Dev Diary #13: Cally’s Caves 2 Postmortem

Well, it has now been about 75 days since we released Cally’s Caves 2, and we figured it was about time to write an article about our experience since the game came out.  If you missed it, we got an awesome PlayPressers Trailer, and some attention from some media.  It was all wonderful, but this article is about the stats so let’s just get right into it.

Downloads

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We currently have 131,000 free downloads after two and a half months.  It was way more than we expected to get, and our team feels incredibly lucky to have reached that many people.  To many game developers, 131,000 is nothing, especially considering that Cally’s Caves 2 is free game.  To us, however, it has far exceeded our highest hopes.  When we first started working on Cally 2, we set a lofty goal of getting a hundred thousand downloads to try and grow our name and build an audience.  It was the kind of goal you set because you know it’s so high you’ll never hit it, but the act of aiming for it will make your product better in the end.  The fact that we actually reached and exceeded it is a dream come true. Continue reading

Cally’s Caves 2: The PlayPressers Trailer

Recently, a guy by the name of Tyler Williams contacted us about doing a fan trailer for Cally’s Caves 2.  Tyler is the creator of PlayPressers.com, a trailer-making service for aspiring game developers.  Needless to say, we were totally blown away by Tyler’s trailer (it was much better than the official trailer we made for Cally’s Caves 2).  Check out the trailer below, and be sure to check out PlayPressers.com to see more of Tyler’s amazing work!

Cally’s Caves 2 Media and Discussion Roundup

So our game has been available for 9 days now, and things are going pretty well. We thought we’d post a bunch of links to the various videos and articles that have popped up since release (and hopefully we will do a blog post on how we approached marketing shortly).

We got talked about on the Toucharcade Podcast.

And mentioned in their weekly release article:

We got talked about on Neogaf 😀

And an awesome review from Appadvice!

Here is a sweet review from SentralGamer.
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Development Diary #12: Testing an iOS Application Using Gamemaker

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. We have finally submitted Cally’s Caves 2 to Apple for review, so we are going to try and get back to posting regularly!

Testing a game on an iOS device seems like it should be a simple process, but we learned the hard way that minor details can complicate things at any time. In this dev diary, we will outline the steps of our testing process using Gamemaker: Studio, in the hopes that it may help some people overcome the same complications that we faced.  This entry will be a bit technical and specific.

Note: We are using Gamemaker: Studio version 1.3.1344, and you will need access to a Mac.

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1) Get your code ready for mobile.

We were developing a game that uses touch controls, but convenience necessitated being able to test on PC as well. This led to us having 2 control methods, and needing to switch between them. When we needed to export an .ipa file (the file type for iOS applications), we would need to disable the pc controls. We also based our resolution coding for iOS based off of the “display_get_size()” function, but when testing on windows we would use “window_get_size()” for everything to work properly. So, before you export your .ipa file, make sure you have everything ready for the mobile version. Continue reading

Development Diary #11: Making a Trailer

We just posted our first trailer for Cally’s Caves 2, and since we were figuring it out as we went along, nothing seems more appropriate than a dev diary on how we made it.  You can use it as a cautionary tale, or get some tips that may be useful for your trailer, it’s really up to how you judge our final product.

Background

When we made the trailer for the first Cally’s Caves game, we used a very popular screen recording software called Fraps to capture our footage.  We then used an editing software named Proshow Producer to edit the clips together and make our trailer.  While this was a decent way of doing it, we had problems with the overall video quality.  Fraps recorded high quality footage, but when we stitched together the .avi files that Fraps makes, then rendered the project again in Proshow Producer, there was a severe decline in video quality.  Add Youtube’s compression to the mix and we ended up with a pretty grainy trailer, as you can see for yourself above.

One thing we think worked out nicely for the Cally’s Caves trailer was how the footage was edited to the music, and ramped up as it went along.  We knew we could use some of the techniques we had learned making that trailer and make the trailer for Cally’s Caves 2 way better.

Continue reading