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

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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.

Check out something cool here

Let’s go for a stroll – Part Two

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This is the second and final part of a scenic walk-through from our upcoming game, March On Oz.  As you can see in the video, we have weather conditions that affect the both the background scenery and foreground battle areas. The cold and snow-covered landscape getting you down? Check out the Pele’s relaxing and enjoying themselves in their own private hot springs at around the 0:35 mark. While there are a lot of flat, two-dimensional “cards” that we use for some of the scenery, the world itself is three-dimensional as you can see from all the stuff that is going on in that area. I wonder how we could use that kind of space in the future…

We’re walking now

Let’s go for a stroll…

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This is the first of a two-part scenic walk-through of some of upcoming game. This is one of the many things that differentiates March On Oz from most, if not all of games of this type. And the best part of the engine that drives this game, besides its versatility, is how easily we could swap out the MoO IP and landscape for something different, very different. Whether it is fantasy, sci-fi or even modern-day settings, we designed this engine both for future expansion and easy customization.

Come walk with us here

Friday’s Two for One Deal

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For today’s fun, here’s a look at two very different levels from our soon to be released game, March On Oz™ .  The first level is one in which the player cannot use any projectile weapons and must find a way to stop the incoming Bomber Nomes by causing them to blow each other up.  The second level shows both some of our ground effects (in this case snow and ice) and a rather unique Nome, Gordie How? who is always looking to put the biscuit in the basket!  So, when RuggeDoh was looking for someone with a wicked slapper to play some shinny, GH was his #1 pick.

So, avoid a five minute major and a trip to the sin bin by clicking here.

March On Oz – mini-Gameplay!

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For today’s cheaply produced but lovingly crafted video from our studio in beautiful downtown Fairfax, we present a small sample of gameplay from some of our mini-games.  So, we are proud to present Gotta Eat Them All!, The Nome Invasion and Where Monkeys Dare.  For launch we also have Pumpkin Power, Nay Palm Training Day and Nome Herding.  After launch we will be adding  additional mini-games free to our players but for everyone else, they will be one meellion dollars!

Enjoy!

March On Oz: First Gameplay Video

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Here’s our first released gameplay video. It’s not a true trailer since we don’t have any non-game footage, expensive special effects, expensive VO  or other trailer-like things that took many weeks (or months) to produce and that distract (or cover up), a lack of true in-game footage. Instead, what you will see is a 100% pure gameplay from our upcoming game, March On Oz™.   Enjoy!

Live Nude Gameplay here!

And no, there are not any nude, naked or otherwise scantily clad beings in this video. We don’t need to rely on that stuff to help promote our game. 🙂

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