It’s been a busy month for me, personally. I released Free Climber for iOS near the end of January. It’s been interesting to see how it’s played out and how users interact with it, since I added Flurry tracking analytics to the game. Since the release it’s had a little over 10,000 downloads.
I’ve been prototyping out two ideas I had. One was essentially “Grand Theft Auto but with animals”. I think it has a lot of promise but as I began to implement some basic functionality, I’m not to the point where I can have all the art assets to any meaningful place. So I’m going to put that on the backburner until I’m able to get the art worked out.
The second game I’ve been scripting out is a more simple 2d action platformer. My work on this has been progressing nicely, and since the mechanics are relatively simple, my focus on this game is ‘polish’ or ‘game feel’. It’s rather abstract but it’s those little things that really give the game an extra… well the only word I can think of is ‘feel’.
The other big thing going on is personally, I’ve moved to the Atlanta area to start a new web development job. It will still be another week before I have internet access at home, and there’s still plenty of unpacking to do. So that has really slowed down my game development. I’d also like to redo this site and have the blog as a separate page, but we’ll see how much I’m able to get done with everything else going on.
First review about Free Climber states that “It’s an awesome game.” Very cool stuff to see so many people playing the game. I’ll try to do a write up after about a month if the downloads continue or it picks up any more steam.
The review went fine after some minor revisions, so Free Climber is now up on the App Store. It’s free so go check it out!
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time deciding on the direction to take Palladium Games. I feel like indie game development can be a lot like playing the lottery. All it takes is one hit to ‘make it big’ but trying to get that one hit can feel a lot like playing the lottery. The most viable way for an indie developer to create a business in games is to create many smaller games. Even doing that it’s still very difficult, not to mention much less glamorous. Everyone wants to have the next big hit that every one is playing. But the way the app store works is to reward the one who spends their time making 10 smaller games than 1 large game. This advice is primarily for app developers, but it holds true for PC and console to an extent. There are a lot of talented developers and I think the two biggest things that hold us back are time and money. Most of us don’t have the luxury of treating game development as a full time job, and the money used to create the game is often our own personal money. Because of this, I believe the most successful path in this segment of the business is to get to the point where you have a sustainable business and then branch out and start creating your masterpiece game.
So that’s my current goal right now. I have several plans for creating smaller mobile games and I hope to create a business that will enable me to create the games I dream of.
I’m currently finishing up my latest game, Free Climber. My next project I’m tentatively calling Zombie Cannonballer. Think Angry Birds + zombies. Again, I’m aiming for a simple and easy to use casual game. After that is finished up I might try to rework Sushi Go Yobi in to a free version with in app purchases. I’ll probably work on Modern Tactics in between each game when I need a break.
Free Climber is a free game with in app purchases that features unlockable climbers, levels, and upgrades, much in the style of Hill Climb Racing. The initial release will have 3 climbers and 4 levels to climb.
One thing I wanted to emphasis in this game was simplicity and ease of use. The biggest thing is I believe the game to be fun. I think that’s easy as a game developer to forget when you’re neck deep in some gameplay mechanic and random ideas for new features floating around in your head. When it all comes together, is it enjoyable? What constitutes something being enjoyable is going to of course vary from person to person and platform to platform. But I think with casual mobile games, simplicity and ease of use can be used to really work in a developers favor.
The game is hard to categorize. In some ways it’s a physics puzzle, in others it’s more of a racing game. The climber has two hands to grip on to rock holds as he moves up the mountain. He has an energy meter that is constantly ticking down and can only be restored by collecting apples along the climb. Also scattered through the climb are coins that can be collected to unlock new features. It also offers the option to buy coins from the iTunes store.
If you are having any trouble, please Contact Us and let us know what’s going on.
I’ve done some more Unity Networking and I’ve been playing with Smartfox Server for an MMO environment. If I get enough demand for one, I’ll write up a tutorial about some basic MMO networking, although I doubt there is such a thing as a “basic” MMO tutorial.
My current project that I’ve decided on is a tactical rpg that I’m tentatively calling “Modern Tactics”. It’s a modern day setting, turn based gameplay, and largely based off of the Modern SRD. What’s the Modern SRD? The company Wizards of the Coast created a table top role playing game that’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons but set in modern times. This game, like others, uses dice to determine the outcome of actions following a specific set of rules. The core part of these rules are *freely available to be used and expanded on. The *freely part could possibly be disputed but that’s a completely different topic. Anyways, there have been a large number of smaller companies that have created their own take on this system, with new rules, new environments and settings, etc. I don’t think anyone has adapted them to a computer game yet, but that is my current project.
I’m thinking it will work kind of similar to the latest X-COM games, minus the base building for right now. You’ll have a screen to manage your soldiers, equipment, and crafting. And when you receive a mission, you select and gear up a squad, and send them out. The game then transitions into the 3d turn based view and uses the Modern SRD rules for most combat.
Right now I’m just planning on the core set of rules. If there’s enough interest I’d like to expand it to other settings like Urban Arcana or the Future setting. I also briefly spoke with some third party companies that have added their own unique rules and settings and they might be interested in a pc adaptation of their work as well.
So, plenty of work to be done. Also, I started a twitter account. Feel free to follow me there, as I’ll try to keep that updated with what I’m working on more than once a month.
It’s finally released! You can check it out in iTunes here. If you have any feedback I’d love to hear what you have to say – this is my first official release and we still have plenty of ideas for the game we want to implement. So check it out and leave a rating and some feedback, and we’ll make it the best game possible.
It’s hard for me to believe it, but I just submitted Sushi Go Yobi to Apple for review. If that goes well then in about a week or two I’ll be able to put it up on the App Store for sale. It’s been a little over a year since I first had the idea for the game; I can’t believe I just submitted it.
We are getting extremely close to the Sushi Go Yobi release. A few more art assets for things like buttons, some bug fixes and some polish, and we’ll be ready to submit to the app store. It’s very exciting to be in the final push to get the product out the door, and I can’t wait to see how it is received.