(We really mean it this time! We’re speaking to press about it and everything!)
FLAT EARTH GAMES BUILDS TOWNCRAFT FOR IPHONE AND MAC
With an Extraordinary Level of New Content, Gamers Can Now Craft, Build, Explore and More This Autumn
Sydney, Australia – April 8, 2014 – Flat Earth Games, the Aussie development studio that launched the successful crafting-building-exploration game TownCraft last autumn on iPad, will being the experience to iPhone and Mac this autumn and will update the current iPad version.
Since the game first soft-launched in Australia in July 2013 and raced up to #2 on the paid iPad games charts on the App Store, a whole new level of depth and challenge and an impressive volume of new content has been added. With the iPhone and Mac version release, the total new content since launch will be include four new levels, 30 new resources, new building types and structures, 44 new quests, a completely re-worked interface, and much more.
“We are excited and delighted to bring the TownCraft experience to the iPhone and Mac players,” said Leigh Harris, Lead Designer. “Players around the world have provided superb feedback, letting us know they genuinely appreciate the Zen-like approach to game design, huge amount of content we’ve been adding and the lack of in-app purchases. We believe players will love the expansive world and the depth of gameplay in our new version of TownCraft.”
TownCraft is an addictive, relaxing, and non-violent crafting and city-building game, set in medieval times; players are alone in the wilderness and must start a new town to be the toast of the kingdoms. Gamers begin by crafting the most basic of tools, tying a sharpened stone to a small piece of wood as a hatchet, but before long the town will be teeming and with travellers from all across the land. They’ll buy wares at the local shops, come to check out the sights, have some food and drink at the tavern players build. They’ll come looking to trade, work, fish, farm, forage, hire, fire, and explore the bizarre and distinctive world of TownCraft.
Key Features in TownCraft
- Play a new world every time – no two worlds will ever be the same thanks to procedurally generated maps!
- Players will test their skills at crafting, with hundreds of different objects to create.
- Gamers can build bridges, jetties, workshops and windmills in the effort to create a fully functioning and self-sufficient town.
- Players will order around muck-ridden peasants, who will manage their gold mines, stone quarries, crop fields, lakes, shops and taverns.
- Users will play in a world with a real-time day and night cycle – workers will wake up, go to work, hit the tavern to meet some passing travellers later at night, and then get some shut-eye again.
- Gamers can explore each new world and unearth countless resources, from cotton to canary eggs, gold to grapes, wheat to wax and stone to silver.
- Players will follow an off-beat story as kingdoms vie for control.
TownCraft is produced with the support of Screen Australia, and is currently available on iPad on the APP Store for (with no in-app purchases ever); it will be out on iPhone and the Mac this autumn.
Some iPhone 5 screenshots for your viewing pleasure:
Flat Earth Games
0424 967 263
This weekend, the Powerhouse Museum is hosting an open weekend to tie in with the (excellent) Game Masters exhibition (which you really should go and see).
Out at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre in Castle Hill, a range of activities will be taking place, one of which is a ‘Meet a Game Designer’ space, where I’ll be on hand showing TownCraft to kids and parents, and people interested in getting into development.
Powerhouse was looking to show someone local who got into game design to show that it can indeed be done, and I’ll be there from 11am-3pm to answer all your questions this Sunday 16th March.
Come by and say hi, bring your kids or rather juvenile friends and help me make a Sunday of it!
We’re at a stage now where we’re pretty confident the iPhone version works, so now we need y’all to break it for us and prove us wrong!
We’re looking for beta testers to grab pre-release versions of TownCraft and tell us what’s still broken. We’re a small team here so play as we might, there’s still a lot of ground to cover.
Testers are needed for iPhone (anyone with a 4 or later running iOS 7) and Mac laptop/desktops (anyone with OS X Lion or newer).
What we need from you:
If you’re interested, just drop us an email at email@example.com telling us you’d like to be part of it.
Also, let us know if you’ve played the game before on iPad. We want people who both have AND haven’t played it on iPad before, so there’s no wrong answer to that question.
Help us make the TownCraft iPhone/Mac launch this April the best it can possibly be!
Just a quick note to let you all know that anyone who’s been experiencing crashes with the Desert Island update can grab the latest update which had just dropped and all their problems will be solved!
No more dropping your phone, no more being slightly hungry even though you just ate lunch and most importantly no more tiny pieces of food found the instant you’ve finished brushing your teeth!
A fair few of you have been reporting that the game has been crashing since the last update, but it’s been happening at various different times. For some of you, it’s been a few seconds, for some of you it’s been a few minutes.
We’ve figured out what the problem is with the help of everyone who’s mailed in (thanks so much!) – it’s the sundial.
Whenever you have a sundial on you and the day passes midnight, the game will crash.
So for those of you who have the time after you load game to go and sell it or drop it in your town stockpile or something, that should fix it. For those who don’t, we’re submitting an update which will fix the problem. Hopefully it won’t take too long to go live!
So bottom line – HELP IS ON THE WAY!
Massive thanks to Lisa, Natasha, Richard, Elita, Meg, Phoebe and Anthony for emailing us with details of the crashes!
So this is probably the most different map we’ve created thus far for TownCraft; it puts you on a desert island with palm trees, coconuts and more, and tasks you with building a bridge to other nearby islands for further resources, including very basic stuff like coal and iron.
The biggest challenge of this map is easily the lack of usable farmland. The majority of your island is sand, and you’re given only a small patch of green on which to grow all your crops. What’s even tougher is that the crops can only be acquired by completing quests – no merchants have any to sell.
I think my favourite thing about the map is playing with coconuts – they’re a resource you can harvest like any other but instead of growing like a crop they work like trees. Did also have fun coming up with the items you can create using coconuts. They’re a surprisingly versatile fruit (are they a fruit?)!
Anyway, there’s also the usual host of bug fixes, prettier UI stuff and of course a helping of tweaks as suggested by our fans’ feedback, so please do keep on writing in and we’ll keep on making TownCraft better!
People talk about the value of players all the time, but usually in the free-to-play world. There are ‘whales’ which spend utterly stupid amounts of money on your game and buy everything there is to buy through in-app purchases, then there are those who will squeeze every last drop of gameplay out of it without ever succumbing to a single transaction. Thus, players are ranked according to their ‘value’ by how much money they bring in.
We ‘value’ our players in a slightly different way.
Our most valuable players are those who play the game at length, get really deep into it and send us emails, comment on our Facebook page or just otherwise let us know what we’re doing right and wrong.
Once someone’s bought TownCraft, they’ll get any and all updates for free. We’re still constantly working on new features, bug fixes, a smoother user interface and of course new content, but we don’t charge for it – we just want to keep making the game better so that, by the time it comes to other platforms, we can be confident that we’re putting our best foot forward.
As such, while we of course appreciate the extra cash that comes from someone who just compulsively buys apps even if they don’t play them, we’re not really seeing much extra value from gamers who picked up our game when it was 99c for the Black Friday sale and then either played it once or didn’t play it at all.
So with that in mind, Rohan’s written a Gama Sutra blog post about pricing, value and the people who play our game.
Check it out here:
Happy new year! Here’s a teaser for you – the first screenshot from our next new map: desert island.
We’re hard at work bringing the game to iPhones as well, but that doesn’t mean we should stop creating new stuff for all you iPad folks to play!
While busy tearing apart TownCraft so we can start rebuilding it for iPhones, we also figured it’d be nice and jolly of us to create a new level, so we’ve tried something a little different.
We’ve created The River Wild, a challenge map which gets rid of all merchants entirely. How do you make money, you ask? Well, by completing quests and selling things from shops and taverns.
It’s actually going to form the groundwork for a new type of map which will form not the next one, but the one after – one where tasks are mandatory in your quest to create a functioning society. But all shall be revealed later.
In the mean time, tell your friends because in the week leading up to Christmas (and in the week after), we’re dropping the price on TownCraft from $5.49 to $2.99.
So happily holidays, all, and we’ll be sure to keep ploughing forward with more updates and maps to come now and on into the new year!
It hadn’t really occurred to us to get all excited about Game of the Year stuff, but as it turns out we’ve been nominated for Australian-made Game of the Year on both Kotaku and IGN.
Colour (note spelling) us pretty blown away to be on the list, considering how many great games came out of Australia and New Zealand this year!
PS: That new river level we keep teasing is just around the corner! We promise!