Friends of NotSoft

  "The Season Of Giving!"

The holiday season is upon us once again and in the spirit of the season, we'd like to give you a gift!

The Wytches Brew Quest follows 3 Wytches as they spend a year travelling around their island brewing potions for those in need. Their quest starts on the Yule holiday, and we'd like you to go with them. For free!

From today until the end of 2010 we are giving away the full version of Wytches Brew! Simply send us your email address on this page and we will send you a download link. There's no catch or strings attached - we won't share or sell your email address. It's about the spirit of giving!

We hope you enjoy it! Season's Greetings from NotSoft!

  "The Season Of The Wytch!"

October is here! A time loosely associated with Wytchery, you know, Hallowe'en and all that good stuff. To celebrate, we are having a month long sale on Wytches Brew! Simply enter the word "Samhain" (without the quotes) into the Coupon Code field when filling out the order form for a 50% discount!

So now you have no more excuses! Download it now and start brewing magic potions!

  "A Good Time Was Had By All!"

As we mentioned in the previous two updates, the Toronto Indie Showcase was held on September 18th, and we were there! And we're glad we went, because it was awesome. Special thanks again to Alex Bethke of Golden Gear for organizing this awesome event and to Adrian Hayles and Behind The Front Visual Arts Studio for providing the space for it to happen in! If you weren't there, you missed out on a magical evening. We tried to capture some of that magic here in our overview of the event, but were only partially successful.

  "You Didn't Even Notice We Were Gone, Did You?"

That's OK, we're used to being ignored (just like we have been by every single website we sent out review copies of Wytches Brew to). We're not bitter about it, we're happy to just keep labouring away in obscurity - BECAUSE THAT'S HOW TO BE HARDCORE INDIE! :P

Seriously though, it's like some evil wizard put an invisibility curse on this game or something. But that won't stop us from showing it at the Toronto Indie Showcase on September 18th! Come out and ignore us there while checking out all of the other cool games!

  "Host Unreachable"

We won't be able to respond to inquiries or offer any product support for a little over two weeks, as we'll be away on a little working holiday.

But don't worry, we'll be back in plenty of time to attend the Toronto Indie Showcase on September 18th, co-hosted by our good friends at Golden Gear.

In other event attending news, our working holiday will allow us to attend the Game City Nights #7 event in Nottingham, United Kingdom on August 27th. If you're anywhere near Nottingham, try to make it out! We'll be showing our games (and letting people play them, of course!) on one of the 4-6 screens they'll have set up. Have some drinks, have some laughs, play some games!

Hope to see you at either (or both!) of these events!

  "So... What's Next For Us Then?"

It's been about two and a half months since we released Wytches Brew. Since then we've tried to get some attention for it, but barring a few reproductions of our press release it's been pretty fruitless. I guess we'd better get around to making those YouTube videos for it... but in the mean time, if you have a game site or blog about games and would be interested in doing a Wytches Brew review, we'd be happy to send you a full copy. Just drop us a note.

We started back in on SHUMM for a while, but honestly, it's going to be another multi-year development game, and having spent over 4 years on the last one we weren't feeling it. So it's being shelved until it's ready to be revisited. So what's next then?

We had a lot of fun working on our small TOJam game (which we'll post in our free games section as soon as the TOJam website posts all the TOJam games (or sooner if you don't hurry up, bigpants!)), so we're going to go a little smaller scale for our next two projects.

In the short term we are planning a small game aimed at the One Switch community, since we finally had an idea we like for a one switch game: It involves mental patients, a big padded cell and copious amounts of euphoria enducing pharmaceuticals. It also has a swear in the title. For now, we'll refer to it as "MFH".

Our medium term plan is for a game that combines trading/economics with a sort of inverted tower defense mechanic. It all sounds very boring when put that way, but trust us, codegname:Gastropod looks awesome in our heads.

So keep watching this space! More good stuff coming. And if you could show some support by buying any of our current stuff, that would be lovely too.

  "Come See Us At TCAF!"

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is happening this weekend (May 8th and 9th). It's a free event being held at the Toronto Public Reference libray and features an incredible array of indie and small press talent from the comic arts world.

And not only that! The Hand Eye Society ("meshing Toronto's videogame communities") will have a booth set up and have invited local indie game developers to show off their games!

We will be there between 2 and 5 pm on Sunday showing off Wytches Brew, so stop by, say "Hi!" and give it a try! If you see us at the event and ask us nicely we'll even hook you up with a coupon code good for $5 off the full version of Wytches Brew!

  "An Auspicious Day For A Game Release!"

What better day to release a pagan themed game than on Beltane! That's right, after years in development Wytches Brew has finally been released! Here's the official press release:

NotSoft Announces the Release of Wytches Brew

Oshawa, Ontario (NotSoft) May 1, 2010 – After nearly 5 years since the start of development, Oshawa's premiere independent game studio NotSoft has finally released Wytches Brew – their pagan themed foray into the casual games market.

Wytches Brew features five modes of play, including an epic 52 chapter quest that has the player share a year long journey with 3 Wytches as they travel around their island brewing up magical potions for those in need. With four other play modes, including timed modes and modes with relaxed rules, Wytches Brew offers something for casual gamers of every skill level.

Unlike your typical Match 3, Wytches Brew challenges the player to make their matches in particular sequences as outlined by the game's recipe book. Success creates magical brews. Too many failures and the cauldron will overflow, ending the game.

“We normally develop action games” said Steven J. Hill (aka bignobody), the man behind NotSoft, “but about 5 years ago we decided to challenge ourselves – could we make a casual game that we would want to play? Given the amount of times we were testing out a particular feature only to find ourselves absorbed in the game, I would say we succeeded.”

More infortmation about Wytches Brew can be found at the game's official website:

Exciting times folks! So, if you haven't already, please Download the Wytches Brew demo and give it a try! We think you'll be glad you did!

3nd, 2010  "New Wytches Brew Missed Release Date!"

If it's good enough for Valve, it's good enough for us. Obviously we missed our mid March release for Wytches Brew. This is because some of the feedback we got on the beta was worth implementing. Plus we're making it look cool, which is important too.

So stand by: we're working as fast as we can to bring Wytches Brew to official release (until The Passing is released, which will likely cause development to grind to a halt for a while. But we'll try to beat it.)

  "New Wytches Brew Beta Release!"

Even though this is the first update since November of last year, we certainly haven't been slacking. We are delighted to report that all 52 chapters of the Wytches Brew quest have been completed, and we are currently working on art clean-up, bug fixing and general polishing.

And you can help us with that! Please download the latest Wytches Brew beta, give it a try, and tell us what you think!

This release features 2 play modes and the first 10 chapters of the quest! We are currently trying to target a mid-march release, so please get your feedback in! Thank you!

  "Winter Approaches"

Winter of the Wytches Brew development cycle too. No new releases, but we've just finished week 35 of the quest. Here's a little peek:

Quest week 35! Think about it. It's not even complete, but if you played one quest chapter per week, you'd have almost 9 months worth of entertainment so far. Stay tuned!

  "Summer Wrap-Up"

Wow, where did the Summer go?

Sadly, constraints of real life have been interfering with our work on NotSoft projects for the last few months. What little time we've had available has largely been spent playing around with Microsoft's XNA platform. But about two weeks ago we got back to work on Wytches Brew. We haven't done much in the way of coding (other than fixing bugs in the editor), instead we're concentrating on the Quest content. We currently have 12 chapters completed, all done in "graphic novel" style. Here's a small sample:

Some days it feels like we've "bitten off more than we can chew" with our vision for Wytches Brew, but, really, who wants to compromise their vision? We just hope that when it is finally complete it finds an appreciative audience. So, 12 chapters down, 40 more to go...

  "After The Jam"

Now that it has been released by T.O.Jam, we can announce our T.O. Jam Game here:

Pond Scum!

Not bad for 1 person in 3 days, eh?

We've also released 4 new pixel designs over at Check them out!

  "Jammin' In Toronto!"

bignobody decided fairly last minute to attend this year's T.O. Jam - the Toronto Indie Game Jam! 3 days of game development madness! A good time was had by all (as far as we know... We didn't get a chance to talk to all 89 Jammers, but we didn't see any tears). Read all about bignobody's T.O.Jam experience here!

The T.O. Jam organizers have asked that we do not publicly announce our creations until after they have been presented at the T.O.Jam Arcade, happening May 22nd, and we will respect their wishes. Before you point out that we've already announced our game via Twitter and on, that was before we found out about keeping our mouth shut.

If you're in Toronto on May 22nd, why not head to the T.O. Jam Arcade and check out the fruits of everyone's labour! (and buy bignobody a drink :) )

  "Spring News Catch-Up"

Was the last update really January? Goodness. Well, let's play catch up!

Raid on Fort Apocalypse came 4th in its category with 211 points. We think it would have placed higher if the game engine we cobbled together in a matter of weeks ran well on everybody's system... Or at least the judges systems would have been nice. Ah well, give it a try if you haven't. It'll either run nice and you'll have a great time, or it'll run choppy and you'll at least have the rockin' Bodenständig 2000 soundtrack for your trouble.

Wytches Brew is being worked on and we are very happy with the quality of the content being produced lately. Who knew producing 52 weeks worth of content would be so much work?

Indie Superstars Lemmy & Captain Binky have founded a new Games Development website.! If you like Games Development && || Tomfoolery, you should check it out!

Whew! Let's not wait so long to do this again. Until next time, go check out and buy one of our custom T-Shirts - we need the money!

  "I Saved The Earth And All I Got Was Quality Apparel!"

With fashions like these, it would be thanks enough! That's right folks, NotSoft Games Branded Apparel is now available! Featuring Shlongg designs digitally painted by Canadian Indie Software fixture and Creater of Shlongg, bignobody.

More designs coming soon!

   "Shlongg Reduction!"

Shlongg is our awesome 3D breakout/tunnel racer game, and was our first commercial release. It is now two and a half years old and the time has come to put it in the discount section. So head on over to the official Shlongg website and get a copy of your very own for a mere $5.00 USD! It was a bargain at twice the price! Now we're practically giving it away, because we're cheap and easy like that.

   "Back To Business"

Due to reasons beyond our control, 2008 was not as productive as we had planned it to be. But that's okay, because we have a brand new year ahead of us! After a bit of a hiatus, we are now back to work on Wytches Brew, and intend to finish it within the first half of this year.

Happy 2009 everyone!

   "Fort Apocalypse Now!"

It was a race to the end: we didn't get all the features or art clean-up that we wanted in, but it's complete and a lot of fun. Raid on Fort Apocalypse is our Retro Remakes Competition 2008 entry, and we're rather proud of it, considering it was pulled of in our limited spare time over 3 months.

Special thanks and all respect to
Bodenständig 2000
who created the game's awesome soundtrack!

Download Raid On Fort Apocalypse Here! It's Fun! It's Free! Enjoy!

   "That's No Way To Run A Business!"

Perhaps, but NotSoft puts pleasure before business. Here's the deal - Wytches Brew has been delayed again so that we can participate in the 2008 RetroRemakes Competition. Essentially this means we are putting our next commercial game on hold in order to make a game that will always be free to play. Bizzaro-World-Business-Sense.

Our entry is a "sequel that wasn't" to the 1982 classic Fort Apocalypse. Here's a little work in progress screenshot:

For more information on all the entries (there's some amazing stuff being produced!) here's the official competition entries thread link page.

Oh yeah, that Wytches Brew expiring in November 2008 thing? Well, re-read the previous news entry and pretend it says 2009. Everything else will work out fine :)

   "Procrastinators Union Local 312"

Yes, yes, once again we've left things to the last minute. Or passed the last minute, depending on where you are in the world in relation to us. That's right, the Wytches Brew Beta 0.8 expires in a couple of hours. The problem is we've been extraordinarily busy over the last two months, and only a little of it had to do with Wytches Brew. So the next proper release isn't ready yet.

So what did we do? As little as possible, of course! (Procrastinators Union Rules, which we'll get around to finishing reading at some point.) So, following any of the Wytches Brew Beta Download Links (like this one!) will download a new version that's the same as the old version except it won't expire until November.

If you already have the beta and don't feel like wasting 28 MB worth of bandwidth, you can download this zip file instead which contains a new WytchesBrew.exe. Copy it over the old one and you'll be good to go. And it's less than 100 kb.

In other news, Gibbage is dead. Long live Gibbage! Dan Marshall is now running Zombie Cow Studios. He's still selling Gibbage (dirt-cheap, too!) and in addition he's selling a spiffy new block-dropping game called Cruxade and he's giving away the most amazing adventure game experience in years - Ben There, Dan That! Go check it out!

   "We Haven't Been Working On Wytches Brew..."

We've been working on Wytches Yarn:

After creating and tweaking the first two chapters of the Wytches Brew Quest by hand, we decided that if we were ever going to complete the next 50 or so chapters, we'd better have some sort of tool to work with. So we made one!

Wytches Yarn is a WYSIWYG (WhatYouSeeIsWhatYouGet) Editor for the Quest's graphic-novel pages and game level configuration. It is currently functional and awaiting the final art content. Wytches Yarn is only for internal use and will not be available to the public (unlike Shlongg in which the full version includes a built-in level creator!).

Sorry if that's a bit of a tease - we just thought it was cool and wanted to offer some insight into the inner workings of NotSoft and what it takes to produce an independent software title.

Getting back to art content - the Wytches Brew art direction combines CGI and digitially manipulated photographs. These elements are brought together and composited at run time by the game engine according to script files. Just the sort of script files produced by Wytches Yarn. Fancy that!

Even with this technique to reduce graphic file size, we're having a heck of a time paring down source material. We currently have nearly one gigabyte (and growing!) worth of digitial imagery to work with...

Uh, wait...

Just how big is the average downloadable casual game these days...!?

I see...

   "We Sell Our Software, Not Viagra"

It has come to our attention that some dirty spammer out there has been spoofing their Viagra spam to make it look like it is being sent from a email address (you can read about email spoofing here if you'd like more information about it). Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to stop them from doing this, but we can at least give you this warning.

We don't send spam emails. You will only ever receive an email from us under the following conditions:

  • A single confirmation email after you've purchased our software
  • As reply to a message sent through our Contact page
  • If you've signed up to receive Wytches Brew email updates

If you receive an email that appears to come from us that is about any other subject, it's not from us so please don't click any of the links it may contain.

   "Fresh Brewed Beta"

The first Wytches Brew Beta release is set to expire on May 1st. So, here's the second Wytches Brew beta! If you have the first beta installed, please un-install it before installing the new version.

This version features:

  • In-game tutorial
  • Chapters 1 and 2 of "The Quest"
  • "Ghost" candles to give an indication of how much wax power a move will cost
  • Many bug fixes
  • Some art clean-up
The game is near functionally complete, but we still have a lot of content to create. In the meantime, we'd love to know what you think about it so far - why not tell us ?

   "'Morning, Peasant!"

We estimate the code for Wytches Brew to be about 85% complete. However, the graphics and content are closer to the 50% range... Still much to do.

Pictured here is a test render of the first non-Wytch character - after all, the Wytches need someone to brew their potions for!

The current Wytches Brew demo expires at the beginning of May, so we plan on releasing an updated version shortly before then.

The next version will contain the in-game tutorial, some bug fixes, as well as a first look at "Quest Mode"!

Stay tuned!

Gosh, that peasant is tall. Clearly not undernourished.

Rather than leave this space empty, we shall use it to implore you to buy a copy of Shlongg! Still a great deal at only $9.99 for the best 3D breakout-tunnel racer hybrid game around!

Thanks for your support!

   "Did You Miss Us?"

We had a lovely time, but now it's time to get back to work! We hope to have Wytches Brew completed by mid-spring, so if you have any feedback on the beta version, please send it to us soon!

Hmmm... Better start unpacking...

   "Take Off, Eh?"

We are taking off on a short vacation! And a well deserved one at that! Unfortunately that means if you need tech support help with Shlongg (still an amazing bargain at only $9.99!) we will not be able to offer any until February 10th. Not that anyone has ever asked for tech support with it before, but hey, there's always a first time...

What's that? Where's the Wytches Brew demo we've been going on about for months now? Well, we won't be able to offer any tech support with that until February 10th either...

The demo is still rough around the edges, and the in-game tutorial doesn't exist yet. That's why we've prepared these online instructions as well as an advanced strategy guide.

Have those whetted your appetite? Then download the Wytches Brew gameplay demo here! Just be aware that this version will stop working on May 1st, 2008.

Also, be aware that while it is quite playable, it is still a work in progress. We'd love to hear what you think about it, though! Please let us know by using our handy contact page!

See? We told you we deserved a vacation!

   "Such A Tease!"

Still no Wytches Brew demo. We'd like to at least get some of the preliminary Wytch animations in first. And even then, the first demo release will be a semi-private one where you'll need to contact us to get it (basically the same drill as the first Shlongg beta release was).

But here's a little teaser in the meantime:

This is still a work in progress - it is not representitive of the final quality, yadda yadda yadda...

   "Sweet Samhain!"

Happy Hallowe'en!

   "Something's Brewing..."

A demo will be available soon...

   "Where Did The Summer Go?"

Ok, it doesn't officially end for about another month, but still where did the time go? We'd hoped to have a beta of Wytches Brew by mid summer, but clearly that didn't happen!

That's not to say we've been taking it easy! Quite the opposite in fact. The biggest cause of the delay has been feature creep (which is industry jargon for when software starts to evolve beyond it's original design). Feature creep is usually suppressed in the industry due to tight budgets and schedules.

Luckily for us, we make due with no budget and a schedule of "when it's done" so if a project starts evolving in good directions, we are free to let it go there. It's great to be indie! We'll get the beta version out as soon as we can.

Speaking of no budget, why not help us out and buy a copy of Shlongg. Still only $9.99 for the best 3D breakout-tunnel racer hybrid game around!

   "Bubble, Bubble, Toil And Trouble!"

We promised to reveal a little more information about our next commercial title in May, and since May ends in a couple of hours we'd better get on with it!

Wytches Brew is the name, and creating magical potions is the game! We're taking a little detour on this one from our usual arcade style games to have a crack at the casual puzzle genre. And if you're upset by that, don't worry - the one after it (currently in pre-production) is a 3D Beat-'Em-Up. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Of course, the Wytches Brew website is just a teaser page right now, but it will be updated with more detail as we get closer to release. We are doing a private alpha release this weekend, invite only. We are currently aiming for a public beta release mid-summer. Stay tuned!

   "Shlongg - Now Available in Widescreen!"

That's right! We've done more over our mini-vacation than just get the garden in: Shlongg V1.02 is available now!

We got a fancy new widescreen monitor and felt it would be truly awesome to play Shlongg in widescreen resolution. If only that were possible... Like with the latest version! Shlongg now supports resolutions larger than 1024 x 768, including Widescreen formats up to 1440 x 900!

Did we mention Widescreen yet?

If you already have the previous version installed, you can download just the update here.

Did we mention it's still only $9.99? Good, then our work here is done.

   "Maraudin' Ain't Easy!"

We are proud to present our entry for the Gibbage "Make Something By April 30th" challenge - S.H.U.M.M.! There were a few features we didn't have time to implement (like weapons upgrades, enemies that shoot back at you and some variety in the look of the rooms), but overall we are pretty happy with the results. It's probably still a little buggy, but that shouldn't stop you from having fun. After you're done playing, why not head over to the Gibbage forums and see how some of the other entries turned out?

   "The Indie Shall Inherit The Earth!"

The big game studios who produce those AAA titles we all know and love are not generally known for taking risks. That's where independent developers come in. We're not in it for the money as much as for the love of games. And we don't generally have shareholders who are going to get upset with us for some of our more wacky ideas that are probably not going to be commercially successful. God bless those indies.

On that note, we would like to applaud the new Gibbage Initiative:

If you buy games or merchandise through, all profits will fund exciting new indie games that the big studios wouldn't touch with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

Finally, we'd also like to say it's great to see some of the big players giving some focus to indie developers. has recently begun the Indie Spotlight, in which indie titles get featured on the front page! Good on ya guys!

   "SHUMM Of The Earth!"

Wow! Despite the recent cold snap here in the Greater Toronto Area, spring has sprung! Our still yet unveiled next commercial title is coming along nicely. We plan on revealing more in May!

Now, as for the Make Something By April 30th challenge over at the Gibbage Forums, here's a teaser:

More info soon. Stay tuned!

Finally, special thanks to Retro 247 for running the shiny new Shlongg banner ad, for free!

   "It's Like Soup Du Jour, But With Games!"

It's! One Day, One Game, One Incredible Deal!

Every day they are able to offer one game at a deeply discounted price. How can they do this? We're not sure. They must have robot sales-people, or a cabal of ancient marketing wizards or something.

But why are we telling you this? Well for one thing, if you love games it's a great site to check regularly. For another, Shlongg will be the Game Du Jour on Wednesday, March 14th 2007! That's tomorrow!

That's right! If you act in that 24 hour period, you can Buy the Retail version of Shlongg at a large discount off it's already low price! Don't miss it!

Update: The whole deal has been written up over at!


   "Why No, We Didn't Die Of Alcohol Poisoning..."

...but after two months without updates, we can see why you might worry.

But no, we pulled out of our drunken stupors early and got on with business. The About section has been updated to be a little more "formal". Wow! We have values and stuff!

Don't worry, we did more than just update a single HTML page over the last two months: Our next Still-Underwraps commercial title is coming along nicely - We're on target for a late spring beta test.

But that's not all! We've also picked up the gauntlet in the "Make Something By April 30th" challenge over at the Gibbage Forums. This means a new free game will be joining the others in the game section at the end of April! Stay tuned, we'll most likely have some beta tests of that one soon!

Finally, preproduction work continues on what will likely be our masterpiece, which will begin production in Q4 of this year. Yessir, this year is shaping up to be a good one! Oink Oink!


Holy Crap! "We Have A News Archive Now!"

Who'd of thought we'd have lasted this long? Here's the official account of our rise to power =)

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