The holiday season is upon us once again and in the spirit of the season, we'd
like to give you a gift!
The Wytches Brew Quest follows 3 Wytches as they spend a year travelling around
their island brewing potions for those in need. Their quest starts on the Yule
holiday, and we'd like you to go with them. For free!
From today until the end of 2010 we are giving away the full
version of Wytches Brew! Simply send us your email address
on this page and we will send you a download link. There's no catch or
strings attached - we won't share or sell your email address. It's about the
spirit of giving!
We hope you enjoy it! Season's Greetings from NotSoft!
October is here! A time loosely associated with Wytchery, you know, Hallowe'en
and all that good stuff. To celebrate, we are having a month long sale on
Wytches Brew! Simply enter the word "Samhain" (without the quotes) into
the Coupon Code field when filling out the order form for a 50% discount!
So now you have no more excuses! Download it now and start brewing magic
That's OK, we're used to being ignored (just like we have been by every single
website we sent out review copies of Wytches Brew to). We're not bitter about
it, we're happy to just keep labouring away in obscurity - BECAUSE THAT'S HOW
TO BE HARDCORE INDIE! :P
Seriously though, it's like some evil wizard put an invisibility curse on this
game or something. But that won't stop us from showing it at the
Toronto Indie Showcase on September 18th! Come out and ignore us there
while checking out all of the other cool games!
In other event attending news, our working holiday will allow us to attend the
Game City Nights #7 event in Nottingham, United Kingdom on August 27th.
If you're anywhere near Nottingham, try to make it out! We'll be showing our
games (and letting people play them, of course!) on one of the 4-6 screens
they'll have set up. Have some drinks, have some laughs, play some games!
Hope to see you at either (or both!) of these events!
It's been about two and a half months since we released
Wytches Brew. Since then we've tried to get some attention for it, but
barring a few reproductions of our press release it's been pretty fruitless. I
guess we'd better get around to making those YouTube videos for it... but in
the mean time, if you have a game site or blog about games and would be
interested in doing a Wytches Brew review, we'd be happy to send you a full
copy. Just drop us a note.
We started back in on SHUMM for a while, but honestly, it's going to be another
multi-year development game, and having spent over 4 years on the last one we
weren't feeling it. So it's being shelved until it's ready to be revisited. So
what's next then?
We had a lot of fun working on our small TOJam game (which we'll post in our
free games section as soon as the TOJam website posts all the TOJam games (or
sooner if you don't hurry up, bigpants!)), so we're going to go a little
smaller scale for our next two projects.
In the short term we are planning a small game aimed at the
One Switch community, since we finally had an idea we like for a one
switch game: It involves mental patients, a big padded cell and copious amounts
of euphoria enducing pharmaceuticals. It also has a swear in the title. For
now, we'll refer to it as "MFH".
Our medium term plan is for a game that combines trading/economics with a sort
of inverted tower defense mechanic. It all sounds very boring when put that
way, but trust us, codegname:Gastropod looks awesome in our heads.
So keep watching this space! More good stuff coming. And if you could show some
support by buying any of our current stuff, that would be lovely too.
The Toronto Comic Arts
Festival is happening this weekend (May 8th and 9th). It's a free event
being held at the Toronto Public Reference libray and features an incredible
array of indie and small press talent from the comic arts world.
And not only that! The Hand
Eye Society ("meshing Toronto's videogame communities") will have a
booth set up and have invited local indie game developers to show off their
We will be there between 2 and 5 pm on Sunday showing off
Wytches Brew, so stop by, say "Hi!" and give it a try! If you see us at
the event and ask us nicely we'll even hook you up with a coupon code good for
$5 off the full version of Wytches Brew!
What better day to release a pagan themed game than on
Beltane! That's right, after years in development
Wytches Brew has finally been released! Here's the official press
NotSoft Announces the Release of Wytches Brew
Oshawa, Ontario (NotSoft) May 1, 2010 – After nearly 5 years since the start of
development, Oshawa's premiere independent game studio NotSoft has finally
released Wytches Brew – their pagan themed foray into the casual games market.
Wytches Brew features five modes of play, including an epic 52 chapter quest
that has the player share a year long journey with 3 Wytches as they travel
around their island brewing up magical potions for those in need. With four
other play modes, including timed modes and modes with relaxed rules, Wytches
Brew offers something for casual gamers of every skill level.
Unlike your typical Match 3, Wytches Brew challenges the player to make their
matches in particular sequences as outlined by the game's recipe book. Success
creates magical brews. Too many failures and the cauldron will overflow, ending
“We normally develop action games” said Steven J. Hill (aka bignobody), the man
behind NotSoft, “but about 5 years ago we decided to challenge ourselves –
could we make a casual game that we would want to play? Given the amount of
times we were testing out a particular feature only to find ourselves absorbed
in the game, I would say we succeeded.”
If it's good enough for Valve, it's good enough for us. Obviously we missed our
mid March release for Wytches Brew. This is because some of the feedback we got
on the beta was worth implementing. Plus we're making it look cool, which is
So stand by: we're working as fast as we can to bring Wytches Brew to official
release (until The Passing is released, which will likely cause development to
grind to a halt for a while. But we'll try to beat it.)
Even though this is the first update since November of last year, we certainly
haven't been slacking. We are delighted to report that all 52 chapters of the
Wytches Brew quest have been completed, and we are currently working on art
clean-up, bug fixing and general polishing.
Sadly, constraints of real life have been interfering with our work on NotSoft
projects for the last few months. What little time we've had available has
largely been spent playing around with Microsoft's XNA platform. But about two
weeks ago we got back to work on Wytches Brew. We haven't done much in the way
of coding (other than fixing bugs in the editor), instead we're concentrating
on the Quest content. We currently have 12 chapters completed, all done in
"graphic novel" style. Here's a small sample:
Some days it feels like we've "bitten off more than we can chew" with our
vision for Wytches Brew, but, really, who wants to compromise their vision? We
just hope that when it is finally complete it finds an appreciative audience.
So, 12 chapters down, 40 more to go...
bignobody decided fairly last minute to attend this year's
T.O. Jam - the Toronto Indie Game Jam! 3 days of game development
madness! A good time was had by all (as far as we know... We didn't get a
chance to talk to all 89 Jammers, but we didn't see any tears). Read
all about bignobody's T.O.Jam experience here!
The T.O. Jam organizers have asked that we do not publicly announce our
creations until after they have been presented at the T.O.Jam Arcade, happening
May 22nd, and we will respect their wishes. Before you point out that we've
already announced our game via Twitter and on TheIndieStone.com, that was
before we found out about keeping our mouth shut.
If you're in Toronto on May 22nd, why not head to the T.O. Jam Arcade and check
out the fruits of everyone's labour! (and buy bignobody a drink :) )
Was the last update really January? Goodness. Well, let's play catch up!
Raid on Fort Apocalypse came 4th in its category with 211
points. We think it would have placed higher if the game engine we cobbled
together in a matter of weeks ran well on everybody's system... Or at least the
judges systems would have been nice. Ah well, give it a try if you haven't.
It'll either run nice and you'll have a great time, or it'll run choppy and
you'll at least have the rockin' Bodenständig 2000
soundtrack for your trouble.
Wytches Brew is being worked on and we are
very happy with the quality of the content being produced lately. Who knew
producing 52 weeks worth of content would be so much work?
With fashions like these, it would be thanks enough! That's right folks,
NotSoft Games Branded Apparel is now available! Featuring
Shlongg designs digitally painted by Canadian Indie Software fixture
and Creater of Shlongg, bignobody.
Shlongg is our awesome 3D breakout/tunnel racer game, and was our first
commercial release. It is now two and a half years old and the time has come to
put it in the discount section. So head on over to the
official Shlongg website and get a copy of your very own for a mere
$5.00 USD! It was a bargain at twice the price! Now we're practically giving it
away, because we're cheap and easy like that.
Due to reasons beyond our control, 2008 was not as productive as we had planned
it to be. But that's okay, because we have a brand new year ahead of us! After
a bit of a hiatus, we are now back to work on Wytches
Brew, and intend to finish it within the first half of this year.
It was a race to the end: we didn't get all the features or art clean-up that
we wanted in, but it's complete and a lot of fun. Raid on Fort Apocalypse is
our RetroRemakes.com Retro Remakes
Competition 2008 entry, and we're rather proud of it, considering it was pulled
of in our limited spare time over 3 months.
Special thanks and all respect to
who created the game's awesome soundtrack!
Perhaps, but NotSoft puts pleasure before business. Here's the deal - Wytches
Brew has been delayed again so that we can participate in the
2008 RetroRemakes Competition. Essentially this means we are putting
our next commercial game on hold in order to make a game that will always be
free to play. Bizzaro-World-Business-Sense.
Our entry is a "sequel that wasn't" to the 1982 classic Fort Apocalypse. Here's
a little work in progress screenshot:
Yes, yes, once again we've left things to the last minute. Or passed the last
minute, depending on where you are in the world in relation to us. That's
right, the Wytches Brew Beta 0.8 expires in a couple of hours. The problem is
we've been extraordinarily busy over the last two months, and only a little of
it had to do with Wytches Brew. So the next proper release isn't ready yet.
So what did we do? As little as possible, of course! (Procrastinators Union
Rules, which we'll get around to finishing reading at some point.) So,
following any of the Wytches Brew Beta Download Links (like
this one!) will download a new version that's the same as the old
version except it won't expire until November.
If you already have the beta and don't feel like wasting 28 MB worth of
bandwidth, you can download
this zip file instead which contains a new WytchesBrew.exe. Copy it
over the old one and you'll be good to go. And it's less than 100 kb.
In other news, Gibbage is dead. Long live Gibbage! Dan Marshall is now running
Zombie Cow Studios. He's still selling Gibbage (dirt-cheap, too!) and
in addition he's selling a spiffy new block-dropping game called Cruxade and
he's giving away the most amazing adventure game experience in years - Ben
There, Dan That! Go check it out!
After creating and tweaking the first two chapters of the Wytches Brew Quest by
hand, we decided that if we were ever going to complete the next 50 or so
chapters, we'd better have some sort of tool to work with. So we made one!
Wytches Yarn is a WYSIWYG (WhatYouSeeIsWhatYouGet) Editor for the Quest's
graphic-novel pages and game level configuration. It is currently functional
and awaiting the final art content. Wytches Yarn is only for internal use and
will not be available to the public (unlike Shlongg
in which the full version includes a built-in level creator!).
Sorry if that's a bit of a tease - we just thought it was cool and wanted to
offer some insight into the inner workings of NotSoft and what it takes to
produce an independent software title.
Getting back to art content - the Wytches Brew art direction combines CGI and
digitially manipulated photographs. These elements are brought together and
composited at run time by the game engine according to script files. Just the
sort of script files produced by Wytches Yarn. Fancy that!
Even with this technique to reduce graphic file size, we're having a heck of a
time paring down source material. We currently have nearly one gigabyte (and
growing!) worth of digitial imagery to work with...
Just how big is the average downloadable casual game these days...!?
It has come to our attention that some dirty spammer out there has been
spoofing their Viagra spam to make it look like it is being sent from a
notsoftgames.com email address (you can
read about email spoofing here if you'd like more information about
it). Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to stop them from doing this, but
we can at least give you this warning.
We don't send spam emails. You will only ever receive an email from us under
the following conditions:
A single confirmation email after you've purchased our software
As reply to a message sent through our Contact
We are taking off on a short vacation! And a well deserved one at that!
Unfortunately that means if you need tech support help with
Shlongg (still an amazing bargain at only $9.99!) we will not be able
to offer any until February 10th. Not that anyone has ever asked for tech
support with it before, but hey, there's always a first time...
What's that? Where's the Wytches Brew demo we've been going on about for months
now? Well, we won't be able to offer any tech support with that until February
Still no Wytches Brew demo. We'd like to at least get some of the preliminary
Wytch animations in first. And even then, the first demo release will be a
semi-private one where you'll need to contact us to get it (basically the same
drill as the first Shlongg beta
But here's a little teaser in the meantime:
This is still a work in progress - it is not representitive of the final
quality, yadda yadda yadda...
Ok, it doesn't officially end for about another month, but still where did the
time go? We'd hoped to have a beta of Wytches
Brew by mid summer, but clearly that didn't happen!
That's not to say we've been taking it easy! Quite the opposite in fact. The
biggest cause of the delay has been feature creep (which is industry jargon for
when software starts to evolve beyond it's original design). Feature creep is
usually suppressed in the industry due to tight budgets and schedules.
Luckily for us, we make due with no budget and a schedule of "when it's done"
so if a project starts evolving in good directions, we are free to let it go
there. It's great to be indie! We'll get the beta version out as soon as we
Speaking of no budget, why not help us out and
buy a copy of Shlongg. Still only $9.99 for the best 3D breakout-tunnel
racer hybrid game around!
We promised to reveal a little more information about our next commercial title
in May, and since May ends in a couple of hours we'd better get on with it!
Wytches Brew is the name, and creating
magical potions is the game! We're taking a little detour on this one from our
usual arcade style games to have a crack at the casual puzzle genre. And if
you're upset by that, don't worry - the one after it (currently in
pre-production) is a 3D Beat-'Em-Up. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Of course, the Wytches Brew website is
just a teaser page right now, but it will be updated with more detail as we get
closer to release. We are doing a private alpha release this weekend, invite
only. We are currently aiming for a public beta release mid-summer. Stay tuned!
We got a fancy new widescreen monitor and felt it would be truly awesome to
play Shlongg in widescreen resolution. If only that were possible... Like with
the latest version! Shlongg now supports resolutions larger than 1024 x 768,
including Widescreen formats up to 1440 x 900!
Did we mention Widescreen yet?
If you already have the previous version installed, you can download just the
Did we mention it's still only $9.99? Good, then our work here is done.
We are proud to present our entry for the Gibbage
"Make Something By April 30th" challenge - S.H.U.M.M.!
There were a few features we didn't have time to implement (like weapons
upgrades, enemies that shoot back at you and some variety in the look of the
rooms), but overall we are pretty happy with the results. It's probably still a
little buggy, but that shouldn't stop you from having fun. After you're done
playing, why not head over to the Gibbage
forums and see how some of the other entries turned out?
The big game studios who produce those AAA titles we all know and love are not
generally known for taking risks. That's where independent developers come in.
We're not in it for the money as much as for the love of games. And we don't
generally have shareholders who are going to get upset with us for some of our
more wacky ideas that are probably not going to be commercially successful. God
bless those indies.
On that note, we would like to applaud the new Gibbage Initiative:
If you buy games or merchandise through gibbage.co.uk, all profits will fund
exciting new indie games that the big studios wouldn't touch with a 39 1/2 foot
Finally, we'd also like to say it's great to see some of the big players giving
some focus to indie developers. Fileplanet.com
has recently begun the Indie
Spotlight, in which indie titles get featured on the front page! Good
on ya guys!
Every day they are able to offer one game at a deeply discounted price. How can
they do this? We're not sure. They must have robot sales-people, or a cabal of
ancient marketing wizards or something.
But why are we telling you this? Well for one thing, if you love games it's a
great site to check regularly. For another, Shlongg
will be the Game Du Jour on Wednesday,
March 14th 2007! That's tomorrow!
That's right! If you act in that 24 hour period, you can Buy the Retail version
of Shlongg at a large discount off it's already low price! Don't miss it!
...but after two months without updates, we can see why you might worry.
But no, we pulled out of our drunken stupors early and got on with business. The
About section has been updated to be a little more "formal". Wow! We
have values and stuff!
Don't worry, we did more than just update a single HTML page over the last two
months: Our next Still-Underwraps commercial title is coming along
nicely - We're on target for a late spring beta test.
But that's not all! We've also picked up the gauntlet in the "Make Something By
April 30th" challenge over at the Gibbage Forums.
This means a new free game will be joining the others in the game section at
the end of April! Stay tuned, we'll most likely have some beta tests of that
Finally, preproduction work continues on what will likely be our masterpiece,
which will begin production in Q4 of this year. Yessir, this year is shaping up
to be a good one! Oink Oink!