Month: January 2014


Bam! Stop the press!

Sneeweis’ first game is hereby officially announced as it enters the beta testing phase!


Oggipital, with its cute characters the Kisau Veelas and the Oggiput is a puzzle game about quick decisions and accurate finger moves, about the pursuit of the highest score among your friends. Perfect for those minutes on the sofa when home alone. On the back seat on a road trip. Between the bus stops. In the loo. Quick to play, quick to annoy, quick to thrill.

It probably won’t help you to become a better Oggipital player by reading the book. The book is recommended reading, nonetheless.

Look! It is already playable on an iPad if you’re one of the lucky beta testers. But it’s not yet released, you’ll have to wait to around April 2014 to find it in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod. An exact release date will be decided while we go along in this blog.

For a more formal game presentation please visit the Games Page.

If you like to stay updated through Facebook, please “Like” Oggipital’s Facebook page here.

For more granular, and not always game related droplets of awesomeness, follow our Twitter feed.

Nearing Beta

Sometimes one just have to do a status post.

“Shipping a 1.0 product isn’t going to kill you, but it will try”, some wise dude once said. Now, my work week is way too balanced for this to happen, but for the last two weeks I’ve felt it, and I have “been there”, if not else, at least mentally.  I could and should push the progress of my game much more, but it would be against one of the main pillars of my so-called life improvement plan: don’t let the family duties slip due to this new career of game development. But I’ve been such a good boy that I think I can get away with a bit more now for the coming couple of months – it’s crunch-time until release now, after all.

My mind has been all over the place due to this one-person indie game studio setup. It didn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t mean all the various tasks aren’t daunting. Why don’t they tell us it will be this hard to make even a simple game? …oh, wait, actually every article about the subject has that as the second bullet point. Never mind.


To get my head around all the tasks – not only coding, but also marketing, building, distribution, features, graphics, audio, and so on – I took good use of my whiteboard. Boom, some Post-its and you have yourself a Kanban-light. It helps to have the amount of tasks, the task types, and the task descriptions visualized in front of you.

I am aiming to get a version out for beta testing in the coming 7 days, hence I have been focusing on certain aspects of the game. The most important is the game mechanics while graphical “fun” effects come last. All the scenes should work in all resolutions, and all actions should be available. Scoring should be if not fully balanced, fully working so that testers’ feedback is relevant for the final game. If I screw up the scoring balance I pretty much screw up the whole game – the scoring is very tightly tied to the game mechanics. It has to be fair, drive the player towards skillful moves, and reward players who are putting time and effort to play it through. While the game contains also a randomized component, the complex scoring mechanism has been next to impossible to tune and balance as it has not been possible to simulate or calculate the various variables in e.g. Excel.

There are a lot of very important features which are not yet implemented at all. Game Center integration, music and sound effects, I’m looking at you. But I got a smallish beta testing team already in place and want to distribute the game to get first-impressions feedback. I’m using TestFlight to do the distribution and test session data collection.

Very soon now I should receive some more final art for the game and once that is in, I’ll do the official announcement of the game.

It looks like I passed the point of no return!


Once Upon a Time

What better way of starting a new year than looking back?

During the holiday season I was mostly amongst family and friends, or just plain chilling out, hence not much got done on the game. Now I got my gamedev mojo back, but check out what I found in a treasure chest (no, really) when digging through some stuff I moved into our new house from my childhood home.

This is how it started. And no office is complete without that memorabilia on the wall, right?


My old 5.25″ floppy disks (don’t know what that is? Ask your dad, he might have a 5″ floppy, tee hee), most likely still in working condition if such a drive still existed. My first computer programs and games on them, in Basic-8000 format for the Zilog 8001 processor, 512×256 monochrome graphics, and occasional monotone beeps for sound. Sweet. Ordered from left-to-right, top-down, there’s:

  • My first disk ever, “Programs”, from 24th of October, 1987, so I’ve been 10 and a half when I got the computer. It contains various not-so-advanced programs, like the infamous 10 CLS 20 INPUT “What’s your name?”, A$ 30 PRINT “HELLO GOOFBAG!”, and so on.
  • I didn’t even remember it, but one of my first”real” game attempts seems to have been “Fighting Master”, from 1988. I now recall it being an arcade-style fighting game where two dudes hit and kick each other. It never worked if you were two on the keyboard, which kinda defeated the purpose.
  • Then my most precious gem, the “Games” disk no. 1. I recall it being the first new disk I have ever purchased, and I started to fill it will all the games I came up with, complete with a “menu” program to launch them. Some games I even finished to a state where I and my brothers could play them, like “Jackpot”, a one-armed-bandit into which I put secret keystroke codes to win more. My own favourite was a game about our local bus driver who drove around in a city of boxes and picked up invisible items and passengers, some lenient, some aggressive. I think there’s something like 60-80 games on the disk, not sure thou.
  • Piilosana” is a finnish word for a kind of a crossword puzzle. This baby, from 1992, is actually one of my fully working software, originally made for my mother who made sometimes crossword puzzles to magazines. It could load, save, edit, and print puzzles, all in a nice WYSIWYG UI. Yay.
  • Ah, my “MasterWorks“. What a unique name and a great piece of office software. No, really, it had MasterDraw which was quite advanced, given I had only the monochrome display. It had the standard drawing primitives, but also text with bitmap fonts, “spray can” painting, gradients (looked like crap), saving, loading. It was in this code I kinda invented GIF. There was MasterFonts for the bitmap font making, MasterMusic (for monotone beeps, WTF!?), MasterCard (LOL) for printing cards and labels, and MasterNumPaint, which I’m not sure, but I think is my complete failure of mimicking Excel. Seems to be from 1992 – I was 14 at the time.
  • “Rescue 9116dX”, oh, this I had forgot also! My attempt for my most advanced game ever, a side-“scrolling” space shooter. I think I tried to clone that Nintendo 8-bit game, can’t remember the name right now. First time I started to use sprites. It never got anywhere as the memory (56kB free for Basic) was not enough to contain the sprites plus running code, and the drawing speed of the 4 MHz processor was anyway too slow for any real graphic processing (in Basic – perhaps assembler could have done more?). Simple small lines and circles á la Pong were OK, but a circle greater than 50 pixels in radius was so slow that you could see it being drawn, arc-by-arc, if you animated it. From 1993, cool that I labelled all disks properly. Loving the cover art. 🙂

Alright. Let’s get back to the future, I have a game to make!