Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category


Indie Sixy Times

Last week was the sixth anniversary of the start of my journey into independent game development. Every year I like to write up a little recap of the past year, and this year is no different. And we’re off!

For me the past year has been quite different from previous years. Most of the year was spent not working on my own Streaming Colour projects, but instead working with Matt Rix on games for Milkbag Games, our new company.

I did manage to put out a few things by Streaming Colour: Finger Tied Jr. (July, 2013), and Baby’s Playful Hands (October, 2013). I was also lucky enough to have Apple ask me for a demo version of Finger Tied that they could put on iPads in actual, physical Apple stores. That was pretty exciting, and being able to see my game on iPads in Apple stores was extremely rewarding.

The rest of my year was spent working with Matt on games for Milkbag Games. At the start of my year six, Matt and I were in the middle of working on a game called Snow Siege. However, by the fall, we both needed a break from the game. We’d been working on it for a year and were still months away from it being finished. At that time I was working on a prototype for a bonus mini-game in Snow Siege. The game was a little scratch card where you tapped on squares to reveal shapes that rewarded you with prizes. The game was so much fun on its own that we started joking about taking the mini-game idea and making it about rescuing cute, pixelated animals. But the more we talked about it, the less it became a joke, and the more it became something we really wanted to make happen. This mini-game became the core of Disco Zoo.

Disco Zoo started as a three-week prototype to test the idea and see if it was fun. Once we were able to play the game, we were convinced that it was something worthwhile and we spent the next three months expanding the prototype into a finished game. We teamed up with our friends at NimbleBit to publish the game, and the game launched on iOS in late February, 2014 to an Editor’s Choice feature on the front page of the App Store. We brought the game to Google Play in April, and between the two platforms we’ve had nearly 3 million downloads so far.

Needless to say, we’ve been extremely pleased with the response to Disco Zoo. Matt and I had a great time making the game, and people seem to really enjoy playing it, so we couldn’t be happier. Some people buy things in the game, so that makes us happy too. ;)

On a personal note, Disco Zoo couldn’t have come at a better time for me, because if the game had flopped, I might have been at the point of having to decide between continuing with indie life or finding a full-time job again. I’m so lucky to be in a position where I can keep doing this. I have said this before, but none of us do this alone. I’m always aware of how much help and support I’ve received from family, friends, journalists, twitter acquaintances, players, and more. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has supported me in a myriad of ways over the past six years. Because of you, I can continue to do what I love and keep making games for the future. And after all, that’s kind of the whole point.

Here’s to year seven!

Owen

P.S. The title of this post was blatantly borrowed fromĀ TOJam 6: “TOJam Sixy Times”. :)


Finger Tied Jr. Now Available

If you’ve been waiting for a version of Finger Tied that you can play on your iPhone or iPod touch, your wait is over. Finger Tied Jr. is now available on the App Store! You can go by it now for only $0.99:

Finger Tied Jr. on the App Store

Finger Tied Jr. has the same great gameplay you loved in Finger Tied for iPad, but it has been redesigned for the iPhone and iPod touch. It features over 85 new levels, designed to be fun to play on the iPhone’s smaller screen.

Finger Tied Jr. for iPhone and iPod touch

Finger Tied Jr. for iPhone and iPod touch

If you’re curious about what went into redesigning the game for the iPhone, I wrote an article for Gamezebo on the process:

Finger Tied Jr. – Redesigning Finger Tied for the iPhone (gamezebo.com)

I hope you enjoy the game!

Owen


Finger Tied Jr. is coming…

Even though I’ve been hard at work on a new game (Snow Siege - I should really post about that…), I’ve also been working on Finger Tied Jr. What’s that you ask? Finger Tied Jr. is Finger Tied for the iPhone and iPod touch. And it’s going to launch on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Finger Tied Jr.

Finger Tied Jr.

Finger Tied for iPad turned out to be quite popular, and was launched to much critical acclaim. Apple even picked it as one of their “Best of the App Store” for 2012 in the “New Ways to Play” category. Many people asked me if I’d consider doing a version for iPhone and iPod touch, because they didn’t have iPads. After Finger Tied launched, I started working on a version for iPhone, but I just couldn’t get something I was happy with. I didn’t want to just do a quick port that didn’t work, I wanted a game that was as good as the iPad version.

A bit discouraged, I put the project aside and moved on to other things. However, this spring I got the game out again and realized there definitely was potential in it. I started thinking about the game differently, and I redesigned the game for the iPhone. Finger Tied Jr. has all new levels that are designed to be fun on the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod touch. I had to change the “rules” I had about what made puzzles in Finger Tied fun, because what was fun on a big screen wasn’t necessarily fun on a small screen.

In the end, I’m really happy with how Finger Tied Jr. turned out. It has the same feel as Finger Tied, but I think it really works on the smaller screen. So keep an eye out, and grab the game on launch day for only $0.99!

Owen


Best Infant App Ever

Thank you to everyone who voted for Baby’s Musical Hands in the 2011 Best App Ever Awards. Baby’s Musical Hands was voted as the winner for Best Infant App for iOS! Now I get to display this icon on my site (when I update it):

You can download Baby’s Musical Hands from the App Store.

Thanks again, everyone!

Owen


Best App Ever Voting is Open!

I want to thank everyone who nominated Baby’s Musical Hands for a Best App Ever Award. The app is a finalist in two categories, for both iOS and Android! If you wouldn’t mind casting your vote once again (this time to win the award), I’d really appreciate it. That is, if you think the app is deserving, of course. :) Just click the buttons below to vote:

iOS:

Vote for Baby’s Musical Hands for Best Infant App

Vote for Baby’s Musical Hands for Best Kid Distraction App

Android:

Vote for Baby’s Musical Hands for Best Infant App

Vote for Baby’s Musical Hands for Best Kid Distraction App

Thanks!
Owen