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It’s the year in review…

December 11, 2012

Atomic

Well I finally submitted the game that I was intending to make in a week….if you remember I made it back in August (https://springloadedgames.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/atomic-test-pilot/ ) Well it may have hardly changed since then, but it is now with Apple…Special thanks to two people at my old company for taking a look at the things that I couldn’t figure out…

Even though this soon to be “free” game makes me zero steps closer to being financially supported by my output, it does make me feel a whole lot happier to be moving on to shipping the next thing…

The big pain was iOS6, so I am now scared that the game will not work for some reason or other with the new OS….

The year in review

So It has been a pretty wild year, I know it isnt over yet, but it nearly is (3 weeks to go?)…so I will take this opportunity to report on my progress…starting with what is currently in progress – I am not a real company so I can still think of years as annual things, rather than looking at the financial calendar (how did that ever make any sense anyway?)

Springloaded WIP Report December 2012:

(WIP means work in progress, we used to have the “whip” meeting once a week at Lucasarts, now at Springloaded it’s down to once a year – go-go meeting reduction)

  • Space Lift Danger Panic iOS (Updating to iOS 6 / Iphone 5)     
  • Status: 95% complete
  • Space Lift Danger Panic Playstation Mobile
  • Status Optimization period….(60%? – I will not be doing much of the optimizing so I have no idea!?)
  • Hiragana Pixel Party iOS (Updating to iOS6 / iPone 5 & adding new game mode with words!)
  • Status – 50% complete…time remaining 1 week full time.
  • Hiragana Pixel Party Playstaion Mobile
  • Status – 10% (I have set up options to remover game centre and things…should be easy once PSM is optimized)
  • Nuclien Rush
  • Status – 95% – requires music and Update to iOS6 /iPhone 5
  • Mini Space War – Game VI
  • Status 30% complete
  • Android versions of all of the above
  • Software purchased….attempting to get things working…not really trying too hard

Summary:

That sounds crazy! it isnt so crazy it’s really only a few big things…the rest is just padding! But I do realise the more games I make, the more upkeep I have to do (it’s obvious really)…

Financials:

Very Bad…well I covered them before (https://springloadedgames.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/figures/) and not much has changed…

  • Space Lift Danger Panic, has all in all been a disappointment (which is why I hold out little hop for Test Pilot) the idea was to release a mainly fun game for free and find a new audience…however at this point in time, my free game only has 2337 downloads. I don’t think it’s a bad game, it’s simple and dumb, I also dont really think I can charge for it (because it’s too simple)…It did have micro transactions in it…which brought in around 4 dollars in total!
  • Hiragana Pixel Party, I am now hitting around 4 – 5 dollars a day on HPP, which is OK but has clearly shown a decline. I hope that will go up after the update that makes the game around twice the size…(but I also worry that the new complexity might break it)
  • Nuclien, sales have stopped on this title, I get around 1 dollar a week…
  • Digipen, being external faculty means I dont get paid until the end of the semester, so at some point in January I will get paid! (hurrah!)..any money I get here goes straight back into to stuff like: Playstation Vita, Playstation developer license, Android license, Android phone, Windows licence, Monotouch android, Monotouch iOS, iPad4, Windows license, and maybe a new Laptop next year..(I dont think it covers all of that…)
  • Chorus Games, As their Creative Director (albeit a part time one) I get buy on a minimal wage, however this is what keeps my bank account from spiralling downwards…and reduces my financial stress levels somewhat

So all in all I think I will about break even, over the course of the year, but that has nothing to do with my games and everything to do with me having two jobs…my part time work doesnt really feel like part time, but unlike working for a games company, it does allow me the flexibility to carry on making stuff for myself. On the flipside, it also impacts the amount of time I can spend making stuff.

The Future:

Refocus on products: I realise I have been not productive enough recently, spreading myself across a lot of things, and not getting much complete…someone once said I am a great starter, but not a great finisher, I hate to say it but I guess in some ways they were right.

Release on as many things as possible, and dont be afraid to get help, or even pay for it. Most of my time goes into solving stupid little things, I need to work out how to get past that and focus on games, at the same time I am wasting my time just making games for one platform. I need to get a pipeline working for as many things as possible…Starting with PSM, then Android, with Windows RT / Windows Phone 8 rolling in at the back…

By the end of February I hope to have achieved the following:

  • Space Lift Danger Panic / Nuclien / Hiragana Pixel Party all submitted to Playstation
  • All previous iOS games to work on iPhone 5  / iOS 6
  • Major Hiragana Pixel Party Update
  • Nuclien rush complete
  • Mini Space War submitted to Apple
  • Super-Ultra-Jet-Pac-64-Turbo-II (working title) in full development
  • Be ready to release my first game (or all games) on Android…

I think mini space war will be the hardest of those things tpo achieve, as its a super complex game…still that is a lot, maybe I am asking for too much…11 weeks until then…with 10 submissions…yeah that’s probably impossible…OK March then…but I can still give it a go right? (and fail spectacularly!?) it all depends on how much help I get along the way I guess.

Conclusion

It might seem a bit bleak, but I am having a great time, I have learnt a lot this year, and come up against many new challenges (not just games, but teaching as well). Trying different things is always good….and I am totally content with the decisions I have made (or have been made for me). I starting to feel more confident, and less afraid of things.  I still wish I could find a way to eradicate the need for sleep though.

So next week I go on holiday, the first week I spend alone with my lap top in Lankawi, prior to Mihiro joining me. That first week should be like a dream, every day get up write some code, go to the pool bar, write some more code…people go away to get away from work, I am going away so I can focus on it!

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7 Comments
  1. Gavin permalink

    Code -> Drink -> Code…I may need to mention this approach at Work

  2. its christmas I am sure they will go for it 🙂

  3. Have you ever considered making a version of Hiragana Pixel Party for Android? I love the game, but my iPod touch broke, and now all I have is an android tablet, so I can’t play it anymore.

  4. Yesterday:
    Order date: 11 Dec 2012 03:34 GMT-08:00
    Delivery Status Qty Item Price
    Digital delivery 1 Android – Developer Registration Fee for XXXXX@gmail.com USD25.00
    Tax : USD0.00
    Total: USD25.00

    It’s only $25, but its a start to get me going…I tried to get a game running yesterday, however I got a couple of errors…I don’t think it should be tooooo hard though (fingers crossed)…advert might be painful to set up though (I think HPP should be add supported with a microtransaction to turn them off – what do you think?)

  5. And then this morning:
    Product Quantity Cost
    Mono for Android 1 $399.00
    Total $399.00

    So now I am good to go 🙂 (400$ is a bit more insentive than $25 to actually do something!!)

  6. Sounds good to me! If you happen to need a tester I wouldn’t mind helping you. I have a Nexus 7 and a Samsung Galaxy S3.

  7. I’ll let you know! thanks for the offer!!!

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