If you’ve read this blog recently, you probably know that Miguel and I are busy working on the iPhone version of Casey’s Contraptions. What may be surprising is that we’ve been working on it for over three weeks and we’re still not done. After all, to make an iPhone version all we have to do is make the project Universal, recompile, and done, right? Continue reading
Some people asked what I meant by a “toolkit architecture” in the previous post about my middleware fears. It turns out I wrote about that in a previous Inner Product column that for some reason I never reposted here. I think at the time I wrote this (late 2008), I already wasn’t very concerned about writing reusable code, and I was focusing it mostly with respect to using other people’s code and how I wanted it to be architected.
Once upon a time, the idea of using some kind of middleware or major external library in my projects was out of the question. Writing all my code was the one and true way! I had a bad case of NIH syndrome.
Over the years I’ve mellowed out quite a bit. Now I recognize my obsession with writing endless tools and technology was more of an escape from doing the really hard part of game development. In comparison to making all the decisions involved in the design and implementation of the game itself, writing the perfect resource streaming system sounds like a really good time. It’s amazing how early it started too: I still remember spending weeks writing a Basic-to-assembly translator in 1986, before I had even heard the word “compiler”.
Now I just want to make games.
Pocket Gamer just published an article on “The Making of Casey’s Contraptions”. It’s an in-depth interview with Miguel and I, talking about the origins and development of Casey’s Contraptions. Learn what influenced the art style in Casey’s Contraptions, how we almost went with a freemium model but pulled out at the last minute, and more.
What an incredible last few days it has been! Casey’s Contraptions launched last Thursday, and it’s now sitting at the #2 slot on the top selling iPad apps in the US and it’s in the top 10 in many other countries in the world (and would probably be #1 if it wasn’t because Infinity Blade had a major update and is on sale).
Casey’s Contraptions went on sale on Thursday, and in a few hours it entered the top 100 charts all around the world. We were super-fortunate the Apple picked Casey’s Contraptions as their iPad Game of the Week worldwide and that gave it enough momentum to reach #2 on the top apps chart!
The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Not just the press, but the comments on forums, Twitter, Facebook, and even on the App Store. I keep reading stories of parents playing the game along with their 3 and 4 year olds (as well as sneaking out later and playing it by themselves). I’m really glad it resonates with people and so many people are able to enjoy it!
Here are just a few of the main reviews Casey’s Contraptions has received in the few days since launch:
- TUAW I thought it was the most impressive iOS game I’d ever seen.
- 148Apps Editor’s Choice. I don’t think I’ve played a better iOS puzzle game this year.
- Pocket Gamer Gold Award […] one of the most polished iOS games you can currently lay your hands on
- TouchArcade. I can tell you this – Casey’s Contraptions is a joy to play.
- AppleNApps 5/5 Casey’s Contraptions is without a doubt one of the best games ever made for the iPad.
- TheAPPera 10/10 Casey’s Contraptions is the best puzzle game on the iPad right now.
It has been an amazing release. I’ll write a post soon on what we did for marketing to create this launch. The only thing I could have wished for was that the story had been picked up by one of the super popular web sites like Gizmodo or Kotaku. It’s not every day that two indies can get together and storm the App Store charts!
We have lots of updates planned, so the story doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning! We’ll keep posting on our progress and some initial sales info as soon as the dust settles down.