Posts Tagged ‘symbol6’

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!

Advertisements

Symbol6 Updated and Nominated

April 6, 2009

nomination1Okay. Short, sweet and to the point. If you’re a regular reader then you know that posts like these are pretty rare. Usually they just go on and on and on. But this doesn’t. Promise!

  • An updated version of Symbol6is now available : Online leader boards with daily and overall leaders are now accessible (also viewable on the web). Play the game, write your name and submit your score to see how good you really are!
  • Symbol6 is currently available for just 99 cents! Check out the App Store reviews and grab your own copy (we’re confident you will, after reading those reviews).
  • Symbol6 has been nominated for the Nordic Game Awards 2009 in the “Best New Nordic Talent” category! The winner will be announced 5/19/09 at The Nordic Game conference in Malmö, Sweden.

Over and out 🙂

Bookmark and Share

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 🙂

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.

Bookmark and Share

Symbol6 : How We Created an iPhone Game

February 9, 2009

symbol6-logo

Yesterday, I asked my Twitter (@gogogic) followers/friends if they would be interested in a blog post about our concept and development processes. The answer was an overwhelmingly repeated “yes, please!”.

It was hopelessly clear that I would not be able procrastinate this here post… So, as promised, here is a rough look at how Gogogic operates, using Symbol6 as an example. Enjoy!

It all begins with an idea

Gogogic designs, develops and publishes games for the web, as well as the iPhone and the iPod Touch. This basically means that we have to come up with a lot of cool game concepts. Constantly. Which is what probably sets companies like Gogogic apart from companies that are more used to building “conventional” games – or “big” games (although, some of our future titles would certainly be considered big but “casual”). We work with volume while others work with size. And, of course, all good game developers constantly work with quality.

This means that ideas are very important to us. Polished game mechanics, innovative features and games that fit the intended platforms perfectly are all things that we look to incorporate in an initial idea. A lot of our time is spent on ideas. Everyone can participate and pitch their ideas. At any given time.

The process

The following image roughly describes the overall process, where an idea is molded into a concept which then becomes a formal proposal which is accompanied by an animatic that serves as an initial prototype.

process

At any given time we have a stock of very rough “game ideas” – some are little more than a few lines of text and a rough sketch or two. All of our “logged” ideas are stored on an internal wiki and they are developed gradually, through a very organic process of reading, reviewing, re-writing and updating.

Everyone can be involved, in one way or another. Some people have to participate, of course, but anyone can chip in. Concepts are discussed during meetings (both formal and informal), sent between staff members for comments, etc. And, of course, a lot of doodling and drawing goes on as well. The following image shows the very first paper draft for Symbol6:

first_draft

Some concepts never make it past the “few lines and an image” stage (the initial idea stage), while others become drafts that are developed and “finalized” (of course concepts are never “finalized”, but there is a point where you have to stop and decide that you’ve reached the stage that separates concept from full blown design). A finalized concept feels complete when:

  • It describes the basic workings of a game
  • It captures what would initially seem to be main elements and mechanics
  • It has an initial story
  • It has a flow to it – a basic game play description
  • It holds conceptual suggestions to look/feel/sound/size
  • It suggests user stories and interactions

When a concept is “fully developed”, it becomes a part of a “proposal” pool – which basically consists of a number of concepts that we feel are all worthy of being analyzed and broken down into specific requirements.

The proposal

Symbol6 was formally picked from the proposal pool because

  • The concept indicated that the game could be a lot of fun
  • The game had the potential to reach a broad audience, even though it was especially interesting to a niche market  (puzzle game lovers)
  • The game had replay value, although it was simple and relied on a single (but unique and polished) game mechanic
  • The game was simple enough for us to implement it fairly quickly on a new platform, without compromising kick-ass graphics, sound quality or game play implementation

After being picked for production, the Symbol6 concept was turned into a full blown game proposal, where basic game design took place. Proposals also hold further implementation details, goals, feature specifications, etc.

For smaller projects, like Symbol6, the game proposal actually acts as the first draft of a design document, so when the game proposal for Symbol6 was accepted, we already had finalized most of the game design, as well.

The animatic

But the proposal (or the game design document) is not the most important part in our process. The “prototype animatic” is, however. Below, you can see the initial animatic that was created for Symbol6 (Amusing fact : the working title for Symbol6 was Hexago).

The animatic has one purpose, and one purpose only. It visualizes the experience of a conceptual player, given a specific scenario. Simple games, like Symbol6, only need a single animatic to describe the whole game, while bigger games need multiple animatics to portray different “player stories“.

As those of you who are familiar with Symbol6 can see, most of the features portrayed in the animatic were implemented in the final version of the game. The animatic instantly set the tone for the entire game, how it would look, how it would work and how a player would experience it. Everyone on the team knew what to do from the moment we reviewed the animatic.

It also allowed us to decide what features we would implement and what features we wanted to skip, based on a visual experience. Furthermore, it allowed us to quickly prioritize features, requirements and critical elements.

At Gogogic, the animatic is king.

Production and design

Finally, the game is ready for production, along with sound and graphic design. Concept images and sounds have, of course, been set up. But this is the point where everything is finalized and handed in.

The following image shows the complete symbol set for Symbol6, as the graphics department handed it over to production.

hexago-icons_all

Finally

I’ll leave the production, testing and publishing processes to another post (or two) since they diserve more than a couple of lines at the end of what has become a pretty long post.

Of course, this post only covers the fundamental parts of what we do ,while I’ve tried to avoid specific details of “how we do it”. Each aspect would need a separate post, if the intent was to cover that as well.

But “what we do” leads to the question “why we do it”. The answer is simple. We’re trying to build games that are extremely fun, innovative, user friendly, slick, stylish, beautiful and immersive. We’re trying to create an experience and that is why we go to painstaking lengths to see if a concept works or not – by an iterative process that organically weeds out ideas that do not work and by visualizing what we’re trying to achieve, early on.

ingame

Hopefully we’ll be successful with Symbol6, because we have a lot of great concepts just waiting to be produced and released. I’m sure I’ll publish “sneek peak” images and examples here, on this blog, before long 😉

And remember to check out Symbol6 in the App Store,  or the offical site, if you haven’t already. http://www.symbol6game.com

Bookmark and Share

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 😉

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.