Keep on keeping on these days

I spent an evening at a post-party for a game developers conference in my home country. It was a good time, albeit super busy and since most of my dev is under the radar here I don’t know many of the players anymore. I spoke at the conference over 10 years ago, so it’s good to see how the industry here has changed.

I have been very busy making games, it’s always been the thing I do just about every night after work and when I’m getting serious it’s something I do in the mornings before work. I put out a great game a couple months and took some trials at advertising in different ways and have had pretty bad success and it’s costing a lot of money for me. However I see it as a learning curve, and hopefully gain some insights. Unfortunately for me making games is just the main focus, and selling / promoting is not. (As you can probably tell by this website and it’s infrequent updates).

While I wish I could be more successful at this business I’ve been running for over 20 years, I’m very happy with what I’ve done. I’ve independently published more games than the big studios in my country, and I’ve done it all on my own. I’m not comparing the games to others, mine are card puzzles, with some word puzzles and a quirky other games / apps mixed in for fun. So they are no AAA titles or quirky indie treats, just casual games I like to play. I do have well over 100 projects I’ve started, 20 of which are viable and I have 5 ideas that need starting.

For now, as the last game I put out less than 3 months ago ‘Tri Towers’ is probably the best looking game I’ve made. It isn’t reaching the market I wish it would, I know it’s a great game and the best of it’s type in it’s class. I can’t force people to find my games and I can’t afford paying $20 to unity for each install of a free app, so a bit of a rock and a hard place. Instead of burning myself out, I just started focussing on my next game a game that is the spiritual sequel to my first IOS game, ‘Mojo Video Poker’.

A short while ago I brought the original Mojo Video Poker back to life, after a single customer emailed me saying that they loved the game but it no longer ran on their device; I decided to take action. The game was written in the original cocos2d, and was stuck in 32-bit so it wouldn’t run on new devices. I spent a couple days trying to update and patch the code and sure enough I got it compiling in 64-bit! What a treat, I wrote the customer an email and said it’ll be back soon. I’m glad I made one person’s day, so while I’m not big and this customer probably paid .99 to me 10 years ago, I was happy I could help. Since the game was so old I decided to make it free, and add in some ads. Originally there were 2 flavours of the game a free and a paid one, this was before advertising or in app purchases. I like the idea of a free app, and if you run out of credits you can optionally view an ad to get more. This felt like a better mix than trying to get people to buy coins (even though that would be the most profitable according to the ‘insiders’) but that wasn’t my preferred approach.

So where’s that leave me today? I don’t know, I’m just about done with Mojo Video Poker 2 aka Video Poker Extravaganza aka Massive Video Poker aka Mojo Video Poker Deluxe… I don’t know but I’ll find a name one day soon as I’ve already sent it off to translation. So I hope to finish this game in the next couple weeks, just adding some sound fx and testing now. Maybe get it out in a 0.9.0 state, then add some lingering features and call it a 1.0.0 shortly after. I have a feeling this game will do nothing, so I don’t want to stress too much longer and just get it out. After all the time and hard work in Tri Towers, it’s a great game but not getting the traction I think I’ll focus on making more games and try not to go broke promoting them for the moment. Maybe if one gains steam like 11s up did I’ll go from there.

Projects in this space:

  • Mojo Video Poker 2 – coming soon
  • Clinactrac version 2 coming soon
  • RJL – weird platformer concept
  • B&B – A game mapped out on a whiteboard since 2014 in my garage I want to make a PvP
  • Beat Bloxx Redux (I found the code to the original beat bloxx and made it 64 bit and re-released it, which inspired me to make an actual sequel I’ve started)
  • T.I.E. – A puzzle platformer across dimensions…
  • BTG – A game tied into my band, some ideas around an old scum style game.
  • 1MB – pew pew pew
  • CR – 4th in my series of card puzzle games following Tri Towers, 8s Wild, 11s Up
  • Plus whatever I think of next

I may not be anyone that anyone’s ever heard of but I’m keeping busy and hoping that the folks out there playing my games have a good time doing it, as I love making them.