February 15, 2016 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] Warszawa, Poland - Steamburg, a new game by Telehorse, won the Indie Game Cup for Best Storytelling at White Nights Conference in Helsinki last Friday. The game was also nominated for the Grand Prix at the event. Steamburg is a puzzle adventure game by Telehorse. It is currently under development with the planned release date in the first half of 2016.
The game takes place in the same steampunk universe as Telehorse's award-winning Steampunker. Once again we meet Vincent, our Steampunker hero, who engages in combat in the town of Steamburg, fighting evil robots from outer space. Vincent's only weapon are small electro-bombs. Such a bomb cannot destroy the robot, though. It can shock him for a while, lure him or turn on a mechanism which opens a gate or a bridge and allows Vincent to move further. Vincent has to walk through Steamburg's streets, choosing his route very carefully, so that the robot chasing him is destroyed when it hits upon a high-voltage electrical device.
The difficulty level varies a lot. The task seems fairly easy in the first scene. Once you progress further, you need to try much harder to make various walking and flying robots hit straight upon a giant Tesla coil. As was the case with Steampunker, one of the game's strengths lies in its excellent steampunk-style artwork. An original score for the game will once again be composed by Silver Rocket.
Steamburg is being developed for mobile devices and Telehorse intends to launch both iOS and Android versions simultaneously. They are also working on the PC version, but the release date hasn't been scheduled yet. The game consists of 4 chapters, 8 scenes each.
The developer started working on the game in 2015 and showcased it at Tokyo Game Show and Casual Connect under the name Steamville. The name was changed under pressure from lawyers representing Zynga. Telehorse began developing a new steampunk-style game in early 2015. The game takes place in a town, so the studio decided to look for a nice-sounding place name. They immediately rejected Steam City, as it resembled Sim City too closely. Steamtown and Steamburg were the two strong contestants, but eventually Telehorse settled for Steamville. The US alone has dozens of towns whose names end in -ville.
Steamville's demo was showcased, among others, at the Casual Connect in San Francisco and Tokyo Game Show. On 27 October 2015 the law office representing Zynga sent Telehorse a letter demanding that the studio ceases to use the name Steamville until the end of the month, citing the infringement of Zynga's intellectual property rights.
Telehorse replied by explaining that their game in no way resembled Zynga products and that the name Steamville was not identical to any of Zynga's games. A bit of research yielded surprising results: games such as Blingville, Quackville Pyramidville or Dungeonville also got into legal trouble with the company. Unfortunately Zynga's legal team are famous for their effectiveness. In a subsequent e-mail they stated that Zynga has copyrighted the -ville suffix in Europe, thus winning their cases against Clubville and Toonsville. The scope of the trademark in Europe is vast and extends beyond video games.
Although Telehorse believe Zynga's action to be unfounded, they have decided to change the name of the game. As a small independent studio it does not have the resources required for a legal battle with a US giant and they would rather allocate their time and efforts to developing the game itself. Telehorse will be presenting Steamburg at the Indie Prize showcase at Casual Connect Europe in Amsterdam this week.
Telehorse is a Warsaw-based independent studio established in 2013 by Mariusz Szypura. Szypura has worked for advertising agencies as a graphic designer and creative director. He has been in charge of hundreds of campaigns and projects, winning a Fryderyk Music Award for the artwork on one of his album covers. What is more, Mariusz is an experienced musician with more than a dozen records under his belt. Telehorse allows him to pull all his skills together and independently develop computer games. In 2014 Telehorse released the first game called Steampunker for iOS and Android mobile devices. In 2015 Telehorse began work on a new game called Steamburg to be released in the first half of 2016, as well as continued the development of Steampunker. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2015 Telehorse. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.