Fun Infused Friday - Lazy No Good Title Edition
It’s been almost three months since I’ve done a Fun Infused Friday. A lot has happened since then. I’ve released two games to Xbox Live Indie Games with poor and extremely poor sales results respectively. Since then I’ve moved my focus to iOS and PC development, primarily in the forms of an update to Hypership Out of Control on iOS and a PC port of Volchaos. It’s a big shift for me, going from a market and community I know well to others I know far less intimately. Yet I believe it’s a switch I have to make if I truly expect to do well as a game studio. While my experience outside of the XBLIG walls is somewhat limited, my one venture into iOS land has had a much more positive outcome than my six trips to XBLIG market.
Hypership Out of Control (iOS)
I’ve spent a lot of time working on the 1.2 update for Hypership on iOS. The update includes a new game mode, a new music track, and an updated menu UI. I’ve finished all the changes and once I can do a quick test of the game, I will be releasing the update to the public.
Jesse Chounard of Third Party Ninjas did the original coding of Hypership iOS. I will be doing all the updates / code / heavy lifting going forward. I’m very inexperienced using Macs and even less so programming on them. It’s taking me longer getting this update out because I’m often fumbling about and generally being confused. It’s been about three weeks of pretty regular iOS development for me though and I’m already a ton more familiar than I was at the start. Almost feeling good enough to start on a new iOS game. Almost.
The development environment on Mac really does suck in comparison to the tools Microsoft has created. There is so much that I took for granted in Visual Studio that is missing in xCode and just make development far more cumbersome than it should be. It’s really surprising given how many developers are doing iOS work that this is the best available. VB6 development seems user friendly in comparison to xCode.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about a lite or freemium version of Hypership. I think it will be a great marketing tool to introduce more people to Hypership. Generally most people really like the game and I think it will sell a lot better if I can get more people to try it out (as opposed to a crappy game that with cause people to run away screaming). I’m leaning more towards freemium at this point because I can give that away for free like a lite version but at the same time make it easier for gamers to get the full version of the game. It does appear that $.99 is the cheapest IAP price point available though so I’ve either got to use one IAP to get the full game or I’ll end up charging more for freemium users to unlock the full game than those that bought the full game.
Almost certainly my next full iOS version will be freemium only.
Slowly but surely, Volchaos for PC is moving along. Most of the work I’ve been doing has been on making the editor do all level editing tasks and making using the editor more user friendly. When I developed Volchaos, the level editor was really rough and some tasks (like moving platforms and specifying the lava speed of levels) had to actually be done by editing the text file of the level itself. Most of the tasks also involved keyboard commands to activate. For just me using the editor, this was fine, but I really want gamers to make and submit their own levels so to encourage that, I’ve had to really improve the editor.
I’m also planning to do a Kickstarter campaign for the PC port. I’m not going to ask for a lot, somewhere over $1,000. This will give me plenty of money to get a couple new songs in the game (I’ve preemptively commissioned their creation already) and spend the rest on new art assets. Most likely the new artwork will go towards improving the backgrounds in the game but I may add a few foreground elements too and possibly a new enemy.
World of Chalk (PC)
I’ve had some discussions about the direction of World of Chalk in recent days. I expect to be doing some work on this game in the near future as well. I don’t have that much to tell right now other than we’re looking into ways to make drawing / chalk more integral to the gameplay mechanics rather than just being a look the game has.
I'm tired and I don't sleep enough. I'm going to go to sleep now. I'll give this other stuffs section a better go around next time.
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