Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Saga of Rex - The Animated Project

I was a bit hesitant about posting this here, since I'm trying to keep this blog focused on Shadow Planet Productions and its game projects. After discussing the matter with Joe, we decided that it would be okay to share this new project of mine on here. Besides, it might at one point become very relevant to this blog—Joe and I are both interested in eventually bringing Rex to a game platform.

So here's the scoop: For the past 11 days, I've been running a Kickstarter Campaign to finance the first four minutes of my proposed Animated Feature Film, The Saga of Rex. Please have a look at the plan I laid out and the cool rewards available. I'm hoping to make a valuable contribution to the art of Classical Animation. I hope you'll be with me on this journey. Visit my Kickstarter page here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Early Unused Boss Prototype

When creating ITSP, a lot of our early prototypes ended up on the cutting floor, as you can see from our 2007 trailer ( This was one of my favorite prototype that got cut, and I wish we could have worked it out in the final game. Although the prototype played very smoothly, the video capture is a bit choppy, but unfortunately, that is all that remains from this.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

ITSP Camera Explained

Both Joe and I wanted to make sure that ITSP would look like people were watching an animated film rather than just playing a game per se. To achieve this, we needed a camera that was not only cinematic and smooth, but one that would also help stage the action and layout in a pleasing and natural fashion.

For this complicated task, we turned to two of our brilliant scripters, Ryan Meyer and Chris Eng. Here's a video of Ryan explaining some of the technical issues he was faced with while accomplishing this difficult assignment.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Prometheus Twitter Contest

Shadow Planet Productions and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet are proud to be included in Xbox's Exclusive Prometheus content alongside some great alien-themed games! To celebrate, we are giving away 20 codes for a free copy of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet on Xbox Live! To enter, follow @ShadowPlanet and retweet the message below:

RT to win a free copy of @ShadowPlanet in honor of the #Xbox @PrometheusMovie Alien-Game promo! Details: #ITSPContest

1 entry per person.  You must retweet before midnight pst June 14th.  The winners will be chosen at random on June 15th.  Employees of @FuelcellGames, Microsoft, and their families are not eligible, sorry :(

Monday, May 14, 2012

Interview @

Check out this recent interview with Joe and I discussing ITSP.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

ITSP Picks up NAVIGaTR Award

Insanely twisted Shadow Planet just picked up a National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers Award for Best Original Light Mix Score, which means that this one goes to our sound and original music composer, Andrew Scott! Congrats dude!

Full results here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet PC Release Date Announced

Official Press Release

Shadow Planet Productions is pleased to announce Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will finally be unleashed on the PC gaming community. The critically acclaimed game was recently awarded the BAFTA for "Best Debut Game", the Annie Award (animation's highest honor) for "Best Animated Video Game", and has received numerous prizes and nominations from industry media outlets.

Shadow Planet Productions' partners and creators of ITSP, Michel Gagné and Joe Olson are particularly excited about this release as it will not only feature the single player Campaign and multiplayer Lantern Run, but will also include the Shadow Hunters Co-op mode which was released as a separate Game Add-On for the Xbox LIVE Arcade version. Players can play locally or online with their friends to defeat the infectious shadow entity once and for all!

"Seeing ITSP run on PC is a sight to behold", said Gagné, "but what I'm really excited about is to finally have Shadow Hunters as part of the main package. I feel like that Co-op mode didn't get the chance it deserved as a separate Game Add-On, but this time around, I'm confident it will". “ITSP is right at home on today’s powerful gaming PCs”, said Olson, “with increased resolution, improved controls, and two multiplayer modes we truly believe the PC version of ITSP packs in a lot of value.”

In conjunction with the PC release, the Xbox LIVE Arcade version will be discounted to 800 MSP. The Shadow Hunters Game Add-On will continue to be available for 400 MSP, letting Xbox 360 owners complete their Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet experience.

Additionally, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will be available for pre-sale on Steam for 25% off one week prior to release, beginning April 10th, 2012 and ending April 16th, 2012.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet for PC will be available for purchase on Steam on April 17th, 2012 for $14.99 USD and on Games For Windows LIVE Marketplace for 1200 MSP.

For more information on Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet visit

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Airship Travelogues Episode 016: Rising Shadow

Learn how Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet came to be, why it’s not on Wii and where it’s going to appear next.

Michel Gagné and Joe Olson of Shadow Planet Productions describe how XBLA hit Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet came to be, why it ended up on Xbox instead of Wii and what platform it’s coming to next. Listen to podcast here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

X-Bit Show in Seattle - March 30th

The X-Bit show, which debut on March 30th in Seattle, will feature lots of footage of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet on a multi-screen set-up. According to show producer, Teo Acosta, "Our VJ is incredibly talented, and I think people's minds will explode when they see Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet projected on 4-5 screens." If you're in the area, make sure you check it out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

ITSP Wins BAFTA for "Best Debut Game"

Joe and I were so sad that we couldn't attend the BAFTA ceremony, but we made sure to have our eyes glued to the live streaming version of the show. We anxiously awaited with sweaty palms as the "Best Debut Game" category was announced. Then, our minds were blown... pure and simple. Watch the video below.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

British Academy Award Interviews and Streaming Info

Being nominated for a British Academy Award is quite a thrill. Joe and I are both featured on the BAFTA website with a short Q&A. Click on the pictures for links.

We're so sad that we're not able to attend the award ceremony but you can bet we'll be watching the live streaming version of the show on Friday, March 16th at 2pm PST (9pm GMT).

Thursday, March 08, 2012

From a 5 Year Old Fan

It's always a pleasure to get fan mail. A couple of weeks ago, we received an email that really put a big smile on my face. I asked Jamie, the author of the email, if it would be okay to share it with our readers and I was enthusiastically given permission. Here it is!


Hi Michel

My daughter, Milla Beene, she's 5 years old, loves your game. She finds it delightfully scary and is always getting us to play it. She really loves the art of the game and I guess the cute little spaceship, fighting against the odds.

Anyway, she drew a whole heap of pictures in honour of the game (this is what is attached). I tried to find some comparison screen shots so you have some idea of what she was drawing. She calls the eyeball monster at the end of the demo the 'mummy' monster and absolutely loves the spider stalking creatures.

So thanks for making a game that delights a little kid so much that she feels the need to replicate the art.

Looking forward to see what you come up with next. Congrats on all your success.

Jamie Turnbull

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dark Planet

In August of last year, we received the following email:


My name is Arlete Shaeffer and I'm the photo editor for "Current Science", an educational magazine for school children published by Weekly Reader. Our magazine goes out to over 200,000 middle and high school students throughout the United States.

We are working on a story that mentions the comparison between a real planet and "Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet". We try to introduce science topics to our young readers in a really cool and interesting way.

We would love to use some art from your game to go along with the article. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for all your help and time.


When I was a high school student, one of the subjects I liked the most was science. I loved watching films like "Our Friend the Atom" and going through illustrated text books dealing with space, inventions and discoveries. The thought of my art inspiring young minds through educational science was very appealing, so I provided Arlete with some concept artwork from the game.

I had completely forgotten about the whole affair (I must have supplied art to a hundred media outlets last year!) until this week, when I received an envelope with two copies of the issue of Current Science featuring ITSP! Click here to read a PDF file of the article.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ITSP Receives BAFTA Nomination

We were just informed that Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet has received a BAFTA nomination! That's pretty cool! You can read the full list of nominees here.

The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards will take place on Friday 16 March at the London Hilton on Park Lane and, for the fourth year running, will be hosted by comedian and gamer Dara O’Briain.

For information on either buying tickets or about the Awards in general, visit BAFTA’s website at or contact Kelly Smith at

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet at Del Taco

A few months ago, Joe and I worked with Idea Planet to design a tie-in package for Del Taco using the art of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. I provided them with high resolution art files and some layout mock-ups and from there, the Idea Planet designers did a mighty fine job putting the final package together!

So if you feel like getting some food at Del Taco, make sure you get your ITSP playset!

Monday, February 06, 2012

ITSP Wins Annie Award for Best Animated Video Game of the Year!

Just got back from Los Angeles and we had a blast! On Saturday, Nancy and I met Joe Olson, his lovely lady, Susan, and Travis Phelps (our lead animator) at our hotel in Westwood, and from there we proceeded to Royce Hall where the pre-show champagne cocktail was taking place. Had a few drinks, saw a few celebrities, and felt very antsy with anticipation.

The suspense wasn't too long, as the videogame award category was the first one on the schedule. The nominees were announced and time seemed to stand still as the envelope was opened... and then... Hurrah!!! What a great surprise to hear our game getting the prize, especially considering some of the heavy hitters that were featured in the category. Big congrats to the whole team!

The evening was capped by a nice dinner where all the presenters, nominees and winners gathered to eat, drink and chat and have a good time. A night to remember!

Above: Joe Olson, Michel Gagne and Travis Phelps at the post show dinner.

The full list of nominees and winners can be found here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Independent Gamer Issue 2

Issue 2 of The Independent Gamer is out and it features an interview I did with them about a week ago. You can download a digital copy of the magazine for free or get a printed one for $3.80. Check it out! You can also visit their official website here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lantern Run World Record Captured on Video

One of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet's mode is called Lantern Run, which can be played with up to four players on line or locally. Recently, I received a YouTube message from Davio14U informing me that the Lantern Run world record had been captured on video, and that it would be uploaded soon. I got a notification this morning that the videos are up! Those guys are crazy good players! Check out the three-part video below.

You can also see the single player world record on Davio14U's channel.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ITSP Nominated for an IAA

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) today announced the finalists for the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (IAAs) and we were delighted to see that Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet received a nomination in the "Best Downloadable Game of the Year" category.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 9th at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas during the 2012 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit. They will be hosted by comedian, actor and proud game enthusiast, Jay Mohr. This year’s IAAs will be streamed live on in its entirety at 7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET.

Check out the press release for additional info.