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!
If there’s one thing it’s easy to do when you’re in the creative phase of game development, it’s bite off more than you can chew. Coming up with brilliant ideas isn’t the hard part – it’s being able to follow through and actually create them.
So as Rohan and I were working through creating the latest update for TownCraft, we started with it being something which was going to fix a bunch of small problems which had been bugging us for a while.
Well, that small list of problems got larger and larger as we became increasingly fastidious, wanting to tidy up anything and everything we didn’t like or that had been bothering us for a few updates now.
So here’s why there hasn’t been an update to TownCraft in a month or so.
In the next update, you’ll be getting more tiny changes and fixes than you can imagine, a new format for hints and a new loading screen, several new resources to craft, a new type of natural resource to harvest from, a new level with its own new mechanic and something like 20 new quests.
Bottom line is we’ve still got lots we want to do with TownCraft and as long as it’s still selling and people are still playing it, we’ll keep the updates rolling.
PS: Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word on our first ever sale. We took the game down to $1 over the weekend for the Black Friday sale and saw heaps new people jump onboard! Keep that feedback coming in, people! We rely on it for all our updates!
Well, not that spooky, really, but we did want to make it Halloween themed in honour of, erm, Halloween.
But I’m not going to honour it enough to change the spelling of honour to honor. American holiday or not, I’m from Sydney, gosh-darn-it!
So anyway, we’ve spent quite a while on this update. It adds quite a bit.
The most obvious new thing is pumpkins! They can be added to the usual array of soups, pies and more, but we’ve also added pizza recipes! Not gonna tell you how it’s done of course, but it shouldn’t be too tough a thing to figure out, so have at it!
Meanwhile, you can also craft the pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns, which actually work as a light source for your town (and can be chucked on a stick because we thought that was kinda cool.
Let’s see, what else? There’s also a new structure – a sand quarry, which can be placed on any sand tile and is then used to generate unlimited sand, which is basically an alternative to using a bucket on one of the little sand dunes in the game.
Then there’s the new map itself – ‘A Dark Dark Wood’, which is a nod to some old nursery rhyme or scary story or something that I remember listening to a lot as a kid.
The map will mess with you. It’s full of impassable brambles, and has none of the following: iron, coal, water, sand. Tough gig, you might say? Well, yes, to put it bluntly.
So far I’m the only one on the team here who has managed to get a Gold Star on it! If anyone out there can do it, be the first to send me a screenshot and I’ll shoot you a free download code to give to a friend. Umm… and give you a shoutout on Twitter or Facebook or something as well!
Have fun, folks, and keep that feedback coming in! We’re focused on keeping these updates coming while we plug away at the iPhone/iPod version (which is coming along nicely).
Well, this is amazing news, but Screen Australia has just confirmed that it’ll be helping out the Australian game development community with $2.6 million worth of investment.
The investment is being split (not evenly) amongst 21 Australian developers. One of which is us!
The help will be used to fund development of that all-important iPhone version, get us started on other future platforms and help us get the game translated into multiple languages!
This couldn’t have happened if all our fans hadn’t demonstrated that there’s an audience for the game out there, so a huge thank you to everyone who has bought the game so far or who has just given us words of support.
Thank you thank you thank you!
Now stop what you’re doing and go check out the other awesome games which have received government support this year.