The RoguePuzzleGame prototype is now online

Hello Everyone,
Past GameZanga (Arabian game jam happens twice a year) I created a game called Random RPG for it, it was completely disaster but I felt it had some potential.

So I gave it around 1 more week of work and here what I got The RoguePuzzleGame, it was picked to be viewed at the Saudi Gamer’s Day (a Game Expo happens in Saudi Arabia once a year) but I didn’t feel very confident about the game and I always think its a very bad game and I was going to threw it away and stop developing in it but I decided to release a prototype and get some feedback about it.

TheRoguePuzzleGame

The prototype is online on my beloved three websites

That’s everything for now :) Please give me some good feedback about the game :)

Bye Bye

P.S: The game music is done by Brother Android (its fuckin amazing)

RPSwipe is out now

Hello everyone,
I don’t need to say anything in the article the header says everything :D yes its true its 8th of August the release date of RPSwipe. The game is now out on Android and iOS at same time thanks to starling Engine. Here the release trailer of the game

Hope everybody will enjoy the game :) and love it :) its now under 50% sale on iOS and Android so you can pick it up for 0.99$ till 22nd August and then for 1.99$ afterwards so what are you waiting for go get a copy (AppStore Link, GooglePlay Link)

That’s everything for now stay tuned for more information about DivCircle.

Bye Bye

RPSwipe will be released in August

Hello Everyone,
From the title of the post you can figure it out RPSwipe will be out on August 2014 for Google Play and App Store (YaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaY). The game music and sound effects are made by Tom Snively and its now out (You can go and listen to it and download it) on Bandcamp.

The game website is now running and we had the first quote from Stephen Altamirano, a friend from EvilRobotStuff, “Where other tile sliding games emphasize board clearing, RPSwipe requires a delicate balance of adversarial elements…”. Before I go I will leave you with Mockup trailer for RPSwipe.

Last thing, if you are from press and want a copy to review you can request directly a copy from me by sending email or you can use presskit() request a copy link. That’s everything for now see you soon.

Bye Bye

RPSwipe a twisted Rock, Paper, Scissors game

Hello everyone,
Sorry for not posting a lot as usual but I was busy working on thesis and my games and I got a new game idea (small one). The game is called “RPSwipe” the game is like Rock, Paper, Scissors but with a twist inspired from Threes, 2048 game.

RPSwipe

The game is almost finished (just sounds/music and some text editing is missing) it will have two modes (normal mode, multiplayer mode) the only thing I am afraid of is that the game isnot tested with a lot of people to get feedback on it so if you have iOS device and have a testflight account and interested to test the game please feel free to contact me I would love to have more feedback about the game.

The game will be launched on App Store and Google Play at same time for the first time because Google allowed Egyptian developers now to put their Apps over their store.

That’s just a quick update for now about everything. See you soon on the releasing of the game :)

Bye Bye

DivCircle new game for Mobile devices

Hello,
From the name of the post its already known that I am working on a new game called DivCirlce for mobile devices (iOS, Android) The game was done for Arabic GameJam 2014 theme Invisibility (Btw I didn’t attend the AGJ because I couldn’t get a visa before travel) I worked on the game from here in Egypt at same time of the gamejam.

GameName

Thanks to Samer he showed the game to people there and get some nice feedback from them which made me very happy and thought to put more work on it and use the talents of my amazing musician and brother Essam El-Ghamdi (Agent Whiskers).

I don’t want to burn the whole idea of the game or the idea behind invisibility so I will just put these youtube videos about people feedback and hope it gives you some glimpse about the game.

That’s everything for now wait for more soon :)

Bye Bye

Game Development BootCamp Talk

Hello Everyone,
Sorry for being away still trying to get out of depression but at same time I made a talk for an event called Game Development BootCamp in Egypt in Alexandria (a city on the north coast) I went there with my game developers / designers friends and I enjoyed it because it was really good time to get away from everything and try to get out of depression it helped somehow but I keep going back and back to depression but don’t worry I am getting out from that.

Here a recorded video about the talk (The talk is in Arabic so I will post the slides with English explanation to everything in here as I done with A Maze talk)

P.S. The talk is not recorded from the beginning they started a bit late (10 mins late)
Let’s cut the crap talk I am doing and let’s get to the talk itself :) The talk is called Tossing a Coin which is mainly my personal experience and trip about publishing commercial games till my latest game Atomic+ and telling people there is mainly a huge part of luck in all that but in the end do your best and may be the luck be on your side :)

Slide1

How many people know this game? [lots of people raise their hands]

Slide2

Yes its Flappy Bird.
You play as a bird that falls with gravity and when you touch the screen the bird flap its wings and jumps up. You have to pass through the pipes and avoid hitting into them or falling off the screen.

Slide3

The game is stupidly hard and that’s because of the game having bad collision (hit boxes are a bit larger than object).
The pipes are same pipes from Super Mario.
So nothing unique about that game.

Slide4

Although of all what I said the game had millions of downloads, it was the top in AppStore (for long time).
Everything started by some school students who downloaded the game and started challenging each other.
After sometime some people started recording weird vines about people playing Flappy Bird and getting angry and frustrated and because some of these vines are pretty weird and funny it caught people attention started wondering about the game and downloading it.
Also the cute little bird icon caught some people eyes.
But that’s not enough reason for getting to top of AppStore. The main reason is LUCK because of it school children found the game and because of Luck someone started vineing and these vines went viral.

Slide5

Tossing A Coin is the name of my presentation today where I am gonna talk about my personal experience of releasing Commercial games in different stores.

Slide6

Who am I? I am Ahmed Abdel Samea Khalifa Indie Game Developer / Designer.
Created around 5 Full games (2 flash games, 1 pc game, 2 iOS games) you can check them from games section on the website.
Created over than 30 prototypes mostly are done in gamejams.
Now working on new mobile game.

Slide7

Why do I make games? First answer because I love games (love playing games, making games, watching games).
Its the only way I can express myself, as you can see I am terrible writer I can’t write good lines, sometimes feel shy talking to people. I make games to express a feeling I have, explain idea or thought or/and telling people my opinion about certain topic.
Games make people happy and I love seeing happy people with smiley faces so its another reason I make games.

Slide8

How many people know this game? [Some people raise their hands] yes its 2048.
You have to swipe the screen in any direction so all tiles moves in that direction and equal tiles are combined in one tile with summation of both tiles. You have to get 2048 to finish the game. Every step new tiles entered the map with value of 2.

Slide9

How many people know this game? [very few people raise their hands] Its called Threes.
Its the original game of 2048. Its same as 2048 but instead of 2 you play with 3 (From here come the name).

Slide10

2048 is a copy of a game called 1024. 1024 is a copy of Threes but we can’t blame the developer he was just a little kid trying to learn programming so he created open source game 1024 based on his favorite game Threes.
Although Threes came out before 2048 but 2048 is much more famous and having more downloads than threes. So why is that?
Some people says because 2048 is a free game while Threes is paid one that makes people download it rather than threes.
Also being an open source project lots of clones of 2048 are placed in the store and on web and on every platform so it was easier to find 2048 than finding Threes.
Developer thinks that colors and animation he used is better than Threes (my view because it use de-saturated colors while Threes colors are more vivid) I think that reason is lame.
Also some people (like me) prefer number 2 and its multiple rather than 3.
But the hugest part of success of 2048 over Threes is LUCK because of it people noticed 2048 after Threes was out and become famous somehow.

Slide11

Clean’Em Up is a game I made for PC with a friend of mine Omar Khaled Shoukry (that’s why we named ourselves Omidos (Omar + Amidos)). The game is top down shooter where you play with antivirus who wants to destroy viruses infecting the system. Viruses in the game act like real life computer virus (ex: Port Holes cause more viruses to enter the system, viruses infect files and replicates, Worms replicates themselves very quick …etc).

Slide12

Since me and Omar love top down shooters so we decided to create one with a twist where the player can shoot from front and back (back is not for aiming its just supportive gun so you should choose carefully the best supporting gun in the back).
The game was part of Imagine Cup 2012 as a request from my friend Omar and also as a target and ambition to us (That’s why the game is about viruses and antiviruses).
We worked on the game for 6 Full months we everyday test the game and add new features and create new levels (I work more than 10 hours daily during that period on the game).
It was my first commercial game since I felt I put huge effort in the game. I thought I could charge some money from people for it. As I can’t find sponsor for it (like flash games) as it was made in XNA framework.
On the release day the game FAILED.

Slide13

I always learn stuff by the hard way after releasing the game and something happens I start thinking why that happens so let’s analyze why it failed.
Since we had small time frame for the game and we aimed very high and I wanted to have aesthetics that makes you feel you are inside a computer so I got inspired by Geometry Wars graphics. Since Geometry Wars also a top down shooter people called my game Geometry Wars clone without even playing the game (as its different). So the look hurt the game a lot.
We designed around 75 Levels which was a huge mistake because most of them are just redundant levels with nothing new so the unique levels are just about 40 or 50 level max and all other levels are just repeating levels so people gets bored quickly before seeing different kinds of mechanics with different levels.
The game was designed by me and Omar and tested by us and other friends who are very good at top down shooters so the game was very very hard to any newbie and we didn’t notice that at all because for us its easy. Even when we where designing levels, I test the level and found it easy so I ask Omar so he agrees so we increase the difficulty of the level till making it insanely difficult.
The game didn’t focus to show the player what’s good about the new mechanic or how to choose the back weapon well so no one cared about the back weapon, so it was nothing to people as if there is nothing new just more headache.
I didn’t support XBox controller (as game was for PC) and most of top down shooter fans love to play games with dual sticks rather than keyboard and mouse.
Bad coverage hurt the game more because on day of release (I was still not very known) so when I sent emails to journalist in the indie press, it never got their attention because of the game look and lots of top down shooter games are released frequently, so rarely anybody wrote about it. Even the small amount who wrote about the game were not good reporters some of them didn’t judge the game and started judging me because the game was in English not Arabic and was for PC and not for iPad, another one gave the game bad rating because its PC game and he don’t like small games to be on PC and I should have made it for mobile devices.
Although all these reasons that caused the game to fail but the main reason behind everything was LUCK as usual because Flappy Bird had nothing and it was a hit.
After that huge failure I got pretty depressed and in very bad mood so to get out of that mood I started creating more games (prototypes).

Slide14

So I created that game.

Slide15

and that

Slide15

and that

Slide15

and that

Slide18

and that

Slide19

and that

Slide20

and that

Slide21

And more prototypes than I can share here. I made all these prototypes just to forget about my sadness and get out of it but what I didn’t know at same time that this was some kind of marketing to myself. I built a big audience, built fans on twitter by posting to #ScreenShotSaturday and following people and talking to designers and developers. Also making lots of games made the press featuring most of my games without even me asking them. So I had better contacts with press and more fans than before. That’s also the same reason why people create free games because they want to create fan base for themselves before going commercial.

Slide22

Match a Number my first commercial game on iOS (also any mobile device) where you have to get the target number by holding a tile and move vertical or horizontal till you get the same result (blue tiles are positive, red tiles are negative, yellow tiles are multiplication).

Slide23

The game was released on 14th Novemeber (I spend around from 1.5 to 2 weeks (Full time) working on it), I sent lots of emails to review sites, twitter friends and some of my fans, also made lots of tweets about game before release and on release day. I got nice amount of coverage but I just got 2.33K downloads (2.06K are free downloads as I set the game for free on my Birthday) I can say that game is a bit success compared to the massive failure of Clean’Em Up but still the money came didn’t cover the development cost [These stats are a bit old].

Slide24

Atomic+ is my second commercial game on iOS where you play as that hollow circle that rotate in orb around the center and you should pick squares and avoid hitting white small dots (bullets) coming from the center. Getting a square make the player change direction of rotation and change background color and change the center shooting pattern (as center shoots bullets with a pattern that changes with each square). Touching the screen increase orbit radius and releasing decrease it. The game is nominated as Best Audio Game in IndiePrize 2014 in Amsterdam (Thanks to Essam Ghamdi without his music that game wouldn’t be possible or a hit).

Slide25

The game was released on 19th December (I spend from 3 to 4 weeks working on it (Full Time)), I did same marketing for it like for Match a Number but this time I didn’t even cared a lot about resending again to people or following up with press. But the game was downloaded 31.8k times (23.2k are free downloads on my Birthday) That number is huge even the amount of money generated from it covered more than the development cost. Why that happens to Atomic+ and not Match a Number? That’s because Atomic+ was featured as Best New Game on launching week [These stats are a bit old].

Slide26

So how and why I get best new game? As usual I think after something happens not before it.
It was Christmas time so people are willing to pay for a game and play in the weekends but that’s not a good reason because more games are released in Christmas than any day in the year.
Game vivid colors that matches iOS 7 design so maybe one of the reviewer found it sexy and looks nice on iOS and fits their new OS so he decided to feature it.
One button game which is easily to be played at any place and anytime with no hard or long time waiting or preparing to play the game.
The game was under Music Genre, how could that help? I didn’t think about it but it was great choice. All games should have two genres so Atomic+ was Action as first genre, but I got confused for the second genre I wanted to pick Arcade but there was no Arcade so I chose Music. So when some people started buying the game on release day (since there wasn’t a lot of games in Music genre as in Action genre) the game became on top charts of Music genre easier than Action genre so it helped it to keep for longer time with good rating.
But really the main reason behind that was LUCK as in my view Match a Number is a better game and better design than Atomic+ but Atomic+ was the hit.

Slide27

So is everything happens is related to LUCK so why should put lots of work in games?

Slide28

No that’s not true its not all about LUCK.
You should build fanbase before launching your game by making lots of free games or prototypes, engaging with people on twitter or on forums. A good example of good fanbase game went to Steam is Anodyne, since the developer kept a daily devlog on Tigsource till the end of development so he had a huge fanbase on the release day so one of these people put it on torrents so Sean used that point very good and made a 1$ discount for the game and featured his game on the piratebay website asking people to vote for it on Steam Greenlight. He got lots of votes and it was greenlit.
Always think out of the box never repeat, never clone, try to look different, played different, focus on the new thing in your game not the traditional stuff. Bad example for that was Clean’Em Up because I use same art style like Geometry Wars people thought it was a clone (we are not on candy land anymore).
Polish your game never release game look so bad or feels bad in playing (even as prototype) if you are going to release it in the wild just give some polish. Try to make your game looks new and nice and looks you.
Choose correct audience for your game which means if you are going to release game for word games players so you should focus on how to make your game good for those people not on how to make your game better to all people, because in the end they are your main buyers and target player who will never let you down and if your game is good they will buy it. So focus on these people rather than trying hard to appeal to everyone.
Last thing is always do your best and leave the rest to fate (Don’t worry a lot about LUCK).

Slide29

That’s everything for now :) Hope you like the talk and help lots of indie developer to get out of their depression and that someday everything will be great :) There are a lot of information would love to share with you soon with new blog posts soon :)

Bye Bye

Long time and all I got is Repeat

Hello All,
I apologize for long time not writing here and not writing anything about Atomic+ or what happens with sales and all these things but really forgive me. I was straggling and still straggling from some problems (life, mental, work, family, country …etc) So I was in a deep shitty place in my mind and I am trying to get out of it.

GameJoltThumb

That’s why I made Repeat to help me get out from what happening to me, You should believe people when they say that games have healing power (Yes it is) and especially making them. I know the prototype game Repeat is not amazing as everyone expect from the Creator of Atomic+ (btw that idea what made me down more that I always been afraid to let people down specially after my last game Colors & Numbers which was very badly designed) but I think it was worth experimenting and worth to be tried. Repeat is inspired by Blek, Impasse and Snazzle, I don’t want to talk about it a lot I just want you to go and try it better.

Sorry again for all this I will get better soon and will work on Atomic+ Android port to be published soon. For Repeat I published it on my beloved 3 portals

Have fun for now and I promise you I will write about everything happened to me in the past few months and I am really sorry for letting any of you down

Bye Bye

BUBA is OUT (iOS/Android/PSM)

Hey All,
Sorry for being away for long time but I was busy working on Master Thesis and working slowly on updating Atomic+ and working with Quirkat on releasing my puzzle game BUBA.
BubaHeader
BUBA is a puzzle game with the objective of collecting all the seeds available in each level. The levels consist of different paths of tiles that you, as Buba, walk over with certain constraints of course. Tiles change colour when Buba passes over them, and Buba can only walk on tiles that match his current colour. Strategically planning your moves and with the aid of magic tiles that let you change Buba’s colour, your aim is to chart your path with the least number of moves to progress in the game.

BUBA was developed over the course of the year (working slowly) and I worked on the PSM version while Quirkat ported it to other platforms at same time. BUBA is now out over iOS (link), Android (link), PSM (Check PSM Store).

That’s everything for now I will try to post about Atomic+ soon and about the evolution of BUBA over past year (its interesting story).

Bye Bye

Atomic+ is Out

Hey All,
The post name is very clear :D Atomic+ is finally out today :) I guess lots of people now are crashing their fingers with their screens to evade bullets and getting squares.

My musician Agent Whiskers got 90 score in the game using Full control scheme which is very highscore and he bets he will be the first to get 100 before anyone else can.

AtomicPlus90

The game is on App Store for 0.99$ till the end of the year then it will be back to its original price 1.99$ afterwards. Also if you loved the game music you can buy it from Bandcamp for 3$

That’s everything for now :)

Bye Bye