Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Meeting: Animation Competition (Indiana Uploaded)

Flash Indianapolis Meeting: March 25th

The organizers behind Indiana Uploaded (Christian, Josh, Zeb, & Terry) will be giving us a behind the scenes look at as well as free beta sign-ups for anyone who attends the meeting. They have an Animation competition starting on March 22nd which they will discuss in more detail (although I will say there is a 100 dollar cash prize for the winner). Students are highly encouraged to participate. If you have any interest at all in joining this competition or hearing about future competitions (which will use a variety of artistic mediums and media), this will be a must attend event for you!

The actual presentation will be shorter than most of our events. We will then open the floor to any Flash related questions and mosey our way over to McNivens (to celebrate Josh's first beer ever, happy 21st!)

6:00pm: Doors open. Everyone can meet and greet.
6:30pm: Presentation Begins.
7:00pm: Open Floor
7:30pm: McNivens?

We will be in the conference room of Noodles & Co.
903 Indiana Ave
Indianapolis, IN

RSVP at Flash Indianapolis.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smogout - Flash Game Post Mortem

A few weeks back The Basement released Smogout for

It is hard to make an educational environmental game sexy... With the help of Squize we took a crack at it last year for Zoneout with mixed results.

The results of our second attempt is not much different thus far. The kids on Kongregate ripped us a new one w/ insightful comments including my favorite: "fking retarted". Newsground reviews seemed high but ratings were mediocre. Similar to Zoneout, it seems we get a few quick bursts of hits from the main portals and then longer lasting tail of hits from sites I have never heard of spread across the globe (Thank you Flash Game Distribution!).

The client asked for a game that was casual, simple, included bad air particles and 8 clean air tips. We took some inspiration from Filler with the idea of instead of avoiding the particles we want to capture them and remove them from the screen.

Our scope only allowed for 6 levels, yet we wanted replay value to be high. Therefore, we made a few of the levels very difficult. This topic seemed to be the most polarizing during testing. Either people loved it, were addicted to it OR they hated it and didn't want to play again because level ? pissed them off. We debated picking a middle ground, but I was afraid it would make those addicted to it, feel less challenged and inclined to replay AND it would be too easy so those who were challenged before could breeze through it and not have a reason to come back.

After some serious debate (mostly internal), we tweaked the levels somewhat, but not drastically. We knew we had found a niche of people who truly enjoyed the game and we did not want to ruin it for the sake of trying to please everyone. Right or wrong, that is the path we chose.

As with the previous game, I think one of the strongest areas the Basement has to offer is its design team. Great work by Brian, Amy, and Dan. Even though Dan would not put in the forest fire I requested that would wipe out the entire city... I still love the illustrations he did for the main menu.

The game came a long way from beta to completion... we had a great amount of excellent feedback from a variety of sources: Michael James Williams, Ryan Creighton, Richard Davey, Joseph Cross, and Eric Grossnickle... to name a few. We didn't listen to all of it... maybe I should have ;)... but regardless I greatly appreciate your help. I also appreciated "Deebs" spending countless hours ensuring his name was on top of the leaderboards in both the beta and the final. However, it seems someone found a glitch in the game because there is now a ridiculous score on there... trying to figure out how that was possible.

Anyways, the game is out there. It is in the wild. Check it out here.