Official Developer Blog of www.lethalmartinigames.com

Games – Released

:D Great Googly Moogly

Google merchant account activated, ready to take your money! Hostile Hustle release date coming soon…


Outro…

…IS DONE. is “Outro” really a word? I don’t know, but it’s done nonetheless, at least on the XBox / Windows versions. Porting over to the mobile version now. After that, there is LITERALLY nothing left to do but test the living crap out of this game.


I Accidentally…The Whole Game

Okay, we’re getting close. REAL close. “Hostile Hustle”, the ultimate (and easier to spit out) evolution of “I Accidentally…In Space! Episode 1: Hostile Hustle,” is pretty much in final phases of testing now and is ready for submission to all platforms. Here are the facts:

  • It’s pretty much the same basic game. The achievements (“accomplishments”) are the same. Many of the levels are built off of the original levels. The bad guys and weapons are the same.
  • The graphics have been polished up nicely.
  • You can now jump up through the platforms instead of bumping your head on them in an annoying way.
  • We’ve cleaned up the difficulty levels so they aren’t so damn confusing.
  • A few other small things that launched what we thought to be a pretty good game into a great game!
  • EDIT: Forgot to mention… boring static background photos replaced by three level parallax scrolling space backgrounds! Don’t ask why we didn’t just do that in the first place. (Answer: lazy)

Here’s how it’s gonna be released:

  • On XBox Live! Indie Games, it will be released as a separate title from the original “IAIS-EP1:HH.” We will most likely keep the original available for sale for nostalgia purposes. We will be rolling it out at the stock 80 MSP (Better known as one U.S. Dollar)
  • The identical game, with touch controls, will be available on both iOS and Android devices. Selling price will also be a buck.
  • We may or may not release a Windows Phone 7 version. This hinges on (A) how successfully we can port the touch controls over to XNA and (B) the future of Windows phone 7 with Windows 8 on the horizon. Bug us enough and let us know you reeeeaaaalllly want it, and we’ll make it happen.
  • A Windows version will be released, available for direct download from Lethal Martini Games. What would you pay for a Windows port? TEN dollars? FIIIIVE dollars?! ONE DOLLAR LIKE THE REST OF THEM?!?!?!!? Well, how does FREE grab ya? That’s right – at least for its initial release, Hostile Hustle will be available on Windows PCs ABSOLUTELY FREE! Yeah, you’re welcome!

Here’s what will happen down the line:

  • If the world shows us some love and buys a buttload of copies, we will keep adding stuff to it! Levels, weapons, you name it. And none of that freemium in-game purchase nonsense either (we’ll save that for later games). Of course, this hinges on whether or not there are enough people out there playing it, so when it comes out and you get it (and you will…), and you LIKE it (again), tell your friends!

But for now, just watch for the updated teaser… Coming Soon! (For reals, this time. It’s already done, just need to do some small edits and upload it. No, seriously. I’ve watched it. It’s pretty neat – has the new intro sequence from the game and a heavily modified voiceover by yours truly! Watch for it…!

ANOTHER EDIT: Here’s the trailer!!!


Do The Hustle

Working frantically around vacations and the day job to do some more overhauling on “Hostile Hustle” for the phone release. Some levels have been added, some features have been added, some features have been removed… All in all, still coming along well.

That’s all for now! I just wanted to make something with the the title “Do The Hustle.” I can’t believe it took me this long.


And the winner is…

…A slight hybrid between #2 and #3, reworked slightly to better accommodate the 1:1 ratio of an iTunes icon. We’ll also be using a scaled down version of this for the game icons also.

XBox / Windows on the left, iTunes on the right.


Box Art Candidates…Survey SAYS…?

Which one?!?!? Opinions welcome from all!! (Except Zoidberg)


Bitchin’ Boss Background

Yeah, that’s right. I said “Bitchin’.” So what?!?

Can’t take credit for it though:
By Patrick Hoesly
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Here’s the original image at Flickr:
246 - Metal Flow Texture


Oh it looks gooood!

So, after yet another month of procrastination, it’s time to start blabbing about our stuff again. As some of you know, “I Accidentally…In Space!” has been getting a bit of an overhaul, partially in preparation for the Android / iOS / Windows release, partially because it just plain needed it. Though there are still quite a few back end issues to clear up, on the front it’s looking pretty fine. Check it out…!


If you want to compare, here are a few older posts highlighting the graphics then:

Multiple screenshots from Feb. 2011

Original Title Screen


State of the Union

Again, a long time has passed since our last post. Sorry about that. We’ll get better, I promise!!! 🙂
So this has been an amazingly productive weekend. Thanks to an unexpected rainy Saturday, I was able to take the big dumping ground of a single header file per c++ project and get them properly segregated. As I was basically re-learning what little I had previously known about the ins and outs of c++, I did a half-assed sloppy job of it. It’s still a little sloppy, but much better! I’m testing the ARM build of “No Rest for the Wicked” as we speak. I did this to clean things up a bit and to make things a little more manageable. There are a couple of weird crashes happening on iOS and Android versions (in different places – weird), and hopefully I will be able to track them down now and move forward with some real progress. I will also be overhauling my drawing routines to be a little cleaner. Once this is all taken care of, I’m hoping we’ll to be able to just start knocking out some games for reals!
Kolphyre has taken the helm nicely with NRFTW, and has 9 (out of 100 planned) playable levels! Now it’s kind of a race to see who can get something to press first. I’m working on what is basically a completed game, so I won’t gloat too much when I win.
And, on a final note, I finally got around to some XBLIG playtesting. I really need to stop neglecting that so much – poking around on the forums after too long is like taking a year off of school, coming back, and not knowing who the hell anybody is.


A Changing of the Guard…

Been a long time since the last update – what does that mean?  Lots of stuff has been happening.  Paul is currently VERY busy on getting the ports for ‘Accidentally’ done so that soon everyone can enjoy some platforming/schmup goodness on their phone or PC.  Why is it taking so long, I hear you ask?  Well – Paul never does anything half-way, so rather than simply port the game over he’s in the process of upgrading it as well.  Think of it as the ‘Special Edition’ version of ‘Accidentally’.  This means totally brand-spanking new graphics as well as a sweet new intro which we had been playing around with putting in the original game, but had dropped for time constraints.  Now, you might be thinking, ‘well, that’s great for those phone and PC users, but for us in the Xbox community who already got the game, that kinda sucks’.  Well – fret not, loyal ‘xbox’ers’, because we will uploading this new ‘Special Edition’ on Xbox as well.  Don’t worry – we know how to treat our loyal fan base!

But – that’s not all!  As Paul is knee deep in finishing up the ports, it has been left up to me to work on our new game, “No Rest for the Wicked”.  I’ll be updating on the progress of that little gem on here and on my Twitter account (@Kolphyre_LMG).  I will mention not only the boring technical aspects as I go through the process, but also the inevitable frustrations I will no doubt come across as well 😉

So, sit back and stay tuned – because we have only just begun 🙂


To Mediocrity and Beyond!

Yes, it has been over a month since we’ve bothered to post anything. Sorry about that – it’s summer time and yards need to be tended to – but fear not, we have been busy as hell behind the scenes working on the mobile port for “I Accidentally…In Space.” There are actually a lot of things to cover here, almost enough to spill into multiple posts, but I’m a rambler so we’ll just squeeze it all in here…
I Accidentally… In Space! Ep.1 Post Mortem
IAIS has been on the XBLIG market for around three months now. Sales were much better than Mechfish, but still below what we would have hoped.
The breakdown of what we’ve come to understand:
– From just about all of the reviews, gameplay was solid. The concept of combining platformer and shooter seems to have been received well.
– The graphics could have used some more polish. They have been described as “good but not great,” “nothing special,” etc.
– There were a few glitches on release which were fixed in the first update. I don’t think this really had much impact on things, though.
– We really didn’t do anything to market the game, aside from getting it out to review sites.
Why it went down that way:
– On the graphics, I think it breaks down to a couple of things. First, we’re amateurs. We’re still figuring out the difference between what looks cool and what looks cool in a game. Second, when you look at it enough in the course or development, you become accustomed to it and it just looks right. Things that would seem out of place on first look seem okay. During playtest on the XNA forums, there is also a pressure to remain cordial that does keep a lot of reviewers from really speaking their minds (with a few exceptions). That’s a double edged sword – it’s great because there tends to be a lot less arguments and childish flaming like you see on other forums, however it can allow good games to be released before they become great games. A good friend of mine gave me a lot of pointers on what could use some improvement that I kind of let slide because he was the only one really saying anything about it. Looking back, I probably should’ve listened.
– On the marketing, it comes down to the fact that we are not marketing experts and really didn’t bother to aggressively push it until after release. When there is a marketplace with a new release list, we can fall into the “if you build it, they will come” mentality and forget that it doesn’t really work that way.
What we intend to do about it:
– We’re in the process of rewriting the entire game in c++ for the iOS / Android release. Yes, c++. It’s being written using Marmalade (formerly Airplay SDK) so we only have one more set of files to maintain. Part of this rollout will be some update graphics and animation. The HD versions (iPad, etc.) will be ported back to the XNA version. So, if you already bought it for the XBox, yours will eventually look just like the mobile HD version.
– We’re going to attempt to get some buzz going prior to the mobile release. The same goes for future XBLIG releases. Any suggestions from seasoned devs would be greatly appreciated! 🙂


Little to the left…up…up…okay, down…there it is!

Well, IAIS is back in peer review with an update. Adjusted a few things here and there, so everyone kind and fortunate enough to have purchased it already, watch for that to come down soon.


The Reviews Are In!

Well, looks like we’ve had a few people review “I Accidentally… In Space”.  So what is the general consensus?  It’s good!  Of course Paul and I could have told you that ourselves, but we’re always happy to see that there are other people that share our opinions 🙂

In all seriousness though, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to review our game and help spread the word about it.  We really appreciate it.  For those who haven’t seen the reviews yet – you can check them out here:

At XBLA and XBLIG Ratings: http://www.xblaratings.com/component/content/article/62-platformer/3881-i-accidentallyin-space-ep1

And at 8 Bit Horse: http://8bithorse.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-accidentally-in-space-xbl-indie-games.html

You’ll notice that 8 Bit Horse also did a small review on our first game, “Mechfish” as well.  Thanks!


Onward, and upward!

(TI-99 Alpiner reference? Anyone? Nevermind.)

So in 5 days, “I Accidentally…In Space!” doubled what “MechFish” sold in a year, so I would say that’s a move in the right direction! Thanks to everyone who has picked it up so far, and thanks in advance to everyone who will be! (Don’t forget to RATE it!!) 😀
Five of the ten levels in the full game are up and running on my Droid Incredible. The phone port is coming along nicely, but it’s still a long way away from release. Those little guys are pretty powerful, but not as powerful as an XBox, so we’ve got some tweaking to do before it’s really fully marketable. But again, it is coming along nicely.
Our next release, “No Rest for the Wicked,” is actively in development for all platforms, so no more of the “finish one then spend months translating it for the other” paradigm. Both the mobile (iOS/Android) and the console (XBLIG/PC) versions will be coded, compiled and tested at every turn, which is already going much more smoothly.
I’ll be out of commission for the next week or two, but should have some pretty awesome progress updates around mid-April. Cheers!


3…2…1… LAUNCH!

It’s here!  “I Accidentally… In Space! EP1: Hostile Hustle” has officially launched and is now on Xbox Live Indie Games!  WooHoo!  You can find it on Xbox’s Official website here: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/I-AccidentallyIn-Space-Ep1/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585507f2

Otherwise, on your 360, just go to Game Marketplace – Games and Demos – Indie games and you should find it on the ‘New Realeases’ list.  Be sure to hurry though – it will only be on that list for about a week!

Paul is still working hard on the ports for the phone versions – I got a chance to play what he has done so far and it is too sweet for words.  I was a little worried about how it would play on a phone, but the controls are still just as tight as they are on the 360.  And the graphics on those little screens look sharp as hell!

Well – that’s all from me this morning.  For everyone who downloads our game on 360 – I thank you in advance.  And don’t forget to rate us on the marketplace!  Five stars will do nicely 😉


This Just In…

“I Accidentally… In Space! EP1” is now officially in review!  Although we recently announced that we were going to hold off on releasing the game due to the competition for this month, it seems that certain titles (which will not be named) have been pushed back allowing us to return to our originally scheduled program – launching before the end of Q1 2011.  With any luck, we will be announcing the official release soon.

In other news – our next game has already begun to show some life.  No, not Project Spelunker, that game has unfortunately been put on hold for an undisclosed amount of time (and may one day return as a completely new beast).  Instead, our next game is now Project Restless – an overhead hack n’ slash with a few surprises in store.  After all, we can’t let games get boring, now can we?  More news to come!  Stay Tuned!


Touch. Feel. Play.

So I’ve been spending the last two weeks porting things to work on the iPhone and Android. This means translating everything to a new language, scaling the graphics, adding in functions that c# was nice enough to handle for me, and (as completed about 30 minutes ago) implementing a custom touch screen control system. Since everything is being built for the XBox and translating over, I’m trying to make the back-end stuff as similar to the way the program would talk to XNA as possible, and actually succeeding.
“IAIS” has gone through what will probably be it’s last playtest before peer review and hopeful release. There are a few slight graphical changes that need to be made (as per playtesters’ requests), but that’s pretty much it. We are holding off until April however for release (sadly but deliberately missing the Q1 2011 target launch window). The logic is this: Duke Nukem Forever is (allegedly) coming out in March, along with Portal 2.
Aint NOBODY gonna be lurking around on the Indie Games market. I don’t want to go up against either of those. So, we wait. Who knows, maybe I will miraculously have everything ported over and we’ll be able to do a simultaneous XBox / Windows / iPhone / Android release!
Probably not, but we can dream!

Oh, and on an unrelated note: the past, present and future game count (including Mechfish and IAIS:EP1) is up to ten now. Never a dull moment, we’ve got plenty to do here!


Playtest – take 3

Third time’s a charm? All new suggestions implemented, soume sounds added, some polish applied, and back into playtest!!


Something to watch.

New gameplay video!


Is it stupid to start a playtest on Super Bowl Sunday?

Geeks watch football, right?
So we’ve put on a few more coats of polish and added some of the cool features suggested in the last playtest. There are also two new games in the works. (That puts us up to 5, including Mechfish and Accidentally!) More details on those later! For now, some fresh new IAIS pics:


Level… Upper?

What, Kol? That’s not enough for our five faithful followers? WELL, how about this, folks: We’ve got a practice mode now so you can unlock you some levels and play them out of order! Yeah, you read that right! Basically in practice mode you can pick any unlocked level (TRIAL OR FULL GAME LEVELS!!) and play it. OR, you can go through a full mission on the full game levels, which will allow you to get a much higher score and some accomplishments!
On top of that, a few more little features that will make the lower difficulty levels a little less frustrating. Can we still do this by March? With Duke Forever (allegedly) releasing in early March, do we really want to?!? All these questions and more will be answered in due time… Keep following!


Level Up!

Well another session of play testing has come and gone.  And with it’s passing, we have one of those good news/ bad news situations.  Bad news first – looks like the release of ‘Accidentally’ is still a little ways away yet (although, not too far!).  The good news?  We just added 50% more levels!!  Yep – you read that right.  Now how is that for a good reason for a delay?!

What?  Not good enough you say??  Well, how about two more difficulty levels?  Would you like some ‘rapid fire’ to your artillery?  Maybe a shockwave blast that forces enemies back?  That’s right – we’ve been busy (well, Paul has been busier than I have, but you get the idea!).

With each playtesting, things keep getting better and better.  We’ve come a long way from where we’ve started with this baby and although we’re nearing the end of it, we’re not through just yet!  Keep watching as we keep you updated while we get closer to that finish line.

SK


WE ARE IN PLAYTEST

Yup, going for it again, this time hopefully we won’t be up against a popular thread from a Microsoft guy! (We’re going with that as the reason it got so few responses in its first playtest… that or the word “beta” scared off some testers!) (Or the name… or the box art… or… or… I’ll shut up now.)
So, if any XNACC premium members are lurking around, get on your console and test you some IAIS!!!


Can you play me now?

Working on a Windows port of IAIS, which we’ll figure out distribution on later. Just got the Android development stuff installed, and…

Graphics still need to be rescaled and the sound and input stuff needs to be completely re-written, but we do have a running version for Windows Phone 7!!!

On a different note, we are just a few minor revamps of the boss level and a run through playtest away from XBLIG submission!!

Oh and the aforementioned accomplishment support is in place and it is freaking sweet!