May 27 ,2017 — Day 864
Preparing to Make My Next Game…
It’s been awhile.
The unique cooking game has already been out 6 months since the official release date. Now, near 5000 gameplays on Kongregate, and almost 80 accumulated downloads on mobile version so far. Not so good… basically due to lack of aggressive promotion and stuff… but that’s fine.
Little did i ever mentioned: the current version 1.2 on Kongregate (or 1.1 on Android) has added a few features to further adding the game’s “flavor”.
- element: Greasiness
- 1 new unlockable
- 3 new achievements
Now, I have to put the game aside… for a long while. I’m going to focus on my next game from now on, it will be a puzzle-type game, probably inspired by Windows classic game ‘Chip’s Challenge’ and other top view tile-based games.
Still, I will definitely come back and make 1 last MAJOR update before next year. (ver 1.3 Kong version/ ver 1.2 Android version)
So what’s the progress on my new game?
It’s still on concept development, not much visual is coming out & the main puzzle elements are not decided. But some screenshots will be showing here around June, when the game is looking a bit more like a pre-alpha stage. There will be a new dev log for the new game when it’s ready.
So then… Until next time! 😉
May 1 ,2017 — Day 838
1 Month of Android Ver. Release & Analysis
Hi there. This post will be quite long, so I wrote it as on-point as possible.
On this post I only wrote about my “marketing plans” & some analytics on April. Basically, I did 3 things to boost my & game installs. (these are the major ones)
- Reddit Posts
- Facebook Ads & Post Boosts
- YouTube Let’s-Plays
I posted about my game on 3~4 sub-reddits. Not as effective as last time. This time only 3~4 replys and probably a few downloads.
FaceBook Ads & Boost Posts
I’ve spent about RM40 (USD$9.24) on Post-Boosting my trailer videos & facebook page & RM50 (USD$11.5) on Facebook Ads Campaigns.
First, the Boost Posts. I made a few of them and it really got many views & likes (hundreds of them) but very few went to download.
Now for the ads campaigns.
I tested out a few small ones first, then I spent the most on and it reach far more people like 22,000. Even so, very few really went and installed the game.
fun fact: Mexico & Philippines have the most views.
I think these spending is a WRONG move. I’ve try my best to reach more people but I’ve wasted too much money and get very very little results. I know that spending more should get a much better results but… it’s counter-financial to spend much money if you struggle to get even $1 from in-game Ads.
I also doubt my promotion’s graphic attractiveness. I think people expect much more professional looking pictures since so many games and their promotional stuffs looked really attractive and colorful. Oh well.
You Tube Let’s Plays
I e-mailed to 34 YouTube channels and have successfully get 3 videos about the game so far. But I think it’s worth the try cos it cost nothing and get my game some real exposure. I have a feeling that this is one of the better way to expose my game if I regularly contact the focused YT channels.
Now, let’s look at the analytics from Google Play Developer.
Here’s 30 days of stats, and I’m only getting a total of about 50 installs (which is not very good)
India is surprisingly like my game (even I did not focus that country on Facebook Ad),then followed by US.
It’s still troubles me that after all the efforts my game is still under 100 downloads. It’s like the fish in the grant ocean. It seems that to gain you have to have lots of connections to social media & also some money on, otherwise you’ll be transparent to the world.
Lastly, here’s the screenshot from my game’s Kongregate version.
Roughly near 300 players in a month, without any promotional plans. (except for the trailer video)
That being said, I found out maybe because of Kongregate has a more concentrated audience and a smaller community, It’s a lot easier to get views & plays.
As for the Android version, (I hate to say this but) I failed on the marketing plans. Android games market is over-saturated, and it’s much-much-much harder to grab attention. (Sigh)
That’s all for this simple and long post.
I will do 1 more update on the game before starting my new game.
(I’ve been doing this game for just… too long)
April 7 ,2017 — Day 814
Android Version Release & Trailer Promotion
As promise, ‘Fry Me Omelettes’ Google Play version has released.
Official trailer is out and landing page video is being replaced to the trailer.
you can get the link from the main page.
Still, The promotion doesn’t seem right (even I make the trailer as good as I can)
It never have the impact I wish it could be.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought. 😐
For 1 week, I get not more than 20 downloads. (not including family & friends)
I messed up a little by wasting money on promote the wrongly on Facebook’s boost post. Instead of getting people to my facebook page/website/or downloading my game, most I get is ‘likes’ and ‘follows’.(spent over USD10 for 2 days) But I do hope it would help me somehow… I really don’t have much money to invest on this Facebook ads.
That means I have more work to do to get more exposure. (working on optimizing views, promoting on forums/reddits etc.)
That’s all for now. I’ll update another one after Easter.
Sorry for posting this late.
February 27 ,2017 — Day 761
Planning for Android Version
- Current: Released ver 1.1.5
- new goal: mobile release (Android)
- new performance toggle ‘Egglook Glimmer’ in option for Android ver.
- working: debugging & optimizing for Android ver.
- still working: game trailer
As you can see, I’m testing my game on my Android devices.
i’m planning to go mobile with ‘Fry Me Omelettes’. (it’s always been in my initial goal, even the game is designed for this) Had spent a few weeks to learn all the know-hows, and now testing apks to my android devices. Then the tiring testing & debugging has begun! I done some optimizations and improve reasonable frame rates.
But in the end, it’s still pretty unplayable on my 4 years old Asus tablet by around 7~20 fps. Htc One M8 is barely playable with 15~35. And the newer RedMi 3S is passable at 22~45 fps.(these are on the lowest setting) Now I can fully learned how badly optimized my 1st game is. 🙁
So, the mobile version going to be played on higher end android devices (Android version 4.4 Kit-Kat or above)
I believe it will be available for most popular phones. (no version for tablets & 4:3 screens yet)
I’m planning to release to Google Play store alongside with the trailer somewhen in March. 😀 I haven’t forget about the web version on Kongregate though. I have high hopes that the upcoming ‘trailer release’ will increase visits tremendously, so that I ‘may’ be able to request for a ‘badge’; in the mean time, I will also post links of my game’s Google Play store.
I gotta start finishing my trailer, seriously. (even it’s not as good as i wanted)
That’s about it, guys.
January 10 ,2017 — Day 713
Enter the 3rd year
- Current: Released ver 1.1.4
- Visual cues on Challenges
- working: improving menu music track (for better impression)
- working on trailer (draft stage)
It’s 2017. ‘Fry Me Omelette’ had already have 3300+ plays over 6 weeks. December alone was great with 2000+ plays. But since the new year, the game only got 312 plays on the first week… 500~700 would be very nice.
My goal is to get the Kongregate ‘badge’. Once obtained, my play counts could increased over 100 plays per week. 🙂 In order to achieve this I must do focus promoting & give the new players the best impression I can give, and get my rating back to 3.5. There’s still a few things I can improve which is the menu music track. I also will try improve the kitchen shadings just a bit.
One of the best attraction is the game trailer, which I hope to impress & draw people. I’m working on the trailer, but I just can’t be satisfied with it. (only draft yet) 🙁 I also procrastinated for quite awhile due to my ill perfectionism. (not that I had any talent good at making cool videos)
Here’s a quick look at some of my trailer screenshots. (it doesn’t represent final result)
I’ll try to finish the trailer within January. But if I personally don’t think it’s good enough, I’ll not post it until I’m satisfied.
That’s all for today.
December 24 ,2016 — Day 696
Christmas Eve Update
- Current: Released ver 1.1
- added ‘Facebook Share’ button
- added X’mas BG decoration for Christmas days
- new holiday opening slide
- 2 X’mas music tracks + 1 jingle (temporarily replace the old ones)
This is an update for purely for this Christmas.
Nothing much is added except a few backdrops–with decoration. It also replaces a couple of music tracks with a more X’mas-like tracks, example: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer’. Once the period is off the game will return to the usual ones.
X’mas mode will continue to appear on all future X’mas periods. 🙂
So come visit & share some Christmas cheers!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
December 4 ,2016 — Day 676
10 days after release
- Current: Released ver 1.02
- added ‘Retry’ button
- Start working on ver 1.1 (X’mas assets)
Hmm, already 10 days. I should writing something & here it is.
First let’s talk about my game’s rating… Well, I don’t like getting a 2.2 stars!
I’m a bit depressed at first, and never thought Kongregate players would be so cut-throat… 🙁 I know my game is rough on the edges: don’t have smooth game flow, pretty music or gorgeous artworks, but I’m quite confident on my game concept & work as best as I can to my ability.
I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. It’s my 1st public game after all.
For play counts, 170 plays so far.(when this post written)Which is pretty sad.
Well because if the rating is low, fewer people want to have a try (let alone it’s a cooking game not everyone likes because they might thought it’s a same old time-management type/girl game) And also I only promote it on 3 social medias, 3 forums, IndieDB, etc.
Right now I am focusing on making the trailer video & also update for the game. Advertising part will be carried on after the update (ver 1.1).
I don’t really have any budget for promotion (I’m pretty much penniless) but I’m thinking to try on Facebook’s boost post. I will pay a few $10s and try on weekends for a month ( that’s 4 days). I hope the exposure will getting me 100+ more players. Also maybe I’ll give a try on Twitter ad. (I never used it personally, not my style but why not try it?)
In the end, I really want to get my game’s play counts over 500~1,000 per month. That will somehow justify my ‘labor of love’ with some extra income. 🙂
Let’s continue to work, creators!
November 24 ,2016 — Day 666
ver1.0 Finally Released!
- Current: Released ver 1.00
- fixed a few more bugs here and there
- Lack on critiques on the fillings in ‘Cooking Criteria’
- Changing WebStorage to Local Storage for next update
Wow, what a day! Stress, anxiety to joyfulness…
Ha ha, Day #666! Wow that numbers…
Fix, fix , upload attempt… fail, more fix, discover bug, fix more , upload attempt…fail (repeat) Having upload problem wasting complete 3 hours. It kept failing, because of timeout due to large files. (I might have more problems in future updates)
Right now I’m happy that I didn’t find any errors in usual gameplay (if I play it normally) That’s fine.
Overall I’m glad this 2 years project finally reach (but not it’s not the end, it’s the beginning)I will continue to work on this game though! This game is my asset, gotta do something to keep people know and play, … Right now I don’t want to think so much…
Ver1.0.1 will be out in 1~2 days. Cheers. 😉
November 21 ,2016 — Day 663
3 More Days!
- Current: Pre-Release ver0.98
- ‘Kongregate Basic Integration’ done
- Added ‘Thanksgiving Launch’ pic at the opening
- Doing everything I can for the rest
Some new additions : new Sound effects & ‘Thanksgiving Launch’ pic.
Also re-tweaked Kitchen music track to a bit more ‘mellow’ flute sound.
I’ve done a lot of small glitch fixes in the past few days.
On the judging sequence, there’s still many possible way to trigger the ‘bypass’ (which I can’t find the source). At least it doesn’t freeze the game like it used to so frequently. Even the ‘bypass’ is present, there’s still possible ‘game freeze’ situations due to my coding.
I will continue to work on that.
I am currently test-run the game privately on my site, and will also on Kongregate to make sure everything’s working. I consider the possibility of sudden errors & incompatibilities, then I’ll need enough time to fix. (things can happen)
Sorry to say but honestly, this game still plays badly on mobile devices (I used my cheap tablet & it only plays 3~15 fps) I tried closing ‘collisions’ off to most sprites… but no signs of framerate rise. Then I realized i have 10~15 layers on most scenes & over 500 objects on screen (from debugger). Can’t do anything on them– they’re essential.
It’s BEST to play the game on computer, for now. (still I will find a way to improve fps)
Some also will have to be implemented on future update (ver1.1).
– A bunch of ‘overcooked’ omelette sprites I don’t like but don’t have time to fix.
– More diverse critiques (also open up some new criteria)
More will be added in further details. (after release)
And also the game trailer. (probably will release out with ver1.1)
p/s: I turned Mozart’s ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik‘ into a remix for my trailer music. sorry Mozart.
3 days to the thanksgiving l(a)unch!
November 15 ,2016 — Day 657
9 More Days!
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.95
- Short video ‘Sneak Peek’ done
- ‘Fix Egg Sprites’ done
- ‘More Stats & Options’ done (‘WebGL effects’ added)
- Added ‘Bypass’ function against game-freezing on judging sequence
- Working on missing ‘taste’ critiques
A new option ‘webGL Effects’, for the some “bloom” effects.
These graphic enhancements are basically blur & glow, only on main menu, ‘egg-look’ screen, ‘record’ screen and the flame & smoke on the ‘fry zone’& ‘topping area’.
However, beware that it could heavily impact framerates on a weak GPU in computers/mobile devices. (also the effect may not work properly on some browsers like Internet Explorer etc.)
I couldn’t work on the trailer yet. I will have time after the game release. I hope I will finish & post it online within this year, that’s a promise.
9 days to go!
November 6 ,2016 — Day 648
Let’s Get more Urgent
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.93
- ‘Screen Mood Effects’ done
- Added some new judge expression sprites
- Working on Critic Stage debugging
- Working on fixing some ‘EggLook’ sprites
- Working on Landing Page
This takes me half day to write. Today I write a bit more elaborately about my current WIP.
(also writing those will also keep me in check on my game)
There’s still much to do & fix.
The first priority is to fix bugs & glitches! (cos’ no one likes a broken game)
Then comes the other graphic fix & tweaks to make things look more nice & finished.
The promotional materials part is at the low priority: I won’t find most of the time working on them when the game is not ready.
Now let’s look at what’s left to do from the list there. (ready for this wall of text!)
The kitchen BG is okay I guess, but not for a few different color themes. The judging panel BG is okay except the plant backdrops (will redraw’em). The transition “curtain” need to change the colorless title logo to a color one. Also, I may change the main menu’s egg sprites visually consistent with the actual gameplay ‘egg looks’.
-Fix Egg Sprites:
Even fixed some of my worst egg sprites, I still think many of my egg sprites looked too plain & unrealistic without the fillings & dressings. I may add a thin layer of real textures on to them, if I got time.
-Critic Stage Debugging:
How to begin this… It’s a rejoice to solve the critique overlapping problem, I’m happy.
See Reaction > Respond > Rejection Barrier > Taste Reaction > Judge on Taste > Verdict
These are the judging sequence.
But currently there’s many inconsistencies within the sequence, due to careless coding. example: If you make a decent egg, One judge can react with unusual shock, then respond with praise & then rejects you afterwards.
This is what I am currently checking. It’s very tedious but doable.
‘Taste Reaction’ & ‘Judge on Taste’ currently is very lackluster. There’s no judging on the how the fillings & dressings taste. I will add them shortly. (have to keep them simple to prevent more bugs)
The REAL PAIN is the screen freezing. It happens when to each judges, the egg’s data not matching any of my hard-coded criteria which I may have missed or coded wrongly. This happens 95% on the ‘Reaction’ & ‘Respond’ parts, which are over 1000 events alone! Other parts are more simple & I have no problems so far.
-More Stats & Options:
While there’s nothing else to add in ‘Stats’, I may add a toggle for extra graphic enhancement in ‘Options’. I’m searching for one eye-candy effect that can make the ‘Egg look’/’Record’ screen looked more “tantalizing”.
I won’t take too much time making this so I’ll have to go simple .I’m using modified WordPress theme and make it look like a landing page. Nothing much to see there right now, but will add a few more visuals in the next 2 weeks. play.snoutycreations.com
I’ve planned the storyboard, finished the music track, but probably don’t have enough time to make footage, let alone video editing. (I won’t make a half-assed version) So I have to postpone it after the game release.
I may give you some hints & preview about the trailer next time.
I come to realized that all the promotional artworks, banners, trailers, articles on indieDB, social media posts, development logs here and on my website… takes up about 20~30% of all the time making the game alone.
That’s it! I must remind myself that i don’t have enough time for this long-winded post.
Only 18 days to go folks!
October 24 ,2016 — Day 635
1 Month left to Official Release!
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.92.5
- Working on adding ‘Mood Effects’
- Working on fixing some ‘EggLook’ sprites
- New Item #4 Implemented
Good day to y’all.
The launching day will be on Thanksgiving Day! (US)(Thus, November 24)
Due to time constrain, the game’s trailer will be released after the office launch. (might be a few weeks)
Also, I finished the “official” poster/banner for the game. More like a banner than “official” art to me I think I’ll should that one in the near future.
The new ‘Screen Mood Effect’ is a simple graphic enhancement for the food reactions.
Something like on the screenshot below.
That’s about it, dear creators.
Next log will be BIG: showing the official arts and maybe a sneak peak of the game trailer!
September 22 ,2016 — Day 603
So Many Bugs! (or should I say BAD codings)
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.85.0
- Working on remixing few music tracks
- Some sound FXs added
- In-Game Achievements System done
- New Item #3 Implemented
- New ‘Challenges’ done
Good day to y’all.
I really want to nag a bit about my very-very cluttered ‘events’, it’s getting harder & harder to code! On the bright side, I can start to feel the game is getting near completion. (I can see the end of the tunnel now!)
On the bright side, I can start to feel the game is getting near it’s ver1.0. (I can see the end of the tunnel now!)
Today, I introduce you a new dressing — Olive Oil.
It adds unique frangrance & flavor to your fried eggs/omelettes. Some judges might like it and and some might not. (and of course you need to play certain challenges to unlock this item!)
There’s one last ingredient I want to add before the release,
but will keep it as a secret now.
Today’s topic: I’ll be talking(bitching) about some of my current unsolvable bugs.
There are many, way too many little glitches around. But since they do very little influences to the gameplay I may give it a pass. I hope you’ll excuse them.
The biggest problem is the hangings on the judging panel. It hangs mostly before and after the ‘visual critique time’. That’s because of some codings. But it’s so hard to hind it, and many cases i can’t even understand why it got hung…sadness.
The 2nd biggest problem is the saving system. Sometimes it gone a little haywire. (and freaked me out)
I’m very-very cautious to add more of those ingredients, because” more ingredients = more codings = more chances get bad codings.
1 new fillings/dressings = 300+ events added
I’m so not a good coder, The more coding, the harder to find the bugs. It’s not good since only myself can understand my codings.
I think i really need to take some to focus around the codings…
August 24 ,2016 — Day 590
Plan: Point Guage, or no Point Gauge?
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.81.0
- Partial backdrops revamped
- First stage implementing In-Game Achievements
Sorry for the held off again. I was sick (seriously).
About the game’s fun-factor, I didn’t have much idea around it.
An idea of ‘point gauge’ system once cross my mind, but I don’t see any purpose on having a ‘point gauge’ system If 1st: the game is not hit-point related & 2nd: I don’t want players to buy/spend anything.
I know there’s quite a lot mobile games that uses point gauge. Those are built heavily for “in-game monetization”. I don’t wanna go there.
In conclusion, I decide to not adding any new elements! (yet)
But instead, use a better looking ‘In-game Achievements’ to add fun & variety to the game— That will be the case!
Hopefully next week, (if I get much better), I’ll show some of the achivements to ya!
August 5 ,2016 — Day 571
Optimization & Plans #1
- Current: Post-beta ver 0.80.5
- Quicken the judging sequence pacing a bit
- Slightly faster tempo on the music tracks
After 1 month of hiatus, (also dealing with my blog site problem) I have returned to continue my game development.
This will be my 5th development stage: ‘Web-Release’.
It’s already near complete, what’s left is to polish the game.
Mostly it will be on making the game more accessible & attracting… which means improving some graphic to make it more pleasing, make it more ‘fluid’ to the gameplay, Fixing a bit here and there. There will be no more fundamental changings.
In my own opinion, the game is somewhat incomplete on the fun factor & is needed some additional elements. This will probably to be thought over & confirmed in later blog posts.
An outline of the plan is done & this is the checklist:
In the mean time, I also optimize my game file size to the extreme! Thanks to the online image resize service TinyPNG, I can compress the images to about 30% of their original file size, with little noticeable image quality loss! Also I changed all my music tracks form stereo to mono, saves half of the sizes. All in all, I am now able to export the game (html) from over 60mb to about 30mb! Very nice!
Next week, I’ll be re-touching some backdrops, adding something and also changing the color palette to a more “pastel” feel!
June 23 ,2016 — Day 534
Report – Beta Hosting
After the end of Beta hosting on June 20, here’s my report & evaluations.
Since my google analytics no longer show the stats correctly, so I use the old trusty web-counter. This time I traced numbers of unique visitors… (should’ve use ‘number of visits’)
It’s merely about 70 unique visits… over the hosting period of 3 weeks…
I wasn’t pushing my advertising hard enough. And sometimes it’s just too hard to notice my promotional posts on social medias.
I got only a few but constructive comments (thanks to some of your praises).
Their critiques are basically:
- The game still confuses a few of the players on the tutorial.
- The judging sequence is a bit slow for some players.
- Game takes up lots of memory & time to load.
- Vesop– difficult bi*ch
Fortunately these are not very hard issues.
(1)The game is designed to let players be intuitive & to try around stuffs. It’s natural for first-timer to get confused…it’s part of the gaming experience I want to have). Also, I think I gave just enough cues for most basic play-through.
(2) I guess the transitions between scenes (also critic’s reactions) can be a bit more faster. Will do.
(3) This is a REAL problem that I been trying to remedy. As I add more graphics (& still plan to add more) into the game, it takes up space & memory heavily. This beta version contains 62MB! I will test out a ‘resized & cut-corner’version, just to see if I can keep it about 40mb. Big challenge!
(4)Well, I will make her less strict, and a bit more likable. (Just a little )
Nobody says anything about the art/music, which kind of sad for me. I guess they really are not impressive enough… Oh well.
A Reflect On my Promoting
I don’t know but… I wasn’t very keen on promoting the game. (At that time I was busy pushing to ver0.8 update…Maybe I am a bit tired.) Well honestly, I did lose some degree of motivation. The passion was not there. I felt very reluctant of the promotional updates. It was not a good energy & attitude. ..
I’m still passionate in my work though.
By the way, I did not make any teasers or trailer videos for this beta release. But I will definitely make one game trailer!
I really hope I will – at that next time – really pushing myself out of comfort zone and go a bit more beyond what I did before, on advertising & networking.
That’s about it! I will update the plans for game development on next month. (after I re-locate my site to another web-host)