Time for Lift-Off — Crayta launches its biggest prize fund yet!
Another giant leap for the ever-growing UGC games platform.
If you’ve been following Crayta for a while you’ll know that we have a large range of cash awards in place for our best creators. Back in September we revealed that we were working on the most substantial creator programme we’d ever launched, but didn’t really go into many more details.
Well today we can throw open the doors on Crayta Lift-Off and reveal the first games that will be brought to you thanks to the scheme.
What is Lift-Off?
Lift-Off is the pinnacle of the Crayta Creator’s Programme. There are three tiers within the Programme — Spark, Ignition and Lift-Off. In brief. Spark is the most accessible part of the scheme and rewards the best new creations each month. Ignition offers greater rewards but also comes with higher expectations. Indeed, creators have to apply to Ignition in order to secure their 6-month contract.
Lift-Off is the most valuable and most demanding tier of the programme. The expectation is that it will bring professional level games and developers to Crayta. You can read a lot more about the whole Crayta Creator’s Programme here.
While trialing this part of the programme, we’ve worked with three amazingly talented indie development studios and collectives, all of whom are aiming to bring some incredible new games to Crayta. Let’s take a look at what they’ve all been up to so far.
The best way to introduce Worldsmith is to let them use their own words: “Despite a professional track record spanning many years, we are still a team of enthusiastic hobby developers and gamers first and foremost.”
This close alignment to Crayta’s own desire to empower everyone to be a game creator means it’s no wonder that Worldsmith have joined our inaugural Lift-Off roster.
This dedication will soon arrive on Crayta in the shape of Chaos Cube, and the Worldsmith team describe the game as “a top-down action RPG horde-mode survival.”
If you add boss encounters and gear upgrades into the mix then they should be on to a winner. However, Worldsmith also want to combine casual and competitive elements, and offer a variety of gear and skill compositions that allow players to meet ever bigger challenges — not to mention keep everything a lot more interesting!
Arriving with a wealth of experience on UGC engines such as Roblox and Core, as well as more traditional dev environments such as Blizzard’s engines and Valve’s Source engine, the team are extremely positive about Crayta. “We can say that Crayta allows anyone, regardless of prior experience, to be a game developer. Crayta lets the user focus on the heart of game development, providing an easy-to-use editor that allows the exploration of different ideas and genres.”
We’ve been working with the Worldsmith team since late last year and the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a few extra items appearing in the asset library with their name on in the last update. They’ve been helping us to test out some processes for creator asset import and we’ve all learnt a lot about how this could work in future. It’s not something that we’re quite ready to roll out to everyone just yet but watch this space!
Based in Manchester in the UK, innovative digital-creative team Ziax are no strangers to the world of UGC game platforms. The creators of the hugely popular Minecraft server, Cubecraft, with their content played by over 70 million players, Ziax are now bringing their skills and knowledge to Crayta.
Ziax are so excited by Crayta that they have established CC Creations — a dedicated team to work exclusively on the platform. In fact, the team have already delivered a fantastic puzzle game in the shape of Portal Flip. Now, thanks to Lift-Off they are bringing a brand new game to Crayta and this time it’s going to be an intense, team-based shooter with a payload mechanic at its heart.
But this might be a little different from payload games that you have played in the past, “We’ve put our own spin on it with unique classes and fun upgrades that make the game a little cray-zier.” the team told us, “Players can choose from a variety of guns in this fast-paced mode. There will be multiple rounds, so players can both experience attacking and defending the payload.”
The whole concept becomes even more interesting when you learn about the game levels themselves, “Players can choose from three different maps; Hanksville, CC Mall and Neon City,” explain Ziax, “The lore is that all three maps are the same place, but at different points in time — we loved playing with time period based themes, from the wild west past, to a modern mall to a futuristic dystopian world.”
Combine this with an extensive upgrade shop, custom shooting mechanics and an enormous amount of explosions and we should all be in for a treat when CC Creations’ Payload game hits Crayta sometime around the end of June.
Spilt Milk Studios
One of the long term success stories of the UK indie games scene, London-based Spilt Milk Studios made their debut on Crayta at launch back in 2020 with the awesome “Super Doom Wall”.
Now they are using their expertise to bring an entirely new experience to Crayta. And although they’re keeping the name a big secret, Spilt Milk’s Andrew John Smith gave us some tantalising hints as to exactly what we’ll soon be obsessed with. “It’s a cooperative action game pitting you and your friends against hordes of enemies out to wreck you, and a gameworld full of everything you need to survive.” says Smith. He goes on to explain that they are aiming for “ a game that sits somewhere between the panicked action of Left 4 Dead, the just-one-more-go hooks of Loop Hero, and the curated randomness of Spelunky. Our goal is to make a co-op game that is endlessly fun, and full of laugh-out-loud moments.”
It sounds great, but also a pretty challenging development. Thankfully the team brings with them an enormous amount of game dev experience. Founded in 2010, Spilt Milk have released nine games commercially, eight of them original IP. Their skills extend far beyond standard game development, though, as they regularly engage with game jams, festival installations and charity efforts, as well as plenty of valuable work for some of the industry’s biggest companies.
Smith is also hugely positive about the development power of Crayta, “We’re really excited because Crayta lets us concentrate on the important parts, so we’re expecting to have a first public play of the game mere weeks into starting the project!”
Spilt Milk cite “community, diversity, and curiosity” as their central beliefs, which align perfectly with Crayta’s welcoming and supportive community of creators and players.
Hungry for more details? We’ll all have to hold our breath for a little while longer, but until then, here’s some more Super Doom Wall to keep you going.
What next for Lift-Off?
For this first phase of the Lift-Off programme, we’ve worked with some large, established creative teams. There’s a few reasons for this but part of the thinking is that we’ll be able to establish a clear benchmark for the quality of a Lift-Off game (and team) in the future..
The next step is to hopefully expand the programme further to include members of our community as well as more established developers. Naturally, to say that “terms and conditions apply” is quite the understatement, which is why it’s taken us so long to reach this stage. But we know the effort is worth it and the games that Lift-Off will deliver will be amongst the very best we’ve ever seen on the platform.
We want Crayta to extend its reach in all directions, bringing larger and more sophisticated games, as well as allowing even more players to become creators and just enjoy the art of making games.
Hobbyists, dedicated amateurs, semi-pros and full-time game devs are all part of Crayta’s extremely bright future, and with ever more exciting plans for the coming year, we hope you will come with us and be part of the adventure.
Crayta is FREE to play and create on Stadia and Epic Games Store!