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Grimace final push!

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 16 2012

We are entering the final hours for the grimace kick starter. Thank you to everyone who has helped support us.

If you were waiting until the last minute we’re hear, if you weren’t planning on helping fund the project, we’d like some constructive feedback to help improve in the future.

Thanks for reading!

What did the man say when when the witch removed the curse? Hexagon

6 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 09 2012

This past weekend Anthony went to SIEGE and I playtested the yet unnamed hexagon game.

Even more hexes

We played for a couple hours before I had to leave.

This is what I think so far:

  • The game balance is good. Your advantage can easily be taken away from you.
  • The game can easily take a long time to play to completion. So much so that I am thinking of going to Anthony’s this weekend, starting a game bright and early and not leaving until one of us wins.
  • Even though the game can take a long time to play, no one that has sat down to play it has lost interest, even those compatriots that do not usually care to play games.
  • The game has a good feedback loop and people get engaged in it really easily.
  • The unknown unknowns tend to make players be very cautious. As does the number of items to keep track of.
  • Counting things that are not there is a lot harder than you would think.
  • It is very easy to strike earlier than you should. People can easily force your hand.

Ben right before ripping his hair out. He's bald now.

So far we like the current ruleset, but more testing is needed. After a few more weeks of testing, I will see about a how to play video, maybe sooner if we come up with a good name.

Grimace Half-way Mark

3 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 04 2012


solely for the half way there line

So we’ve made it a little over halfway through the time left for the grimace kickstarter. I know some of the people I’ve talked to personally are procrastinating because they have time and I’m hoping others are doing the same too, but we’re half way there, only 2 weeks left so go ahead and go for it folks.

In other news I’ve been reading The design of everyday things and User interface design for programmers. Hopefully these two books will help me with making fortunes more straight forward and obvious to people who don’t already know the rules since the most common feedback I get is something that boils down to, “What do I do?”.

Have you played Fortunes yet? If you haven’t take a moment and go play fortunes. If you have please leave us your feedback.

Hexes

4 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 30 2012

So Saturday I was playtesting a new strategy game with a friend of mine.

Hexes1

It was a good game. Stupid moves were made (I fell into my own trap). The advantage went back and forth constantly. We both kept gaining and losing control of the board. I managed to take a path that my friend was making away from him and use it to my advantage. My pal got himself trapped behind enemy lines but that also managed to cut me off from the path I was going to take. In fact, I do not think there was a single point in that game where I did not feel threatened. It was a good game.

Hexes2

Eventually, I conceded, just so I could go to bed. It was five in the morning at that point, after all.

It was his first time playing, and my third, but he picked it up rather quickly.

But what really let me know that we are on to something special is that I have never seen this particular friend of mine drink so slowly. If we are hanging out, usually by that point we are pretty much gone, but not this night. We barely even talked, we were too busy playing.

Hexes3

I cannot wait to test some more.

Fortunes update – working on UI

2 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 22 2012

So I got some feedback from reddit that people were confused about what to do when playing fortunes. Surprise to me, I’ve been working with this so long everything seems pretty natural.

So I’ve made two changes recently to help make things more intuitive. I greyed out the cards you can’t play instead of just having there name turn red, and I worked on getting double click support in.

When I added the ability to drag your cards to play them I took out the old click to play. This was to prevent mis-playing cards which was admittedly mostly in preparation for the mobile version. This I think made things less intuitive in the web version. Hopefully this fixes things.

If you haven’t already had a chance or you want to see the new updates please take a chance to go play fortunes now!

Three things I learned in my first three days running a kickstarter.

2 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 21 2012

So running your first kickstarter can be harrowing, I was tempted to stay up that first night waiting for the first donation to come in. Already even though it’s been going for a few days I’ve learned some valuable things

  1. Get someone outside the project to proofread your listing before you post. Things will make sense to you because you’ve spent so much time working on the project that may be vague or confusing to an outside audience.
  2. Double check the Rewards! Once someone has chosen one you won’t be able to edit them so any embarassing mistakes or incorrect statements will be stuck on there after they’re chosen
  3. Market your product before the kickstarter. It’s been said elsewhere before but it’s worth repeating. Kickstarter isn’t some magical portal to find investors. Its a tool to allow people to invest in your project. You have to bring most of the people. This would have been easier if I’d gotten more people interested/excited about the project before the kickstarter. The people who have responded best are the ones who i mentioned the project to beforehand.

Do any of you have experience running a kickstarter? Share your stories below! If you have opinions on what makes a project worth investing in from the investor side we’d love to hear from you too.

Featured on Eye for games

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Aug 16 2012

We’ve got our first press mention! On the sixth an interview Rai Sewgobond did with us got posted up on Eye For Games. Things are looking positive.

As a side note we are also working on a kickstarter for a side project so look for news about that once we get some more details worked out.

Lessons learned from Marco Polo

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Aug 11 2012

Our first project was a mobile game we called Marco Polo. It was a fun idea but the project itself ran afoul of some issues:

1. Horizontal slices are a bad way to do games. Building out a system completely before building any of the things it attaches/talks to causes you to build on top of wrong assumptions that you don’t realize until its too late to go back and change things.

2. Get your game in the hands of outside people as soon as it is feasible playable. There were some pretty glaring things that were caught after having some friends test Marco Polo, but this way down the line and realistically they could have been caught much earlier if we’d worked on getting something playable first and expanded from there.

Assumptions

Both of these things have at their core the same thing, assumptions. It’s impossible to start a project without some base assumptions, or else you may get stuck in analysis paralysis trying to plan for every eventuality. The idea is to minimize the effect these assumptions will have if they are wrong.

Gamedevs, what ways to you reduce the impact of assumptions in your work?

Gamers, what developer assumptions have ruined or hampered a game experience for you?

Avatar Strength, Luck, and Player Strength

0 Comments | This entry was posted on May 31 2012

I came across an interesting post about different factors of success on reddit today which was pretty thought provoking. Avatar Strength doesn’t have much to do with any games we’ve made as of yet but there is a balance of luck and player skill to fortunes.

 

Earlier on in the project I was concerned about things potentially being too far on the luck side of things for fortunes but James reminded me that it makes sense thematically to be a bit more on the luck side of things for fortunes then I’d normally be comfortable with doing. So yes there is luck to fortunes, but that just makes your victory all the more exciting when you come from behind with poor luck to win anyway.

 

In other news I am almost done with the NGUI overhaul for fortunes, it is looking much better now and I’m getting excited about the progress. Would any of you readers be interested in trying it out before we release it into the wild for a public alpha?

Fortunes update

0 Comments | This entry was posted on May 17 2012

I’ve Been working on using NGUI to update Fortunes.

 

 

 

 

 

The main benefit is that it will be able to automatically scale with resolution so we won’t get awkward overlapping. But it also has some nice handling of drag scrolling that was frustrating me for the cards in hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up will be the most challenging part of the GUI update, handling Tarot Divination layouts. I have some thoughts from looking at some tarot apps and the better scroll handling should allow more flexibility in that regard.

What has been the most interesting tarot deck art you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments.