Saturday, August 3, 2019

Gnome More War Update 1.0.5

In my previous blog post I talked about my plans for the June update. Truth is, I had planned for a late June or early July release for update 1.0.5. I was so optimistic that I thought I'd be able to set aside 2-3 hours everyday to work on the update. How foolish of me.

Excuses won't get me anywhere, and I guess all that matters now is that I pulled through and the update is out now on the Google play store!




So let's break down what's included in update 1.0.5.

Analytics

While the game is continually getting downloads (especially from Vietnam, of all countries), I've always wondered why the game only got 8 ratings so far, and only 4 reviews. Looking at the leaderboards, I could tell players have gone as far as the second map, which is kinda cool. At least there's a number out there who didn't just download the game and uninstalled after a few minutes of play.

I want to know how the players approach the game. I believe that if I can identify the parts of the game that makes the players drop it, I will be able to work on them, and hopefully improve the game's retention rate. Fortunately Unity has built-in features for analytics so it didn't take much to add one to the game.

Special thanks to my wife, Jacq Gutierrez for implementing Unity Analytics. You are awesome!

Squirrel Gnome
The game is lacking variety on flying creatures, I had always thought. I had always planned on slowly adding more and more enemy types post-launch. I always wanted to add an enemy that would glide across the screen and would occasionally spit out bullets at the player. This should force the player to move around and try to dodge the incoming bullets. Say hello to the Squirrel Gnome.





Lemur Gnome
Later on in the map, Squirrel Gnomes will start calling their more dangerous and annoying cousins: Lemur Gnomes. They basically do the same amount of damage and can easily be dispatched with a single hit. The only problem is that they are faster and moves around quite a lot.






Gnome Chieftain



This one definitely took the most hours to implement. The game has no existing boss encounter, so I had to do a lot of additional coding on top of new artwork and some code refactoring. It was a lot of fun though!

Chieftain appears on waves 10, 20, and 30. For his first two appearances, the player won't be able to kill him as he will escape when his life gets very low. He also have multiple sets of attacks and has changing attack patterns depending on his life force level. I won't spoil it to the players...it's best you find out for yourself!

Eagrett Cart Skin

Defeating the Gnome Chieftain will award the player with a brand new cart skin: Eagrett. It's more of an eagrett inspired cart made of wood than an actual eagrett mount.


Aside from the highlighted features, I also updated the loot collection animation-- enemy drops are actually being shown to be collected by the player, accompanied by a sweet "collect" sound effect. The player is also now rewarded with power ups, an upgrade card, and a free cart skin up to the 20th wave. I hope it incentivises the player to keep going and explore power ups and upgrades. 

You can download the game from the Google play store.

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Monday, June 3, 2019

Gnome More War June War Plans

Hey everyone!

Not a day goes by that I don't think about what more I can do to make this game more fun for me, and hopefully for you. After launching a somewhat paltry May update, I think now I have enough ideas for a more content-filled one, which I plan to release in July. This gives me the month of June to work on this-- so I must make the best of all the free time I can get this month!

Anyway, here's a snapshot of my post-it notes. Come take a look:


The game is really young, and no one has even played the 3rd map yet. Most players just played the first map, and judging by the leaderboard scores only a few has made it to the second map. I want to improve the experience for beginning players, and hopefully get them to stay. In order to achieve this, I've thought about introducing a number of things: improved rewards, more enemy types, and boss battles.

I think the game should be rewarding players as they progress through the first map. This could also work as an introduction to the game's customization features (i.e. power-ups, upgrade decks, and cart skins). Furthermore, players should be awarded with cart skins when they beat the map for the first time. For these new features I will be adding 4 new cart skins! I will be revealing the designs on my future articles.

Aside from an improved rewards system, I had always planned on slowly adding more and more enemy types post-launch. I was thinking of adding an enemy that would glide across the screen and would occasionally spit out bullets at the player. This should force the player to move around and try to dodge the incoming bullets. I would call this one the Squirrel Gnome. It's still in the early concept stage. I'll let you guys know more about it on future blog posts!


And finally I think I'm gonna start to push through with my original plan of adding bosses in the game. In case you're not aware, I had launched a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo in order to raise funds for the game's further development. While that didn't go as well as I had hoped, it's no reason to just stop updating the game. I already have a few concept artworks done for the bosses, but for the next month I think it's more reasonable to target just one; the others can come in the future.



I will talk more about the upcoming boss, the Gnome Chieftain, on future blog posts, so stay tuned and bookmark this page!

You can check out Gnome More War on Google Play right now!: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hobbigames.gnomemorewar

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Gnome More War Android Official Trailer


A brand new trailer of Gnome More War is out now! The game is now available worldwide for Android devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play store. I have plans to port it to iOS, but no concrete time frame yet.




Game Description:

Gnomes have been stealing from your farm, and you must stop them! Together with your goblin friends, fend off the pesky thieving gnomes and protect your farm at all cost. Experience the classic arcade castle defense game play with loads of twists. You have an arsenal of power-ups at your disposal, and a selection of 30+ upgrades to choose from. This is war!

❖ Features ❖

➤ Defeat waves of enemies in this action-packed shooter/castle defense game across multiple maps!
➤ Unlock tons of cool power-ups to help your quest!
➤ Unlock tons of upgrades and fill your deck with various combinations for a more effective offense/defense!
➤ Simple, intuitive, and customizable touch controls! (Gamepad support still in development)
➤ Vibrant hand drawn visuals combined with retro pixel character sprites!
➤ Customize your character with unlockable car skins!


The game makes use of Google Play achievements and leaderboards. It's FREE to download from the Play Store. Download it now!

Gnome More War (Google Play)

Of course, development for the game doesn't here. I still plan to add more car skins, maps, enemy types, and even boss fights. But I will have to ask for your patience, as I only have so much spare time to work on this game. Hopefully someday I can work on making games full time.

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dusting Off

This is crazy.

It has been close to a year since my last blog post! I'm really sorry guys, but I got engaged with a lot of activities leaving me with little to no time to continue our indie project. In any case, I'd like to take this opportunity to keep everyone updated regarding stuff.

First off, Tiny Monkey Escape. Long story short, we felt that the content we produced wasn't getting consumed much anyway, so we, meaning Hobbi Games and its publisher Play Play Fun decided to put it on hold (with the two chapters available) and focus on another game. We may eventually pick it up again and finish it...but that really depends on the publisher and the players.


Never heard of it before? Shame on you. :D
You can check it out here: Tiny Monkey Escape (BETA)



The new project is called Gnome More War. I'm very loose with the word 'new' here, because that game has already existed since more than a year ago. In fact, the reason I'm updating the blog now is because I want to set this game up here. Anyway, GMW started out as a web game (Unity WebGL) and we uploaded a demo build. See links below:

Gamejolt (demo removed)
Play Play Fun 

Development for GMW went for a 9-month hiatus, with me picking it up again not long ago. The latest devlog was posted on Gamejolt:
Gnome More War: Workshop Menu (Gamejolt) 

From here on out I hope development will continue at an acceptable pace. If not, I promise to make an announcement before going on hiatus again.

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tiny Monkey Escape


Hello everyone, it has been a while...especially to those following us exclusively through this website!

A lot has happened since last year, but I've only been able to post my updates on Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, I'm finding it hard to be a developer, designer, artist, and publicist. It's inevitable to favor one role above others; or to have a least desired one.

Anyway, why did I suddenly decide to show up again? Well, I'm excitedly working on a new game (that is not Super Tiny Monkey)...but before we can get to that I must first get you guys up to speed with a few things.

First, Hobbi Games has partnered with Play Play Fun for at least 4 games. Their role will be as our exclusive publisher for mobile and non-exclusive publisher for web games. The first project we collaborated on was Super Tiny Monkey, re-branded as Tiny Monkey Escape.

I didn't take down my previous articles on Super Tiny Monkey, because TME is basically it, with a changed title. As you know, the game is not finished yet (story wise), but we released it and hoped for a monthly update, optimistically speaking. I'm at least glad to let you guys know that we have delivered a new map (5th in total) post-release-- our first major patch.

What does our first patch do?

Well, aside from the usual bug-fixing and performance optimizations, the highlight would have to be the new map called "Island Town".


TME's map selection screen

In this map, the player will be facing new (and old) obstacles and enemies-- all bent on catching or killing our tiny friend.



Rico the poacher is still after you!
Remember the poacher on the trees in Forest Edge? They're back, but this time they'll be hiding behind trash cans, so instead of looking up, keep your eyes down this time!


Trash can snipers
A new type of obstacle; these snipers hiding inside trashcans will shoot down our unsuspecting hero. Watch out for those bullets!


Avoid the hornets


Live wires dangling must be avoided (or use the shield)

A familiar friend is also once again here to help. Beaks the Hornbill will fly our friend up in the skies to gather golden bugs. But as usual, no place is safe for Goggles and his friends.



Even pelicans are out to get you, it seems
I actually enjoyed designing this map more than the previous ones. Looking back, I could have implemented similar obstacles to the older ones, but this map just inspired me to add more and create variety.


Who let the dogs out?
This update is live and was actually put up a couple of weeks ago. I wish I had the time to get this write up done by then, but I'll do better next time. If you want to play this map, you'll have to pass the level requirements, which means you'll have to play the earlier maps first.

So get downloading now:


-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Monday, July 13, 2015

White Beach Escapade


After a five months since release, we finally have half of the next Act done for Super Tiny Monkey!

First of all, sorry about the pacing. You know how this goes; I have a full time job and I'm only left with so much time to devote on this project, with my wife lending a hand when it comes to testing and back end development. This upcoming game update is the result of five weeks worth of work spread across five months.

So, what's new with STM? What does this long overdue update bring?

First on the list is the removal of the dreaded "death on fall" mechanic. No longer will you instantly die when you miss your jump and fall to the ground. Instead of dying, your character will just continue jumping on the ground. We've been getting feedback about how the fall death makes the game much more difficult, and leans the game towards un-fun than challenging. That being said though, don't get too comfortable just watching your character leap across the ground-- we added ground traps that will appear from time to time, to keep players on their toes. Also, there's that poacher chasing you who will easily catch you if you stay too low.


Be careful of these spiky plants!

Next, and this is a big one, is the brand new map called White Beach. Our hero manages to flee from Rico the poacher and get out of the forest, only to end up in a beach filled with territorial monkeys, inexplicably aggressive sea gulls, and falling coconut fruits. It is here where Goggles will continue his adventure into the unknown world, and continue his escape from Dr.Zoo.

The new map isn't just a copy of the first map. While it retains the core gameplay of jumping from one platform to the next while avoiding obstacles, we added a new game mode: the "Ride" mode.


A few seconds at the beginning of the map, you will encounter a new friend.

I'm a fan of SHMUPS, and Gradius is on of my childhood favorites. Obviously, I'd be inspired to make at least a mini-game based on it. At some point in your adventure, you will meet a new character, Beaks the Hornbill, who will introduce the player to the Ride mode. All you have to do is catch up to him and you'll be taken up in the sky.


Ride mode

As with Gradius, you control Beaks directly by swiping you finger on the screen. Beaks will keep following the touched area. Your usual power up buttons will be relocated to the right side of the screen, but the other two power ups (Shield and Power Dash) will be removed, with only the Spitoon remaining. An Eject button is also provided if you wish to prematurely get out of this mode. While in this mode, you can collect golden bugs not found on land, either avoid or shoot enemies that come at you. Shooting enemies has the incentive of spawning more golden bugs. When you do get hit, you will automatically eject from Ride mode, but don't worry, Beaks will reappear after some time.


It is important to note that while in Ride mode, your Score will not increase. You will play Ride mode ideally when you're looking to collecting golden bugs.

Now let's go back to land. White Beach maps introduced new obstacles the player must deal with. Aside from the staple poacher that keeps chasing our hero, there are now actual monkeys in the game! Unfortunately these monkeys are territorial and unfriendly. They don't like it when you step on their trees. You can either avoid them or bring them down with your Spitoon or Power Dash.





There three types of territorial monkeys, each with their own behaviors. It's better to get to know them yourself, so I wont spoil them for you.

There are also sea gulls on land, so always be on alert!



You think those coconuts are harmless? Look again.




The update also added 30 quests to the game, and unlocked the next level of power upgrades (when you reach level 18).

The White Beach map is available to all players, with the minimum level requirement of 16. True to the STM design, each act is composed of two maps. This map will be the first half of the act, with the Boss map currently in development. You can follow our updates from our website, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Follow us!

Here's a sneak peak of what we have so far on the Boss map:




Get the updated game from Google Play.


-- LJ

To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Super Tiny Monkey: Act 2 Screenshots

A new batch of screenshots for Super Tiny Monkey: Act 2, fresh out of the oven. Enjoy!







More details coming soon! Just give us some time to put in all the new enemies and obstacles.

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Friday, February 20, 2015

Super Tiny Monkey Act 2: White Beach

It has been a few weeks since we released Super Tiny Monkey on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The days that followed were spent on delivering an update that would improve user interface and resolve the bugs that were found quickly after release. Now that Apple has finally reviewed and approved of our update for the iOS version, it's time for us to get back on track and start won the promised Act 2 of the game (and soon, all subsequent Acts up to Act 5).

I wanted each Act to feel unique in terms of gameplay. We (yes, you who have played the game!) already know that the premise of the game-- just navigate through the platforms, avoiding obstacles and outrunning Rico the Poacher. It sounds repetitive by nature, so I never stopped thinking of ways to spice things up for the new maps that we're going to deliver.

First, Act 2 will no longer take place in the same old Forest Edge map. If you've played the game, you will notice from the map selection that Act 2 has a beach backdrop:



Secondly, the new map, which will be called White Beach map, will feature a brand new set of obstacles. Aside from Rico the Poacher pursuing you, everything else will be new. This map will have rivaling territorial monkeys that will knock you out if you ever stepped on their tree, while some will even hurl stones at you when you get in their range.

Lastly, the new map will introduce a new game mechanic-- the "ride" mode. This isn't anything new or innovative by itself. In fact, this type of gameplay has been known to be mixed in with other sidescrollers as well (Megaman, TMNT, etc.). In this mode, your character will ride a bird, and this will give the player a new gaming experience, with a new control scheme and yet again a new set of obstacles.

This is a work in progress!

So here's the basic idea: at the beginning of Act 2 Goggles and Paru will meet a new character named Beaks the Hornbill. Every once in a while during a run, Beaks will appear and the player can choose to ride on him or let him pass by. Upon riding Beaks, they will climb up in the air above the trees, and the camera will follow them. Welcome to the "ride" mode!

The "ride" mode, also a work in progress

Remember Gradius? Oh boy, that's one of my all time favorites. This new "ride" mode is inspired by that game in case it isn't obvious yet. Much like in Gradius, you cannot collide with any other creatures or projectiles running across the screen. In order to avoid these new set of obstacles, you control Beaks by swiping your finger across the screen. Beaks will move in the same direction as your swipe, so there's no more tapping or gliding in this mode. All the power ups that Goggles has learned are still usable here, and you can choose to be a defensive or offensive player. When you do get hit however, Beaks will be knocked down and you will eject yourself, only to fall back down below the trees. From here on normal gameplay and control scheme will be used and you can only hope for Beaks to appear again soon.


Beaks the hornbill concept art


So that's the gist of the first part of Act 2. These are all still works in progress, and now would be a great time to get your feedback. What do you think of the design? We'd be happy to take on comments and suggestions.

Hopefully I can work on a prototype real quick and show you guys a working gameplay footage. Until then, see you around!

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Tiny Monkey Out Now!


After months of hard work, labor, and skipping lots of weekend nights-out, we're excited and proud to announce that Super Tiny Monkey is finally out now on Android and IOS devices.

You play as Goggles, the experimental tarsier who managed to escape from Dr. Zoo’s laboratory and your goal is to run away from his poachers and minions who are sent to capture you. You must leap, glide, dash, or dive from one platform to the next to get as far away as possible. The crux of the gameplay revolves around avoiding obstacles. You will begin with the most basic of control, which is simply tapping on the screen as you pass platforms by-- not unlike a rythm game. As you progress and your character levels up you will open up more control options such as gliding, diving, dashing, and at higher levels you gain access to super powers that will help you conquer the increasing difficulty of the game. There are two game modes: the endless platformer (adventure) mode and the unlockable boss battle mode. Megaman has been such a huge inspiration for me, still one of my all time favorite games to date, and hopefully this shows on the boss battle experience.


We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who helped us along the way. Thank you for testing the game and giving us feedback. The game wouldn't be as awesome as it is today if not for your help, and while it's finally out for everyone to enjoy, our work isn't over yet! There's still four acts to expect and we've actually began working on Act Two.

The game is FREE to download and play, and is available on both Android and IOS platforms (iPhone, iPad, tablets). Here are the download links:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hobbigames.tinymonkey

You can also simply search for "Super Tiny Monkey" in the App Store or the Play Store.

To get in touch with us, or to follow further development of the game, you can bookmark our website:

http://www.hobbigames.com

So what are you waiting for? Download the game now and start leaping, gliding, and diving for your survival!

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beta Tester Rewards

The game is almost ready for release. As is standard with BETA tests, we'll reset everything and have a fresh start when the game releases. Of course, we're not simply forgetting all you BETA testers who helped us through the development of the game with your feedback and bug reports. As our way of saying "Thank You" we're offering some sort of reward for all who downloaded and will download and play the game until the time of release.


Here's how it'll work:
1.) You have to have downloaded and played the game at least one time since we started beta until before we release the upcoming update.
2.) You must perform the update from the device that you used to play the BETA version on. The reward is device bound, not account bound. After it gives you the rewards, then it will be tied to your account.
3.) You must perform an UPDATE. If you had previously played the game but uninstalled it, or wiped out the local data from you device, then you won't get the rewards. We suggest that you download and play at least once as soon as possible.
4.) This is for Android only.

So there you have it. Once again we thank all of you for your contribution, and we're so excited to deliver the release version of Super Tiny Monkey: Act One.

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Monday, January 5, 2015

STM: December Status Update


Despite the long December holidays, we're still hard at work on Super Tiny Monkey. I really don't know myself how, but we managed to put in quite a number of new features in time for our target release date. I'm personally excited to tell you all about these latest additions to the game.

Here's the video that shows all the new features of the game:




In case you couldn't watch the above video, don't worry. Just read on and don't hesitate to drop a few comments afterwards.


Acts and Storytelling

If you've been following the game development from the start, you'll recall my previous article about the game's plot. We want to put this backstory in the game itself, and we've decided that the most feasible way is to present it using comic strips.




The comic strips come in full color. While they don't have speech bubbles, we try to make each panel come alive by adding sound effects and contextual animations. These strips tell the story for every Act in the game, and acts as the prologue for their respective maps. We believe that by adding these fluff pieces gives the game more depth and personality.


Unlocking Boss Maps

I mentioned in a previous video that the Razor Wings map will be available to players at level 15. Some people felt that it will make the game a little too grindy. After some reevaluation, we decided to lower this requirement to level 11. We adjusted the player's progression and by level 10, you would have learned all the abilities at their basic level. All that will be left for your character's improvement will be upgrading these abilities.





Future boss maps will have the option of purchasing them to be unlocked. For Act one however, it is not possible to unlock the Razor Wings map by purchasing it, as we don't want the players to bypass the crucial learning levels.


Spitoon Super Power

The third and final super power our hero can learn is the Spitoon. It's basically a bullet fired by the player that travels in a straight horizontal direction. This gives the player a long range offensive option, and while it's much cheaper than power dash, it's also weaker.




Just like the power dash, it can bring down enemies (eagles, and boss, at the moment) but not poacher Rico, or the poacher hanging by the trees. Future maps will feature more of these enemies that can be brought down using offensive powers.






New Side Quests


As with the Forest Edge map, the boss map will also have its own set of quests. They're also entirely optional, although I'm sure players will inevitably complete them as they play.


Game Assistant

One thing we observed from the players during a public demo is that when they die twice or thrice too early into the game, they give up, stop playing, and move on. While it is our goal to make the game challenging, we don't want to discourage new players. Instead, we want them to feel welcome into the game. This is how we came up with the game assistant.



The game assistant is basically a tutorial system, only we didn't make a separate tutorial map. The assistant will appear from time to time, usually at the beginning of a run, in order to teach the player the basic controls, and of any new abilities that have been unlocked.




Your assistant is more that just a tutorial. He's an actual game character with a personality of his own. His name is Paru, the rainbow butterfly. Aside from teaching you how to play the game he also give his accounts of the events and experiences of our hero. We want to design a cute, lovable, yet witty side character in Paru.

We're almost ready for release with Act One; we're just polishing some stuff here and there, so hopefully all will be ready for release this month. To keep yourself updated of any news and announcements, all you have to do is subscribe. As usual, you can follow us from the links below:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Hobbi-Games/670225326384827
Google+https://plus.google.com/104154087080746442207/posts
Tumblr: http://hobbigames.tumblr.com
YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs-QGA3pIyNXgpztnyRRBqA
Website: http://hobbigames.com/

-- LJ


To contact the author, just send your e-mail to hobbigames@gmail.com

Gnome More War Update 1.0.5

In my previous blog post I talked about my plans for the June update. Truth is, I had planned for a late June or early July release for upd...