Author Topic: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS  (Read 2642 times)

IQpierce

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Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« on: Sun, Jul 10, 2011 »
Connectrode, a simple but addictive indie puzzle game made using Flixel iOS, is on the App Store for $.99!

Video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ietYWhtMQJ8

Website: http://www.connectrode.com

Screenshots:


How to play:
Repeat after me - this is NOT a match-3!
There are "chip" pieces on the board and you are given "connector" pieces each turn to place onto the board. If you place connectors so as to "close the circuit" between multiple same-colored chips, then that whole chain of chips and connectors will be cleared from the board. The real trick is that placing a piece can block off parts of the board (new connectors can't be moved through walls of other pieces) - so each piece placement may limit you placing pieces on future turns.
Simple rules, but some complex challenges quickly emerge once you start playing (especially on the harder difficulty levels). There's some subtle scoring rules that can make the game much more challenging for those trying to maximize their score (connecting 3 chips is much trickier than connecting two).

Background
I'm a professional game programmer but I also do indie projects (as "Deep Plaid Games"), and I love prototyping games in Flixel. I decided to design the most addictive puzzle-style game for iOS that I possibly could. I prototyped the mechanics in Flixel for AS3... after dropping the project, my wife encouraged me to mess with it again... suddenly I found gameplay that I fell in love with... the very next day, Flixel iOS went open-source, so I basically stayed up that whole night and ported my code from AS3 to Objective-C!

Later I got in touch with some other awesome Austin indies to finish what was by then called "Connectrode":
  • Brandon Boyer put me in touch with Dale Austin, who did fantastic work with the art and the video
  • My friend Brad Lewis (who worked on I Dig It on iOS and now works for Bioware) helped with art during early development
  • Robin Arnott (who made an awesome art game, "Deep Sea") did the sound effects
  • David Pencil compsed the music (he did the soundtrack for Penny Arcade: The Series, season two).

I'm proud of it as a well-designed, elegant puzzle game... and I love the graphics and sound that the team put together. Since it's a kinda personal game (I was the sole game designer and programmer), I dedicated it to my wife Laura, who encouraged me to pursue the project.

Designing a truly "easy to learn, hard to master" game was an incredible challenge. I hope to do more complex and experimental indie game projects at some point... but for now I'm proud to have made a "pure puzzle game" that I think ranks up there with the best in the genre! Hope others try it and enjoy it! Feel free to ask questions, or share impressions if you try the game.


Shay Pierce
CEO and Wombat Defenestrator
Deep Plaid Games, LLC
http://www.DeepPlaid.com
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!

foosety

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #1 on: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 »
Looks great IQpierce! I wish you the best of luck.  ;)

initials

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #2 on: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 »
Nice work. If you see a sale from Australia come up you can assume that was me.

Are those custom fonts using a FlxText object? I have tried to get that working and failed. It would be cool to know whether it's possible or not, and how much coding it took.
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

osro

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #3 on: Fri, Jul 22, 2011 »
Looks nice!  :)

IQpierce

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #4 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
Thanks for the kind words guys! This game is turning out to be pretty successful, we were featured by Apple on Thursday and have been getting about 850 sales a day since then! :O We're doing the $.99 thing so that hasn't gotten too lucrative yet but hopefully it'll keep going!

I really need to be more active on these forums since this engine made all of this possible...! So let's do this: I have some promo codes  left to get this game for free! We only have a limited # of them, but I'll say that 5 of them are earmarked for Flixel forum members... PM me if you want one, first come first serve! Save that $.99! :)

Next, go check the iOS forums for answers to those questions about text... text and fonts were a HUGE headache but I solved it with a lot of trial and error, and I'll share some useful info/code from what I did to put my own font in.

Oh and one more note: if I started this project today, I probably wouldn't bother with Flixel iOS... I would do it in Flixel AS3 and try to export to the iPhone using Flash CS5.5 or Flash Builder 4.5.1.  I've heard that their new version of the Adobe AIR flash exporting for iOS has MUCH better performance as of an update they did last month. I haven't evaluated this yet myself... but I have a feeling that I could have saved myself about 2.5 of the 6 months I spent finishing and polishing this game if that update had come out last year instead of last month!

Oh well, Semi-Secret is still awesome for sharing the Flixel iOS library, and I'm certainly glad they did! And aside from the fonts (and the lack of any good tweening option in Cocoa, at least that I could find), I really enjoyed making this game in this engine!
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!

initials

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #5 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
getting about 850 sales a day since then!

Thanks for sharing this. This tidbit of information is actually very interesting.
It sounds like at that rate, the game is a financial success. Good work.
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

IQpierce

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #6 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
Yeah, I like to err on the side of sharing info like that... I always thought that being featured by Apple would mean a lot more sales than that, personally...

For a game that we're making $.70 on per sale, I don't think the current pace is going to make any of us filthy rich. But maybe it will at least up paying for the MacBook Pro that I used to make it... that would be nice. :)

But now I'm itching to make some kind of experimental game that has no commercial value whatsoever... :)
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!

osro

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #7 on: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 »
I think you need to get your app to the top 25 to make actually money in AppStore :D

I would really like to hear how ActionScript version of Flixel would run on iPhone now as Adobe announced to incresase the performance.

initials

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #8 on: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 »
Connectrode was mentioned in Adam's interview on the TouchArcade podcast.
Nice work.
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

IQpierce

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Re: Connectrode: pure puzzle game for iOS
« Reply #9 on: Sat, Jul 30, 2011 »
Connectrode was mentioned in Adam's interview on the TouchArcade podcast.
Nice work.
Oh nice! I actually got to show Adam a prototype build of the game a few months ago . Just listened to that, still need to finish listening to the rest of the podcast...

Hadn't heard of The Blocks Cometh before, will have to check it out. Just saw a video... thought maybe I should send them a link to my method for using a different font! Looks fun though.
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!