Tag: This Is The Only Level
For the past 2-3 months, John and I have been going back and forth about whether or not to make a TITOL3. 3 weeks ago, the project was greenlighted and we dove right in. It was a very different experience than TITOL2 for 2 big, related reasons: I had 0 lead time to start coming up with stage ideas and John and I didn’t meet up to spend a day doing nothing but setting the 30 stages, their names, their orders, how they’d work, etc. On TITOL2, I had spent about 6 weeks coming up with ideas and then John and I spent day 1 of development solidifying the core of the game. For TITOL3, it was mostly off the cuff… yes, I had 5 or so ideas that had been floating around in my mind, but most of it was done on the spot, with John giving a, “Hey. We’re working on this. We have 2 weeks. GO!”
Anyway, 3 weeks later, the game is now live on Armor. SO PLAY IT!
This version of the game has ditched the button and gone with a switch. Elephant now poops pastries (ala AU2). And there are 4 teleporting doors located throughout the level. Not to mention a return of the velociraptor, FML mode, and Hyper mode… plus a new Invisible mode.
Can you beat my speedrun time of 2:57.97?
So crazy to think… amazing really. For a walkthrough to have so many views. This is the only level’s walkthrough hit 3 million views today. Yay!
Use Boxmen will hit 2 million very shortly as well.
Don’t think I’ll have any new 7 digit milestone posts for a while. Oh well.
My channel has been top100 views for Gurus and Gaming for a while now, but I’ve never had an individual video in the top100 for Gaming. Until now. Without even noticing it, TITOL1 is #73 all time in Gaming. Which makes it 1 of 4 flash games in the top100 (Red Remover walkthrough, Pandemic 2 instructions, Wake Up The Box walkthrough). Here’s to hoping on getting many more vids in there.
Ever wondered what it would be like to work side-by-side with one of your favorite developers and create a game? Well, with This Is The Only Levels 2 slated for release tomorrow, these are my thoughts from the process:
Developing games, when you don’t have to do any of the grunt work, is REALLY fun. I got to come up with a ton of really fun levels and assist with the entire creative process throughout development… without having to do any of that pesky “work”, like coding or making graphics.
A lot more goes into a game than just code and art. Besides all the creative stuff, which we pretty much hammered out on the 1st day, all of this stuff needed to be done as well: UI for the menu and other off-menu screens, game save system, high scores, bonus modes, and API implementation.
It’s amazing how many bugs pop up in the oddest areas. This is something I already know, from all the testing work I do… but that is all AFTER the dev QAs his game. In a game as simple as TITOL2 (same engine as last game, just new levels), we easily found 20 bugs. From a certain level having an unexpected exploit to the save file not wiping deaths when you clear your level progress, and everything in between.
You can’t get too attached to any one idea. Given unlimited time, John could code any crazy level that I came up with… but one level we wanted to use left gravity for the level, so you’d have to jump from left to right on the edges of the platforms to reach the exit. Sadly, the engine (which John said could DEFINITELY handle left/right gravity) did not like this idea. I wasn’t given the full explanation, but it would have taken a lot of time to mess with the engine to get this 1 level to work. Better solution was just to use a different level idea that didn’t make the original cut. One other level that we liked wound up not being nearly as fun in actuality as it was in my head… so again, we tweaked it… and now it’s one of my favorite levels.
Don’t rush the process. The first TITOL took John 12 hours, start to finish. So going in to this project, I thought it would take 2 or 3 days, tops, for this one. It’ll wind up being released on the morning of the 10th day. There’s a lot more extra features in this game, and my level designs are a bit more complex than what was in the first game. Combine that with the AS2 to AS3 conversion… and a 1-day game becomes a 2-week game. At the same time, you don’t want to take TOO much time… when you think everything has been found and is ready, let it loose. I’m really nervous that we’ve overlooked something, or some major bug will pop up as soon as it’s released… but, if that happens, we’ll know about it soon enough. Not much more we can do about it now.
Altogether, this was so much fun. I hope that all of you guys wind up enjoying the game as much as I’ve enjoyed working on it. And give insane props to John… all the little things he puts into games are what makes them great, not my level designs. The UI, the elephant, the polka music, and a dozen other things that I won’t mention so that you can discover them all tomorrow.
January was shaping up to be a very bad month for me… worst since June, when my content still hadn’t really taken off yet. Then this weekend happened, and while the month was still sub-par compared to the previous few, it at least made it respectable. Why was January going to be such a bad month? A few reasons that I can think of… I was away for almost 3 weeks at the end of Dec / start of Jan, and made almost no videos in that time. Between Dec 11th and Jan 14th, I didn’t have a single monetized video do even 50k views… and all told, I only made about 20 vids. Not many games released over the holidays, and those weren’t very good. Also kids off from school go away on vacation during this time, etc etc.
This weekend changed that. The past 7-10 days, some good games started to hit my plate… i remain, werebox, and foreign creature 2. The planets aligned, you could say. The result was 3 of my 4 best days in terms of both ad impressions and money made (excluding my one crazy click-fraud day) and 3 of my 5 best days ever in terms of views (including #1). First, weekends always produce more views than weekdays… for obvious reasons. But what happened this weekend to cause this massive jump? Let’s look at these graphs I pulled from Insight:
(ignore that it says 1/30/10… for some reason Insight always displays the graphs as 1 day earlier than they actually are).
The least expected, and biggest, reason for this weekend’s success is that Addicting Games added This Is The Only Level to their site on Friday, leaving in the walkthrough link in-game. This pulled in 40k+ hits alone, each day… compared to the 4-6k/day it had been doing for the past few months. Second, WereBox… although I’m not 100% sure why yet. It’s on BubbleBox, but didn’t take off until 3-4 days after release. It’s on a few other mid-large portals (notdoppler, gamesfree.ca, etc), but none of the largest ones (just went onto Kong today)… yet it pulled in 25-30k for the past 3 days. Third, i remain was given a completion badge on Kongregate on the 26th (Tues), so it was already starting to taper off by the weekend. It also has yet to hit any of the other large portals. So those 3 alone were 80-85k/day views (out of the 150-160k for each day). Add to it Foreign Creature 2, Cargo Bridge Armor Edition, Alice is Dead Ep2, and Demo City 2 all contributing 5k+ each and then 400 other videos, it works out to 150-160k a day.
Basically, what this says to me is that this was one hell of a weekend… and it might not be over with yet. Numbers are definitely dropping big time today, as expected, but when WereBox and i remain hit the other large portals, it should jump their numbers big time. Plus I have 2 videos sitting finished on my desktop for Kongregate (one probably won’t do very well, the other will do at least decently with upside potential to do well). I have 2 games waiting to hit my desk for another site, one of which will do VERY well. And, let’s not forget about TITOL2… which might be released as early as Friday of this week.
A few months ago, I mentioned that I was writing the script to a game and working with some friends to do the coding/art. That project is currently on hold, but I’ll probably finish working on it at some point. I need to figure out what I’m trying to do with the game… otherwise it’s just going to suck. And I won’t put my name on a project that sucks, especially when I’d be the major reason it sucked.
I’ve also been approached by a few different developers to design levels… and I shudder at this thought. Playing and solving levels is super fun; the battle of wits between myself and the cunning developer. Coming up with 20 or 30 creative levels to try and stump players, having a linear ramping difficulty curve, and designing levels that are all going to be unique… it’s daunting. And that’s just the design process; then you actually have to do the grunt work of making the levels in whatever editor you’ve given to work in, which may or may not be user friendly. It’s tedious, arduous, and is the complete opposite of fun.
However, there is one game that I had a different reaction to. It’s a game that when I played it, I immediately started to bug the developer about wanting to assist on designing levels for a sequel. Ma nishtana ba-mischak ha-ze mi kol ha-mischakim? (That translates to, “Why is this game different from all other games?”) The answer is simple… it’s a game where level design is not tedious, arduous, or un-fun. It’s a game where levels can be designed in seconds or minutes and each level has 1 specific trick to it. The goal of level design in this game is to screw with the player in a way that the player is still enjoying himself (or herself). And I get no greater pleasure than screwing with people… why not take it to the grand stage?
So you must be asking what game this is. I gave a vague hint about it the other day. The game is This Is The Only Level, and I’ll be working in the Armor Office later this month (or early next month) on the sequel. Expect fun and delightfully evil levels from yours truly. :)
I’ve also been working on a big project for the past 2+ months, but I’ve been asked not to talk about it. Expect some stuff about it once I’m cleared to discuss it or once it’s public.
I’ve started work on Tass Approved GAMES, the portal side of this site. So far, I have 1 game up for you… a personal favorite… This Is The Only Level by jmtb02. I’ll make sure to keep everyone up to date as I continue to add more games to the site (I’ve got about 70 picked out so far). As I’ve mentioned, I’m open to suggestions on future games to add. I’m also open to suggestions and constructive criticism for the page layouts. So please post comments telling me what you like, what you don’t, and why.
To go along with the games, I’ve added a walkthrough section to the site. I’ll try to add a walkthrough for every game… even if I didn’t make it.
Thanks and enjoy TITOL! A small fairy has told me to be on the lookout for a sequel in the coming weeks. PLAY THIS IS THE ONLY LEVEL NOW.