Press Releases Feed

Quantum Content joins International Hobo Family

Quantum ContentInternational Hobo is proud to announce the addition of a new member of their game design and dialogue scripting "family". Quantum Content, owned and operated by veteran of TV and Alternative Reality Gaming, Wendy Despain, is the fourth company to join the maverick consortium, which has continued to grow from strength to strength since its formation in 1999. The other three organisations are the core company, International Hobo Ltd (UK), Ernest Adams' Designer's Notebook, and Sanjit Daniel's Fantasy Labs developer, based in Mumbai, India, who developed the inventive platform-puzzle game Play with Fire.

"We have been working with Wendy for some time," comments International Hobo founder and Managing Director Chris Bateman, "and it is a great pleasure to bring her under the brand umbrella, so to speak. We like to see our framework as a unique opportunity for talented individuals working in the creative medium of games to gain the strengths and advantages of a larger organisation while maintaining a high degree of autonomy."

Wendy had this to say about becoming a member of International Hobo: "I'm excited to be joining such a respected group of game developers. I've admired their work, and I'm glad I can bring some additional writing and design skills to the table. I look forward to pushing the boundaries of interactive entertainment with this experienced and distinguished group in the future".

Quantum Content supplies scriptwriting, producing and consulting services to major media companies in the US. It was established in 2003 and has contributed to interactive projects for television, books and videogames.

IGDA Honours International Hobo's Chris Bateman


At their VIP Luncheon at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) honoured International Hobo's founder, Managing Director & Creative Overlord with their prestigious MVP Award, "for outstanding and immeasurable contributions to the IGDA and the betterment of the game development community."

Chris arrived late to the luncheon, and had no idea he was to receive the award. He had just finished hurriedly eating his first course when IGDA Program Director Jason Della Rocca made the announcement, much to Chris' shock. Jason explained that the award was in recognition for Chris' work establishing and running the IGDA's North West UK Chapter, and the Game Writers' Special Interest Group, for which he has served on the Executive Panel for five years.

"It must have been a slow year," Chris quipped upon taking the podium, displaying a quintessentially British sense of self-deprecating humour. He also noted how ironic that he would be called to speak at the point in the show when he was both hung over and badly jet lagged and thus reduced to "an intellectual imbecile". However, he praised the contributions of the other members of the Game Writers' SIG and noted: "If Newton is famous for the phrase 'standing on the shoulders of giants', I like to think that I have been carried along by a crowd of enthusiastic and talented midgets."

He accepted the award on behalf of the whole of the Game Writers' SIG.

'Game Writing' - Reprinted Again!

The popular non-fiction book Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames has been reprinted for a second time, just six months after its initial publication.

Chris Bateman, editor of the book, and member of the executive panel of the IGDA's Game Writing Special Interest Group which connects the authors, says he is pleased with the response to the book: "It's been a phenomenal success - it's clear that there was a need for a book of this kind, and the other eleven authors and I are thrilled to have had the opportunity to contribute to the game development community in this way."

You can learn more about the book from the original press release.

Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.

'Play with Fire' Released by Manifesto Games

Play with FireReady to burn things to the ground? You can now download the demo of Play with Fire from Manifesto Games here! The demo can be turned into the full game by purchasing an unlock code, available from the same link.

The game, designed by International Hobo Ltd and developed by Fantasy Labs, is an inventive platform puzzle game developed on an indie budget specifically as an exclusive release for Manifesto Games. The new publisher seeks to revolutionise independent game development by providing new opportunities to the indie games community with an eye to encouraging the innovation and creativity that should be the wellspring nourishing the videogames industry.

Further information can be found in the original press release.

'Game Writing' Republished

Charles River Media reports that Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames is being reprinted. This popular reader on the topic of game writing was written by the IGDA's Game Writers Special Interest Group, and edited by International Hobo's Managing Director Chris Bateman.

You can learn more about the book from the original press release.

Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.

'Play with Fire' Goes Beta, September 2006

The highly anticipated indie platform-puzzle game Play with Fire went Beta on 21st September 2006. The game is due to be released on Manifesto Games later this year, with a PS2 version to be published in Europe by Midas Interactive sometime afterwards.

Although a firm date for release on Manifesto Games has yet to be confirmed, it is expected to on sale sometime during November 2006.

Anyone interested in previewing the Beta version of Play with Fire should contact Eleanor Lang at Manifesto Games.

Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames Published by Charles River Media, July 2006

International Hobo Ltd is proud to announce the publication of Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames, the first reader on the topic of game writing, written by the IGDA Game Writers' Special Interest Group, and edited by ihobo Managing Director, Chris Bateman.

A dozen professional game writers each contributed chapters, including Richard Dansky, Mary DeMarle, Matt Entin, Stephen Jacobs, Ed Kuehnel, Tim Langdell, Rhianna Pratchett, Coray Seifert, James Swallow and Andrew S. Walsh, with four chapters contributed by members of International Hobo - Ernest Adams, Richard Boon and Chris Bateman. The book also recieved additional editing from Sande Chen, Wendy Despain, Beth A. Dillon, Ahmad Saad, and indefatigable ihobo troubleshooter Neil Bundy.

Game Writing takes a skill focus, and looks at the skills and techniques used by professional game writers in the context of real videogame projects, such as Myst 3, Far Cry, Discworld Noir and Madden NFL Football. Less speculative than most books on the subject of game narrative, this is a book about how the industry currently get stories into games. Anyone interested in learning these skills would do well to pick up a copy.

Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.

Published by Charles River Media, ISBN 1584504900.

Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames

'Play with Fire' Announced, May 2006

Play with Fire is an inventive new platform puzzle game in which the player controls an indestructible ball of flames which sets fire to everything in its path. The game features unique gameplay based around burning and jumping, and three different ways to play – a Fun path which is easy enough for anyone to enjoy, a Puzzle path for those wishing to test their intellectual mettle, and a Challenge path presenting formidable trials for those who wish to test their limits.

Designed by International Hobo Ltd, the game has been developed by India’s first console game developer, Fantasy Labs Entertainment Pvt Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of International Hobo). Unique and innovative, Play with Fire is designed to appeal both to experienced gamers craving something original, and to a wider audience looking for something that is easy to learn but hard to master.

Play with Fire is a special game”, says Chris Bateman, managing director of International Hobo, and the game designer on the project. “The game mechanics are simple, but produce quite diverse play. We set off with the goal of exploring how we could deliver new play experiences on a relatively small development budget – too many games fail because they cost more to make than they can ever hope to make back in revenue. I’m looking forward to getting the game into the hands of the audience.”

The game has been in development under the working title of Fireball, and also the Japanese title for the game Hidama.

The PC version of the game, specifically aimed at the gaming underground, is being released with bold new independent publisher, Manifesto Games, based in New York.

"Play with Fire is precisely the kind of innovative, independently developed game Manifesto was founded to support," says Greg Costikyan, the company's CEO. "It's a clear indication of the power of combining a controlled, intellectual approach to design with a clear commitment to the creation of compelling popular entertainment."

The PlayStation 2 version follows later this year, and is being published by Europe’s highly respected budget publisher, Midas Interactive Entertainment. This release is geared towards a wider, more mass market audience. “Midas was our first choice for console publisher,” Chris explains. “They represent all the key strengths of the budget market, and this was the perfect market tier for a game like Play with Fire.” Midas adds: “We are delighted to be publishing Play with Fire on PlayStation 2. Our stated aim is to deliver the very best value for money games to the market and in Fireball we will be doing just that.”

Play with Fire PC is expected Summer 2006, with Play with Fire PS2 expected Q4.

International Hobo Ltd
Manifesto Games
Midas Interactive Entertainment

'21st Century Game Design' Published By Charles River Media, August 2005

International Hobo Ltd is proud to announce the publication of 21st Century Game Design by Charles River Media, the leading publisher of game development books. The book expands upon the research that International Hobo has conducted into gaming audiences over the last two years, providing a detailed analysis and discussion of the DGD1 audience model, as well as advice on applying the model to game design problems such as interface design, game structure and game world abstraction.

This book is the first game design guide to focus on the motivations behind game design, recognising that the purpose of a game is to meet the play needs of its audience, and that in order to complete this goal it is necessary for designers to understand those play needs. It is therefore complementary to other game design books on the market which focus on the pragmatic elements of how to design games.

Chris Bateman, Managing Director of International Hobo, believes the book represents a significant step forward in the field of game design. "There are many talented game designers in the world, but there is still a tendency for people to have too narrow a focus as to what is meant by 'gameplay', and much of what has been written makes broad assumptions as to the way a game should be. This book challenges assumptions of what a game can be, by looking at the needs of the audience first.

"As well as summarising our research, we also examine and reference other psychological models, including Nicole Lazarro's Four Keys, Csikszentmihalyi's Flow and Roger Caillois' patterns of play. We have also included one of the most detailed critical analyses of game genre available, in which we consider the probable play styles associated with all the major patterns in gameplay from the birth of the industry to the present day. I believe this book has something in it for everyone with an interest in game design."

Ernest Adams, who runs the Designers' Notebook subsidiary of International Hobo added: "21st Century Game Design approaches some of interactive entertainment's most compelling problems in an entirely new way. It is, so far as I know, the first time a book on design has attempted to understand the player's desires and motivations in an orderly fashion; to move beyond rules of thumb, hidebound convention, and what 'everybody knows' about gamers. 21st Century Game Design takes the extraordinary step of examining the personalities of the players themselves, and then extrapolates from those personality types to arrive at a coherent theory of design."

The book is available from Amazon, Charles River Media, and all good book stores.