Cryogenic Sleep Mode

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Concept Art Wall from 2011

It has been nearly eight years of making games, and we’ve reached a crossroad. Our search for a sustainable and ethical business model as an indie game studio had it’s up and downs, but never fully blossomed into long-term sustainability.

Making indie games—really any kind of independent creative venture—is hard. Making money from them is harder. Making a decent living is even harder. Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about the sacrifices that are required to keep our business going, but more importantly, if we were willing to continue making these sacrifices (We’ll try to write more about this in the future).

After months—years really—of contemplating this question, we’ve made a decision to take a step back and stop working on our game studio full time.

We don’t, however, see this as the end of the road. We’d love to keep making games, but for now it has to be a hobby, not what we rely on to feed our families.

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Spell Rift – 2011

So, what we are doing is putting our game studio into a sort of cryogenic stasis. You’ll still be able to buy our games, but we won’t be working on anything new. At least full time anyways.

While brain games are super important, there are countless other worthwhile things we’d love to work on that address issues of greater gravity (and projects that not only involve being able to pay rent, but perhaps could consistently afford us health insurance too).

Blockwick 2 - 2014

Blockwick 2 – 2015

We are endlessly grateful to everyone who has played our games and made it possible for us to work for all these years. Thank you forever. We hope to one day cook up more brain food for all of you and the hungry masses.

World Peace,

Kieffer Bros.

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Aqueduct – 2010

P.S. If you know of the existence of any mobile game publishers who are interested in premium puzzle games, let us know. We still have a bunch of awesome game projects on the back-burner that we’d love to work on full-time.

P.P.S. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay posted on any new game projects we may release.

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Obscura – Insane Puzzles for Blockwick 2

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The gloves are off with Blockwick 2’s new puzzle pack, Obscura. It’s $2 for eighty puzzles from medium to insane difficulty. A lot of these puzzles we couldn’t put in the original game because they were too hard. This is for our diehard fans, not for the faint of heart.

Our apologies it took so long to ship Obscura. In truth a big part of the hold up was that the really tough puzzles are very brain intensive, multiplying the amount of time it takes to test them.

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Some of the illuminations may seem flat-out unsolvable. We are fully expecting to get lots of email and tweets, saying “Impossible!”. But rest assured they are all possible; our finest people have worked them all out. 🙂 As always, our advice is when you get stumped on a puzzle, take a break. Come back to it later. If all else fails, check out YouTube — several friendly folks have taken the liberty of doing quite a few walkthroughs.

And if you haven’t gotten Blockwick 2 yet, buy it now for $5 on iOS, Android, or Desktop

Note: Obscura is currently only available in the iOS version. We hope to get to the Android and desktop versions soon.

Blockwick 2 Picked by Apple as “Gorgeous Game”

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We are very delighted to report that Blockwick 2 was picked by Apple for a “gorgeous games” promotion. Starting October 1st it will be on an exclusive sale on Apple’s the App Store. This is an amazing opportunity to pick up our premium puzzle game for a ludicrously low price (80% off). We’d normally never discount our game to such a ridiculously low price, but when Apple asks, it’s hard to refuse. Tell your deal-hunting, puzzle-gaming friends to pick it up now while the price is low. The sale ends on the 7th of October. Get Blockwick 2 on the App Store.

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A T-Shirt for Blockwick

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Yes, it’s official, after seven years of making apps, we’ve finally come out with a t-shirt. The design was a collaboration between Michael and myself and was created in honor of the Blockwick universe.

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You may recall a while ago we were planning on making a Blockwick 2 t-shirt, but because of some rookie mistakes we did not get it printed. Back then we made three designs, and we couldn’t pick our favorite so we ended up doing a poll.

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The design that won the poll was pretty fun, but it turns out that we were using too many colors for the screen printer. So we decided to put the t-shirt project on hold until we had a little more time to work on a design that we were happy with.

So this time around to simplify we put one together, and sent it straight over to Cotton Bureau. If you aren’t familiar with this company, we’d like to tell you about them. They are a small screen printing shop based out of Pittsburgh, PA. They focus on small batch, quality product, and have been great to work with. The unique thing is how they decide what to print.

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Anybody can submit a design to their editorial team; they pick the best submissions to put up on the home screen. At any given time there are around 72 designs for customers to choose from. The trick is that out of all the designs, they only print ones that get at least 12 orders. Each design stays up for two weeks, and any that get 11 orders or less get scrapped. The downside is that there are lots of great designs that don’t get printed, and the onus to sell the t-shirt really rests with the designers who make the tees.

We are guessing for an indie company of three people that’s been around for seven years we should be able to sell at least 12 t-shirts, but it’s a bit more difficult than you’d expect, especially for lone designers. Anyways, we’d love it if you picked up a Blockwick t-shirt (we are almost up to twelve, but we need a few more orders). Head over to cottonbureau.com to pre-order now.

Update 9/25/2015: The t-shirt is going to print (yay!), but unfortunately if you did not get an order in before the deadline, you are out of luck. Its a one-run, limited-edition tee afterall. If you missed the train, and really want some KB threads, let us know; we may be exploring less transient methods of selling t-shirts in the future.

Huge Puzzle Drop for BW2

Basics Screenshot

A very big update is here for Blockwick 2. We’ve added all 144 puzzles from Blockwick 2 Basics. These are easier puzzles that are great for a more casual experience (also more accessible for kids). It’s our way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported us in our quest to create a premium puzzle game experience.

On top of the gargantuan puzzle drop, we are including a French and Spanish translation of the game. A big thanks to Ross, Vicente, Ehrlichmann, and Jonathan for the magnanimous, linguistic assistance. If you’d like us to continue adding puzzles to Blockwick 2 please don’t hesitate to tell your friends. If we reach 100,000 downloads, we’ll definitely add even more (and maybe even a puzzle editor). Tell your friends!

Get Blockwick 2 on the Apple App Store
Get Blockwick 2 on Google Play

Spanish Translation - BW2

Working on a new blog. brb.

Saluton. We’re currently working on setting up this new blog and hope to transfer our posts here soon. Ĝis revido.

in News | 20 Words