Friday, February 27, 2009

The BAD news

Yesterday, I was looking for posts about The Cave and found this.

That made me feel quite upset at the begining. "but... In 20 seconds you don't even have time to play!" I thought. A lot of ideas came to my mind, "I have to leave this", "it's a failure", ... You know. But after a while I realized I could use this information and fix my failures.

This is what I've learned.

- I knew design was important but not as many as quitting you from giving a try to something for it.

- The Cave is not good enough to charge for it so I probably will keep it free and learn as many as I can for the next game.

- People do not get how to play the game after 5 seconds so they erase it and think it's shit. The way to solve it is to teach the user how to play the first time he opens The Cave. I'm deleting the tutorial option from start menu. Awh! How many times I played a game and though why should I have to play the tutorial before starting the game! I really know why now.

- Main menu is crap. I should change that awfull rotating balls and delete the tutorial from there.

- The worms do not look like worms so please, do not call it worms. I think they should look more like rocks so I'll change it.

- And finally but this is the most important. It's design, stupid! Today starts another project and I'm not taking this boat alone...

I think I can change this in a week and have it uploaded soon. I'll keep you posted.

The Cave Tutorial

Let´s start with Camera Movement. After you enter The Cave, move your finger across the screen, either up to down or right to left. You´ll see how you orbit around the central wormhole. That will allow you to see and follow all worms inside the cave. Let´s see how to match objects. Wait for a worm to appear in the central wormhole. Now tap it and see how the worm changes to a brighter color, imagine it´s a blue worm. This worm is now selected. Look for another blue worm and tap it, the first selected worm is now attracted by the second one. We can say now they are matched but matching two will not give you points. Select one of that matched worms and match it with another blue worm and see how the three worms disappear and how you get 3 points. Easy, huh? Where is the difficulty in this? As you get points, level is increased, maximum worms in scene limit is decremented (yeah, you start with a 30 worms limit) and worms appear faster. There´s a pause button on the top right corner of the screen and next to it there´s a black ball with a number. That´s the Joker icon. When it´s greater than 0, you can tap on the black ball icon and a Joker asteroid will appear in the central wormhole. You can match it with any worm regardless its color. You can increase the frequency the black rocks are generated in the shop using your points. Accelerometer. Yeah, you can shake your iPhone front to back with a worm selected and two worms will be attracted by the central wormhole for a couple of seconds. But beware, those worms are not matched, you have to do it if you want.
Now, enjoy!

I have good news and bad news...

I´m going to Start with good (at least for me) news. I´ve just seen that The Cave is currently #56 in Games->Puzlle->Free. I know this is not as good as being #1 in games; in fact, The Cave is not in top 100 but I´m proud to appear in one list. And now the bad news. I´ve had the first user review. It´s something like “I don't get this don't waste ur time it's lame” in the USA App Store. I know perhaps The Cave is not as easier to get as some other games and my first idea was to include a video tutorial showing how to play the game but I wanted the download to be less than 10 MB so you can get it using your 3G connection. I finally included 4 screenshots and text describing how to play in the tutorial section. I though that forcing users to get The Cave through WiFi may reduce significantly the users downloading it. I´ll include in the next update either a good tutorial video, a link to youtube or a real tutorial. Anyway, the next post is a little tutorial of how to play The Cave. PS: 277 downloads yesterday, not bad!.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

First day statistics

I´m glad to see that The Cave had a total of 462 downloads from the App Store in the first day online. That´s quite good for me!. This is the table containing downloads per country
Units Country Code
1 CH
1 CZ
1 NO
1 CO
1 RO
1 PT
1 ID
1 PL
1 DK
2 TH
2 AT
2 AU
2 BE
2 SK
2 AR
2 PH
2 SE
3 HK
3 VN
3 MY
3 IN
4 SG
4 VE
4 GR
5 TW
6 JP
6 MX
7 ES
9 NL
12 FR
15 DE
17 RU
17 IT
22 GB
35 CA
262 US
Total: 462
As you can see, most downloads come from the USA. I´ve been sending yesterday´s press release to lots of iPhone apps review sites so perhaps downloads comes from reviewers. At this moment there number of reviews in the App Store is 0. Come on, it´s just a second to set stars or write a little opinion. I don´t want to write it, I´m a stakeholder. Perhaps the worst data that I can extract from this is the low proportion of chinese people that downloaded my app, just a mere 1/1,321,000,000 (using estimated data from wikipedia)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Cave. Press Release

Madrid. February 25, 2009. I´m proud to announce that The Cave has just been launched in the App Store. The Cave is the first step in the evolution of the classical match-3 games into a 3D environment. Move across the borders of the transparent asteroid and tap the objects to select and match it. Earn points and use it to buy or update helper rocks as the black Joker in the included shop. The Cave, where playing beyond level 20 is probably only available to pianists, uses both touch screen and accelerometer to make you enjoy your spare time. Start playing now for free because The Cave is in promotion for a limited time. Download The Cave: Visit The Cave blog:

Almost there...

I have received The Mail. The Cave status have changed to "Ready to sell" in iTunes Connect so we will be out in just a few hours.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The Cave is still not in the App Store but I already have started to work on the first update. I´m updating SIO2, the 3d engine, to the latest version. There have been a lot of changes in SIO2 functions so this is more painful than I first thought but I expect a better framerate. The game was running smoothly but adding game complexity could penalize framerate. After that, I want to fix a little bug that can cause in some occasions a game shutdown in the game over screen and fix some memory leaks and texture adjustment. Ball explosion sound should play in update. I know, I know, in space sound can´t be transmitted but if Lucas forgot that I can forget it too. I´m also thinking in adding a ray between matched worms and adding lights and shadows, we shall see.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

iPhone gameplay

Video quality is very bad and audio is even worst but here it is. In device gameplay video.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It´s done. I´ve sent The Cave to Apple for revision. The last thing I´ve added is a blinking “powered by SIO2 interactive” image changing the first “loading”. I´ve removed the % of loading because after reaching 100% I am still preparing the scene and that was not very accurate. The application submission process may be quite long, it can last from a couple of days to some months and they can reject your app for some reasons as you may probably know. I think the only reason they can reject The Cave is due to some code leak I´ve not taken in consideration. I thought about adding some farting in the middle of the game to have a little more followers but at last I decided it would be a little disgusting ;) And as a side note, probably today or tomorrow I´ll record a device ingame video and upload here. The last time I tried I won a screen reparation bill and some days of angry wait. This time I´ll be more careful

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A few more changes and submission process started

I know I haven´t updated this for days but I´ve been very busy fixing some bugs and adding some new functionalities. The main update is the use of accelerometer. When you have a worm selected and shake the iphone, another worm with the same color will be attracted by the first one giving you a little help. I´ve changed fonts because the old one was not readable and I´ve added a grey line to make it more visible against the background in gameplay. Although I don´t think there would be a reason to pause The Cave ;) I´ve added a pause button and a way to return back to the main menu. The process to upload it to the App Store has started and I expect it to be online in a few weeks. It will be free for the first days and then I´ll charge $0.99 for it. I hope everybody could enjoy it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another little review

This time in, talks about The cave as "If it utilizes both touch and the accelerometer it could prove to be a very intriguing action puzzler." Sounds good. At this time there´s no accelerometer support but it´s in planning and I don´t know if the first released version will include it or I´ll implement it in the first update. Anyway, I repeat, please, I´ll be happier if you contact me for any review you write on your blog/page/whatever. Here´s the link: PD: I´ve upgraded game graphics since video posted in that review, please watch the latest videos.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tutorial video

After a little illness I´m back again (almost) and I´ve redesigned background images for both main menu and gameplay. This is where I see the importance of a good graphics designer in a team involved in the development of a game. I think I´ve spend at least half of my time in graphic related stuff. This is the bad part of beeing an indie developer, you cook it, you eat it. Looking at the good thing, I´ve learned a lot from Gimp and Blender so I´ll be prepared for the next game. Despite of my new knowledge, I´ve decided for the next game I will share work with a graphic designer. Well, here´s the tutorial video included in game where you can learn how to play. After this I think it´s ready so I´ll give it a day of playing and send it to apple.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Last changes

I don´t know if you have had the same problem but in the last days I haven´t been able to access youtube. I think it´s my Internet provider´s problem so it´s not important but I wanted to upload another video and I couldn´t. As you know, I´m not a designer or graphical artist so in the last days I´ve been trying to change the space skydome to a more convincent one. I´m reading tutorials about starfields with gimp as this one and tricks in blender to avoid deformation of the texture as this one . It´s near been ready and in the next hours I´ll record a device video gameplay with my compact camera and upload to youtube. The last time I tried to do that I broke my phone and I´ve been withouth it for almost a week. I´ll try to not repeat it and have a video for today or tomorrow. I have a few more features to implement as a better light system with lights and shadows, more jokers for the shop, worm movement and a change in that wormhole emitter among other improvements but that will be for the first update. I´ll try to play in device for some hours to detect bugs and send it to Apple so in the next weeks I think it will be in the appstore.

First link!

Looking at the blog statistics I´ve seen what I think is the first reference from another blog, It´s a blog in french about iphone. The most important thing about this is not only the first reference but I haven´t sent them a link. It looks like the have found this blog looking videos in where I uploaded the two videos I have recorded. This are good news for me because I´m having less than 20 visits per day (0 visits from search engines, isn´t it amazing?). For the next time I would like to be noticed about this kind of posts and paste a link to the source. My knowledge of french is quite low but as I can understand the talk about this as a development blog about an iPhone game. That´s not totally true, I tried to put my thoughs an problems in the last part of the development of the game but I never tried to write code or development tricks, perhaps I´ll do it for my next game. Anyway, I repeat, thank you for the post. Here´s a link to the french post: