Monday, September 27, 2010

iPhone App Game Development Blog #37

iPhone App Game Development Blog #37

Well, hello there. Gosh-darn-it, but it has been a long time since I've written a development blog update in here. I've had my reasons - mainly, I've been putting out video logs instead, in hopes of getting a bit more visibility. Those are going fairly well, but something does get lost when there is such a drastic format change. Also, sometimes one finds that it is 3 a.m. and they just feel like typing.

180 for iPhone - remember that game? Believe it or not, there's a bit of hubbub in that world recently. Not too much I can go on about, but hopefully something which will give our game a little shot-in-the-arm. The programmer dusted off the code and he is prepping an update, after a long half-year of inactivity. At the very least, we'll have a new icon to show off. Other changes/additions are planned and in various stages of implementation, though I can't say I know when (or even if) they'll ever see the light of day. To be honest, I will just be happy with the new icon release and have that be the end of it. Following that, I am pushing for a last big promotional push in some fashion or other, anyone who has even paid half-attention to what I have been up to can likely put the pieces together. Hopefully inside of a month's time this will come to fruition, for real.

Bizdev - It's hard to mention business development as things are really at a standstill in many ways. I intend to keep this shtick going on as long as possible in some manner or other, but it should be pretty clear that things have been dark and quiet on the "development and release" end of things for some time now. It's a shame - I'd originally hoped to put maybe 3 mobile games out this year, at least - but it's a fair-enough runner up to have people talking about my product, my brand, and have it "feel" current. There's plenty of much more active developers than Headcase, who release a much steadier stream of product, yet no one has any idea who they are or what they represent. Otherwise, I am always talking to plenty of people behind-the-scenes and doing what I can to plan for the future. Right now, finagling the present takes up a great deal of my time.

It is important to mention that we've recently launched a new website called (or "FAT" if you like!) This site is 100% devised and run by me, and to be honest the only real reason I put it up there was so I could have a dedicated place to advertise my product. Free App websites are not yet a dime-a-dozen, but they are getting there. I figured "better late than never" and mashed a bunch of things together and threw it up there. Only a week out, going smooth so far (though it's not done anything for my sales yet!) We will see.. Also, if there are any developers out there interested to partner with us on this, please contact me, we'd love to promote your product (for FREE!) At this point, you can already be assured that hundreds of people will see it, and in a few weeks' time I am hopeful to put a zero or two behind that.

Video logs - this has been an interesting experiment, and let me assure you that it is quite maddening. I apologize to those of you who are not on board with it yet, I am trying to inject some personality into this venture and "putting myself out there" is actually quite exhausting. Thankfully some people have been "getting it" and I'll just say I am trying to put a human face, if I can call myself that (!), on small-time app development. YouTube is a great tool for reaching a potentially large base of people, between how far it can penetrate and it's ease of use, so going this route seems very attractive (especially as I don't see most other devs utilizing it in this fashion) Well, maybe that's for a reason! Anyway, I want to make this more useful. If anyone has any suggestions/ideas about what they'd like to see, fire away. Be critical - if it is turning you off of my brand, let me know. Likewise, if it makes you feel sympathetic to have someone on the home team to root for, let me know that as well! I am doing this to try and make people happy, to do my part to spread the word. Tell me what I can tell you.

What Else is Gong On - Huh? You mean there's more? Well, this is the part where I usually chime in about the industry at large and how I feel about all of that. I have been out of mainstream development for over a year and a half now, and in many ways it feels like good riddance! The game industry is still exciting, wild and captivating, but it also feels like such a crazy unwelcome stew right now. I was just reading about the failure of APB and the closure of Realtime Worlds and it got me all depressed. It got me thinking about what happened not too long ago with Red Dead Redemption (a game that was hugely successful, and yet still at the cost of so many people's jobs). This stuff isn't easing up anytime soon, it seems. A good friend recently lost his job from a former employer (of mine) as well. This is all fairly ludicrous and gets my blood boiling - when people work hard, above and beyond the call of duty, and the only thanks is a pink slip. We bend over backwards trying to put out superior product, but all the success in the world can't save you from crappy management and bad planning, and the video game industry at large is bubbling over with that.

Meanwhile, PlayStation Move has launched, and does anyone care? I am trying to reserve judgement on the device until I get my hands on it, but I must say I am in no hurry. As usual I will jump to Sony's defense in that "yes they are credited with advancing this entire industry in the past 15 years" but then I will slam them as well "they are getting top-heavy and should return to doing what they've always done best!." To be fair, I am just as skeptical about Kinect, I think both companies have really missed the point of what Nintendo was going for with their motion control setup; I think this really is not going to be the successful stop-gap that the HD consoles are banking on. Can that be done? Of course. Is Sony or Microsoft going to nail it? I won't hold my breath. On a side note, as a designer, would I enjoy developing a title for those platforms, utilizing this tech? I sure would!

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