VoxelStorm is a small independent game studio based in England and Scotland, composed of a group of enthusiastic, experienced game developers, focusing on self-built 3D engines and innovative game designs.
We love to do things differently – we like to write software from scratch, and performance and compatibility are very important to us. We love open source. We also love accessibility, and think that everyone should be able to run our games. It’s also very important to us that our games be expressive, and able to be appreciated as artistic works in their own right.
We try to explore game ideas nobody else has tried before. Our games are driven by gameplay and emergent storytelling, not a single fixed story, and we prefer to create emergent content with procedural generation rather than being limited to a fixed number of assets.
We try to make our players think about the way they’re playing the game, question their assumptions and undermine their established tropes. In our games you don’t play a morally unambiguous “good guy” or defeat the evil baddies; we like to surprise our players with deep and lasting game-world consequences for their actions.
Unlike the majority of independent game developers, we don’t use off the shelf engines such as Unity, Unreal or Game Maker. We write highly optimised engines for each of our games from scratch, and we include only what each game needs. This takes a little longer, but we think the results are well worth it - and it enables us to do things no off-the-shelf engine would allow.
We use the best tools for the job, even if that takes more time and effort. We take no shortcuts with compilation and both automatic and manual optimisation. We avoid inefficient runtime loading of assets as separate files from disk, and we do everything at compile time that can be done to minimise the cost at runtime for the user. The result is that we take longer to design and build, so the game runs faster on your computer.
Latest Standards & Technology
At the time of writing, our code adhers to C++17 standards and takes advantage of the latest language features, making use the latest version of GCC on all three major platforms - Linux, MacOS and Windows. We take every advantage the latest software developments permit us, but we don’t require high end hardware to run our games - in fact, quite the opposite. Because we focus so much on optimisation, our games will run well on older hardware too.
We use and love open source software, and we support the FOSS community in as many ways as we can. Our latest release, sphereFACE, was created using only open source tools. Not only an open source compiler and IDE with primary development happening on an open source operating system, but open source sound and music editing software for the soundtrack and effects, open source graphic design and font and vector editing software for graphical assets, models and fonts, and even desktop publishing software for our box art and physical packaging.
We also give back to the open source community as much as we can. We test the latest versions of the tools we use and work with the developers to find and fix bugs and submit patches for improvements. We have created a lot of tools to facilitate our workflow, and we have released many of those as open source to the public on our code repositories.
VoxelStorm Ltd was founded on the 2nd of January 2012 by Eugene Hopkinson in Manchester, UK. From its inception it has been entirely independent, acting as a game development company, game publisher and music publisher. In the following years it has grown modestly but steadily around a dedicated core community of programmers, artists, musicians, writers, and of course players.