Silent Streets is cool - we have evidence!

Hey Funbakers, let’s do some forensics today! 

A detective game, Silent Streets is not just wandering around Snowport talking to its people. People are biased, people cherish their selfish motives, people have bad memory and false memories, people are easily manipulated. Bottom line, people are unreliable sources of information for a discerning detective. But a silent object – an inarticulate letter opener, a dumb moonshine bottle or a mute boat ticket – has the ultimate power to overturn a criminal case. 

So how do you collect evidence in Silent Streets? 

First, you need to get to the crime scene. This part is easy. Tap your destination on the map of Snowport, and walk the required distance with your phone in your pocket. Don’t worry, you’ll get a notification when you are there.

As you arrive, you get an image of the whole setting. We strongly recommend that you pause there for a while and take a mental note of any unusual objects. Those are your best candidates for evidence to collect. 

Next comes the hot part of the fun! The objects you need to find are scattered around you in your real-world surroundings. They can be as small as an opium packet several meters away or as big as a leather boot right in front of you. With the help of your phone’s gyroscope, the game evidence is merged with your camera feed – so you might take a real scrap of paper in your office for the boat ticket you want to find in Silent Streets, and tap it violently with no effect. It also means you might easily skip a Snowport boat ticket, taking it for the actual rubbish lying around. So if you want a challenge, play the crime investigation scenes in cluttered spaces (so remember to never tidy up after parties), or simply go to an empty car park to gather all the evidence in no time!

Magnifier icons at the bottom of your screen indicate how many items are yet to be found. As you tap the correct objects, their names fill the bullet list. When you find them all, you can tap the Continue button, and all evidence is added to your notepad for later use.

And what if your phone does not have a gyroscope? Don’t you worry my friend – Silent Streets detects your hardware and automatically switches to a 2D mode. All Snowport mysteries must be investigated – whatever tools you have.

As you see, not an impossible job for an expert forensic scientist! And you ARE an expert forensic scientist, Detective… excuse me, what was your name again? Nice meeting you, my friend. Now, Snowport is waiting! 

Keep cool, bake fun,

Funbakers team

Silent Streets go EGX

Hey Funbakers,

You could have noticed that we were (ok, I was) at EGX game show in Birmingham recently. Guess what – we were showing Silent Streets! And here’s the first-hand account of my EGX days.

The Leftfield Collection was a cosy booth near the Rezzed zone, specifically designed for smaller / innovative projects like Silent Streets. Floor space was provided by SEGA – and it’s really cool that independent developers get support from the big guys! Special thanks to the SEGA volunteers (othertimes in-house SEGA staff) who were very helpful (and reminded us to have our SEGA lunches in time). I was surrounded by lots of super-talented developers all the time. More about their games further below.

As for Silent Streets – more than hundred people played our detective adventure over the four days of EGX. A brave few even stayed at the booth half an hour to finish Episode One. That’s what we call interest! The most passionate ones got an A2 poster of Silent Streets featuring our good friend the Cabman. Unfortunately, we couldn’t showcase the pedometer function – so whoever played took cab shortcuts. The good side was, people could fully appreciate the story! I was surprised to see 10-11 year-olds, both girls and boys, totally engrossed in the narrative. A good sign if you ask me, and a thumbs-up to our writer Richard Cobbett.

From how people played the game, and from what they said, there are a couple of screens that need re-design and polishing. We are also planning to make intro interactive, implement AR into evidence collection and make Silent Streets a more solid and fluid experience. But hey, all the players appreciated the artwork, story and atmosphere, as well as were intrigued by the walking mechanic. Sounds like we are on the right track after all! Additionally, thanks to players’ feedback, we are seriously considering a Windows Phone version for Silent Streets.

As for other Leftfield games, I liked TV Trouble for its pure gameplay addictiveness, Flat Heroes for hard cooperative fun, The Collage Atlas for outstanding style, A Normal Lost Phone for blending boundaries between real and virtual, and Airheart for its astonishing graphical neatness and positive feel.

But the game I loved the most (hang on, aside from Silent Streets!) was Pikuniku. Just go to its website and you’ll see why. The characters are incredibly cute, the dialogues funny, the puzzles absurd. If you are tired of epic gloomy puzzle-platformers, which lead you to a week of rehab on antidepressant pills, look no further than Pikuniku. Life is too short, let’s bake fun!

The Rezzed zone itself was very prolific too. 

Team 17 revived the original feel of Worms in the new game Worms W.M.D. Looks like they took the best of Worms 2 Armageddon and brought it to modern graphics – and what else do you need for a fun evening with your friends? 

For those who love fast-paced competitive games, EGX had Arena Gods, a gorgeous local multiplayer battle arena. It’s a game that keeps graphics simple not to distract the player and keep focus on gameplay. Quite bloody, too (though delivered in a fun way) – so please don’t say we hadn’t warned you!

Speaking of augmented reality, Silent Streets was not the lonely guest at the festival. Beasts of Balance is a family-friendly game (really, no gore?) where players stack physical blocks on a special platform, which changes the game world on your screen.

I guess that’s all for today! Thanks everyone who enjoyed Silent Streets at EGX! It’s your feedback and good vibes that let Silent Streets happen! And special thanks to David Hayward who greenlit Silent Streets and helped on the technical side.

Be good, bake fun,

Funbakers team

Good Writing Ingredients or How to Bake Your Story

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, fragment

Hi Funbakers,

You might have guessed that Silent Streets is story-driven. So getting the story right was critical – as well as agreeing on what makes it good. Here are a few ingredients we came up with (except for the secret one of course).

Large-scale mystery

The good old X-files style, minus the waiting for 9 years and 202 episodes to learn what it’s all about.

Recognizable characters

The know-it-all pub owner, the knuckleheaded police inspector, the evil mastermind of the slums, you name it. Stereotypes? Sure! And we truly believe the player needs them to feel at home. Conveniently accompanied by true-to-life portraits for a stronger effect.

Solid plot

Remember that irritating feeling of “Ohmygod, why did the scriptwriter made the character behave so weird” when you leave a movie show? We hate those moments too, and tried to make events coherent and believable. For instance, in the Snowport of 19th century you can only treat severe pain with a highly addictive painkiller, which is sure to destroy your personality and might lead to horrible crimes (sorry Sherlock).

Consequences and trade-offs

Be polite and friendly to Inspector Gage – and gain access to a useful file from his drawer. Undermine his authority – and tread the warpath (no casualties usually). Cooperate with Mr. Demalion – and get a reputation bonus with the crime circles, but be prepared to get suspicious looks from citizens. And remember to always order a pint at the Rose’s place – thirsty or not. The latest rumor might come in handy for your investigation.

Extensive knowledge of the setting

Ice harvesting (and trade) was a big thing in the 19th century, with ice delivered in thousands of tons as far as India and Australia – and many a shilling in Snowport comes from the keep-it-cool business. Just as it should be with a town that’s freezing all year round.

Brief and clear writing style

Stephen King said it all in On Writing. We are only humble followers.


Dark and subtle, sometimes just an ironic note. As Gage puts it, Someone’s going to do the Tyburn jig for this, and you’ve not taken your dancing shoes off just yet.


It’s the spices that make Heinz a Heinz rather than a tomato mash. Come on, you don’t want a virgin detective.

That’s all for now. Next time we’ll tell you how we found our writer Richard Cobett and show a bit of backstage work on the script of Silent Streets.

Be good, bake fun,

The Silent Streets Team

Antique cooking book, photo from

The Map of a Problem or How to Build Your Own Town from Scratch

Good news everyone! That’s what you all have been waiting for quite some time now! Yes, we’re gonna publish a nude calendar with our CEO. Actually no, our management wouldn’t allow me to do so. Pity though, would be a disruptive marketing trick or at least the act of modern art if we could pull it off. But there is a silver lining, we finally got our asses to work and wrote something about our game in the blog. 

It’s time to tell you, my friend, how we struggled to create a perfect map for Silent Streets. Or something as close to perfect as we could get from our beautiful extraterrestrial yet woman-shaped artist (there is her portfolio link somewhere below). The thing is, the map is not the core game art, but it sure as hell is important as you will see it for enormous amount of time until the final titles in the game kick in. So we had to come up with something that you wouldn’t hate by the end of game chapter 1. 

Some references for starters. Quite inspiring, yet far from what we expected at that moment (that’s euphemism for boring). We aimed for something modern and stylish, yet victorian-flavored, so we decided to supercharge these bad boys.

For some reason we thought that isometric view with lots of details would do the trick. Let’s call it an artist gut feeling. I love this expression, it plays nicely with my idea that an artist should be hungry in order to create something indie game-worthy. The work has begun and we got our first sketches.

The architecture style had to be either Victorian or Georgian to blend in with the game style nicely. Our writer also participated in the process which resulted in some inspiration to had been taken from the town of Bath, his former headquarters. We also wanted to divide our town into different zones, since the idea was “the higher you go, the more expensive the town is, with the Royal Institute/Society having an enclave of its own that's a bit like Oxford University.”

At this point we realized that we need to change the map orientation for better smartphone screen fit. People mostly hold their phones vertically, such a surprising discovery of ours! 

We played around with different vertically oriented versions. The good thing about it - zoning would be much easier and more natural. Then we decided to make things spooky and added some snow, but it looked like a Christmas fairy tale in a very dirty neighborhood. At some point we thought of clouds to work like a fog of war, in order to leave some creative freedom for the next game chapters. But after further consideration we used less-is-more approach and got rid of clouds and snow. Our cozy town gradually turned into mysterious twilight place. 

A lot of work had to be done. City planning turned out to be a hell of a job. We had to organize neatly all the main and additional roads, lights, pathways, parks, trees and what not. Sketch after sketch, loud Skype calls after even louder Skype calls we shaped the town and developed our own vision of what it should look like.

A couple of bridges and and island for thrilling walks around Snowport town. Throw in some special places for future script twists and a touch of mystery around the dark corners and we are at the final destination. And soon you can try it yourself. Meanwhile we have already test driven our Snowport map at numerous conferences and events and received promising feedback from fellow gamers. Ultimate tourist guide to a mysterious Victorian town is at your service.

Special words of appreciation to our artist. The work with Anastasia Telmborska ( was enjoyable and fruitful. That is how it usually happens when you work with enthusiastic professionals, truly competent and extremely responsible. It was a great time! Fly safe to your home planet!


White Nights in Saint Petersburg Are Gone!

This year White Nights conference was finally proper. Not only they had us, but also Saint Petersburg is THE white nights. At last the natural phenomenon, which attracts tourists from all over the world to come visit Saint Petersburg resonates with the name of the game industry event. Apparently the organizers woke up one day and realized that White Nights and Moscow is oxymoron like Android and usability (joke) and put it where it belonged - to the self-proclaimed cultural capital of mother Russia. Thumbs up! So we put ourselves on our best behavior and put on our most cultural suits. I even thought about getting a monocle to mix in with the locals, couldn't find one though.

Couple of drinks later and I'm ready to move further with our story. So the first day slapped us in the face with a hard rain, would have been a bummer if I had a monocle on. I would've lied if I told you that this was my first game event, but it was the first event where we were actually showing something. This time it was something that we were proud about. Thousands of hours of blood and sweat and occasional hard work have integrated into an alpha version of Silent Streets that we were so happy to introduce to you. And also into 2 and a half extra gallons of blood and sweat. We've put our souls into the Silent Streets and you've responded! We couldn't even think about so many people queuing at our stand in developers zone! So apologies to those who couldn't get through the line and test our game. For those who have spent their time in a queue and had a chat with us - thank you so much for your support, you've made our day! And we hope we've entertained you with some quality sh.. product. And we promise to do our best to keep giving you the best detective game we could. We also would love to thank the White Nights event organizers for giving us such amazing opportunity to road show our game! Hats off! My story has come to its end, we're leaving Saint Petersburg with joy in our hearts and hope to see you all again soon! If it feels so good with all this being said is it safe to assume that Saint Petersburg is a best place to leave? And come back. Stay tuned!