Archive for the ‘Prepare for Warp’ Category

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 3


The long wait is over. Prepare for Warp is now available for free for iOS on the Appstore. Dodge asteroids all day long on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad!

With this, I am finally finished with my project to bring my back mobile catalog to iOS, and in the future, the two platforms should see release and feature parity, give or take a week or so for bureaucracy.

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 6Get It On Google PlayI have just uploaded Prepare for Warp 1.1 to the Google Play Store, so updates should be streaming through in a couple of hours. The big new with this release is the in-app purchases. Ever wanted to continue a failed mission because you were 98% complete? Now you can with Continuum Reintegrators. Need your lasers or shields to be a little bit above spec? We’ve got you covered there. Want to get rid of the ads? Our Subspace Filter is just the item for you. I’ve also added some fun novelty items to the mix – your asteroids can be 20-sided dice instead. The other added feature is that I have collected together 50 tips for the game, and have added them to a random tip display on the title screen of the game.

Since the free edition of Prepare for Warp now gives the ability to disable ads without a separate app purchase and download, the need for the paid version of Prepare for Warp has vanished, and that version has been discontinued. I have been trying to think of a way to translate a purchase of Prepare for Warp into the Subspace Filter item that removes ads from the free version, but just cannot come up with a good solution that doesn’t require the user to keep both versions installed. If you are an active player of the paid app version and this really bothers you, please get in touch with me and I’ll see what we can do. I think Google is going to offer gifting of in-app items soon, so that may be an option.

The iOS version of Prepare for Warp is almost ready for submission, so hopefully that release will be happening in the next couple of weeks.

Upping My Game

posted by Duke
Mar 8

Wow. I’ve ended up with a lot of irons in the fire right now. I’ve just been methodically working with each one. Here is a breakdown of my progress, in order of priority:

Vintage Pachinko Deus Penguin / iOS Release (Version 2.1)

Penguin Temple ResultPhil and I are wrapping up work on the first pachinko machine in the Deus Penguin series. It is really looking sharp, and we have just a little work left on the pockets and center feature. I am now in the Apple Developer Program, and have a working iOS test build of Vintage Pachinko. I’ve been overhauling the UI to better accommodate iOS devices (Why you no have back button?!?!?!), and applying some of the more mobile-optimized shaders I’ve been developing. I’m hoping to release this update on both Android and iOS within the month.

Prepare for Warp Argent Agora / iOS Release (Version 1.1)

In-Game StoreAfter some minor difficulties, I’ve managed to integrate Soomla into Prepare for Warp, and I am developing and testing out some in-app purchases. This release will include the ability to remove ads within the app, making the paid version of the app obsolete. I do plan to offer some type of migration plan to those who own the current paid version of the app, so that they can continue to enjoy an ad-free experience. Other in-app purchases planned so far are a token to double the rate at which Argen is earned, an Argen windfall that carries across game resets, and novelty tokens to change the appearance of in-game elements. I also have a working test build of Prepare for Warp on iOS, and have applied my optimized shaders to this project. The UI has been updated to support iOS (…mumble mumble back button mumble…), and the options menu is now available from the main menu in addition to in-game. Look for this update to be released a couple of months down the road for both platforms.

Breaking Block

This one is slow-cooking right now. There are still a bunch of changes I want to make to the in-game economy and the gameplay, and the two aforementioned projects have been occupying most of my Smiling Cat time the past couple of weeks. It does not have an iOS build yet, but might have one by the end of day today. I did write a bunch of optimized shaders that use only what I need, and nothing that I don’t, and those optimizations have benefited the prior two projects as mentioned.

Well, back to work for me. I’ve got lots of builds and stuff to do before today’s meetup.

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 7As part of my plan to release more free games on mobile platforms, I have released “Prepare for Warp Free Edition” as an ad-supported free download on the Google Play store. If you’ve already paid for “Prepare for Warp”, do not fret, as your loyalty has earned you a continued ad-free experience, and the paid version of “Prepare for Warp” will continue to be available for players of the free edition who want to convert to an ad-free game.

If you haven’t checked out “Prepare for Warp” yet, you really should. It is hands down my best offering yet. The controls are superb, the levels range in difficulty from rather easy to quite insane, and everyone that tries it seems to love it.

Enjoy, and be sure to rate the game in the Google Play Store!

Nov 9

Concept photo 2No blog post last weekend due to my latest home project (not gamedev related) causing the weekend to get away from me: It’s no secret, but I’ve always been a big fan of pachinko machines. I have three, and will soon have a fourth as a Christmas gift, and I want to display them properly and remove the need to constantly refill them. So, I am planning to build a cabinet system that will allow me to do both. To the left is a concept photo (created with Unity, LOL) of what this will eventually look like.

So, back to being more on topic, I am in the midst of a marketing campaign for Prepare for Warp. Everyone is loving the game, it just needs more exposure. Hopefully I can get some reviews of the game posted, I think that will help a lot. I’m also trying out some advertising networks.

Today I am preparing more for the Ohio Game Dev Expo which is now less than one month away. All printing is being finalized today, and I have made a final shopping list for supplies. All that really remains after that is to update the business plan, which is good, considering that the holidays and winter will begin to encroach on my time and motivation.

I can already feel it coming upon me, the need to take a short break and recharge my batteries. I think my rest is well-earned, with 5 releases this year, and effectively doing 55-60 hour work weeks every week between my day job and Smiling Cat. So, until the end of the year, I’ll probably cut back Smiling Cat to 5-10 hours a week rather than 15-20, and will be on vacation from Smiling Cat entirely for the last 3 weeks of the year. Then, I will be back strong next year, hopefully with another series of mobile releases.

As less will be happening with Smiling Cat until the expo, expect blog postings to be less frequent. I will try to make another update in two weeks.

Oct 26

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 6I am proud to announce that Prepare for Warp is now live in the Google Play Store! At the bargain price of only 99 cents, its worth checking out, as most everyone who has tried it can attest.

Tilt to steer and avoid asteroids and other obstacles as you build up enough warp energy to make the jump to warp. The faster you go, the faster your warp energy builds, but colliding with obstacles will slow you down and damage your ship.

Succeed or fail, you will earn currency from each run that you can use to upgrade and customize your ship. Ten difficulty levels await you to provide proving grounds for your new upgrades. Over 50 achievements await to be unlocked and earned.

Here are a few quick strategy tips for the game:

Your shield is a renewable resource, hull integrity is not. Remember that when trying to improve your longevity through upgrades.

Remember to use your evasive loops to give your shields a chance to recharge.

Try to save your resources for the later parts of the mission, where the way is made more challenging by higher frequency of moving asteroids and enemy ships.

Once you acquire them, your lasers are auto-targeting, and will only target objects that they can destroy. Destroying an asteroid requires your laser to be focused on it for a period of time proportional to its size, therefore higher speeds diminish the effectiveness of your lasers.

At higher mission and laser levels, the super-laser powerup can be invaluable for clearing a path and giving your shields a chance to recharge.

I hope that everyone enjoys this adrenaline-building game! I look forward to releasing more mobile games in the future.

Oct 20

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 5Based on testing feedback, I’m glad to announce that Prepare for Warp will release on the Google Play Store on Saturday, October 26, 2013, for only $0.99!

Many who have tried the game at its various stages of development have told me this is my best game yet. Many others have told me that they are looking forward to the game’s release and will be lined up to buy the game when it releases. With everyone that is excited about this game, I’m really looking forward to it going live!

Prepare for Warp - ShipI have some great news for those who haven’t quite gotten around to upgrading that 2010 smartphone yet – I made some tweaks to Prepare for Warp, and it now runs acceptably well even on my retired Droid X. The only noticed side effects so far are prolonged load time between screens (slightly more than 5 seconds), and an occasional and slight frame rate drop that for me, does not really affect playability. So, Droid X or equivalent will now be the minimum supported spec, with Galaxy S3 or equivalent still being the recommended spec.

Once I hear back from my testers later this weekend, I should be ready to set a firm release date for the game. The release should still happen this month, barring any catastrophic, time-eating failures during testing. Meanwhile, I think I will add some more achievements while I tidy up and remove my debugging aids from the production build (sorry, I’m not leaving in the million credit cheat).

Oct 6

Prepare for Warp - Screenshot 6This weekend has been filled with a lot of various Smiling Cat tasks, the most notable of which was the completion of development for “Prepare to Warp”, which now enters hard-core testing. More prep for Ohio Game Dev Expo was also done, and I now have designs for most of the promotional materials needed for the event.

Not content to rest there with so much weekend left, I brainstormed for a few hours, and then ended up prototyping a word puzzle game that is now a candidate for the final game release of 2013. Being a big fan of Boggle, Gill really enjoyed it, so with some work it could be yet another genre of game represented in the Smiling Cat stable.

I still have a week or so before I need to commit to a new project, so I may brainstorm and prototype a couple of other ideas as well.

20130927_192152Friday evening I attended the COGG Prototype and Play event, which had a fantastic turnout. I was able to demo “Prepare for Warp” to quite a few willing players, and the general consensus was that people loved the game. Phrases like “can’t put it down”, and “is this available now?” were heard throughout the evening. It was a good thing I brought the entire fleet of Nexus 7’s, because at many times all three of them were being played. Based on this feedback, I am very encouraged and excited to be releasing this game soon.

There were lots of other cool prototype games there, too, both in video and tabletop form. Todd Barchok was there showing his latest enhancements to his IsoTower project. YEI Technology was also there with some really cool-looking real-time motion capture and virtual reality technology, and I look forward to seeing them at the expo. Multivarious Games was also present with multiple games; the most prominently featured was their board/card game “A Bug’s Planet”. Seth Paxton, the event host, also had an early prototype of a zombie-themed board game I didn’t quite catch the title of, but looked like a lot of fun.

There were even more great games there and I would have loved to have been able to check out every one of them. Since I was flying solo and my game seemed pretty popular throughout the evening, I had to stay close to my setup and could only wander during brief lulls at my table. I still had a great time, and I hope to see the COGG do more of these types of events. It was great to see so many new faces and be able to get their perspectives and opinions on my newest game.

phone pics sept 2013 0092The Ohio Game Dev Expo is still over two months away, but I am already making preparations to “go big” at my hometown event. The trio of Nexus 7’s I referred to earlier were acquired mainly for my mobile showcase at the expo, but I am not stopping there. As opposed to my GMX 2013 display, which was put together in a very short period of time and on a very small budget, having three months to plan and budget for Ohio Game Dev Expo is making a huge difference.

As of now, I have procured everything necessary to put together a booth that I would be proud to take all the way to GDC. This includes table linens in Smiling Cat’s typical royal blue background color, and a pipe-and-drape system in the same color. Gill was very anxious to snap a photo of the new table linens when I tried them out, and it took some convincing to get her to wait for a few seconds while I set up the fleet of tablets on it for maximum effect. Once I test out the pipe-and-drape set up, I’m sure I’ll have more photos to share.

As for progress on the game itself, I can’t be more pleased. Yesterday I added a tutorial level, made a bunch of changes based off of feedback from the Prototype and Play event, and started adding the achievement system to the game. After that, there is not much more development to be done, only testing and tuning, so I seem very much on-target for my mid-October release.

By the way, if you want a cheap and powerful 7″ tablet, I strongly recommend the first-gen Nexus 7; the launch of the second-gen has made these ultra-cheap. They can be had in near-mint condition for under $100 on eBay, and not coincidentally it is one of the recommended specs for Smiling Cat’s next generation of mobile games.