Unwell Mel – My latest game is released!

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!

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21 Responses to “Unwell Mel – My latest game is released!”

  1. Alex Schearer Says:

    Hey congratulations!! Sounds like the end of a long journey, but I’m sure it was worth it. I’ll be rooting for you and Unwell Me, hopefully it’ll hit #1!

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks Alex, I’m sure everyone’s good vibes will help! It was a long journey, but it’s a great feeling to finish it.

  3. Jon Says:

    I just ripped through that whole 1-hour trial… it truly is a great game.

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks Jon! Glad you like it 🙂 I can say for sure that thousands of other people are doing just the same and then getting out their credit cards – which is nice.

    Some people have finished it already even though we found in testing that it actually takes about 4 days to complete! So some hardcode players must a) be really good and b) have played it for nearly 24 hours straight! 😮

  5. No name Says:

    Congrats on the release.

    I loved Fairway Solitaire and was looking forward to your new game. I was very sad to see it was another match3. Still, I downloaded it and played it… for 20 minutes. Very high polish and good game. But absolutely nothing new. Sorry, if it has something new, it didn’t stand out enough in the first 20 minutes. Shame that BFG didn’t try to push the boundary on this one. It will probably sells by trucks but still I think it is a miss opportunity.

  6. Link Dump Sunday [part 1] - Alt + Tab Says:

    […] its way. 4) Kirupa – An excellent resource for learning Flash, ActionScript, PHP, and much more. 5) Unwell Mel – My latest game is released! – Jake Birkett’s latest addition to his Match-3 arsenal is finally out. 1) Remnants of […]

  7. Grey Alien Games: Unwell Mel - My latest game is released! | Games For You Says:

    […] Grey Alien Games: Unwell Mel – My latest game is released! Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 | Casual Games Source: Casual Games Blog […]

  8. Brian Says:

    Congratulations, Jake! Can’t wait to see it breach the top ten

  9. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks Brian, it’s at no. 8 today, yay!

  10. Brian Says:

    6 today! Inching up there! =)

  11. Grey Alien Games Says:

    You bet, sales are still good, it’s beating Fishdom which was a great seller. I’m really hoping for no5 or 4 tomorrow but there are some top games above it…

  12. Jon Says:

    …number 5…

  13. Brian Says:

    It’s at 4 today! 🙂

  14. Chris Davidson Says:

    …and up one place to 3!

  15. Jon Says:

    It’s at par with Fairway Solitaire for its peak rank so far. 3 is pretty impressive but that’s what happens when you make a sick game. Ok done with the puns let’s hope it reaches 1!

  16. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks for your support all! 🙂

    Yeah I wasn’t expecting it to reach 3 because Farm Frenzy Pizza Party (it’s the 3rd one in the series) is a strong game with many fans, so I’m delighted to reach no.3. Now there are some heavyweight HOGs above it, although Ravenhearst is quite old it’s still a huge seller, so I think three may be the peak. Still, not bad at all for a match-3, especially as several years back people were saying “match-3 is dead” ha ha.

  17. Chris Davidson Says:

    Any news on the Mac release? 🙂

  18. Grey Alien Games Says:

    @Chris: I’m compiling it today! It will be tested and out in a couple of weeks.

  19. Steven Says:

    Haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed

  20. Grey Alien Games Says:

    @Steven: Yes you can click Subscribe to RSS Feed at the top right of my blog.

  21. Grey Alien Games Says:

    So the Mac version was released about a week ago and is at no.5 so far in the Mac charts. The PC version got to no.2 and has only just dropped out of the top 10 after being in it for a month. The game is doing very nicely, converting well and selling good numbers (great numbers for a match-3).