Tag: Kisau Veela

Front Page News!

THIS JUST IN!

My for-fun release party, which I promoted to local newspapers as “The World’s Smallest Release Party”, made first-page news on Satakunnan Kansa, the “New York Times” of Pori, Finland ( ūüėČ ).

In Finnish only, naturally, but there’s a video on there where I demo the game to the journalist. Thanks to Harri Aalto and photographer Kari¬†Mankonen for the piece!

Direct link here.

The rain ruined the party, but hey, that’s life. I’ll continue tomorrow, they’ve forecasted sunshine!

The Kisau Veelas: “Wansy”

The Kisau Veelas are named in foresight for the kids’ game I’m planning to do with them. One of the kids’ game’s aspects¬†would be, not very original, an educational one,¬†more precisely about counting. So the names are derived out of the English words for the numbers 1 – 10.

Wansy-256-1

This is Wansy. I haven’t put my mind to developing the characteristics of the Kisau Veelas, as it’s not¬†that important in Oggipital. But for the kids’ game there certainly will¬†be a well-thought character and characteristics palette.

Wansy-256-2

All of the Kisau Veelas have a set of facial expressions in Oggipital, and a specific small animation. There’s no sounds attached to them because having like 40 Kisau Veelas on the playfield would mean the game would never shut up. So the animations are there just for fun, for that small polish in the game.

Wansy_1B

The Kisau Veelas: Intro

Oggipital has a bunch of characters in it, but the thing is – the game is not at all about the characters. The game mechanics have initially been designed just to be actions and functions, not related to a character or a story at all. The game idea was initially much more of a hard-but-simple game, a very short slicing/cutting frenzy, do-or-die. The art style was supposed to be “line graphics on acid”, very much inspired by Super Hexagon. Super Hexagon happened to be the first thing that went big on the indie side at the time I entered Twitter.

I had – still have – ¬†a great idea for a kid’s game, and I was juggling for a while if I would make that as my first game. This was at the time I noticed kids’ apps and games was becoming big (here in the Nordics’ driven a lot by Toca Boca), and I knew a well-made kids’ game would easily gain a top position on¬†the App Store charts. I was right – six months after I saw dozens of new kids’ apps popping up and the App Store featured a lot of these. Feeling a bit defeated (by my laziness of not pursuing that game), but I’m sure there is room for yet another great kids’ game. Believe me, I have two little gamers here. The iPad is awesome for kids.

But the size of the project dissuaded me, and in hindsight that was good. The decision to make a simpler, smaller game as the first game was certainly the best approach to enter the game development industry.

However, I started¬†thinking a bit ahead. I’m in this for the long haul, fully intended to run this as a business and make a living for me. In an attempt to maximize future benefits – both in workload and in marketing – I decided to change the art style of Oggipital (whatever the working title was in the beginning…hadn’t one, I think). I wanted to get a feeling for the art style for the kids’ game, and the style by Pietari Posti was so great that I wanted to fix that immediately.

The plan was to make a simplified set of the kids’ game characters and use them for Oggipital. This would pay off when the kids’ game is out, as the characters are already known. Building a brand, sort of. I noticed the game mechanics were a good fit for these simplified characters, so to browse my List Of Crazy Ideas did not take long, and I had the names and main characteristics of the characters ready. They will fit both games – the kids’ game will be an extension to the characters seen in Oggipital. Yes, the kids’ game will happen. One day.

In Oggipital the Kisau Veelas, as I call the funny chaps which you are about to slice and dice, are essentially just round blobs with funny faces, and fulfil the game mechanics’ need for round, cuttable, equal sized targets. But I’ll run a set of blog posts to show off each character – because the art style is awesome!

 

Scope Creep Part 1

I’ll return to actual scope creep in another post as I find scope creep an interesting part of project work and processes. But for now I’ll just announce that

You’ve now got 33% more game play for the same price!

Isn’t this great news? It’ll make the price for the game a bargain! Well, one could argue that it’s hard to say as the game’s not even released yet, and I’m inclined to agree. This is what actually happened:

To mitigate the risk of Oggipital being too hard on newcomers, I came up with a feature called “Expert Mode” a few months ago. Last week I decided to implement it already for the first version of the game because it has game play and scoring altering side effects. I’ve got the feeling players don’t want their Game Center high score to lose steam due to a game update –¬†we’re competitive like that – so I don’t want to do major changes to the game once it’s out.

What the mode essentially does is that once it’s enabled – you need to get through the first level first – it’ll give you a chance to toggle the “Expert Mode” on and off for the next game. When on, the first level of the game will be skipped and you’ll start the game on level 2 with the high score you have for level 1. ¬†I.e. experts who find the first level too lame can skip it but keep the possibility to make a new all-time high score, but newcomers will have an easier level to start with so they’re not scared away in case they’re not into quite hard to beat games.

I made the first level easier by taking out one Kisau Veela type, but to keep the other levels as they were before, this essentially meant there will be a total of four levels instead of three. Bam, 33% more game play!