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Super Game IV + book report

August 21, 2012

Super ultra Game IV doesnt have a name, but it does have a sprite,

this morning I drew this:

Yes it is a space ship….which means the next game I intend to make has you playing in a spaceship. It’s a picking up from Hiragana Pixel party, in that this will be a rhythm action space ship flying game, it’s simply all about flying as fast as possible…and so far all I have done is that picture….Just like Space Lift Danger Panic! took 8 goes to get the gameplay mechanic to a point that it was OK to play, I can imagine the gameplay for this warping into one million other forms before it actually works in any kind of acceptable way!

Speaking if Space lift danger panic is ready to submit to apple, but I realised no one will listen to me if I send out press for two games in the space of a week or so, so I won’t be releasing it for a little while.

I have a huge backlog of things I want to write about, but right now I am just too busy. Things that are keeping me busy are going to start suffocating me soon. In order to stay in Singapore I need to have a proper job!  So starting in a couple of weeks I will be either teaching game design over at Digipen university, or working for my friends company Chorus Games on some secret new thing (or even doing both in some capacity)…both iof these jobs are part time, so I will still be dedicating as much time as possible to making games. And right now I am inspired more than ever, not only have I just finished 2 games, I also read a couple of books that did their best to remind me how important getting off your ass and releasing things is.

The first book I read last week was App Empire, by Chad Mureta…Chad comes across as a bit of an ass in his book, which is about becoming an” appreneur” his term not mine! I am just being mean I guess, but he says from the start something to the effect of “I live a perfect life, you can too, I work 2 hours a day and make millions… It’s easy to make money from apps…just follow these simple steps”. He then proceeds to go through the process of how he picks an app to make, and how he makes it and sells it. Here we go:

  • Look at the top 200 apps, pick one that is simple and quick to develop, then copy it with only making a slight change.
  • Don’t code it yourself, get someone else to do it…in fact you don’t need to be at all technical to make apps, just pay someone else
  • Market it through key words and a good ap store description…rinse repeat, sell the company…get rich, be like me.

The things that he doesn’t touch on at all are the skill required to make a good UI, understand feedback loops etc. He also says innovation is bad at one point! The whole thing feels very soulless, but despite that I did take away a few useful web addresses from reading the book, and a few messages that rang true. I have heard this a few times, but this is the first time I actually thought about it…”think about your goal, not your immediate tasks at hand…what do you want out of life? picture yourself in 5 years where do you want to be? how do you want to be living” His answer to this was something to the effect of, doing hardly any work and doing what the hell I want…I sat there thinking about what mine is, and I came up with, “making games”…sure we all imagine that beach front house in the tropics, with pets and loved ones running around…and maybe a GT40 in the garage, but yeah at it’s core I want to be doing what I am doing right now, as much as possible, because I love doing it, and when I get old and die, I don’t want to have 300 creative ideas in my head that I never got to have a go at making. Anyway, this got me wondering if there is something wrong with me…because to some that is a pretty pathetic dream! anyway I didn’t focus on that, he also reminded me that you have to release thing as fast as possible…which is something I haven’t been doing. This goes back to picking the simplest app idea and getting it done (this is partly why he says dont code yourself, because you become a bottleneck for your plane…which almost makes sense).

I keep on having game ideas for all kinds of things, one I have is a vector based 3D RTS that spans space time and scale….it would need to be 3D and would have social GPS stuff going on and all sorts….but as I have been reminded by multiple people including myself, it will take a long time…I should probably not do it (for now at least)…I think it’s easy to get bored with simple 2D games when you are making them over and over….but I must remind myself that there are loads of simple 2D games I love, so why should I make it hard for myself!?

The second book I read was called buttonless by Ryan Rigney, the book features short “behind the game” type storis on about 100 different games, while it doesn’t go as deep as I’d like and in some places feels rushed it is a great read…interestingly it is probably the most comprehensive list of Dev Budget / Dev Time – Sales data I have found so far. It’s got things in it that fill me with fear (“Forget me not” a great game, only ever sold 7000 copies or so) and things that fill me with hope. The guy doesn’t just pick hit games it’s all over the place. But some of the failures inspired me, because for me if I can speed up my development period those failures would actually be successes….if a game takes 9 months and sells 12,000 copies, that is a pretty big knock back….but if you could cut that development time down to a month or two then it is pretty damned good. Which again made me think of how the man with no soul in App Empire was telling me to get more things finished…so finish them I must. Anyway, I’d recommend “Buttonless”, it’s great!

Oh and App Empire is also responsible for the one view only splash screens that now feature in all my products, these tell you about my other games in shameless cross promotion….but yeah it makes sense, even if it does make me feel dirty. He said something like “even though you might not like it, if your consumer is playing your game and enjoying it, why wouldn’t they want to know about the other things you have made”….which for an instant made me feel good enough to break out the game and start coding…but after making it I looked at what I had done and wanted to go and wash myself in bleach, I felt like I had my own blood on my hands from impaling my own self-respect with a long pointy thing.

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4 Comments
  1. Melody permalink

    umm what was that last part? anw, reading your posts i realised that you seem to have gotten your engine moving along much smoother than last time! =) way to go!

  2. Ahh, thanks, it was a copy and paste idiocy moment! let’s hope things start picking up pace…I feel like I am getting better at reusing code, and possibly better at picking achievable projects!

  3. Adam permalink

    Hi. Would you give me permission to use that image of the ship for an app game I am currently creating?

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