"The Incredible Journey of Spiral Game Studios"

In this in-depth interview/feature, author Nate Hohl explores the fascinating journey of Spiral Game Studios, developer of the ORION series of shooters.


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It’s a hard reality to accept that sometimes when a game is released, it is, for all intents and purposes, bad. A number of different factors can lead to this outcome; maybe the developer didn’t have enough money or maybe they were forced to rush the game in order to meet a certain release date. When a developer releases a game that didn’t live up to its original vision, more often than not they simply cut their losses and move on. But sometimes, there comes a moment where a developer refuses to give up on a game. Despite the bad reviews, despite the additional costs, despite the added risk of having to push through bad press, some developers decide that their game’s potential is too important to just give up on. One such developer is Spiral Game Studios.

Below is my written chronicle of Spiral Game Studios’ humble beginnings, hardships, and eventual success that is supplemented by an in-depth interview I held with the studio’s founder David Prassel.


Small Team, Big Dreams

Chances are that, unless you’re an avid PC gamer, you’ve never even heard of Spiral Game Studios. Founded in 1997 by a passionate PC game modder and developer named David Prassel, Spiral’s first major project was something that Prassel dubbedThe ORION Trilogy. To Prassel, The ORION Trilogy was so much more than a mere game concept, it was a full-blown intellectual property that he had big plans for.

“This “ORION Trilogy” contained the entire structure of the IP’s story and its subsequent arcs,” Prassel told me. “The main characters, the main races, fictional corporations and entities that existed, multiple worlds, planets, moons, stations, species and anything in between all the way down to structure design and foliage types.”

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500K COPIES SOLD IN ONE WEEK!

ORION: Dino Horde sold over half a million copies with the most recent Free-2-Play Event (was from Feb 20 - Feb 27) on Steam.  All of which is going directly towards the continued (free) post-release support for ORION: Dino Horde as well as development funding towards The Orion Project.

It jumped from an average of roughly 100 active users at any given time to a peak of 7,000 active users at the climax of the event reaching the Top 30 Most Played Games on Steam and now a new current average of 3,000 active users post-event.

TRAILER | ORION: Dino Horde - Community Appreciation (HD)
TRAILER ORION: Dino Horde - Planets & Moons (HD)  

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This event reduced the game by 93% in an effort to have players revisit the game to see 2 years worth of free changes, updates and content added to the game.  And they loved it!

VIDEO | Community - Tanks Vs. T-Rex
VIDEO | Community - 1080p Gameplay
VIDEO | Community - Best Game Ever Made!
VIDEO | Community - Best Game Ever

On top of that we just released another free DLC pack (Grasslands Update) along with Game Version 6.0!

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ARTICLE | Kinja - “Orion Dino Horde is pretty awesome”
ARTICLE | RDBK - “Spare no expense: Orion: Dino Horde is a one-dollar bargain”
ARTICLE | Saityrus Evil Avatar - “This game is fun.”

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Spiral Game Studios intends to bring the fun and excitement back to the action genre, by focusing on its core values: intuitive gameplay, tight controls, frustration-free designs, and competitive, skill-based challenge. These elements are found in some games; sometimes a game incorporates a few of them. Rarely will you find a game that focuses on every aspect of a "fun" game, and those that do are the games that players still come back to decades after they were made. We hope to stay true to these values by introducing our first project: Orion.

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