What Lilly sees is about to change her life forever....
Help our heroine through a variety of enchanting environments brimming with magic and wonder, as she seeks to rewrite the past, change the present, and unlock the ultimate mystery. Geeta Games presents an animated adventure for all ages:
Lilly Looking Through.
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We invite you to join us November 1st 8-10pm EDT as Building the Game Podcast will be hosting our Lilly Looking Through Livestream Launch Party!
If you have a question you’d like us to answer during the livestream event, you can tweet #BTGLLT or Facebook message us at https://www.facebook.com/LillyLookingThrough We also plan on giving away t-shirts and copies of the game during the event. This event is open to the public, so feel free to invite your friends and other adventure gamers. We’ll be posting an update on Facebook and Twitter, just minutes before the event, with a link you can follow to join in!
“Lilly Looking Through … encapsulates all the best things about being young: a time of wonder and innocence, where mystery beckons around every corner and there’s no problem so big it can’t be overcome with a little courage and curiosity.” – AdventureGamers
Also available at:
Lilly Looking Through Soundtrack available for purchase HERE
Herein we share the details of our trip to PAX Prime!
Thursday, August 29th — Steve, Jessica and I drove to Chicago, then flew to Seattle, and immediately went to check out the booth during setup.
Just walking into the convention center, I had a feeling like we had completed some kind of pilgrimage. The signage, booths, new tech, the handful of giddy people; everything looked glorious. (Of course, this was my first PAX, so I might have been a little over-excited!)
We installed the demo to see how it would look on the one of the gorgeous laptops at the Intel booth, and within moments Lilly Looking Through had the attention of a small crowd of people. Pretty awesome considering the convention hadn’t even started!
After, we walked straight to the 2013 Intel Level Up Game Demo Contest party. Over wonderful food and drink, we reunited with Christian Piccolo, one of our extremely talented environment painters, met up with our fellow contest winners, as well as talked to Intel’s Senior Product Planner, Matt Ployhar. Bas Zalmstra from Abbey Games was also there, a super nice guy, all the way from the Netherlands! His team’s game, Reus, looks incredible; can’t wait to check out the full game!
A bit jet-lagged, we walked back to our rental car after the party. On the way, we spied Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid and the soon-to-be-released title The Witness, casually sitting in the front lobby of the main convention center, nodding at people as they went by. We stopped to say hello, and it began to sink in how wonderful PAX can be.
Friday, August 30th — On our first day of PAX, it seemed right to start off the conference by checking out Peter Molyneux’s PAX-opening story time. He talked about Godus. It is an incredibly ambitious idea. He’s an amazing speaker – his ideas visionary, as always.
We walked the main exhibition space, and were floored by all of the activity and energy. So much going on, so very many people. It was crazy! Given the more relaxed pace of Lilly, it became apparent from touring around that our demo was probably better suited to be shown exactly where it was over in the PC Area, where everything seemed to be just a shade less intense!
Later we had our first shot at being able to share Lilly with the attendees at PAX, and it was great. There’s something very special about watching people play a game you helped put together, particularly when you’ve got a parent like Ben Snortum and his wife, motioning to their child and saying “Oh yeah, this’ll be right up his alley.” (Ben wrote more about his experience here, on his very cool blog!) We got a lot of really good feedback, gave out some cute Lilly pins and T-Shirts, and met some really fantastic people that day.
What I guess I would call the currently active “core” team reunited that night as well, as our own Mark DeForest drove over to PAX to hang out with Steve, Jessica and I. It was great to meet somebody I consider to be an idol, (the guy worked on the original Myst, come on!) even if I’ve seen him many times on Skype. He looks less like a video in person. 😉
Saturday, August 31st — On Saturday we got to see the GeekDad/GeekMom talk, and listened to some great dialogue about being a geek and (potentially) raising a geek child. After the event, we met Jonathan Liu, a writer for GeekDad who noticed our game a long time ago, and recently followed-up with an article about our Greenlight campaign. His photo tour of PAX Prime 2013 included a picture of all of us together, and some kind words! You can probably imagine our surprise when Ben, the dad we had met the previous evening, walked out of the same talk proudly wearing the Lilly Looking Through shirt he had picked up from our booth the night before! He was one of three people that we saw that day, spreading the word! Thanks to all of you, it is sometimes hard to get noticed as an Indie, and we are very grateful for your attention.
Sunday, September 1st — Steve and I got to try out the Oculus Rift on our third morning, and thought it was amazing. Notable mind-blowing moments included looking down and realizing my avatar was a woman… and later, I turned into a bird creature so that I could fly into the sky. Without the Oculus Rift, pretty cool, but with it — being able to soar upwards and look down around you at the shrinking tree-tops — truly jaw-dropping. Special thanks to the makers of Wander for the preview!
We had a number of couples check out the demo on Sunday; individuals seem to be the most focused, but people working in pairs are sharing the experience together. I saw one couple split onto two laptops so that they could both play. My favorite reaction of the day was from a young man who said “Oh, but that’s beautiful!” His surprise was genuine, and it felt like we had exceeded his expectations, which is always nice! 🙂
Monday, September 2nd — Jessica attended a breakfast for women in gaming. It’s great to have a strong female protagonist in one’s game, thus Jessica (and Lilly!) got the attention of a lot of interested female gamers! GameOnGirl.com also did an interview with Steve and Jessica.
I should have tried to get more names, but we had another great father/son visit on Monday. The boy stood perched on his dad’s bent leg, so that his child’s tiny hand could reach far enough to grip the mouse… at least until I figured out that a chair would probably be helpful! The boy was young, but his mouse-clicking skills rivaled kids twice his age!
That night we took a red-eye flight back to Chicago and drove home, alternately sleeping and talking about what a great adventure we shared at PAX Prime 2013! We owe Intel, Valve and the 2013 Level Up Demo Contest judges a big thanks for choosing Lilly Looking Through! It was particularly great to be able to tell everybody that if they wanted to try the demo they could find it on Steam, parked right next to the spot where the full game will be available, November 1st! Thanks for reading!
We are very excited to announce that we are now on Steam! This means that we can sell our game on one of the leading digital distribution platforms for the PC and Mac. Lilly Looking Through also just won the Intel Level Up Demo Contest in two categories for BEST ADVENTURE/ROLE PLAYING GAME and BEST ART DESIGN. As an added bonus, an extended Demo of our game is now on Steam! Thank you to everyone who voted for us on Greenlight.
Last but not least we will be at PAX Prime in Seattle this week, showing the Demo at Intel’s Booth in the PC Area, on the 3rd Floor of the Annex. If you’re going to PAX be sure to stop by and say “Hi” or schedule a time to meet with us. We will be giving away Lilly buttons, Cubees, and t-shirts at Intel’s booth (while supplies last).
Find us at the Intel booth located in the PC Room:
Q:What is your name and what kind of work do you do on Lilly Looking Through?
A:Hi! My name is Daran Chapman, and I’m a Technical Artist. That means I take pieces that the artists and animators at Geeta have been producing, put them together, and add interactivity.
Q:How did you get involved in working on Lilly Looking Through? When did you know you wanted to work in games?
A:While I was visiting Kickstarter, I recognized Steve from our days ushering at a movie theater long ago, and sent him some messages just to catch up. We talked a lot about games, and it turned out that our philosophies are very similar. It also turned out that my skill set was a good match to help bring Lilly Looking Through to fruition. Steve invited me to help with the project. I’ve always wanted to work on a proper video game, and the game itself grabbed my attention immediately — so I jumped at the chance!
Q:What work are you most looking forward to doing on Lilly Looking Through?
A:Sometimes I’m animating a bouncing glow, or I’m making the turn of a wheel actually have an effect, and other times I’m adding layers of a level together and making them seem to breathe. I’m so enjoying the variety of what I’m working on, it would be hard to say what I’m looking forward to next. I guess the short answer is “more!”
Q:What’s the best thing about working on Lilly Looking Through?
A:The best thing about working on Lilly Looking Through has got to be the people. I’m collaborating with very talented people that believe in themselves, each other, and the end product. I also love that Geeta’s smaller number of people means that no matter where an idea comes from, it is not only heard, but has a possibility of being implemented.
Q:How did you become interested in games?
A:I fell in love with the first video games when I was very young; I’m talking as far back as Pong. It has been great to live my life watching video games grow, and for some titles, become accepted as an art form.
Q:What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into game development?
A:I’ve been a projectionist, graphic designer, edutainment and web programmer, and animator. I think the craziest part of my employment history has been how varied it has been over the years; usually something involving entertainment or graphics, but constantly evolving to meet the work available to me.
Q:What project in the past did you have the best time working on? What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
A:Other than Lilly, I’d have to say my favorite project was an entry into a music video contest run by Valve Software for a song by a band called The National. I dedicated many late nights to writing a story, as well as modeling, animating and directing. I don’t feel like what I did was perfect; far from it — but with limited time I told the story I wanted to tell, and for that I am proud of what I put together. I must have done something right, as Valve deemed it the “Best Turret Story” in the contest.
Q:What is your favorite animated movie and why?
A:It is hard to narrow down my favorite animated movie. At one point in my life I would have said Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, but raising a few kids can change a guy. I’m more into the likes of Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service or Brad Bird’s Iron Giant. I guess I’d say Iron Giant is my favorite; it does a lot of things well stylistically, has a great story, and a lot of personality… plus a big freakin’ robot.
Q:What are 2 of your favorite games and why?
A:Oh, this is a tough one. I’d have to start out with Ico. There are layers of sensitivity in that game: the contrast between dark and light, natural and man-made, and what it means to be alone versus having even just one other person around. Without a single word of understandable dialogue, Ico invited the gamer to care about an AI character and help them through the game — and I found myself truly caring.
During a particularly cold and quiet winter, I played and adored Riven, the sequel to Myst. At the time there was nothing like it, and it was very engaging to me – the visuals, the audio, the storyline. It is equal parts awesome, humbling and terrifying to be working alongside Mark, who helped make the game; and Steve, who used to work at Cyan as well.
I know the question said “two” but I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a shout out for Tribes:Aerial Assault, one of the first decent networkable games on the PlayStation2. I was part of a tight knit community that played that one game for years and years. We formed teams, ran tourneys and created prizes. While doing so I made some life-long friends. I suppose sometimes it takes other players to make a game great.
So that’s it for my two favorite games. Oh, except Beyond Good and Evil. And Bioshock. And Shadow of the Colossus. And Portal. And Minecraft. And XCOM. And Fallout. And Halo. And Skyrim. And Braid. And Limbo.
Q:What movie made you cry?
A:When I was little I had to be physically removed from a theater during a pivotal scene in Bambi due to excess sobbing.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Daran and the Geeta Games Team! It’s back to work for us . . .
This week we’d like to introduce you to the voice talent behind “Lilly Looking Through.” Steve and I first met McKenna (the voice of Lilly) at the Kalamazoo Civic Theater here in town. We were all lucky enough to be cast in a musical called “White Christmas” together a couple of winters ago. She won the audience (and us) with her sweet personality and voice, and we were delighted when she agreed to be Lilly for the game. And who better to play Lilly’s younger brother, Row, than McKenna’s younger brother, Garrett! It was a perfect match. Garrett has the same mischievous charm and energy that Row has. They were a pleasure to work with, and we can’t wait for you to hear them in the game.
Interview with Jessica Hoogendyk
We wanted to share some interviews to give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the Geeta Games team. For this post the spotlight is on Jessica Hoogendyk, our Lead animator on “Lilly Looking Through,” and she was kind enough to answer some questions.
Q: Can you tell us what sort of work you do on Lilly Looking Through?
A: I animate Lilly, Row, and some other characters as well. My side jobs include some sound design, being in charge of play testing, and marketing.
Q: What’s the best thing about working on Lilly Looking Through?
A: I get to work alongside my husband, and working from home as an animator lets me continue to be a stay at home Mom for my girls.
Q: What are 2 of your favorite games and why?
A: My husband and I played “The Longest Journey” together while dating. It’s one of my favorites to look back and remember, and it was special because we experienced it together. My other favorite is “Fable.” It was so easy to get lost in the beautiful immersive world.
Q: What recent movie made you cry?
A: “Les Misérables.” Steve handed me a tissue just before the movie started and said, “Uh, this is because you have a cold.” I was bawling in the first 5 minutes.
Q: What is the last desert you ate?
A: A way too sweet pineapple upside down cake. With a cup of PG Tips, our favorite tea.
Q: What are some of the crazier jobs you had working in animation?
A: I was a clean up animator for “Barnyard: The Movie” and I was asked to tame down the animation on the cow’s utters – they were flapping all over the place. I think they were worried about the movie having to be rated PG 13.
Q: How did you become interested in animation?
A: It kind of took me by surprise. I had always been computer savvy. When I was a kid, my Dad used to send us his old computers and tell us how to assemble or fix them over the phone. And I was heavily involved in dance and theater in high school, so it was a culmination of all of these things that fell together when I saw “Computer Animation” on the curriculum at my college. It was a perfect fit for all the things that I loved to do.
We hope you enjoyed the interview and learned a little bit more about Jessica. We will be posting more interviews soon!
Recently we signed with publisher Headup Games for the retail boxed version of “Lilly Looking Through” for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We are thrilled to be partnering with them, as this will allow us to reach a whole other group of adventure gamers.
They invited us to Gamescom, the World’s largest games event with 275,000 visitors, more than 5,500 journalists and 600 exhibitors from 83 countries attend the show. For three days we met with the press and got the opportunity to talk about “Lilly Looking Through” as well as play through the demo.
Visit our Press page to see some exciting new press from our trip to Gamescom!