Planck Dev Diary #9: I’m the Captain

Happy 2011! The new year finds us with some favorable outcomes of our work thus far, new opportunities, and what’s sure to be an adventure-filled road ahead. 

In first and most exciting news, a week or so ago composer Chad Bechard started lobbing over brand-new bits of sound to us. Some quick work by Brenton got these pieces working in engine a couple days ago (see the mysterious screenshot of the Unity inspector to the right!), and while it’s still quite rough, nobody has played the preliminary scripting and not come away with a big stupid grin on his or her face. I know that on a certain level it’s bad form for me to be a tease and say we’re excited about stuff we can’t share yet, but… well, I am.

We’re also delighted to note that the 2011 Independent Games Festival has recognized our Planck Playtest Two build with an Honorable Mention in the Audio category. What we sent to the judges was a little bit less than a complete game, and we were up against a very strong lineup of contenders, so it was great to see our work get some love from the IGF. To top it off, playWISE gaming blog called Planck Playtest Two one of the “hidden gems” of 2010 in a year-end roundup! Thank you all for enjoying what we have so far.

We remain, as always, your Shadegrown Games.


Planck Dev Diary #8: A legit operation

We’re coming up towards the end of the year and Shadegrown Games has a brand-new site! Beyond being a little nicer visually, the site is also much easier to update and gives us the flexibility to install various applications that will help the team work together remotely. All of this is part of Shadegrown’s gradual transformation from a dream and some hard work into what Chris calls “a legit operation,” which I think is a good candidate for our corporate tagline. So while things are a little bare-bones around the site right now, please look forward to more content and more features early next year.

If you came here looking for the playtest build link, you might have noticed that we’ve taken it down for the time being. We want to thank everyone who played the build and especially those who discussed it with us and with each other. Sharing work and putting stuff out into the wild always contains an element of fear, so it was great to see that the game 1. did not immediately blow up and 2. seemed to fare well in the court of somewhat-public opinion. The data and feedback we gathered will help us immensely as we continue to develop Planck! Finally, if you did miss the playtest build and wanted very badly to play it, or wanted to share it with someone, just use the Contact Us page to send me a note and I’ll hook you up.

See you next year!




Planck Dev Diary #7: Work-work balance, and other challenges

It’s been a little longer than we wanted while since out last update (sorry, kin!). The holiday waylaid us a bit with travel and other distractions, but progress has also been a little slower than we’d like right now. The real reason for that is: our day jobs. Most of us don’t work on Planck full-time. We would like to, of course, and are actively searching for ways to make that happen– but at the current moment this project is a labor of love and not a labor of any rent-paying capability.

Of course, I (Matthew) am confident that we’ll be able to find a way that lets us do our thing full-time at some point in the future; for right now we are forging ahead as best as we’re able.

So what has been going on? Chad’s initial music for the next level has been cut into tiny bits and ribbons of sound; these pieces are lying there on the table waiting for us to figure out how we want to meld them back together again in true Planck interactive style. Justin has some interestingly blocky and angular shapes in Maya. Brenton’s just made a diagram of his idea for a certain kind of enemy of a type which has not been seen before. And Kyle’s been cleaning up some of the hanging bits of code left over from our last milestone and continuing to work on big futuro-features.

That’s it for now! There’s more to come.


Shadegrown Games


Planck Dev Diary #6: Quickly, we’ve got to run!

Hello again to everyone who appreciates games grown in the shade. This is a brief check-in to let you know that today marks the beginning of our weekend of mad work: Planckapalooza Round 3! We’ve had an exciting week here thanks to’s coverage, which spawned some awesome comments here, on YouTube and a couple discussions on the Penny Arcade forums. Everyone’s thoughts about Planck have totally made our week and are providing the booster fuel for our weekend work session– the primary goal of which is to get more content into the engine. Perhaps some new environments will be shown soon? (!)


Shadegrown Games


Planck Dev Diary #5: Planck explained in detail!

Here’s a great in-depth look at how Planck’s mechanics work, put together by our lead programmer Kyle Murphy. It also serves as a great introduction to Planck itself, so if you’re interested in our novel take on the music-game genre, take a gander.