Announcing Spring Bonus – My Next Game

Spring Bonus Scene 1

I’m proud to announce my next game – Spring Bonus! I’m already working on it and it will launch on 15 April 2011 on several different platforms including PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, XBox Live Indie Games and Windows Phone 7 (and maybe even Linux).

It’s a match-3 game with a Spring/Easter theme. I’m reusing my Holiday Bonus match-3 code and updating it with some new features and changing all the graphics and music, plus there will be 100 levels.

The idea

It’s funny how this game came about because I wasn’t planning to make it when I went Indie again in January. However, when I was uploading two of my games to the new Mac App Store, I thought it was a shame that I couldn’t upload my old Easter Bonus game because it is PC only. Then I thought that maybe I could do a quick conversion of it from BlitzPlus into BlitzMax so that I could make a Mac version. But after some consideration I realised that I needed a whole bunch of new UI graphics and in fact I should probably update the game graphics too in order for it to stand a better chance in the modern casual marketplace.

I even had some cool ideas about adding a neat meta-game but since then I’ve de-scoped back to a simpler idea because there’s a ton of work to do in just updating the code, working with the artists to reskin the whole thing, contacting all the portals, and working with the teams that are porting it to other platforms. I made a spreadsheet of the tasks to complete with time estimates and the numbers were a bit scary, but I know I can do it because I’ve done it before!

Artists

I knew I needed great art for the backgrounds and also quality game pieces and UI etc. So I put the word out on some forums and Twitter/Facebook that I was looking and I got over 20 different candidates. Some weren’t suitable at all and others were excellent. I reduced the list down to the best candidates and asked them to do some art tests of a Spring scene. Eventually I made a tough choice between the two most suitable background artists and I also contacted RetroStyle Games, an experienced casual game art company, to do the game pieces and UI art.

My background artist is Claudia Patron Perez and she is doing a great job as you can see by this example art. You can check out her stuff on DeviantArt and her twitter is @madmoiselleclau.

Spring Bonus Test Easter Bunny

Anyway I’ll try to post about progress as I go along, but really I should be focusing all my effort on finishing the game and getting it published on the portals and other platforms. Wish me luck!

10 Responses to “Announcing Spring Bonus – My Next Game”

  1. Claudia Patron Says:

    Hi! thanks a lot for the opportunity to do this game with u! :)

  2. Derek James Says:

    Wow, that is ambitious. That’s a lot of platforms! Which are you implementing yourself, and which are you outsourcing? How many platforms is BlitzMax going to let you target directly?

    The art looks great. Good luck with it.

  3. Adrian Crook Says:

    Congrats! Looks fantastic!

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    @Claudia: It’s a pleasure to work with you.

    @Derek: I’m doing the PC/Mac (and maybe Linux if time) versions myself in BlitzMax. I’m outsourcing the iOS versions to one company and the XNA (XBLIG and WP7) versions to another company. If things go well, I’ll get another of my games ported to those platforms AND Android, and maybe something else… I also found out that Blitz released “monkey” (a cross-platform language) a couple of days and I’m going to investigate that soon for sure.

    @Adrian: Thanks man!

  5. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Village gamer posted news about my game today, which is great: http://www.villagegamer.net/2011/02/28/whats-new-on-this-monday-morning/

  6. Leo Says:

    wow these look great, that game will sell very well I believe!

  7. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks Leo, I hope it does well too.

  8. Grey Alien Games Says:

    GameZebo wrote a preview of the game here: http://www.gamezebo.com/download-games/spring-bonus/preview

  9. Kaila Says:

    I really like Claudia’s art. Her style used on the game might be the Disney one (with a bit of the pin-up one with the cuteness of course)

  10. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yes I like it too, it suits the game vibe well and also the other artists are doing a good job with the GUI and sprite art. I’ll post more images soon.