Category Archives: Puny Human

New releases and projects for Puny Human. 2019, a year in review

After a fantastic Holiday Party the year prior, 2019 proved to be a year of major transformation and renewed spirit. Puny Human released new video games for the Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, announced new projects, hosted events and even helped raise money for charity!

The start of something great

Early in the year, Puny Human released the Warp Ahead update for Galacide and announced our latest project, Zero Day. Not long after, we were humbled by Squanch Games enlisting us to assist with their PC version of Trover Saves the Universe. We felt on top of the world.

The summer saw many great milestones from lots of hard work. Wasteland 3 had jaw-dropping trailers shown at E3 in June and Gamescom in August. Our main focus was to re-release The Bard’s Tale IV in a special Director’s Cut edition, featuring more content and console versions.


Speeding things up…

Our biggest transformation, hands down, was the opportunity to work again with Squanch Games to bring Trover Saves the Universe to the Xbox One and Switch. We jumped at the opportunity to bring this hilarious platformer to a broader audience. On top of seeing positive reactions, the team we worked with were fantastic! Always a bonus to work with a helpful and kind team with such high-quality standards.

In November, we hosted the Dev Rant! event, on behalf of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA.) At Dev Rant!, local game developers could vent about any subject in the industry they wanted to, for 8 minutes at a time. To our surprise, the event had a larger turnout and was more fun than we expected, and look forward to hosting again.

Poster for the Dev Rant hosted for the IGDA
Puny Human hosts the Dev Rant event on behalf of the local chapter of the IGDA
Hibernating, in style!

At end of the year, we started to ramp down our long-standing relationship with inXile Entertainment. All in all, we’re appreciative of their support and are thankful for allowing us to work on their amazing projects for the last four years. We’ll miss much of the outstanding team over there, and we’re looking forward to the future.

For the second year in a row, we hosted a Holiday Party for local independent developers. As shown below, the event brought another year of game developers enjoying food, drink, each other’s company, and celebrating another year doing what we love!

In addition, we hosted a raffle for charity on behalf of the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of the IGDA. This was a thrilling chance for many game developers to support the wonderful folks at Take This and take home some neat swag!

Logo of Take This, a mental health non-profit
Take this, a fantastic mental health focused non-profit

Take This is a magnificent non-profit, providing comprehensive resources and support for mental health for the game development community. This is truly a mission that we could rally behind. Ultimately, close to forty generous game developers raised $1,000 for this organization and won awesome prizes like mechanical keyboards, collectors editions and wireless headphones!

A Promising Future

2020 is already off to a crazy start. We’re hard at work on some really cool projects that we’re excited to share with you in the coming months. Our own titles have some really great updates coming up, that we can’t wait to show. Stay tuned.

Updates, Conventions and new Projects oh my!


2019 has been great to this lil’ indie studio so far! We’ve attended a few conventions, released the biggest, scariest update ever (we’re not being dramatic, you’re being dramatic) for one of our existing games and announced a new project.

We’re going to roll right over that mention of a new project (though many of you probably already know exactly what we’re talking about) to discuss the release of Blade Symphony free to play and Playthrough GC. Don’t you worry, we’ll come back to it… or you can cheat and scroll down but where’s the fun in that? 😉


Blade Symphony is now Free to Play!


Blade Symphony going free to play has been years in the making. The final huge step on the way to Free to Play was the Harmonious Prelude update. With multiplayer updates, a new game mode, the addition of Mac/Linux and exclusive skins, capes and swords, this update paved the way for the now F2P version of Blade Symphony.


What does this mean for Blade Symphony?

  • Our main goal is that now anyone can download the game and play for free. It was important for us to make this game accessible to a wider audience and also help fill up servers for those in our community who are still playing on a regular basis. (Shout out to our Discord crew!)
  • An equally important feature to accessibility is making sure that we also reward those in the community that have been with us since the beginning. We have been working on exclusive items to give out to all owners of the game prior to it going free to play.
  • Bug fixes and optimization is still on the development roadmap. We’re dedicated to keeping Blade Symphony updated with new gameplay features, optimization and performance improvements and bug fixes long after the free to play update.

If you’re new to the game, welcome. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, thank you for your years of duels and memes. Still haven’t played but want to try it out? We’re available on Steam for free.99!


In addition to the work Puny Human has been doing to keep Blade Symphony and Galacide in tip top condition, (and alongside the work we’re putting into this elusive project announcement) the devs here have been helping out on titles like Bard’s Tale IV, Wasteland 3, Trover Saves the Universe.


Bard’s Tale IV was released in September of 2018 but we continue to help InXile update and optimize the game. With new features and new platform releases, The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut update is slated to come out this autumn on PC, Mac/Linux, PS4 and Xbox One


Wasteland 3’s Fig Campaign succeeded and is currently still in development. With the newly gained resources from the Microsoft acquisition, InXile is putting them to good use, ensuring Wasteland 3 will be the best version of itself it can be.


Trover Saves the Universe has been a blast to work on alongside Squanch Games, and we’re happy to help them announce that it will be released on May 31st on PS4 and June 4th on PC!


We had mentioned in a previous post about the difficulty level for smaller studios to attend expos and gaming conventions. With a small staff local to the area and with limited time and resources, sometimes it just isn’t in the interest of the company to haul equipment and employees to the expo floor to showcase for an entire weekend.


Lucky for us Playthrough Gaming Convention was in our own backyard: Raleigh NC!

Playthrough was a fantastic experience for us. We set up Blade Symphony and Galacide for the community to stop by and play. The Raleigh gaming community, dev community and the Playthrough Convention staff gave us such a warm welcome. (Hi Tim!) Being new to the Raleigh Expo scene, we were excited to receive such overwhelmingly positive energy and feedback from everyone.



Although we were there to share our freshly minted free to play Blade Symphony and the ever popular couch co-op Galacide…We were able to hint at our upcoming project announce to many inquisitive gamers and lovers of the cyberpunk/shooter genre. (Look closely, you’ll see the new game in some of the shots from the show.)


By the end of the convention, we were filled with enough positive energy and confidence to announce the newest edition to the Puny Human game library:



And new Projects oh my!:



Enter Zero Day: A cyberpunk themed, objective-driven looter shooter that we lovingly call the spiritual successor to the original Dystopia mod created by Team Dystopia.



Following in the footsteps of Galacide with our switch to the Unreal Engine (The Dystopia mod and Blade Symphony are both Source),  Zero Day will also be developed using UE4. We’ve also chosen to be as open and as transparent as possible during the development of Zero Day. With this decision to share everything comes the realization that we’ll be able to talk directly with the community in order to gain insight and feedback in real time during development. We feel this method of development is essential in today’s Game Development industry, especially when crowdfunding campaigns are one of the reasons indie studios like us are able to continue to develop. We hope to bring many new lovers of the cyberpunk/shooter genre into our community alongside the many dedicated fans of Dystopia embedded into the Puny Human community.


Keep up with Zero Day’s progress on the official Puny Human Discord or at


Our excitement for this game cannot be put into words. The term “Passion Project” immediately comes to mind. When we’re not updating our current games or helping our partners with their own titles you can be sure we’re chomping at the bit to dive as deep as we can into development on Zero Day.


Out with the Holidays, in with the New Year!

In the months leading up to the 2018 holiday season, we decided to host a holiday party here at the Puny Human Studio. Very soon after the idea was born it morphed into, “Let’s invite all the indie studios in the area!” This idea blossomed into one of the best holiday parties we’ve ever been to. *modest flex* Many of our friends from Mighty Rabbit, Limited Run, Elephant Mouse, Imangi, Drastic Games, Squanch and other indies from the area dropped by to celebrate with us.

It was such a great party that *ehem* SOME of us (me) completely spaced on taking photos during the actual event. I did, however, grab plenty of photos of the decorations I meticulously arranged in anticipation of said event.

Lucky for me, a few others did grab a few photos and were nice enough to send them my way to treasure. <3 (Potato quality to enhance the existence of a good time)

Imangi and Drastic Games left us tree presents!

We even dressed up for the party by getting a sign made for the office! (Better late than never, yeah?)

We spent the remainder of the holidays with our families and friends while bringing in the new year.

Happy New Year! (logo treatment courtesy of our wonderful Vincent De Nil)

New year, new updates

With the holidays in our rear view it was time for us to give a little (a lot of) TLC to Galacide and Blade Symphony. After three years of keeping the engine updated, bug fixes and quality of life changes behind the scenes, we were beyond excited to announce the Galacide: Warp Ahead Update.

For the Blade Symphony patch, we’ll have to rewind back to November where we gave it a not so small update. ENTER THE HARMONIOUS PRELUDE UPDATE, which, to name a few things, came packed with new level progression, AN ENTIRELY new fighting style to help beginners better transition, a new tutorial, and an engine update. This update was a huge step forward for us and for Blade Symphony but with this release came a few challenges for us to overcome. Fast forward to present day, where we’ve just released a patch which fixes a number of issues introduced with the Harmonious Prelude update. The name of this patch isn’t quite as exciting as “Warp Ahead Update” but it has a nice ring to it, “Patch #6” You’ll have to say it out loud to really get the full effect, trust me.

Missed the updates? I’ve place them gingerly below for your clicking convenience.

Galacide: Warp Ahead Update!

Blade Symphony: Patch #6

Yo dawg, I heard you liked conventions!

Another exciting adventure we’ve embarked on will be attending more events to showcase our games and give ourselves more opportunities to meet people in the community. Being an indie studio, we certainly don’t have the luxury of attending events like PAX or E3 but there are plenty of local shows that have welcomed us with open arms. We recently attended Carolina Games Summit this month with our friends from Invisible Collective where we showcased Galacide and Blade Symphony alongside their game, Battlesloths. We met good people, had a lot of new folks play our games and even provided a few industry talks for the event!

Our very own Mike Sanders offered up a piece of his genius with his talk, “You’re not the smartest person in the room (Why humility builds great teams)”. Our industry pal Randy Greenback graced the expo with his talk “Breaking through the noise (Stacking Innovation)”.

Carolina Games Summit was extremely kind to us; they gave us plenty of space with room for people to come sit and play and the attendees of the convention were nothing but polite and welcoming. We’d be more than happy to come back next year if they’ll have us.

Here is a peek of our setup:

We’re looking forward to our next event at Playthrough so stay tuned for more information on that soon! As always please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally either on twitter or our Discord @GlamazonianRage! In the meantime, enjoy all the games on your list!

Back at the Office!

The Puny Human studio was quiet there for a while, almost as if it was taking a nap while waiting for us to return to bring it back to life. Wait no longer, the Puny Human crew is taking the office back by storm, restoring it to full glory!


Well…Okay so it’s just Mike and I here at the office until we get the rest of the team moved in. Don’t worry, we’re keeping the place plenty awake in the meantime! The office is now filled with jokes, chill tunes and enough caffeine to keep an entire city awake. Did I mention office puppers? Oh yes, the goodest of doggos grace the studio with the loudest and most adorable roughhousing imaginable, and we love them for it <3


Oh, right, hi there! (Let’s take a step back for a moment.) I’m Stephanie, I took on the Community Manager position for Puny Human back in April. On our discord I go by GlamazonianRage, you may already have met me if you frequent there. I enjoy cosplaying and traveling in my spare time, as well as channeling my inner slug on the couch with a show/movie/book/game. It’s been a delight getting to know the Puny Human community thus far, and I’m thrilled for our future together! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for anything.


Now… back to the Puny Human studio! So. Much. Room. For. Activities!


Looking back at the entrance and kitchen from my desk. (we’ve actually moved desks since this picture was taken, but pretend with me) We’ll have to work on stocking the kitchen with lots of tasty treats, a happy kitchen with lots of caffeine is needed to lure in game developers and keep them happy during the long hours.


(A wild Urinal Cake appears)


An Indie office needs some school spirit decor, right? We totally have this awesome banner with ALL THE GAMES! 100% thumb tack’d to the wall with care.


More banners! The Galacide a e s t h e t i c  has changed a bit since these were made, but it doesn’t make us less proud to see them standing tall in the office. Can you feel the proud feels? <3 One of these banners now comes with me on Monday nights to Little City Brewing Co. (I’ll post about those adventures soon)



Plenty of lounging space for a little break here and there. We’re all rather tall here, so having a big ole couch to stretch out on is really nice.


Mike’s beautiful doggos in their natural office habitat, either running around in a blur or tuckered out next to our desks.  Both are top tier office doggos, 12/10




Not a bad view from the roof. If only it weren’t so HUMID here in Raleigh. It’s been raining for weeks, this blue sky and (non humid) sunshine can stay as long as it wants to. No really please don’t go.


We’ve been quiet, but we’re still here working hard. Part of my role here with Puny Human is to make sure there isn’t a “vacuum of silence” as Mike put it.


Have suggestions for future blog posts, community events, or just general feedback you’re itching to get out of your system? I’d love to hear from you:


Want to keep up with all things Puny Human? Our official Discord is open to all, and our Twitter is filled with random bits throughout the weeks.


We’re making AAA games!

Almost eight months ago, I wrote about how we fared after the release of Galacide, and provided a road map for work this year. One of the ways we adapted after a tough release, was to partner with another studio to help them out!


After release, we had the advantage of being one of very few indie developers that shipped Unreal Engine 4 game, only months after it became free-to-use. It made sense to help studios on their new projects, our experience would mean things get done fast!


The call was put out to various developers, and we couldn’t have been happier with who responded: creators of many of our childhood favorites, inXile Entertainment. We knew we could learn so much from this collective of incredibly skilled industry veterans, so we jumped at the chance to work with them!



With hopes high, and ambitions higher, we set out to get started on inXile’s newest chapter of the Bard’s Tale series; Bard’s Tale IV. A small team at first, we sped into development on a turn-based combat prototype, party systems, and implementing unheard of depth into the dungeons of the city that started it all, Skara Brae.



Once production kicked into full swing, we became a small part in a much larger team from their New Orleans and Newport Offices. In total, eight of us in North Carolina and another three on the West Coast, have been staying busy alongside about forty other developers. Over that time, our partnership has grown and everyone is hard at work on other great titles from inXile Entertainment, like The Mage’s Tale and Wasteland 3.


magestale wasteland3



Downtime, while cooperating with our friends at inXile, has allowed us to stay busy on our own projects as well. We’ve recently announced that our acclaimed tactical third-person swordfighter, Blade Symphony, will be transitioning to Free-To-Play soon. Check out all the new features and work we’re putting into its release!



We’ll be coming back to you in a few weeks about some updates we’re making to Galacide, and potentially some to Dystopia. So stay tuned by joining us on Discord, or by checking out our newsletter!

Forecasting upcoming months

Roughly 3 weeks have elapsed since my last update regarding Puny Human. I found that posting to this blog was a great way to organize my thoughts, and inform everyone what’s going on, so I’m doing it again.


Work with our unnamed client continues, keeping three of our most experienced Unreal Engine 4 developers busy. It doesn’t really bring in much revenue for the company, just enough to pay for expenses related to sending monthly invoices, yearly tax forms, payroll, and online bookkeeping applications. Which is something. We’re probably about four months from announcing what it is that we’ve been working on, and who with.


As for those of us not working on that project, work continues on Blade Symphony and Galacide. As it stands, Josh and I are working on some back-end things for storing Blade Symphony item information, without the help of the website. I go into some detail about why we are re-inventing our own wheel, here.


When Josh has free time, he works fast. He has a version of the Source Engine compiled using 64-bit binaries, now it’s just a matter of making Blade Symphony use it. However, his first priority is getting F2P functionality working for a regular release. This means than an initial a F2P release, probably won’t have a Linux and 64-bit port. We’ll see, though.


I’m still keeping a bit busy with Galacide. I’ve almost completed re-tooling the build system it uses, in order to be a little less needlessly complex. My hope is that this will help whatever Unreal Engine 4 programmer I can find to add multiplayer functionality, quickly make changes and test them. After I’ve completed this task, I will release previously mentioned fixes and Engine update, for Windows 64-bit, 32-bit and Linux. After I find someone to help add multiplayer functionality, I will work on testing and optimizing the OSX port.


In the “shadows” so to speak, I’ve begun preliminary work to show that we’re more capable of offering outsourcing/contract work to external vendors. Why? Simple, the work is steady, and it pays for the people that still work for us, while we can tinker with things like Blade Symphony free to play and Galacide multiplayer.


This is part of a larger effort to make Puny Human more appealing for a future organizational change, but more on that later.


People seem to be finding me and asking questions over Reddit or Discord, so if you have something to ask, that’s where you can find me.

The slowly burning candle

The ‘we’re still alive!’ post is cliché, I know, but that’s exactly what this is. Let me bring you up to speed as to what’s going on.


After Galacide‘s release, our lives were upended. That may be an understatement, but revenue wasn’t enough to support expenses. For most, that spells liquidation and reduction, but we tried to avoid that. Fortunately, I’ve worked with some fantastic people in the past, that helped some of our developers stay on solid ground. In addition to finding temporary work with a talented bunch of developers, I worked to sub-lease our office, and now everyone is at home again!


A few months later, the team is working hard on a sequel for a wonderful AAA game developer. We can’t say which right now, but we’re happy to be working with them to this day. The rest of us have put out small updates, including achievements for Blade Symphony (more to come) and dove head-first into our aging infrastructure.


Here are a few things that we’re still hard at work on, but have no ETA for:

  1. Update to Galacide’s engine version, with bug fixes.
  2. Transitioning Blade Symphony to free-to-play.
  3. Migrating Blade Symphony’s website to a more manageable and updated version.


We’ve received questions about Blade Symphony free-to-play, and I won’t be answering them here. However, rest easily knowing that current players and past purchasers will have plenty of content exclusive to them, as well as some additional thank-yous from us for supporting development all of these years.


There’s been some excited conversation recently, and I also want to share a wishlist of things that we’re working on, but aren’t a big priority:

  1. OSX build for Galacide: This isn’t very difficult, I just haven’t got around to updating our build pipeline.
  2. Multiplayer Galacide: This is a bigger undertaking, and as such is longer-term, but there’s a few of us that really want this.
  3. Older version of Blade Symphony for the few of those that are nostalgic.
  4. 64-bit Windows Blade Symphony support: This is happening, but isn’t a priority for a while.
  5. Linux Blade Symphony support: This is likely, but same as above, we want to finish much of the cumbersome and boring free-to-play things.
  6. Dystopia Engine Update: This is going to happen at some point, because a fair bit of people can’t play the game. We have newer versions of Source that we’d like to put Dystopia on, which may allow us to 64-bit and Linux-port it too.


I hope you didn’t read that last list and think all it is certainly happening, because it may not, or maybe not right away. However, we want to do as possible (while we can,) to support those who have helped us out for so long. If you bought Blade Symphony or Galacide, were a PHAN Club member or Dystopia supporter, then this is our last hurrah to you for your love, patience and gratitude. More updates to come.

Our Blog

We have a lot to say, but in the past, we’ve been fairly bad about blog posts. We attempted to post things on our old website, but struggled with a high barrier of entry. This time around, we’re using WordPress for our Blog, so the difficulty of posting is much lower.


Like I said, there are meaningful and (sometimes) valuable things that we would like to get out there, and we want to ensure that this is the place that we do it. It makes sense for all of our game’s websites to have news and information specific to that game, such as releases, or sales, or community announcements; but we want this to be the place to talk about development.


Not just development, either, but everything regarding what we do. I’ve spent the last 8 months quitting my job, forming a company, hiring 6 employees from all around the country, sponsoring a conference, hosting 7 contractors for a week, building an office and dealing with an almost stressful trademark battle.


Just by myself, I feel like I could write something that would be of help to other indie developers when dealing with these problems, and I want this to be a place where others on the team can feel the same. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we’ll see that come to fruition.


In the meantime, welcome to our new website and thanks for reading. That’s all.