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$$ CORPORATE SALMON - Fish in Business Suits Climbing an Escalator $$

A topic by Alex Johansson created Jul 14, 2017 Views: 408 Replies: 2
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(4 edits) (+1)


Don your best suit and flop to the top of a fishy financial escalator in Corporate Salmon.

Here's the gist of Corporate Salmon...

Get ready for work...

Launch career...

Collect revenue...

Make profits...

Mingle with colleagues...

Get fired...

Buy suits to feel better.

I've been working on the project for 3-4 months (As well as flitting between other projects), I expect this one will be in development for another month or so. 

If you hadn't guessed from the format of the game (And my previous projects) this is a game for mobile, I'll be making it free with ads (With the option to pay to remove them). I'll probably also chuck up a version of the project on a flash portal as well! 

Any thoughts on what you see so far would be greatly appreciated, as well as any questions you have. There should be more info coming soon in the next few weeks! 

I will try and keep this page nice and up to date with what I'm up to, I find posting fixes/updates helps me keep track of where I'm at, particularly in the later stages of development where progress isn't measured in huge leaps and bounds. Twitter is my usual stomping grounds, for super up to date stuff check out what I'm posting on there.



(1 edit)

Hey Folks:

These devlogs are quite useful for keeping track of lists, so going to try and keep this on track till the intended launch date, around the end of July. 

Here's the major changes:

1. Rather than having the escalator restricted to the screen space, I've made amendments so that you can actually climb the escalator (Rather than just getting pushed back down). This was a big undertaking (And basically required gutting a lot of functions), but has definitely been worth it. Gameplay has a better flow now and a tangible end to the game rather than just a slow point grind.
2. Colour revamp: Whilst I am able to draw stuff, I am utterly incompetent with colour grading and theory. If you've seen some cohesive themes in my games, I do enjoy pink and green as a palette, but in the case of Corporate Salmon, there was a lot of colours that clashed in awful ways. So, I enlisted the help of the NES palette to remaster the game visuals with. Just having a palette to work with that just compliments across the board is super fun. 
3. UI revamp: Like with Narcissus previously, one of the elements of my games that gets the most attention during development has to be the user interface. After 4 revamps, I decided to hack out all of the original gimmicks such as the line graph, profit/loss chart in the corner of the gameplay screen and in turn simplified the progress meter and final score listings. The setup is a lot cleaner now which I'm just about happy with (May still make some amendments yet!). As for the main menu, I replaced the text in there previously with the 3 main buttons of the restart screen.
4. More tangible progression in game: I've added an actual visual progression in game so as you move up levels, the colour of the escalator changes as well as the background to reflect moving between floors. The aggressiveness of your fishy colleagues as well as the frequency of money increases as you get higher and higher up. To level up in game as well, you can either reach the top of the escalator for that floor OR get the required amount of coins (Both is possible as well which is pretty cool!)
5. Staggering the gameplay: Upon loading up the game for the first time, all UI elements are cut except what you need to progress to gameplay (The play button), then slowly gameplay elements are introduced with each death. It's a much smoother transition into what's happening, particularly after watching a lot of people scratching their heads intitially to even start the game or even know what was happening. 
6. Boss level at the end of the game with a floppy ragdoll bear. Was a stupid amount of fun to work on, still a lot of amendments to sort out. 
7. A LOT of tiny refinements and fixes. 

What are the major things that I'm needing to tackle from this point?

A. Finish the end of game scene: Since updating the camera movement for the rest of the game (Allowing the player to advance at their own speed), I need to do the same for the Boss. I also want to do one final layer of polish and refinement on the level itself and finish the ending.
B. Shop Refinement: Whilst the majority of the functionality is there, I need to create at least 25 different suits of varying prices for the final game. I also have an itch to update the visuals of the store, as there's something still off in my eyes. 
C. Font design: I've struggled up to this point to pin down the fonts I want for the game, and as I've updated the UI for the game I've changed the font to various designs. I need to pin down the specific sets for example the monitor screens versus the general gameplay UI, then update the rest of the game UI to match. 
D. Refinements to currencies and scores in game: Whilst the coins in game are a good currency, the profit and loss function is consistently lost on people. I'm going to be figuring out whether cutting it back to purely coins works or whether I can save the multiplier function somehow. 
E. Profit/Loss line positioning: One of the big complaints I've had so far is people being unable to jump past the loss lines when they're in a certain position. For this, I'll be experimenting with what collecting them means, whether there's a better way to do it and trying to make their positioning more uniform.
F. Streamlining the gameplay loop: Currently the player must wait for their coins to be counted before restarting the level. I recently played an App that forced you to watch these figures rise without offering the option to skip the "OOOH look how many points you scored" section. It kills the pacing and I'd like to be able to left people watch that if they want, but be able to skip it and still have their currency counted. 
G. App functionality: Adding in stuff like the AD functionality, iAP to disable Ads, leaderboards, reward ads (And getting coins to buy suits). 
H. Produce press materials and contact content producers
I. Produce App Store materials (Trailer, logo, banner).

J. Look into the possibility of localising the game.

I think as well on top of all this, I'll be looking at putting out a flash build in a couple of weeks to test the functionality and gauge interest. Keep an eye out for that!

Thanks for your patience, I'll be aiming to update this on a semi-daily basis; I'll be taking the game to an event this weekend so I'll hopefully get some more feedback from there! 


Hey Folks, 

Here's some GIFs of Corporate Salmon showing 2 levels of gameplay! 

Corporate Salmon is structured in an office building, where over the course of gameplay you rise up the floors to the CEO office at the top. Not only does the colour of the level change, but also a couple of subtle variables:
1. Initial speed of escalator
2. Frequency of rival employee fish spawn
3. Frequency of coins spawned (Timing remains the same, just the burst increased)
4. Rival fish jump power put also frequency of jump increased, meaning they can keep up with the accelerating escalator. 

From the event I attended on the weekend, folks enjoyed the game but a couple of issues arose:

1. The play button is still not clear enough for first time players (Admittedly I need a tutorial reset function as many people played the App without the tutorial that removes other icons from the screen).
2. The green/red jump lines were mistaken several times for just markers/signs rather than something that could be interacted with, so I need to create some kind of visual indicator that you should jump on them, whether that's a little tutorial pop up or text above the objects for the first couple of rounds they are in the game. May also require more revising of the design - If any of you have any thoughts for an alternative or examples of jump bars done right, let me know. 
3. Spamming - Currently some people who played the game just repeatedly pushed jump to launch the fish up the screen. To counter this, I'll be adding in some variables that will make the level harder if spamming occurs. Examples of this might be increasing the frequency of red lines on the screen (You don't want to jump on those), possibly look at a subtle additional increase of escalator speed or volume of fish launched at player. I was thinking about having a stamina function, but I'm wanting to keep clutter on the screen as minimal as possible and don't want to create scenarios that can't be beaten or escaped from. 
4. One other thing I'll be looking into to control spamming is collision detection. For example, should a salmon be able to jump on the side of a step to climb it or just the flat top of the step? I'll be experimenting with that now. 

I've also got another feedback session in 2 hours, so I'll gather some more feedback there.

Things to fix in the next 2 hours:
1. Add a simple factory reset function to make a clean test easier 

2. Experiment with designs for pop up tutorial screens

3. Tinker with the collision detection for the escalator steps. 

That's all for now, stay tuned for more soon! I'll likely be putting up a longer playthrough in the next couple of days, as most have just been quick excerpts. Thanks for all your comments by the way, always helps!