Posts Tagged ‘app store’

Soft Freak Fiesta off to a Great Start

December 15, 2009

Finally, our second iPhone title is out! We were delighted to find that our neighbors, the Brits, consider our new multiplayer game, Soft Freak Fiesta new and noteworthy.

We would like to share with you what our players are saying about the game:

…stop whatever you are doing RIGHT NOW and get this game. I am not kidding, it is friggin cool as hell. I just played a match and it is one of the best experiences I have seen on iPhone. — Flickitty

…love the various game modes and the different critter things — sebasterbator

“…nice game ^ ^ nice idea, great minigames, multiplayer, and even for free, Top!” — Player, German App Store

“This game is very fun to play. The graphics are great, the gameplay is solid, and there is a suprising amount of strategy that comes into play when facing real players. There is a diverse selection of online maps as well. Get this app.” — Player, US App Store

As Soft Freak Fiesta is off to a great start, we noticed that our App Store debut Symbol6 is getting some attention as well. The guys over at the US App Store put the acclaimed puzzler in their pile of staff favorites. We’re very pleased about that.

Soft Freak Fiesta is free for the first 24 hours, so go, go, go!
Get it here!

The Soft Freaks are Coming!

December 1, 2009

The soft freaks are on a roll! It won’t be long until gamers all over can get their hands on our next iPhone adventure.

Soft Freak Fiesta is our new multiplayer iPhone game where you take control of crazy critters called soft freaks. It’s all about turn-based multiplayer rivalries in various game modes, squashing bugs for power-ups, waking up a few, silly zombies, earning tons of awards and a whole lot of bumping.

This release includes 3 types of soft freaks to choose from, 3 different game modes and 5 beautiful levels. We also crammed some fun extras in there as well. We’re already planning a bulging upgrade with new exciting game modes, even freakier soft freaks, new levels and a bundle of extra features.

We’ve been hard at work over the last few months so we could bring you a fun and engaging multiplayer experience. The guys over at 148Apps have already taken it for a spin and we were delighted to hear that they think our little adventure could be a huge hit. You can read all about 148Apps’ first thoughts here.

The game is currently awaiting Apple’s approval and it shouldn’t be long until you can immerse yourselves in some bumpy cartoony action.

We’ll let you know when Soft Freak Fiesta hits the App Store. Hopefully you’re all as excited as we are.

Check out the gameplay video!

Check out Symbol6 Online

February 22, 2009

symbol6online

Today we’re officially announcing the online version of Symbol6. Please feel free to try it out and if you like it, pick up the iPhone version which includes additional features and runs on the originally intended platform. And tell your friends (and everyone else) about it too. Thanks ūüôā

Why an Online version?

This is basically an experiment. We want to see if we can invert a trend. While we know about a lot of online games that have been converted to successful iPhone games, we want to see if an iPhone game can become more successful by converting it into an online game. Think of it as a web based lite version, if you will.

We’re not 100% sure but we think this hasn’t been tried before. Which makes the whole thing That Much More interesting. If we successfully boost iPhone sales by releasing a “lite” Flash version, we might be onto something. Maybe another way to market and sell iPhone games while also bringing additional value to players. That would be sweet.

The details

A lot of successful games in the App Store were originally built for other platforms. Many were successful titles, even before they were adapted and adjusted to fit the iPhone and the iPod Touch devices. Some are old classics (like Tetris), while others are more recent. Some are well known online games so people are very familiar with them.

This familiarity seems to be enough to propel a lot of these games up the lists and into “best-seller” spots even if – lets face it –¬†some of them¬†do not seem to¬†fit the devices very well. While some game mechanics are just not suited for touch screen¬†and tilting controls, there are others that do, of course,¬†work (and some even work extremely well).

But, to some extent, the correlation seems to hold mostly between familiarity and success, rather than the quality of adaption and success.

Back to the experiment

Make no mistake about it. The¬†process of publishing successful titles on different platforms is both normal and healthy. Good games should be represented in many different ways and through many different mediums. We, for instance,¬†intend to release our games for different platforms, if they’re successful enough. Good enough.

But here we’re just looking at a trend and trying to figure out if this particular trend holds true if you invert it. In other words, what will happen when a well built iPhone title, that has been getting pretty solid reviews, is adjusted to fit other platforms. For instance, the web. Will we see the same effect for “iPhone–>web” titles¬†that we’ve seen for “web–>iPhone” games?

Or will an online version actually reduce App Store sales, because people are able to access an adapted version of the experience online. Even if it isn’t the full experience and the touch screen obviously makes the game “that much more fun”, in this particular case.

We don’t know, but we’re looking forward to see what happens.

Anyway – try out the online version of Symbol6 here.

And buy the iPhone version here.

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Ten things to do before creating your first iPhone game

February 17, 2009

iphone_idea_reflectLast week we wrote a post that described how Gogogic turns an idea into a game, using Symbol6 as a reference. The response to that post was so massive (THANK YOU!!!) that we figured that we had no choice but to follow up on it.

Okay, okay – we promised to do that anyway –¬†¬†but 12.000 views on Youtube made sure that we couldn’t wiggle out of it.

Originally, the idea had been to write a couple of followup posts but reader feedback (via email, comments, twitter and Facebook) has made it clear that we wouldn’t be able to cover all the interesting questions and issues raised without writing two of the longest, most inconsistent posts in Internet history. And we’re kind of reluctant to do that. So we’re going to write a series – yay!

This is the first post in the series (or the second, if you include the original post) and it is intended to work as an outline for later posts – a table of contents, of sorts.

It is written in the “Top 10” style of Guy Kawazaki – mainly because currently the writer has just read a few “Top 10” posts by Guy and is stuck in the format. A recent David Letterman sketch on Youtube is also to blame…

But without further ado, here are “Ten things to do before creating your first iPhone game”:

1. Consider Your Goals

We’ve all heard the news. The iPhone is the “new black”. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. And the App Store is a one-way street to endless glory, wealth and fame. Guaranteed (yeah sure)!

Indeed, the App Store is truly disurptive and Apple has introduced a brilliant new platform with a lot of potential. They also offer a very fair deal to developers, allowing them to possibly break away from the traditional value chain and earn good money while Apple handles all the (boring?) sales and retail issues.

But before you go storming into the App Store, you should consider your goals. Are you looking for a few extra bucks or are you betting your entire future on App Store success? Are you just trying out your development skills¬†or are you looking at this as a business opportunity? Is this “just another platform” for your titles or are you going to specifically design new games for the iPhone and the iPod Touch?

Goals are important because they are the foundation of a good plan.

2. Planning Is Important

When you know¬†where you’re heading, you can plan on how to get there. Start by¬†doing some research. Crunch numbers,¬†glean¬†stories of experience, dig until you have¬†all the information you need. Try to figure out if your goals make sense.

At Gogogic, we¬†decided that if the company was going to focus on this new platform, it would be a “long term” decision. This meant that¬†we would be in it for the long haul,¬†be willing to invest into building a brand along with a number of games that were specifically designed for the¬†devices in question. Catering to the App Store would become a core objective.¬†Which meant that we would truly have to believe that it was more than a phenomenon.

This is an “expensive” goal, so we had to make sure that we felt that we could “get there”. We spent a lot of time on planning and building our strategy, looking at the likelihood of success versus failure. We took our goals, broke them down and built our very own road map. Of course there is still a good chance that we’ll just fail miserably – but at least we had a map and a flashlight so we can’t blame it on not being prepared!

 3. Look At Your Resources

This is a simple one. Make sure you (or your team)¬†can build whatever it is you want to make. If you do not have access to the resources needed to finish the project, you have a problem. Worse, you might think you have the resources needed, when in reality you don’t. Even first class programmers need a little time if they’re asked to implement something in an unfamiliar environment.

4. Think About Your Market

What audience are you going to cater to? Where can you reach them? How? Why will they look at your app? And what’s with all these questions?

Device owners are a diverse crowd so make sure you know what your niche is. It is always much harder to try to build something “for everyone” – some would say impossible – so knowing your market is important.

This also simplifies things when you think about graphics, sounds, advertising, promotional issues and communities. Your audience is at the very core of those issues.

5. Make Sure Your Concept Works

The real point of our previous post, where we talked about how we take an idea, turn it into a concept and finally into a working game, is making sure that your concept really works. Of course, this is harder than it seems because it can be very difficult for an “insider” to spot a terrible concept, simply because you’re too close to it.

The solution is to test early and test often and preferably get “outsiders” to validate the concept.

A funny fact. The game developer of Symbol6 walked around the office holding a  neatly folded paper version of an iPhone with a Symbol6 concept image on it. He argued that if it was fun imagining how it would actually play out, then we were definitely on to something.

6. First Impressions Are Important

We’re just saying. It’s something we put on our list because we wanted to build a brand and we wanted to be know for certain things – like polished game play, polished graphics and quality implementation. So we thought a lot about first impressions (still do). Maybe this isn’t as important if your goal is more “short term”… but still. At least make sure that your game works properly.

7. Do What You Do Best

For your first iPhone game, it makes sense to stick to what you do best. If you’re used to develop Flash based web games – small and casual – you should probably focus on something of similar size and content for your first iPhone game. As opposed to building a 3D shooter with 400+ levels.

There is also another level to this. Try to do what you do best, but do it better for the iPhone. Really think about how you can enhance the experience by utilizing what the device offers you.

8. Don’t Plan On 1.000.000 Downloads

Consider this a warning. Do not, under any circumstances, plan on¬†your game getting hundreds of thousands of downloads in its first day. Or week. Or month. Or year. Expect it to get a few hundred downloads. That way, you won’t be disappointed.

The reality is that the odds are against you. Of course it is okay to expect the best – but prepare for the worst. Very few titles rise to superstar status – fewer still, if they are published by a previously unknown developer. There was a window once – when the App Store launched – but it has been closed for some time now.

This is one of the reasons why we’re in it for the long haul. We’re building a brand. We’re looking at long term success. We believe that eventually this lessens the risk of failure – but, of course, we could still fail badly (or just be terribly terribly wrong).

9. The Game Is Out There – Now What?

Think¬†about¬†how you intend to follow up on your game. Are you going to add features? Are you going to change the price if you’ve gone in too high or too low? Are you going to submit promotional codes to review sites? If so, which sites?

If your original goal depends on any kind of success factor (critical acclaim, sales figures, recognition) then you should plan your actions after the game is released. Building the game is just the first step in what might become a long journey. Make sure you’re not just wandering around in the desert.

10. Be Patient

This is the last point (finally)! We’re not entirely sure we’re right but our plan is to be patient. What this means is that you should probably not drop the price to $0.99 after 2 days if you’re not seeing sales figures in the hundreds.

This also means that you shouldn’t panic if you only have a handful of reviews in the App Store after the first week. Or if the only published review for your game is posted on your blog.

Instead of panicking, take a good hard look at the situation (every 2-4 days, for example) and go over your strategy. Ask yourself if there is something you should change or if there is something to respond to. If the arguments are there, by all means react. If not – don’t panic.

Finally

WOOT! Monster post, finally over. But where does this leave us?

Well. Hopefully we’ll be able to look at these issues (and others) in detail in a series of posts, as stated earlier. Those posts will also include additional thoughts on testing, marketing, promotion, tools and other issues that we feel are important to the “average iPhone game developer”.

Until then…

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Symbol6 Released (and 1st Review)

February 5, 2009

Symbol6 App Review – AppVee.com

AppVee just published a video review of Symbol6 – our very first game for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. We’re very happy with how the game has been received, so far, and the reviews it is getting.

Our next game is already in production. More on that later ūüėČ

Symbol6 – official site : http://www.symbol6game.com

Symbol – App Store link : http://tinyurl.com/cmqstf

Gogogic Tackles iPhone Game Development

January 23, 2009

ingameFinally! We’re able to unveil our iPhone game development plans. We’ve been working hard on new game concepts and mechanics, specifically designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Symbol6 is the first game through the pipeline. Although it won’t ship until late next week, we’ve set up an official site for it where you can see screen shots, videos and more. We’re very proud of Symbol6, specifically because we were able to fit a unique game mechanic to a fantastic new platform. We really hope it does well, so we can make more iPhone games.

Here is the official site: http://www.symbolsixgame.com/

Stay tuned! We’ll let you know when we officially release Symbol6.