Grief Update 1.1

Hey everyone!

We’ve taken advice from all corners of the internet and transformed it into something palpable: Grief 1.1

This update includes:

-Saving (JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THIS NOT HARDCORE ENOUGH GUYS)

-Level 12 is easier (or rather, less punishing)

-Quieter scream (fun while it lasted)

-General bug fixes

We were going to add an easter egg, but we decided we don’t love you enough. Just kidding! But yeah, laziness.

If the game isn’t updated to 1.1 on whatever site you frequent, wait for a while as I frantically re-upload.

-Klassic

(PS, poll is still down below. I think I’ll make it a weekly habit of starting up polls, they’re fun!)

Something happened!

Hey everyone!

Lots of stuff happened today. First and foremost, Indiegames.com featured Grief (Yay, they don’t hate us after all! Er, I mean…yeah) and our downloads/feedback has skyrocketed. We’ve gotten some praise and some really really angry criticism, which we’ve taken in stride. We learned some interesting things today, and I made the decision to release an update with Saving (NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES, RRROAAAH), a few bug fixes, and no screaming. Still, it was fun to see people yell at us because the scream scared the crap out of them.

Dark is coming along slowly but surely (I’ve been busy these past few days). Currently, we’re working on the player animations and mechanics. Once that’s done, we’ll move onto -shudder- AI in general. After that, well, all that’s left is level design and some unique mechanics. Yes, I just summarized two to three months of work in a couple sentences.

One thing I learned from Grief is that not everyone has a high-end PC, and we need to be more open with our system requirements. I’m going to work hard to improve the speed of Dark and make it so that everyone can play. Except those of you running windows 98. You guys suck. (Kidding!)

PS: The poll is still running below. Go on and vote if you haven’t already! We’ve got some ideas for Dark’s release. What do you guys think of a normal, free release, as well as a paid (either pay what you want or a fixed amount around 1-2 dollars) “extended” version with some silly cheat codes, extra rooms, side quests, etcetera?

-Klassic

A new game and a POLL!

Grief’s been out for about a week now, and I’m pretty satisfied with the reception. We managed to get about 800 downloads (if not more) altogether, and we’re still waiting on a few sites to see if they feature us or not. Plus, the whole Extra Credits Awards has got some of us on edge.

Anyways, I think it’s time I let you guys in on our next project. I won’t say much, because I just love keeping secrets. The working title for our new game is Dark (Original, no?). It’s going to be a survival horror game clocking in at around 2 to 3 hours, if everything goes according to plan. Of course, knowing us the game will probably be an 8 hour epic, which in itself isn’t such a bad thing.

We’ll give you guys more juicy details once we’re ready, but rest assured that this game will feature plenty of scary and disturbing bits.

Funfact: This game will probably receive a Mature rating, basically meaning that we wouldn’t be able to buy our own game. Erp?

Oh, by the way: I thought it would be interesting to set up a poll. How much money would you guys spend on a 3-4 hour game? This probably won’t relate to Dark in any way, but it’s useful info to have for later. Also, it’ll help us judge how many people read our blog actively! Go to town.

-Klassic

An analysis (and overview) of Grief

Grief has been out for about two and a half days now, and having received a good amount of feedback from various sources, I think I can safely express my personal thoughts on what went right and what went wrong.

Starting with what went right: A lot. Unlike Bun-Dun, the game was released with very few if any bugs, and none so crippling as the one that plagued Bun-Dun on day one (ie. the one that I woke up at 12 am to fix). I have to thank the intensive beta testing phase of development for this, as well as the testers themselves. We managed to squash a few issues that would’ve been, well, bad. Thanks to my new router, I was able to upload Grief to the various websites relatively quickly, which I think was helpful in terms of synchronization and name recognition. This game was our most polished and best executed yet, and I think that really shows. We aimed high, but not too high so as to crush our aspirations. We found the perfect length, and worked our asses off to bring the game to life.

The bad: I can’t really call these things bad, per se, but I can say that they’re things we need to consider for future releases. First of all, a lot of people had complaints about the movement speed of GG and the lack of a saving feature. While both of those were design choices, I learned that not everyone shares such ideals as I do. Although, frankly, I still don’t understand the whole “She walks too slow”. Maybe the game is just lagging for a lot of people, which leads me to item number two:

Game speed. Currently, we tested our game on a handful of computers, but most of them were quite new. I think testing the game on an old computer would be a good idea for future releases, to get an idea of what our requirements are. For all I know, half our audience is lagging and doesn’t know it.

Advertising: The first day Grief was released, we didn’t get as much exposure as I’d have liked. Sure, maybe such thoughts are unrealistic at this time, but I believe we could’ve done a bit more pre-hype on various websites, instead of just posting on our blog and assuming the entire internet knew where to look.

That’s about it, honestly. I don’t have any heartwrenching tale of betrayal or hard work for naught. Development went smoother than I could have hoped, and our team grew throughout the entire process. I picked up a few useful tactics regarding project management, and I think that we’re a lot more in-tune than we were before.

Looking back, I find it funny to think that this entire game spouted from a single comment made by Tangleworm about, and I’m paraphrasing here, “A game that changes depending on whether you’re happy or sad.”

Seeing a game come together is always a delightful experience, and if anyone were to ask me why I loved programming so much, that would probably be my answer. Sure, copying and pasting line after line of code can be tedious, but being so involved in the development process and knowing that every action you make will directly impact how a part of the game functions is such an empowering feeling.

We’re still waiting to hear from a number of websites/sources (such as jayisgames, indiegames, the escapist) and we’ll keep you updated as Grief’s release plays out. Until then, go tell all your friends about the game! After all, isn’t that what friends are for? Shameless plugging of products.

-Klassic

One day of Grief

Hah. Hah hah. See my joke? Up there, in the title? Hah? No?

…Well this is awkward.

Grief has been out for just under 24 hours at the time of writing (4:45 PM GMT-8 Tuesday April 19th 2011 for those who are curious/eccentric) and the response has been quite phenomenal! We’ve been getting 4/5’s and 5/5’s across the board, and everyone is praising the game as if it were Jesus reincarnate. Okay, maybe not that much, but it’s definitely a large improvement over Bun Dun’s response. Of course, we hope Grief is a much better game than Bun Dun, so this is probably a good thing.

Oddly enough, the largest issue with the game (I know a certain friend who is going to mock me incessantly for this) is the movement speed of Grief Girl. I find that quite interesting, but it also confuses me. In order for the puzzles to work on the scale that they do, Grief Girl MUST move at that exact speed, otherwise the game simply would not function as intended. Perhaps that in itself is a design flaw, and one that we should learn from in future games. Either that, or we have the pickiest damn fanbase on earth. Kidding!

Our game was submitted to the Extra Credits Innovation Awards (On http://www.escapistmagazine.com/), and while I don’t expect to win or even be nominated for an award, it’s still nice to know that we’re part of something a lot larger than just a little downloadable time waster. Plus, how awesome would it be to be able to give a demonstration of Grief at LOGIN? Ah well, dreams may remain dreams.

If things continue on this streak of good luck (Knock on wood, real wood not the shitty fake wood my desk is made of) then we should get a feature by Jayisgames this Saturday and a potential feature by indiegames.com at some point in the next week. Though, indiegames seems to have made a point of ignoring every email I’ve sent them in the past year, so I’m not holding my breath for that one. While it’s nice to get a download boost from Jayisgames and co., I honestly think that my favourite part about releasing a game is just reading the small, individual comments of people who have stumbled across our games completely by accident. Game reviewers are wonderful, but there’s something in hearing from our target audience that we’re doing a good job that just can’t be beat.

Oddly enough, Grief seems to have erupted on Yoyogames, hitting the top 15 on “Top Games”. Will it stay there? Will it go up, or drop? Only time will tell. I for one am ecstatic about this development, considering that Bun Dun was ignored on Yoyogames when we released it.

Anyways, that’s all for now! Remember, this is only day ONE of Grief’s release. Who knows what the future might hold for us?

Now, back to playing Steamlands (great fun, check it out) and pretending to do homework. See you all soon!

-Klassic

PS: Our trailer on youtube got a comment today! This marks the first comment on any video we’ve released! XD