Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year all!

BTW, have a teaser on us. Tasty linkage here.

Mark

Oz is now available in Oz!

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Oz is now available in Oz! As March on Oz™ continues its world tour, it will shortly (within hours) be available for purchase by players in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore through Apple’s App Store.  We hope players in those countries will now join the march and, in the words of one player-reviewer, agree that “It’s very hard not to love this game as it has everything I or anyone gaming in the mobile world has been looking for..”

We are now for sale from the US to the EU to Russia in the App Store!

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What a year+ it has been for our studio.  When we first started work on March on Oza year ago, we were a collection of individuals, most of who had never worked together before. Additionally, many of those folks had no experience making games professionally. Now we are a team and one that can proudly point at MoO and say “I worked on that!” MoO is not an earth shattering, OMG revolutionary, “One game to rule them all” game but what it is a fun, gorgeous, lovingly crafted and humorous iPad game that will continue to evolve over time. As of late yesterday night, gamers from across North America, the EU, and many other fine places that I still have not had a chance to visit, could buy the game from Apple’s App Store.

Launching a game, whether MoO or even an MMO, is only the beginning of the process. Over the next few months, MoO will see more units, more mini-games, and most importantly more difficulty levels. These new units and settings move the gameplay more toward the “action-reaction” kind of games and less like the “build it and watch the fun/frolic” kind of game. Moreover, once you have seen “Ski-jumper N.O.M.E.” in action, you will smile, a lot. That’s one of our goals with MoO, to create a game that can be played by casual players as well as gamers who want a lot more A/R in their games, especially for our PC version (coming down the road a bit, we hope, on Steam!). In the meantime, if you have an iPad2 or newer version, please check out our game and if you enjoyed the game, please do not hesitate to review/rank us on the App Store!

My thanks to everyone at City State Entertainment and especially to my co-founder Andrew Meggs, for bringing MoO to life. It has been a great journey so far and I know it is going to get even better.

Mark

We are now LIVE in Canada!

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Wow, what a great day it is for us. Apple is selling the iPhone 5 and our first game, March on Oz, has gone on sale in Canada! So now that we are officially “Live”, it’s time to say thank you!

First, one giant “thank you” to Apple for providing a platform that allows an independent developer like ourselves to make and distribute our games to a worldwide market. The first non-mainframe game I ever created was on an Apple II+ (which I still have) so it is more than a little bit fitting that CSE’s first game is on an iPad. To Steve Jobs, who believed in this generation of tablets when the vast majority of people and developers did not share that vision; well-played sir, your vision and drive will be sorely missed by all. Since its release, the iPad has been and will continue to be one of the most game-changing technologies ever created and we are having so much fun working on it. To Brian, our Senior Advisor in Apple Developer Support, thanks for your sage advice and counsel, you totally rock! Finally, to the App Review Team, thanks so much for your feedback and responsiveness, we are all so excited to see our game launch in Canada!

Second, thanks to all the guys and gals at CSE. You worked your tails off to get this game shipped and I hope you are as proud of yourselves as I am of you! To the “special someones” of our team, special thanks for you patiently put up with the long hours and occasional weekend work.

Last but certainly not least, to Andrew Meggs. You left a great company in Bethesda Game Studios to co-found the studio with me.  It wasn’t an easy decision for you and I’m forever grateful that you took that chance last year.

Therefore, to our Canadian neighbors, the March On Oz begins with you!

Mark

Submitted!

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As of 3:30PM, EST today, City State Entertainment has submitted its first game to the App Store for review. We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!

Congrats and thanks to all the guys and gals at CSE who made this possible.

Being out of crunch also feels sooooo good.

 

The week ended (is ending) very well…

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As CSE’s time in crunch winds down and we bid a fond farewell to long days and occasional Saturdays, take-out/delivery food and lots and lots of items in Mantis, this week is ending on some very positive notes.  Last week were able to begin talking about Formation Crafting™ (albeit in its most basic form) and at the end of this week, our punch lists are looking rather small and puny. As development winded down we had a couple of rather common issues come up, the ever-popular slow memory leak and overall performance degradation. On Thursday, just as we thought we had looked down every back alleyway in the code, the team crited their perception roll and found a hidden passage that got us over those humps (and did so in style). While MoO on the PC runs at a fabulous frame-rate, the iPad versions have been steadily losing FPS as we’ve added more features, textures, effects, etc. to the game. With all the changes we made over the last few weeks our frame-rate is getting back to where it needs to be on the iPad.  The team has also been working diligently to decrease the overall memory footprint of the game as well as the download size and we’ve made a ton of headway (we’ve cut the downloaded size by more than 1/3).  Additionally, based on the end of the week testing by the team, we’ve squashed the one stability issue that was still bugging (sorry) us and now instead of being able to play through 95%-99% of the game (at one seating) without crashing, you can now play 100% without a hiccup.   So, it was a very good week and if all continues to go well over this weekend and early next week we will be submitting MoO to the App Store by week’s end.

As always, I am thrilled to be working with a small, independent team of very dedicated and hard-working guys and gals, many of whom had never worked in the games industry before. Even during crunch, everybody has stepped up and done what was asked of them, time and time again. No politics, no prima-donnas but just a bunch of people making a game of which they are very proud. And as proud of the game I am myself, I feel an even greater sense of pride in the team that we have built here and the effort that they have made on MoO.

Mark

A game changer?

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Over the years,decades,eons (it feels that way sometimes) that I’ve been making games, I’ve always tried to come up with interesting bits that are unique to every game that I or my studio, have created. Usually these elements are evolutionary changes, sometimes, albeit more rarely, they are revolutionary (I hate the overuse of that word by so many people so I rarely use it myself). I’ve been fortunate over that time to have been able to both incorporate a lot of my ideas and those of my co-workers into games such as Dragon’s Gate, Aliens Online, DAoC and WAR. Once again, I believe our studio has come up with a feature that is both figuratively and literally a game changer. We call it Formation Craftingand its use in March On Ozis, in our opinion, quite a nifty feature to add to not only this type of game but other games we hope to create as well. And for me, one of the best parts is that someone other than me birthed the idea (in this case it was Scott, one of our artists) and that makes me smile. It is confirmation of one of the values that is core to this studio that, great game design ideas can and should come from any member of the team, whether it is a programmer, artist, human resources, PR, finance and yes, even a old warhorse of a game designer on occasion. Formation Crafting in MoO is just the first step, we have lots of ideas on how to take it to the next level and we look forward to bringing those to life as well a little further down the road.

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