Would anyone be interested in partaking in a music bundle for Record Store Day on April 22? This idea just popped into my head and I think it could be a really really great one, especially for helping folks discover some of the music on itch. I'd be happy to start things off with the Mondrian OST but one soundtrack hardly makes a bundle.
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Bug your parents! :D
In all honesty, it's a-okay to be careful with your finances, no matter how old you are. Here are three things you can do to help out developers in other ways:
- Follow the dev! Whether here or on social media, keep track of what that developer is up to and get hype to play their next game. In our case, our Twitter and Instagram are the go-to pages. Facebook and Youtube also. Our LinkedIn and AngelList pages are a bit more dry but EXTREMELY important when it comes to our future success and fundraising efforts.
- Sign up for their newsletters! A lot of developers have email newsletters, and in our case we sometimes do giveaways, and anyone signed up gets 20% off our stuff at events. http://eepurl.com/6T0PL
- Leave a review! Whether on itch, Steam, GOG, IndieGameStand, or anywhere, let the world know what you think of a game. Let the world know it rocks. Heck, let 'em know if it's buggy. The more reviews a game has, the more customers who find it will know whether or not it's worth playing. If you like a game especially, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LEAVE A REVIEW! Truthfully boosting a game's aggregate score not only helps future customers feel confident about purchasing it, but offsets any troll reviews that may come in as well (and they do happen). Until reviews are weighted by helpfulness, every single one counts equally, and we need your voice to be heard in order for us to be successful.
I just downloaded the most recent update, and when I log in, all I get is a gray screen. No library, no creations, nothing. Wish there was more I could report but that's it. The login screen appears and after I clikc my user name, it goes gray. I'm on Windows 7 running an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T with 8gb DDR3.
The levels in Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty combine preset design, procedural generation, and unlockables for some pretty nifty results. Basically, the more you unlock in the game, the deeper the generation goes. Everything gets generated in about 6-8 seconds when a level loads.
- Determine Layout: This is the heaviest handmade part of generating a level. We currently have 40 premade layouts for the main levels, and 4 layouts per Benefactor Pack (levels based on other games). So the game generates a random number between 0-39, and if that specific level is unlocked and activated, the game generates the blocks for that layout.
- Set Color Scheme: The game then determines which particular color scheme a level will have. There are 7 schemes overall, from completely randomized to only R, G, or B values, and preset palettes.
- Set Platform Emulator: Then the game decides how derezzed it will look, and for particular platforms, like the Handheld style, this overwrites the Color Scheme setting.
- Set Ball, Paddle, Wall Shape & Rotation: The game does a quick roll of the dice to determine which core gameplay elements the player will have in this level. Again, this is all based on what the player has already unlocked and activated.
- Scatter Powerups: Before even the blocks are placed, the game decides which powerups will be available in a level: Bomb, Lock, Wildcard, Shield, and/or None. Once all the blocks are laid out, each one loops through possible choices of available powerups or None. This creates a really fun, unpredictable, and slightly strategic feeling to each level, and makes each level very different from the last.
- Background: Finally, the game picks a random background from the ones available.
Like I said, all that's done in less than 10 seconds. These 6 steps essentially create a massive number of possible level variations within a strict set of rules. It's not a precise calculation, as it does not take every color and every block on the grid into account, but my current calculation of possible levels within those sets of rules is 1,185,408,000.
I've noticed a bug that's popped up lately that involves items with a different price from the main item. The higher priced item (in this case, a soundtrack) gets unchecked and loses its price when the regular priced item (in this case, the game) gets reuploaded (replacing the original zip). I then have to reset the price of the soundtrack every time I update the game.
This may also happen when any file is uploaded to a project page, but I haven't tested this yet.
- I can definitely get behind this, and all it would take is a quick change. At the moment, the Browse page just shows the Top games, and that's barely changed in the last year. I feel like this should default to Recently Added, as itch.io's strength is showcasing new works. You can leave Top and Top Selling, but that little menu on the left, far away from the dropdown on the right, makes switching between these categories almost a hidden feature.
- Love the follow feature, but I feel like the developer's branding could be more prominent. Maybe instead of just the tiny link at the bottom, their icon can float with the rest of the menu on the right, and clicking that icon brings you to their profile?
- Addendum: maybe allow for comments on screenshots and trailers too?
- The feed is great. Does it take comments and/or forum posts for specific projects into account?
Hey itch! Quick announcement, letting you all know that Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty has not only updated to Version 1.3, but we've also just released a Shareware Demo version of the game! We want you not only to check out and enjoy this demo, but to share it with friends, family, and even strangers via social media, BitTorrent, your college's BBS (we're partying like it's 1993 over here), EVERYWHERE!
Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty is a full-circle block breaking game that explores videogame art history through the eyes of the Impressionists. It features dynamically generating levels, giving infinite combinations of layouts, while allowing you to customize the game speed, difficulty, special effects levels, and more. As for the update itself, there's tons of new content: Arcade Mode, a new paddle, a new powerup, control improvements, you name it, it's probably in here. AND, to celebrate itch.io Week, the game is 25% off its regular price! So check out the demo, and if you like what you've played, maybe think about grabbing the full version?
itch.io Week sounds like a really cool idea and I'm looking forward to seeing the highlights! Mainly curious about how members of the community can get involved. Coincidentally, we're updating Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty on Monday so we would love for there to be some way to loop the two together!
So now that we've had just over a week to share our screensavers with the world, I was curious what everyone's view/download stats look like. I'll start my sharing ours for the Children of Liberty Screensaver.
Surprisingly more popular than we thought it would be! Nice initial spike in the first half-week, but 2-3 views a day since then. Only a couple days with 0 downloads. Seems to be holding pretty much steady. We also got some nice coverage in this video, which was unexpected and awesome. However, the incoming visits do not prove whether or not that video had a direct correlation to the screensaver's popularity.
Not surprisingly, the majority of views came from the #screensaverjam page itself, the games/free games sections of itch, or recommended through other downloads. No visits from Youtube, Twitter, or really any external site besides one click from Facebook. Sadly no one so far has wanted to donate a dollar for the logoless version and desktop wallpaper pack. So it goes.
I'm very curious how everyone else's stats compare. Personally, 18 downloads seems okay for a niche piece of software, but I have nothing to compare that to. It seems like the views will continue at 2-3 a day for a while, with a download here and there.
Ideally yes, but for whatever reason, many games posted here don't have any styling at all. Whether it's because developers don't know they can style their pages, or their games just don't have much in the way of graphics (like interactive fiction or game jam projects), I can't say. Much like other website themes, convenience is the key. Having a pre-built theme that can be easily customized to include your logo or other art can potentially save hours of work, hours that you can spend building your game.
The pack includes not just background graphics but also animated horizontal rulers and HTML style guides to get the best colors for all of itch.io's options. We've designed these to be easily customized by the end user as well, and they are distributed under a Copyleft license so users can distribute, and even sell, their own themes if they wish.
The goal for these is to be a time-saver. Whether users decide they're best used as temporary backgrounds while their game is in Early Access, or want to use them as their page's permanent look, is up to them. So I absolutely agree but developers should promote their own art in their themes, but if they don't want to spend time building a theme, see something here they like, or feel like 10 minutes of customizing what we've built will work for them, then we are here to help.
Week 2 - SpritesForgot to update last week, so here we are! It's time to talk about sprites. Our two new sprite artists, Chenylle and Karen, have now been with us for over a year, and have created well over 200 new assets for the game. These range from pieces of furniture like couches and chairs, to silverware, weapons, and more.
These sprites are quickly finding their way into the game. For instance, new cannon sprites were heavily used just this past week in the initial detail pass on the HMS Somerset, plus our new, Wind Waker-esque water texture.
For those wondering why we make some sprites in triplicate, it's because our game allows for a lot of camera rotation, and our tech is built such that a sprite object can in fact be viewed in three dimensions, automatically adjusting to the current camera angle. Therefore, it is necessary to have a front, back, and side variations of most sprites.
What this all means is we are going for a much more densely populated world than we had in our initial Early Access release. We are going big on making sure each level is filled to the brim with stuff, because stuff is good! There will absolutely be more screenshots and video to show off all that stuff floating around the world as soon as it's in.
That'll do it for this update! Next time I'm thinking I'll talk about the new music, and why the heck we're recording two soundtracks. The game is available in Early Access for $9.99. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest updates and giveaways, and sign up for the Lantana Ledger to get a 20% discount on our games and merch at events.
Is it possible we could see on our Dashboard analytics when a download occurs on the app versus on the website? I've been seeing downloads on my game (though sadly not purchases) so I'd like to get even a vague sense of what's going on.
Ah key verification! Very useful. Although historically I've used that less for security and more for checking if a player owns someone else's game, and then I unlock bonus stuff in my game if they do.
First thread, first priority: itch specific API functionality. What do I mean by that? Well, Steam's got Steamworks, and Steamworks is cool. It's got Achievements, Leaderboards, Multiplayer Invites, etc. What are some things we want that could be unique to itch?
My idea would be some kind of metagame, like an actual trading card game. Each game you own gets one card, and we could actually play each other, not just sell the cards. Then maybe we can even loop achievements into the cards somehow? Like the more you accomplish in a game, the more you power up its card? Kinda more like Pokemon than Magic, I guess.
Maybe even bundles could have unique cards too, with all games in the bundle tying into a card's stats. Or maybe bundles are like one-time-use spells.
I feel like something like this could get people trying out and keep playing games up here. Just my $0.02.
Neat! I love a good falldown game and this is no exception. Wrapping the game horizontally is a neat twist too. Good sound effects (though a bit loud) and the black and white presentation is great. You should also try to unify the controls between the menu and the game, as switching back and forth from mouse to keyboard is slow.
It also seems like you haven't given much thought to this here itch.io page. We have some page templates that might interest you, and in fact a little bit of modification on our FutureGrid template to make it black and white would look awesome here! http://lantanagames.itch.io/design
Seriously amazing job. Very rarely see a project with solid gameplay, art, music, and sound come out of a game jam. I'd say this even has commercial potential, but I'd cook it for another couple months just to see where it goes.
Not bad! I died on the tank level, but that seems pretty expected. Needed some music to help cover the engine noise a bit, but I really liked the first level and this is a solid effort all around! A game like this could use a better looking page though, and I think our FutureGrid itch.io theme would be a great fit: http://lantanagames.itch.io/design
Hi everyone! Dan here with some Mondrian news. There's a pretty intense patch in the works, and we're aiming for an early-mid January release. 1.2 is improving everything from gameplay to menu UI to load times and even simplifying future content creation. So without further adieu, here's what we're working on:
- Gems: The first major gameplay addition since launch. Now when you pop a block, there's a chance a gem will come flying out of it, which you can catch with your paddle. You can spend gems in the new Boutique screen in order to unlock all the goodies in the game (yes, this means we are ditching trophies, but Steam Achievements will remain unaffected). This adds just a little bit more risk/reward to the gameplay. We're also introducing a new game mode to go along with them, Gem Hunt, which allows you to go double-or-nothing on your gems after each round.
- New Options Screen: We've given the Game Options screen a complete overhaul. Now there is a much simpler column/row setup, with Audio/Video, Gameplay, Special Effects, Level Packs, Visual Styles, and System all having distinct menus instead of being jumbled together. Each menu also has a visualization and description to go along with it. The System menu includes new options, like Save + Exit as well as Delete All Data, and the default instant exit option (like hitting Escape) now automatically saves your changes. Level Packs and Visual Styles have also been moved from their own screens into the new, easier to understand Game Options screen.
- Level Generation Overhaul: This is more of a backend update, but level generation is now performed at runtime instead of as prebuilt levels. This could drastically reduce the on-disk size of the game, but at the very least it will reduce build times and open up greater possibilities for future content creation.
- Hats: Yes, we are adding hats to the paddle, because hats. There'll be 5 hats for free, and we'll be there will be more packs of 5 hats for $1 apiece. Hats do absolutely nothing, they just look silly. Note that these may not end up in the 1.2 update. If they don't, they'll be in their own 1.2.1 update.
Ah darn. I know Paypal holds funds for a month over a certain limit, so that's why I was suggesting the others. Kinda weird that Square of all companies doesn't have a business integration.
We haven't made nearly enough money to justify adding overhead to your time for bank transfers. When we start making more than 1 purchase every 350 views, we'll talk.
Is it possible we can get some different kinds of payout options other than Paypal? Maybe direct bank transfer, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and/or Amazon? It'd just be nice to have a choice.
The problem is that to anyone who hasn't ever played or heard of Valkyria Chronicles or Dungeon Siege, this pitch means absolutely nothing. When you're at a show like PAX, and have 5 seconds to grab someone's attention, saying "X meets Y" isn't going to do it. They'll space out and look at something else that's caught their eye. The "Die Hard on an X" trope also tends to be very limiting due to the literal nature of it. People may think, "Oh so it has Bruce Willis?" or similar narrow-scoped thoughts. There are a hundred different ways this description can be interpreted, and none of them give a clear picture about what the game is, how it plays, or why you're passionate about making it.
Working off your descriptive paragraph, if you eliminate the references to other games and clean up the grammar a little, this is what your pitch looks like:
A World War II RPG/RTS hybrid, where you only control a single platoon of 20-25 people, each with significant backstory and a long list of traits, stats, their own adjustable equipment, and LOTS of automatic weapons.
See how clean that is? Now people know what you're talking about. We've got a genre, we've got a setting, and we've got a clear picture in our mind of how this game is going to play. The point is to focus, and have a clear understanding of what you're making. No one will understand your game if you don't.
Mondrian - Abstraction in Beauty is a relaxing, procedurally generated, 360-degree block breaking game inspired by art history.
Children of Liberty is a 2D kids' stealth game about helping Paul Revere on the eve of the American Revolution.