Archive for June, 2011

Portaled Out

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Just recently finished Portal 2, my first Portal experience to date. Well, to be fair, I didn’t really play it all through myself: I only finished the co-op campaign with my brother, and watched him beat the single player portion. Came within a hair of not having to use any walkthroughs, but finally relented on one part of the final co-op level. In retrospect the solution was incredibly obvious; just a matter of overly linear thinking on our part.

I’ve never been a big fan of puzzle games, but Portal has a lot more character than most. GLaDOS, the queen bitch computer, really steals the show. Even just the few little quips during the nearly story-less co-op campaign make it rather memorable. And there’s no denying that finally figuring out a tricky spatial conundrum has quite the satisfying ring to it.

But with all that said, I still don’t think it’s the kind of game that warrants the ‘standard retail price’ (which, as a concept, is soon going to die, in my opinion). We rented it for a week, and got through both campaigns at a relaxed pace of a couple hours a day. I think we skipped a day or two during the week actually. And really, why would you want to go through it again? You’ll either remember the puzzles and go through effortlessly, or feel stupid for not remembering. To be sure, it did take about two weeks of calling Rogers to find an available copy, but it was worth it.

Though of course, the price of anything is the price people will pay for it. With all the hype Portal 2 built up, I’m sure it’s doing just fine with the price as it is. We came close to buying it ourselves at first, but in the end saw the light of reason. Now the only question left is whether I should pick up the first Portal on steam, and see for myself how meme-inducing all those false promises of cake really are.

Posted in Game Critiques | Comments Off on Portaled Out

The Sword Has Fallen

Friday, June 17th, 2011

This is likely a bit of a superfluous announcement for anyone reading, as anyone who’s come this far has likely also been to the main site already, and seen the game in question. But regardless, my latest game Swordfall: Kingdoms is officially done and on the site. Only about two months behind my early February-set schedule; I must be getting better at this game thing. Now, to be sure, my initial time estimate back in December called for just two months, but I’m perfectly willing to forget about that.

Yes, it was a stupidly grueling project once again, and there are no millions to look forward to as a reward. It won’t be a Scrap Metal Heroes style flop, judging from the first 2.5 days on Mochi, but I’m not expecting a quick fortune either. I would expect it to somewhat exceed ADoE’s traffic performance, in which case it should make a decent sum in the long term. Maybe fifteen thousand in the first year would be my woefully premature and wild-assed guess. I’m now debating what version of the game I should put up on kongregate. What few fans I have won’t care for a crippled, one-map edition. But I also can’t give out the same content on kong as I have in the mochi ad-supprted version; that would leave no reason for anyone to watch the ads. Kongregate itself isn’t too bad actually (as they pay developers for traffic) but if the ad-free version spreads beyond kong, then there’ll be plenty of traffic sources that will give me next to nothing. I might try a site-locked version to start; I’ll look into it in a couple of days, once I have more of an idea of how the current traffic is doing.

Despite the remaining potential of a long revenue tail, there’s little doubt that my time would have been better spent on smaller games. Somehow I’ve managed to fixate myself on these grandiose strategy games, and I think it’s time to finally let go, at least for the foreseeable future. Trying to make this pseudo-Total War thing happen just isn’t worth the effort. Swordfall may still be a pretty good game, but the equal of five good smaller games it is not.

I’m now working on bit of a spin-off from Rise of the Tower, with a lot more freedom to build and plenty of different levels. The main mechanics are already working after four days of work, and I’ll probably finish in 3-4 weeks. No, let’s just make that definitely finish. I am making a small game for once, goddamnit, and it’s gonna be awesome. Just you wait and see.

Posted in Current Games | Comments Off on The Sword Has Fallen