Category: Reflections (page 1 of 4)

Development reflections

Month in Reflection – June 2014

Late as usual, but June has been interesting at Dime. Much of it was spent wrapping up the financial year, and planning for the next one. It’s been a great learning experience, with Dan being thrown in the deep end of “the business” side of the company, and Nial pumping out code base for various projects we juggle.

So it’s probably time for some updates. Blurg is progressing; slowly, but progressing none the less. We’re excited to be working with the amazing Sun-Studios again to extend our Blurg animated trailer with the scenes we had to cut for the teaser. We’ve got a fantastic student project that’s been in development for about 5 months now, and is exceeding all our expectations. And we’ve finally brought Tasty Fish to Windows Phones, making our debut available for FREE across Windows Phone, iPhone and Android

Basically, we’ve been juggling like crazy, but that’s nothing new at Dime. We’re always biting off more than we can chew, and while we’re very likely to drop some of what we try to juggle, the experience and pressure is invaluable. And as long as we can stay afloat, we can only get better at treading the water.

Month in Reflection – November

November was a pretty standard month for Dime; except for the overly gentlemanly moustaches sported by the team. Tophats and monocles aside, work continued on Tasty Fish, as well as some super awesome secret stuff.

The big news for the month, however, was Tasty Fish receiving it’s first major update, and to celebrate we’ve dropped the price back to free until the 10th of December. The update was a chance to deliver the diverse ideas and content we’d always planned, but didn’t have time to include in the launch. Get on it!

Version 1.1 introduces 3 new Exotic Fish and 3 new Life Preservers, as well as some big changes to the coin collection mechanics, and some redesign of the user interface to be more user friendly and conventionally standard.

But the exciting content is definitely the new Exotic Fish. We wanted to give players a more aggressive set of utilities, and are keenly watching the various combinations that are evolving from the additions. The Shark-scaring Pufferfish, Blimp, is being particularly well received, while some classics like Darwin and Flash continue to reign popular. We’re hoping to see more of Sparkles, the Crab-cheering Rainbowfish, and Nibbles, the Net-chewing Piranha.

The new Life Preservers are getting the rounds as well, with the Pearl being most popular right now. This is pretty cool, as it’s the only consumable that directly compliments Exotic Fish. The 3 charge Starfish Shield and the ink-squirting Squid have had a few uses, but it’s still early days, and hopefully more people can start to figure their strategic purposes and when its best to use them.

Now that the update is out, we are changing our view from content to platforms, and are looking at where we can take Tasty Fish beyond iOS. So far Android is a given, but there’s still a huge range of devices and platforms suitable for Tasty Fish, and it’s only right that as many people as possible can enjoy the mayhem of Tasty Fish.

Month in Reflection – October 2012

Welcome to another month in reflection, and this one’s a doozy. Looking over last month, our aim was to keep pushing Tasty Fish now that it was live, and that we’d been working on the first content update.

October saw most of that continue the same. The content update took a bit of a turn, and we just weren’t happy with what we were going to deliver; so we added more. Well, we’re currently adding more. There’s a bunch of support features we’ll be launching with the update, and as always some bug fixes.

However, aside from the content update, October was busy with non-development things. We managed to get up to Sydney, where Dan exhibited Tasty Fish alongside fellow Melbourne developers Pub Games who announced their own launch title earlier in the month. The contrast at the expo was kind of humorous, with the super-hardcore Blast Points sharing table space with the super-casual Tasty Fish.

The great thing about indies working together is they can work off each other. When an expo attendee would be overwhelmed by Blast Points, they’d get a Tasty Fish suggestion, and with a few steps to the side they could try it out. Likewise, when a player on Tasty Fish would look bored or uninterested, I’d suggest they check out Blast Points right next to us. The dynamics worked well as both our products were clearly different from each other’s target playerbase, and so we played off each other the entire weekend. That’s kind of the awesome thing about being with other indies; by working together we got more out of exhibiting together than if we’d gone separately.

It worked out in the end, with a couple of interviews and mentions. Still, we were part of the first (I think) EB Expo Homegrown Gaming exhibit, and that’s got to count for something. Hopefully next year is bigger and better, and we have more than just Tasty Fish to show.

The other big event during October was GCAP 12. GCAP is an industry event, so we didn’t exhibit Tasty Fish per-say, however we did make it into a video reel of local games developed over the 2012 year. To see the amount of talent coming out of Australia was sobering. It really struck hard the fact that we are producing not just a lot of content, but a lot of quality and diverse content. If you missed the reel, it’s available over at Kotaku (cheers to Mark Serrels for covering it).

But back to GCAP. Apart from profesional masterclasses, inspiring presentations, and thought-provoking panels, industry giants TapJoy and iDreamsky attended the conference with the purpose of listening to pitches from developers looking to increase the reach of their products. A great initiative, and a special thanks to GDAA for making it happen. Hopefully we see some results for Melbourne independent developers.

And then there was Project: Jetpack. We have to congratulate the team behind Oswald the Elephant who were selected by Halfbrick staff to receive tools and resources to develop the game further, as well as mentorship from Halfbrick on the development and production choices for the game.

All in all, October was busy but not entirely productive. We’re still working through the update, and reviewing the position of Dime and Tasty Fish as we near the end of the year. Over November, we’ll be working to get the update absolutely done and available, as well as making progress on the increasingly asked for Android version. Yes, we apologise, but there’s a lot of special considerations we have to make with Android as a platform, and some framework changes to maintain support similar to what you’d expect from playing the iOS version.

On top of development, we’re doing Movember as a company team, so consider supporting a great cause.

While we say this often, watch this space. If all goes as planned, Tasty Fish will be bigger and better than before.

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