We're all for celebrations here at Grab It - big and small - so we were delighted when YouTuber Jane Jones conducted a video review of the fourth episode of Grab It, which featured our Last Inua making of amongst a range of other exclusives. She liked it too, which is doubly great! You can enjoy the review below, you can check out Jane's channel here and if you own an iPad, you can get yourself a copy of Episode 4 here.
We thank her greatly for taking the time to look at our little app.
Our Grab It apps are all about helping you discover the most exciting new indie game experiences on your iPad and providing that information in a way that is so rich and interactive, enjoying its exclusive interviews and in-depth reviews is like playing a game in itself. It’s innovative, it’s fun and it’ll put you in touch with same great games. To date we have released four episode, the first being a freebie so that anyone can check out what we’re all about. We’re hard at work on Episode 5 right now, but before that lands, we’ve released something different. A prestige, collector’s edition of Grab It that focuses in detail on the making of one game.
That game is Nihilumbra by BeautiFun Games, which released in 2012. A hauntingly beautiful puzzle platformer with a sublime painting mechanic and a tremendously challenging New Game+ mode, it’s been a favourite amongst iOS gamers and indeed Apple itself ever since release. It’s the type of game that constantly appears in Top 10 lists, leaving a mark on those who played it. If you’ve yet to play the game, you can grab it here.
BeautiFun Games had been in contact with us, having thoroughly enjoyed our first episodes of Grab It, so we felt it was a great opportunity to go with Nihilumbra as the first in our Classics Collection. Working with the team, we got an in-depth look into all aspects of the game’s design and have detailed it all in the app, with exclusive insights and behind-the-scenes assets. We’ve also designed the app to feature many of the gameplay mechanics from the title that you can enjoy as you read the experience, alongside video footage and the game’s soundtrack.
We invite those of you with an iPad and iOS 6 or higher to check it out for yourself – you can grab our Nihilumbra Classics Collection episode here. And if you like it, please spread the word to your friends and leave a review on the App Store. As a small indie ourselves, we value that kind of support immensely.
While You're Over At The App Store - Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes? - Episode 1 - With The Making of République (*free sample issue) - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
If you haven’t yet, you should get over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. We’re hard at work building a portal there for all your iPad indie gaming video needs and we’ve hit a small little milestone today, eclipsing both the 400 video mark and the 50,000 views mark. Hopefully, when we look back in years to come, this will feel like a cute thing to have mentioned, but why not celebrate the success?
So in honour of this moment, we thought we’d recap the 10 most popular videos on our channel thus far:
Update: Welcome to Max, Jacob, Paul, Richard and LeeAnne, who have joined the Grab It team in recent weeks. We are still looking to fill a some key roles in our social and content arenas. If you fancy a career in games journalism or in social marketing/managing and need some runs on the board, or you're just an indie game enthusiast keen to contribute to the growth of a radical new way of covering games, be sure to reach out.
It’s phenomenal just how much amazing stuff goes down in the world in indie gaming on any given day. It’s fascinating (and overwhelming) watching the flow of tweets, shares, posts, press releases, images, videos and articles that pour forth every minute through the many corners of the web we keep a close eye on. When developing story ideas and content for gamers, we pick out the most interesting indie related content we discover on our travels and add them to our newsletter. That newsletter then blasts out daily to subscribers, filtering out the best of the web and delivering plenty to hear, see, read, play and touch direct to your inbox.
Signing up is a cinch. Simply head across to our newsletter, throw your email address into the subscribe box and away you go. Let us help you keep your finger on the rapid indie gaming pulse.
I launched Grab It in December 2013 with three big goals: To give the excellent work being done by indie game developers the triple-A media coverage they deserved, to innovate and push the concept of a digital magazine into brand new areas and to help the next generation of games journalists gain experience and build a portfolio. To date we’ve released four episodes and launched a website, and we’ve got a spin-off special episode and a fifth instalment nearing release.
Thankfully, I have had a team of excellent and dedicated writers, social media specialists, developers and designers helping me every step of the way. Yet the indie development scene moves fast and we’re looking to swell our ranks with talented and enthusiastic fans of iPad and indie gaming. We’re looking for content creators, content uploaders and content spreaders looking to be part of a team looking to create and be a part of something unique and cool.
All of us here at Grab It are doing it for the experience – if you want to build a portfolio of published media, gain credit for building a social networking empire or just have your voice heard, we’d love to hear from you. I’ll work with you to build your skillset and market awareness – I’ve got plenty of experience to pass on, having worked in games media for 17-years on some of the planet’s biggest publications, including Game Informer, GamePro, Official PlayStation, Official Xbox, IGN, GameSpot and more.
Please email me with an introduction on why you're keen to be involved and a sample of your work if you’re a writer, let’s player, artist or other media creator, or if you’re keen to get involved with our social media team, let us know where your interests lie and your channels of choice.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes: - Episode 1 - With The Making of République - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua
One of the most frustrating aspects of being an adult gamer, is the perception of other non-gaming adults that playing games is just for kids. From sensationalist headlines in mainstream newspapers selling the absurdity that a “toy” must be broken if it deals in mature themes, to the sigh-inducing “why are you wasting your time” or “they’re all just the same” feedback mailed in with monotony from your mum, we’ve each fought this battle for acceptance at one point or another.
None of us like it when something we love is put down. It just makes you feel second-rate. Frustrated.
But this attitude seems to be a part of what it means to be human. A quirk in our psychology. A defence mechanism to stave of the fear of the unknown and the uncomfortable inevitability of change. We sit smugly in our awareness of the error of others, unaware of that same error in ourselves.
For my second diary entry on the production of Grab It, I thought I’d tackle the topic of why the publication is focused on iPad games, and why it can only be experienced on an iPad. Also, why this philosophy can transcend to other formats.
For my first entry on Download Size vs. User Experience, head here.
The indie gaming scene has become much like sand, embedding itself in every little crack and crevice it can find. There isn’t a channel that has been able to withhold the tide, with quality developers from all over the world flooding your favourite format with fabulous games. We could have launched Grab It and focused on any or all of them and found more than enough content to create hours of entertainment and insight. But I didn’t and here’s why.
Welcome to the first of what will be regular updates on this page regarding the production and conceptualisation of Grab It Magazine – The Game Discovery App. I’ve got lots of insights to share with you over the coming days and weeks, but can also discuss direct questions or areas of interest if you want to shoot me an email about a particular topic. Today, I thought I would tackle the subject of download size.
There are two ways you can approach the design of these digital magazines; either the content is in the mag, or it is streaming from the Net. Naturally if you stream sizeable things like soundtracks and videos from the Net, then you remove the need to hold the weight (in MB) of those elements in your download size. A smaller download size is obviously a big benefit to a portable distribution channel and people who want to spontaneously download the mag while on the go, but the sacrifice is in the user experience. If you’re offline, or have a weak Net connection, the streaming of content is awkward or non-existent.
I felt that having dynamic video and music to help set the atmosphere and tell the story of the games in Grab It was such an important part of making the magazine feel digital, that I decided to embed everything locally – hence the sizeable download size. This did allow us to make these elements organic to the design – so when you flip to a review the entire screen is a video with the content overlayed on top, and in a feature the soundtrack to the game just plays beautifully and seamlessly in the background. If we were streaming this content, with our design you’d arrive at a page and just get this ugly, chuggy YouTube background with ads and everything. Or you'd get just a "no internet" warning if you were offline.
It’s a risky move and we’ve optimised the videos and images as much as we can. We’ll obviously be listening to reader feedback to see where we have to draw the line on content vs. download size, but hopefully the benefits of this design jump the MB hurdle.
Issue 1 is available now and I would by honoured if you'd check it out. Grab it here.