Hello #iDevBlogADay’ers and other readers!
It’s been quite a while since we’ve posted, mostly because it’s just been so very busy! And what have we been so busy with?
Well first of all, we’ve had a few Dragon Fantasy updates, including the recently released Dragon Fantasy 1.2.0 update. We added another new chapter in that update with another ~10 hours of gameplay. And other than a few typical complaints (omg it’s more than $0!!!) the reception has been great.
On top of that, we just recently released this same version for PC on Indievania! Standard arrow keys / space / escape controls on that version, but we’re testing out the popular-on-PC “pay what you want” method…we’ll see how that goes (and maybe do a post about what people actually choose to pay after we get enough sales to make some useful speculation). Mac version will be out any day now once we get around a few Mac App Store requirements…
Along with that update, we were one of the indies showing our game at Minecon last month. It was a blast, both in getting to see so many kids playing (and loving) the game, and in getting to hang out with some fellow indies. Speaking of the kids…WOW. Never would have guessed any gaming convention, especially one in Las Vegas, would have been so full of young kids but hey, we won’t complain. Plus, it seems that Minecraft is getting them into the retro-style of games which is all good as far as we’re concerned!
Lastly we just moved out of our old offices and into our new so-much-more-indie digs. Instead of a very bland office surrounded by lawyers and finance people (no offense to any of you, you were great neighbors!) we’re now in a much cooler building surrounded by design firms and architects.
We’ll post some pictures of the new office once we get the rest of our furniture in place (you know, the necessities…arcade cabinets…kegerators…etc.)
So yeah…it’s been a lot going on (plus adding in the just-passed and upcoming holidays) and we’ve been keeping busy. More fun Dragon Fantasy (and other games?) updates, updated web sites, and a lot more to come in the next months…we’ll be better about our regular posts!
I was coming into this week trying to figure out what I wanted to post about today when 2 things happened.
First, Dragon Fantasy’s 1.1.0 update came out. And second, I came upon this post from fellow iDevBlogADay’er @rizergames on creating value for your users.
So that’s today’s post…creating value by keeping the game going…
This week I’m going to talk about a game 16 years in the making…and no I’m not talking about that PC shooter… It’s about what you think you know, how you’re probably wrong, and not giving up on that one thing you’ve always wanted to do…
Our latest internal project, Dragon Fantasy, was recently submitted to Apple. This brings with it a lot of joy here because for a couple of us, this game has been around for over half our lives. And here we are, 16 years and 14 revisions later, our RPG has finally shipped.
So we’re back to Game Studio again this week.
And we’re going to look at the beginnings of everyone’s favorite (to program…that is) game – a simple Pong-style game.
By the end of the next few weeks we’ll have a full game playable with this, and we’ll delve into everything but for now, a first look at getting the logic in place.
(or, admitting how the “right way” was wrong)
The title of this blog post, A Break From the Norm works for multiple reasons. First, because this is a 1-post side-track from the Game Studio related posts I’ve been doing, and secondly, because I feel compelled to write about just that – taking a break from the norm, stepping outside your preconceived notions of the right and wrong ways to do things, and being willing to admit that maybe, JUST MAYBE, you DON’T know what you’re talking about.
I promise, next post will continue the Game Studio posts (including a nice, easy-to-follow sample of setting up AI behaviors using nothing but flow charts, look ma no code!), but be it my research over the past couple of weeks, or the delirium caused by lack of sleep, I just need to dump these thoughts out there…
For this first little look at Game Studio, I’m going to look at the (woefully ugly right-now) Scene View.
The idea here is that this is where you’ll lay out your scene, and actually place all of the objects in the world. The hope is you can lay everything down (similar to a Flash canvas I suppose, though I’ll admit I’m completely under-qualified to make any statements regarding Flash development).
Let’s look at how this is laid out a bit…
Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men… I had intended to write about cross-platform graphics technology or something of the sort. But then E3 happened, and Game Studio was shown by TouchArcade, and suddenly people started taking notice, and hitting us up for more information. So, let’s talk Game Studio.
I was going to do a tech blog this time…but honestly after the crazy week at E3 I just don’t have the energy to finish it in enough detail that people might learn so…we’ll be saving that for next time (sorry!) and instead talking a bit about this year’s E3 trip.
Monetization…it’s a scary word isn’t it? It sounds all fancy and important. It’s a very “businessy” term, and as such I’m sure most of us try to ignore it, or avoid it out of fear of its inherit complexity. But well, it’s not hard, it’s rather simple. In the wise words of Paul Graham (taken from his fantastic essay, How to Start a Startup):
You just try to get people to pay you for stuff.
Really, that’s it. You’re just trying to find the best way to make money on whatever it is you’re doing. The problem is there are a LOT of ways to go about this…what’s best for you? Well first, you have two starting points: Is your game going to be free or paid. Think about this a lot at the design phase of your game. As we’ve (very depressingly, and completely obvious in hindsight) discovered, you can’t just take a paid game, release a free version with ads, and expect to make money.
So that being said, let’s look at what options are out there for monetizing your game, and let’s look at some of the dumb things we’ve done regarding those options, so you won’t do the same!