Archive for June, 2011

Wow, what an exciting weekend!! So much chaos in such a short amount of time! My flight to LA for E3 is in like 9 hours, and I’m going to be working not just up to my flight but ON my flight. I made a promise to myself not to bring my laptop with me to LA so that I could finally relax and not end up thinking about working all day when I’m trying to enjoy the convention and see the sights in Los Angeles and everything (plus we’re planning a little drive through the desert to Vegas for a couple nights at the end haha). But iPhones are super amazing and everything so I can do a lot of work just off that little pocket-sized device.

Here’s where I’m at, 6 hours before my flight:

- Elusive Ninja is on the App Store, and it’s on sale for half price ($0.99) as a pre-E3 promotion, so grab it now and spread it around! I figure everyone’s going to be bored in lineups at E3 and waiting for flights to get to LA, so hopefully Elusive Ninja can make the waits a little less boring haha

- The awesome business cards with the QR codes didn’t come in on time (Staples, you’ve failed me!!), but a friend is going to check if they’re in and pick them up and Fedex them to me at my hotel in LA hopefully in time for E3!

- Two of the bonus features aren’t fully done, they just have placeholder stuff right now, but I’ll fill them in tonight before or during my flight haha I figured no one would really notice and that it was more important to get the game up and available because of E3.

- I’m going to be E-Mailing some gaming news sites Promo Codes along with the image up above and a Press Kit link etc. to hopefully get some reviews going.

- It looks like you can’t really see your exact realtime sales stats and such by default, which is honestly probably a good thing because if I could I’d probably be checking every 10 seconds even though nothing is happening. Knowing the stats only update once a day means I won’t stress it 24/7 haha

Man, I thought I had some more to list and I probably did but I haven’t slept much this weekend trying to wrap all this stuff up in time so I can’t even think straight right now haha Fortunately I have like 12 hours worth of airport layovers and flights before I’m finally at my hotel in LA so I’ll catch up on my sleep then.

On a random note, I just want to say that this whole thing has been pretty awesome. I was never really pushed out of my comfort zone at my old job in the industry, I was able to do the work blindfolded and it was rare that I was really even interested in the project let alone inspired to do my best work. But when I’m sitting here running on no sleep juggling 40 tasks at once and still manage to pump out something that looks as cool and professional as the image up above there, it’s like I stop and look at that and go “I did THAT?? Wow I’m awesome!!” It feels like I’m actually pushing myself and exploring my potential…and ya, it’s a simple little game and everything, it’s not going to make me millions…but it’s a start. The first step. I’m excited to see what I’m going to do in the future if this is how I’m starting out! :)

And now it’s off to get my laundry going then write up…something. Can’t remember what. Thank goodness for to-do lists haha

- Quickdraw

Man the timeline is getting tight! I’m going to be hitting up E3 this year, so I have a flight booked for 6am Monday morning. At the same time, Elusive Ninja was approved early this morning (for anyone keeping track, I submitted it Friday at 9:30pm last week, so that makes it about 7 days exactly! Awesome work, Apple!!). It feels awesome to have the game in “Ready For Sale” status, but I still have lots of work to do! I’m filling in the Bonus Features content for the next day or so, so I’m basically working 24/7 to get it done by Sunday, when I can finally launch the game!

Elusive Ninja: The Shadowy Thief

June 5, 2011

Here’s an updated trailer, if you dig how the game looks please link this around and help me make enough money to cover development costs and get to make more games (and get hammered at Moxie’s while scarfing down a delicious honey-garlic steak haha) Here’s a short URL link you can use:

So I figured at E3 I should probably try to promote my game in some way. I mean if word-of-mouth advertising is the way to go these days, where better to try to stir up word-of-mouth than an entire convention full of gamers? I was joking around with a friend and said I should drop business cards in people’s SWAG Bags when they aren’t looking like a true ninja, and that joke kind of spiralled into this:

The QR code will take you to the App Store where you can buy the game. I like it because it’s kind of mysterious like, oooo, what’s this cool black card with the weird design and the ninja? I figured I better throw on the Bulletproof Outlaws URL for the people who can’t figure out what a QR code reader is…I actually didn’t know myself until this week haha

Whew! I’m pooped! Got the Game Design Document commentary written up, tomorrow I gotta’ do a quick video, fill in some of the FAQ, and write up the post-mortem! Gonna’ be a busy couple days! I don’t even know when I’m going to get a chance to spread the video around and E-Mail reviewers and stuff!

- Quickdraw

Whew! It took a few days worth of editing footage and timing stuff to music and adding effects and sounds and all sorts of fun stuff but finally the official trailer for Elusive Ninja is done! I’m going to be posting this all over the place and hoping it gets some positive attention! I wanted to make sure it included a little of the Bonus Feature stuff (which I’ll be making in the next few days before heading off to LA for E3), because I put a lot of work into documenting the progress of the game and Bulletproof Outlaws in general and I want to make sure the people who are interested in that kind of thing (the way I was back when I was a young’un) know that there’s a bunch of it…and ideally it’ll draw some more people in to follow the progress of my next game when I start that up! Anyway, here’s the trailer! Link it around!

Elusive Ninja: The Shadowy Thief:

I don’t when exactly the game will get approved, I’m just waiting to hear from Apple but I’m hoping it’ll be available just in time for E3 in the next few days! Exciting times!

- Quickdraw

Whew! What a busy week! But things are going awesome…after a last minute epic “nahhh I don’t feel like compiling” issue with XCode 4, I was finally able to submit Elusive Ninja: The Shadowy Thief on Friday around 9:30pm. I googled around for lists of reasons for App rejections people had been given by Apple and had to do a handful of little last-minute fixes…like tweaking the tutorial to not look exactly like an iPhone/iPad, and adding a glow to the Openfeint button when you press it, etc. I managed to fix almost all the visual glitches, there’s just one where the title screen is loading where it shows a blue box for a split second before acting normal. No idea what’s up with that one, haha

It turns out the HD iPad version is going to have to be released separately. The game isn’t running lag-free on the iPad, and that might not be fixable given that the iPad isn’t very powerful…I figured the game would run fine on an iPad 2 but apparently there’s a visual glitch that looks a little something like this:

So I’m gonna have to look into that and probably pick up an iPad 2 to test on. That’s alright though, it just means the HD version will get it’s own launch date.

I’m about to go meet up with an Accountant. Apparently I must’ve thrown out my tax stuff from last year because I can’t find it anywhere, and for this year I’ve got a big pile of receipts and bank print-outs that I hope will be useful haha I hate doing this kind of stuff but I guess it’s gotta’ get done! And I’m leaving it till the last minute because…

…I’ll be going to E3 next week! Woohoo! The timing is a little scary, I’m hoping to get Elusive Ninja approved right in the nick of time for people to be playing it at E3, but with the last-minute bugs and everything I cut it pretty close. I’m planning to do some kind of advertising there too, I’m thinking of business cards with the ninja on them and a link to the App Store. I wish Apple had a temporary “Coming Soon” page for the apps because getting a big old “that doesn’t exist” error is rough in terms of landing impulse buyers who likely won’t try the URL again if it didn’t work the first time.

It’s also scary because if the game should happen to have some crazy bug in it that makes the game broken, I won’t be near a computer to do much about it. I’d really rather be able to monitor the launch week with my laptops at the ready, but hey, what happens happens. If something’s severely broken I’ll fix it when I get back and re-submit, there’s not much else I can do! I think it’ll be fine, but as a developer you always worry a little about the worst-case scenario haha

I still have to fill in a lot of the Bonus Feature content before Monday…there’ll be a post-mortem and the Game Design Document with descriptions of what made it into the final game and what got cut and why, etc. Plus I have to make a trailer, write up the FAQ, finish up the website, etc. etc.

Lots of work to do still, but it’s nice to have submitted the game to Apple. It’s a big load of stress off the shoulders because I can finally mark that giant task as Done and focus on the rest of the stuff! And hey, I’m one step closer to the finish line!

- Quickdraw

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