One of the first mini-games games we designed for A Clockwork Brain was Scrolling Silhouettes. The idea came from the hundreds of items we had from The Clockwork Man. These 1,500 items provide a huge variety of shapes and forms. The concept was to take advantage of these, and create a game that uses item shapes and pattern matching as the core mechanic. This is how Scrolling Silhouettes came to life.
Last week we almost completed the porting of three more mini-games. More specifically, we began tackling the tile-based games, Sculpt Away, Size Matters, and Logic Tiles. These three games have very different mechanics, but are all based on using and manipulating blocks of tiles. The first part of last week was spent building the tile engine that would be used in all three games. After that, Sculpt Away was the first game to be finished. Size Matters was done next, but it gave us a bit of a trouble as there were some performance issues when moving lots of tiles of different colours. We promptly fixed that, and moved on to Logic Tiles which should be completed later this week.
Last week was a very exciting one for us here, at Total Eclipse, as we announced that we’re currently working on the port of A Clockwork Brain for Android! We’ve actually been studiously tinkering away at it for the last couple of months, using the Unity 3D game engine to speed up the multi-platform development process.
Now that the secret’s out, we’d like to introduce a DevLog so that we can share the porting’s progress with you. A DevLog, which is an abbreviation for ‘Developers’ Log,’ is usually a short summary on how the development of a project is going. Our DevLog won’t be limited to programming progress, but will include all aspects of the production. You can expect a DevLog post every Monday, summing up the previous week. Read More
It is with great pleasure that we can finally announce that A Clockwork Brain will be released for Android devices, later this winter.
We have been secretly working on porting A Clockwork Brain to Android for a few months now, but we really wanted to make sure the project was running smoothly before we shared this great news with you!
A few weeks ago, while implementing power-ups in Monster Snack, we did a bit of brainstorming on the mechanics players could use to collect them.
We scribbled down quite a few and then made them fight each other… OK, maybe we just evaluated them. Although we ended up choosing one, it was a difficult decision. We needed a control that would not interfere with the basic one-tap mechanic used in Monster Snack’s core gameplay and would also allow players to collect the power-ups while coping with the frantic gameplay.
Those of you following up with our news on Facebook and Twitter, may have already heard about our upcoming iOS game, Monster Snack.
Soon after the release of Fashion Getaway, we decided to take a break from long development cycles. Thus came to be the idea of a fast-paced, rather unforgiving, endless runner. And we were going to finish it in just 1 month, from conception to App Store submission!
In a very concise blog post on free-to-play game design by Nicholas Lovell, I watched marketing theory evolve once again. I have to be honest, it had been quite some time since I last saw any marketing concept re-modeled to fit an industry as seamlessly.
To cut a long story short, Lovell presented two marketing concepts, AIDA and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but with an interesting gaming twist; the renowned Funnel model and his Pyramid, respectively. If you’re not familiar with the two traditional marketing concepts, I highly recommend that you give yourself a chance to look them up.
Although both the Funnel and the Pyramid are great tools to keep everyone in a game development studio on the same page, when it comes to actual development and the need to monetize, there were a couple of things that weren’t stressed enough, if at all; competition and future potential.
This is the second in a three-part series of articles detailing how we designed and deployed usability testing for our latest iOS game, A Clockwork Brain.
The research, design, and deployment of usability testing took one month from start to finish. Prior to this, none of us had any experience with designing formal usability testing. I, myself, have had some experience in questionnaire design and facilitation of experiments, based on previous work in university research.
The first article explained our choice of hardware and software and detailed the set-up costs. This article examines the game itself and explains its usability testing procedure.
The following topics will be discussed:
Knowing your game.
What kind of players we wanted to invite and how we recruited them.
Discovering what to test.
Designing the first (of the two) usability scenarios.
Using the iGEQ questionnaire and open-ended questions, during testing.
As some of you may know, Total Eclipse is a small studio, with a core team of five. Even though we’re small, we consider usability testing very important.
In the past, for three of our largest productions we had a publishing agreement. The publisher had been in charge of doing usability & beta testing for our games, with camera recordings, questionnaires, targeted player groups, the whole lot. We used to get the videos and watch them as a team afterwards. I’ve got to tell you, especially during the usability, those videos were most of times heart-breaking and not in a good way. That taught us how important usability is and how crucial it is to test things outside our core team.
In our studio, we also tested our games with friends and family but in a much more informal setting – them playing, and us, behind their backs watching and keeping notes. However, for the last two years we’ve turned to self-publishing; we no longer have access to a publisher’s usability perks. As a result, for our latest iOS game, A Clockwork Brain, we decided to design the usability session from scratch. Read More