Now, I know we said that AVCon in Adelaide was going to be the only chance you’d get to play Metrocide pre-release, but… well… either we lied or we came up with another opportunity. Let’s just say it was the latter.
The Nerd Cave, a humble little den near Sydney’s Central Station, will be hosting Flat Earth’s lead programmer and lead designer this Saturday from 2pm-7pm as they put Metrocide through its paces one last time before release.
Come join us, beat our high scores, die repeatedly, swear at the computer and rest easy in the comfort of knowing that your every curse word will be heard by the creators of the game themselves.
We released TownCraft one year ago today at PAX Australia, back when it was a humble little game of only three levels for iPad only.
To celebrate, we’re dropping the price for a VERY limited time.
As you may know, we don’t tend to do sales very often, so tell your friends, spread the word, run home Charlie, run home and tell your parents!
Hmm… maybe we should add a Golden Ticket as a craftable item… *scribbles down notes*
Back at the beginning of June, we announced our second game: Metrocide. It’s a top-down, stealth-action game set in a cyberpunk dystopia where you play as contract killer, T.J. Trench.
Check out the trailer, join the mailing list (because Facebook is a jerk and makes us pay money to send updates to those who’ve liked our page now) and jump onto YouTube to sound off in the comments letting us know what you think!
We’ve previously had a wiki for TownCraft over at Wikia, but the lovely folks at Curse have just decided to take on hosting duties and write up a new, shinier Wiki over on their site.
So, stuck on basics? Have hints or tips to share with others? Desperately want to know how to make flower beds?
This will be the only show anywhere in the world where we’ll be showcasing Metrocide before release, so spread the word, tell your friends, buy them something nice (they deserve it) and come down to AVCon in Adelaide on the 19th and 20th of July to play the game and have the opportunity to yell at me in person for that annoying recipe in TownCraft you found too hard to figure out.
There’ll be a special present for whoever can get the highest score of the weekend, too. It’s a money-can’t-buy prize (which is a term which roughly translated into human language means ‘I am a massive douchebag who speaks in marketing lingo’) which we’ll reveal only to the winner…
I’d like to begin my three part apology regarding the lack of new maps or just content in general in TownCraft lately by shirking responsibility and placing the blame squarely at the feet of iPhone and Mac users everywhere. You see, in order to get the iPhone and Mac versions of TownCraft up and running, we first had to port it to Cocos 3. In so doing, we basically dismantled our own game and had to put it back together one piece at a time.
During this period, even meagre updates to the already-being-played iPad version simply couldn’t be done. Thus, the last time we added a new map (Desert Island) was back in March.
But now we’re back with Gold Rush (original working title: Dry as a Bone, but that sounded incredibly boring)! This is a new map which adds the ability to pan for gold and hire workers to do the same, as well as giving you new challenges to combat (lack of certain resources, having to make the rough choice between farmland and forests, wondering what the crap to do with all the sheep skulls lying around) and providing you with the usual raft of new resources to craft courtesy of our icon artist Matt, and a few new pretty objects courtesy of our environmental artist Corey.
We’re also releasing the Let’s Play video for this map alongside its launch, so if you want the lowdown on what’s new, here’s a link to the 15 minute gameplay video with developer commentary.
The map is available now in the latest update to the iOS version, and is currently going through submission for the Mac version, so should be with our Mac players any day.
Both the founders of Flat Earth have today had pieces published concerning the current and ongoing debate around the dominance of male characters in games. We’ve personally found no reason to assume that our characters ought to be male or that players specifically want a male avatar, and have tried to create our games accordingly. So far, our fans have either not cared in the slightest or have been quite grateful.
So here’s Rohan, writing a guest post for Kotaku discussing how female game characters can provide the context for new gameplay opportunities: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/06/the-most-interesting-assassins-creed-has-a-female-protagonist/
And here’s Leigh, writing about the minutia of the decisions regarding the character selection screens in both TownCraft and Metrocide: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LeighHarris/20140623/219598/Male_normalcy_in_character_selection.php
Since it appears that making games is something we can actually do in an ongoing capacity (you lovely folks who’ve been buying TownCraft have meant we’ve been able to pay rent and other such luxuries), we’ve got a few irons in the fire – this is one of them.
Indie Game Magazine saw fit to feature Metrocide on the cover of its latest issue as the exclusive official announcement of the game – not a bad way to tell the world you exist, in my opinion.
Here’s the skinny: you play as T.J. Trench, a hardened, trenchcoat-laden contract killer in a futuristic city. You’ll be running around trying to complete contracts with vigilantes, gang members, civilians, cop drones, security cameras and more out to stop you. We’re talking perma-death here as well, and we’ve intentionally made this game very hard. Here at the studio we keep on challenging each other to beat high scores, and when we decide the game’s too easy, we just throw something else into the world to make it that much harder to hide.
This has been a game which was started by Rohan for the Cyberpunk Game Jam, but which he enjoyed making and playing enough to suggest we make it an actual Flat Earth Game, so here we are.
It’ll be out middle of this year on PC and Mac.
Every week for the last month we’ve been rolling out a new Let’s Play video for TownCraft wherein I offer up developer commentary over 15 minutes or so of gameplay from different levels.
Since the last one is now officially up and running, I thought I’d make a blog post about it and let you all know that I’m offering hints and tips for all manner of things, talking recipes, my own personal strategies for farm building, how to get shops up and running, all that kind of good stuff.
So the link for all four of the Let’s Play videos are below, but I feel I should also take this opportunity to remind people that we have a Wiki which is up and running over at Wikia. If you’ve discovered something you want to share, we heartily encourage you to get stuck in.
We received an email from a fan recently which was simply a thank you note to us for not caving and going freemium. We talk about this stuff constantly behind the scenes, but at the end of the day it’s emails like this (there are a great many which have similar themes) which make us certain we made the right decision. Perhaps some of our games in future will contain DLC or expansion packs or the like, but for TownCraft we feel we made the right choice.
Thanks so much to Carter for sending the email and for giving us permission to blog about it.
I’m finally spending time with Town Craft (purchased it for iPad a while ago). I have been playing on my iPhone, though I’m wondering if it would be easier with the bigger screen. Portability vs screen size – always a tough choice! Anyway, I wanted to thank you for making a great game with no in-app purchases and for continuing to support it.
As an “old school gamer” (you know, the kind who spent hours perfecting his farm on Harvest Moon long before Facebook even existed), I am so disappointed that the industry has degraded to the point that IAP-driven “games” dominate the mobile market (referring to the ones that are essentially dressed up slot machines, not the ones that give a short trial and sell the full game via IAP). I so often read unfair negative comments about games like this one. “How can they charge $4.99?!? The game should be free or MAYBE $.99!” … the most common sentiments. It’s as if they expect developers to work for free, somehow magically supporting their families and finding fulfillment with no financial gain. They prefer to support unethical companies that prey on the obsessive traits of certain gamers. Shameful.
Every time I find a solid app – especially a game – with no or limited IAP’s, I appreciate just how much risk those developers have taken, how much income they have sacrificed in order to create great games for the rest of us, and how hard it is for them to continue to support these games in such a freemium-driven market. So it’s important that I take a few minutes to let you guys know that I’m enjoying your game, I appreciate your sacrifices, and I’m rooting for developers like you. I hope you’re able to continue creating great games like Town Craft. As long as you’re making them, I will continue supporting them.