Hey, eSports!

eSports? Esports? Osperts? Whatever we’re calling them these days it’s become pretty obvious the gaming community has come bursting into the mainstream along with the immovable  zeitgeist stalwarts of skateboarding and pogs.

Seriously though, take a look over here for what I’m talking about. This December, everyone’s favourite channel (CBS) takes a swing at publicising the wide wacky world of sports, as defined by digital programmers and power sockets.

What a time to be alive! Hang the banners! Throw the parties! Sip the champagne and count all the eggs before they are hatched!  

It appears eSports are quickly cementing themselves as the next big entertainment sensation- primed and ready to pop up into everyone’s news feeds. If we’re not careful, however, it appears the things we’re all so passionate about may fall to the wayside along with the likes of Myspace and Planking.

The danger lies within treating it much like a regular sport, and not respecting the diversity that gaming (both PC/Console/Mobile or otherwise) bring to the table. Yes, ‘Hardcore’ gaming enthusiasts will argue that the console and mobile platforms require less skill since, as frequently stated, the ‘Machine does much of the work for you’, a sentiment i’m sure shared between billiard grandmasters as they watch a symphony of clicks simulating the skills obtained via endless nights spent in pool halls.

Herein lies the strength, does it not? The games are the mostly identical, but platforms were fundamentally built to do different things- whether they were designed to be portable, maximum setting beast-machines or casual entertainment. It’s the diversity that needs celebration.

eSports aren’t like other sport leagues (although they may have a bit more in common than you might think) in that gaming doesn’t just do ONE thing. They aren’t just first person shooters. They aren’t just mobile tap-a-thons. It’s an eclectic mix of genres, styles and personalities to go with them. We’ve all seen fads come in and burn out; Unlike many of the trends in recent memory the best way to keep things fresh and innovative in the public eye is to be exactly those things: Fresh and Innovative, with one’s own personality at the forefront.

You know the cliche of what angry COD players looks like. Don’t be those people. If you’re on the road to taking your game (whatever it may be) to a competitive or semi-competitive level, understand that you carry with you an obligation to the gamers who came before you to represent what game you play, what platform you play it on, and your community as well. It’s not enough that you win, but with eSports beginning its ascent towards the glitz and glamour of the mainstream, it’s important that we, as a community, move in a manner befitting the cream of the crop as if someone were watching our every move. Because trust me, they are.

But that’s not a big deal, right Twitch Fam?

If you like the ZeMind Games Blog, feel free to follow us on social media for an inside look at what we do here at the studio. We promise you won’t be disappointed!


Send in the clones!

Recently sent to me was a link detailing an unsubtle ‘Ripoff’ of the immensely popular first person shooter/Moba/Comic book smackdown/Rock-Paper-Scissors simulator from Blizzard called Overwatch. Understandably, from a creative standpoint, it’s easy to think about why this would make developers someone a little upset.

Let’s rewind the clock a second and deliver a quick peek at everyone’s favourite dinosaur film for an accurate summation as to what really irks the gaming development community via Dr. Ian Malcolms’ character portrayed by the timeless Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic park:

“You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now–

He proceeds to bang on the table before continuing.

–you’re selling it, you wanna sell it.



That about ties a bow on things, doesn’t it? Now, regardless of your thoughts as to how deeply cloning titles affects the industry (the debate will rage far past the last star in the universe imploding) nowhere is this more rampant than the mobile games market. One need only throw a rock in any direction before hitting a number of Flappy Bird pastiche programs that still remain in circulation in the play/IOS store. It’s important to note here that we’re not discussing piracy (another topic for another time), but the cloning of mobile titles, specifically ones that do very well.

There are a lot of them.

I urge you to think twice about the negative effects of picking up a cloned title. What do I mean by ‘Clone Title’? Skins. All about the skins. It’s completely fine if the game BUILDS on an existing idea, mechanic or property- such things are necessary for the development of games as a whole (we wouldn’t have the latest Mass Effect series without Link’s adventures throughout 1986’s Legend of Zelda, after all). But if the only difference is an aesthetic, and the rest of the game remains unchanged, please reconsider your purchase.

You might save a buck or two, but the damage this does reaches further than you might think. Games that sell well are, in turn, more likely to be promoted due to their likelihood of being placed on a ‘Best Seller’ list. Games that re-skin titles and offer them up for free are also quite damaging, as their open availability discourages the purchase of actual developers’ game at all. Catching the eyes of the general public means someone else is likely to do the same to them, which starts the entire process over again. As you can probably tell, this leaves the original developer in the dust, having pumped countless hours, weeks or even years of their lives into a title with little-to-no return on investment.

All this can be simply summed up in a request for you to do the right thing and purchase the game proper from the developers you want to support, especially the smaller ones. On the mobile market, it’s almost always a negligible cost bump that goes a long way in securing the financial security many of the smaller developers (or developer, as is often the case). Support your smaller developers. They need you.

-Charlie Ze Soapbox Standing Enthusiast

If you like the ZeMind Games Blog, feel free to follow us on social media for an inside look at what we do here at the studio. We promise you won’t be disappointed!


Where have all the good campaigns gone?

“Alas, poor campaigns! I knew them, Gamers; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; they hath borne me on their back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?” – Everyone playing solo campaigns. Seriously though, it was paraphrased from some dude named ‘Bill Wigglestick

They are a dying breed, no doubt about it. I, for one, remember the era of times gone by, wherein the word ‘multiplayer’ meant connecting our Gameboys together with nothing but hopes, prayers, tears, and occasionally a link cable. Oh, those were the days!

Alright, so I side a little on the dramatic; How could I not? It seems like the death knells for the solo player campaign are all but upon us. Let’s not pretend you haven’t noticed– It’s incredibly telling of the times when news stories cover the addition of a solo campaign as opposed to just assuming its inclusion like they have in years past. More often than not, our precious solo-handed missions are on their way out with little to no sense of urgency to revive them.

There was a time, not so long ago, where games were essentially a form of interactive film. Their similarities are what attracts a high amount of crossover between the story crafting crowds of both mediums and continuously drives the ‘Video game movie adaptation’ machine (often times to erm, ‘Mixed reviews‘). Games like The Last of Us, Bioshock: Infinite, Fallout and most of the Telltale Games adaptations have provided hours upon hours of well crafted, well executed and character driven stories filled with touching moments, gripping setpieces and many a moral dilemma left long after the final credits roll. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a story kinda guy. It’s important to me to know why my gaming character does/can do what they do.

At any rate, it seems the reason many of these games stand out is because of their dwindling competition. So what exactly happened here? With the largest developers currently leaning towards a model driven heavily by online interaction with other players, our precious offline ‘alone’ time has taken a back seat to the all mighty micro-transaction.

Here at ZeMind games, we keep it simple. We only ever ask for a transaction if A) Your gameplay experience isn’t going to be interrupted by the request and B) The transaction isn’t necessary for you to complete the game. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy!

However, it would be incredibly remiss to say the shift towards micro-transactions is the only reason we’ve arrived at our current place in gaming. The truth is we we pushed the industry in this direction ourselves. Gamers, as a community, have frequently fought against the awkward/loner stereotype, and it appears many developers have actually listened.

Shocking, right? Despite what the internet may spew, developers can and often do, listen.

It might sound like I’m lamenting the death of single player games, but I’m not. Like the dinosaur, solo campaigns evolved. Not extinct, but adapted to fit in the modern world; In the palms of our hands alongside our numerous social media apps to be exact. If you really do miss a single player experience you should know where to find them- Usually tucked into your front pocket somewhere. There’s nothing wrong with the way the industry is moving, but for those of us who hunt for some unplugged down time, you usually need not look further than your index finger.

-Charlie Ze Newbie

If you like the ZeMind Games Blog, feel free to follow us on social media for an inside look at what we do here at the studio. We promise you won’t be disappointed!



Well it’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

Where were we? Oh right, you wanted updates on our awesome new game title- Well you came to the right place!

Our lovely top-down RTS influenced Tower Defense mobile game as previously mentioned will feature several hours of story-driven gameplay, and, also as previously mentioned, takes place in a fantasy world where warring kingdoms going to battle over a suspicious packages.

Let’s get to the meat- A few updates:

A) We’ve created much of the story, and backstory, and pre-backstory and post-backstory.
Trust me, it’s there. It’s also a little funny. While the script is isn’t finalized rest assured you’ve got a long campaign to look forward to especially by mobile game standards!

B) For the most part, we’ve created many of the set pieces and laid the foundation for much of the background stages that you’ll see in Versus. Much of it has taken on a cartoony design, which really adds to the whimsical feel of the game and the charming sense of humour (see below).

C) HUZZAH! Have you seen our artwork lately? It’s looking pretty sharp. Many of the minds here at ZeMind Game Studio are notably strong when it comes to the art department of game design (Follow us on our Instagram for more screengrabs and pictures of our adorable dogs!).

E) Oh what’s that? You want MORE? Oh, by all means scroll away. Check out a few of these preliminary animation tests we’ve got going on, both of units you’ll use to blow each other to smithereens. These are pretty early versions, so expect a big change upon release!

“Versus” Test animation 1

Seriously can’t wait to see you playing this game, it is going to be awesome!

Charlie Ze Newbie

You can interact with Charlie, as well as the studio itself via social media accounts here: