Crystal Method & War Reporting

Even the most hardy of pirates was in awe today as some kind of crystal invasion force descended upon the Lower Belt. Not much is known about the nature of this force, aside from a few observations and even more wild speculation. But what we can be fairly certain about is that it seemed to have come from the Oort Cloud. Luckily for all of us (especially those who dwell around the Lower Belts), the free pirates managed to repel the space crystal.

Some pirates have speculated that this ‘invasion’ was only the beginning, and that a much more powerful force could still be on its way.

The other big occurrence of today instilled much more delight and far less fear of enormous invasion forces.

War News
Now when fleets have completed a war, a news post is made which sums up some of the details of the conflict. Things like which member of your fleet caused the most damage, who exploded the most, and your fleet’s track record.

Players also have the ability to comment on these war news posts, so that they may jeer or compliment their fellow pirates as they see fit.

Ominouser And Ominouser

The Oort cloud is abuzz with…curious readings.

The spy rings of 2165 are quietly reeling from the implications of the so-called “Canberra Incident”. (Which didn’t TECHNICALLY happen IN Canberra, but you know how it is…)

And in the real world, Twitter feeds are also abuzz.

What can it all mean? Why, dear reader, I couldn’t POSSIBLY comment. Well, I could, but not on any of those. I COULD comment on some of our players, mind you…

Spybattle 2165
Level 50: MrOrange
Level 60: makeinu
Level 100: Laoch

Star Pirates
Level 60: Cptn Darling, ChaosLogan
Level 80: Warslord

Todaybour Day…

As the month draws to a close, Snakehead Fans, so does the Writing Contest enter its last month! And, in fact, the early bird special ends tomorrow! (There’s still time if you’ve got just a little bit more to do…remember, it’s 1000 points in the game of your choice if your submission is in and valid by September 1st – and an additional 4000 to one lucky entrant into the bargain – all awarded at the end of the long weekend! Not bad, eh?)

Oh, and have you checked out our latest interview? It’s all the buzz, hehehe OW! Ow, alright, I apologize for that pun, stop throwing bricks at me! Just… ;_; Just have the latest levelling news and enjoy the long weekend, Snakehead Fans…

Spybattle 2165
Level 50: Medon
Level 60: Deputy Laszer
Level 70: Lilyblack

Special Commendations: ZeddWhyte for the latest Space Lab…this one financed by the sale of – if not actually entirely MADE of – Bulletproof Vests!

Star Pirates
Level 50: Belai, Zip Cypher, Omniplex
Level 60: Captain Fletch
Level 70: Notin Theface
Level 80: Pyre Light, Dread Pirate Roberts

The Snakehead Interviews – Priyanka Jain

There’s nothing like a good piece of art, and I for one have NEVER produced a good piece of art. I mean, sure, Mom put my crayon drawings up on the fridge, even when I was fifteen years old, but I understand now that she was just…sorry, Snakehead Fans, where was I going with this?

Ah, that’s right. Art. Today I sat down with Priyanka Jain, an intern of ours whose artistic talent has graced and will be gracing several of our products, now and in the coming months. Well, I checked my seat before sitting down. The many beehives that surrounded her workstation served as models for her latest project, and while they seemed to have accepted her as one of their own, I was getting the stinkeye from more than one royal guardsmanbee out on their rounds.

Tell us about yourself, Priyanka.

Well, I am a student at Sheridan College, currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts-Animation Program. I’m getting to my final year – it’s been an excellent journey so far – and I am looking forward to make a short animated film in my last year.

And how long have you been interested in art and animation?

I have always been interested in drawing, although Sheridan’s been my only formal training so far. I was among the best
artists back in my High School, but after that I got really interested in how things move. That interest in movement grew and grew, and that’s why I chose it as a career.

So what brought you to Snakehead Games?

I heard about Snakehead from my Co-op Advisor at Sheridan when we were looking for placement possibilities. There was a couple days, maximum, between my hearing about it and my acceptance – it all happened so quickly, it didn’t even sink in that I was really here until I’d been here a week!

Ah, that good ol’ “Whoa, I actually made it!” feeling. That’s a good feeling.

As for my experience so far, I think I am having a wonderful internship and I am glad that I am interning here.

And just a glance at your work so far reminds me why we’re glad to have you. Would you expand on that work for the Snakehead Fans at home?

Well, I’ve definitely been busy. Right from day one, I have been constantly involved in different projects. Starting with Word Nerds, then Combat Cards and now Spelling Bea.

I redesigned the graphics for Word Nerds – Combat Cards I didn’t get the same amount of time with, but Spelling Bea has been fun so far. Designing all these graphics also made me realize how much I love what I do. And because I really like designing/animation, it never seemed like work to me. It has always been fun exploring more designs and concepts.

It’s a lucky person who can truly love their job that much. How else do you like to pass the time?

Umm…I draw, play video games, watch TV, play golf (Yes, I do!)…and I guess my work is fun for me, so I work!

*laughs* Well, what else…*shuffles through his list of questions* Superpowers? Nah, people are tired of that one –

Actually, I’m glad you asked that…

??? You are?

…because unlike many people, MY answer is Yes!

I actually possess two superpowers – My mom and Dad. Whenever I am in need of these superpowers, I know I can rely on them, no matter what. No, seriously, I think being supported by my parents all through my life is a superpower for me. I don’t think a lot of people are lucky enough to possess this superpower, but I am.

Gosh. Well, that’s very good to know. Have you found much time to try our own games, and if so, do you have a favourite?

Word Nerds for sure. Firstly, because I designed the graphics for this game and as you know, I am the best!

*laughs* Naturally.

*laughs* But really, I think one can never master an art. There is always room to learn more and make yourself better. Anyways, going back to Word Nerds, it is actually a wonderful game. It is very engaging and challenges your ability to make words out of random letters. I had fun designing its new look, and I hope people enjoy the game.

So what’s next after Snakehead?

First thing on the list is graduation. I still have one more year to go.

After that, I am thinking about taking on a Post-Graduate Program at Sheridan. After interning at Snakehead, I am actually getting very interested in the video game industry, and I would like to enhance my skills to be a part of this world. So I am thinking about taking a game design program at Sheridan itself. Hopefully that would do for my studies, and then I would be able to get myself a decent job in this industry.

Very ambitious! What kind of inspiration have you had in your growth as an artist?

For any of the artists reading this, I would definitely like to share some others who have been a great inspiration for me.

Firstly, Ryan Woodward. His amazing 2D animation Thought of you has been truly inspiring for me. It has been so beautifully designed and animated that whenever I need inspiration, I look at this animation. It points out that there are so many things I could work on and improve.

The second would be Pascal Campion. Pascal has a wonderful talent of telling a story just in a picture. And it is not just a story, there are emotions involved and you can actually feel them in his artwork. Apart from the storytelling aspect in this art, I really like the simple yet appealing style of his sketches.
You can even subscribe, get one sketch every day in your mailbox, so you don’t have to look for inspiration šŸ˜€

That’s about all I would like to say here, except for one thing. My Mom always says, “When things go your way, be happy; but when things don’t go your way, be happier as God sure does have a better plan for you”. These have been very important words of wisdom for me all through my life, and hopefully some of you may get some motivation from these words. Good Luck!

With that, she resumed her work. Her honeymongering henchmen buzzed with renewed purpose as she drew them a spanking new queen to guide them in their eusocial endeavours. Wary of their bared stingers, I slipped out to type out this interview with my sticky, sticky fingers.

Priyanka’s presence is a quantum leap forward for us, as we’ve frequently had to outright outsource our artistic needs. She’s changed the game for us, which means we get to keep changing the game for you! Join us next time for another installment of browser-based buzz with the Snakehead Interviews, folks!

The High Ground

Can I call it or what, folks? In the wake of Captain Athena’s latest missive, the spies prove they’ve been hard at work…

Spybattle 2165
Level 50: Loops
Level 60: Emma Peel
Level 100: Perry The Platypus

Special Commendations: Boreas and Maxwell Smart for each scoring a swank new space lab. (So THAT’S what the spy community’s been working on…if they weren’t set in entirely different points in history, I’d recommend the pirates watch their backs!)

Star Pirates
Level 50: General Kael, nnoogard

Free Captainā€™s Log #2

Free Captainā€™s Log (Space Date – August 24, 2198)
(Captain Athena’s Personal Log)

Writing Contest!

Have you heard the word, pirates? Snakehead’s Writing Contest is in full swing – not only that, but there’s now an early bird special as well!

They’ve pledged 1000 points for everyone who gets a submission in before September 1st – more if enough people are in by that time. I don’t know about you, but I can feel my writing fingers getting itchy just thinking about it…

Mobile Games

It’s not like racing from one end of the system to the other and blowing anything in my path up ever gets BORING, dear Journal, don’t get me wrong. But there ARE a few boring stretches in between the explosions, and the hold can only carry so much rum. So the shipboard AI said I ought to look at some “mobile games”.

And wouldn’t you know it, Snakehead Games has come through for us there! Their debut app “Word Nerds: Tap & Spell Words” is the most fun I’ve ever had without a laser pistol in each hand. Lets me feel smart, those ants are just SO adorable, and just to top it all off, it didn’t cost the crew – I mean, ah, it didn’t cost ME a dime!

I also checked out ZipZap as well – from Industry Corporation, friends of Snakehead Games. I can appreciate some asteroid exploding hijinx, lemme tell ya.

Coliseum

Speaking of feeling smart, I learned something else today. Seems you don’t need plasma cannons to beat up your friends – virtually, of course! – and have fun doing it. Coliseum has seen some HUGE updates recently, with their soon-to-be-famous Foederati system finally being implemented.

Hmm…recruiting my friends to help me take revenge on those who wronged me, and all to the delighted roars of a ferocious crowd of ancient romans, huh? Sign me up!

Revenge, you ask? Oh yes. The first parts of the tutorials, backstory and additional questing is being activated too. Is it a good time to be a Lanista or what?

Snakehead Roster

And how did all this happen? Well, thanks to this nice Taerdin fellow, who was recently added to the Snakehead stable of employees after a sterling internship. Why can’t MY swabbies work half this hard? Well, I suppose if I actually bothered to pay them any better that’d be an incentive…

Star Pirates Updates

Of course, we Free Captains haven’t been forgotten either. Lots of little upgrades here and there to make our lives easier and more interesting, as well as more and better commissions piling up. They certainly seem to be getting ominous. I wonder if there’s something big coming around the corner?

Well, at least ONE big thing definitely will be. You didn’t hear it from me, dear Journal, but the scuttlebutt is a second Ascension story might finally be on the table, with work starting in early September. I can hardly wait!

Now, let’s see…was there more? Lasers, rum, explosions…heh, sounds fine to me. Don’t mind if I do~

This is Captain Athena, signing off for now!

Free Captain’s Log Stub: Bind To Install

Free Captainā€™s Log (Space Date – August 23, 2198)
(Captain Athena’s Personal Log)

So I’ve just got off the horn with the AI Council. We’re overhauling our tech, it seems, and I was confused about what it all meant until I got a hold of one of them…Splinter…Splinter of…Splinter Cord? Something like that. Anyway, Bind To Install, it’s called. And it’s a lot less scary than it sounds.

When the upgrade goes through on September 4th, all upgradable rare-or-higher items you’ve got installed – that is, that haven’t been upped to Mk I or higher – is going to be converted to a “Mk 0” format. Everything in your INVENTORY stays as is, and you can sell and trade it as before – but if you’re going to plug it into your ship, it has to be “activated”, converted into a Mk O component, at which point it will only “work” for you. An active component, then, can’t be loaned to another Free Captain or given away.

Look at it this way. Imagine a box. You know exactly what’s in it, but as soon as you pop the seal, the item inside belongs to you. It’ll only work for you. Before then, you can use it to upgrade items you already have, sell it and trade it, but once the seal is broken, it’s yours and yours only. You can sell it back to the AI Council for cost, converted into NOMS, two Mk 0s can be combined into a Mk I, all that. But only you can ever install it.

(I asked if there was someway I could “bind” all my special officers to my ship as well, but Splinter kinda dodged that question. Oh well, I’ll just have to stick with handcuffs and duct tape. It’s served me well so far.)

So what does this mean to me and my fellow Free Captains? Honestly, this “big change” isn’t really changing much at all. The higher-ups are just doing what they need to to keep the Star Pirates economy viable, as they’ve managed to keep it for five years or more now.

Whew! So nothing to worry about, it seems. Those weird readings from out near the Oort cloud, though…ah, but that’s a topic for another log. Time for another drinking contest with my engineer – it’s not like he’s going anywhere…

2165 APB: New “Bind-To-Install” Policy

This communique is for all agents, formerly or presently active. Spread the word – yes, even to your rivals.

While Star Pirates BTI is going live on September 4th, the time of implementation for Spybattle is currently undefined. Any erroneous information you received previously is undoubtedly down to Sons of Earth shenanigans. Shame on them.

In brief, any tool, armour or weapon you currently have equipped that is upgradable, is of rare-or-higher availability and has not already been upgraded to Mk I or better, will be converted to a “Mk 0” equivalent. Everything in your INVENTORY stays as is, and you can sell and trade it as before – but if you’re going to make use of it yourself, it has to be “activated” by conversion to Mk 0 format, at which point it will only “work” for you and cannot be used if loaned or given away.

Here’s an analogy. Think of a box. You know exactly what’s in it, but as soon as you pop the seal, the item inside belongs to you. It’ll only work for you. Before then, you can use it to upgrade items you already have, sell it and trade it, but once the seal is broken, it’s yours and yours only. You can sell it back to the game-at-large at cost, convert it into AWEs, two Mk 0s can be combined into a Mk I, all that. But only you can ever equip it.

(And no, we’ve already looked into it, and I’m sorry to say your Underworld Contacts cannot be “bound” in the same way. The lawyers say you’ll have to use whatever current measures you’re using to keep them from absconding from your “employment”, hohoho…)

And just what does this mean to you and your fellow agents? Honestly, this “big change” isn’t really changing much at all. The higher-ups are just doing what they need to to keep the 2165 economy viable, as they’ve managed to keep it up until this point.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we implement this necessary change. And be sure and keep a careful eye out for *REDACTED*, instances of *ERROR: INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE* and whatever you do, do NOT provoke the *SO SECRET, WE’RE NOT EVEN KIDDING*. Otherwise, everything will be fine.

Stay safe out there, Agents!
(Pan-Agency Liaison – Codename: P454)

The Seventeenth and Feeling Fine

Do you hear that sound, Snakehead fans? The buzzing? The clanking and grinding of nanotech pistons? The tip-tappety-tap of futuristic typewriters running out of dark matter ink? …sorry, was I going somewhere with this?

Oh, well, anyway. This week, the following people deserve your praise and admiration. THEM AND THEM ALONE

Spybattle 2165
Level 70: Bignasty

Star Pirates
Level 50: Nairdowell
Level 60: conan, Samael Venom of God
Level 70: Zayden
Level 140: Medon

Revenge Of The Nerds!

Wanna hear something awesome? Word Nerds: Tap & Spell Words is back with a vengeance on Google Play and the App store! Hit the ol’ anthill and see what you think, Snakehead fans!

Notable leveling this week is mostly in space – not to worry, I’m sure those sneaky spies are planning something. They always are. Plenty of tricks up their stylish cyberpunkish sleeves and all…

Star Pirates
Level 50: Leicontis, Wicked Whiskers, Miguelv87
Level 60: Globug, Musashi
Level 80: StarWolf
Level 130: Medon
Level 260(!!!): Gilmore25

Expect plenty more story developments in our browser and facebook games as the respective plots thickens, Snakehead fans. Crystalline horrors and strange readings are but the tip of the iceberg…and back in time, the tragic saga of your plucky lanista is soon set to start playing out…