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At death's door: the dreams and decline of Ambient Studios

Even the studios' origins were plagued by instability. Its first in-development project was unceremoniously canceled by its publisher before it even saw the light of day, leaving the team of 11 at Ambient Studios with no work. And subsequently, no money. "It was a game for the Vita," former Ambient Studios technical director Jonny Hopper told Polygon. "Unfortunately I can't say much about it. It went unannounced. "That left us with a team and nothing to do, it was all such short notice, really. So we thought, okay that's not cool." The team held a brainstorming session for the studio's next game. It had to be something they could produce quickly, something good but also a game they could publish fairly soon in order to bring money to the studio. From that brainstorming session came...

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Death, Inc. developer Ambient Studios closes

Ambient Studios, developer of Death, Inc., a game about the bubonic plague that recently became part of Steam Greenlight after missing its Kickstarter funding goal, has closed, according to a post published today on the company's official website. The cash-strapped developer, whose Death, Inc. missed its Kickstarter funding goal in early March, was unable to stay in business, the post reveals. "It's time for a sad announcement: Ambient is shutting its doors," the post reads. "It's been an amazing ride and we've produced some amazing products like Monster Meltdown and Death, Inc. We're super proud of what we achieved, but ultimately we didn't manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door. And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for...

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Valve reveals sixth set of Steam Greenlight games, including Death, Inc.

Valve announced the sixth set of Steam Greenlight games today, including Death, Inc., which fell short of its Kickstarter goal earlier this year. Other Kickstarter veterans include Dead State, a turn-based zombie combat role-playing game, and Shovel Knight, developer Yacht Club Games' "love letter to 8-bit games." Xyla Entertainment's rhythm-infused platformer Rush Bros. also made the cut. The 18 games greenlight today include: Agarest: Generations of War Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures Battle Worlds: Kronos City of Steam Cradle Dead State Dead Trigger Death, Inc. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Elsword Faceless Frozen Endzone Hammerwatch Legend of Dungeon Pinball Arcade Planet Explorers Rush Bros. Shovel Knight Two non-game software titles were also...

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Failed Kickstarter Death, Inc. returns as playable alpha title

Ambient Studios title Death, Inc. failed to reach its Kickstarter funding goal on the crowdfunding website, but the developer is now offering a alpha version of the game to users for $10, VG247 reports. The new pay-for-alpha title offers players instant access to the current version of the game. The title will be updated over the coming months until its launch later in November. Those who wait until November to purchase the title at launch will have to pay $19.99. "We were overwhelmed by the support we received during our recent Kickstarter campaign," said Ambient Studios director Jonny Hopper in a prepared statement. "Despite the fact we didn't reach our initial target, we did raise support of over £122,000 — that's a tremendous amount of support which has given us the confidence to...

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Death, Inc. falls short of Kickstarter goal, developers say it's not the end

Death, Inc., the proposed strategy game from Ambient Studios about spreading the bubonic plague, fell short of its crowdfunding goal, according to the game's Kickstarter page. When the campaign ended, it had received £122,711 of its £300,000 goal from 3,874 backers. A final update posted on the Kickstarter blog, written hours before the campaign ended, thanks "friends, backers, supporters and well-wishers" who watched over the last month as Ambient Studios released a demo, set up on Steam Greenlight and unveiled iPad and multiplayer prototypes. If you want to follow the future of the studio and Death, Inc., you can keep up with Ambient on its Facebook page, Twitter account and website. There's even an email address posted on the blog, where anyone can write in. "We'd love to hear...

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Death Inc. developer unveils iPad and multiplayer prototypes

Death Inc., the strategy game about the bubonic plague, may include iPad support and multiplayer as stretch goals, according to a recent update and video on the game's Kickstarter blog. Check out the video above, in which the developers at Ambient Studios show the game running on an iPad, a result of about three days of work. They then take the game to two Windows PCs, team up and divide their forces in cooperative battle. "We think both of those could be fantastic stretch goals," designer Mike Green says in the video. "We know that we still have a long way to go, but it's great to be able to see some of the potential for Death Inc." As of this writing, nearly 3,000 backers have pledged 77,893 pounds of the 300,000 goal. The Death Inc. Kickstarter campaign has seven days...

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Ambient Studios artist designs Death Inc. abode using real-life scale replica

Rather than draw digital blueprints, lead artist Jon Eckersley on Ambient Studios' upcoming management/god game Death Inc. built a scale model of players' in-game home when designing the piece, reports Kotaku. Players will use their in-game house as their base of operations, keeping track of inventory and plague-spreading minions in one convenient place. The photos, available on Kotaku, show a tiny replica of the building made out of wood and what appears to be cardstock, complete with a miniature bathtub and staircases. Eckersley explained that he chose to build a physical model rather than settle on sketches in order to make sure all house accoutrements were functional and to create a consist art style. "Building a physical model forces you to not only work to an art style, but...

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Death Inc. releases prototype demo, sets up on Steam Greenlight

Ambient Studios released a demo for its strategy management god game Death Inc. today via the project's Kickstarter page, and has set up shop on Steam Greenlight as well. The downloadable demo is available for PC, Mac and Linux systems and features a 10-minute playable prototype of the title. "This may be the earliest you have ever got your hands on a game," the developer wrote in a page update. "Death Inc. has existed for just 10 weeks and we're so excited to be able to let you play it! Obviously the game is not finished, there are many missing features, and the quality is not representative of the final game." In addition to bringing the game to Steam Greenlight earlier this month, Ambient Studios is letting backers increase pledge amounts in exchange for additional reward items....

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Death Inc. devs reveal the mechanics behind their bubonic plague RTS

Developers at Ambient Studios reveal the basic mechanics that drive their upcoming bubonic plague RTS title Death Inc., with an 11-minute gameplay video that offers a look at an early prototype of the game. As shown throughout the video, players make brush strokes in order to command groups of infected characters toward groups of the uninfected city-goers. Death Inc. will also feature physics, allowing the player to use their units to push cranks and open gates, or to close them for protection. The game also offers elements of multitasking, with gates that will close if a crank is not being turned continuously, forcing the player to split their units of infected between crank-turning duty and disease spreading. As of press time Death Inc. has reached 37,565 British pounds of its...

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Ambient Studios launches Death Inc. on Kickstarter, wants £300,000 to finish development

Developer Ambient Studios launched its Kickstarter campaign for strategy management title Death Inc. today, asking for £300,000 by March 6 to get the game on Windows PC, Mac and Linux. Set in Restoration England, Death Inc. follows the exploits of Grim. T Livingstone, a freelancing grim reaper tasked with spreading the bubonic plague. Players will send minions infected with the disease into cities, and humans who die of the plague will be resurrected as one of Grim's henchmen. Legions must be outfit with proper weaponry, as humans under attack will defend themselves with whatever they have, from basic swords and guns to massive siege machines. According to the project page, the title also includes business management and god game elements akin to Bullfrog Productions' Dungeon Keeper...

Death, Inc. Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Publisher Ambient Studios
    • Developer Ambient Studios
  • Mac
    • Publisher Ambient Studios
    • Developer Ambient Studios
  • Linux
    • Publisher Ambient Studios
    • Developer Ambient Studios
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