The end is pretty near...

by Niels Brouwers 30. December 2013 22:47

Well, at least the end of the year!

This year has been good, lots of great events have been happening in my life but since this blog is mainly about my game development activities I will stick to that. So far, The Carter Jones Adventures was released on BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8 and IOS. While the grunt of the work for the game was done in 2012 (and early 2013), it turned out to be quite challenging to find the time to actually finish the game for a specific platform. This was not due to the game, platform or tools but more because of my limited time for these activities.

Still, I did manage 3 platforms and there are a couple more coming up: Tizen, Android and I am considering Windows 8, the last one will be a challenge because it is not readily supported by the SDK that I am using. But it might be really easy and I will be investigating that soon.

Considering sales and downloads, I tried two strategies: the IOS and BlackBerry release were pay in advance downloads and did pretty bad considering sales. The Windows Phone 8 release was released for free with an in app purchase to enable level 5 and higher. So far the WP8 release got over 27.000 downloads, with just a few people who unlocked all levels.

So, financially, I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon :-). Something odd happened though, I included Flurry statistics in the IOS version and after a couple of days the number of users was growing but the sales were not! Turns out, the one sale in China (so far) got installed on 50 or so other devices, even on an ipad 1 with IOS 5.1! (I excluded that option in the App store, although the game runs ok on an ipad 1 - it just reverts to the lowres gfx, I intended a special release for this later on). So.....jailbreak anyone?

Anyway I hope everyone playing The Carter Jones Adventures enjoys it, I know I did while making it. I love to hear any comments so keep those coming please! I guess what 2013 boils down to is that I am now an official Indie Game Developer, and I think that is a pretty neat achievement!

And I plan on making more games, it is a great way to combine my art and developer skills.

Totally unrelated but still (literally) pretty cool: a swan I carved from a 50cmx50cm ice block. I actually made two swans facing each other but this picture worked out great solo. 

Wappy dog

by Niels Brouwers 9. November 2011 06:33

So, I noticed this trailer for wappy dog from Nintendo. It's like a Sony Aibo connected with your Nintendo DS. Cool idea, mixing reality with the virtual world. Skylanders is another game doing this. I am not sure if these games are really worth playing, but it is just another way of interfacing with your players. And that's cool!

It inspired me to draw this 'Appy Dog' which is a little further in the future from now. I imagined an iphone / android app that you can use to control your pet. Just plug in the two antenna's in your pet and off you go!

On to some Carter Jones progress, I finally fixed a weird nasty bug in the level drawing. Also the level 3 (background) graphics are nearly done, I still need to do a lot of variations and waterfall animations but it's getting there! I am also investigating other platforms as well, it seems that with a little effort (I am an optimist with estimations! ) I can port CJA to other platforms like IPhone and Android. But first it has to become an XBOX Live Indie - I need focus! And time, lots of it!

Last but not least, and something completely different: the Dutch Ice Carving Championship 2011 is coming up. I am participating again, so that will take up some time as well the next couple of weeks. I will keep you updated!

Icecarving a dragon

by Niels Brouwers 16. December 2010 18:44

 For the Annual Dutch Ice Carving Championship (NK Icecarving 2010 Arnhem) my wife and I carved a little dragon out of ice. We didn't spend much time taking pictures (so busy stacking ice and sawing)  so at the moment this is all I could gather. The first picture is work in progress, we still had some time left at this point:

 

 Here's me carving the dragon's head (left) and on the other picture you see my wife preparing the neck. If you ever wondered how to slay an ice-dragon, try this: start chainsaw, chop head! My wife's a great dragon-slayer!