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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Mikey Walker

So who are Aphelio, and what are we doing?

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Well first off, that’s a difficult question to answer. As a studio, we have many faces, and we’re doing many things at once. But I’ll give it a shot.

On any given day, at heart we are a passionate indie games studio working on developing games which if we were the customer, they would be our favourite games. That’s who we are. But also on any given day, we are a super-efficient, gun-for-hire digital agency who can make you anything you want: the coolest websites, the most stand out graphics and media as well as ahead of the curve apps and games. It’s hard to be both, but we’re managing it as we learn and grow.

We truly are both of these things. But who Aphelio really are, is a band of three individuals who have started this journey together with a common mission. And rather than talk about each of us individually, I’m going to explain what we are collectively bringing to the games industry and wider businesses industries as a whole.

Aphelio represent a fresh take on things. The games industry is all over the place at the moment, and rather than analyse what’s going wrong or right with the industry and look outwards, I’m going to look inwards at what we can do to change it. Starting with our philosophy.

Basically, we’ll do anything just to be different. Different is better. Different is what makes the world a fun place. Being different is part of our mission.

What we aim to do is simply offer an alternative to what’s already out there. We don’t bash it, we don’t criticise it, and we don’t knock it. All we want to do is give you guys something different. That is our mission, and what we as a company bring to the table.

So how are we doing on this mission?

Well, to be honest, we haven’t even reached the starting grid yet. We have been developing our core technologies over the last few months and are at the point where were almost ready to test our game engine with a simple but fun game.

Our first mission (regarding our own products) is to launch this game, test our HTML5 engine, and get our cross platform multiplayer working. We have chosen a relatively simple yet fun game to launch first, as we want to keep problems on the games design side of things as smooth as possible, while we tackle the mammoth, daunting, and highly ambitious task of integrating cross platform multiplayer.

Think of our first release as a test run for the engine to check everything is in place. Once we have that game up and running in multiplayer, then we will be at the starting grid ready to put the pedal to the metal once the lights go green and start churning out games like there’s no tomorrow. This first game is just the beginning.

But all this highly creative vision actually exists in the real world, and whilst we have time to develop this amazing technology, like all game developers we need to eat, and eat we shall. This is because we have made the conscious decision to undertake some exciting contract work to develop some inspirational apps and websites whilst also working on our own products and game engine, hence our status as a ‘gun-for-hire’. This focus therefore completes our strategy as a business, and is a piece of advice I would recommend to any games studio or any business for that matter in order to survive.

Working with clients in this way has been great for us. We’ve met some interesting people, designed for customers other than our own and we’ve also gotten to see the world outside of our indie studio ‘bubble’. And we’ve had some fun and learnt a few things along the way.

We’ll keep you updated on our various pieces of work-for-hire in the future, as all of them are interesting in their own way, either through their design or because they are for a good cause (we hope to announce these ones soon!). We can also use the technology we develop on these projects to help build our own games engine technology, and similarly we can use the technology we develop for our own games on future projects, so it’s really a win-win for Aphelio and you as the players and customers.

To summarise, those two focuses are essentially who we are and what we are doing at the moment. This is how a real indie games company works, this is real life. I hope you have enjoyed reading this insight, and I hope other indie developers like to see that they’re not alone. If they and you the community can learn from our experience over the coming blogs, then we will be very happy.

On that note, we’re going to be blogging very regularly as we think it is imperative to uphold our transparent culture as a studio, and we hope to interest you and entertain you as much as we can (comedy relief blogs to follow).

That’s all for now, thanks for reading I hope you are beginning to understand us more as you begin this epic journey with us. One day you can be one of those people who claim “I was there for the first blog post!”

Which reminds me, sign up to our Test Pilots Initiative here to test our games for us in the future and then your claim will be legit:


[b]See you in the stratosphere,

P.S. Has anyone figured out where the name Aphelio comes from?


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Hi guys, our latest blog is now up on our site: http://aphelio.com/blog/


Mike Edited by AphelioLtd

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