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Friday, 25 March 2016

Two year Game Development blog Post-Mortem.


Hello everyone! Two years ago I embarked in the journey of blog writing. My main hope was to try to return the favour to the Internet that so much tough me (also coinciding with the announcement of unity5). The truth is that keeping this activity for so long it hasn't been so easy... Being a game developer is my dream come true and if the lines on this site helped a simple person to become one as well then all the effort was well worth it!

I can happily say that I kept my promise of updating this page at least every 3 weeks for the last 2 years! This itself is a nice achievement for me, the best thing is that the numbers behind this post were one of the things that kept me going. That's why I will be sharing them with you. Last time I posted a review of the first year. Check it out if you want to compare the progress :)

I would like to somehow apologize because as time has passed I haven't been expending so much time here as I could. Many things has happened to me on the meantime and I have been mainly sharing my personal projects here instead of writing some tutorials or tips. During the previous year I founded a company, run a Kickstarter, got my first boardgame Roar published, wrote many posts in Merge the fun blog and found a new job as Unreal Engine Developer.

And this is getting us to the point I wanted to get... This time the post mortem is real... I will not be writing more on this blog (on a regular manner). There is stuff I would love to tell you about but from now on I will rather focus on the quality over quantity. Also my posts will be more about game development in general now that I will not be working with Unity for a while :)

I think that is enough of my thoughts! Let's show the numbers (In brackets we have numbers from previous year)^^

44 published posts (27)
+150 comments (82)
+125 Facebook likes (100)
+11€ Revenue (3)
+125000 total visits (50000)
+200 daily visits (130)


Stream of visitors has become pretty stable since previous year.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Rombo Games. Update 7: MishMash Galaxy Progress!

Check the webpage!

It's been a while since I stopped, took a long breath and look at the path behind me... It's time to share some progress of Mishmash Galaxy! :D

The last time I shared this progress with you, the game was well defined but raw i the graphical part! Also we tested the game much and more since that post 3 months ago! This post will be mainly content, so there we go! :D

The first concept art for the game by Greg Bobrowski!


Layout for the Technology cards!

Layout for the Resource cards!

Testing Mishmash Galaxy!

How to Play Mishmash Galaxy on Tabletopia!

The game will be hitting Kickstarter later this year. On the meantime you can play the game online following the link above or print and play your own prototype copy with the link below! :D
RULES OF THE GAME + PRINT AND PLAY 

Don't forget to tell me what you think! ^^

Friday, 12 February 2016

3 Ways To Avoid App Rejected For Being Too Simple


If you developed an app for a Board Game or Augmented Reality Game you would he probably stuck into the App Rejected because it's too simple. The problem is that this is the users expect from this kind of apps... a point counter cannot be too complicated!

You cannot blame Apple because they get no direct revenue from your app. Probably your app is free if necessary for the game. Maybe the game requires to buy a physical game and they get no cut on it! Don't worry, I will explain you the problems I have found while uploading apps for our games like ROAR! and we will see how to solve the rejection! :)


Like always, you can read the original post from Rombo Games original Development Blog here!


Problem number 1:

2.12: Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected.


Problem number 2:

11.16: Apps may enable additional approved features or functionality when used in combination with specific approved physical products (such as a toy) as long as the additional features and functionality are either completely dependent on such hardware (for example an App that is used to control a telescope) or also available through the App without the physical products, such as by way of reward for achievement or by use of IAP


The list of reasons why your app may be rejected is HUGE! It's also very subjective, so you may be luckier with another reviewer ;)


Solution number 1:

Include the manual of your game inside the app!
This is a good idea that you should do even if Apple would not force you! It's a fantastic way of having easy correction of the rules and possibility of future localization!


Solution number 2:

Add a link to the Print and Play or Shop where to buy your game!
Again, this is pretty logical! People may find your app on the store and it would be great for them to give your game a try before buying it on the shop if possible! Also reviewers will be able to properly check the game.


Solution number 3:

Make sure don't make blockers inside the app!
This is the trickiest one... it means that if your app cannot work without physical components let the users (and reviewers) experience this necessity directly. For example they can see the camera waiting for scanning of the board. If you block access to this functionality via QR or other kind of codes Apple will require that you give the choice for the players to unlock this via In-App purchases. This doesn't make sense for Board or Augmented Reality Games and will just make things confusing!


Remember! It's all about treating your app more than a tool, but something really useful and enjoyable for your players! :)

Friday, 22 January 2016

5 Good Things About My Failed Kickstarter!


You failed your Kickstarter, are afraid of it or simply want to learn something? I can tell you about our example, Publish or Perish, and why it was not a totally negative experience!

I figured out that there are plenty of examples of blog posts on the internet explaining the WHY? but not many the FOR WHAT? This list shows just few things of the valuable assets you can get from our Kickstarter, even if you didn't manage to achieve your goal.

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This is a another re-post from Rombo Games development blog: Merge the Fun. I know, it's not related to video game development directly, (same like MishMash Galaxy) but I hope you will find it interesting :)
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1 - Feedback

First one and most obvious. At this point you already know why your game didn't succeed. Most of the times it will be related to your product or game. You may think that poor coverage ruined your campaign. Maybe you didn't put enough effort in marketing your game. But the truth is that if you would improve it based on the feedback people gave you along the way it would probably promote itself!

You should do a survey to collect feedback from your backers!

2 - Followers

Every product has it's fans (you should be the first one by the way :) ). Sometimes this fan group is too small or doesn't appeal the general public. In any case those people that backed your project are your first fans! They liked you and your project! They maybe even told their friends and family about you! Keep them close ;)

You should collect the emails of your backers!

3 - Contacts

If you did your public relations homework you should have contacted many bloggers and reviewers. Keep contact with them! Specially the ones that wrote about you! Make sure your relation makes sense for them, otherwise they will not care. Write comments on their posts, share they content... in general show them some love :)

You should keep alive your relations with influencers!

4 - A nice story


At this point, I am sure you have learn the reason number 1 why people doesn't want to talk about you. It's not your game, it's not your video, it's not your webpage. It's your story. People want to read good stories, not be advertised. Bloggers know this and that's why you should prepare a nice story for them (this is the hardest step :) )

You should create a good story around your failed Kickstarter!

5 - Know How

Setup up a Kickstarter and production chain for your game is not an easy task! There are many things you may have learnt without realizing! Setting up banners, facebook ads, fantastic webpages or groups where to share your content, production and distribution numbers even legal and tax details. In general you are now closer to know the real cost of designing a crowdfunded digital product!

You should write down your gained knowledge so you don't forget and hopefully help others!

And remember!

Failure is just a chance to make it better next time! :D

Would you like to share your story? I'm listening! :)

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016 Survey!




Happy 2016! :D

Previous year has been incredible for me in many aspects! Starting my own company and projects has been one of the most exciting thing I have ever done. Because of this I didn't had so much time to put into this blog. I plan to change that!

During 2016 I want to continue delivering a new blog post every 3 weeks, like I have been doing for almost 2 years. However, I would like you to help me renovate the energy I put into this project of mine.

Maybe it's the first time you visit my blog, maybe you come here regularly to check for new posts. In any case I just need 2 things from you :)

1. Fill the survey you see on the top of the right column of the blog. This will help me to know where I should put my energy :)
 
 2. Write a comment for me! You cannot imagine how encouraging is to see you people taking a minute to communicate with me! :D


Thanks a million for your time and have the best of the years! :D

PS: Please don't be shy... I want your feedback! ;)

Friday, 11 December 2015

Rombo Games. Update 6: MishMash Galaxy!



After Publish or Perish Kickstarter ended we started working on a new game! Let me present you Mishmash!

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This is a re-post from Rombo Games development blog: Merge the Fun. I will post more stuff about this game there than here, since MishMash is a regular card game (with no app or AR technology behind). Still, I would like to inform you about the game design decisions here :)
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Mishmash Galaxy is a game of good planning and foresight, where players compete in creation of a plenty of utterly imaginary substances and mixtures! Mix Adamantium, Plasteel, Durasteel and many more, plan your moves ahead and contribute to the most experiments to win.

Just to make it clear, this is not a remake of Publish or Perish! It's a new game that shares few of the concepts with the previous one (yes, we love scientists... :D ), but Publish or Perish is something we want to come back later on!

Mish-Mash is not a hybrid game unlike our other games, this means that there will be no app necessary for playing the game... at least for now this will be a regular Board Game.


Players: 2-5 | Game Duration: 45-60 min | Complexity: Medium

Let's talk a little bit about the game! The rules are very simple. On the table there are a set of mixture cards (like blueprints) that need to be completed in a semi-collaborative way between all the players. Players turn themselves to place the necessary ingredient cards upside down that will help to "complete" the mixture cards. When a mixture is complete the player that contributed more ingredients will get more points! Sounds easy but... both ingredient and mixture cards have special effect that get activated at this point and can entirely change the outcome!

The most fantastic thing of the game is that all the cards that you use will have their effect activated later on! Planning is the key and of course, forgetting the effect of the cards you played before can be very bad for you! xD

A crazy game about outsmarting your friends and family, stealing their achievements and claiming all the fame and glory of the discoveries for yourself! :D

RULES OF THE GAME (Version 0.1)
SUBSTANCE and INGREDIENTS CARDS (Version 0.1)
MIXTURE CARDS (Version 0.1)

Are you interested in knowing more about the game? Visit our BGG thread and leave us a comment! :)

Friday, 20 November 2015

Rombo Games. Update 5: Publish or Perish... Cancelled!?


As you may know already, I have very sad news about the cancellation of Publish or Perish Kickstarter :,(


We did our best until the very end... A lot of things happened in the meantime. Also a lot of learning! You can read a little bit about what we know now here!

Here is the data about the Kickstarter campaign: pledges, daily info, comments... In the future I will write here or in MergeTheFun much more about it! Please let me know in the comments if you are interested :)

Publish or Perish -- Kicktraq Mini

All in all, we managed to get more than 50% of the funding! and this is, after all, a chance to make it better next time! :D

See you!