Epic Adventure Awaits

We have been working quietly under the radar for a while now, but as we’ll be needing some help from some awesome people in the near future we figured it was time to open up the hood and tell you what we’ve been working on and also mention briefly what lies ahead.

IMG_6731On the outsourcing side we have been supplying a never-ending stream of creativeness to the wonderful universe of LittleBigPlanet™ on behalf of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and we have created in-game art and marketing for Appstore featured Snipers VS Thieves published by Playstack Ltd and developed by our friends at Foxglove Studios to name a few.

On the development side our latest focus has been on our F2P action game for mobile and tablets that we plan to release this summer, really exciting!
We have also been busy with concept development and prototyping which have resulted in some awesome projects which we now are about to start, yeay!

IMG_6737So there we are. We have a self-published game to release this summer, a steady stream of outsourcing assignments for great clients on successful games and franchises and two(2) awesome new productions –  we need people!

A lot of people actually, and good ones too!
We need production/project management, concept artists, illustrator, character- and environment artists, animator, game- and level designers, narrative designer/game writer, gameplay programmers and more!

In fact, if you feel left out and mistreated because the perfect position for your awesome kick-ass skills that we cannot live without is not listed – let us know!

IMG_6742bExciting times lies ahead and if you would like to join us for the ride and have a chance to make a great impact on our future games, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Check out our recruitment page at http://www.station-interactive.com/jobs/

… and get in touch at career@thestation.se

 

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The Station receives grant

We have just received a grant of  approx €200.000 from Vinnova to be used to develop a prototype for an internal project. All we can say at this point is that it’s an interactive depiction of World War 2 from a unique perspective and based on a true story.

We are all really excited to get started and hope to have more to show you in the future.

Read more about it here (in Swedish) http://www.blt.se/karlshamn/fyra-miljoner-till-spelforetag/Fotograf Joakim Lenell AB

Photo Joakim Lenell AB
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Station Master looking back

Sometimes time just flies by and when you have a lot of stuff happening you unfortunately tend to stop taking a break to reflect. So, in an effort to look back, and to somewhat break the silence, here’s a small recollection of what has happened at the studio over the last year or so.

Mirrors Edge CatalystOur undying devotion to the LittleBigPlanet franchise has meant a lot of awesome additions to the omniverse and thanks to the brilliant people at SCEE XDev and all devoted creators in the LBP community there’s just no end to the crazy cool ever-expanding world of LittleBigPlanet.

We have had the pleasure of working with a few new partners and clients as well on shorter projects as well as longer commitments which has been a great experience and we can only hope to be able to find more equally challenging and inspiring work with more great partners over the years to come.

PrototypingInternally we have established a small development team and brought out some new promising concepts and prototypes. Admittedly sometimes while jumping screaming out of our comfort zone and also having to kill off a few darlings in the process, but nevertheless ending up with a few projects we really want to take further. One of these, that has kept our interest over the last months, we hope to share more about later this summer or early fall.

2015-12-10 FancyDinnerStaff-wise we have seen some changes as we have had some great new talent joining the team but also seen the departure of some great friends and co-workers, some that have been with us since the Tarsier days. Some seeking new challenges, some leaving for family and/or for love and we are happy to hear that most, if not all, have found new homes at great studios and we wish them all the best!

In our fair town of Karlshamn in the south-east of Sweden more new start-ups and indie studios see the light of day every year through the Gameport game development incubator. The benefits of sitting in the middle of a developer community such as what we have here has become very clear as we in turn also have been able to offer freelance and sub-contractor work to other local studios in the fields of animation, level design, 2D- and 3D Art and Audio.

UnderConstructionThe Studio itself has been going through a somewhat nomadic phase as we have been between offices for the better part of the last 18(!) months. God, it really has been that long. It started out with some strange fungus or mold or something, somewhere, that made the staff drop off one by one (they went home sick, they didn’t die) until it couldn’t be ignored anymore – something was off. Then started the journey that brought us from 2 people offices to broom closets to a 25 square meter Dreamhack setup with everyone almost on top of each other to finally end up in the small university library space which today after some surgical removal of walls, wires, toilets and more, now also have been expanded to contain a brand new kitchen/cafeteria space and a meeting room.

There’s still work to be done with our offices but today marked a special day as we had Friday Breakfast in our own kitchen for the first time in a long time. The crew have been real heroes during this whole transition, doing dishes in the bathroom and whatnot with great endurance, and it feels very good to finally have something that is “ours” again.

TjejhackOur aim to support and strive for diversity has led to us taking part in the Pride parade, we have assisted in local arrangement of “Tjejhack”, an effort to introduce young women to coding and more. Some of these efforts a direct effect of us employing a part-time Culture Manager who has facilitated these activities but also works continuously with internal communication, group dynamics and leadership.

Whoa, and there’s a lot more, but that’s it for now.

You can follow us on facebook and twitter or why not come and visit us at Creative Coast Festival in May in Karlshamn?

Cheers and speak to you soon!
/The Station Master

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A look behind the scenes

Wow, it’s been a long time since we updated our poor old blog. Let’s remedy that right now!  😉

Back to the Future™ is having a 30 year anniversary and Sackboy wanted to be a part of the celebration. To this end a new Back to the Future™ Level Kit as well as Back to the Future™ Costume Packs will be released.

FinalWallpaper

In LittleBigPlanet something we always try to do whenever we have an opportunity is to get crafty. For the wallpaper we actually built the DeLorean Time Machine in real cardboard and took photos of it in different angles to get the right feeling

CarSource05

Based on a sketch from our 2D artists we then created 3D renders of the costumes to use together with our cardboard car.

Sketch

With all the material the 2D artist brought the assets into Photoshop and created the final wallpaper.

BTTFWallpaper

Hope you enjoyed this small glimpse into how we work at The Station and hope you enjoy the level and costumes!

Cheers!

/The Station Master

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The Station tar ställning för ett välkomnande Sverige


Följande budskap som skrivits under av The Station och många andra företag publicerades för en vecka sedan av Svenskt Näringsliv i olika dagstidningar men även på nätet.

EttValkomnandeSverige

“Sverige är ett fantastiskt och nytänkande land. Vi ligger i topp när det gäller innovationsförmåga, konkurrenskraft och kreativitet. Allt detta har vi uppnått, inte trots, utan tack vare vår öppenhet mot omvärlden. I dag ser vi krafter som vill hindra utvecklingen. Försvåra, förminska, stänga in. Nu säger vi ifrån.

Vi menar att mångfald, oliktänkande och öppenhet är en förutsättning för att vi ska fortsätta växa. Att få handla fritt och rekrytera människor från andra länder är en nyckelfråga för Sverige. Det är avgörande för de tusentals företagsamma människor som har byggt vårt land, och för alla de som kommer att hjälpa till att bygga vår framtid.”

Gör som oss, besök SVENSKTNARINGSLIV.SE/VALKOMMEN och skriv på du också.

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LittleBigPlanet3 Release

Great News!

LittleBigPlanet 3 was released last week in North America and now we just have to wait one more day for the Europe launch! We are so happy to see all the positive reviews for LBP3, congratulations SonyXDevEurope and SumoDigitalLtd!
“It’s easily the best game of its type on PS4, and is more than good enough to stand alone as a truly great platform game on its own merits.”

For us at The Station we have had such a great adventure getting to work on parts of this new LittleBigPlanet game and helping bringing it to you all. It certainly has been a lot of new experiences and challenges, but we think the team passed with flying colors!

“It’s pretty awesome that we have worked with LittleBigPlanet for more than 5 years and it still felt new and exciting!”
“It’s been great fun to work with all the new characters and create special costumes for them!”
“A new and exciting experience to work with a new console.”

The Team –

A part of The station crew happy for the release of the game

A part of The station crew happy for the release of the game

The whole team at The Station has really enjoyed the work and are proud to be part of this great LBP family.

Thank you all and good luck on your adventures, we look forward to seeing your creations soon!

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“Karlshamn takes the lead…”

“Karlshamn takes the lead…” in the Southern Sweden Games Industry Survey 2014.

Our work for creating a workplace of equality and diversity has been recognized in the SOUTHERN SWEDEN GAMES INDUSTRY SURVEY 2014

“The percentage of women remains low in the games industry, even though the trend is pointing upwards…” “…companies that stand out from the crowd is Ozma with 50% women and Station Interactive with about 40%.”Equality & DiversityAlso the work by Karlshamn games incubator Gameport,  a part of Blekinge Business Incubator, is recognized as four of the latest game developer start-ups in Southern Sweden come straight out of the incubator!Karlshamn takes the lead

Survey is provided by Game City.
Read and download the whole survey here

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A Princess at The Station

On the 25th of September The Station in Karlshamn was graced by a visit from H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden Foto: Kate Gabor, royalcourt.se Sweden

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Photo: Kate Gabor, royalcourt.se Sweden

About a week or so before, when we first learned of the visit, we started thinking about how we could explain if even a fraction of how the games industry works, how  games and all its little parts are made and what we could show in order to visualize any of this in the narrow window of opportunity that the visit offered.

At the Station the majority of our time is spent working on perhaps the most creative console franchise ever conceived – LittleBigPlanet™. Being but one company in the “family” of companies contributing to the LBP franchise our foremost responsibility lies in conjuring and creating costumes for the different titles as well as additional DLC content for all platforms.

So, the most natural thing for us we felt would be to show the process of creating a costume for Sackboy, from idea to concept and finally in-game model. With a limited amount of time, and knowing that the visit could possibly be blown off for a multitude of reasons (after all, it’s the Royal family we are talking about) we chose to focus on visualizing what an art pipeline can look like in game development.

“We know our Princesses”, I would boldly claim about a week later in my introduction, referring to the Disney Princesses pack created a couple years back, but at the time when we started planning for what we should show, that was our first problem. If we were gonna show how we created a costume from scratch it felt great if we could make something a little customized for the occasion, but there already were quite a few princesses and how could we capture something iconic from the Crown Princess of Sweden?

H.R.H Princess Madeleine, H.R.H. Princess Estelle, H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria, H.M. Queen Silvia Foto: Maja Suslin/ SCANPIX

H.R.H Princess Madeleine, H.R.H. Princess Estelle, H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria, H.M. Queen Silvia
Photo: Maja Suslin/ SCANPIX

As with most of our work the Idea of the costume came fairly quickly as soon as the team started searching the internet for references.

There were many pictures with the Crown Princess in beautiful dresses, ranging from formal to ballroom, but the most iconic and recurring dress was without a doubt when H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria represented Sweden and/or Swedish customs or special holidays wearing a national dress (traditional costume).

Said and done. With reference images our Concept Artist Sofie quickly created a costume concept for Sackboy and in order to later explain the process we used capturing software to catch the concept workflow on the screen.


With a concept the torch was then passed to the 3D Artists who began the task of turning the 2D drawing into a 3D Model meeting all the art requirements to fit in the LittleBigPlanet universe and fitting for all technical aspects an ingame model demanded. This part of the process was also captured and later edited.

When H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden arrived we were prepared.
As representatives of the Royal Court had made clear that H.R.H. preferred to come out and meet companies and their staff under “normal real-life circumstances” we chose to hold our short presentation on the production floor of the studio which worked out great.

After an introduction to the games industry and its successful Swedish blockbuster companies like DICE and Massive Entertainment, its worldwide phenomenons like Mojang’s Minecraft (which was spectacularly acquired by Microsoft) and KING’s Candy Crush Saga, Indie sensations like Simogo and of course our own journey with first Tarsier Studios and now The Station it was time for what we in the presentation called “Game Art in 5 minutes – Case Study: A Swedish Princess”.

Sackboy in Swedish traditional costume in-game!

Sackboy in Swedish traditional costume in-game!

Presentation went great! We started out with a snappy introduction of our own Brief to ourselves and the first spontaneous laughter came when we showed our reference material and Crown Princess Victoria could see which way we were going with the costume. It all was pretty much smooth sailing from there.

We showed an edited capture from the concept stage showing the whole process in fast-forward at a total length of about a minute and a half, a capture of the 3D modelling at about the same length and finally the Princess received a printed final render of the in-game model. All to her great surprise and joyful laughter.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria & Sackboy in Swedish traditional costume at The Station. Foto: Hans-Peter Bloom / Blekinge Bildreportage AB

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria & Sackboy in Swedish traditional costume at The Station.
Photo: Hans-Peter Bloom / Blekinge Bildreportage AB

Our day with H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was a great occasion for all involved. She took a great interest in everything we had to tell about the games industry, she happily walked around the studio to greet all in the staff personally and displayed a great sense of humour.

It was a very special day for us and hopefully the day with the games industry, LittleBigPlanet and The Station will also, at least for a time, be remembered by H.R.H. Victoria.

Our Swedish Princess.

Swedish Folk Sackboy Pose Render

/The Station Master

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“The booming Swedish Games Industry” – Radio Interview (in Swedish)

The Station’s Mattias Nygren interviewed on the topic of “The booming Swedish Games Industry”.

– What is the situation like? Is it the same for small indie companies or is it just the big companies that are riding the wave? Are everyone looking to make the next ‘Angry Birds’? Going from the situation nationally to a more local perspective, what does the landscape of the games industry look like in the Blekinge Region?

From Sveriges Radio P4 (Blekinge), Monday 11/8, 15:35 (15min)

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LittleBigPlanet 3 Announce Trailer

Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of LittleBigPlanet 3. We are so proud to be a part of the LittleBigPlanet family!

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