Saturday, October 31, 2009

App Advice Daily

Want to give a shoutout to App Advice Daily. I was aware of the site but this is a well-done production with lots of interesting news, hosted by Robin Rhys, on all things Apps. And for Halloween, they mention our latest update and halloween pack (around 3:47). Thanks guys!

Happy Halloween!

Just want to tell everyone to have a safe and great halloween. Anyone dressing as Pygmies? Be sure to take a pic!

Oh, and a reminder to get the Halloween Skin Pack! Here are screenshots that show you how it customizes the islands...(click on the image to see it larger).

The volcano becomes a bit more threatening than before. Not to mention, the meteor is just creepy now!

The Skele-dodo captures the Skele-fish!

There's something you don't see every day!

The underwater statue gets kinda freaky.

Hmmmm. The graveyard is already kind of there, but we threw in some pumpkins!

The image above was an entry for the Twitter Picture contest from PocketGodPwns (feel free to comment your actual name to get credit!) and got close to the final 3!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Episode 28 Approved!

Whew. I thought we weren't going to make it before Halloween to finish our horror trilogy. So, the episode should be up sometime tonight. This update finally makes use of the spider web. Drop a pygmy into it to trap him. Then tap the Pygmy to bring out a small spider that cocoons the Pygmy. Then tap again, to break the cocoon and bring out the baby spiders. Then, the giant Barking Spider leaps out to come after the pygmies. And yes, it barks just like a dog! You can thanks Alex Parent (a.k.a. MetalBear) for that one. He figured out we were making an update about a giant spider and sent that title in. We thought it was hilarious. Not only is it another play on a movie title, but Barking Spider is a euphamism for a fart. However, it also really is a type of spider in Australia that makes hissing noises when threatened. But we thought it would be funny if it growled, barked and whined like a dog when struck.

Furthermore, we've modified the battling system to include a new achievement. The objective is to beat the spider (or T-Rex) in as few spear throws as possible. The top achievement is if you can get it under 10 throws. It might seem hard at first but it just takes a little practice and figuring out the trick of it. Both the Spider and T-Rex's hit areas have been limited to their heads in order to make it more challenging. So if you don't hit the head, (from behind or front), the spear won't connect. People will also notice that once a battle begins (when the first spear connects), you can no longer poke the T-Rex or Spider off the screen. This is intentional because it would make the game too easy. If you want to start over, simply go to the Island menu and turn the spider off and on again (or you can go to another island and come back). Finally, the T-Rex has been sped up and the spider moves pretty fast. This is to keep it challenging. There are some good tips and tricks in the touch arcade forum.

Also included with this update is the Halloween Skin Pack. This reskins some of the Pocket God pieces into a scarier Halloweenized version. The Dodo is a skeletal Dead Dodo...the volcano is an evil Volcano of Death, Pumpkins and cobwebs are scattered around the islands. Again, this is for the people who would like to support Pocket God as we continue to release free updates but doesn't affect the episode content. It was our way of continuing to develop PG without charging. Or we could go out and make a cheap knock off of someone else's idea instead :) Just kidding.

Thanks for everyone's patience! When the iTunes description goes through, we included the title of the next update! And while you're there, why not give us a good rating. We need a little help lately since our thunder has been stolen a bit. You KNOW what I'm talking about.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Last Week To Vote!

Hey everyone! Well, Barking Spider should be coming out this week, but we have a request. If you haven't voted for Bolt Creative in the iLounge Pole Developer category, go do it now! Already voted? Well, maybe there's another computer you can use at a friend's house? School? Library? You get the idea! We are tired of qualifying but not winning! :)


Speaking of contests, we are submitting Pocket God to the Independent Games Festival. It asks for a video. We opted to put together yet another music montage up on YouTube.

There is a sneak preview of "Barking Spider" in there! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pocket God Suggestion....Pirates!

Evil Spike on Deviant Art posted this Pocket God suggestion. It is really well thought out and definitely food for thought! Thanks Evil Spike!

Pirates In Pocket God by ~evilspike on deviantART

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dave's State of the Island: Barking Spider, Crouching Pygmy

We took a bit of a break after the last update was submitted (last Wednesday). We've been working non stop for weeks, including the weekends, and both of us came down with a bad cold. Today, we're trying to get back to work. Dave talks about the outcome of the move to 3.0 and the DLC sales for all that are interested in what shook out from that.

Obviously this latest update is about a spider, but we took this opportunity to refine the Pygmy battling we went back to the T-Rex and started there and came up with a more game-like mechanic and then applied that to the spider...

"There are new achievements for combat based on the lowest number of spear throws it takes to knock one of these down and I have to say, it's pretty hard. Because if the difference in sizes, each monster needs a slightly different strategy to take it down. Some of the betas had a reaction that it was way too hard at first but there are techniques you can learn in order to get better at it over time. I think it will end up being a fun challenge and it brings more life into the T-Rex so those skins don't go to waste. "

He also discusses the new DLC, the Halloween Skin Pack which works a little differently than the T-Rex skin pack. He mentions the next technical hurdles that Pocket God will have to jump over, and then drops a hint about the next three updates!

>>Read Dave's Touch Arcade Post Here <<

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barking Spider Sneak Preview?

Okay, not really, but this is awesome!

Brought to you from Crawford (ThePygmyPalace)! thanks Crawford!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

iLounge Reader's Choice Award

Just spotted THIS ARTICLE

Looks like we're in the running against facebook! We have a chance !

If you haven't voted! do it now....

And spread the word!

Slow News Week - of Spiders, T-Rexes and Skin Pack Trouble Shooting

Episode 28 Barking Spider, Crouching Pygmy took longer than we hoped. It includes a game mechanic that has taken longer than we expected to get right. is it too hard? Too easy? How is it scored? We're close to settling on it, but I'll bet everyone will have a different opinion. What is the game exactly? I will let Dave fill you in on the details. We're still ironing out a few things but it will be submitted today.

I thought I'd take a second to show appreciation for everyone who bought the TRex Skin Pack! The sales were awesome and we know it is the hardcore fans that stepped up. One thing we get asked constantly is does it cost 99 cents for just ONE T-rex option? That answer is no, 99 cents, gets you ALL the T-Rex options of course! We've tried to make it clearer in this update.

Here's a helpful video that talks about our update but also shows the T-Rex Skin Options in case you haven't seen the various options (Thanks DaRkxXxHeArTs).

So...i've just worked two 16 hour days in a row and before that, all weekend. I've completely lost track of the people that were having trouble with the Skin Packs. If you are still having trouble, comment here!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pocket God is Compatible on iPhone and iPod Touch!

This post is just an announcement to the people on iTunes that are leaving one star reviews that we aren't compatible on iPod. That of course is NOT true...The folks at Apple has said they will remove postings that are not true (technically) if we ask them to, but instead, we just ask everyone to please post counter-reviews saying they have and iPod and successfully downloaded the latest PG update. But YES 3.0 is required. We apologize for the confusion, but the fact is that eventually ALL apps will be 3.0 compatible (probably when 4.0 comes out). Trust me, you can't fight it. I've tried! Thanks, everyone.

NEW NOTE: Actually, a really helpful thing would be to go to the iTunes review...and click on the comments, and then pick 3 comments on the first page that aren't saying Pocket God is incompatible with iPod Touches and click on YES under "is this review helpful".

NEWER NOTE: GREAT JOB guys! looks like we have some better comments at the top. If you have nothing to do, go ahead and repeat the process and select a review that is positive...the deal is that the list gets ordered by 'how helpful it is'.

5JUsername Strikes Again with a Spooky Good Will Haunting Review

Dave and I are finalizing the last of the horror trilogy. The title? Well, I think I'll let the cat out of the bag because it was via a suggestion from Alex "Metal Bear" and it truly changed the direction of the concept. "Barking Spider, Crouching Pygmy". And let me just say, I sincerely hope the next creature we add doesn't have eight legs.

Dave will fill you in on the details once it is submitted, but here's a very cool video from 5Jusername!

P.S. the DLC experiment has proved (so far) to be a huge success. Yup we slid in the ranking (probably not helped by switching to 3.0 only), buyt we are happily surprised at the in app purchase sales! There are some people having trouble completing the purchase, and I am still tracking down the possible issues. If you downloaded the app without purchasing it from iTunes (you know who you are), then of course you are gonna have problems! If you happen to have bought the app on a DIFFERENT account than you are currently using, then there's gonna be issues too. For the rest, that isn't the reason, I am sorry and I am still working on it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

iLounge Developer of the Year

We're on the nomination list for Developer of the year at iLounge! Its a site that focuses on everything iPhone and iPod. Click the graphic above, and find us on #3 of the survey, and vote for us!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Good Will Haunting Approved!

There is some sort of reverse Murphy's Law at work here, where I write a long post about updates being slowed down, and then Apple approves the next update quicker than expected!

So the line between life and death is a little fuzzier in the Pygmy graveyard. When a Pygmy is sacrificed, he becomes a Ghost Pygmy. You can guide the ghosts by tracking your finger from a ghost to a destination and they zip around. You can then help the Ghost Pygmy "cross over" by guiding him into "The Light"...Or keep the Ghost Pygmy in limbo and haunt the other Pygmies. Trace your finger form a ghost to (or through) a pygmy to haunt it in different ways. Try coming from the bottom, to or through the side and from above. There's an homage to the exorcist, and is heavily influenced by the ghosts in Ghost Busters. Hold your finger on a ghost to make it wail like a banshee.

The other part of this update is the first customization: the T-Rex Skin Pack! Now this is an extra where you can change the look of your T-Rex. This is our answer to the in-app purchasing without charging for updates. Hopefully it works well and will help the continuation of Pocket God's evolution! But we'll see.

UPDATE: There seems to be an issue with Ooga Jump causing the app to close. The people that have reported it on Twitter have successfully stopped the crashing by restarting their iPod/iPhone. Try that and let us know! Really sorry if you still can't get it to work, it will be fixed with the next update!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Slow News Day...what ever happened to the "weekly" updates?

It probably doesn't seem like it, but again, we are really busy. Good Will Haunting has been in review for a week and I'm in the middle of probably one of the most complicated animations I've created thus far. Why is it complicated you might wonder...well let's just say there's a new creature, and it has a LOT of appendages.

Dave is optimizing while he's waiting for my he's taking more steps in that direction.

Somewhere in the comments, somebody complained that our updates aren't weekly anymore and that we are "breaking our promise"...which I can understand a little. It might not have been clear that we never intended to update weekly forever. I just want to defend ourselves a little. When we embarked on the updates, we had NO idea we would be doing it all year long! Pocket God was a big experiment and it could have gone either way. To our surprise, it paid off BIG, and so we kept it up!

When we slowed down, around episode 15, it was partly due to Apple's update process was slowing down. But also we wanted to take the time and start thinking about ways to make every update a unique addition to the app, and not just quickly slap something together over and over.

The reality is that, even if Apple's review process did only take a week, we would be dead by now if we kept it up on a weekly basis for the last 9 months. We weren't going outside, seeing friends...we were missing our favorite TV shows and I missed most of the early summer movies. Just to make the deadline we created for ourselves. If we were still doing that (and alive), we wouldn't have been able to up the complexity the way we did. The original updates were much more simple than the ones we create now. The app is more complex and not only are we creating more content, but are having to fit it into an increasingly busy matrix of interactivity ( and get some really interesting glitches) But come on, somebody point out another developer that gave their 99 cent app over 25 updates!

Not to say that we didn't have good reason. Many people probably noticed that an update meant a bump in sales and ranking even as we drifted downward.

We're taking steps to try to push sales up, so we can continue updating pocket god into the new year...which is also taking time and effort. More on that later. And there are other things running in the background, that i never get to talk about. Hopefully something new and interesting will be announced soon!

In the mean time, here's a cool video by TheDingaderen we came across on YouTube. It has a particularly interesting intro.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Twitter Yer Picture Contest Winners!

Oh boy, contests are rough for me. There were so many really great entries, Dave and I went through the list of almost 500 pictures and whittled down our favorites. The we came up with our individual top 20 separately, but picked a lot of the same pics. I thought they were all winners. Then Dave and I locked ourselves in a room with no food and water for days and argued over what would be the top 3! Okay, not really. We sent emails back and forth until we came to an agreement and here's the 3 we chose...


FernyThe Bomb made a great Oog Island (out of clay? ceramics?) and then took his picture the mirror....which we found an interesting way to take the shot. Plus there is something about the green coloring that makes it seem extra artistic. Notice he has a zombie and a pygmy drowning and everything!


Dylan_Johnson did what a LOT of people did and dressed as a pygmy with a faux-island background. Yes tons of people did something similar but there is something about his huge smile and energy that won us over. Plus he nailed the hair.


Malcom Judd is one of the people that sent in TONS of entries (Remember the rules, as many times as you want), so it was sheer numbers on his side! Actually he had a lot of really great shots and ended up with 3 in Dave and my top 20's. But we really like this shot, looks like some sort of school lineup with some very serious kids. Something about our goofy app among all those serious faces really amused us!

I'd like to list the honorable mentions but that would risk confusion! We are going to take the collection of amazing pics and put them into our Flickr account for everyone to check out. People often gave us very similar shots from slightly different angles, so we might narrow those down.

Thank you guys for sending in your pics and Congrats to the winners! They each win the latest 64GB iPod Touch! Everyone did a great job!