Our best GDC yet


The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Over 24,000 developers converge on the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco to share knowledge and build partnerships. It’s a five day marathon of talks, meetings, booths and parties that will leave even the most enthusiastic attendee a shell of their former selves. But it’s totally worth it. Each year I leave the show feeling incredibly optimistic and lucky to be part of such a great community of people, and no more so than this year.

The response to our success with Flutter and our vision for the future of the portfolio was elating. We have built a story that is a joy to tell; a compelling mix of creative ambition and focused business opportunity. And we’re only just at the beginning. Flutter has set the template and shown that there is demand for quality games inspired by the natural world, our next product will bring that vision to millions more players and really step up the production values.

Favorite moments from the show: sharing our new game and seeing the smiles on players faces, the quickfire “rant sessions” from some incredibly smart and passionate developers, the kiwi party that packed out one of the hottest GDC party spots, the suite party where I got to meet a handful of my heroes over shots of Patron and rounds of Heads Up, and sharing the early morning light with a bunch of fellow runners as part of the #gdcrun.

This show felt pivotal, and if it is a sign of things to come, we are going to have a really exciting year.



Happy Birthday Flutter


This past Friday marked the one year anniversary of Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary going live on the App Store, and what a year it has been! Our little game has grown up, with twice as many butterflies as when we started (now well over 100 real life species), and a host of new characters and features to interact with. It’s the support from the community which has allowed our game to thrive and grow, and for that we are hugely appreciative. We’re really proud of this game, ever more so that it continues to go from strength to strength, enjoying its biggest ever week during our recent Valentines Day event. And believe us there is much, much more cool content to come.

It’s also a thrill to have hit 1 million downloads as we see the game’s player base expand with the Android release. But with nearly 2 billion smartphones out there in the world, we still have a long way to go in reaching the potential of this game and our expanded portfolio. It’s our dream to build the Runaway family of games into a thriving brand and community known around the world for our beautiful games inspired by the natural world.

We can’t wait to show off our next title and share more of the long term strategy with you all. Thanks again for our your wonderful support, it makes us as a team incredibly proud of what we do, and pushes us to make the best possible experiences we can.



Thank You


This has been a pivotal year for Runaway; our most eventful and successful to date. We’re incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from our players and partners, so I wanted to throw out a few special thanks to those who helped make this all happen:

  • The development team. Both the guys in-house and those that have worked with us remotely. You’ve done a huge amount with the limited time and resources we have for a little studio. We must have one of the coolest and most capable teams working in mobile, and I’m inspired by the potential in the group.
  • Our friends at DeNA, who have welcomed us into their family and provided incredible support for Flutter from concept generation through to live operations and support. You’ve involvement has undoubtedly made Flutter a better game, and us a better studio.
  • NHNZ and the new global group of production companies we now belong to, for giving us the infrastructure support for us to keep our head down making games.
  • And most importantly, our players! Without you we’d be nothing. Thanks for playing, for your energy and enthusiasm, understanding through any hiccups, and contribution to the community

We’re really proud of Flutter and thrilled with it’s success so far, but we’re only just getting started. Next year the game will continue to grow with more species, features, and creatures. But it doesn’t stop in the rainforest, our plans are expanding to find more amazing natural environments to bring to mobile devices. We’re going to build Runaway into a brand known across the globe for incredible games inspired by nature, delivering games that delight our players and evolve with our community.

Thank you. We can’t wait to share our new creations. The best is yet to come.


Festive Cheer!


With the holiday season almost upon us, we thought it was time to get into the spirit and run an extra long event. The wisps have returned, but this time with 6 new species to collect over 17 days, giving Flutter players a ton to keep busy over the remainder of the year. We’ve selected patterns and colors to fit into a festive theme, with a special holly decoration and even a snowflake trail! Hope you all have fun with the event and have a wonderful time with your friends and family this holiday.



Class of Summer 2013/14

2013-11-28 16.01.50

The Runaway team has grown! In addition to our researcher Jonas (with butterfly book), and artist Lars (beaming on iPad from Sweden) we have this past week welcomed 3 new interns into the team. Dylan, Katie, and Aleksis are joining us over the summer to help out prototyping gameplay for our exciting new title. That means our team has doubled in size in only 2 weeks! We have a feeling its going to be a really fun summer, but also one where we get lots of great work done both updating Flutter and exploring the possibilities with our new title.

Watch this space for exciting new developments, including a special new Flutter event in time for the holiday season :)





Our latest limited set of butterflies is out in the wild, so for the next 10 days our Flutter players can attract these Amazon beauties, including two new Phantom variants (with super cool transparent wings!).

We’ve tried a new structure for this event, blending our standard and wisp events. Each butterfly has its own unique flower, as opposed to a generalized event flower, plus we’re slowing unlocking the species as we progress through the week. Hopefully the switch up is well received and this becomes a new style of event to cycle through and keep things fresh.

It’s been a big week for us welcoming two new members to the team. Jonas is an intern researcher working with us to find cool new species and facts to expand the rainforest, and Lars (Emma’s twin brother!) is working with us remotely on artwork from Sweden to help crank out new sets for events. Welcome guys!

In other exciting news, a test market launch for Android is imminent! Players in New Zealand will get first crack at playing the game on Google’s mobile OS. This will be followed by some other small test markets to ensure everything is running fine before going global in a couple weeks. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter feed for when you can find it on Google Play in your country.

Runaway HQ is a real hive of activity with all these updates, events, platforms, and even a new game in development! Got 3 interns starting next week as well so things are going to get even more crazy. Fun summer ahead :)



The Flutterpedia Evolves!


Our latest update to Flutter is live on the App Store, with the centerpiece being a totally revamped Flutterpedia in the style of an elegant old book. We’ve wanted to do this for ages and now that we’ve done it we have the foundation to expand the book with new creatures, facts, stories, missions, goals and other special magic. This is a style we want to build upon for the whole portfolio, so as you visit all the magnificent environments we create you’ll build a virtual shelf of these books that document your adventures in caring for the natural world.

In response to many many requests, we have brought back Flutterbucks rewards for perfecting sets in the form of new Goals (which you can now find listed in the Flutterpedia). Those players who have been around for a while will get a special treat when they open the game as you’ll get to collect a few of these at once :)

Gifting has also had two big upgrades. If you want to give more than 5 gifts a day then you can do that for 2 Flutterbucks per friend. Also you can now “Shop for Friend” and buy them any premium item that will turn up in an extra special gift wrapped seed chest in their environment. The perfect thing for a special buddy!

For players concerned about accidentally spending Flutterbucks, check out the Settings menu for a slider than lets you customize how long the “Cancel” timer takes to confirm each FB spend.

We’re really happy with this update and hope you guys enjoy it. Many more exciting sets to come, and one more new character based update before we hit the holiday season (which is scarily soon!)





So much has happened the last few weeks its hard to know where to start. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in spreadsheets, budgets, grant applications, and business plans, but it’s all starting to feel like it was worth it. Leveraging the success of Flutter and the strength of our planned upcoming portfolio, we’ve not only locked in our budget for the next year of development, but are looking to expand. We’re currently on the hunt for two more full time programmers, have three interns joining us over the summer, and are engaging a range of super talented contract artists from round the world. This is all to execute on our plan to not only make Flutter the best it can be, but bring you a whole new game in 2014, inspired by a totally new natural environment. We won’t be ready to talk about it for a while, but in the meantime you can trust us that its going to be something pretty special.

I’m also very proud to say that we’ve been awarded a grant by the New Zealand government to assist with the realization of this vision, specifically the technical foundation that we’re building to service a wide range of products inspired by various natural wonders.

Now that we have the plan in place, it’s time to put our heads down and turn out some more great games. There’s lots more going on and lots to look forward to in the short term, from new platforms and features to events and promotional partners, so stay tuned and come along for the ride as we have a huge end to 2013!


The Wisps Return!


Oh look what’s this? A new wisp mother has appeared, this time hailing from the far east and bringing with her a whole new collection of devious little wisps to catch. As with our last wisp event you’ll be challenged to capture the wisps, who each transform into a unique flower to attract a limited Nawab set butterfly.

We’ve made a lot of adjustments to how this style of event works based on your feedback from last time. For a start, the wisps are easier to catch, so you’ll have a better chance of completing the set. The real challenge will be perfecting it (see below why that will be important). We’re also now rolling out the butterflies through the week as opposed to all at once, so the difficulty should gently scale up through the event, avoiding that frustrating feeling that you’re not progressing.

The other surprise is the abilities of these butterflies, with the Great Nawab having the most powerful ability in the game! (laying an egg for free) We hope those that were bummed about missing out of the Perisama set will be excited by the chance to get this ability in your arsenal.


Another special addition to this event builds on our brand new Decoration feature in the game. For players who perfect the Nawab set during the 10 days of the event, you’ll collect a unique, animated, ultimate version of the Lotus Flower.

So get cracking! Hope everyone has fun :)


Flutter Update 1.7


Our latest update is just about here and it has a TON of cool updates for you guys. Let’s check out what’s new:

Decorations: This one has been a long time coming. We wanted to give players more meaningful rewards for hitting big milestones in the game, and also wanted to give some options for environment customization, so we killed two birds with one stone! You can now adorn your environment with unique visual treasures earned from completing sets and missions. Keep an eye out for decorations slots in the environment. Tap these to choose which decoration to place from your inventory.


Storage: Players were frustrated with the high price tag of the storage expansions, and wanted a way to work towards earning more space. With this update you can now expand your capacity by collecting twig, leaf, and sap materials earned through gameplay. Use two of each of these resources to unlock a spot. You can still instantly purchase a slot (or just the remaining materials you need) with Flutterbucks.

More Space for Butterflies: Everyone has been asking for this one so here you go! Nine more rooms to unlock with Honeydew, and if you want to fast track your growth there’s now an option to purchase 1,000,000 Honeydew with Flutterbucks


Bargain Beetle: This sly character now hangs around in your environment while his special offer is available.

Bug Fixes and Refinements: The social functionality has had a big overhaul so should now be working much smoother, and butterflies will no longer go missing on missions!

Follow up post to come with info on our new event which introduces a stunning set and big refinements to the “capture” style mechanic.