Cranking The Wheels, Open Development Style

Over the past year or so I have been really inspired by blogs which are open with their development. The best example I could point to is Those guys are pretty amazing and  inspire me from design all the way to marketing. I think the biggest concerns with game developers not being open with their development is a) they don’t want to spoil gameplay/story and b) they don’t want somebody stealing ideas. I share the same concerns, but my main goal is to inspire the curious and, hopefully, generate some thoughts from you. Since most of you reading are developers, and not yet quite “fans,” hopefully, we will all benefit somehow.

That said, there will be spoilers… So run if you’re a fan. Let’s give this a whirl.

Here are a few highlights dug from the repository since the last blog update.

Added a Notification for Unread Mail Message

The first pass resulted in only a mail icon, with no clear indicator showing the user has something to read.

Well, the only reason why I would tap on something like that is because I’m a news junky and I would be curious to see what’s in there. Most are probably not like that, and need a little eye candy in order to see what is behind door #3. I decided to add an indicator.

Moved Game Center Achievements / Leaderboards from Custom Views to Game Centers standard GK*ViewController

Last month I roughly implemented Game Center in my own custom views. I did that for a few reasons, a) Cocos2D was not handling view rotations very well, so using the standard GK*ViewController was not something I felt like diving further into, and b) I wanted to give them their own custom look to fit in with the game.

I decided against the custom look mainly because I didn’t feel like it was going to look right with the direction I took it. Luckily, I saw that Cocos2D 0.99.5 was unleashed which handles rotation on the iPad much better. Well, a few tweaks later I had the modal view coming into the screen correctly.

Improved Capture Method and Combo System

Before I began polishing the existing method a player only had one way to capture a butterfly.  You touched the screen and created a circle.  In order for a capture to be a success you had to come within a certain distance of your original touch. While this worked perfectly fine through play-testing, I wanted to give the player another option for a little more action. Now they can snip the line wherever they want to commit a capture.

This naturally introduces a much more entertaining combo system. As long as the player doesn’t pick up their finger and they capture within a certain time frame, a combo point is earned.

Implemented Stage 2

A couple of challenges await the player. Each stage will have 20 levels. This stage is by far the trickiest for me to play. In addition to capturing butterflies, the player has to mix primary and secondary butterflies together in order to meet the objectives. Later in the level the player will have to be concerned with specific butterflies that fall into trouble and act quickly.

I have not play-tested this one so I’m curious to see how people handle it.

Flurry Analytics

How many people completed Stage 1? How about Stage 2 and 3? How far did the player get before they quit?  These are some of the questions that I’m curious about in order to improve the game in areas that are weak.

And some other interesting questions I’m curious about; How many people tapped mute? Are people tapping More Games? Are they tapping the links within More Games? Does that mail notification grab attention?

Beginning the Brand Building, Again

This deserves it’s own post, but generally speaking, I put together a small mini-site at and continue to speak with the game developers community again on several fronts. Yesterday I added olark to the website that will allow fans/customers to directly reach me with support questions. If a fan takes the time to visit my website, I doubt they’re looking for trouble.