Posts Tagged ‘sound-by-deeperbeige’

Tide Dawn Stainscrubbers

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

tide-dawn-stainscrubbersUse your mouse to control the main bubble and erase stains in this washing machine clean ’em up. Grab the bonusses for a powerful boost in cleaning power.

Postmortem:

The original concept for this game started out as a fun sounding idea. You were a bubble, inside a washing machine. You’d naturally cling to the edges, but could leap out into the spinning drum where you’d clean anything you passed over in your jump. The jump would be affected by the tides, centrifugal force and so on.

After prototyping this, the client didn’t like it. It wasn’t a bad game, but it was pretty hard to pick up at first. We offered to make it easier (it was just a prototype after all), but they instead wanted a completely different gameplay mechanic. Their suggestion was close to what you now see.

I built the new mechanic, and discovered it was dull! Boredom isn’t a good basis for a game, so I set it up to be pretty short on the theory that players might stand a chance of getting to the end. Also, the game has few special tricks (basically, slow mode, fast mode and bonus mode), so I spread these densely across three levels so that the player would constantly have something new happening, if only for a short period of time. It wasn’t an awful game at this point, but wasn’t great either. Most people who playtested it at least got to the end which was the point, as that’s where the datacapture and competition elements came into it at that time.

The client liked this version more, but wanted the experience to last longer. Much longer. At their request, we extended the game to ten levels each as long as the previous, with a chance to drop out at any point if you failed to clean the super-stain or collect one of the boost bonusses. Now, not even the in-house quality testers would play to the end. For a couple of levels it was interesting, but after that it was just repetitive and dull.

The client liked this version lots, and that’s what you see today!

Lessons:

  • Sometimes, a client’s demands will simply wreck your project! You can try to direct them towards a better solution, but you need to be prepared to back down and let them break it if that’s what they really want
  • Don’t get too attached to your creation if you have any form of external client to answer to!
  • Repeated itteration doesn’t always lead to a better game
  • It’s not advisable to stick too closely to the product’s concept in an advergame. Often it’s better to make a good game, and find a way to shoehorn the product into it rather than the other way round.
  • Games MUST be fun!

ClickRace

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

clickraceA silly little game to test how fast you can click a button 50 times. It’s not quite as easy as it looks though…

Play ClickRace on this site

I wrote this game as an experiment in advertising. It is deliberately a simple game, but with a few silly tricks that give it some lasting appeal so it’d distribute well. Then, I put a version on my site with google ads, a version out on the web with mochi ads built in and a version on Kongregate with their ad-share system in place.

So how has each version done? Well, I wouldn’t call them resounding successes:

Google ads: $1.96 from 40 impressions

Mochi ads: $15.92 from 113046 impressions

Kong ads: $2.31 from 2452 impressions

All of the above are over a period of a fair few months. So, number one problem: Not enough impressions! Number two problem: Mochiads pays bugger all! A hundred thousand impressions isn’t a lot, granted, but then neither is $16. Scale that up by a factor of 10 for a million-plays game (which is about right for a fair game with fair distribution), and you get $160. Which is pathetic.

Google ads looks rather better, but remember that the ads don’t travel with the game, but stay on your own website. That means you only get paid if people are actually on your site itself, not if the game is played on a portal elsewhere, which is the norm.

Get rich quick via advertising? Doesn’t seem likely from these figures.

PickaBrick

Monday, April 25th, 2005

pickabrickThe classic block-collapsing game we all know and love. Click on the biggest groups possible to score the highest.

I made this game not to be original or groundbreaking in any way other than one – to have an incredibly hard to hack highscore table! To date, I don’t believe anyone has ever successfully cheated at it. Give it a go if you like, but be responsible – let me know if you manage to hack it successfully. I’d love to know how if it has any flaws.

Here’s roughly how it works: The server sends you a random game seed to be played. As you play, Flash records the moves you make. Then, when your game is over it sends your score along with the moves you made to the server. The server replays your game in PHP and checks it comes out with the same score. It also checks mundane things like the game is actually the one it sent you, and it hasn’t been played before etc. If the scores match, you’re on the highscore table. If not, you’re a cheat!

I can’t think of any exploits, although occasionally it does generate a rediculously easy to score starting layout due to a flaw in the random number generator that I’ve never bothered to fix!

Play PickaBrick