Bidding ended last week, and the game is now LIVE on GamesButler.com. Big thanks to Dom for the sponsorship, quick payment, and quick add to his site.
And, of course, if you need help… here’s the walkthrough. But be warned, you may accidentally see the solutions to levels other than the one you want.
My first game is up for bid on FlashGameLicense.com (FGL). Ditloid is a word-based logic puzzle game where you are given a number and the 1st letter of each of the words in the problem, then you have to deduce what the puzzle is. Such as 60 S in a M would be 60 seconds in a minute. The game features 100 levels spread across 3 difficulties. There are 2 forms of in-game hints, plus a walkthrough. All 100 levels are open from the start, and you can freely skip from 1 to the next. The game IS hard; it’s not something you’re going to complete in 1 sitting… it’s a game where you take a few puzzles with you, and maybe the answer to one of them pops into your head 3 hours later with a sense of “ooooh! nice.” and accomplishment.
Anyway, hopefully it sells for some good money. Krayz did a great job on the programming and dealing with my never-ending list of bugs and changes.
Since tons of people want to know about FFR… I got an email from Synth last night that he was indisposed and would hopefully have the site up by Monday. So we’ll see.
I’m starting to get worried. All our stuff is leaving on a big truck on the 22nd. Need my desktop back before then, if only so we can get it on the truck. Don’t want to have to shell out hundreds of bucks in shipping.
Developing 2 small games in addition to the big one. One should be finished the week… it’s a popular type of word/logic puzzle, but I’ve never seen it ported to flash. So I’m doing it, and slapping 100 puzzles in it. Doubt it’ll do that well… but it’s the type of game I’d enjoy playing, so that’s why it’s being made.
The other is another satire game with Benologist. It’ll be less “omg complete joke” and more of obvious satire but still fun to play / challenging puzzles. Most of the puzzles are done… need to write the script still. And Beno is busy until July (as I am, sort of, with the move)… so that game will be made in early July.
On Sunday, I woke up to a borked desktop. This sucked. I tried doing some basic troubleshooting, but it did not work… and because I’m terrible with hardware and my desktop is like my child… I didn’t want to mess with it too much. It’s under warranty, however the company is not open on Sundays (and was also closed for Memorial Day).
So I set my alarm for 8:30 this morning, so that I could call them nice and early and get my comp down to them ASAP. I called them and explained the situation. They said I could bring it in and they’d fix it. The place is in Pasadena, which is 44 miles away as per Google. It took 80 minutes, leaving at 9:15am… gotta love LA traffic. By 10:55, they diagnosed it as motherboard failure and they did not have a replacement in stock, but that new ones were already on order. So I said ok, and now have to sit and wait until they call me to say the mobos are in and that my sexiness is fixed.
I also had a lunch meeting with Troy/Maldon/Dawnerd scheduled for 12:30 in Santa Monica, which I wasn’t sure whether I’d make because of the computer. Since I was done in Pasadena by 11, I headed off to Santa Monica, which is 35 miles from Pasadena, as per Google. That took about 50 minutes; got in right around noon. My bowels were troubling me greatly, so I used the time to find a public bathroom… which is much harder to do than one would expect, as Santa Monica has tons and tons of foot traffic. I wound up meeting up with Troy at 12:40 and we grabbed Subway and chatted for about 45 minutes on the future of FFR and life in general. We’re both on the same page, and I think we have the basics of a deal worked out. This is good.
Then I needed to get back from Santa Monica to the Valley (San Fernando). Google was telling me to take the 405, which was displaying RED for traffic most of the way. I decided to take the PCH and Topanga Canyon instead, which probably took the same amount of time (40 minutes), but is peaceful, scenic, and fun to drive.
And now I am home, on Whorli’s laptop, trying to quickly download my video recording/editing software so that I can re-make a walkthrough that is stuck on my desktop and needs to be ready for a game’s release tomorrow. *sigh*.
So, the initial response to the game has been quite divided, which is what we expected. There are those who think it’s funny and like it and those who don’t and don’t. Very, very little middle ground. As a result, it did ok on Kong (and got a pity badge from Greg), but has seen very little early pickup from distribution. More on that aspect of the game’s success will be known in a week or two.
What interests me so much is that the walkthrough has been viewed over 21,000 times. It’s not like the game is hard, at all. Not even remotely. Yet 21,000 views. I’m quite shocked by this, and don’t really know what to attribute it to. I understand that there have been 74,000 clicks on the walkthrough link… but that makes a bit more sense, given there is an achievement for it; but for 30% of those clickers to view it? Either they really like me or they are dumber than I thought. Not sure which is better.
Last Friday in the FGL (Flash Game License) chat, a few of us were talking about random game ideas, and the chat clown Benologist (Ben Lowry) gave one idea that I thought we could make into a game. 3 days late, we have a finished game… he did the programming and art, I did the design and QA. It’s a metagame about game commenters. We think it’s pretty funny.
Play Great Game! 1/5 on Kongregate and rate it 5/5 you like it. <3
I typed “Walkthrough” into my YouTube search bar and waded through the 1st 17 pages of results, which takes us down to 200,000 views per video. ”Walkthrough” returned the results of any video with the word Walkthrough in either the title or description of the video. This should be a pretty all-inclusive list, barring any games besides Ice Breaker that have a crapton of videos for 1 game (I just happened to know about the walks for those games, so I knew to check… no one of the vids has 200k+ views).
The List: Game Name (# of Vids) – Total Views in Millions – Ave Views/Vid
- Red Remover (2) – 11.4 – 5.7
- This Is The Only Level – 2.8
- Wake Up The Box – 2.6
- Poptropica: Nabooti Island – 2.0
- Cover Orange – 2.0
- Use Boxmen – 1.8
- Roly-Poly Eliminator – 1.6
- This Is The Only Level TOO – 1.1
- Poptropica: Big Nate Island – 1.0
- Wake The Royalty (2) – 1.7 – 850k
- Poptropica: Astro Knights (4) – 2.8 – 700k
- Fragger (2) – 1.4 – 700k
- Poptropica: Spy Island (3) – 1.9 – 633k
- Demolition City 2 (3) – 1.9 – 633k
- Poptropica: Counterfeit Island (4) – 2.2 – 550k
- Poptropica: Mythology Island (4) – 2.0 – 500k
- Demolition City (2) – 1.0 – 500k
- Crush the Castle: Players Pack (4) – 1.3 – 325k
- Stadium Sneakout (10) – 1.0 – 100k
- Ice Breaker (40) – 1.8 – 45k
- Ice Breaker: Red Clan (40) – 1.4 – 35k
These are video groups done by 1 person; no mix and matching. Also, no 1 game/island had more than 1 person with 1 mil views on their walkthrough… although 1 or 2 of the Poptropica Islands were close with a 2nd.
Analyzing the list shows very specific types of games that meet this list: Poptropica, Phuzzles, and Puzzle Platformers account for 19/21. CtC:PP is a physics game, but not a phuzzle… and Stadium Sneakout is a point & click that doesn’t really belong on the list at all because each video is :08-:30 long. The top17 are 6 Poptropicas, 8 Phuzzles, and 3 Puzzle Platformers. Finally, I made 8 of the top 18 (8 of 12 if you discount Poptropica).
If you know of any game that I missed, please let me know. :)
My full team is now assembled. As mentioned, Krayz is on programming. Now on board… Kfosh for art and KgZ for music. Kfosh’s art is absolutely perfect for what I’m looking for. As soon as I saw his portfolio, I knew he was the artist for this game. And KgZ… well, James is just a really talented kid who I try to help (and benefit from) as often as I can. He’s my go-to guy when I need to replace in-game audio with something else. Anyway, his usual jazzy style isn’t what this game will feel like, but I’m quite confident in his talent and ability to create something awesome for the game.
Maybe in the coming weeks I’ll reveal the name, so that I can stop calling it “the game”. But not yet.
Last summer I was planning on working on a point and click game, but gave up on it because I wasn’t a big fan of the script that I was writing and where it was going. However, recently, many different people have brought up the point that I have some extra time available and should consider making games, in addition to my other stuff. A few days ago in Impossible is Nothing (our Kong chatroom), we were discussing box2d games and how they make lots of money without having much in the way of original content. So I jokingly shot out the first idea that popped into my head for a funny box2d game. Add in a few hours of planning and refining the concept, and I now have my first game under way.
I’m still searching for an artist, but my buddy Krayz will be doing the programming for the game, and I’ll be hiring someone for a custom audio track or two as well. This game is going to be a test, all around. Do I like being in charge and designing my own games? Is the profit worth the time investment? How much time will I need to invest? Should I do my own level design, or outsource that too? Lots and lots of questions, and hopefully they can be answered in the next 4-6 weeks without me losing money. :)
I don’t want to do an open development, because this is my first project. I want to get it right and focus on it and not have to worry about blogging about it. However, I’ll give updates here and there. I’ve run the concept by a few people… both industry and family, and after refinement it’s gotten positive responses. So if I do a good job on the design, it should do well. The one thing I know is that this project won’t be scrapped like the point and click. This game IS getting made.
So, back in October or November 09, Jamie Young approached me about creating some new formulas for the next Sacred Seasons game. I put together a spreadsheet that featured many different formula choices, all simple and meant to scale in a similar way to SS1. Then I didn’t hear anything for a while. Fast forward to mid December, and I begin speaking to Derek Day, who had been working more on the game’s lore, features, and content. It’s with Derek that I spent the past 4 months.
Initially, I thought I would be making some formulas, maybe doing some class balance. In the end, I wound up laying the foundation for 24 classes each with 4 seasons, 17 different weapon types with 100 total descriptors, 58 monster types, and 60 dungeons with ~2500 battles. Basically, I would get a document with names and ideas on what something would do, and I added values to do it and made sure it’s balanced with everything else. I say laying the foundation, because a lot of the initial work I did wound up being changed, tweaked, or modified by Derek. He and I had many a discussion that revolved around making changes to work I had done, sometimes weeks or even months after the fact. Derek “won” 99% of these discussions, and he managed to change my opinion on about half of them, with another quarter ending in indifference between the two.
I want you to go back and re-read the 2nd sentence of the previous paragraph. Take that in. Then add in the massive world, encompassing 13 areas, tons of quests (I’m not sure exactly how many… but it’s a lot), and all the features that are still planned for future content updates. It’s been a huge undertaking and I only played a small role. But the experience has been fantastic. If I had been allowed to design a lot of the systems and mechanics that I thought I was going to be allowed to design without oversight, the game would not have wound up as complete as it is. I’ve been frustrated on numerous occasions, having spent 10+ hours designing something, only to then find out that Derek wants part, or all, of it changed or done differently. There were times I wanted to bang my head into a wall because I felt my way of doing something was better, yet I was being overruled time and time again. But through it all, I have done what I thought was best for the game’s success… and then adapted to all of the requested changes. I’ve gotten to see and experience what it is like to design an MMORPG.
So, I hope that all of you enjoy the gameplay in Sacred Seasons 2, because an awful lot of time, energy, and thought went into it.
Expect some more game-related posts and post-mortem type stuff in the coming weeks.