So we released Savvy Bear finally on the 24th September to the Apple app store. We are overall pleased with the app as it is now but it most definitely is not finished.
Before going into our plans for the app I’m going to talk about the submission procedure briefly. Submitting to apple can be a huge pain for anyone that has done it they will know and for anyone who is going to do it anytime in the future then be warned it is a lot of work.
First of all as detailed as apples instructions are they are not suitable for every submission. We made our app in flash and Adobe are actually pretty great, they include a lot of the stuff needed to submit in Flash itself. The likes of icons etc. The apple instructions went on a bit about using xcode which we never used at all but building up to submission we were confused in the office about what we needed xcode for. Turns out we only needed xcode and a mac to send the app over to apple once everything else was done.
Once all the little details where done and we sent it over it was just a waiting game. Apple took 6 working days to get back to us about the app. They rejected it at first due to their new rules regarding kids games and privacy policies. So we fixed the legal mumbo jumbo and resubmitted. After exactly 6 working days again the app came back as approved and all that was left was to fill in bank details and choose our contract and less than an hour later it was up on the app store and obviously the first thing I did once it was downloaded was find a bug but at least it wasn’t game breaking :-o so it will be fixed with a simple update.
That was a bit of a surprise once it was approved how quick it went up. When initially submitted we chose a release date of Sept 16th but it was rejected before that date. We thought we might get to choose a new date but instead once approved it went live fairly quickly which we were fine with as we just wanted it out there.
So going forward October is a big month for us. We will start marketing the app. Our marketing team are finalising details of the marketing campaign so hopefully the app will take off. We want it in schools around the world asap. In terms of developing the app we have big expansive updates planned that will make the game a whole lot better. I can’t go into the details about our features planned but they are very cool and very exciting so we are all looking forward to driving on with it but our next step is to port the app to android devices and iPhones.
I know it is a bit late doing a write up on the windows game jam held in the Microsoft offices but I flew to Spain 8 hours after the event and was too tired after to do a write up about it.
The event itself was a lot of fun. An early start in the fantastic and impressive Microsoft offices. We were welcomed at the door with fresh muffins which was a nice touch. Diarmuid Murphy of Microsoft who organised the event was there to greet everyone.
Our team had a solid plan in place for what we wanted to make. We wanted to start from scratch and make a new game. We knew we would be competing for top prize with people who were just porting already made games which made it difficult for us but we we’re there for the challenge and the fun.
Our team consisted of me (programme/design), Emma Kenny (artist), Ethan Campbell (Music/Sfx) and Darren Murphy (level design). Once we had finished chatting to various other developers and got set up on the wi fi and all our tools opened up on our pc’s an hour had already passed so I was way behind already. Luckily Emma, our artist was stuck in straight away as she had a lot of work ahead of her.
The day was broken up well with memorable talks from Jamie McCormack of Scraggly Dog Games and Flashpoint as well as talks from John griffen of Gamesparks about their new cloud based service for game developers which was very interesting and definitely one to watch in the future.
We started by making the first level and building from there.We made the game in Construct2 which I love using for jams as it is quick and easy for 2d games. Even though we had a plan in place we still had to decide on the puzzles for each level. The concept of the game was that we would have a cute character in a colourful world who grows up through life learning various life lessons. The player has to make various decisions in his life and each one will affect him in the future.
In terms of developing the structure we did really well. The art was very solid and the core of the game is there. In the end we got 3 levels that have various different scenarios. We settled on calling the character patch as he is a pillow made up of patches that walks around. Then we settled on calling the game “The Life of Patch”
Once time was up we definitely could have used another hour or two but overall we were happy with what we had. The judges went to every team and reviewed their games. Now we play the waiting game.
The overall winner was Raw Games for their game “ The Driven Dead”. A high quality driving game made in Unity (if im not mistaken). Our game won best art so well done to Emma Kenny. Special shout out to “Ninja Fight” and “Space Racer 3186” which were my personal favourite games.
Overall the day was a success, how could it not be with free pizza and drinks for lunch. I hope this becomes a common thing where major companies host game jams. I believe it encourages development and can also open your eyes to new platforms to build for.
I’d love to hear anyone else’s opinion of the jam or any questions feel free to drop me a line.
Also play our build of the game here on Chrome. LIFE OF PATCH