The Banner Arrived

We just purchased a company banner! We have a few events that we will be going to this year. Since, we have to decorate our booths at these shows we figured it is about time that we have an official company banner with the Backward pieS logo on it. Probably something every Indie Dev Company should own. We will have demos of our games Let There Be Life and Dukes and Dirigibles. You can learn more about the demos we will be attending on our events page. Here is a picture of our Banner. CGwqKGDWQAEJPMS

Full Steam Ahead!

We are happy to announce that Let There Be Life will be available on Steam this Friday (February 13th, 2015) at noon EST!

You can find its store page here.

The Windows build will incorporate many of the updates we added to the mobile version, including streamlined tutorials, a more open level structure, and enhanced procedural generation of branches. Not only that, but we are now supporting Mac as well. :)

If you already purchased Let There Be Life from a different storefront, you will be able to download the latest version from there as well. Or, if you prefer, we will be uploading keys for Steam copies of the game to those storefronts so you can add it to your Steam library at no extra cost.

Exciting times!

Hacked! :(

We’d like to apologize to anyone who has gotten malware warnings for trying to visit our website over the past two weeks. Seems someone hacked into our site through Worpress, so we had to pull everything down and add things back bit-by-bit (not like, computer bits, that would take forever!). After that, we needed to have Google review the site to remove the warning.

So right now, chunks of the site are still missing because we pulled out all the WordPress plugins we had been using (for things like image galleries). Our domain host told us that most hacking attempts go through the plugins, because they may not be secure.

Please bear with us while we reconstruct the site!

It took months of porting work to refine  the touch controls (and make a few additions), but Let There Be Life is now out on Android!

Google Play Store
Amazon App Store

The game actually released a couple weeks ago, but we couldn’t even announce here it because we haven’t been able to get into WordPress (obviously, that is all sorted out now :).

We’re really proud of the Android release – playing the game on a touchscreen feels really natural. As part of the porting process, we got (and in some cases needed) to make some additions:

– Multitouch support
– View-scrolling
– Left-handed mode
– Daytime cycle for the background
– Post images of finished trees to Twitter and Facebook!

It sounds like a cliche, but if you enjoyed the Windows version Let There Be Life, we think you’re going to love it on mobile. :)

Waiting and Updating!

Let There Be Life Mobile

Let There Be Life Mobile

On May 14th we submitted the mobile version of Let There Be Life to IndieCade with the possibility of being chosen for IndieCade’s showcase at E3.

“The IndieCade Festival is the biggest independent game celebration in the nation. This premiere event is held each October in the Los Angeles Area and is open to the industry and to the public. IndieCade offers a unique opportunity to play and preview the latest innovative indie games of all types and rub shoulders with the creators of the newest games, as well as legends from across the industry.”

E3 is the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games and related products. The show is owned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies, publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet.”

We have been assigned a juror, and now we are waiting to hear back if we are going to be one of the games featured in the festival. We can’t help feeling a little anxious, because our game and our all hard work are being judged. To pass the time and to kill nervous energy we have been busy updating our submission. We have until June 15th to keep updating.

The great thing about updating our submission is that each update we make gets us one step closer to the finished mobile port.

So fingers crossed, here is to hopefully getting into the festival! And even if we are not chosen to be in the festival we will have the mobile version of our game near completion, which is good too. :)

Our 1st Bundle!

We are  in the LazyGuysStudio Bundle “Blurred Shapes”! It’s exciting to have Let There Be Life in a group of other indie games. Being in a bundle is a great way for people to try our game for a low price of just $2.99 ($2.49 if you buy it in the 1st 20hrs) along with 13 other games, plus you may be chosen for a random prize.

You can always spend more money to show your appreciation for the hard working  indie developers, so that they can keep on making great games for you to enjoy. (Indie Devs need to eat too ;) If you contribute more than the $2.99 price the top 3 contributors get Steam Wallet Credits, and the wonderful feeling of helping out Indie Devs!

The bundle is available now through June 8th, 2014. So go help feed some starving Indie Devs!


Click Image for More Information

Art Show

Aside from working on porting Let There Be Life, I just recently submitted a piece of my personal artwork to the 9th Annual Art Show at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove.

This was my first time entering an art show. I submitted a pen and ink drawing on a black walnut wash titled “Connected.” Elements of my design were inspired by the textures of an osage orange and a wall in the  barn at Mill Grove Sanctuary. While working on the piece it started to look like waterways, a tree and the dryness of a cracked dessert. I named the drawing “Connected” as a reminder that we need to care for our waterways, otherwise our planet can end up a desert of undrinkable water or a place where no trees or life will survive.

I was so happy to learn that my drawing made it through the submission process and was accepted into the show. It is such an honor to see my artwork hanging in a room with so many other talented artists. “Connected” sold the opening night of the show which made me even more thrilled, although I will miss seeing it on my wall at home!

I’m looking forward to showing and possibly selling more of my work in the future. I’m already looking into selling prints of some of my other works.


Porting to a Mobile Touch Interface

It’s tempting to think, when porting a “click-and-drag” game from PC to mobile, that your control scheme update will be as simple as hiding the cursor, but the reality is far from it.

We knew from the start that the first major change in Let There Be Life would be that when selecting a branch for placement, it would need to be offset from the touch position so that the player’s finger doesn’t obscure the branch itself. This is not just important  from a visual standpoint, but essential for being able to see/align each branch’s attach point.

What quickly became apparent is that some branches looked too close to the finger, but others not. We realized that branches pointing away from the finger need a greater offset so the attach point is a comfortable distance from the finger.

Looks almost done…it's not!

That was a good start, but we still had work to do.

The next problem to be dealt with was the inability to consistently place certain branches near the top of the trees without risking the finger leaving the touchable screen area. This was particularly evident when the branch pointed up, such that the attach point was at the bottom. Compounding the issue was if the player clicked on the upper part of the branch-selection-zone (we maintain the touch point offset from the center of the branch, because all efforts to reduce it upon dragging felt awkward).

To combat this, we amplify the branches current y-position with respect to the finger as the player drags it upward. The amount of this amplification is dependent on both the current position of the finger (increasing the higher the finger moves) and the initial touch offset (if the touch is towards the bottom of the selection area, we don’t need to amplify much; if the touch is towards the top of the selection area, we amplify more because the branch is starting off lower relative to the finger).

No/little vertical change.










Note how the branch has moved up.










All these changes have us in a pretty good place. While playing the game on a touch screen is already satisfying, there’s still work to be done refining the controls (and I’ll write about that once we’re done). Nevertheless, it’s already exciting to see the game on mobile and we are super-psyched to introduce Let There Be Life to the mobile arena!

– Jay

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I think it takes a village to raise an Indie Game! I want to thank all the journalists, and video journalists (YouTubers and streamers) and all the people out there who shared and spread the word about Let There Be Life and Indie Games in general. Without all these people we wouldn’t be able to make the games known. That is a big part of keeping a studio running, because they help us get sales.

We are so happy that our Greenlight campaign for Let There Be Life is moving along at a steady rate. It has only been 15 days and we are at 21% of the way to the top 100! Thanks, for everyone who voted “Yes”. I love reading all the kind comments that people wrote about our game on the Greenlight page. To help us with Greenlight you can vote here.

We had several articles written about our game including Indie Game Magazine (IGM),, GamerWife, VG 24/7.  We were mentioned in Joystiq, which was a wonderful surprise. It’s always fun to wake up and see that someone out there took the time to play your game, and write about it. I want to give big Cheers to all the journalists out there who work really hard covering little Indie Games. I know that we really appreciate all the kind words about our game – I started printing out the articles to keep in a Let There Be Life scrapbook. :) It brings much joy knowing that people enjoy playing our game.

Along with the written articles about Let There Be Life, we had our first YouTube review. It was done by Indie Geek, and I encourage everyone to watch his video and subscribe to his channel. The video can be found here. He worked really hard on it and it is very well done. Big cheers to you Indie Geek!

We also have a lot of people on Twitter that have been retweeting and favoriting our tweets about Let There Be Life. I want to thank everyone who has been helping and showing support for Let There Be Life.