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Fun Infused Friday - The Snowman Dies Tonight
Date 9/23/2011    Tags Hypership, Volchaos, World of Chalk    (0)

Hypership iOS is clipping along on the App Store and I've gotten a lot done on Volchaos for this first week in a long time. But first, laugh a little at this picture (and then be sad because winter is coming soon)...

Hypership Out of Control
It's been just over a week since Hypership has been released on the App Store. We've been featured by Apple on both the New and Noteworthy list and the What's Hot list which has helped to drive sales. We've also got a ton of great reviews (see bottom of this page). Just today we reached 1,000 users on the Normal Mode high scores table. Some of the scores are really, really good. I'm loving to see people complete for the top spots.

After a week, we've easily surpassed the sales done by the XBLIG version (1 year on the marketplace) and the WP7 version (though the free WP7 version has been downloaded more by a long shot). I've recovered all my expenses on the game (Apple dev membership, new artwork, iPod for testing, pizza for eating) so it's safe to say this wasn't a flop. Whether it will be a great success is still up in the air... we bounced around at or near the top 200 selling iPhone games for the first week but it seems Hypership isn't destined to stay there long term. I really honestly have no idea how far sales will fall once Apple stops featuring us but that will determine our long term success. I really want to see one of my games pull down a steady monthly income that is good for more than just a couple meals at Applebees each month.

Volchaos got some loving this week for this first time in a while. One of the big changes I had to make was to how the level select screen was setup behind the scenes. Previously as you pressed up or down, a zoomed out version of the level was loaded onto the middle of the page. This worked great on the PC but unfortunately was far too slow on the Xbox and thus made scrolling through a lot of levels painful. To remedy this, I created screen shots of all the zoomed out levels and instead display those, which loads real quick like.

I also played through the entire game, rated the difficulty level of ever level, and took other notes on each level (enemies, items, special mechanics, etc). My intention was to determine the difficulty of each level and then order them into a more logical progression from easiest to hardest. This turned out to be a very valuable exercise, as I discovered there were very few easier levels and I also found a lot of minor issues here and there to fix. I often play a level or two after making changes but it's been a while since I sat down and just played the game for an hour or more straight. This is something I need to start doing more often with my games.

I also created a video to show off one of the levels, which I happen to have ranked 7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale (I make it look easier than it is in the video)...

World of Chalk
This week I resumed thinking about and discussing World of Chalk. I'm anticipating rolling up my sleeves and starting development on this game soon. This game should be my main focus once I get Volchaos shipped and out the door.

Other Stuffs
It sounds like the Mango update for WP7 is coming very soon. I've held off on doing any Mango apps thus far because I don't want to be in a position where I cannot easily release updates to my existing WP7 games / apps (non-Mango). Once Mango is available to all WP7 users though, I expect this to change. Not sure if I'll update my old games / apps unless I find they need updates, but my future WP7 title Abduction Action! will more than likely get the Mango treatment.

More Other Stuffs
Releasing a title on iOS has kinda lit a fire under me about exploring other platforms... PC releases, iOS (via Unity most likely), maybe even Android. It's not a secret to those that follow me that I haven't been happy with sales of my games on XBLIG. I think after I finish my current in-progress games, I will definitely consider my new games for new markets instead. I'm feeling the best about PC and iOS at the moment. Which reminds me, I need to submit Volchaos to Steam...

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