Another year over. The Earth still exists. I believe this is a Good Thing™. Anyway, here’s what I did this year.
Mind Juice Accomplishments in 2012
- Unicorn Rush – I finally shipped this game! I had intended to ship it by end of Q1 2012 (well actually I intended to ship in in Dec. 2010, but that’s another story). It was actually released in Q2 on June 21, 2012. I’ve discussed the reasons for the delays in previous posts, but it sure felt good to finally have it out there! It has received fantastic reviews from many players, and I know of one person who has spent 50+ hours playing it. Despite that praise, it has definitely not been as successful as we had hoped. I will certainly never spend 18+ months working on a single game again.
- Spellchemy Art & Music – All artwork, music and sound effects are complete for Spellchemy and I prototyped it during a game jam. I will be finally getting back to focus on it in January and hope to ship it in Feburary 2013.
- Balloonatic – I decided to do a re-skinned version of Charmed where instead of having falling charms, there are balloons that float up. I also took the opportunity to update it for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 screen size. The game is 99% complete now and I will be submitting in in early January as a free game with RevMob ads. You can see a preview here: https://twitter.com/MindJuiceMedia/status/272534043415945216/photo/1
- Vijeo Design’Air – My main contract work this year involved working on two iOS apps, which was a nice change. I got experience with a ton of new things in iOS, including Core Graphics and some Core Animation. The apps were actually written in C+ using the MonoTouch framework for iOS and the Mono for Android framework for…um…Android. I will be writing a post about my experience with these two frameworks in January/February 2013. This first app is basically a VNC type of app for connecting to factory installed HMI (Human Machine Interface) devices over WiFi and being able to control and monitor things. We are aiming to ship the second app, which is a self-contained remote HMI in about 6-8 weeks. You can find the app on the store here, but you won’t be able to use it without some additional hardware: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id582854508
- AppRewardsClub.com – Along with my partner Kyle Newsome, we designed, developed and launched this new app promotion site to replace freeAppCalendar.com. At the beginning of 2012, I said I wanted to sell freeAppCalendar. That didn’t end up happening. Instead, Kyle and I rethought what a good app promotion site should be and this is what we’ve come up with so far. It’s been a struggle getting traction for the site, but we are continuing to work on it.
- 360|iDev in Denver – Once again, John Wilker, Nicole Wilker and their awesome volunteers put on a great conference. Highly recommended! Don’t miss this one in 2013!
- Vancouver Startup Weekend – I had an idea for a new crowd funding service and pitched my idea at Startup Weekend. My idea was chosen from the 60+ pitches to be one of the ones that we worked on over the weekend. We very quickly gathered a team of 12 people, and over the next 48 hours we had built an operational site and had defined our MVP and UVP. We also validated the concept by interviewing potential customers, etc.. In the aftermath, I decided not to pursue this and instead focus on games and game-related ideas. I am still very interested in and participating in the Startup scene in Vancouver though. It was a great weekend and I recommend giving it a try if you have even a little entrepreneurial bent!
Mind Juice Roadmap for 2013
Now that the threat of apocalypse is past, here is what I intend to do in 2013:
- Unicorn Rush Update – In January, I have a small update planned for Unicorn Rush to fix some bugs and add a few small features.
- Participate in OneGameAMonth.com- This is a pretty slick idea started by Christer Kaitla. It’s basically a month-long game jam every month, but with no real rules. It’s main purpose is to serve as motivation to actually ship games instead of just making dozens of prototypes that never see the light of day. So far, over 2,000 developers have signed up. I don’t intend to release any games that are not fully polished and finished, and honestly I don’t expect to ship 12 games this year, but who knows, once I get into a rhythm, it could happen!Here is a roster of the games I expect to work on over the year with OneGameAMonth.com:
- January – Balloonatic – As mentioned above, Balloonatic is almost done and I will submit it in early January.
- February – Spellchemy – Spellchemy is a word game I’ve written about previously. It will be implemented in Unity using Matt Rix’s Futile 2D engine. I plan to release it on iOS, Mac, Windows, iOS and probably Android. This will be my first multi-platform title.
- March – Space Rush – This is a total reskin of Unicorn Rush with wheeled vehicles instead of unicorns. It’s basically a cross between Moon Patrol and Unicorn Rush. The name “Space Rush” is a placeholder until I come up with a good name.
- April – Ninja Game – I have a new touch focused control scheme planned out for this that should lead to some interesting gameplay.
- May – Robot Game – I showed a prototype of this one to some of you at the last 360 iDev. Game concept is complete.
- June – Realtime Word Game – This is a real-time word game based on a new high-speed server-side event engine. The gameplay is designed, and I have a strong idea for the theme, but no concept art has been done yet. This will likely take more than one month.
- July – Portal Remix – I have a game designed that is an extension of some of the concepts in Portal, but with a very different theme.
- August-December – This is up in the air. It partly depends on how the other games have progressed over the year. I also am interested in developing some new game dev tools. I’ve also got a space MMO stuck in my brain for the past 8 years or so that I would love to get started on. Even after all that time, nobody has made a game like it. We will see!
This list is, as usual, subject to minor edits, rearrangement and may even be completely ignored, but that is where I think things are going as of now.
Wrapping it Up
So that’s about it! I hope your 2013 will be an enjoyable and successful year!