Your Face is your controller, we’ve just released our first Face Control game!
While updating our ARKit 2 game AiRburst I wanted to try out the ARKit’s “other side” feature of face mapping. A while (ok over a decade) ago, we wrote the Apple Design Award winning ToySight games pack using Apple’s iSight camera, so camera controlled games are something we like to mess with. That and the opportunity to write a game that involves players sticking their tongues out seemed to good a thing to miss out on.
Face Candy is our new (free) game for iOS that uses the unique Face Mapping features of ARKit to control the game with your face!
Hook the candies with your nose and stick your tongue out to slurp them in!
Avoid the bombs, electric shocks and other nasties and grab as much candy as you can before you run out of time!
Collect 3 in a row of the same candy and score bonuses!
Unlock new face features and customise your look!
If you’ve got an iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max or an iPad Pro 11″ then grab Face Candy and have some silly fun!
When we wrote the original Flick Fishing for the iPhone back in 2008, we never realised just how influential or long lasting a game it would be.
Due to change of ownership and management of our publishing partners we gradually lost the ability to update the original version and decided to focus on different games for a while. However the fans wanted Flick Fishing and we rebooted and relaunched the game as Fast Fishing and then Fish!, deciding that launching with the same name but as a different product might be confusing (the original app SKU not being under our controlFlick ). What we’ve realised since then is most of the players buying Fish! have been searching for Flick Fishing and are more confused by the name change and lack of Flick Fishing on the App Store than it being a new product. It also doesn’t help that Fish! is a terrible search term. So, let’s de-confuse it a bit…
From the 1.4 Update on 19th July, Fish! will now be Flick Fishing (or Flick Fishing Redux as its full name 😉 ). It’s still, as always, the Flick Fishing you’ve grown to love, but we’ve stopped messing around calling it a different name.
The 1.4 update will be simultaneous on iOS, macOS and tvOS and features more fish, a new fishing spot and a new system that lets you collect powerups to build your own custom fishing rod!
We’ve finally got the first part of the big Fish! 1.3 update out and the biggest part is that we’ve brought back FishNet!
The idea of FishNet is that you can play against your friends no matter where they are. Whatever fish you catch when a FishNet game is active are recorded and at the end of the game time, the winners of Best Fish and Best Catch get medals.
FishNet games are a bit more flexible than network or pass and play games as you don’t need to be on the same network or in the same room. You can start a FishNet game, get some friends to join and just fish whenever you’ve got some play time, the FishNet keeps tabs of the scores and notifies you all when someone catches the best fish so far.
Currently, FishNet games can be from 1 day to 14 days long, but in the next update we’re going to add some quicker ones so you can resolve any bragging rights issues quickly 😉
Another new feature for this version of FishNet is FishNet Teams.
By creating a team, you (and anyone who joins your team) can pit yourself against all the other Fish! Teams in the world. Once in a team, all fish you catch count towards that team’s scores and at the end of each week and each month we award the top 3 teams medals!
Medals btw. are like bonus gizmos that boost your fishing skills automatically. They only last as long as the game you were playing (so a medal won for a 1 day game will last 24 hours and one for the monthly competition will last 30 days). So for bigger fish, play FishNet and win medals!
On the teams front. We’re going to organise some specific inter-team tournaments soon. So get your FishNet team together now!
I got the approval message from the App Store yesterday for our huge Fish! update, so it’s set to go live this week (to be precise, 00:00 28/9/17 Australian time). Flick Fishing is back baby!
This update is kind of a big deal for Adam and myself as it’s the first time in a while where we’ve been able to set a decent block of time aside from doing contract work etc. that pays the bills to focussing on one of our longest running games and do a solid update for it. It helped that we’ve had a ton of great feedback from players who’ve been playing since Flick Fishing days and a huge part of this version is getting more of my game design features from Flick Fishing into Fish! The biggest of those familiar new elements is the collection of ‘junk’ items from treasure chests, which are now the method for unlocking gizmos, reels and rods, but also unlock a brand new, just like it never went away, Xtreme mode 🙂 (for those not brought up on Flick Fishing, Xtreme mode unlocks all the same fishing spots, but with bigger and tougher fish, so it’s a gameplay mode for the more experienced players, but with bigger fish as a reward).
We’re seriously hoping that Fish! can get more of our old Flick Fishing fanbase back with us. We weren’t able to continue updating Flick Fishing for various reasons after our publishing partners Freeverse were bought and their App Store account was eventually closed. Because the original game was on their account, it meant we couldn’t update it and so we ended up with Fish! as a new SKU (which means there’s no way to let original Flick Fishing players know about it directly). So it’s annoying but did give us the opportunity to do a fresh start on the project (even if I did re-use the actual fishing mechanic code 😉 ) which makes it a lot easier to keep updated in future.
If you’re a Flick Fishing fan, now’s the ideal time to get back into the game and pick up Fish! from the App Store. Don’t wait for it to go on sale as we’ve got a standing policy of “No Sales” (they don’t work any more for smaller devs like ourselves) so the price isn’t going to get any lower 🙂
Nine years ago next month, Adam and I started work on our second iOS game while waiting for our first “The Plank” to finish testing and be approved for the App Store.
Back then, Flick Fishing started pretty simple. For its release version in November 2008, it had six locations and just the basic tournaments. The Old Man in the Lighthouse wasn’t even on the map with his quest, the named fish had yet to be named and of course it was a huge hit, being the second app to hit a million sales, just an hour behind Flight Control.
I’ve recounted the story of how we worked on and updated Flick Fishing over the years, the 2000+ *years* of game time that was logged by players and how we were unable to do anything but watch as it was left unattended and eventually removed from the App Store in my blog on the Strange Flavour website, with the name itself locked away under someone else’s trademark.
But we weren’t done with the game. We’d worked on updates that weren’t able to be released and we saw the Flick Fishing fanbase asking for more. Our fabulous publishing partners Freeverse had unfortunately been consumed and lost to the App Store too and we switched to self publishing.
Eventually, we plucked up the courage to take a fresh look at Flick Fishing. We knew it would be a long term project (while Flick Fishing’s basic concept, which ‘inspired’ how pretty much every popular fishing game on mobile worked was there in V1.0, a lot of its features were developed over 5 years of updates). Rather than just do the new game the same as Flick Fishing, we thought it would be a great idea to combine it with an Outrun style time challenge so you had to catch fish within a time limit to progress. Voila! Fast Fishing was born in 2015.
Ok, so we found out that Flick Fishing still had a big fanbase. We also found out they didn’t want us mucking about with the basic game idea and ability to just fish 😉 So Fast Fishing got quietly put back in the cupboard and we got down to seriously working on a proper Flick Fishing 2, even if we knew we couldn’t call it that. Later in 2015, Fish! was one of the first games released for Apple’s new AppleTV App Store and the success of that version helped us fund the eventual release on iOS in March 2016. Fish! has steadily grown as the old fanbase has stumbled across it on the App Store (unfortunately the short name and the weird way search works on the App Store makes it very difficult to stumble across!). It got a couple of updates last year but we’ve had to take a lot of time away to work on other projects and contract work to pay the bills. There was a lot of stuff we wanted to do with Fish! though, some familiar to Flick Fishing fans and some new.
So here we are. It’s 9 years since Adam and I started on Flick Fishing and we’re just putting the last touches to a massive update to Fish! A lot of it has been driven by feedback from our players over the last year and we’ve got more planned. For this version (1.2) though, here’s what we’ve got coming once it’s all tested and approved…
The game’s UI and a lot of the underlying structure has been completely re-written. We’ve kept the original Flick Fishing game code of course, but the way the UI was written made it difficult for us to update, add new fish, locations etc. and made it tricky to keep the iOS and AppleTV versions in sync. The new setup should make it easier to do more regular future updates and hey, maybe even a Mac version? 😉
New Network multiplayer. I’ve rewritten the entire network game. Again, more towards reliability and making it more practical for it to work cross platform with Apple TV (or Mac).
Collections! A popular feature of the original game, the 4 junk items from the first release were expanded to a whole sea of random junk that you could collect in sets to cash in for various upgrades. In Fish!, the collections can be traded in for all sorts of upgrades and extra game modes.
A Fish Guide! The Flick Fishing Megaguide was a very popular IAP item when it was introduced and gave players a heads up on where to catch all the fish. The Fish Guide starts simple, with suggestions of 3 different fish you can catch in each spot but can be upgraded by collecting sets of treasure items to full details of all fish, what bait, what cast distance and even a Fish Computer that shows what fish you’re likely to hook when you cast.
Xtreme and Night Mode fishing spots. Unlocked via the collections, these modes give you a whole new spin on the various fishing spots (as well as potential for bigger fish).
New Fish. Only a couple for this update, but many more coming.
A new fishing spot.
Definitely more Cobia! For some reason, the Cobia were set to being extremely rare and hard to catch. They’ve been tempted back with more cake for this version.
There’s also a ton of fixes and tweaks under the hood and there’s more coming.
Next up, I’ve got to apply all this and update the Apple TV version to match before we can start on the next update and focus on more content.
So, if you’re a long term Flick Fishing fan or a recent Fish! player, please tell all your friends and get them playing (if you’re playing multiplayer, their catches count towards the quest if you’re playing it 😉 ) as we need you all if we’re going to be able to carry on updating and adding to the game. Also, most importantly, thanks for playing!
If you’ve not got Fish! yet, download it from the App Store here!
Well, it’s WWDC next week and one of the things we’re all expecting is the end of 32 bit iOS apps.
Luckily for us, all but one of our current games are already 64 bit and the last remaining one (SlotZ Racer Caterham Special) should have its 64 bit update submitted before WWDC.
This does give me a prod to update you all on what we’re doing behind the scenes to keep our games fresh and what updates to expect either soon or eventually 😉
Fish! is in the process of a very big rewrite. It’s taken a lot longer than planned for its update as we realised there was a lot of stuff we really could do with changing so it can easily be updated across iOS, tvOS and macOS without huge waits in between each version. As the aim is to have the iOS and tvOS versions (at least) able to play multiplayer between each other, that ability to update simultaneously is pretty important. The good news though is that while it’s taking longer, it does mean we’re going to be including more of your favourite elements from our original Flick Fishing in the game and the re-engineering will make it faster for us to do updates in the future.
SpinnYwingS has soft launched rather nicely and has picked up a decent number of players in the HeyPlay system who are busy challenging each other in multiplayer games. We’re going to be doing some more point updates to SpinnYwingS and gradually introducing more content to unlock.
The SlotZ Racer games are now relatively old tech, but once SlotZ Racer Caterham Special is updated, they’ll all still happily work on new devices and should be good for a few years. Any non critical update focus is going to be solely on SlotZ Racer 2 though and ideally I’d like to be writing SlotZ Racer 3, but that will be a little way off probably 🙂
What on earth do you get a teenage software company for its birthday?
Strange Flavour Ltd. is 13 years old as of tomorrow (April 1st 2017). We’ve been releasing games as Strange Flavour since 2001 but went full time with it and set the company up with Freeverse as our publishing partners on April 1st 2004. (we picked that day as it’s also Apple’s birthday 😉 )
I’ve made a list of every Strange Flavour game that’s been released for this blog, but I thought you might find it interesting to hear about some of the great ones that *nearly* made it to release…
First up of course, is Airburst XBLA. This was the ultimate version of Airburst, written for the XBox 360 and unfortunately shelved very near to completion due to running out of budget and a need to shift to iOS game development when that became available to pay the bills. (which was lucky for us as that was when we wrote Flick Fishing and paid off all the debts Airburst XBLA had run up 😉 ). Airburst XBLA was a pretty awesome game though and it’s on our “One day…” list.
France France Revolution: You might remember our Apple Design Award winning game ToySight. It was a compendium of arcade games all controlled by the iSight camera and there was one game that didn’t quite make the final package as it wasn’t quite there yet.
In France France Revolution you waved your arms in time to music to attract the attention of the Scarlett Pimpernel so he could come and rescue the French Noble about to get his or her head chopped off by the Guillotine 🙂
A notable mention is one we did actually release, but it was a special project for a drug company to use at shows and was a special ToySight game where you play as a new drug fighting colon cancer (quoting the client “Best damn ass cancer game ever!”) . File that one along with the crowd controlled version of Totem Ball (and the play while you’re queuing for a Caterham thrill ride version of SlotZ Racer) under “cool but weird exhibition stuff”!
Strange Flavour’s Games
We have actually finished and released a huge number of games though. Here’s the full list of what we’ve done in the last 13 (or 16) years…
ToySight (Mac) (also ToySight Gold with extra games)
Airburst Extreme (Mac)
Spyglass Board Games (XBLA)
Totem Ball (XBLA)
helped on Marathon Durandal (XBLA. Freeverse did most of the work, we just consulted)
The Plank (iOS)
Flick Fishing (iOS), (also Flick Fishing HD, Flick Fishing Free, Flick Fishing Free HD) and updates for 5+ years
SlotZ Racer (iOS)
Warpack Grunts (iOS)
SlotZ Racer 2 (iOS, Apple TV) SlotZ Racer 2
SlotZ Racer Caterham Special (iOS) SlotZ Racer Caterham Special
Apple Dash/Bob (publisher & added code) (iOS) Apple Bob
Melvin Tiles (iOS)
Any Landing (iOS, Apple TV) Any Landing
Snapmatch Soccer (iOS)
Fast Fishing (iOS, Mac)
SlotZ Racer Zenos Special (iOS) SlotZ Racer Zenos Special
Tiny TrackZ (iOS, Apple TV) Tiny TrackZ
Fish! (iOS,Apple TV) Fish!
SpinnYwingS (iOS) ( AppleTV and Mac coming soon!) SpinnyWings
If you include the alternate versions of Flick Fishing, that’s 29 professional game releases in 16 years. Not bad for a tiny 2 man team. I think I’m taking the day off tomorrow 🙂
Well, I think we can all say, 2016 didn’t exactly go as planned!
We’d hoped to get a lot more new games out last year as well as updating our current set. However, circumstances kind of got in the way and I spent most of my time doing contract work to pay the bills.
The good news is, that’s just about done, bills are paid for now and we’re cracking on with some great new games (not to mention having time put aside for updates). Things are still a bit too close for comfort, but we’ve got a selection of different games on the way. Some may be a bit familiar to our long term fans too 😉 (our theme for the year, Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!)
While we’re still looking at paid games being our main focus, Adam and I also want to try some ideas out as super small games as free to play with video ads. We’ve been playing quite a few games with this model and not all of them are entirely annoying 🙂 (Actually, it works very well as a “Watch Video To Continue Game” system after you hit the Game Over screen). We also think we’ve got a way to get around the problem of them not really working for offline play too.
Anyway, we’ll have more news soon and our first new game of the year very soon!
"Apple Design Award for Most Innovative OSX Product "ToySight" - 2004
"MacWorld Best of Show "ToySight"" - MacWorld 2004
"Pocket Gamer - Top 50 iPhone Developer" - 2009
Way better than the original *****
by ButterBoss28 – Jan 7, 2018
The original was amazing, but this is outstanding! I am overwhelmed that I was able to find a game that could be so addicting and I love this!
The best *****
by LeNautilus – Dec 21, 2017
The best fishing game in the AppStore. And nicely updated for iPhone X