Thursday, April 26, 2012

A song for Work ! :) I am so creative !

I got a spring in my step

 and a smile on my lips,

I got a cuckoo on my shoulder

and a bag of baked chips !

I gotta work through the night,

cos I love the game I made !

"Christmas Magic" will shine soon

on the world wide stage !


Off I go to work some magic with some ingenious promotion ideas for Christmas Magic ! I am a one man Army  ! :D

Indies rule the world !...... and so will " I " !

  S.T.A.L.K.E.R. IS BACKK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES ! ITS TRUE AND TRUEST EVER ! :D (jumps all over his house, his garden and limps back after hurting his foot !)

yes, yes, yes .......oh ! the glee and the smug feeling and the ouch in my foot  :) !

 But that will come later, this post is first and foremost about indie devs ruling the world and as true as the above statement might be, it will have to wait. So, lets start again !

Hiya guys,

 I know I promised something awesome from my drawing table, but thats not ready yet as I was busy with Christmas Magic's promotion, or shall we say trying to promote it ! Basically, I am being ingenius and trying everything I can to get it talked about on the internet!
      Yes, but all that work does not stop me from checking around gaming sites, discussing on B3D forums and watching videos ! Like all internet denizens, somethings need to be done even during crunch times, that includes checking your Facebook and Twitter too, consiudering how important the have become for online promotions these days.
So, here I present to you, my mates and fellas, my unknown readers, and known firneds who never put a comment under my posts :P, the latest gaming news from around the net !

             To start with , I present an awesome tech demo/trailer by an indie group who have created such magnificent wizardry with their keyboards and mice that my programming partner can't stop eating his nails out of his fingers and his fingers out if his hands and his hands out of his arms.........until he just regrows them all and can create this himself for our next game !
The trailer for RESET, a co-op puzzle game, it says, but I can't see any of that here, all I see is unbelievable realtime shaders and a cool art style for the robot and the car :
Big evil corporations gotta watch out cos new indie groups are moving ahead of them, even with their miniscule budgets! Human spirit, I say, can achieve anything with any kind of budget ! Love the tech shown here , lets hope these guys make it big and lets hope I make it big too, someday  !

Second up is this total conversion mod for Crysis 2 ! Yes, I know Crytek has announced Crysis 3 recently, but frankly speaking, the trailer did not get me that excited for it. It shows small, constrained spaces and (seemingly)linear fights with thoe same stupid looking mechs and squids we had to drudge through in Crysis 2 ! Don't get me wrong here, I loved Crysis 1 and still play it sometimes, cos the game is just superb in its gunplay and freedom it provides in tackling a situation means unlimited replays are still fun. But Crysis 2 didn't match up to Crysis 1 in any way. It had worse art direction and limited gameplay areas. I was wishing they would bring back the matrix-like-sentinel-aliens of Crysis 1 in Crysis 3, but sadly that isn't the case.
So, downed and disappointed I sat down to look for things that are Crysis but could excite me more than the new Teaser and Voila ! Look what I found  :

Aha ! Ain't that exciting ! A total conversion mod for Crysis 2 which seems to blend the jungle gameplay of the magnum opus with a sci-fi space twist to it ! Frankly, this has me more excited than the Crysis3 teaser and to imagine that this is by a smaller group and we won't need to shell out $60 for it ! I wonder how such groups get money for their food and rent ? I am sure there are no benevolent kings in any part of the world anymore, who would patronise art-forms like these and give the group a palace to stay in and food to eat while they rummage through their brains, hallucinating new experiences and materialising them inside computers ! Wish I could find such a patron ! From my own experience, making Christmas Magic for the iPad has been an excruciating 8 months of pen, pencils, papers, erasers, keyboards, swollen eyes in front of monitors, sleepless nights while my fiance waited for my calls which I forgot to make,...etc,....etc....! And now it turns out that we need to market it too, so which has turned into even more months of pencils, papers, keyboards, swollen get it ! Atleast our trailer has generated super buzz on the internet 
and the game itself has generated a lot of word of mouth publicity for itself and hopefully it will pay for our bills now and help us fund our next project for the PS Vita. But working on total conversion mods which has no hopes of bringing any money to our homes and requires me to work full time to achieve a vision at par with a full game release !!!!!!!!!  I have no idea how these guys do it !

 and the third news I wanted to share with you guys is for all the S.T.A.L.K.E.R fans like me who were shell-shocked and heartbroken when S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 was cancelled .....the game is still dead, its not been continued, but, and its big BUT, its spirit has resurrected from the underworld and is readying up to shine on the world again !!!!!! YES ! S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is coming back , but as another title. The guys from GSC Game World which was closed midway in the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, have regrouped to form Vostok games and are continuing the legacy of STALKER with a new game called  SURVARIUM ! Yes, it sounds strange, but just to confirm, lets hear it from the devs themselves :

So, its a new online shooter, presumably free to play , set in an apocalyptic environment like Stalker but may include more than just post apocalyptic Russia. ALso, the devs are even open to ideas from the gaming community and want to actively involve us in the development of the game ! THats awesome news and would be wonderful to see the inner workings of this group of guys I have admired so much over the years ! I, for one, have subscribed to their youtube channel and I advise that you should too, but its a free world, do what you like !

Have to sign off now, as my lightbox is screaming at me with its all its silence to come back and finish the awesome amazing work I have started and which needs to be shared soon with the whole world wild web ! Before it starts creaking towards me and gobbles me up raw and fresh, I need to end this post and get to work!

"creak...creaak..crrreeee...aa...k.k....! "
"Whats That ?"
" ! grrrrrr..r.r.r.r.....r.r"
"Its alright Mr. Lightbox,  I still love you more than my computer ! Look, here, I come with my pencils and pens ! "

The End ! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breaking News, Concept art and Game Updates !

              Hey ! I am back with some behind-the-scenes concept art of Christmas Magic and some b-r-r-r-r-reaking news !

          So, lets roll ! This image you see up there was pivotal in the development of the concept of the magical tree. Before this we had tried many concepts, some were very unique indeed, but it was this image where, for the first time, we felt we were nearing the vision for the tree. A simple tree, not too high fantasy, not too alien or spooky.....a sense of mystery around it, yet charming and inviting ! Of course, this is not what you finally see in the game, cos we went through numerous revisions and little corrections before finalizing the tree's concept art. The final image will be featured some other day, some other time  ! A little mystery is fun :) !

Otherwise, we have been busy working on the first update for the game. Finally, the update got done last night and has been uploaded to Apple for review. Hopefully it will be live soon !The main changes that have been made are:
  • We have made graphical improvements so that it runs better on iPad 1, as we were getting reports it was crashing on first gen iPads. We are still not sure if the crash is fixed or not. I hope it is.
  • Also, added support to earn in game goodies like Magic Pots for free by sharing the game on Facebook and Twitter 
  • Fixed some text errors ! Yes ! Even after taking so much care that the game is perfect on launch, a small textual error crept in and has been fixed ! Now, you can enjoy the game ni all its dictionary-perfect glory :D !
  • and numerous other little fixes which only programmers would care about, so lets not talk about them !
      Thats that, as far as updates are concerned but  what you need to wake up and notice for now is this :

"Christmas Magic has taken the top spot and "Breaking" into the "News" section of ! "

Need I say more, just have a look at the shiny, glossy, squeaky clean screenshots on that page :D !:

Yes ! L'il Pono's mission to take over the interwebz is working out neatly. Soon, he will be more famous that all those famous celebrities no one cares about and only likes to read about (wink wink !) ! Pono's innocent face and the warm smile shall conquer every heart, mart, bits, bytes and websites out there !

 L'il Pono is all set,
To conquer the mighty internet !
Tra La La...La La !
 and dispelling the mystery right now, here's what the final art looks like :

Ain't that suweeeet !!!!!

Will be back soon with some awesome stuff i have been cooking up on my drawing table ! Hoping you guys will like it and it will set the internet a-blaze !
This is Renegade Singing out !

Click here to download the most popular game on the App Store : Christmas Magic ! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

L'il Pono sighted on's front page !

L'il Pono is getting famous(see the new shades he got !) and is in the news again ! Our dearest App Store gem "Christmas Magic" featured as the main story on ! Woohoo ! :D Chk it out !

Free Zen game “Christmas Magic” available for iPad !

                    L'il Pono is going places and is destined for big things in life ! Pono's current mission is total dominance of the App store and the interwebz .........and he will use every weapon of mass communication possible ! Including his killer shades !

In case you still haven't checked out Christmas Magic , here you go:

         Just click on the link above and bask in pure magic !

Now, I have to go control the paparazzi ! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The P.L.A.Y. Song :D ! Creative outbursts celebrating 2 weeks of Christmas Magic !


      Christmas Magic has completed a splendid 2 week run in the wild wild web and me and my mates are going head over heels over the achievement ! We have learnt a lot regarding the patterns of downloads on the App Store and the power of "Word of Mouth" publicity. We have not put into action any marketing campaign as of yet and still the game is being downloaded each day, surprising us and positively delighting us each day ! Soon we'll have reviews and articles on various websites. At least we are trying to get them on websites, when they'll finally appear is God's own free will. We are doing as much as we can, but being Indie has its own limitations. Not having an evil corporation funding you means you gotta believe in the motto "Slow n Steady wins the race !" :)

                        Another amusing fact that has emerged from the download stats is that China is a huge market for iPad games. We had no idea about that and since our game has a story book in it in english, we were surprised to see the number of downloads in China rivaling those of the US of A.  Guess the gameplay rules above all and the relaxing Zen gameplay and the charming ambiance of the game is breaking cultural barriers and sweeping everyone off the floor !

Good for us, makes us float with glee :D !

             So, while I was floating around in thin air, smelling sweet perfumes of the fresh spring season, I came up with a song ! Yes ! A song :) ! A song about us gamers, about us game -makers ! Our thrills, excitements, bravado's and laziness !!! Yes, the master of  Zen gaming says we must encompass all aspects of our existence in one perfect song of celebration and present it to the mighty world !

Lo and behold ! Get glued to your monitors, touch your touchscreens and clickety-click your rodents, cos here I present :

The P.L.A.Y. Song !
(Or the song of the gamers n devs !
BTW, the song is to be read in viking voice, complete with all its hoarse sound and proud pronunciations! it has a wonderful effect on the perception of the song ! wink wink !)

Pirates and Princesses
Legends and Lore !
Aliens and Archstones
 Yikes and Roars  !

We sail for the distant lands,
Treasures and Shores,
We slay mighty Monstaars,
We sail some more !

We sail through the hardships,
" All Hands to the Oars !!!"
We date sweet Mermaids,
 Their beauty so pure !

We are  Messy, Ho ! Grimy, Ho !
Grumpy and sore ,
Loot Magic from Everland,
We are hungry for more !

HO ! Ho ! Ho ! Ho !
Rawr ! Rawr ! Roar ! Roar !
Swing ! Swing ! Bang ! Bang !
Swish ! Swish ! Snore ! Snore ! 

We are denizens of Everland,
We never do our chores,
We are gamers , game makers,
Level up n Xplore ! 

Level up n Xplore !! 

C'mon dear Pirates,
My grumpy Ol' mates,
Let’s conquer this Everland,
Let’s claim our Fates !

OMG ! Meh ! meh !
Woot Woot ! For the Win !
let’s unleash those pranky little
 devils from within !

We are pirates, we are zombies,
we are  soldiers, we are  kings,
we are anything thats fun,
we are ideas with wings !

We are denizens of Everland,
We never do our chores,
We are gamers , game makers,
Level up n Xplore ! 

Level up n Xplore !! 

C'mon dear Pirates,
My grumpy ol' mates,
Let’s conquer this Everland,
Let’s claim our Fates !

Level up n Xplore !! 

Level up n Xplore !!

There, there, I can hear the applause all around me already !  By the way, this song can also be enjoyed inside Christmas Magic in the "Extras" menu. Along-with the song you will also find the best part of the game, our mighty names : in the credits ! 

And if you are the  kind of person who loves to watch before he plays, here's what you need :  

Signing off for now ! Will be back with more interesting stuff soon ! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christmas Magic is out ! Celebrations,Jitters,aftershocks and opulent outbursts of a game designer ! :)

Aha ! Its been a long busy time working on Christmas Magic, our mighty game for the iPad, and what do you know : ITS DONE NOW :D ! Yes ! Finally the game is done and out on the App Store now, ready to be devoured and swallowed whole by each and every one of you out there ! :

Link to 'Christmas Magic' shining bright on the AppStore ! Click on Me Now ! :)

( There, see, after having seen this amazing painting from the game, you have to click on the link ;) ! if you haven't, don't worry, I'll provide the link at the bottom of the post too.)

 and just like every game developer/artist/parent, I was jittery about how it would be received by the world wide web of people from all walks of life : Appreciated/Ignored/Detested/Raised an eyebrow at/ Screamed at like mad men or Worshiped like an Inca Goddess ! 

           Thankfully, the reaction is somewhere between "Appreciated" and "Worshiped like an Inca Goddess" ! Phew! The 1037 people who have played it and others who have  seen their friends play it on their shiny iPads(thoughts of stealing the shiny thingie might also come to mind :P) or watched the "oh-so-amazing !" trailer have all appreciated its good looks, great production values, sweet story telling and deeply relaxing and unique gameplay. (A lot of credit goes to Trevor Holms for composing such a mesmersing OST for the game!) A true testament to this appreciation from people, apart from the 5-star ratings, reviews and comments, is the fact that most, almost 50%, of the downloads have happened because of recommendation from friends. Yes ! When we launched the game on the 3rd of April, 2012, we did not have any marketing media ready with us. For the first 3 days, the game was visible in the "New Releases" section of the App Store and we got 600 downloads during that time, but soon it got buried in the flurry of 'newer' new releases. Ever since then, all the downloads have been a result of people telling their friends, their friends telling their friends and so on ! Well, there might have been some who hated the game so much that they recommended it to their arch enemy/nemesis hoping he would die of shock n boredom , LOL , but you get the flow :D ! He ! He !

              This is very very encouraging for us, the whole team, as it means that people who have played it are loving the game and find it worthy enough to be associated with their reputation and hence, are recommending it to others. There is no bigger satisfaction than that for a game designer: the fact that the little idea, the thought that once came in my head, which I trusted, banked upon and nourished, shared with my friends and asked them to believe in it, is finally being loved by the world! Believed by the world ! My little walk in the imagination, a stroke of emotions from my heart on an idle afternoon, a moment when an illusion tried to force itself into the real world inside my head has evolved into an amalgamation of shapes, sounds and colours, of names, places, longings and fullfillment,  that is as real to players now as any other place and person in this physical world ! People talk of L'il pono and the Magical Tree to each other ! People smile when the Tree surprises Pono, get excited when magic starts to flow from Pono's fingertips! They help him out in fulfilling his innocent wishes for a Christmas night and feel the warmth when love flows on the magical night !

   Putting a game out in the App Store is almost like sending your child to school. You have nurtured that little one from when he did not exist to now and now you send him off to the world. Will people like him? what will his teachers say? will his classmates like him? will his teachers like him? will he perform well? Have I brought him up well? Will I be a proud parent ?!
           Ah ! The jitters ! but now its all over !All the anxiety, the fear of judgements is all gone... All that has settled around me now is tranquility and a contended smile :) ! The child has turned out to be a prodigy, his teachers love him, his classmates love him and he is performing really well on his own !

What is needed now is more efforts from us parents ! what is that, you say? Well, marketing, promotions and visibility ! Not for the children in schools heh heh ,but for our game. The first step towards that has been taken and I present to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, Guys n Gals and all the hep n happenin' synonyms for males and females ..........

The Launch Trailer !!!!
The launch trailer in all its ridiculously sharp 720pHD awesomeness  :) ! 
Check it out  :
Watch it, love it , like it , comment on it and spread it all around the net !!!

My burst of happiness has brought about this magical effluent and opulent post of mine after a long time in slumber. I am generally happy these days  and ,well, exhausted, but happily exhausted ! So, you will hear from me again........ and when I am back I will bring around some goodies that can otherwise be accessed only from the game , just for you right here :D ! Till then enjoy the game, if not the game, enjoy the trailer, its just as awesome as the full game .....!!!!!