New Content! Jam City's 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff'

 

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Current in-game title screen

By Dexter Woltman

Brunette Games has had the honor of working with top developer Jam City for a full year now, on five different titles either in release or still in development. One of our projects together gave me the chance to write new script content for the popular mobile game Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. As a scriptwriting major in college, working on a franchise like Family Guy was the stuff of dreams, and now here I am, writing about the quest for stuff!

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Screenshot of the in-game dialogue

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is a mobile game in which players get to build their own version of Quahog, the central setting of the television show. The story begins with the show getting canceled again, leading to a fight between Peter and his infamous chicken nemesis. Reminiscent of Peter's encounters with the chicken in the show, their fight leaves the town in shambles. Following this, players guide the characters of the show as they work to rebuild Quahog.

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Official game artwork

I've been watching the television show Family Guy ever since I was, well, too young to be watching Family Guy. I've followed the beloved antics of the Griffin family for over a decade. When Brunette Games had the opportunity to collaborate with Jam City on its newest content, it was definitely a bucket-list item for me. And I'm not the only one obsessed with the franchise. In the time since The Quest for Stuff's initial release in 2014, it's acquired a steady following of committed players. 

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Even though Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff originally launched nearly six years ago, Jam City's devotion to the title has added a steady plethora of new content ever since. I've already written several events for the game, and one of my favorites is "Life's a Zoo." This one sees Peter Griffin opening up his own zoo and facing competition from his daughter, Meg. As per typical Family Guy humor, this release has plenty of jokes, references, and whacky adventures. It certainly pushes the boundaries more than other titles in the casual market, making it a blast, for me to write for, personally, since many of our other titles are much more, um, circumspect.

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To learn more about the game, hear it from the developers themselves with the official App Store description:

After another epic battle with the giant chicken, Peter Griffin has accidentally destroyed Quahog! Play for FREE and rally your favorite Family Guy characters (even Meg) to save the city in a hilarious new adventure. Or don’t, and regret it forever!

Game Features:

• It’s Free! Freakin’ free? Freakin’ sweet!

• Create a living Quahog that fits enjoyably in your pants

• Unlock hilarious outfits for your characters like Mermaid Peter, Bikini-Clad Quagmire, and Rambo Lois

• Send your characters on ridiculous quests

• Keep Quahog safe from pirates, evil chickens, and other invasions

• Peterfy your town with decorations such as The Petercopter, The Peterdactyl, and The Hindenpeter

• Unlock hundreds of brand new and classic animations

PS: You can play this game in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese!

PPS: Don’t forget to watch new episodes of Family Guy on Sundays - only on FOX!

WHAT'S NEW

The Family Guy: Life's a Zoo Event is here! Watch out for the animals in this new event from the Writers of Family Guy!

A new feature is coming. Travel the multiverse with Alternate Quahogs!

Features:

-New Feature: Alternate Quahogs!

-General Improvements to Game Performance

-New App Icon

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff can be played on iOS and Android devices. To try the game and play "Life's a Zoo" for yourself, follow either of the links below!

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With the Juneteenth Holiday, a Pledge: We Can Do Better

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A character we created for the in-development interactive novel app Crime Stories, a project where we had a great deal of control over the character cast. It's also one of our most diverse.

One of the services we offer at Brunette Games is character design. What this means is that in the process of designing narratives, we also conceive of a game's cast of characters. While we do not create the actual artwork for these characters, and our clients hold final approval on a character's overall design, we play an important role in either proposing the character at the outset or redesigning existing characters.

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Geoff, a gay person of color, is your office bestie in 'Woman on the Bridge,' an interactive novel in the Crime Stories app. He is one of the chiropractors in the office where the player character works.

Designing a game character is a powerful act, one we don't take lightly. Characters can connect and resonate with players - and even influence or shape their conception of the world. 

Five members of our team of seven come from ethnic and cultural backgrounds that have been underrepresented in the game industry, and we design games for audiences that have traditionally been ignored. Diversity and inclusion is not only important to us from an artistic standpoint - it forms the very basis of our business.

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The detective investigating the murder of your coworker in 'Woman on the Bridge.' He also becomes a possible love interest in this choice-based, branching narrative.

We're proud of the work we've done on this front with our clients and want to take Juneteenth as an opportunity to honor the characters we've created together. We support the campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday, and it is already a recognized day of observance in our headquarters state of Missouri. We've decided to join with other companies in declaring it a day off. However, we also want to stand in solidarity with all those in the game industry who recognize that the work must continue.

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A rarity in games even in the over-40 female player market: a character actually depicted as a 40+ woman.

At Brunette Games, we know we personally can do better - and we know the industry as a whole must do better as well. We pledge to push further in this important work. Won't you join us?

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When Firecraft came to us with their deliveryman character, we chose to model his dialogue after intellectuals we admire in the African-American community, such as President Barack Obama and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Antonio is known for his factoids on cats and other topics.
 
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We collaborated with fellow St. Louis-based Graphite Lab to create quirky engineer character Maggie, the genius behind the rides in RollerCoaster Tycoon Story.
 
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While older women are usually depicted in games stereotypically, in some cases literally like "old ladies in rocking chairs," we worked with Kuuhubb to create a realistic character in Esther, whose murder you must solve in the interactive novel app Tiles & Tales.

New Release! ‘Solitaire: Farm and Family’ from Tuyoo Game

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Official game artwork

By Dexter Woltman

As a casual game player who grew up on a farm and played a lot of card games, Brunette Games' latest collaboration hits especially close to home for me. New from Tuyoo Game is Solitaire Tripeaks: Farm and Family! Tuyoo Game came to us with an engaging concept that showed a preference for grounded storytelling. As often happens here at Brunette Games, they asked us to rework their existing script draft as well as further develop beyond that start with much more content. The result is an app that we think pushes the boundaries in casual game storytelling. 

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In-game screenshot of the game's map

If you're looking for honest storytelling, Farm and Family is the game for you! The title balances real-life issues such as divorce, medical illnesses, and economic challenge with the straightforward charm and humor audiences have come to love. The story follows Rachel Brix, a former city girl who's trying to get in touch with her roots by saving the family farm. As Rachel remembers her past and propels new business ventures, she gets the chance to rediscover herself and be the woman she's always wanted to be. And by playing the role of Rachel's close friend, you get to be part of the story every step of the way!

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In-game screenshots of the game's dialogue

 Farm and Family uses a tripeaks style of solitaire. This means it builds off the classic formula to introduce new, exciting mechanics to the solitaire gameplay. Much like a causal match-3 game, every level provides a new type of challenge to overcome.

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In-game screenshot of an early solitaire level

If that's not enough to get you interested, hear it from the developers themselves. Below is the official App Store description of the title:

Relax yourself in this fantastic solitaire tripeaks card game and start your own adventure with our heroine Rachel!

Rich contents in different levels:

  • Hundreds of challenging levels
  • Collect enough fragments to finish the jigsaw level and get rewards
  • In Molly’s Kitchen, complete the challenges to feed the hungry kitty

Combination of classical and creative gameplay:

  • Classical Solitaire game
  • Various special puzzles such as Gear cards, Kitty cards, Balloon cards… More interesting things for you to discover!

Heart-warming stories:

  • Help Rachel operate the abandoned farm and create your own business. Listen to the Brix family about their old memories and help them come through the difficult period

Other features:

  • Help Rachel collect more stars to level up her farm
  • Try your luck in the Fortune Wheel to win big surprises
  • Explore treasures in the mean marmot’s cave every day

More exciting content for you to discover. Come and join Solitaire: Farm and Family now!

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There's lots to discover in this endearing title! Download now, and tell us here at Brunette Games what you think!

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Redemption Games’ Scoops: From Fan Favorite to Fan Fiction

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Official Google Play Store art.

By Dexter Woltman

What’s not to love about an adorable penguin who makes ice cream? When Redemption Games’ phenomenal Sweet Escapes first launched, the story centered on a bunny, Joy, doing her best to fix up some sweet shops that have hit hard times. Joy quickly met various friends to help her on her journey, one of whom is Scoops, a sweets-loving penguin.

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Nearly a year of content later, Joy’s world is brimming with colorful characters and a plethora of delicious sweets. Along the way, Scoops grew from a humorous companion character to a sensational fan favorite. He’s played an active part in almost every storyline, and audiences just can’t get enough. Some fans have even gone the extra mile and written fan fiction about him. But what was it that made our lovable penguin friend so popular? Surely, it’s not just his fancy scarf?

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From the very start, Scoops was always a scene-stealer. His obsession with sweets and humorous antics stole the hearts of many. Add Redemption Games’ adorable character design and goofy animations, and the game became an instant fan favorite. But along the way, Scoops’ character started to show a lot of promise beyond cracking jokes. By the time I was involved in writing content for the game, I recognized a lot of potential in our goofy penguin. I didn’t just see him as the comedic relief who likes to make jokes about all the sweets he can eat. I saw him as the heart and soul of Sweet Escapes, and I capitalized on it.

While most characters in Sweet Escapes appear every few regions of content or so, Scoops has had the privilege of maintaining a consistent presence in the game. He’s been there from the start, and, well, he’s still there. So, when it came time for me to write for him, I knew there was more we could do with him. I took a look at his quirks, his many jobs and love of sweets, and I expanded on them. In my eyes, his very specific tastes didn’t just have to translate to sweets. They could apply to all sorts of things. Scarves, occupations, proper lighting—Scoops is ahead of it all. For me, it wasn’t just about dialing up the jokes. It was about making the world his joke. And from that, Scoops' role in the story grew. He's there to contribute conflict, growth, and mystery.

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So now, more than a year later, Scoops is still a highlight of the game. He gets personal story arcs as he searches to find his role in the group. He doesn’t just make jokes. He’s a real character with flaws and skills. Sure, he has a great eye for decor, but he’s also going to make a fit when that painting is two inches too far to the left. And yes, he’s a penguin who holds a great love for the sea, but that doesn’t mean he knows how to swim with it. That alone leaves his various pirating exploits land-locked for the time being. Scoops is remarkably complex, yet very simple all the same. He just wants to be happy. And in the end, isn’t that what we all want?

Over the last year since the game's release, Scoops has grown from comedic relief to comedic sensation. Audiences love him, and so do we here at Brunette Games. It’s been a long journey, but luckily for fans, that journey is far from complete. So, if you haven’t gotten the chance to see our lovable penguin in action, it’s never too late! Download Sweet Escapes on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now!

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For more information on Redemption Games' Sweet Escapes, visit the official website here!


Seeking a Publisher: Jane Austen Solitaire

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By Lisa Brunette

Last fall, I ditched all social media except for essential Brunette Games activity. With some of the hours recovered from not checking my feeds - you'd be surprised by how much time those 'short' check-ins actually suck up - I personally committed to reading all of the novels written by the early 19th century British author Jane Austen. I followed up each novel with a viewing of the best film and TV adaptations of the work as well. By the time I'd made it through the first four - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma - out of the blue, Brunette Games received a query about working on a mobile game themed on Jane Austen's work.

How's that for serendipity?

Suffice to say, when Pavel Agoshkov of Israel-based Supergaming reached out to us about adapting Austen's work to the solitaire game format, we were excited to say yes. Pavel and his team smartly wanted to base the launch game on Pride and Prejudice, easily Austen's most recognized and cherished work.

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It's been a pleasure to work with Supergaming from the concept stage, providing full design feedback, narrative design services, writing, and voiceovers. Because of my recent Austen fandom, I took the lead, with Anthony Valterra and Dexter Woltman as support, and both Cammie Middleton and Andy Mack providing voiceovers.

It was my first adaptation in game format, which was quite the challenge. I used the film adaptations as guides in some ways, but they were pretty limited since they have full cinematic worlds to draw upon. I really had to think about the essence of Pride and Prejudice and mesh that with what I know casual game audiences want and need. I believe the result is a lovely take on Austen's world that stays true to her work but is fun and accessible for the casual gamer.

Austen fans will surely appreciate how well the solitaire card game format suits the storyline, as conversations over card games comprise many a scene in the novels. 

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Besides feeling captured right away by what a great idea this project was, one of the reasons we wanted to work on it is the unique art style. Just look at the below interpretation of Pride and Prejudice's main character, Elizabeth Bennet. When Supergaming first shared it with us, it took our breath away. It's not often we see this painterly, realistic art treatment in casual mobile games.

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One of the game's cool features is an interactive collection room framed as a Jane Austen Museum. Players can add to the museum with articles plucked from the pages of Austen's life and work as they progress through the game, and they also function as game powerups.

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We look forward to seeing this game picked up by a publisher. It was designed with the idea that it could be expanded beyond Pride and Prejudice to include adaptations of Austen's other novels as well. It's our hope to continue working on it!

As for my own reading, I've added Northanger Abbey to the 'done' list, and next up is Persuasion. Of course, there's also her posthumously published work, Lady Susan, an unfinished novel called Sanditon that the BBC has adapted to TV, and her juvenilia and other unpublished writings. Come to think of it, Brunette Games could be working on Jane Austen adaptations for quite some time!

For information about Jane Austen Solitaire and Supergaming, please contact Pavel Agoshkov.