Archive for February, 2009

Unwell Mel – My latest game is released!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Hi everyone, I’m proud to present my latest game Unwell Mel which was released on Big Fish Games yesterday.

It’s a medical-themed match-3 game with some unique twists and a lot of polish. I believe that it’s really good fun to play and customers seem to agree based on early sales figures.

It’s entered the BFG top 100 at 21 and hasn’t had any special promotion yet. It should catapult into the top 10 over the weekend and then I’ll see how high it goes. Naturally I’d love it to be my first no.1 game but as we know the top of the top 10 is normally ruled by Hidden Object/Adventure games, although the occasional Time Management can hit the top spot if it really excels. The best match-3 of recent times, Fishdom, got to no. 3.

You can read about how long it took and related stuff in this blog post.

Why did we make a match-3 game?

Well John Cutter, a senior designer/producer at BFG and veteran game designer/programmer from the Amiga days, has made loads of great games for the BFG online community site, and BFG thought it would be a good idea to convert the most popular ones to download versions. So first I converted Fairway Solitaire (and added loads of extra stuff in with John + polished it) – it was a big hit. So then they renewed my contract and we decided to convert Unwell Mel because a) it was popular b) it had a unique theme and would stand out c) I already had a match-3 engine that I could adapt and d) we thought it would be quick. Well d) turned out to be false due to the complexity of some of the game elements (bug interaction, different game mods, powerups etc), meta game, and polishing – and also delays caused by myself if I’m honest. Anyway, finally it’s launched and I’m very proud of the end result. I was involved in a lot of the design for this one which is why I’m credited as a designer too (check out the credits screen, it’s neat :-) )

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the game!

MelTitle BugZapper
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Follow me on Twitter

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

OK OK, so I finally succumbed and have signed up for a twitter account. Was pleased to get Grey Alien as my user name too :-)

You can follow me here.

I’ve yet to see if this service will be annoying or cool. Lots of people seem to think it’s great and so I thought I’d better check it out (after all, I enjoy blogging a lot).

I’ll use it to post updates about the launch of my latest game over the weekend (it went live at midnight last night and is doing very well).

More iPhone success stories

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Following on from my post the other day about an iphone millionaire I’ve read another great success story about a guy who worked in a bank and coded a game in his spare time which made him $250,000 in two months. Naturally he quit his job and is making games full time now.

Also I watched this great slide show about iPhone App Store secrets with some really neat statistics about iPhone sales. Check it out if you are thinking about making a free or paid game or app as it’s great info!

The other night I did a whole load of research into making an iPhone game and even studied Objective C syntax (it’s pretty easy, just C++ with a load of square brackets and auto-garbage collection). The iPhone game/app market is booming right now but it’s also very easy to get into. Now may be the last chance to quickly and easily get a game out there which is successful before a) the market gets saturated and b) the big companies start making big budget games that small companies can no longer compete with.

Anyway I’m thinking of making something for fun, so watch this space…Oh I also may post all my research and links (FAQs and resources etc) if anyone is interested.