Tales of Monkey Island – a bit of surprise

19 08 2009

Monkey IslandReflexive launched Tales of Monkey Island chapter 1. I couldn’t resist to try it. I read nice reviews, but nothing is better than personal experience. The game is very nice and the adventures remind me the great old days. Still, I’m not a huge fan of 3D in this case. And whoever invented that steering model should go to Footsam jail for a long time.  Yes, you can get use to it, but not being able to move Guybrush just by clicking on the destination point is beyond my understanding.

So imagine my surprise when I saw that Tales of Monkey Island hit #7 in Top 10 PC games.  I mean, if a right click is too much for casual players how did they manage to move Guybrush around?

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Is 80 minutes trial a new trend?

18 08 2009

60 minutes trial is a standard in casual games. It’s accepted by customers, developers and portals. We got so used to it that we don’t even check it. Imagine my surprise – yesterday I downloaded Airport Mania First Flight from Reflexive. I played it for a short while and when exit reminder appeared I thought that it’s wrong when it said that I have 74 minutes left. It took a while to notice that the full trial is 80 minutes long.

Airport Mania was made by Reflexive so I had to check if it’s just with their games or all games. Of course I don’t have the time to check all games so I downloaded just one more – Tales of Monkey Island.  And it has 80 minutes trial too.

Doesn’t it make your life harder? When everyone had 60m trials you could optimize that first 60 minutes and set a tipping point around 60 minute to get a better chance of getting a sale. Now you either leave it unchanged and let Reflexive customers get past that point or make two versions. Eh….

(BTW. No need to rush to Reflexive Game Center Solution – Tales of Monkey Island are not available to affiliates)

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The worst year ever?

14 08 2009

We all heart it – recession. But has it affected our sales? I don’t know and that’s why I’m making this post. You tell me this time.

My sales have dropped, but that’s not surprising to me. I focused on development on a new game and completely abandoned marketing and if you do so your revenue must drop. Still it didn’t drop so much. Even portal sales hold still and are still above the level I expected them to be after a year of my game release.

My sales dropped by expect them to recover once I make a new release. The question is, will that be enough at this current state of the market? I would say so. I play at stock exchange and stock markets keep recovering since February so I would be surprised if casual games don’t recover soon. Still all those price wars, etc. make me wonder.

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Director’s cut or… Author’s Edition

13 08 2009

Have you ever heard of director’s cut version of your favorite movie? I’m sure you did. How many developer’s cut versions of games have you heard of? Not too many? If at all.

Two days ago Darek Rusin made a comment on my blog and because I haven’t heard from him for a while I went to his website to check out what he’s up to.  He started Orchid Games and released Heartwild Solitaire.  So far his website is dedicated to just this one game and that made it easier for me to spot the thing that made me mention his website. Right under the title he put Author’s Edition. That made me very interested and I immediately wanted to check out what is so special about this version. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any info about it. Too bad. It could help “steal” customers from portals.

When we worked on Runes of Avalon we had to remove very nice feature in my opinion – Amulet of Spells. We had to remove it because it didn’t work so great and we didn’t have time to find out how to fix it, but I really believed in Amulet of Spells (you don’t earn money by having great ideas, but by releasing games). This made me thinking about releasing developer’s version of Runes of Avalon. It never happened in the way we know it from movie industry. It was much better for us to release this version as Runes of Avalon 2, as we figured out that amount of changes is too big to make it “just” a special edition.

So you see, it’s worth commenting on blogs. You might get a link to your website for  free ;-)

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