games on iOS but we put a massive amount of effort into all the screens outside of the race itself.  The race results screen took about four months to get right and many of the other screens in the UI went through hundreds of iterations until we were happy.

You can view a video of the talk at the GDC Vault if you have access.  If not you can view the most important videos here which show how we evolved the HUD and the Map screen from start to finish:

The loop of implement, user-test, review and re-implement is crucial to the success of CSR Racing.  We definitely do have a few secret formulae but by far the most important thing is meticulous hard work. That and having an excellent, talented and thoroughly lovely development team here at Boss Alien.

We’re currently working hard to bring you more exciting events and features on CSR and to bring all the existing features from the iOS version over to Android – including the hotly anticipated multiplayer mode.  You should see the results of this work over the next few months.

Social here...

Add a comment

Henry Ryder

Boss Beans

Recently our old coffee machine broke – and not a fan of doing things by half our new machine is a beautiful example of modern Swiss engineering.

As we all know caffeine is a central nervous system and metabolic stimulant. In theory it produces increased wakefulness, increased focus, faster and clearer flow of thought, and better general body coordination.

I wonder how much code would have been written, and how many dissertations completed, if it wasn’t for the wonders of this mysterious alkaloid.*

Although with this said, be warned, ingestion of large amounts of caffeine leads to tolerance and to a condition known as caffeinism. So it is a good idea to take a week off coffee every now and then – otherwise coffee just stops working its magic.

Social here...

2 Comments

Henry Ryder

Snow Business

Boss Alien snow day

When we are not making games we are researching fun.

What is “fun”?
Fun seems to be one of those things that you only realise after the event.
You are so entirely enwrapped in the moment, that times passes without you noticing.

Snow fights are a great example – you dont realise until afterwards that you were having fun.

Social here...

Add a comment
previous pagenext page