Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PG Forums Interview

Liam and the guys at the PG Forums wanted to ask me (Allan) a few questions and I was happy to oblige. In fact, I think I answered the questions almost TOO thoroughly! But I think some people who are interested in the art-creation side of Pocket God will find it interesting.

>> Click here to read the PG Forum Interview <<

Thanks guys!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dave Reports in: Good Will Haunting and an Unexpected Turn of Events

Per usual, Dave posts on Touch Arcade about our latest update. I already hinted that it was a little more involved than we expected. He describes the latest update, ghosts! but also talks about our newest function, in-app purchases. As we continue to develop PG, and offer updates for free, we have to figure out new ways to still have it make financial sense. The idea is that we still update for free, but offer fun "extras" that do not affect game-play. So people can take it or leave it if they don't want, but still get the regular updates free. Only, in the middle of development, Dave got some bad news...

"I had thought I could do a 3.0/2.2 hybrid like we did for push notifications and everything seemed to be working fine with that until Jason Citron from Open Feint told us he had submitted an app like that with in app purchases and it got rejected because the iPhone can only support in app purchasing on 3.0 only apps. We were so lucky that he warned us about it because we could have had a good 2 or 3 week delay before we were rejected and figured it out. "

So, there are going to be some people (iPod Touch owners that haven't upgraded) that aren't gonna like this, but if you update, you must also have 3.0. We agonized over it, but knew from experience, you can't fight the future. We know we are taking a huge chance being an early adopter, but it would have to be done sooner or later. So yes folks, if you don't have 3.0, then you shouldn't download the next update. If you really feel you can't upgrade...the only thing we can say is that this isn't our fault. Apple wants everyone to upgrade and if you want the latest and greatest, you will HAVE TO eventually. If not because of us, because other games and apps will be going this way. Are you aware they dropped the price of the ipod upgrade to $4.95?

>> Read Dave's full Touch Arcade Post here <<

Let the commenting begin!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Contest Submissions Closed

What a week. Have you ever been worried something would be difficult, but instead everything just fell into place quickly? Yeah, me neither. I actually thought this next update would be pretty easy, but it was the exact opposite of easy... but we'll wait for Dave's State of the Island for you to hear about the details. Good Will Haunting, the second of our horror trilogy, was submitted yesterday...only five days later than we MEANT to submit it. Better late than never!

So, the contest is closed and there's a ton of photos to go through. I notice some people on Twitter thought we'd announce today, but we need time to go through the submissions and vote for our favorite. So expect the announcement before next Friday. I also notice some people were bent out of shape that we didn't feature their photo on the blog. Sorry...If I posted every photo, this blog would take even longer to load than it already does. I just grabbed random selections that looked good, but by no means has any bearing on our final choice. I'll feature some more before the announcement.

Three people will win the latest 64GB iPod Touch, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2 More Days for Contest!

Okay, i've been neglecting the blog. Both Dave and I have been homebound and our faces growing pale in the glow of our monitors. Ugh! This update is ...well.. its going out a little later than we'd hoped. I think I'll hold off on talking more about THAT for now and just remind everyone that the deadline for the contest is this Friday! People definitely have gotten creative! If you haven't gone and taken a picture for it, why not? We're giving out THREE BRAND NEW IPOD TOUCHES!

Here's some more examples...

Thanks everybody!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twitter Yer Picture Contest Deadline Coming!

This is just a reminder that the deadline for the Twitter Yer Picture contest is less than a week away! We've received a bunch of great photos but wanna see even more. Keep 'em coming! Keep your camera and your iPod/iPhone with you at all times in case you happen to find that Pocket God Kodak moment by accident. I received a bunch of inquires about people unsure of how to post a twitpic. Click here to sign up for Twitpic!

Some people used a different photo linking service which is perfectly fine. Our suggestion is Twitpic for ease of use.

Here is a small sampling of photos we think hit the mark (this does not in anyway indicate our winning choice)...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dead Pygmy Walking Approved

Zombies come to Pocket God! You will find an all-new spooky area of the island (the graveyard is on the same island as the T-Rex, just East). In the graveyard you will find a grave that you can dig up. Put a pygmy in the dug up grave, bury him. This will activate the ancient seal on the tombstone. Then the pygmy will emerge as a Zombie. When it encounters another pygmy, it will eat his brain and turn that pygmy into a zombie too. The zombies are fragile though. If you mess with them, they will break apart into a cloud of blue flesh. Fill your island with zombies and then tap on the screen to make them do the thriller dance!

Have you wondered who left behind these powerful relics? The octopus statue on the main island? The octopus statue underwater? Even the frickin' laserbeams on the shark's head? Now the zombie tombstone. I don't think the peaceful Pygmies made them. Will they ever encounter the creators? We'll just have to see...

But I digress. The update should be available sometime tonight. This is part 1 of our horror trilogy (this time, there's no play on Star Wars, haha). What do you think is next?

Pocket Gamer interviews Dave About In-app Purchases

Out of the top 25! Nooooo! Well, we knew this day would come! Let's hope we get a similar resurrection as Flick Fishing or Doodle Jump, but the app store is hard to predict!

So, I mentioned in the last post, we are working on new functionality for Pocket God and since Dave let the cat of the bag, I will tell you, we are still going to give updates for free, but start customization as an in-app purchase. Our idea is that we will create "custom packs" for certain PG elements. And each will cost 99 cents. That way, we aren't going to start charging for updates that fans expect for free, but we can continue to develop PG and it make sense for us fiscally. At least that's the theory. It all depends if people actually buy the customizations! The first element we are working on is the T-Rex..and I'm guessing when people see it, they will want it!

Hopefully fans who are used to getting all new content for free will see that we are trying to make PG development make sense for US, but not burn THEM. Pocket Gamer interviews dave about in-app transactions here:

>> Read Dave's Pocket Gamer interview here <<

The above idle suggestion was by Nick Harriot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

World of Apple reviews the current version of PG and

I think in a blog post a week or so ago, I said that the reviews for Pocket God are "pretty much in"...But I guess there's still a few sites that have decided to review us after 25 updates!

>> Click here for World of Apple Review <<

So, as we wait for "Dead Pygmy Walking" to be approved, Dave and I are working on the next update...Dave has made some further optimizations...I'm working on new spooky-type art... and additionally we're also working on new functionality that we hope to integrate into the next update. I think Dave will announce it in the next State of the Island (that is, if it makes it into the update) So this week is incredibly busy! I'll try to stay on the blog, but we're a little overwhelmed!

Oh, and if you go to twitter and search "@pocketgod" you can see the influx of pics for the contest! Keep 'em coming! And don't forget to wander outside your home to find a good place to take a pic! I'll post some examples later this week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Interesting Side by Side Comparison!

An interesting comparison of the load times of Pocket God on the different gen iPhones and iPods by 039scooterboi....

left to right, the order is:
Iphone 2g, iphone 3g , ipod touch 2nd gen and iphone 3GS

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Appstruck Interviews Dave Castelnuovo (and he's a workaholic)

Dave talked to about Pocket God, its current status and what's coming up. In one question, Appstruck asks if we're ever going to introduce more sims-like aspects to Pocket God...
"We actually had ideas like these in our mind since the start, the main issue is play balancing. If you develop a sim or rpg you really need to spend time and make sure the way the game advances is challenging and fun without being too easy or too hard. Since we update Pocket God so quickly we never had a chance to do something like this and give it its proper due. Future Pocket God games may have these types of elements built in from the start. We literally have 10 different stand alone Pocket God game designs waiting for the right moment. Some are RPG or sim style while others are more “arcade-y” and action-based. Just like our updates, we will probably wait until the last minute and then just commit to the idea that best stands out when we are ready to move onto our next project."

He also gives me (Allan) some really nice kudos in kind of a gross way. Check out the article to see what I mean!

>>Read Appstruck's Interview with Dave here!<<

The art above is an idle suggestion by Natasha Raymond!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CONTEST CLOSED: Twitter Yer Picture With Pocket God On Yer IPod!



Got your eye on Apple's brand new iPod Touch? Why not get it for free! We've decided to celebrate the announcement of the cool new IPod Touch by holding a new contest and giving you the chance to win the latest and greatest in Apple technology. We want you to go take a picture of yourself playing Pocket God and post it "@pocketgod" on Twitter as a Twitpic. We encourage you to get creative, pick a unique location, be sure that Pocket God is visible on the iPod and have a sense of humor! Our top three will win the brand new iPod Touch!

The Rules:
  • Enter as many times as you like! No limits!
  • Twitter a creative photo of you playing pocket god on any idevice to "@PocketGod"
  • Your picture should show the Pocket God game on your iPod Touch or iPhone screen.
  • We strongly encourage you to take a picture that has YOU with your iPod. See the illustration above for the general idea.
  • Pictures should NOT be a photoshop collage, or heavily edited. Lighting correction and touchups are allowed.
  • You can enter from anywhere, we will ship an iPod to Timbuktu if you win and actually live there
  • If you dont have Twitter, sign up, get with the times. There is no excuse. And follow us while you're at it.
  • Deadline for submissions is Friday, September 25 at 12:00pm.
  • Pictures will be judged by Dave and Allan with assistance from Bolt Creative's PR agency. Their three favorite pictures will be chosen as the winners.
  • The winners will receive the brand new 64GB iPod Touch.
  • Winners will be alerted through direct message on Twitter. Winners must reply within 7 days or they will forfeit their prize and another winner will be selected.
  • All submissions and recommendations are the property of Bolt Creative and the user releases any rights.

By the way, people with iPhones may enter as well! So get tweeting! Good luck!

NOTE: There has been some questions about what the picture should have on it, and if photoshop editing is allowed. We strongly encourage you to have a pic of YOU, YOUR iPOD and Pocket God in the same shot. Fun locations will catch our attention. The illustration above should give the idea. As for photoshop editing, we will allow superficial editing, such as lighting correction or touchups, but not allowed will be photoshop collages or faked pictures. Sorry, guys, but not everyone can edit with photoshop and the idea is to showcase people with Pocket God on their iPod, and NOT graphic design skills.

MORE THOUGHTS: We appreciate the quick participation on Twitter, but please, no screen shots. I've edited the rules, but if you send screen shots, they won't qualify for the contest. This isn't a random drawing. We're going to look for something entertaining and interesting. Some thoughts...
  • Do you happen to live near a famous monument or something that represents your local culture? Take your picture playing Pocket God there!
  • Do you have a funny costume? Why not wear it in the picture?
  • Is there a place that you are often bored and need to kill time on Pocket God? Get your picture taken there!

These are off the top of my head. Remember, a brand new iPod Touch could be yours! Good luck!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dave's State of the Island: Dead Pygmy Walking

Dave has posted his latest postmortem (appropriate word!) of the latest update on Touch Arcade. This episode goes back to a more standard non-minigame PG update....

" At this point our biggest challenge is trying to come up with fresh ideas that are just as impactful as our first 10. When you first pick up the game, sacrificing a Pygmy feels awesome, but once you become desensitized to Pygmy death, new sacrifice types don't feel as surprising as before. The way we have been dealing with this, has been to focus on things like mini games, cross-overs, random humor and so that when we come back to old fashioned sacrifices, it feels more impactful. This update feels a little more like our old fashioned sacrifices (although not a god power) and there is definitely a laugh out loud moment in the update."

He also discusses our latest thoughts about the future of the current version of Pocket God and how we're going to transition to future projects and expand and grow the brand that we've managed to build. Is it Pocket God 2...or is there something else unexpected in the works? hmmmmmmm. There hasn't been any hasty decisions, but one thing is certain..we are going to continue supporting and updating PG! We're just not how sure of how often. For now, we're still daisy-chaining the updates. Dave goes into more detail.

>> Read Dave's State of the Island on Touch Arcade <<

Dead Pygmy Walking has been submitted and is in review. Dave and I have decided the next update, which will also be set in the new area...and things are gonna get spookier! I'm starting the graphics tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

We really took labor day weekend literally and worked ALL weekend. I thought we might finish before the weekend but I was wrong wrong wrong. This is one of those updates that seemed to be a bottomless pit (update idea!) of details. Everyone probably is already aware, we're adding a new area. And like the underwater area has its theme of marine dangers, this will have its own theme as well? What theme is it? I will let Dave reveal all in his "state of the island" touch arcade post, but I'll give you a hint..or three. Its a subject that is very popular with games on the app store, we've received many requests for this, and think about what season we are heading into! Care to guess in the comments?

And for many of you, its BACK TO SCHOOL TOMORROW! Remember to rename your pygmies your new teacher's names. :)

The awesome drawing above was an Idle submitted by Terra Murphy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sharks with Frickin' Laserbeams has been approved!

There will be the usual lag between the approval letter and the app being updated on iTunes...but should be out tonight!

So, by now everyone knows that the object if this new update is to bring out the shark in the underwater area and start blasting pygmies with the shark laser. Trigger the tsunami, and in the underwater area you'll notice a chum bucket. Drag chum out to attract the shark. You can now use the accelerometer (tilt controls) to aim at the pygmies and start blasting! Keep blasting pygmies to keep the shark out, or feeding the shark chum will keep it from swimming off. You can even hand the chum to a pygmy and the shark will have an extra big meal!

Of course, Dave has fixed the 2.2 crash bug, so anyone who was forced to keep Bait Master can now participate in Episode 24's Buddy Challenges. See the article below for details!

We are still in the middle of the next update, which will entail a whole new area. Looks like we have to get it done and quick!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Totally Random but funny Pocket God videos

Now you have to bear with this one, but I found this video that I thought was a clever use of YouTube captions and Pocket God. Also, movinon20 (the creator of the video) seems to be a bit of a Xena fan!

Its kind of like the fan comics, but a bit more stream of consciousness! I like the idea lot though. What do you think? Could you do better ? :)

A second video is more of a suggestion for Pocket God. And pretty rad one at that. Emporore Penguin wishes (as many others have also) for some sort of sci-fi twist, with an alien invasion! Its getting hard to ignore. But check this out...