Archive for May, 2012
Over the years, even before the iPhone existed, I had always wondered what it would be like to make a simulation game where you lived the life of an animal in the wild, whether it be a bird, or even a rattlesnake. Games have always been about controlling some other character and vicariously living through them and receiving the experience as close to first-person as you can without physically being there. So, why not a game where you live as a rattlesnake?
Enter Snacksss, a concept originally born to be a simulation game, until after much thought, we realized a simulation game just isn’t quite as fun. In fact, to some it may even be a bit gruesome! The wild isn’t always all that pretty. We also wanted to make sure Snacksss was a simple and easy enough game for users to play and get a taste of before we started creating a lot of content for it. We planned on adding in a lot more features up front, but we strongly believe that community feedback is critical to a game, and because there’s nothing out there like this game, we have no examples to live by.
If my team were helping me write this blog post, they’d tell me to tell you about the combo moves in the game. When I first designed Snacksss, you moved from left to right on the screen and THEN ate your prey. You would also not be able to fly through the air but rather would need to reach up and eat a bird as it got close. Early on, I had gotten into a debate with the team on keeping it as realistic as possible, but they were so insistent on making Snacksss be able to do combo moves while in the air, that we changed the gameplay to match that. To this day, I have to admit that they were right and people are continuously raving about how much fun it is to make combos. The combo moves are a lot of fun, and we may add some more moves soon that will be even more killer.
In my next update, I’ll be co-writing with Davide Bianca, CEO of our partner studio, Saizen Media, who is responsible for art directing Snacksss and why it looks so fantastic.
Before I leave you, I’m sharing a funny image which was used as reference for the game’s depth. I’ll get some flak from the team and Davide about it. Talk about a work of art!
We’re excited to announce that we’ve released our iOS game, Snacksss, on the App Store today. This is the first of many First Post games to come up this year, and we have had an absolute blast making this one. You can get it from the App Store by searching Snacksss, or going directly to it.
Cult of Mac has also a great exclusive write-up about Snacksss on their site, be sure to give it a read (the headline is oddly misleading, but the article clarifies I only had a hand in the titles). They are also giving away free promo codes to download free copies of the game which can be found in their comments, so be sure to get them while the codes are available!
For those who have known me throughout my career in games, they know me as the guy that loves anything interactive, gadgets and always has an energy drink in hand. When Twitter and Facebook started making waves, I was rallying everyone to jump on board until they signed up for an account and tried. When Google TV was announced, I immediately signed up to get into the SDK beta and was also itching to get my hands on Logitech’s Google TV device, Revue. On a daily basis, I am trying new sites, platforms, APIs and gadgets instead of reading about them on news sites. The fact is, early adopters are the first to know whether or not something is going to be worth continued pursuit.
It’s easy for companies to enter a comfort zone of “what’s safe and proven”, since they have a great deal of pressure to make revenue projections. This is a great approach, but it’s also why many companies are always following the success of others and end up taking a haphazard or checklist approach versus a strategic one. I still recall my experience in 1995 when I was telling every company I interacted with that they needed a web site. The response? “We don’t need a web site, why would anyone ever want to visit our web site?” Funny… now companies are asking why they need a mobile app or need to have a Facebook fan page.
Now that you have a good idea of where we’re headed, stick with us for a fun journey through an ever-changing industry. I’ll not only be writing about First Post’s games and products, but I’ll also be writing about my take on where I believe this industry is headed, and new technology that we’re exploring, so please feel free to subscribe to our updates via email, or check back regularly!