Postbug Music by the AIM Videogame Ensemble

George Hemingway
July 14, 2016

Earlier this year, the ensemble team from the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) composed music for Postbug. The 12 week program was lead by Meghann O'Neill and included a team of 6 students (David Forbes, Amanda Lim, James Mara, Mitchell Munro, Joel Pearson and Tim Steain). This is the first time AIM have taken on such an initiative, and I feel very lucky that Postbug was selected for the program.

IDGA Sydney Beer and Pixels night The AIM team showcasing their work at IDGA Sydney Beer and Pixels night
[image courtesy of IGDA Sydney]

The AIM students are very talented and it was a pleasure working with them. The music adds character and personality to Postbug. Each room has a name and a particular theme with the hope of creating a subtle narrative. Now, with the inclusion of the music, this narrative has been extended significantly. A sombre track is played when you enter a room called Abandoned, and I believe this music adds depth when the player realises they're delivering mail to empty homes. The player is presented with a different track for most rooms; some tracks are dark, some are bold, some are chilled, and others add a special touch of tension.

I'd like to thank to Meghann O'Neill for her support of independent artists. Meghann runs the Interactive Media elective and the Videogame Ensemble at AIM, reviews independent games for PC Powerplay magazine and shares her knowledge and experiences composing interactive music. You can read about Meghann's experiences with the Videogame Ensemble in her featured Postbug - making games, making music for games, and what we can learn article in PC & Tech Authority. The interactive article covers many aspects of the process, including lessons learned, leadership, collaboration, marketing, baking banana bread, and creating support structures for creative artists.

Meghann O'Neill talking about writing interactive music for Wildfire at Freeplay Meghann O'Neill talking about writing interactive music for Wildfire at Freeplay
[image courtesy of Amy Bennett]

Once again, thanks to the ensemble team for the amazing work they did for Postbug. I really appreciate the time and effort they put into composing and mastering the music, presenting their work at the AIM Cafe and showcasing Postbug at the IDGA Sydney Beer and Pixels night. The ensemble team have now started composing music for their second game called Snowflake Moon by Skye Saxon and Elias Nohra.

Sit back, turn up your speakers and click Play Postbug to listen to some cool Postbug tunes! Most rooms have a different track, so make sure you look around to get the full experience. Alternatively, you can listen to the tracks directly on the Aus Institute of Music Game Ensembles page.

> Play Postbug
Supported Browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

Postbug at PAX Australia '15!

George Hemingway
December 8, 2015

Postbug exhibited at PAX Australia over the Melbourne Cup weekend. This event is huge. Each year, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre is packed with PC games, console games, retro games, tabletop games, tournaments, AAA giants and of course, indie games. Postbug exhibited in the PAX Rising area alongside 70 other independent game developers. The quality of the games on display was incredible, so it was a proud moment to be included in this space.

Postbug booth artwork by Tom Hederics Postbug booth artwork by Tom Hederics

PAX Gamers

Thanks to everyone who played Postbug. Exhibiting at PAX was an effective way to engage with people who are interested in Postbug's particular style. It was great to hear your feedback and watch you all have some fun. A memorable occasion was watching Gigi Kun finish Postbug with one of the craziest games I've ever seen. The cheers when Gigi completed the Beehive room with 1 life to spare was just fantastic.

PAX 2015 "OMG SO MUCH SCREAMINGGGGGG oh posted hahaahahah!!! - Gigi Kun

Joseph Hemingway

Joseph Hemingway helped out at the Postbug booth over the 3 days. Joseph has been an integral part of Postbug's development with regard to game design advice, technical expertise (Compiling C# to Javascript), assistance at other festivals (Postbug at the Freeplay Fete), and managing the hosting environment on Microsoft Azure. Joe, I've said this many times, but thanks again mate. Your help is very much appreciated and it was great to have you at the show.

Classic Gaming area at PAX Aus '14 Joseph and me in the Classic Gaming area at PAX Aus '14

Luis Van Slageren

Luis Van Slageren also helped out at the Postbug booth. Helping out other developers is nothing new for this guy since he was floor manager at GCAP and Unite. Luis also founded the Deakin Games Development Group which includes students, enthusiasts and professionals who make or study games in the Geelong region. Thanks again Luis and it was a privilege to have you on the team.

Luis Van Slageren at this year's Melbourne International Games Week Luis Van Slageren at this year's Melbourne International Games Week

Claire Curry

A very special part of PAX was having Claire Curry help at the Postbug booth. I've developed Postbug in my spare time for the last 3 years and Claire has been a tremendous support. Claire has helped with game festivals (Freeplay and iFest) and has been an influence on every aspect of Postbug's brand and ideas. Thanks once again, Claire; having you there to experience PAX and see how far we've come with Postbug was very important to me.

Tom Hederics

Tom Hederics helped behind the scenes by designing the artwork for the booth, flyers and business cards. Tom is a communications designer from Melbourne and the booth artwork looked truly amazing. Thanks again for your help, Tom.

Business card design by Tom Hederics Business card design by Tom Hederics


Postbug also received some media attention on the weekend. I did an interview with Kaes from Another Castle which you can watch below. You can also view the rest of Another Castle's PAX coverage on their PAX 2015 page.

Interview with Kaes from Another Castle

Postbug was listed as a PAX indie game highlight on Load Screen's feature Indie games of PAX Aus article by Tom Heath.

Also look out for Postbug in the next issue of PC Powerplay magazine!! Meghann O'Neill wrote about Postbug in her PAX indie special (issue 277). On that note, I'm going to leave you with one of my favourite Postbug quotes which was tweeted by Meghann shortly after the PAX weekend:

"Here's your love letter from an old friend. Sorry you drowned. I love this game so much." - Meghann O'Neill

Postbug is going to PAX Australia '15!

George Hemingway
September 15, 2015

Postbug will be showcased at this year's PAX Australia in the new PAX Rising area. Special thanks to Ben Williams, the ReedPOP team and PAX Australia for giving me the opportunity to participate in this incredible event. It's going to be a great experience working alongside the line-up of talented game developers selected for the show.

PAX Indie Pavilion '14 PAX Indie Pavilion '14 [image source]

The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is a series of gaming festivals held in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio and Melbourne. PAX has grown over the years since 2004 and PAX Prime in Seattle saw attendances of over 70,000 in 2011. We are lucky to have such a significant event in Melbourne as it is the only city outside the USA to host this festival. It's also great to see the organisers throw some Australian humour into the PAX Aus FAQ for the international visitors:

Q: Aren't all the creatures in Australia dangerous/poisonous/out to kill you?
A: Yes, but if you stay within the city quarantine zones you should be safe.

This year, PAX Australia will host a new area called PAX Rising to showcase over 70 independent game developers from Australia and New Zealand. PAX Rising was created in response to the innovation and quality shown at last year's event, and the new platform may be used as inspiration for future festivals around the world. Robert Khoo, the Penny Arcade President, announced the following in July's press release:

"The strength of the PAX Aus indie community amazed us last year and served as inspiration for the PAX Rising umbrella. Our dream is to roll the area out across all of our shows, with the ambition being what you'll see in Melbourne."

On a final note, congratulations to the other developers showcasing their games at PAX Rising. I look forward to seeing your work at the show :-)

Postbug at the Freeplay Fete

George Hemingway
May 7, 2015

Postbug recently exhibited at the Freeplay Fete in Melbourne. Firstly I'd like to thank Dan Golding and the Freeplay team for giving me the opportunity to showcase my game alongside a line-up of talented game developers and artists. It was a proud moment to be able to participate at the festival. A special thanks goes out to Joseph Hemingway who helped me run the table on the day. Joseph has been an integral part of Postbug's development in regards to both technical and game design advice, so it was great to have him on board.

Postbug Postbug at the Freeplay Fete!

Freeplay is an independent game festival based in Melbourne, and this year's 10 day event included a remarkable line-up of speakers who participated in presentations, online panels, workshops, and on one occasion, a debate. Other events included the Freeplay Fete, Freeplay Awards, a Hovergarden party, and a 2 day game jam titled the Multiplicity Jam. Freeplay provides a fantastic opportunity for game developers and artists to meet, collaborate and network. It's also a great opportunity for the public to get involved and see what's been developed locally.

Southbank Portrait Southbank Portrait: a Multiplicity Jam entry by Ian MacLarty which generates landscapes from photos taken at Southbank, Melbourne.

Postbug at the iFest Games Festival

George Hemingway
April 11, 2015

Postbug recently exhibited at the 2015 Melbourne iFest Games Festival in the Atrium of Federation Square. iFest is hosted in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Seattle and Lafayette and allows local developers to exhibit their games to the public. In Melbourne, 22 games were on display. It was a proud moment to be included alongside other talented game developers and artists.

The Atrium is an impressive 15 metre high corridor of glass and steel that opens onto Flinders Street. It was a busy weekend in Melbourne with Melbourne Comedy Festival and the MCG was hosting the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand.

The Atrium - Federation Square The Atrium - Federation Square

This was the first time I had exhibited a game, so I was a little nervous leading up to the event. A perfect ice breaker occurred early in the day when a crowd of children arrived at the festival. They were fascinated with Postbug and its level editor, and were happy to explore and experiment with the game's world and mechanics. I spoke with one of the fathers who mentioned a school concert was on next door and the younger siblings visited the games festival.

Postbug at iFest Postbug at iFest!

It was a pleasure to meet my neighbouring exhibitors including Josh Andrysik, David Stow, and Adam Robertson from Little Reaper Games; James Reilly who is developing Cosmic Badger; and Ceri Davies and Mitchell Smith from Early Worm Games. I also spoke with Emil from Heaps Good Games who is working on a game based in the desert. There are some interesting ideas behind his project so keep an eye out for it.

Postbug Flyers Postbug Flyers