Guess what’s coming very soon…
Time to stop messing around 🙂
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!
The macOS version of Fish! is now up on the Mac App Store. That means Fish! is now on every single Apple platform, macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS!
Here’s the Mac App Store link Fish! For macOS https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fish/id1313955304?mt=12
and here’s the iOS version link (which also counts as the watchOS and tvOS version) Fish! For iOS/AppleTV https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fish/id966194870?ls=1&mt=8
The App Stores are pretty broken for smaller devs like ourselves at the moment. Not only does the search ignore a new app until it gets a few zillion downloads, it also doesn’t show an app even if you type its name in exactly (on the Mac App Store for instance, it’s impossible to find Fish! or Strange Flavour by search). So we’re reliant on the direct web links.
Unfortunately that’s now broken since iOS 11 as the new desktop version of iTunes removed the iOS App Store it means you can only use an iOS App Store link on an iOS device. (Likewise you can’t buy an AppleTV or MacOS app unless you’re using the device specific App Stores).
What we’d love to see is a cross platform web based App Store that lets you buy apps for all your Apple devices in once place (or at least from any device). Your account already knows what devices you have anyway, so the store should be able to warn you against buying them for the wrong device and it would make the App Store a lot more accessible to everyone (not to mention letting it tempt people away from other platforms 😉 ).
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”!
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 🙂
It’s been a month of updates!
SlotZ Racer 2 finally got its new 2.09 update with MFi controllers, new cars and general updatey goodness to work on newer iPhones and iPads and Fish! had a couple of point updates to fix bugs, tune things and add a couple of minor features that players requested.
Adam’s even been working hard and updated the Strange Flavour website too! (more tweaks ongoing in that department).
We’ve actually got another SlotZ Racer update in submission as a bug snuck through in the championship mode of the game, so expect to see that hit the App Store this week.
Next up in the updates department is a fairly big one to add all the extra locations and features in the iOS version of Fish! to the Apple TV version. Both the Apple TV and iOS versions will be getting another update later on with some rather cool new features.
We’ve not forgotten our other games either, while they may take a bit longer, there’s updates in the works for Tiny TrackZ on iOS and AppleTV (and an OSX version at some point too!).
I’ve already posted about it being our company birthday today (1st April), but the big news is of course that Apple is 40 today and the oldest computer company in the world (that actually makes computers) so I thought I’d show you a list that explains why we’re such fans of Apple here at Strange Flavour.
This is what a couple of guys with off the shelf Macs can produce in 12 years..
5 Mac games
1 Mac game for medical research
3 Xbox 360 games, plus helping another get finished
16 iOS games
and 4 Apple TV games
About 30 million people who’ve bought or downloaded them and played them and approximately 2000 years (yes years) of gameplay time.
Also an Apple Design Award and a MacWorld Best of Show award plus had an animated short based on one of our games shown at ComiCon 🙂
That’s the level of productivity you get when you work on computers and software you can rely on (we did try using a PC for the Xbox 360 development but it was too unreliable and Windows worked better on a Mac anyway 😉 ).
Hopefully, by the time Strange Flavour reaches 40 I’ll be posting these updates from my Apple Hover Sofa (TM) using the thought transcription mode in my iShirt (TM)
Happy Birthday Apple and here’s to many more!
Thanks also to all the great people we’ve worked with over the last decade or so at Freeverse, Apple, Microsoft, Caterham, Zenos and Unity to name a few!
Now that Tiny TrackZ has successfully left the engine shed, we’ve set to work on some much needed updates for all of our games and working on making new paid versions of the Play Nice ones.
First up is Any Landing. The 1.2.2 update is undergoing testing at the moment and focuses on updating to properly use the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen sizes as well as fixing a bunch of annoying bugs. I’ve also re-jigged the ads a little to make them less annoying although due to changes in what’s allowed in apps now, I’ve had to remove the “Free wings for having our games installed” page. Watch for the update of Any Landing PlayNice in the next couple of weeks.
The paid version (i.e. Any Landing) is almost done, so that should be submitted soon after Any Landing Play Nice. Gameplay wise, it’s more of a challenge as you can’t adjust the difficulty downwards by spending money to buy more powerups but you do start with more Wings (and the bank option is on by default, so you can build up your coins to use).
We’re already working on the first update to Tiny TrackZ. This will focus on bug fixes, optimisation and general tuning. We’re planning the first actual content update, which will have some German locos and wagons and suitable layouts to play with. As Tiny TrackZ has done pretty well in the German App Store though, we’re putting extra effort in to get a German localisation done for this content update too. I’m aiming to submit the bug fix update by the end of this week and the content update will follow later once Adam’s had time to do all the new artwork!
Fast Fishing is also in the update process. As mentioned in a previous article, there’ll be Fast Fishing PlayNice which will be the update for the current Fast Fishing and Fast Fishing, which will be the new pay once version. We’ve got some fun new content planned for these that our old Flick Fishing fans will like, so it’ll take a little longer. It’ll be worth the wait though 🙂
Last but not least I’ve also been spending time updating SlotZ Racer 2 🙂 Apart from fixes to the screen mode to cover newer iPhones and adding MFi Controller code, it also adds the Zenos E10 and Zenos E10S sports cars from SlotZ Racer Zenos Special. These will be available as part of the main set of cars, so won’t need unlocking.
Being able to spend time on these updates is only made possible by our most excellent players buying our games and keeping playing them (and telling their friends so they can buy and play them too).
Update: We’ve been asked (especially by one very keen Fast Fishing app reviewer in the US 😉 ) to update our original iPhone fishing game Flick Fishing over and over again. The problem being that as we wrote it to be Freeverse’s IP and it was on their App Store account, it’s moved with that account to their new owners. So unfortunately the situation is that while we’d love to update it, we simply can’t as we don’t have access to it.
That’s one reason why we wrote Fast Fishing. It’s essentially the same as Flick Fishing in how it works (the actual fishing code is the same) as we don’t own the Flick Fishing brand, but the code is still ours 🙂 With Fast Fishing we wanted to try a different gameplay mode to suit current gamers, but there’s still a definite fan base that wants an up to date version of Flick Fishing. However a lot of them bought Flick Fishing later on in its development when it had lots of features in it and don’t remember the original release which only had the basic fishing spots and a couple of tournament options.
So don’t worry fans, we’re expanding Fast Fishing towards what you want. It won’t be immediate, but we hear you and appreciate your keen feedback 🙂
If you want to contact us directly to let us know what you’d like to see in our game updates or report any bugs, remember can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ve also started an email newsletter so you can keep up to date on our latest work Strange Flavour Newsletter
If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll know we’re switching from our Play Nice free to play system to a straightforward one of paid games.
The plan is to try and update our Play Nice games to have paid versions. Generally speaking they will be the same game but without the pay as you play options. We debated what to call them though? Snap Match Soccer Paid?, Fast Fishing Pro? Any Landing Plus?
Eventually we decided that as the new, paid, versions would be the ‘normal’ version of the game, it’s better to rename the old versions of the game by adding ‘PlayNice’ to them. So if you’ve got any of them, the name will change but they’ll still work the same.
We’re obviously keeping the old versions on the App Store as over a million players have downloaded them and they’re still being played every day. Plus some players have bought content and it would be unfair to penalise them. As far as is practical we’ll be keeping them updated too.
We’ve put a lot of thought into pricing too. With Flick Fishing we were one of the first app developers to recognise that gaining chart position made selling the game at the lowest price point of $0.99 worthwhile. That was of course the early days of the App Store and it worked fine then. However in the current App Store chart position isn’t quite so valid unless you can guarantee a top 10 position and way too many people seem to equate a $0.99 game with one they can wait for until it inevitably goes on offer as a free game. So we’re only going to keep the $0.99 price point for old games as a ‘budget’ label. These are our older or less popular games that we still want people playing but probably won’t have a lot of time to update that regularly.
For the bigger games we’re starting at $2.99 as a base point. Our thinking is pretty simple in that all our games are worth at least that and players who are only interested in cheaper or free games have plenty of options to trawl through 😉
Tiny TrackZ for instance is a simple (but rather deep) puzzle game, so the iOS version is going to be launched at $2.99 with the Mac version coming in at $6.99 (this covers the extra development time, lower customer base and wider range of machines to support). It may have some IAP packs to extend it at some point but only for big content add ons.
The relaunched Any Landing is going to be $3.99 as it will effectively be the same as the Play Nice version rewritten as if you’d paid the full $9.99 option for everything. Fast Fishing will be $2.99 and Snap Match Soccer will be our first $0.99 budget title. We’re already testing the first version of Any Landing in paid mode.
Here’s a little video we did for Tiny TrackZ!
The actual game will be out soon on August 13th for iOS and following soon after for OS X.
Music : “Ballycastle Bay” performed by the Fairey Band.
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Music under license from Delta Leisure Group.