Archive for December, 2008

Holiday Bonus resurgence on portals

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I first launched Holiday Bonus in December 2006 on my own site and some portals, and it did OK with 655 units sold in Dec and Jan. It continued to sell throughout the year, even in the summer.

Then I got the portals to relaunch it for me in December 2007 and this was a big success, Oberon really delivered for me too. This pushed sales up to 2500+ units by the end of Jan 2008.

This year I launched the Mac version on the portals and today…

– It’s no 16 in the top Mac puzzle games (was probably higher when it launched). Incidentally the TOP game is a BlitzMax game made with my framework, so is the no. 9 game!
– It’s no. 5 in the Reflexive Mac top 10, woo!
– BFG and Oberon haven’t released the Mac version yet, but meanwhile BFG put the PC version on their front page and now it’s no. 8 in the match-3 chart and no. 90 in the top 100. That’s a nice comeback especially as it’s beating games like Bejewelled 2 and Cradle of Persia. Not bad for a 2 year old game.

So far total sales are over 3000 units up to the end Oct. I expect Nov/Dec/Jan could push this a lot higher with the launch of the Mac version and the general resurgence that occurs this time of the year. I’m hoping that the Mac version on BFG and Oberon will do really well, we’ll see…fingers crossed 😉

The game took me 250+ super intensive hours spread over about 5 weeks. That’s a short development time because it was a reskin of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with some cool new features (like the gallery) and effects and an intro etc. The artists and musician did a wonderful job for a great price. I still get comments today about how nice it looks and sounds! (thanks guys!)

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted.

My articles read aloud on

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I was recently contacted by Ryan Wiancko from who asked if I’d be interested in having some of my blog articles read aloud on his site. I checked out the site and there are many great articles from different sectors of the game industry, but there weren’t any Indie/Casual Game Developer articles and that’s why he contacted me.

It seemed like a good idea to me to be able to download blog posts and listen to them, perhaps on your ipod whilst you are on the move or whatever. So I agreed to his proposal and he read aloud one of my articles which you can listen to here.

Hopefully he’ll be reading some more of my articles soon. I’d better come up with some more great articles ASAP! 🙂

Xmas Bonus Hints and Tips

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I still get the occasional email from people who are a bit stuck on my first game, Xmas Bonus. I made some of the levels quite challenging but none are impossible (I tested them all multiple times).

I’ve had a couple of emails about level 16 which people seem to find quite hard because of the ice at the top of the pyramid. So here’s a simple tip:

First check to see if you can make a match with any of the frozen pieces at the top and do so if you can. Then straight away you should use the star and the matchstick to remove some of the ice at the top. Then keep making matches until you get more matchsticks or stars and use them to clear the remaining ice. Then keep playing to paint all the squares gold. Sometimes a paint brush will appear which you can use to paint hard to reach squares.

That’s all for now, but if anyone else gets stuck on any levels, post here and I’ll post some more tips.