Not a Clone: a satire on the mobile game market

Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #31
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Apologize for the lack of update last week. Our regular poster here, Taro Omiya, was sick last weekend. But now he's doing a lot better!

Our latest Not a Clone updates are general User Interface (UI) polishes, in preparation for the looming release. As those who played our free demo will recognize, we have a rather unusual loading screen that provides messages to the player. We've polished this to look more like a text message application it was intended to look like. Both our artist, Astra Wijaya, and writer, Robert Denner (a past collaborator on Letters From Secret Santa, and the person who came up with the text messaging idea), are hard at work putting finishing touches to this unique story-telling medium.

[Image: newLoadingScreen.gif?resize=576%2C768]

Also debuted with the free demo are the music! The ever-so-talented composer, Spencer Bambrick, has put together some great music for this game, including the calming menu theme below. Check it out!





Finally, Taro Omiya has been putting together some extra polishes to the game over screen, including a short tutorial on how to navigate the shop menu.

[Image: tutorial2.gif?resize=576%2C768]

We'll be continuing our weekly Twitch live-stream next Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT at twitch.tv/japtar10101. Our plan is to add new purchasable upgrades to the game!
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #32
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

We're rapidly approaching completion with Not a Clone! At this point, almost all of the major features are implemented, and we are making some small incremental changes in preparation for release. For example, the newest addition to our game is an animation for the notification icon that appears on the Shop button:

[Image: notification.gif?resize=576,218]

Oddly enough, this effort came about due to a necessary bug fix that the notification number did not accurately reflect the number of microgames you could buy from the shop. Similarly, while we had the Lucky Coin feature for a while (a coin you can tap in-between games to get more in-game currency), we only recently implemented a method to unlock the feature. Astra Wijaya has been hard at work to put the sketching the last few necessary bits on unlocking the upgrade.

[Image: Screen_Shot_2016-06-23_at_17.59.06_.png?resize=521,349]
[Image: Screen_Shot_2016-06-23_at_17.59.30_.png?resize=522,267]

We'll be continuing our weekly Twitch live-stream next Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT at twitch.tv/japtar10101. Our plan is to implement a few improvements for microgames that a few people had problems with. If you missed the last one, where we created a method to unlock the Lucky Coin, you can check it out in the Youtube video below.



Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #33
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Happy Fourth of July weekend! This week, we've been gearing up to send out a private beta build next week. As many of you may know, beta testing is a simple quality assurance measure to make sure bugs are fixed, and the game's economy is balanced well. Unfortunately, due to the rampant cloning (heh) and piracy in certain app stores, we'll be keeping this build internal.

In the meantime, here are some development updates! As noted earlier, we are now focusing on polishes. Last Tuesday, Taro Omiya modified the behavior of two games, Phone Clicker and Angry Monkeys. Here's what Phone Clicker looked like before the change:

[Image: Phone-Clicker4.gif?resize=576%2C768]

And here's what it looks like after the change. Notice any difference?

[Image: newPhoneClicker.gif?resize=576%2C769]

That's right: we've replaced the number of taps made on Phone Clicker to a bunch of fingerprints. It's a small, but noticeable way to create distinctions between microgames that are functionally similar to each other.

The changes made to Angry Monkeys, on the other hand, are more subtle. Here's the before:

[Image: angryMonkeys.gif?resize=229%2C366]

And here's the after. Notice some changes made to the physics:

[Image: newAngryMonkeys.gif?resize=576%2C769]

We've set the monkeys and the slingshot to not collide with each other. Furthermore, when the monkey is flung into the air, its trajectory will not be in the mercy of the string behavior, but rather, the position you've let go of the slingshot. Overall, this should make the game more predictable and easier to play.

Last but not least: Astra Wijaya has update the upgrade graphics to look cleaner, as demonstrated in the game list screenshot below:

[Image: newUpgrades.png?resize=576%2C219]

As usual, we'll be continuing our weekly Twitch live-stream next Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT attwitch.tv/japtar10101. If you missed the last one, where we've made the changes described above, you can check it out in the Youtube video below. See you next time!



Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #34
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

A quick update on Not a Clone: as many of you may have noticed, a few days ago, we've update the demo build to a new version 1.1. The changes are fairly small for the demo itself--the biggest change is how the loading screen appears--but it also synchronizes the build with where we're at with our current development. From here on out, we'll be updating the demo builds more often as we approach completion, so stay tuned!

Our last two live streams focused on general polish. Last week, for example, we updated the price of every microgame, using Google Sheets as a reference:





Last Tuesday, we showed the beginning of updating the randomizer that serves the sequence of microgames to the player:





As usual, we'll be continuing our weekly Twitch live-stream next Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT at twitch.tv/japtar10101.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #35
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Some of you may have noticed that a new version of Not a Clone Demo has been released. This is quite a rapid turnout compared to the last release, which came out a full month after the demo debuted. What's going on?

In short, we've been syncing the code and assets for the demos with the recent private beta releases so that both will have the latest development changes in the game. This should help us respond more quickly to the comments on the demo and from the beta testers. Of course, since we're now working on bugs and small enhancements, the changes between the different versions of the demo will be relatively minor.

In any case, we haven't actually posted the changes made since the first release, so here's an extensive list on what's been done so far:
  1. Updated how the loading screen looks to appear more like a text message screen.
  2. Changed the bottom of game over screen to use less screen-estate. High scores button is now placed in-between restart and home button.
  3. Added a new music for challenge mode.
  4. Added more sound effects, both for pop-up events and a couple of microgames.
  5. Updated credits to include our current beta testers.
  6. Reduced WebGL memory usage by packing sprites into less image files. PC/Mac/Linux build remains unchanged.
  7. Updated Angry Monkeys' physics. The monkeys no longer collides with the slingshot or each other, and the shot-direction is based on the position you've let go of the slingshot, not the direction the sling moves.
  8. Background music now fades-in before a microgame starts.
  9. Reduced memory usage on all platforms by loading most sound effects and music on-the-fly.
  10. Clicking on the pause button no longer triggers a mouse-down event on a microgame.
  11. Made challenge mode a lot easier by dramatically increasing the amount of time available to the player. The previous times assumed the game was played on a multi-touch-supporting touchscreen, but there is now a different time set for mouse.
  12. Fixed a few typos in the loading screen's text messages.
  13. Doubled the animation speed of Light Tiles.
  14. How the first couple of microgames are selected is a lot less random. If the player's best score is below 15, they will always be served with a predetermined order of microgames. If they score higher than or equal to 15, the first 10 microgames are those that either have low number of plays, or a low rate of winning.
  15. Fixing "Clone of:" label not being translated properly in Pig Latin (fun fact: the language's purpose is to confirm our localization script works).
  16. The speed-up is calculated differently. It's a little easier in the beginning, but gets harder towards the end.

Let us know what you think of the changes!
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #36
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

We have a short update for Not a Clone this weekend. Since last weekend, we’ve started working on implementing suggestions and fixing bugs reported by beta testers. One of those is improving the tutorial. You may recall the old tutorial, which looked like this:


[Image: tutorial.gif?resize=576%2C768]

A few testers had pointed out it was difficult to tell that they had to tap on a specific button when this finger appeared. Our new tutorial uses a spotlight effect to bring focus to specific buttons:

[Image: newSpotlightGameOver1.gif?resize=576%2C769]

Another tester pointed out they never knew they could tap on the Lucky Coin. As a response, we’ve added a tutorial for the rare coin as well.

[Image: newSpotlightLuckCoin.gif?resize=576%2C769]

We’ll have more of these small-but-important fixes in the upcoming stream next Tuesday, but if you’d like to see how we implemented the features above, we have a Youtube video below:



Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #37
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Apologize for the silent treatment these last two weeks. As some of you may have noticed, last week, we've updated the demo with the following changes:

  1. Adjusting how the first couple of microgames are selected.
  2. Updating sound effects for...
    1. 8
    2. Ridiculous Pinatas
    3. Bun Ninja
  3. Changing how the microgame's background music play. It will cut-off if you've succeeded or failed in the middle of it.
  4. Making Ridiculous Pinatas bounce less off the invisible walls
  5. Adding a cat on the loading screen.

But let's get to the meat of things: when are we going to get a release date for Not a Clone? After all, we've been saying we're nearly done with major features in the game; it's got to be soon, right?

In short, our answer is: "when it's done." We strive to provide the best experience we can to our players, and while the game is insanely close to completion, we still have a few more mundane and/or private housework to do. Future updates on this project will remain low-key until we have everything ready. As such, we do not have plans to live-stream the Not a Clone development next Tuesday.

Thank you for your patience!
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #38
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Hello, everyone! Back again with a new update! A new demo version, version 1.4.0, was just released, with one new feature: quicker transitions. Once the player has shown adeptness with a microgame, the game will jump right to the objective (as depending on the microgame, it may change), shortening the transition from one microgame to another by about 30%. To get a better understanding of how that feels, this is how slow the transitions are for beginning players:

[Image: longerInstructions.gif?resize=576,769]

And this is how fast the transition will be for more skilled players:

[Image: shorterInstructions.gif?resize=576,769]

As usual, here is the list of changes with the latest build:

  1. Shortening the transition from one microgame to another as demonstrated above.
  2. Updating Practice to always show the gesture the first 3 games, then skip to the objective for the rest of the games.
  3. Creating minor improvements to the graphics on the WebGL builds.
  4. Adjusting the condition on when the inverted instructions starts appear. They kick-in a little after the shorter transitions kick-in.
  5. Improving the music-to-sound-effect balancing on a couple of microgames.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #39
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

What's this? A new Not a Clone update! That's right, we're still alive and kicking! Much of our work this month has been about preparing admin-related tasks, but there are some new updates. For one, we have a new icon, drawn by the talented Jason Harlow:

[Image: icon1024r-609x609.png]

The loading screen has also been updated with new texts and icons. Here are just a few previews on the kind of story we'll be having by release:

[Image: textMessage1.png]

[Image: textMessage2.png]

And have we mentioned we now have achievements!? We do! Granted, they're currently few and far between, but do not worry: we have much bigger plans with those, so stay tuned!

Incidentally, there are no changes to the demo build, yet. Much of the changes above do not appear in the demo build, so there hasn't been a need. We'll let you know when one is coming, however.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #40
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Another week, another update, and this is probably the most exciting yet! First, we have a new trailer, edited by Astra Wijaya!



Notice something at the end? That's right, we plan on releasing Not a Clone this month! We're distributing the release candidate to our beta testers this week. Assuming they encounter no major bugs and the submission approval process goes well, we should be able to release this game by the middle of this month. This is quite an exciting time for all of us!

Robert Denner (writer), Astra Wijaya (artist), and Jason Harlow (artist) were hard at work finishing the last bits of the game. The art dump below were the last set of things needed to finish the game. Give it up for these three hard-working developers!

[Image: AppStoreImages01-150x150.png][Image: AppStoreImages02-150x150.png][Image: AppStoreImages03-150x150.png][Image: AppStoreImages04-150x150.png][Image: AppStoreImages05-150x150.png][Image: 10Sessions-150x150.jpg][Image: 100Sessions-150x150.jpg][Image: Score100-150x150.jpg][Image: Score15-150x150.jpg][Image: NaCChallengeComplete-150x150.jpg]

[Image: MIGITW02.png][Image: badDude01.png][Image: blockGuy01.png][Image: interestingGuy01.png][Image: hacker02.png][Image: ColorGuy1-SS-150x150.png][Image: Nac-SS-150x150.png][Image: ValleyGirl-SS-150x150.png][Image: ColorBlocksGuy-SS-150x150.png][Image: MathKid-SS02-150x150.png]

Again, there are no changes to the demo build yet. We will be working on updating it, though!
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #41
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Hey, everyone. Have a short update today. At the start of last week, we've submitted the latest — and we hoped, last — beta builds to our Beta testers. We're glad we did, because one of them reported a terrible bug: the game would crash the moment it started! It took us the entire week, but we've finally figured out the problem. It turns out the Google Play Games Service plugin for Unity game enginecrashes if it tries to log its status.

Also, Apple's build uploading system seems to be borked as of today. We're still investigating on this matter:

[Image: errorImporting.png?resize=609%2C227]

We'll be sending out an update build to all the Beta testers (the thirteenth one, believe it or not) this week, and have a one-week long testing session again. Hopefully this time, we won't encounter any issues!
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #42
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Well, let's get right to it.

Not a Clone is released!!! You can grab it on AppStore (iPhone and iPads) and Google Play (Androids)right now:

[Image: Available_on_the_App_Store_Badge_223x66....e=223%2C66][Image: en_generic_rgb_wo_60.png?resize=192%2C66]

That's right! After developing this game for almost 2 years since the #OneGameAMonth prototype, we've finally finished this incredibly ambitious project. We want to thank you all for following our development and supporting us to the very end.

Without further ado, let's celebrate!

[Image: 8Big4.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: newPhoneClicker.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: Ridiculous-Rockets-1.gif?resize=169%2C300][Image: HexagonBig2.gif?resize=201%2C300][Image: unlock.gif?resize=169%2C300][Image: Canabot.gif?resize=225%2C300]

[Image: Flower-Clicker3.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: Bomb-Ninja.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: BunsNinjaBig3.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: FlappySombreroBig2.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: MakeMeHappyBig3.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: HexagonBig1.gif?resize=201%2C300][Image: Canabiker3.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: RidiculousPinatasBig2.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: FlappyComicBig.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: LightTilesBig.gif?resize=225%2C300]

[Image: JetbootsJoyride2.gif?resize=225%2C300][Image: CerealJoyride.gif?resize=225%2C300]
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #43
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Time for some bit of transparency. We released our game, Not a Clone last Thursday, but that journey wasn't without some bumps. As you would expect from a satirical game, we did receive a rejection from Apple once, and had to make a few minor changes to the game so they would approve it on the AppStore. Their concern was that our app mimicked the home screen and AppStore too well. For reference, here are the two screens in question:

[Image: startScreen4.gif]

[Image: Shop.png]

In response, we've made the following changes:

  1. Skip the starting animation, and jump right to the end of it.
  2. Make all the icons squares.

As such, the two new screens looks like as follows:

[Image: approvedStartScreen3.gif]

[Image: approvedTopApps.png]

Fortunately, that's all that we needed to do. We were surprised ourselves.

There's also been a long lull before we started making weekly updates again a few weeks ago. We were actually spending most of that time asking professional help on legal matters. We didn't think it was particularly interesting for most people. Still, it did lead to this funny joke on the start screen:

[Image: disclaimer.png]

And hey, it gave us a little time to add in an Easter Egg as part of the completion bonus! Have you found it yet? Let us know!

As a quick reminder, Not a Clone is available now on iPhones, iPads, and Androids!

[Image: Available_on_the_App_Store_Badge_223x66.png][Image: en_generic_rgb_wo_60.png]
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: 2015.05
Post: #44
[Cross-posted from Omiya Games]

Those keen-eyed followers of Not a Clone may have noticed that a new build has been released for both the iOS and Android full-releases, as well as the demo releases on various web portals. What's new in these builds? Let's start with the changes in the full release.

Due to many requests, Not a Clone now supports iOS 9. We confess that the only reason iOS 10 was the only supported OS on release of the game was due to the fact that we haven't tested the game thoroughly on older devices. It would be really embarrassing for us to release a game that hardly runs on your device, so we took the cautious route. Fortunately, we have recently confirmed that the game runs smoothly on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, so we marked the game to support iOS 9!

For Android, the animated start screen is back! That's right, this goofy title animation can be experienced in its full glory:

[Image: startScreen4.gif]

For both platforms, we updated the description of the Extra Life upgrade to have two possible entries. Here's the original, which is still in the game:

[Image: ExtraLifeDescription2.png]

And here's the new description:

[Image: ExtraLifeDescription.png]

Why have two descriptions for a single upgrade? As it turns out, Not a Clone has some adoptive difficulty modifications: the first upgrade you earn from the tutorial actually changes depending on your score. For most people, they'll earn the Extra Life upgrade for free; for better skilled people, however, their first upgrade will be Blinged-Out Case. For the latter crowd, Extra Life does make an appearance on the shop later...but not as a free upgrade. Thus, the original description wouldn't work for these audience.

Incidentally, support the charity movement this weekend!

For the demo, we've basically updated the code base to match the release version of Not a Clone. Additionally, the Coming Soon dialog has now changed to Available Now, since the game is obviously released.

As mentioned in the Post-Mortem this week, we do have a ton of free updates planned for this game. For the first major update, which we estimate to be released during the holiday seasons, are more achievements. Some of them will reward prizes for achieving them, too! We're also planning on adding more microgames, including a few that will be unlocked by default. There will be more upgrades, of course, and a few convenience options will be added in, such as low-power mode. So we hope you look forward to those new changes.

If you haven't seen it already, here's the past recording available on Twitch.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Astrogolf - [WIP] Unity Mobile Game Cody 14 15,049 Feb 21, 2014 10:37 AM
Last Post: SethWillits
  TiltOut - HTML5 mobile game anthony 2 5,892 Aug 19, 2013 11:29 PM
Last Post: anthony