Archibald’s Adventures 2 under development

July 2nd, 2010 by boovie

You may have noticed that we are working on Archibald’s Adventures sequel. The work was delayed by the PSP port of the original game, which took more time than we have expected, but it’s finished now and we can fully focus on the sequel. I would like to write some introduction of the game and its basic features and how the game should differ from the original one.

Platforms

When we were developing the original Archibald’s Adventures game, we made several decisions based on what platforms we wanted the game to run on. This affected both gameplay and technical implementation. Looking back, all these decisions turn out to be based on wrong assumptions and didn’t do much good to the game. Also they were limiting us while making iPhone and PSP ports of the game. That’s one place when we want to make difference with Archibald’s Adventures 2.

The former Archibald’s Adventures was released for huge amount of platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Palm OS and PSP on the way. This was great experience and at least we know to never do it again. It’s funny that the game was initially focused on Windows Mobile and Palm OS and only later ported on iPhone, while profits were just opposite: the game was most successful on iPhone, mediocre on Windows/Mac and total flop on Windows Mobile and Palm. And we will yet to see how the PSP turns out.

So Archibald’s Adventures 2 will be released for iOS (iPhone, iPad), Mac OS X, Windows and possibly PSP (if the sales of the PSP version of the original game won’t be good, we won’t probably bother to port the sequel to the PSP because the process of getting a game to PSP is quite complicated).

Controls

The controls is the main area we want to improve, mainly on iPhone. When we were making the iPhone port of the original game, we didn’t have much experience with the device and the plan was to get the game released as soon as possible so the controls are not ideal. The virtual cross-pad is too small for many people, the switching to second mode when the cross-pad is hidden and the hero can be controlled by touching the screen is not much intuitive, and I suspect many people didn’t find the option to configure the controls because it is visible only in the in-game menu, not in the main menu.

In the sequel, we want let the player to choose from several control modes: virtual cross-pad (with customizable size), virtual analog pad, swipe controls and touch-the-screen controls. Also the game logic will give additional support to the controls – for example if player input can cause two or more different moves, the game will choose the safer one (it is safer to stay stick to a wall instead of jumping into a pit etc).

The bubble is dead. Long live the lifter.

There won’t be the bubble in the Archibald’s Adventures 2 any more. But don’t worry, it will by replaced by a robot, which we call “lifter”. Lifter is flying robot which can be remotely controlled and which is able to grab and move crates, push levers and do other things like the original bubble. But many people have found controlling the original bubble frustrating because of the slow movement and its weird bounciness. The lifter will move similarly to hero, will have properly defined collisions and won’t bounce. It is also possible that the lifter will be able to receive new features during the game, but this is still undecided.

Archibalds Adventures 2 concept
Archibalds Adventures 2 level draft

Levels

We want the sequel to be more focused on exploring. We really like games like Knytt or Lyle in Cube Sector and we were thinking about creating one big continuous map, made of many screens joined together. But such solution has several drawbacks: The most common is backtracking, where players need to (or have to) return to previously explored areas. Also we liked the freedom to choose any level to play in the original game, so for example if you have a few minutes while waiting at a bus stop, you could select some small and fast level and keep any complex level for later. It is hard to keep this feature if the game would be one big map. We could put teleporters to the map which would allow faster transitions among unexplored areas, but it is still not ideal. Also one big map tends to contain puzzles and quest of type “bring here the item X from the other side of the map”, but most of the iPhone players prefer “casual” playing games for few minutes a day. And if you play games this way, you don’t want to remember each time you run a game what did you do the last time, where you need to go or study any quest log – you just want to play the game for a while.

So we decided to do something in between. The “choose level” menu will be replaced by a simple overview map. We want to get rid of the menu because the menu distracts from the game’s atmosphere and mood. The original menu in the game was a compromise to support all the different platforms and screen resolutions. Within the map you will be able to jump to any unlocked level. Each level will be standalone level with its own puzzles like in the original game. Completing a level will unlock surrounding levels on the map. This allows the player to skip the levels he don’t like or which he founds too difficult but still fits nicely into the game and adds at least a bit of exploration experience.

And more…

There are also many new gameplay features and improvements to be revealed (you will love Archie’s new animations and his new movement abilities), but I will keep them for future posts for now. So stay tuned!

First Be a King 2 screenshots

April 22nd, 2010 by admin

Hello!

We are going to finish the first BETA version of our upcoming game Be a King 2.

So what is new in the game? The main differences between Be a King and Be a King 2:

  • building events (player can explore maps and find special places with different small quests)
  • fog of war
  • better tutorial, it is expanded into 7 levels (3 in the first part)
  • a few new buildings
  • buildings are smaller, so player can construct bigger cities
  • buildings can be damaged
  • new art for almost everything including GUI
  • animated monsters

Here are a few screenshots:

Be a King 2 - gameplay (Alpha)

Be a King 2 - gameplay (Alpha)

Be a King 2 - gameplay (Alpha)

Be a King 2 - gameplay (Alpha)

Be a King 2 - one of game maps (Alpha)

Be a King 2 - one of game maps (Alpha)

Rake in Grass and the first half of 2010

January 2nd, 2010 by admin

Rake in Grass wishes you a great and happy new year!

We are pleased to introduce you some of our upcoming projects for the first half of 2010.

Unnamed Role-Play card game

Unnamed Role-Play card game

One of our main projects is a Role-Play game with card battles. The game is designed for both hardcore and casual players. It brings an exciting story with a great gameplay based on a fantasy world full of heroes, warriors, elves, dwarfs and monsters.
Estimated release of the game: summer 2010. The game has no official name yet.

Be a King 2 - a casual strategy game

Be a King 2 - a casual strategy game

Our second project is a sequel of our casual strategy game ‘Be a King’. Be a King 2 brings all the fun features of the original game and also several new features like new quest buildings, a fog of war, and levels prospecting.
Estimated release of the ‘Be a King 2’: March 2010.

Crystal Cave Casual - a logic game

Crystal Cave Casual - a logic game

Our third game for the first half of the year is ‘Crystal Cave Casual’. It is a new version
of  the ‘Crystal Cave Classic’ designed for casual players. The game brings 90+ new levels full of logic riddles together with some actions in addition.
Release of  ‘Crystal Cave Casual’: February 2010.

We hope you will stay with us during 2010 as we continue to bring you more great games!


Giveaway of Rake in Grass games pack!

September 25th, 2009 by admin

Hello!

With a new iPhone game – Crystal Cave Classic – we bring a new giveaway on Twitter to you. You can win all of our games on a CD. To enter the giveaway you have to:

1. Follow our Twitter channel @rakeingrass (http://twitter.com/rakeingrass)

2. Tweet some info about our giveaway, but you have to add @rakeingrass to the message (we will be able to find your tweet then)
Here are some examples:

@rakeingrass is giving away their games for Windows, Mac and iPhone at http://blog.rakeingrass.com/?p=77

Win a pack of @rakeingrass games, check http://blog.rakeingrass.com/?p=77 for more info

@rakeingrass giveaway – win their games at http://blog.rakeingrass.com/?p=77

etc.

Prize:

  • The three fastest tweetters will receive Crystal Cave Classic for free for any platform they choose*.
  • Another two randomly selected tweetters will also receive Crystal Cave Classic for free for any platform they choose*.
  • One randomly selected winner will receive the CD with all our games!

The giveaway will begin on September 26, 2009 and end on October 11, 2009.

* If you choose iPhone/iPod touch, we will send you a promo code. You need an US account to be able to use the promo code.


The giveaway is finished!

Because there were not many people who joined the contest, we will giveaway our game Crystal Cave Classic to all who participated.



Rake in Grass games for iPhone and iPod Touch

Crystal Cave Classic and Undercroft news

July 9th, 2009 by admin

Hello,

We want to update you on what we are currently working on. There are two main projects both suitable for iPhone and iPod Touch, one for Windows and Mac OS X too.

First one is called Crystal Cave Classic and will be hopefully well received especially by players who loved our Archibald’s Adventures.   But this game will be suitable also for other logic games lovers. They will appreciate more than 100 levels set in various settings like ancient India or Egypt. We are doing everything we can so that the game could get to the gamers till the end of the summer.  The game will be available for Windows, Mac OS X and iPhone/iPod Touch. The Win and Mac versions will probably contain a level editor too.

Crystal Cave Classic for Win/Mac/iPhone Alpha

Crystal Cave Classic for Win/Mac/iPhone Alpha

Crystal Cave Classic for Win/Mac/iPhone Alpha

Crystal Cave Classic for Win/Mac/iPhone Alpha

The second game is called Undercroft and players may know this concept mainly because this game for iPod Touch and iPhone is a remake of previously released PocketPC version of the same name.  As well as original game, this one will also remain epic RPG game with fantasy setting. Concept is similar to Dungeon Master but is improved with many original features and better user interface. By playing it, you become a leader of a group of adventurers fighting against hordes of beasts in tombs, forests, wild mountains etc.  As we see it now, the game should be released some time during the autumn.

Undercroft for iPhone/iPod Touch alpha

Undercroft for iPhone/iPod Touch alpha

Westbang Lite, music and sound on iPhone OS 3.0

June 19th, 2009 by boovie

Lite version of Westbang was approved by Apple, so now you can test the casual difficulty of the game on your iPhone or iPod touch for free. The full version of Westbang has three difficulties: good, bad and ugly. The lite version allows you to protect several banks on the good difficulty (bandits are a little slower and if your sheriff dies, you can try the level again).

App Store

Note that the 1.0 version of Westbang has issues with music and sounds, there is static during playing. We are aware of this problem and 1.1 update which fixes this problem was already submitted to Apple and should get available soon.

But there is simple temporary workaround: in the options menu lower music and sound volume to minimum (but not to mute). This reduces the static and makes the sounds to play at normal level.

The lite version of Westbang and the latest update of Archibald’s Adventures are not affected by this bug and should be working fine under 3.0 OS.

Boovie…

Westbang released on App Store

May 23rd, 2009 by boovie

Our new action game Westbang for iPhone and iPod touch is available on App Store now. The approval process took 10 days and we are happy that the game made it without problems. Check out the trailer:

App Store

Westbang is a fast and funny rendition of a classic game concept! Fight many enemies, test your reaction and compete for the highest score on a way to become a legend of the old West!

To celebrate release of Westbang, our previous iPhone platformer Archibald’s Adventures is on sale now for a limited time on App Store.

Hope you will enjoy the game :)  Have a great day!

Boovie…

Source code of Larva Mortus

May 1st, 2009 by admin

Hello,

Here is the source code of one of our bigger game – Larva Morus. Larva Mortus is an action game with a horror atmosphere. It uses Torque Game Builder 1.1.3. I publish the source code as it is.

Please read my first game source post about my programming skills! ;)

Game URL: http://larvamortus.rakeingrass.com/

Used engine: Torque Game Builder 1.1.3

Game type: action

Source code: DOWNLOAD HERE and EULA

Tovy..

Larva on Steam and more games for iPhone

March 26th, 2009 by boovie

We haven’t updated the blog with some fresh news for some time, but don’t worry, we are still alive and working on something :)

Larva Mortus on Steam

First of all we are proud to announce, if you haven’t noticed already, that Larva Mortus is available on Steam now. You can visit the game’s page here. The free demo is almost identical to the demo from our site, but the full Steam version contains support for several achievements. They aren’t anything extraordinary, but this was our first game for steam and we are happy we have been able to implement at least something for the release.

Being the first of our games for Steam, we are eager to see how big market is the Steam for independent developers like us. I would mention that few year ago we tried to offer Jets’n'Guns to Steam, but we were rejected. Maybe the Steam was not so indie-friendly that time. But the success (or failure) of Larva Martus will show, whether we will be trying to get more of our games on Steam.

When talking about reaching multiple platforms, I would like to say few words about our experience with PDA and Pocket platforms. Undercroft was developed only for Windows Mobile, while Archibald’s Adventures was ported for both Windows Mobile and old Palm OS. The conclusion is simple: we won’t be developing for Windows Mobile or Palm OS anymore. The old Palm OS is dead for some time, so I wasn’t suprised here (porting Archibald to Palm OS was because of nostalgia than anything else). But Windows Mobile was disappointment for us. Undercroft was not so bad, but Archibald’s Adventures was a flop. It’s a little sad for us because many limititions and restrictions in the game was caused by the requirement that the game must run on Windows Mobile. I don’t think that the main problem is in the game itself, but getting a game to customers is really hard. The web sites which sell windows mobile software are really terrible. The forms for uploading games were not working, no reply when trying to contact support, terrible documentation for developers, even design of the webs are often ugly. Now I know why Apple’s iPhone and App Store is such a success and everybody is trying to create its copy.

So no more games for Windows Mobile from Rake in Grass. We will see if Microsoft’s App Store (ups, of course I meant to write Marketplace :) will change anything, but I doubt it will change anything for us. I don’t think we would like to bother again with supporting several resolutions and different devices when we have iPhone with its simple OpenGL, hardware accelerated graphics and nice resolution.

So what’s coming next? This year will be probably “iPhone” year for RiG. We still have plans for some bigger game for PC (and we will see how the Steam will go), but we want to make some dent into the iPhone market as long as it is still possible for independent developers, before the market gets occupied by big publishers.

RPG fans should not miss our port of Undercroft for iPhone and iPod touch. It will probably take some time before the port is completed, because Undercroft was designed for 320×240 resolution and that is really small compared to the iPhone resolution so entire user interface and inventory needs to be redesigned. It is also possible that the game will contain update with new content, which was never released on Windows Mobile, but we are still not sure if this will come with the first release.

Undercroft for iPhone and iPod touch

But the game which will be released before Undercroft and which is almost finished is Westbang. Inspired by some great games from 8-bit and 16-bit era, this is remake of Westbang game created by two of Rake in Grass members before the Rake in Grass was formed.

Westbang for iPhone and iPod touch

The main purpose of the game is test and finish our new small engine we are preparing for our next games. That’s the reason we have choosed not-so-complex game, but we hope the game will be funny anyway. The main gameplay is simple, but we concentrate on stylish atmosphere with gorgeous graphics and nice western music. The game will also include online top scores.

That’s all for now, have a great day!

Boovie…

Source code of Phantasia 2

February 20th, 2009 by admin

Hello,

Here is the source code of our another game – Phantasia 2. Phantasia 2 is a casual action game. It contains three different game modes (Phantasia, Arcanoid and Bubbles?). It uses Torque Game Builder 1.1.3. I publish the source code as it is.

 

 

Please read my first game source post about my programming skills! ;)

Game URL: http://www.300ad.com/phantasia2.php

Used engine: Torque Game Builder 1.1.3

Game type: action

Source code: DOWNLOAD HERE and EULA

Tovy..