June 23, 2016 -- Day 534
After the end of Beta hosting on June 20, here's my report & evaluations.
Since my Google analytics no longer show the stats correctly, so I use the old trusty web-counter. This time I traced numbers of unique visitors... (should've use 'number of visits')
It's merely about 70 unique visits... over the hosting period of 3 weeks...
I wasn't pushing my advertising hard enough. And sometimes it's just too hard to notice my promotional posts on social medias.
I got only a few but constructive comments (thanks to some of your praises).
Their critiques are basically:
Fortunately these are not very hard issues.
Nobody says anything about the art/music, which kind of sad for me. I guess they really are not impressive enough... Oh well.
A Reflect On My Promoting
I don't know but... I wasn't very keen on promoting the game. (At that time I was busy pushing to ver0.8 update...Maybe I am a bit tired.) Well honestly, I did lose some degree of motivation. The passion was not there. I felt very reluctant of the promotional updates. It was not a good energy & attitude... :(
I'm still passionate in my work though.
By the way, I did not make any teasers or trailer videos for this beta release. But I will definitely make one game trailer!
I really hope I will - at that next time - really pushing myself out of comfort zone and go a bit more beyond what I did before, on advertising & networking.
That's about it! I will update the plans for game development on next month.
May 14, 2016 --
(retreived from dev's forum posts)
Finally, 'Fry Me Omelettes' is now ready for another period of hosting release!
The date of the game hosting is confirmed starting at MAY 30 till JUNE 20.
The game will be hosting at play.snoutycreations.com
New additions of the game are listed below: (as from previous version Pre-beta 0.59)
New Menu Look, 'Challenge' Mode
A more 'finalized' look of the menu screen. New 'Records' & 'Stats' are some the newest features of this version of the game.('Records' & 'Stats' will only popped-up after your 1st play) 'Play' the previous 'Random' mode, now becomes 'Casual' mode. Alongside, comes a new 'Challenge' mode, for players to fry certain types of eggs/omelettes!
The 'Egg Look' Screen
A very exciting new feature-- where you'll get to see a beautiful top-down view of your well-made egg dishes right before the judgement! It's a total EYE-CANDY!
'Stats' & 'Records'
'Stats' reveals basic to interesting data about the wins, loses, time played, averages, favorites, and so on. There's also a 'unlocks' tab to view unlocked items.
On the other hand, 'Records' screen lets you flip through & view up to 20 of your most recent egg-dishes! This is one of the BEST feature yet!
That's all about it, folks. Don't forget to visit & try it out!
Thank you! ;)
May 10, 2016 --
(retreved from dev's forum posts)
Game Completion's about 77%
Thanks to fellow forum members, a long major issue have been solved.
'Egg/dish record system' is now fully functional without errors.
Only a few things left to do to reach 80% (complete beta)
Also, new critic sprites ;)
The egg variation sprites will be the main focus, along with other minor retouches & bug fixes.
I will need to make near a hundred of different variations/forms of the egg. :|
Next few weeks I'll be working on some BG retouchings, drawing the top-down-view egg variations, and also working on the dreadful critique sequence bugs (due to messy coding). It's going to be tough.
And also, the date of the next beta online hosting is confirmed!
I will post a more elaborate info about this beta release, soon.
Mar 29, 2016 --
(retrived from dev's forum posts)
Game completion's about 72%
Only screenshots & GIFs today!!
take a look at the new added fizzle animations when frying the egg.
Also, working on some of the top-down-view sprites.
Here's some of the work:
Still need more than a month before I can put out a beta version online. ;)
Feb 1, 2016 --
(retrived from dev's forum posts)
Oh gee... I kinda 'neglected' the forum for a while. But that doesn't mean I've halted my project. (just take my time slowly, but a bit too slow.) Anyway, I should be updating my game WIP as usual from now on. (1~3 posts per month)
On the 'egg-look' drawing part: Here's how it turns out so far...
The 'fluid' like ketchup is made possible using this wonderful effect plugin by @Animmaniac .
I've postponed this drawing work lately: I must say that I'm not satisfied with some of my egg drawings & i might redraw them later. Now at the moment, i'm coding the part of 'Record'-- a new system to view your recently attempted eggs/omelettes. I like how it looks so far.
That's about it. Y'all have a good one! ;)
Aug 28, 2015 -- Day 230
The online pre-beta demo hosting had ended on August 24.
Here is my short evaluation. (or report)
Online Advertising & Promotions
So far during the hosting period, I do social media linking, posting promotional banners, to 6 Google+ communities. 5 Facebook Groups, 2 few picture & a couple news updates on IndieDB, update postings on Scirra's forum, and a post on 'PlaymyGame' subreddit. It was about twice the exposure than last time, but isn't much effective. (still sucks)
The Visit Count
First off, Google Analytics didn't work on my site's visit counts, unlike last time... So I use hit counter instead. Sorry guys, no pretty Google analytics.
The number should be a bit lower as It didn't filter out my own visits. I figured that actual visits (not counting mine) were probably around 160~170. (compared to about 90 on the first hosting)
A bit disappointed cos' I failed to meet my goal of 300 visits for this demo hosting. (even with an extended week!) That indicates that my "online promotions" during the period is not as effective. (and also not enough) Yet this is a good thing, as now I know clearer that... promotion requires more than I imagined. :) More effort (at least 3x times) should be put in promoting the game next time.
This time I got even fewer feedbacks online, no negative ones, but also no constructive feedbacks whatever.
I did have a few insightful feedbacks when observing my family members playing the demo. One thing's for sure, is the first 2 critics are too easy to pass, and the girl critic too 'picky'. (which I intended) I need to make Irwin (the 2nd critic in the middle) a bit more challenging, and also constructive. (critique-wise)
Other feedbacks such as not much stuff can be added into the egg, or music a bit 'bland', will definitely be improved in next released version. Also, bugs and glitches such as 'overlapping critiques' & 'screen hangings' are present in the demo. I'll have to fix those too.
3 other things needed to be adjusted in game :
Teaser Video View Count
Also, I got a game teaser video prepared on YouTube, hoping to boost-maybe a little-- of my game's popularity. It was posted about 10 days before the beginning of hosting. In the end, I got almost 90 viewings. I guess the video is FAR from "getting noticed".
A Reflect On My Promotings
From this experience, I believe that I just didn't work hard enough. I kinda knows that my game didn't impress much people, or, this type of game genre is NOT attracting most web-gamers. So I guess that: besides the promotion/advertising, I'll need to work on making the game even more attractive, by making a more attractive trailer, and also adding more NICE features into the game.
Pay attention to how the competitors design their games-- is important to improve my game's overall quality. I think 'making it pretty, wowing the crowd,creating the buzz' would be the motto of my next promotional approach.
That's about it. I will continue my game's WIP around October. (would like to take a break to do other creative stuffs.) :) I will be coming back for more update soon!
Peace & Love!
Aug 3, 2015 -- Day 205
Finally after 135 days of my 1st demo release, the 2nd demo has being hosted (quietly) as of yesterday. Why so quietly? Well, the demo is QUITE buggy, and I'm ashamed.
Just a few days ago, I thought I can finally relax a little bit. Man, the truth is, I overlooked the critique part of the game. The frustrating thing is the judging sequence gone all bonkers, and I still don't know what causes it. I guessing it's something between the critiques and the coding hierarchy I made.
I know I could just postpone it to fix the problem, but I just couldn't do it.
I've post it publicly for more than a month. Also further postpone the date from 25 to Aug 1 (not to mention that I delayed it one day more) and also the game to that certain date for 2 weeks. I HATE to eat my own words. :(
Oh well, I might as well stop whining about it and get into --fixing the problem!
My main goal of demo release is to get as much people to know and be impressed, and having the anticipation for the further/final version of my game. Now that the bugs are overwhelming, I don't want to spread it- yet.
I will try to fix the all the main problems so that I can be proud to share the game to others again.
Thanks, and love.
July 26, 2015 -- Day 197
The last 2 weeks I spent most time preparing the website (for game hosting), my first game trailer, and one "okay" draft music track.
Making music is not an easy task either. My lacking of music knowledge & understanding of music theory slowed me down. Thanks goodness I'm not completely a "music -idiot", now have I'd been messing it for a while, I'm starting to get a hang of it.
(I think I'm more tent towards a "melodic" type of music.)
Yes, I also made a game video--just a 'teaser'. It's now online in YouTube, you can also watch it on the game website now.
I'll be brief about the process of making my first game video.
For an addition of 1 week for making 1 video, I want this video to be only a short, yet funny teaser video. I try using the least efforts to maximum impact, but also with some quality into it. (I won't settle for mediocrity) I planned out around than 10 "scenes" and work onto it deliberately. By focusing on what the most important aspects from all scenes.
The content it's quite direct & simple. (and somehow funny) The video basically is to get people who are (or sort of) interested to play my upcoming game demo, building awareness, fan base, and so forth.
The Demo Hosting Website
Since nothing much needed to be said about the game's title screen & option, I'll pass that one for another time. Now... the hosting website.
The gaming demo will be hosted on play.snoutycreations.com on August 1. (1 hope no technical problems will occur)
I redesigned it a more calm looking interface. Hope you like it much better than the previous one. (If you did play the 'alpha' demo back then in March) The website may not be suitable to view in phones and some browsers like IE, though.
That's about it! Thanks for reading!
July 7, 2015 -- Day 178
This is kind of 'a-mentally-exhausting' week.
Just announce the game's 2nd demo release date. I felt there's a sudden urgency going on & got little bit of mental block. Now I feel I wasn't progressing fast enough. I feel as if there's much-much more work to be done and I just couldn't realize the most of them. It's interesting that once the deadline is on schedule, things just got SERIOUS.
So this week, I will try solving the problem about the 'ketchup trace' not duplicating onto the critics' plates.
(If you don't know what I mean-- go checkout the log on June 13 (day154))
Like in real life, some fillings are needed to cooked first, otherwise they're still under-cooked. You can also place the egg first if you want. Just try and experiment yourselves.
The right one, you can see that Ham & Veggies are from different bowls, but you can mixed them into the egg. In the meantime, like the egg, the fillings also can be cooked. FYI, the fillings that are not sticking onto the egg will not be served into plate.
One more thing, do you notice the fillings are a bit "transparent" over the egg?
That is because it's "soaked" into the egg.
In addition to the fillings, the eggs can now be defined if it's still watery or completely solidified, if you place the filling early it'll 'soak' into the egg nicely. If not, it'll looked like it's placed on top of the egg, and some picky critics will notice it.
Those are very good tips for you if you do play the 2nd demo! (not available)
Also, here's some screenshots of how the game looks now.
So that's it for now. I will post one more development log before the demo release. It will be about the opening screen & options, and also about the website hosting the demo.
Love ya & See ya!
June 23, 2015 -- Day 164
Another good week= I've done almost half of the critiques (I think it's over 100 in total, i'm not sure) & also the general debugging, and the new adding filling system is nearly done. (with ham & veggies)
Speaking of 'fillings', they are a bowl of ingredient pieces to put into the egg/omelette during the frying session. For the next demo, it will be only Ham or Veggies. (mixture of carrot chops & onions pieces) Game tips: You don't see it on your first play though, they can be UNLOCKED after winning several passes from critics. The way the 'filings' works are similar to the 'toppings', but with more "interactions". You also serve your dishes to the critics, they will judge the fillings based on how cooked, how much you placed them on the egg, etc.
The game is very "choice open" compared to other cooking game. You can either put them all or not at all. (But mostly critics don't want a dish full of hams & veggies you see!) So experiment them & find your way of cooking!
Also, I started learning how to make some basic music. I have no music background and also a music theory idiot. Although I'm trying to look into some books and some practices, if you're interested on what software I do for music making, I'm testing FL Studio free trial. After testing it, I kinda like FL Studio how "Pro looking", functioning & detailed the software is. But I don't have the money to buy it for commercial use, so I look elsewhere.
I found out a free music making software called 'LMMS', it's like counterpart of FL studio but free. It's a wonderful too, yet LMMS is very 8-bit sounding, (without the other plugins of course) not quite auited for my game, so I have think I'll have to find myself some free-natural-sounding-instument-plugins! For additional, I want to use the sound of my recorders in the music. I'm not pro at playing it, but it'll be good enough for my game music.
For recording, I've already owned a pretty good mid-range microphone for flute recording. After evaluation, I'll make 4 game music tracks and some jingles for the pre-beta demo.
Let's talk about the genre/style of music i'll make. For this cooking game, It will be somewhat light-hearted & relaxing, like Nintendo's casual games, some may sounded like nursery rhymes, etc. Since they are the draft version, I'll probably use my flute for the most base melodies, and try LMMS. Let's wish I make GREAT progress!
The pre-beta demo release date will be revealed in-- NEXT WEEK!
Stay tuned, everyone!
June 13, 2015 -- Day 154
I have a good week of extending the critic system, as well as finishing the expression drawings. (about 10~11 for each critic) First, let's enjoy some of my game testing- topping GIFs.
I personally think the topping visuals can be improved a bit more. While the herbs are easy to make and code, the ketchup in the other hands is quite a HEADACHE. Right now I'm still struggle to find a way to "copy" the exact patterns of the spilled ketchup to the critic's plates.
Now the next topic, let's talk about the 'Critic System' -- the 2nd important element of the game.
Without it, your egg cooking would be meaningless.
For the new improved version, 3 additional steps are added before 'Food Tasting'. I'll briefly explain the functions and changes in each step. So here's the list:
By adding 3 more steps before 'Food tasting', it feels more realistic and also organized. Also, the addition brings to the judging process. To have visual critiques at first, then tasting critiques, just like real-life scenario.
So here's what each step is about:
Show Dishes + Reactions
This would remain the same. The critic's emotions & expressions brings fun & humor to the players. You can immediately tell if they like your cooking or not.
Responses (Visual Critiques)
Because of this new action, the original critiques is categorized to visual & taste based. This one is focused on the looks: how cooked is the egg, when there's too much topping/filling etc. Also I think there's no need to have all of them responding, so only 2 critic's comment is selected in random.
Reject or Not
This new action wasn't totally necessary or even fair to the player, but it's very reasonable if you look into how relevant it will be. What kind of critic will eat an egg that is totally raw or burnt? When a critic rejects, he/she pass through all the latter steps until the verdict, you'll automatically get "X" from him/her!
So this is the first barrier to cross: How to make your egg looked good enough for the critics to eat. Also reminded that every critics has his/her own preferences.
Food Tasting + Reactions
This is the 2nd round of your egg evaluation. Due to how the eggs are judged by the looks already in 'Visual Critiques', the food critics will now be tackling how your eggs taste in the 'Taste Critiques'. The fillings or toppings will also be looked at-whether if you put too little, too much, or all together that could affect the taste.
Remains the same way.
The way to predict is inspired by reality shows like "America's Got Talent" and also the popular 3-star system from mobile puzzle games. By the remarks of 3 critics, You can get 4 different verdict: failed terribly, failed, passed, and aced.
Actually, there's one step absent in the current version, which is called the "Egg Look".
This is a part which will only be featured in the final version of the game. So we will skip this for another time.
Beside all of this, the flow of the procedure controls the pace of this game, and it affects a lot whether the game is dragging or too prompt. I'll tweak on the timings to get the best "flow" possible.
That's all about the critic system now.
I will be posing nexr update at the end of June, the next demo launching date would be announced then.
June 2, 2015 -- Day 143
The couple of weeks I've been working mostly a bit of this, a bit of that. (been lazy lately) There's still a lot of work till completion. There's one feature I'll like to skip for the next demo: Smooth Egg Transitions. It has been difficult (for me to code them correctly, so I have to hold this off for another time. (It wastes too much time and very little progress)
Please visit next week for new update. Love!
May 16, 2015 -- Day 126
I managed to put myself together and to be more 'productive' this week.
Let's talk about the 'Topping Area' feature, on how it works. Basically, all the toppings (green herb/kechup or more) can affect the appearance of the egg. (same goes to fillings, which I may talk about next time) You can either "sprinkle" the toppings all over the areas, or concentrate on 1 part such as the center of the egg/omelette. In order to do this, the eggs are divided into 9 zones. (thus they are 9 variables)
The more topping getting to that zone, the more number that variable has. Besides the topping in the cup, the ketchup is a lot more different & challenging...
Look at that wonderful drawing effect! I can even draw an alphabet, or even random shapes!!
To be honest, that's actually a "screenshot-would-be". This might looked as simple applying some dedicated codes, but it's HARD to convert the random drawn lines into variables. (as all egg info are variables) Somehow I need to find a way to make this drawing mechanism work in future progress.
Thank you, that's all for today. :)
The more customization, the more variety of the game! (but more work)
May 2, 2015 -- Day 112
Sorry for a long week of wait guys. I admit that I've been procrastinating a lot lately. I'm starting to feel the midway stage stress: there's jist so much to do in order to make this game "presentable". I'm currently focusing on adding the smooth transitions of the egg variation. (Yet to find a solution)
After finishing all the "basic" egg variations (over 120), I started to realize that: the eggs are clearly lacks "juiciness", or in other way speaking: lack FUN. I think the eggs are just too plain without anything that players might not be interested on playing, don't you think? Therefore I need to "spice" things up.
So, let's talk about this new feature I wanted to put in: the "topping area". It's a next step after you've done frying the egg, it'll give you a short amount of time to add toppings to the egg before serve. This is what it may look like:
With more seasoning and toppings, along with the original egg variations, players can make thousands of variety, thus more "freshness" to the players. (and maybe more replay value) Even the critics will judge on how you apply the topppings, too much, too little , or too strong flavored.. exciting isn't it?.
This is a (somewhat important) addition to the gameplay. I don't know how much time will it add to my already bloated workload, but I hope it will not be as "tedious" & will work as promised.
Until then, stay appetite!