I first became involved with SeeThrough Studios before it existed. I was originally asked by Paul to help with game writing for Particulars (which will have an alpha release available soon! Finally! We mean it this time!) but then life and mostly a thesis got in the way.
I rejoined SeeThrough at the beginning of this year to work as a game writer and somehow* wound up as Social Media and Marketing Coordinator**. While I have worked in marketing and client-side relations before, I had never actually marketed a video game, and just to add more pressure into the mix, the Unstoppabot launch was less than two weeks away!
So check below the cut for a 17 step process on how not to market a game during your first two weeks in a job.
Disclaimer: My marketing was not as poorly thought out as this
*I noticed our online presence was lacking and offered to help. Things kind of snowballed from there.
**I may or may not have given myself a fancy title, fancy titles are the best.
Hey I’m David, designer for Team 1, and I’m here to take you through the initial thought process of our game. Way back in a time long ago (about two weeks before Iron Dev started), Tom (our programmer) and I were sitting around thinking about the upcoming Ludum Dare competition. I had been playing a lot of ‘Dungeons of Dredmor’, ‘The Binding of Isaac’ and ‘Spelunky’. Tom had been playing a lot of ‘Legends of Grimrock’, and we got into a conversation about how awesome ‘Roguelike’ games were, but how they were often hampered by some clunky design, mainly inventories and awkward control systems.
The genre ‘Roguelike’ has been undergoing rapid changes over the past few years, and with some recent additions like ‘The Binding of Isaac’ and ‘Spelunky’, the genre has been quite loosely defined. I defined a ‘Roguelike’ as a game with procedurally generated content, learning through death, and progress defined by how far you get before dying. This encompasses Isaac, Spelunky, Dredmor, Dwarf Fortress, and the traditional roguelikes. At this point Tom jokingly made the observation that if that is how you define a Roguelike , ‘Infinite Runners’ are Roguelikes. This observation went full circle back to what we wanted to achieve, an accessible pick-up and play (PUP) Roguelike.
If we could take the simplicity of an infinite runner and the incredible depth of a Roguelike, we could be onto something very special. Based on this observation we tried to see if we could take the really cool parts of Roguelikes and repackage them in a more accessible form. By doing this we would be exposing casual gamers to something that normally only hardcore gamers would experience. In other words we decided to make a Roguelike for casual gamers.
So then Ludum Dare came along, Tom and I both decided to make two games inspired by our conversation. Tom made a cool minimalistic Roguelike dungeon crawler called ‘Vol’. I went in the other direction and actually made an infinite runner with some RPG style elements called ‘Unnatural Selection’. Both games then went on to inspire Team 1′s next game…
Here is a little teaser to keep everyone occupied (PS this is on mobile):
You may have noticed a lack of updates around here lately. The truth is that while we have been doing work (check out the background art by Kristy and Louise!), we have been suffered some delays. All of us lost a week when we went down to Melbourne to win awards, and Team A specifically has lost a fair bit of time due to Paul being sick. As he’s our only programmer, this has put rather a crimp on our progress. Team 1 have also slipped behind, and none of us want to release a sub-standard product. For this reason, we have made the mutual decision to add three weeks to our deadline, which you can now see reflected in the countdown timer.
A mock-up screenshot of Team A’s game, tentatively titled “Rolland”. The (awesome) artist is our new intern, Kristy. I have no idea how we would have got this game made if she hadn’t come on-board!
We’re currently in the early stages of building our next game – a bigger, bolder, and above all better game set in the world of Flatland! We’ll be writing new stories featuring brand new characters, improving the current game mechanics and adding a whole range of new ones. And you can get into our alpha funding program and get a copy of the finished game for free!
In order to get to know the tastes of our audience and make the game the best it can be, we have put together a survey called The Future of Flatland (drum roll). The more responses we get to the survey, the better we will be able to make the game, which makes your response very valuable to us. Because of this, we want to show our appreciation by rewarding everyone who fills it out.
This is what you’ll get for taking a few minutes of your time to contribute your answers:
- Every single person who fills it out gets our undying gratitude, and a free copy of the Flatland: Fallen Angle Appreciation Edition, which comes with developer commentary and an arena level. This will include an update to version 1.1 (releasing very soon), which has improved combat mechanics and much prettier visuals (see the trailer in the site header).
- The first 50 survey respondents will also get free access to our alpha funding program, kicking off soon, which means you get to play a regularly-updated pre-release build of the game, and that you will get the final, paid version of the new Flatland game for no dollars.
So what are you waiting for? Get your responses in!
If you are not one of the first 50 respondents, you will still be able to participate in the alpha, by contributing a small fee (which is yet to be finalised). And if you are one of those super-generous people (you know who you are!), who want to contribute extra money, even though you don’t have to, we will be setting up a way for you to do that. You are, needless to say, wonderful human beings.
That survey link, one more time: The Future of Flatland Survey
**Warning: Contains explicit (Throw)language**
This week in the ThrowNews:
- Bits ‘n Pieces
- Metric Fuckton of development
Playtesting and Data Analysis
- Results from Bits & Pieces
- Next focus is on the actual teaching rather than gameplay
- Restricted by physics (usually middle vertical slice first)
- Data Analysis
- Getting a measure of player frustration
- Challenge/Fun scores, how often level was skipped, when the player stopped playing
- Next will want to get heatmaps
- Strategies of players of different skill levels
- Self-reporting game challenge (have a small ‘test level’ on website)
Thanks for watching guys!
follow us on:
In the ThrowNews this week:
New UI (with Gameplay Video!)
Bits ‘n pieces coming up. Come and see our game. Details available at:http://www.tsumea.com/australasia/australia/news/130711/igda-sydney-bits-pieces
What they are?
Why they’re important
What are the stages in a retrospective?
Some changes we’re making as a result
Thanks for watching! If you want to find out more: