lab notes

N-Fusion Interactive gets iOS friendly!

Apple fans never fear, we got you on this!

Both parties were excited for the launch of this site, with it’s highly custom design, Flash animations and playful yet powerful interface. However, N-Fusion, being an iOS game developer, definitely needed their website to not only be compatible with iOS devices, but also have the same visually stunning effect and intuitive design.

Graphite Lab Displays Work on Bēhance!

We are pleased to show off our work using the Bēhance Network!

Bēhance is a social network geared towards creative professionals. It is a great way for artists and art teams to consolidate their projects into one place. Head on over to our profile and see what I mean! Bēhance also gives you a nice splash page, optimized for use in an iFrame, for you to display your portfolio highlights anywhere on your web site, like so.

Graphite Lab is Hiring!

Graphite Lab has open positions of Gameplay Programmer and Interactive Developer.

Gameplay Programmer

Graphite Lab is seeking a versatile, intelligent Gameplay Programmer with a range of development and project implementation experience. Applicants must possess the skills necessary to create quality, easy-to-use code on strict time schedules.

Gamification … the debate continues.

A popular article over at softwareadvice.com takes another pass at the application of game mechanics to other tasks… aka Gamification. Author Vincent Beerman posts a few great quotes:

Like the Industrial Revolution, early attempts at gamifying the enterprise have been slow, clunky, simplistic and sometimes downright counterproductive.

Cardinal Health’s MPI Radiation Calculator hit App stores

Cardinal Health’s MPI Radiation Calculator hit App stores today on behalf of Coolfire Media – BlackBerry version crafted by Graphite Lab. The app uses the BlackBerry WebWorks framework – utilizing existing technologies to offer features such as pull messaging and data caching all from a HTML/CSS/JS base.

MPI Radiation Calculator on the BlackBerry App World

Secret!

We’ll tell you why this post is important later!!!

Gamification – quite the debate.

Lots of discussion about this new-fangled thing called Gamification. The gamification of something is the act of using game mechanics in everyday applications and situations to boost engagement, fun and good behaviors.

Gamify argues:

Reward programs are perfect to generate engagement and loyalty for your brand. They are good incentive for your users to come back to your product, be rewarded for positive and meaningful actions, invest more time in your application.

Web Design – Internship

Graphite Lab is now offering a Web Design internship! The ideal candidate will have a creative spirit with a mind for business, and an incredible passion to learn new things.  This is an unpaid part-time position, available for 20 hours of work per week over a 3 month period.

Are Console Games Dying?

IGN reports on comments made by Peter Vesterbacka of Angry Birds fame on a panel at South By Southwest:

“console games are dying along with the concept of paying $50+ for a game.”

I think both concepts are false, though not completely made without grounds. Understanding that Angry Birds has sold over 100 million copies, I can understand why this comment was made, but 30 years of modern console development isn’t going to just go away ’cause some birds started knocking down walls one dollar at a  time.

The Best Place to be for Game Development

Graphite Lab is off to the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference to meet with the world’s greatest in game development. Our veteran team has nearly 40 published titles and over 5M units sold.  In addition, the team has worked with 20 acclaimed clients for both domestic and international releases. We have a proven record of on-time and on-budget delivery across multiple platforms.

As for Online games, Mobile, Social, or Download – our team delivers creative playgrounds that entertain visitors as well as educate. We’re looking for opportunities to turn common online spaces into addictive, entertaining romps through the digital landscape.

If you are looking for games or art services we would like to meet with you at the conference.  Feel free to download our one page Studio Brief and contact us by phone at 636.751.9056 or email at info@graphitelab.com.

Why Ad Agencies are Dying

I attended the CreativeNEXT round table discussion yesterday in St. Louis to hear from a panel of veterans in the agency business share their ideas about the state of the industry in St. Louis. Graphite Lab is not an ad agency, but area agencies look to us for our game design experience as it relates to usability on the web. So, I thought it would be good for us to understand the concerns and forecasts from some established studios in St. Louis.

I was most interested to hear their plans to move into a digital space as a way to stay relevant and escape the death that awaits creative teams that don’t evolve.

Goodbye Render Button. Hello HLSL Shader!

Integration of HLSL (High Level Shader Language) into 3DS Max and other major 3D packages have been helpful tools for 3D artists over the past few years.  They work by offloading the rendering process to the GPU thru DirextX to provide fairly accurate “in-game” previews of 3D models right in your viewport in real time. Artists were given a way to avoid complicated light setups, render settings, material settings, and long render times; all while .  What’s not to love?

5 Must See Websites for Artists

I get asked a few times per month what sources I follow to keep inspired in the areas of art, design, gaming, etc. While I love Game Developer and HOW– I have been ditching the paper and press a bit over the last few months and have been visiting a few specific websites quite frequently.

Here are 5 that you absolutely must have in your online Rolodex of websites:

What’s in a name?

Where do they come from? Why are they important? Why are we Graphite Lab? I have answers.

Names are an important part of business. They can communicate your mission, or define ties your location. They can communicate your services if well articulated, or they can cause confusion if you steer too close to the edge of edginess. And, of course they can mean nothing at first, but become something once your company becomes something.

It is interesting to ask about established brands. What is their etymology? Behind the naming of every famous brand, there is an interesting history concealed that you might not know.

Our Mission

Graphite Lab was born out of necessity
to create beautiful things.

As a studio under the Black Lantern Holdings umbrella, we show our roots of game design in all that we do. We built Graphite Lab to focus on services that could supplement our game development – but wanted to place the studio in a location that would benefit from a new digital studio to cater to mid-size businesses.

Seeing that the St. Louis area had a few large marketing firms but fewer firms that focus on the mid-size business we planted our feet firmly in St. Louis soil and opened Graphite Lab.

We now create all types of digital centerpieces using a blend of traditional technique and modern technology.

We believe that unconventional creative approaches produce more powerful emotional reactions. So, we design art that is aesthetically clear, unexpectedly simple, yet distinctively stylized. We create what we love – art for games and the web. When we start new projects we first understand what it is that you want to achieve and then set out to achieve those goals in the most elegant, yet memorable ways.

From the most simplistic logo to large-scale game designs our goal is the same: produce work people will  love.

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