We are a young team of game developers, working on our first game title Schein. It all started as a university project at the FH Technikum Wien, in Austria, and has developed into a spectacular project and a promising indie game.

Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Schein is Out Now

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Jul 14th, 2014


Today is the glorious day of Schein's release!

Three years have passed, since the idea for this game was hatched into the world. We have raised and nurtured it and now it has grown to spread its wings and soar high.

For us the whole process of development was one huge adventure with almost as many pitfalls as we had successes, lots of laughs and a couple of tears as well. Today we wish to share this part of our lives with you and let you embark on an adventure with the young man and the Irrlicht, who have been our faithful companions for such a long time.

There is no need to wait any longer - get Schein on any of the following platforms! And for those with great love for music there's the Special Edition that includes both the game and the soundtrack, which was so masterfully composed by leed:audio.



To also find us on Steam soon, give us a ‘Yes’ on Greenlight!

And finally, to celebrate this memorable day, we present you the brand new release Teaser of Schein, created by our friends at theyshootmusic.at.

Greetings from the Schein Team

Report abuse Schein's Release Date is decided!

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Jul 1st, 2014

It has been a long wait, but now after three years of development we have fixed the release date for Schein. July 14, 2014 will be the big day - mark your calendars!

Schein will be available for purchase online, as a DRM free download priced at $8.99/€6.99/£5.49. You will find Schein on Humble Store, Desura and many more.

Are you sorely missing Steam on the list? Give us a vote on Greenlight and we'll be there soon!

(Here’s a direct link to Schein in your Steam client.)


Greetings from the Schein Team

Report abuse Letting the Zeppelin Fly

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Jun 20th, 2014

June 20, 2014 | by Tiare Feuchtner

You might have noticed that we snuck in a new logo on the Zeppelin Studio page. Oh what am I saying? NEW logo? That can’t be, because there hasn’t been one until recently. Ok, well.. hey Zeppelin Studio now has a logo!
The design process was quite long and led through many doodles drawn by some of us. Of course we each liked our own doodles best, so we never arrived at a sensible conclusion.

Logo Sketches

Then Flip offered his help, even after he had actually left the team to do his civil service – of course we gladly accepted! His genius mind came up with a design we all felt comfortable with. Some little tweaks on our side followed, and this is the result:

Logo

Of course there are still a thousand things about it that we’re not really happy with. For instance, it’s just too long to use in any square image – and we often need square images! We had the same problem with the Schein logo though, and solved it by simply using the flame icon in those cases. So I’m sure once we’ve created a fitting icon for Zeppelin Studio, those worries will be forgotten.

Report abuse Cryptical Greenlight Stats

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Jun 11th, 2014

June 11, 2014 | by Tiare Feuchtner

Greenlight, for all who don’t know, is the application process for “smaller” developers to get their games on Steam. The system hereby relies on players to vote for the games they wish to see on Steam. (I will not explain what Steam is here – see for yourself!) So anyways, as a developer you get to see this beautiful screen of statistics which shows you how well your game is doing, and I wish to shed some light on this. Among others this screen shows the number of unique visitors, the number of ‘yes’ votes, a pie chart showing the ratio of ‘yes’ votes to ‘no’ votes and most importantly the mysterious “current rank”. I believe this value shows the percent of the way to the top 100 – leading to believe that when this value has reached 100% and your game is in the top 100 list, something magical will happen. This magic is called being “greenlit” and means, that the game can be officially distributed through Steam from then on.

Greenlight Stats

It is said however that some games linger in the top ranks for a long while, while others all around them are greenlit. And what’s more, I have heard rumors that some games were even greenlit although they had not reached the company of the glorious top 100. So it would seem, that Steam choose the games they wish to greenlight arbitrarily. They give their thumbs up or thumbs down just as they see fit, but often they do listen to the crowd’s cheer and favor those who are cheered for most loudly. And why wouldn’t they? We can’t be more but grateful for the opportunity they give us.
There was the rumor that Greenlight would be shut down as of 2014, allowing everybody to sell their games over Steam without having to collect players’ votes. This did not prove to be true, but what did happen, is that it has become significantly easier to get through Greenlight. I think in the first four months of this year, more games have been greenlit than in all of 2013. Currently it looks like a batch of 75 games is greenlit at about monthly intervals.

Greenlight Stats

I am aware that our stats are nothing to brag about. But we feel we’re doing quite well. Our calculations show, that we should reach a rank of 100% at about 5700 ‘yes’ votes. We currently receive an average of 30 votes per day, so we should be greenlit in 4 to 5 months. But we expect a boost in our daily votes with every review we get and especially around the time of our release. Also we make a small jump forward each time a new batch of games is greenlit. So there is actually a chance that Schein will be greenlit within a couple weeks of our release date (the date itself is still a secret though). Wouldn’t that be awesome? We’ll stay optimistic!
Well, here we are hoping for Steam to favor us and if you cheer us on loudly, it might happen soon. So if you haven’t voted yet, swing by and give us a ‘yes’!

Schein on Greenlight
Report abuse Schein’s Bootstrap Carousel

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Jun 3rd, 2014

June 3, 2014 | by Tiare Feuchtner

As you might have noticed, we have given Schein’s website a thorough rework at the beginning of this year. The big goal was to replace our bulky website that had multiple pages and way too much content, with a sleek single-page product site. To achieve a neat and flexible design, I decided to create my own WordPress template, with which I could built the page our artist had designed. I chose the Twitter Bootstrap framework, because it allows you to create a responsive layout that scales quite well to different screen sizes. I also liked the possibility of choosing my own components, allowing you to keep the framework quite slim. At least in theory… I actually added a whole lot of stuff that isn’t used on our current page. But you never know when it might come in handy. ;)

Since it was the first time that I ever built a website from scratch, I really had no idea where to start. Downloading Bootstrap was easy enough, but then what? In the end it was all quite simple with the help of this detailed tutorial by Zac Gordon.

The thing I spent most time on was the picture carousel, since I found only little help online, to get it to work the way I wanted. Bootstrap conveniently provides this carousel component and with this sample code I had it working in no time.

html4strict code:
<div id="carousel-example-generic" class="carousel slide" data-ride="carousel">
    <!-- Indicators -->
    <ol class="carousel-indicators">
        <li data-target="#carousel-example-generic" data-slide-to="0" class="active"></li>
        <li data-target="#carousel-example-generic" data-slide-to="1"></li>
        <li data-target="#carousel-example-generic" data-slide-to="2"></li>
    </ol>
    <!-- Wrapper for slides -->
    <div class="carousel-inner">
        <div class="active item">
            <img src=".../image1.jpg" alt="...">
            <div class="carousel-caption">First image</div>
        </div>
        <div class="item">
            <img src=".../image2.jpg" alt="...">
            <div class="carousel-caption">Second image</div>
        </div>
        <div class="item">
            <img src=".../image3.jpg" alt="...">
            <div class="carousel-caption">Third image</div>
        </div>
    </div>
    <!-- Controls -->
   
       
   
   
       
   
</div>

Bootstrap carousel

This is awesome if you have only few pictures to show in your carousel, but we needed something more dynamic, where a varying number of pictures can be easily added and exchanged without editing dozens of lines of code. In the hope that some of you might find it useful, I will go into more detail about this. I found a way to dynamically load the contents of a folder into the carousel. I do this using the php command file_get_contents($dir) to get the names of all the files in the list.
For this to work, you need to make sure, that the folder is not read protected and that it is indexed. Philipp changed those settings for me on the server.

html4strict code:
<?php $dir = get_template_directory_uri() . "/images/carousel/"; #directory containing the pictures
$content = file_get_contents($dir);
$n=0;
preg_match_all("/(a href\=\")([^\?\"]*)(\")/i", $content, $files);
$images_all = $files[2];
$images = array_slice($images_all,1,count($images_all)-1); #list of filenames
?>

<div id="myCar" class="carousel slide carousel-border" data-wrap=true>
    <!-- Wrapper for slides -->
    <div class="carousel-inner">
        <?php for ($x=0; $x<count($images); $x++) {
           $name = $images[$x];?>
            <div id="<?php echo $x?>" class="item <?php if($x==0) echo 'active' ?>">
                <?php if (preg_match('/(.jpg|.gif|.png)/', $name, $matches)) { $path = $dir . $name; ?>
                    <img src="<?php echo $path ?>" alt="<?php echo $name ?>" />
                <?php }?>
               
            </div>
  <?php } ?>
    </div>
...
</div>

One more change I made was to replace the standard indicators that are featured in Bootstrap’s carousel with thumbnails. For this I simply fill the list of indicators with… well the pictures’ thumbnails. This required a couple of extra lines of CSS in the Stylesheet, which are simply too ugly to post here.

Schein carousel

Finally, there was the issue of the scroll bar for navigating through the thumbnails. I mainly use Firefox and the built in scroll bars looked absolutely terrible. I attempted to change their appearance in the stylesheet, which worked for Internet Explorer and Chrome, but had no effect in Firefox. I began to look for a WordPress plugin to style scrollbars, but I got annoyed at all the limitations they had. So I ended up using jscrollpane by simply including the according javascript files and the additional stylesheet. Now I could easily tweak its appearance in CSS. With the helpful documentation on the site I managed to modify the scrolling behaviour, letting it scroll only if the next thumbnail was out of sight and always show the active thumbnail.
I wish to end this blog post with a word of warning: Pay close attention to when and where you include jquery. What I learned the hard way was that you should definitely not include it more than once, and you best do it in the header. Then all javascript will work beautifully.

<!--
type="text/javascript\" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.0/jquery.min.js">
// -->
And one final piece of advice: Debugging is the simplest thing, and you should do it right from the start. In the beginning I had no idea how to do it, and created text output with php or alerts with javascript. Then I tried out the Firefox plugin Firebug and never made text outputs again. Nowadays every browser has a pretty decent built-in page inspector and not only does it let you debug your own code, you can also look at how other pages are made. ;) It’s inspiring, I tell you!

I realize this post was rather more technical than usual, and I apologize to all casual readers. But I hope to give a little insight into our actual daily work, and perhaps it might even be useful to somebody who is plagued by similar problems.

Report abuse Schein is back on Greenlight!

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on May 19th, 2014

Some of you might remember that we have been here before. It's been a while. Back then we were young and still wet behind the ears, but a lot has changed since. We believe Schein deserves a fresh start!

Schein has evolved and improved and become more and more beautiful. The game is complete now, the story is fetching, the colors are more vibrant, and our lights shine brighter than ever in red and blue and green.

Now it's time for Steam to shine its green light on us too - it's up to you though. Say 'yes' and make us succeed! (greenlight.scheingame.com)

Schein on Greenlight

On this important occasion, we have another thing to share:
The official Schein Demo!
Our Dev-Demo has been updated and has reached its final state. It is now finally the official and unchanging Demo of Schein. And we've made the monsters stay at home, so it's absolutely safe! ;)


Finally, there's one last thing we wish to show you.. we've created a brand new trailer for Schein. Take a look! (trailer.scheingame.com) Do you like it?


Schein - Official Gameplay Trailer (May 2014) - Indie DB

Greetings from the Schein Team

Report abuse Long Night of Computer Games in Leipzig

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on May 13th, 2014

May 13, 2014 | by Philipp Schäfer

As some of you may have realized, we went to Leipzig for the „Lange Nacht der Computerspiele“, and it was great!
Since we did not know how many people there would be, or how much interest Schein would receive, we decided that I should go there alone and do a one man show for Zeppelin Studio. I was also accompanied by a member of our audio crew leedaudio (since they are from Leipzig). Luckily everything I needed for our booth fit into my backpack – including the screen.

Lange Nacht

So I hopped onto the next train, which was terribly full, and arrived one day early to drink a beer (okay maybe it was two) with our wonderful audio team. When we arrived at the event location the next day around 3pm, there were already people wandering about and the first started playing just when I finished setting up. But luckily most people arrived at later in the evening, so I had a chance to take this picture of our booth before the lighters were all gone.

Lange Nacht

The hours sped by and we met many german indie developers, press, interested students and surprisingly many families. There were two rooms for us developers, and the rest of the building was outfitted with old game machines, a demo scene cinema and a room for presentations and talks. When I held my presentation at 11pm it was already really difficult for me to talk, because I had already talked nonstop for nearly 7 hours. But wait, there was a moment when the other people did the talking and I only listened. At 7pm some guys from the Indie Arena spoke about their past and how they ended up being game developers (indie- fight anyone?). And since I couldn’t take a picture of my own talk, I’m posting a picture of their talk instead:

Lange Nacht

Featuring Friedrich Hanisch (Rat King), Ronny Burkersroda (Media Seasons), Tassilo (Bumblebee) and Constantin Graf (Rebusmind).
Until 2am there was nearly no break to playing at our table and we collected lots of valuable feedback for our demo and lots of respect for not using any engine. At 2:30am we finally decided we couldn’t talk anymore, so we packed our things and carried everything back through half of Leipzig – which was strangely more difficult than 11 hours earlier.
The Bus back to berlin felt really comfortable compared to the ICE, because I had a seat and did not need to fix a bug in the corridor between two wagons.

By the way, on the 15th of May I will be in Vienna at the Pioneers Unplugged. I hope I will meet one or two of you there! (Apart from the pitches there will be also BBQ – in case this helps your motivation).

Report abuse Sharing Screenshots with the World

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on May 9th, 2014

May 9, 2014 | by Tiare Feuchtner

It might be we’re somewhat slow on the uptake, but we just recently discovered the #ScreenshotSaturday on Twitter.
(Short explanation to whoever might not know: this means that on Saturdays you can post a screenshot of your work on Twitter and if you use the hash tag #ScreenshotSaturday it will be seen by many many people and also automatically appear on numerous lists, pages and blogs.)
Don’t get me wrong, we of course always knew it existed. But we never knew what it meant. Encouraged by a talk at the Amaze Berlin, we finally put our minds to it to try it out. This is our first #ScreenshotSaturday pic, which we posted about 3 weeks ago.

Screenshot Saturday

Lots of retweets and favorites followed and it was even awarded screenshot of the day – that was awesome! So the following week, we posted this beauty.

Screenshot Saturday

Once more people responded with lots of retweets and stars. And we got a couple of new followers too.
We saw that this system seemed to work. Everybody likes pictures and the whole world sharing screenshots one day a week is a wonderful thing! We were hooked.
This was our contribution on the third Saturday.

Screenshot Saturday

Now I’m not telling you this to brag about our pretty pretty screenshots. All I want to say is don’t underestimate the #ScreenshotSaturday! Post a picture of your own project and you will see…

Report abuse Schein - Bug load

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on May 6th, 2014

April 18, 2014 - by Philipp Schäfer

Recently there was an article on Gamasutra highlighting the benefits of blogging. For me the most important thing on a personal side is to reflect upon my own work. And hopefully I see … that I do interesting stuff.

We were at the Imagine Cup German Finals and at the Amaze festival. Others have already written about these two topics. We (including me) are creating marketing assets again. We are also getting our company communication up and are doing more Zeppelin Studio stuff (damn, the Schein joke from the German translation doesn’t work here). But those are all not my topics. Instead I decided to write about the thing that is most important in life … yes: coding.

When no new collision bug gets on my nerves and for once fmod doesn’t refuse to load a sound, I can take my time and improve the background with Flip. We decided to put more and more handmade and hand placed assets into the game. There are also completely new backgrounds for every couple of levels. To avoid occupying even more memory and bore you to death with our loading screen more than we do already (that will be optimized), we needed something we did not before: A lot of hashes and control structures to load our textures. But even then some managed to get strangely wonderful pictures.

bug load

Here is one, drawn by an Intel4000, which was sent to us by our audio crew Leed Audio. It combines some GUI Elements and ads some shader bugs … I am impressed and can’t wait for the first Schein exhibition. If you too have a graphic bug this beautiful, please send it to us!

Report abuse Imagine Cup 2014 German Finals

0 comments by ZeppelinStudio on Apr 5th, 2014

April 5, 2014 | by Tiare Feuchtner

For us the past two days were a little bit like travelling back in time. We were invited to attend the STC (Student Technology Conference) aka. the German Finals of this year’s Imagine Cup. As we arrived in the Microsoft Office in Berlin, we were greeted with lunch bags and goodies, there were young people everywhere and you could taste the excitement in the air – just like it was back in St. Petersburg. We greeted Jan, the organizer, and found our friends from akili:innovation in Dresden, who were competing again this year. This time Almuth, Hannes, Matthias and Marcel were not competing with one, but with TWO projects!

akili:innovation

The days were full of talks about the “Internet of Things” and presentations of this year’s Imagine Cup competitors. There were so many things going on simultaneously, that we barely knew where to go. So we often did what any sensible person would do: We lingered in the common area, where endless supplies of coffee and soft drinks kept our throats wet, while we engaged in conversation with a great diversity of young people from all over Germany, learning about exciting ideas and interesting projects. At close intervals food would hover by at eye-level, smelling terribly good and all we had to do is lazily reach out and stuff our faces. Heaven, I tell you!

Our friend’s presentations in the categories World Citizenship and Innovation made us forget our feeding frenzy for a short while. And then of course, there were the Games. We were really excited to meet the winners of the Global Game Jam with Fru. This game’s principle is so beautifully simple and yet so entertaining and challenging. And of course it also reminds us a little bit of Schein – so no wonder I like it that much!

For us the evening began with a great German custom: “Freibier”! Beer for everyone – as much as we liked – for free! That made the hands-on showcase of the Imagine Cup participants even better. Later entertainment was provided by a couple of DJs, a table full of colorful tape inviting us to create art.. or something similar, and lots of nice little pieces of technology that were put to use in a hackathon.

art

something similar

So in midst of a room that was buzzing with conversation, the sound of a quadrocopter hovering or mostly crashing, glowing Spheros zapping around at our heels and the deep booming of the music, the evening rushed by in what felt like 5 minutes. While some of us felt old and made our way home shortly after midnight, others didn’t find their beds until well past breakfast.

So the next day began lazily watching the first presentations via live stream and arriving at the Microsoft Office just in time for lunch. Friendly conversation, another couple of presentations and lots of coffee made the wait for the award ceremony quite comfortable. Our friends were awarded a third place in the Innovation competition and second place in World Citizenship. Each of them went home with a brand new Windows Phone and a Dell Tablet. So even though they won’t be flying to the worldwide finals in Seattle, I’d say it has quite paid off. Congratulation guys!

Awards

After saying our goodbyes we walked to the subway station feeling tired and strangely empty. Maybe it was because it had all felt so familiar, but we hadn’t actually competed, hadn’t presented our own project, hadn’t feared the jury’s judgment, and hadn’t felt so connected to the other teams as it had been last year. But there’s one thing we’ve learned about Microsoft in these past couple of years: They definitely look out for their own and they will make sure you are well fed, spoiled and happy!