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Why Trism 2 took Steve Demeter 10 years to make

4 min read

A decade ago, Steve Demeter created Trism for the App Store, and the simple match-3 mobile game with triangles became one of the early successes that proved mobile gaming could work on the iPhone. It made Demeter famous around the world, and he quit his day job as a software developer at Wells Fargo.

Given its success, it seemed like a no brainer that he would make a sequel. He was able to hire people and do it right. But the sequel didn’t come — until yesterday, when he finally published Trism 2 on the tenth anniversary of the first game’s debut. I put many hours into that game. In fact, I played it for years.

For a mobile game, that’s an extraordinarily long development cycle. Early on, Demeter thought about his quick sequel, and he abandoned his original direction in favor of doing something more radical.

But it still didn’t come together. He pulled together a team at his company Demiforce and poured all of his money from Trism — he didn’t specify the exact amount — into Trism 2.

But he wanted it to be special. The match-3 gameplay with triangular objects in Trism was unique, but it was a matter of luck for players to get high scores. Demeter wanted to see skillful players succeed in both single-player and multiplayer competitions.

He veered off in many directions, and he considers the game he is publishing now to be something like Trism 5. He ran out of money, took jobs in the growing mobile game industry, and he now works as director of engineering at FoxNext’s San Francisco studio, Fogbank Entertainment. It gave him its blesing to publish the game on his own.

And so far, after just a day, Trism 2 is exceeding Demeter’s expectations, even as a $3 premium game. Apple’s Phil Schiller called it out in a tweet. And Demeter is proud because he didn’t waiver from his focus on quality and getting it right. His passion project made it to the market, and that is success enough to him.

We talked about Demeter’s odyssey yesterday, as his baby launched. I wanted to understand how it took him more time to make a mobile game than most people spend on their Ph.Ds. (Leonardo DaVinci took seven years to paint the Mona Lisa). Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

Why Trism 2 took Steve Demeter 10 years to make

Above: Steve Demeter is the creator of Trism and Trism 2.

Image Credit: Demiforce

GamesBeat: You’ve had an interesting odyssey here.

Steve Demeter: It’s been a long time coming. I really wanted to settle on this date. It was important to me to do right by the fans. They were asking for it. I just wanted to make sure that this date, of all dates—the 10th anniversary was important to me.

GamesBeat: Which part of Fox are you in?

Demeter: This is FoxNext, the studio that put out Marvel Strike Force back in March. I work within Fogbank Entertainment in San Francisco. We’re putting out a narrative game for FoxNext. FoxNext rolls up into Fox Filmed Entertainment under 20th Century.

GamesBeat: One of the things about the 10 years that was interesting to me—I was at the Gamelab event a couple of weeks ago in Barcelona. The different triple-A developers were there talking about how long they worked on some things. Horizon: Zero Dawn took seven years. That was 150 people or so.

Jason Roberts worked on Gorogoa all by himself with two people helping for five years. Bethesda’s Todd Howard mentioned that they worked on Starfield, this ground-up sci-fi game, for 10 years already. It’s taking longer than getting a Ph.D now. It took four years to paint the Sistine Chapel and seven years to paint the Mona Lisa. This is getting into a major commitment, to do something for so long. I wonder if you wanted to talk about that a little, the time frame.

Demeter: The Ph.D is a good comparison. You really have to defend your thesis. That’s the reckoning we have right now, going out to the public. As you know, the gaming public is already passionate. I love my fans. But they expect greatness. What I set out to do, when Trism hit, was I said to myself, well, I could go any way I want to go with this company, but the aspiration I’ve always had — certainly the game creators that resonate the most with me are the ones who say, we’re going to take our time. We’re going to do this right. It’s a process of discovery. When you get it right, you’ll know. I really feel I’ve got something here.

I think that, as a puzzle game, you can ask yourself, what more could there be done in this genre? But man, I iterated time and time again on this. I wasn’t confident to put it out unless I really had something. What I think I have here is really great. I didn’t put myself on a quarterly analysis or cadence in terms of needing to fulfill this profit margin. I did it like an indie. I guess I have to reckon with that right now, but the fact is, I’m very proud of it. The vision for my company was always around the fans and making those fans happy with it. Sure, it’s very late, but I’m proud of it.

Why Trism 2 took Steve Demeter 10 years to make

Above: Trism 2

Image Credit: Demiforce

GamesBeat: Did you hire people at different points to do certain tasks, and then bring them in on gigs?

Demeter: Yeah. When I started this thing I really had no idea what a game studio was, but I kind of failed into it. The game you’re going to play is essentially Trism 5. I’ve iterated over this thing a couple of times. But I did have a core art team, engineering team, and design team. I also had some people helping out with business development.

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Data breach exposes trade secrets of carmakers GM, Ford, Tesla, Toyota – TechCrunch

1 min read

Data breach exposes trade secrets of carmakers GM, Ford, Tesla, Toyota – TechCrunch

Security researcher UpGuard Cyber Risk disclosed Friday that sensitive documents from more than 100 manufacturing companies, including GM, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Tesla, Toyota, ThyssenKrupp, and VW were exposed on a publicly accessible server belonging to Level One Robotics.

The exposure via Level One Robotics, which provides industrial automation services, came through rsync, a common file transfer protocol that’s used to backup large data sets, according to UpGuard Cyber Risk. The data breach was first reported by the New York Times.

According to the security researchers, restrictions weren’t placed on the rsync server. This means that any rsync client that connected to the rsync port had access to download this data. UpGuard Cyber Risk published its account of how it discovered the data breach to show how a company within a supply chain can affect large companies with seemingly tight security protocols.

This means if someone knew where to look they could access trade secrets closely protected by automakers. It’s unclear if any nefarious actors actually got their hands on the data. At least one source at an affected automaker told TechCrunch it doesn’t not appear that sensitive or proprietary data was exposed.

UpGuard’s big takeaway in all of this: rsync instances should be restricted by IP address. The researchers also suggest that user access to rsync be set up so that clients have to authenticate before receiving the dataset. Without these measures, rsync is publicly accessible, the researchers said.

The breach exposed 157 gigabytes of data—a treasure trove of 10 years of assembly line schematics, factory floor plans and layouts, robotic configurations and documentation, ID badge request forms, VPN access request forms. The breach even included sensitive non-disclose agreements, including one from Tesla.

Personal details of some Level One employees, including scans of driver’s licenses and passports, and Level One business data, including invoices, contracts, and bank account details.

The security team discovered the breach July 1. The company successfully reached Level One by July 9 and the exposure was closed by the following day.

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Pitch your startup to snag €3 million in TV advertising

2 min read

Presented by SevenVentures


Taking your product to market is the easy part. Building a leading brand separates the weak from the strong.

SevenVentures, a TV media investor and an investment arm of Europe’s largest broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1 Group, is devoted to creating the next generation of market leaders by helping growth companies scale quickly using TV advertising.

And now the company is announcing that applications are open for their eighth annual SevenVentures Pitch Day (7VPD). They’re looking for the most innovative B2C startups, ready to establish themselves and grow in Germany. They’ll be pitching for the chance to win €3 million in TV advertising in this fast-growing market.

The 7VPD prize

7VPD will take place at the DMEXCO conference in Cologne, Germany on September 12, 2018, where four finalists who want to grow their brands in Germany will present their concepts to a jury of industry experts and entrepreneurs. One lucky winning startup will scoop €3 million in German TV advertising, €200k in online advertising, €30k for the creation of their own TV spot, and a mentoring program from Proctor and Gamble. According to Forbes Magazine, it’s one of the most valuable venture capital prizes in the world.

The hot German market

Germany is a hot and growing market for international companies. With more than 40 million financially solvent households and a gross domestic product (GDP) worth more than €3.7 billion, Germany is the leading EU economy, accounting for over a fifth (21.1 percent) of EU GDP.

From a launchpad in Germany, companies can also easily expand into Austria, Switzerland, and beyond. A local partner like SevenVentures can help international companies navigate these new waters.

Who can apply?

The competition is aimed at the most innovative and creative companies in the B2C space who have a unique physical or digital product, want to scale quickly, and are at the right stage of development to benefit from TV advertising power. Both German companies and international companies that are not yet active in the German market are eligible to participate.

Want to leave the competition behind? Then apply for 7VPD by August 22nd, 2018 for a chance to win over €3 million in advertising budget. 

2018 7VPD jury

The 7VPD offers a jury of industry experts:

  • Michael Stich is an entrepreneur, founder, and a former professional tennis player who counts the Wimbledon Men’s Single and Doubles titles and Olympic Men’s Doubles among his many sporting achievements.
  • Astrid Teckentrup has been vice president of sales at Proctor & Gamble DACH, one of the largest markets for P&G worldwide, since 2015. On a global level, she is responsible for a major global customer.
  • Florian Pauthner & Eun-Kyung Park will team up for the third jury spot: Eun-Kyung is managing director of SevenVentures, and since 2009 has held many executive positions at the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, including for ProSiebenSat.1 Digital (Video), TV channel six, and managing director of SevenOne Adfactory. Florian is managing director of SevenVentures and previously enjoyed a longstanding career as an investment expert as former SevenVentures’ CFO, and in M&A for one of the biggest financial institutions in Northern Europe and at a leading management consultancy.

Presenter Steven Gätjen will accompany the participants, jury, and audience through the hour-long program.

Apply for 7VPD by August 22nd, 2018 for the chance to win over €3 million in advertising spend.

DMEXCO: for key players in digital, marketing, and innovation: Bringing together 40,000 visitors, 1,100 exhibitors, and 500 speakers from around the world for a one-of-a-kind event each year in Cologne, DMEXCO (Digital Marketing and Expo Conference) has set the standard as the place for business minds to learn and inspire, build connections, and for ideas to become actions.


Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected].

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Open sourcing quantum: Get ready to help build a new future

0 min read

Jay Gambetta is a fellow at IBM, where he has contributed to the work on quantum validation techniques, quantum codes, improved gates and coherence, near-term applications of quantum computing, the IBM Quantum Experience, and the Qiskit open source framework and leads IBM’s quantum theory, software, and applications group. Previously, he worked at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Canada and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. A quantum information scientist researching in the field of quantum information and computation, Jay h…

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