Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quests for Heroes

I just finished my prototype of my new upcoming android game called "Quests for Heroes". It is a turn based tactical rpg game focused on dungeon crawling. Here it is an image of a dungeon

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SpriteSheets - TheMovie

I really liked this video

SpriteSheets - TheMovie - Part 1 by Code'n'Web

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Appsurf platform

I had an advertisement email today from a company that made a good platform called appsurf. The had implemented a browser version of the android emulator and the android developers can upload their applications and the users can play them online and if they like it then they can download

I have uploaded my game Rome at War Free here
AppSurfer AppSurfer Welcome, Alexandrois Open-uri20121121-2-axjc8p?1353516587 Rome At War Free Edit App Tagline: Romans go to war APK file Name: Medieval_Epic_War-release.apk Google Market URL: Default Layout: Portrait Description: Lead your legionaries to conquer RomeRome At War is a turn based strategy game inspired by board games like "risk" and "conquests of the empire" with some total advance war strategy improvements.There is help for the game through the "help option of the main menu" that opens the following url version of the game has ads, the full version has no ads and better computer AIPlease before you think that something is not working properly read the help page of the game carefully. When you transfer units are not disappeared. They will be available after the end of the turn. Screenshot Selected: Open-uri20121121-2-eyochk?1353516589 Options UnPublish App When your app is published it is visible on appsurfer. People can use your app and share it everywhere. See your app on Appsurfer App needs to be published to see your app on appsurfer. If your app is not published you can test your app in Sandbox mode. Test in Sandbox Mode In sandbox mode, you can test your app before publishing it. Also you can access your app session logs. Statistics See how your application is performing. Access visual graphs and data. Get Widget Code Widget code can be used to embed AppSurfer widget running your app on product pages, blogs, app review sites and other websites making your app viral. Get "Surf It" button Place it anywhere, and customise it as you want. Opens up a pop up box, and runs appsurfer widget running your app inside it. If you feel embedding widget takes a lot of space on the webpage, "Surf It" button is what you need. Delete App Use with CARE. This will remove your app, its uploaded files(apk, logos, screenshots). It will also destroy the history and stats for this application. © RainingClouds Technologies 2012 x Get Your Widget Code Copy paste the code given below to add widget to your website.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rome At War for Android

I have made my first video review

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Audio Copter Videos

I have uploaded some videos of my android video game Audio Copter on youtube. I hope that you like them

Monday, October 29, 2012

I have uploaded a video of the android game Music Space Invaders that i play on my android tablet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to Be an Indie Game Developer

I got an email a while back from someone who was effectively asking, “How do I become an indie game developer?”
I replied to them and did my best, but I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what they were looking for in terms of advice. We get asked similar questions quite a bit, so I thought I would write a post to which I can refer people in the future; a kind of miscellany of advice that might be useful.
Two notes: this is aimed at relative beginners who know a bit about games and will probably have a PC bias.

Who We Are
As one person commented – somewhat ominously – on a previous article I wrote for Gamesbrief:
the future success of the guest poster will solely affect the validity of these ‘tips’.
let the games begin.
Mode 7 is an indie development studio based in Oxford, UK. We started formally in around 2005 and released an unsuccessful multiplayer sword-fighting game called Determinance in 2007.
After that, we moved on to Frozen Synapse, which was released in 2011.
I always feel a bit “my apartment smells of rich mahogany” when I talk about this stuff…
Here’s FS’s rap sheet:
- Over 400k units sold
- 85 Metacritic
- 9/10 Edge, Eurogamer, Destructoid; many other high review scores
- Headlined its own Humble Bundle
- Independent Games Festival Audience Award; PC Gamer Strategy Game of the Year; Strategy Game of the Year; RockPaperShotgun “Best Glowy Lines in a Game” Award (really)
We are currently working on an iPad version of the game which will be out later this year.
Myself and Ian Hardingham (Lead Designer and Coder) head up the company as Joint Managing Directors and co-owners. There are currently four other people in our office, two of whom are full-time employees. We also work with various freelancers remotely.
Who I Am
I’m Paul Taylor: I do business development, marketing, audio, music, writing, some art direction, some UI design, some single player design…and some other things as well!
The Question
For the purposes of narrowing things down, I am going to presume that, by asking how to become an indie dev, you mean this:
“I want to move from what I’m doing now to being a full-time indie game developer.”
Let me just say at this point that if you want to make an indie game solely for the purposes of creative expression or indeed for fun, then please don’t let me put you off.
In fact, let me do the opposite: some of the most amazing things I’ve seen in the last few years have been games developed by people who didn’t have a commercial bone in their body. Some of them have even made a decent amount of money, even though that wasn’t the primary goal.
Also, you might want to develop interactive stories in Twine or amazing physical experiences like Johann Sebastian Joust rather than the more stereotypical computer games I’ll be discussing, so please don’t think I’m excluding you even though my focus is elsewhere.
That’s the end of this apparently interminable preamble: on with the show…
The Basics
The process of making and releasing a computer game will probably feature the following aspects:
- Game design
- Code
- Level design (or some other, more tactical, “micro” form of design if you don’t have levels)
- Art and animation
- Audio and music
- Writing
- Biz (legal, marketing, PR, bits of web dev and other miscellany)
All of these are necessary and important; all are extremely challenging disciplines that one person can spend a lifetime mastering.
Here’s the rub: you will need to cover all the bases yourself, find willing partners, or start paying others to do the work for you.
Personally, I think from the outset you should be ready to pay professionals to handle the stuff you can’t manage personally: that’s the fastest, easiest and often (somewhat counterintuitively) cheapest way to get stuff done.
If you’ve never outsourced anything before, I recommend The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss: the attitudes expressed there are fairly extreme and quite amusing, but I guarantee that it will make you think.
If you’re lucky enough to know people who might partner up with you, make sure they’re in it for the long game, that you trust them implicitly and that you feel you have shared goals at a profound level. People like that are hard to find, so hold on to them if you do.
Unpaid volunteers will, more often than not, give up when things get hard. They may also not tell you that they’ve given up and waste a vast amount of your time.
Let’s look at each discipline in turn and figure out what we’re talking about…
Game Design
This, by Spelunky creator Derek Yu, is one of the best things you will ever read about game design or any creative endeavour – read that and come back!
Game design is a creative discipline which also requires an extremely analytical mind at a high level; this would seem to explain why most game designers I know are a tiny bit unhinged (in a good way)!
Game designers design game mechanics; yes, they often contribute to the high-concept narrative stuff as well, but their primary role is to design the actual game. I’m still surprised by the number of people I talk to who don’t seem to know that.
There are three ways to learn game design; I’ve put these in descending order of efficacy:
1.) Make games, then watch people playing your games
2.) Play other games analytically
3.) Study game design theory
I’m not saying that 2 and 3 are worthless by any means; they are just worth less.
Your life as a designer will be a hell of a lot easier if you are a competent coder: the great game designers you read about who are not coders often will work in tandem with a large team of high-level programmers; unless you are extremely rich and risk-prone, you won’t be doing that initially.
It is certainly possible to be an indie designer who does not code at all: however, you’ll have to have amazing “people skills” to compensate for that.
If you’re using game creation software like Adventure Game Studio, RPG Maker or RenPY, you will reduce the amount of hardcore coding you’ll need to learn at the outset in order to start designing. Be aware, though, that until you delve deep into the nuts and bolts of those tools you’ll be severely limited in terms of the designs you’ll be able to execute.
Design is vital, but it is not everything. If you were being so crass as to give game designs marks out of 10, there are plenty of  successful indie games which would score 7 or 8.
That said, there is never a good reason to aim for mediocre design: gamers come for the presentation and concept but they stay for the design.  Also, if you do hit that elusive 10/10 then a lot of other things will suddenly get a LOT easier.
Here are three things I wish designers would do more:
- Try to get the player making interesting, meaningful decisions as quickly as possible
- Try to minimize the total amount of time the player has to do boring things
- Try to include at least one completely innovative element, even if it’s just a small thing
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a broad genre, but the people who buy indie games generally like such entertainment – at least partially – for its novelty and innovation: if your game is boring in any way then prepare to fail!
Finally, a word of warning. There is something about game design which makes people believe that they can do it, even if they have never done it before. I’m not precisely sure what quality it has which makes it appear so easy: it is incredibly difficult.
My final thought on design is that you need to find your own way and express your own personality. Clarify your goals and maybe even write them down, just like Gunpoint creator Tom Francis did recently.
Game concepts occupy a weird space between aesthetics and mechanical considerations. They add atmosphere and emotion to the raw mechanics; also, they are often the primary reason that people try or buy a game.
The more generic your concept (e.g. “fantasy MMO”) the more pressure you put on other aspects of the game and the greater the need for quirks or twists on the formula (“fantasy MMO where the combat is four-dimensional Backgammon”).
I wrote a bit about concepts in my Gamasutra marketing article.
Here’s an excerpt:
Scott Steinberg would advise you to aim squarely at the mass market: “Music, animals, sports, raising a family… Keep game premises rooted in real-world frames of reference whenever possible.” – Scott Steinberg, Sell More Video Games
Jeff Tunnell, on the other hand, thinks you should stick to where your passion lies:
“I make games that I want to make, and find out if there is an audience later. Trying to come up with a forecast is not an art or a science, it is an exercise in futility. Back in the day after Dynamix was acquired by Sierra we did have to work with marketing and do the prediction dance, but it was rarely correct, and the games I believed in the most like The Incredible Machine got terrible forecasts.” – Jeff Tunnell, What is My Game’s Sales Potential?
Here’s my take:
There are commercially-successful indie games about gangly kung-fu fighting rabbits, abstract computer landscapes populated by tiny green squeaking things, and small, dribbly blobs of goo. These are never going to be as big as The Sims, but they were never intended to be. By “commercially successful”, I mean “making enough money for their creators to continue making games”. That’s your goal, right?
Go for a “popular” concept only if you have a passion for it: you need passion to drive you through the process of making the game. If you’re coming up with something wackier, realize that you’re going to have to work harder to find the audience, and start figuring out how you’re going to go about doing that before you start development.
That’s enough about design and concept: they both mean nothing if you can’t actually code a game!  There are a huge variety of “How do I learn to program?” resources around on the internet, just a Google search away, so getting access to the basics should be trivial. However, I’m now going to hand over to Ian for his advice on coding for indie games…
“I’m going to assume you’re working with an existing game engine if you’re reading a “how to get into games coding” piece – if you’re rolling your own then you’re already beyond my advice.
Learning to program is something which requires the kind of focus and effort which most programmers by nature don’t have or can’t muster, so it’s always a hard road.
I advise the same approach whether you’ve never programmed before in your life, or (as with me) you have a coding background but are suddenly presented with a hugely complex 500,000 line game-engine you have no idea what to do with. Don’t bother “starting small” – go straight for what you actually want to do, and start doing it. However, within that extremely ambitious framework you must be intelligent about what part you start with. Find a self-contained part of the larger project – something which is achievable in a month with a real payoff – and set that as your first target.
Run head-first, flailing, into the code-base and hack away until you can make something change. Change something’s colour and then celebrate. Badger people in the community for the game engine endlessly – your questions will start off stupid and they’ll be exasperated with you, but every day your questions will get slightly less ridiculous, and eventually you’ll be helping other people. If there are books available for your chosen engine, buy them and read them cover to cover WITHOUT doing any of the actual coding exercises first. Only then should you start doing the actual exercises.
Assuming you have any kind of natural talent for programming at all – and if you have none maybe you should go for the art side of game dev – then the only real enemy you will have is uncertainty. Don’t EVER go into a problem with an attitude of “I don’t know what to do” or, even worse, “I don’t know if this is possible”. Everything you will be trying to do is possible, and if you’re confident of that you’ll find everything much easier.
Learning game programming is as hard as learning anything else: expect it to take six months of very hard graft to get to any kind of position of knowledge.”
You should find a game engine to use that suits your project. If you’re really stuck for ideas, have a look at Torque, Unity or something HTML5-based. Alternatively, you could go for something extremely powerful but aimed at beginners: GameMaker.
Level Design
Game design and level design are different skills: one is designing a system and the other is working out how to present that system in the most rewarding way.
Level design tends to be very specific to the game in question, and is something that has to be worked out on an iterative basis; it tends to take a long time. I’ve included it here just to remind prospective indie devs that they will probably have to get used to doing it or find someone else who is willing to do it for them!
There has been a recent trend towards procedural generation; this requires both strong coding skills and a keen eye for what works in your game: don’t see it as an easy way out! Yes, you’ll get greater bang for your buck, but you’ll probably spend as much time tweaking generators as you would building the levels by hand.
Art and Animation
I have a lot of respect for indie devs who make their own art: I’m currently playing through Size Five’s Ben There Dan That and the very…erm…handmade art in that particular game (especially the character walk cycles) is hilarious and perfectly suits the tone.
If you’re not the greatest artist in the world, then you can either use that to your advantage and go for a super simple style (even using free tools like GIMP and Blender), or you can outsource art to someone else.
Art is probably the easiest part of game development to outsource: if your game engine is reasonably standard you can usually just give the artist a spec, agree a price and leave them to get on with it.
I would recommend using artists who have a good track record. Someone who has completed a lot of projects, and maybe has industry experience, will know all the right questions to ask and will have a much higher chance of doing their work on time. That advice applies to freelancers in other disciplines as well.
You can sink a lot of money into art, so it’s probably worth thinking about the 80/20 rule here. Think about the art that your game really needs. Bear in mind that it’s worth focussing on the things the player will be looking at most – it’s all very well having glossy cutscenes, but if you have rubbish main character animation, people will say your game looks terrible.
Shop around for artists: don’t just hire the first person you find: you’re really after a cost / benefit balance here.
On Frozen Synapse, we made a few decisions that I think really helped:
- Keep it simple
We had almost no art budget, so changed from a fairly complex 2D style to a much more abstract top-down aesthetic that could look good with a low number of assets. I think that simple art works really well for complex PC strategy games – look at something like AI War, which has a nice 2D art style.
- Know where you’re going
Concept art is really useful to give you something to aim for, but don’t go overboard with it.  As an indie, you’ll need to put your limited resources into creating actual assets you can use in your game.
- Focus on aesthetic rewards
When a player gets a kill, they’re rewarded with a nice death animation and blood splatter. We spent a lot of time and a bit of money on getting both of those things to look as nice as possible in the context
- Front-load the awesome
I see so many games with butt-ugly splash screens and menus. I never understand why as they are so easy to get right: they’re mostly just static images!
If a shop has a beautiful interior, but a sign and window which look like they were painted by an aesthetically challenged four-year-old, nobody is going to be quite sure what to make of it.
Having menus animate in and out might seem like a small thing, but if I’m showing my game to a reviewer, IGF judge, or jaded gamer, they are going to sit up and take notice as soon as the first nice thing happens on-screen.
- Polish, polish, polish, polish…
Atmosphere and presentation are about creating a mood: when you’re trying to do that you have to pay attention to all the small details that contribute to someone’s unconscious understanding of a situation.
Apple are masters of this in their product and UI design; just look at the iPad: it’s a proliferation of tiny details which add up to a ridiculously polished user experience.
Think about how you want someone to feel when playing your game, then tailor ALL of the art to this, from the menu buttons to the mouse-click sound effect.
None of this stuff needs to be expensive – it can be as simple as taking the time to ensure that everything is lined up correctly on your login screen – but it does matter. It’s also hard to get right – you’ll miss stuff – but putting the effort in will mean that’s kept to a minimum.
Music and Audio
Audio is the least important of the creative disciplines in indie games: I can think of many, many successful games which have utterly terrible sound and music. I say this with a heavy heart as an audio person myself, but it’s true!
You can still apparently get away with just buying a load of reasonably crappy stock sound effects from somewhere like SoundDogs setting their levels appropriately and shoving them in your game.
However, things are getting a lot more competitive in high-end indie games;I really would recommend outsourcing your audio (or doing it yourself if you’re an awesome audio dude like Jasper Byrne).
Even if you don’t have very much sound, it still adds a great deal of polish simply because other indies still aren’t paying attention.
Voice acting can be incredibly difficult to get right and, as it’s not really necessary, is probably best avoided unless you feel it’s really essential. If you need voice acting, find someone who works in theatre or TV to give you advice on how to go about it: once again, knowing people can come in very useful.
If you’d like to learn how to make music and audio yourself, then I recommend buying Computer Music magazine for a few months (not just because I used to write for them!) and following along with some tutorials.
I like Ableton Live a lot; once you have that and a few free synthesizers, you’ll be able to bash out some early musical horrors in no time. You can also use Live to do all your SFX editing and processing.
If you do have the budget (or skills) for a good soundtrack, you’ll start to get a load of different benefits. Not only can you sell soundtrack downloads, and put the score up for things like the indie game music bundle, you’ll also add an entirely new way for people to discover your game.
Writing is optional or minimal for quite a few games but it can make a big difference. It can also be an opportunity to inject personality into an otherwise dry game. Again, I’d recommend hiring a freelancer for this if you don’t have any writing experience yourself, or at least checking with some other people to make sure what you’re doing makes sense!
You don’t have to include a huge amount of text (this can be a disadvantage, of course) but try to ensure that what you do have is of a reasonable standard, especially if you’re writing a script for voice actors.
Something I learned writing Frozen Synapse is that the overwhelming majority of gamers want quick, front-loaded exposition: they need to know what they’re doing and precisely why they’re doing it in as few words as possible. As a species, we haven’t really moved on from “avoid missing ball for high score”!
Put your literary aspirations in check and make sure you’ve got the basic context in place, then go back to doing all the ridiculous arty stuff you were planning on doing…
Be aware that many people will take any text in your game completely literally, irrespective of context.
A Note on Freelancers
“Where do I find all these mythical freelancers?” you may be asking. It really is as simple as Googling, looking on forums and asking around. If you are thinking of delving into outsourcing, you’ll need to develop the skills of finding people for yourself, as that’s the entire battle.
Suffice it to say, here’s a few tips…
A big list of forums to get you started:
Places like Polycount and even DeviantArt can be good for artists.
I’ve always found coders by posting jobs on or other industry websites, but freelance coders are not all that hard to come by in general.
But honestly, Google is your friend.
Business and Marketing
Making a game is approximately half the battle! Here’s some info on the other stuff…
Being a professional indie game developer (even just a one-man-band) means that you are running a small business.
In order to do that effectively, you need to look at a few different aspects:
Small Business Fun Time
You will need:
- An organisation like BusinessLink
- A good accountant who knows what the internet is and (ideally) has other small games companies on his books
- A solicitor, especially if you are setting up a company with other people
BusinessLink (or local equivalent) will be able to give you all the information you need to set up a company: you most likely will want to find your country’s version of a “limited liability company”.
Your accountant will do your end-of-year tax return (or Satan’s Pestilent Administrative Armpit) for you and tell you about how to save money.
Your solicitor will stop you making a massive error when you’re “just trying to get a game done” and inadvertently giving away all of your company to a publisher. They shouldn’t charge you money just to chat to them when you’re a start-up: if they do then tell them where to go.
That’s literally it – it’s not complicated but it is boring.
A quick tip for finding professionals who will be good in the long run: they will travel to see you (within reason!) for the initial meeting and give you genuinely useful advice for free. Anyone who bothers to do both of those things has my attention immediately.
What size and structure suits me?
Personally, I am not a designer or coder, so I partnered 50:50 with someone who is highly skilled at both of those things. That leaves him to get on with designing, coding and managing, while leaving me to spend my time on with a catalogue of odds and ends in various other disciplines.
We also have two brains to apply to strategic issues, as well as two very different personalities to evaluate our products. It helps immensely.
For this reason, I really think most one-man-band devs should look at bringing at least one other person eventually: just an opinion! I don’t think you can hit your full potential slogging it out on your own forever: you need that second perspective.
What are my long-term goals?
If you have never made a game before, please just make one and release it, even if it’s just for free: don’t let planning distract you from that. You need to have that process figured out before you think about anything else. Just do it!
Once you know you can make games, that’s the time to start planning ahead.
If you want to make indie games for your entire career, you’ll have to figure out a way to find a niche, stay ahead of what other game devs are doing and keep trying to make your games stand out.
This is where having a strong creative lead will help you: if you have great ideas and the ability to present them well, you’ll be able to find a market for what you’re making.
Be ready to make your next game and move onto it promptly as soon as you have completed one project. It can be tempting to just sit there milking one thing (especially if you have had a hit) but you absolutely need to keep going.
You might want to grow your business or stay small: both are valid, despite the fact that people will criticise you for doing either. A lot of this is down to personal motivation and drive: if you are not interested in running a big business with a lot of employees then don’t do it!
I’ve come up with four ways that an indie game studio can set itself up for the long-term. Obviously these are crude, and there are many other valid approaches. Here they are:
1.) A regular (at least one release every two years) string of strong (but not necessarily hit) pay-once games
2.) A single large-scale – probably free-to-play-with-microtransactions – game with a decent conversion rate and ARPU (average revenue per user)
3.) One singular Minecraft-style breakout hit!
4.) Any / all of the above combined with outsourcing and contract work
Pay Once
Most indies start (even if they don’t know it) with 1.), because they are making a pay once game. They think, “I will make my game, get it on Steam / App Store / Android Marketplace, do some PR and make money”. The reason that we are in a golden age of indie development right now is that this can actually work with the right game!
If you make a good enough game, get a decent distribution agreement from a big distributor, and get some good PR behind it, then you can make money.
However, it’s most likely, even with additional revenue streams like DLC and ports, that you’ll need to do this on a regular basis: that’s the major challenge.
Successful small (or one-man-band) companies who follow this model are Arcen Games and Positech Games.
I still recommend that newer devs start with 1.) because of the challenges inherent in the other categories. Making a successful free-to-play game is more creatively restrictive and simply harder than making a pay-once game, whatever the free-to-play camp will say.
Set a fair price that you feel is appropriate for your game based on the amount of content and depth it has in it. Make sure that you don’t undervalue what you’re doing: you can compete in areas other than price.
The technical abilities and funding level of many start-up indies probably preclude 2.) but it is certainly worth looking into if you have an applicable game design..
2.) is certainly capable of making many times the revenue of 1.), but is harder to design and requires many more ongoing resources (like servers and support staff for large multiplayer games), as well as continuous evolution and development.
This business model is very in vogue at the moment and so its disadvantages can be overlooked: I have been told by the developers of several free-to-play games that they wish they had gone with a traditional pay-once model.
However, despite idiots ranting on the internet, customers of all demographics tolerate free-to-play models. The only evidence you need that it works in the hardcore space (if that is your target) is League of Legends and Tribes: Ascend. It was recently announced that Valve’s DOTA2 will be free-to-play and monetised entirely by aesthetic content: to my knowledge, this is the first time that a core game as done that and it will be a fascinating test case for that model.
Free-to-play also allows for much more long-term iterative development and practises like “minimum viable product” where you develop your game in tandem with a lot of community feedback and metrics. This also allows you to scale your company directly proportional to the revenue your game is making and build things up that way.
Finally going free-to-play means that many, many more people will try your game compared to one released under a pay-once model (even with a demo). If you want to truly aim for the biggest possible market, and you’re convinced that your game will retain players for a long time, by all means give it a shot.
For examples of successful smaller free-to-play games I’d check out Kongregate (they have a great presentation from GDC this year over at GDC Vault as well). The results that lone developers can achieve with free-to-play games on there are nothing short of astonishing.
Contract Work
Mode 7 switched from original game development to mostly contract work after the failure of our first game, and it was a great move at the time. We were able to get funding to make exactly the game we wanted to make on our own terms.
After Frozen Synapse’s success, we have largely moved away from contract work again for the following reasons:
- It is very unpredictable
- The time spent is always greater than the amount quoted for
- The ongoing support needed for any large project is a huge time drain
- The potential upside is always lower than working on an original product
- There are no long-term benefits like IP ownership
Some successful studios like Remode manage to combine original IP development with contract work in a very considered way. Others, like the brilliant Fish in a Bottle are based pretty much entirely around very targeted game design for brands and other companies.
Again, it’s all about finding your own balance.
Here’s the link to my Gamasutra article again, because I don’t like repeating myself…even though I just…did.  Um.
I think many of the things I said there probably still stand up.
The most important thing is to let your game take the lead. It’s pretty difficult to take the lead yourself: you’ll have to be an intriguing personality that the press want to speak with until you at least have some kind of intriguing game in development, and if that’s going to happen to you it will happen naturally, so don’t worry about it.
One thing I am finding at the moment is that frequency matters a lot: blogging regularly and tweeting / posting on Facebook every day is a good way to keep people engaged with what you’re doing.
In terms of people actually buying your game, hitting high-profile sites like RPS and Kotaku combined with a sale or big release is still the best thing to aim for. It’s worth taking the time to get to know journalists who work for the larger sites while your game is in development so that you can hit them up when it comes to launch.
All in all, still the most important thing about marketing an indie game is to think about how it will speak to people: how you can create and execute a concept which people will genuinely love. All of the other activities need to be driven by a strong belief that your product is amazing and that you have put all you can into it.
Video is ridiculously important these days. Here’s a quick idiot’s guide (as in, a guide written by an idiot) to video for indie game dev:
1.) Use FRAPS to capture footage from the game at a good resolution – there’s basically no sane alternative and it’s very cheap. FRAPS is great.
2.) Sony Vegas 11 for editing your captured footage – frankly, it’s a bit ropey and proper video people will laugh at you, but it’s easy to learn and not too expensive. Other editing software is available!
Make sure you set the “project settings” to something sensible when you start a new project, as a lot of the Vegas default projects are stupid – I think 1080p, 30fps and non-interlaced is good.
3.) Export as an uncompressed AVI – this will be an unbelievably stupidly big file, so you may want a spare hard drive handy.
4.) Use Handbrake to encode this AVI to a format suitable for YouTube – you’ll be wanting H.264 – that’s YouTube’s native format so it won’t re-encode it once you upload (APPARENTLY), leading to better quality. The resulting file will be much smaller.
That’s the sum total of my current knowledge and we’ve managed to do alright with trailers!
If you want to film stuff with a camera to spice up your videos buy a Sony HX9V – basically point-and-shoot but can do 1080p video like a badass. Professionals use them as backup cameras, and that means something. I bought a mini tripod called a Gorillapod with mine and that’s been invaulable too – can just sit it on your desk and talk into it then.
This is tricky to get right, and most indies don’t do it, but don’t write it off. If you have a site which is metricated using Google Analytics, you can tie that in with Google Ads to figure out where to spend your money. It will take time and persistence but if you get it right, it can be very useful.
Final Thoughts
I believe it will take a skilled person with a strong work ethic starting from scratch a minimum of two years to get any kind of significant financial return from making indie games, probably longer. I dare you to prove me wrong! I would honestly expect most people to take three to four years. In any case, you will need to have some decent savings (or external funding) if you’re going to jump into full-time indie game dev.
It is possible to do it part-time, just be prepared to have no social life (I’m not being hyperbolic here) and to somehow figure out how you can work on something seriously around a full-time job. It’s one of the hardest things you can ever do, but, as I said, it is possible.
Once you’re in the swing of making an indie game, it’s a good idea to start reaching out to other people. Go to events (like Bit of Alright), meet other indies, tell people what you’re doing. Firstly, you’ll start to get a bit of attention and you’ll make friends who can help you. Secondly, this will make you much more likely to finish what you’re doing: the social aspect of committing to do something is usually the most powerful driver for actually accomplishing it.
Always try to think about things from the perspective of the player and customer (when you have them). This can be difficult and challenging at times – also you will face the harsh reality of areas where you’re failing – but it is worth doing and worth pushing yourself to improve. You need to think about your bottom line and your customer experience simultaneously: try not to be either Borders or Amstrad!
While you’re taking community feedback, stay true to your own ideals and don’t deviate from the concepts which drew you to design your game in the first place.
Games are an insanely wonderful, silly, beautiful and diverse artform: if you want to get involved with them you need to respect that and then think about how you can destroy / remake / change / evolve it.
The Independent Games Festival had almost 570 entries this year and that is definitely on the increase: your mission is to make something that will stand out above the crowd in the future.
I have written quite a bit about business and money, but ultimately there is no point doing this unless you love making games.   There are as many different approaches to being an indie dev as there are indie devs: if you think I’m an idiot and you want to go out and prove me wrong then please do so – I look forward to seeing your game.
Good luck and have fun, as they say!


Exclusive new screens from the Igromir Expo

We are gonna need a new pc for sure but it is gonna be the most epic game ever

Monday, October 1, 2012

Money and the App Store A few figures that will help an indie developer

Emeric Thoa is the creative director and co-founder of The Game Bakers, an independent game studio that recently released the turn-based action RPG SQUIDS on iOS.
Twitter: @emericthoa

_ _ _ _ _
Eighteen months ago, when I left Ubisoft to start an independent game studio and focus on making my own games, I looked online a bit to get an idea of how much income I could expect to make as an indie. At Ubisoft I used to work on big AAA console games, and I had some figures in mind, but I knew they wouldn’t be relevant for my new life: $20M budgets, teams of 200 hundred people, 3 million sales at $70 per unit… I knew being an indie developer would be completely different, but I had very little information about how different it would be.
Angry Birds had taken off, Plants vs. Zombies was already a model, Doodle Jump was a good example of success, and soon after I started my “indie” life, Cut the Rope was selling a million copies a week. But except for what I call the “jackpots,” there were very few public stories or numbers on the web, and this meant we were a bit in the dark when we started SQUIDS. I have been tracking figures since then, and I’m writing this article to share what I’ve learned with my fellow indie dev buddies who might be in the same position I was, a year and a half ago.

The App Store myths

In this article, I will present all of the post-mortems and figures I’ve found interesting, and I will also explain how SQUIDS fits into the overall picture. But first, I would like to quickly give my opinion on few of the App Store myths you may believe if you’re not an experienced iOS developer. There are plenty of ways to view the App Store, but my point is that you might be a bit surprised by what the App Store really means in terms of money.

Myth #1: There are so many iPhones and iPads out there that any decent game can make you rich.

This is an easy mistake to make when you try to do the math with your dev buddy during a coffee break. “Okay, there are 200 million users on the App Store. You just need to reach 0.1% of them with a $1 app and you’ll make $200k!”
My warnings:
  • A lot of iOS users don’t have a credit card. Think kids and teenagers with iPods, for instance. They just download free apps.
  • 88 % of games downloaded are free. And when people say that Angry Birds has reached 200 million downloads, remember that this includes their Lite and Free versions. (I won’t cover freemium models in this post, but don’t expect freemium to be easy, either.)
  • Never forget Apple’s 30% cut. $200k = $140k in real life.
The point here is that the user base might be huge, but a lot of people never pay anything on the App Store, so don’t get blinded by the potential and stay rational.

Myth #2: Making an iPhone game is fast and cheap

Compared to making Assassin’s Creed or Red Dead Redemption, this one is actually true. Making an iPhone game shouldn’t cost $50M and take 4 years. (Well, neither should a console game, if you ask me.) But unless you’re aiming for a Doodle Jump clone, it’s still a bit of work. If you make it cheap, you’ll have a very small team (say 2 people), and it’ll take AT LEAST six months to get something polished out there.
A quick estimate of an iOS game budget:
  • 2 salaries x 6 months
  • A freelance contractor for sound design
  • A trip to GDC or some other event to meet journalists
  • Hardware to work on (a new computer, or a hard drive, or an iPad)
  • Some software licenses, because software devs need to earn a living, too
  • Maybe a website or a Dropbox account
  • You’ll do the QA yourself? All right then…
All in all, you can’t be serious about making games and “earning a living” out of it without at least a $40k budget. (And I’m really being cheap here; I think to be competitive today on the App Store you need $100k.)

Myth #3: Updating your game will make your sales increase over time (also known as “the Angry Birds fairy tale”)

This is probably the story that most people have heard and that everyone keeps telling you about at parties. When you tell someone you just made the move to become an indie and develop for iOS, they usually put an arm on your shoulder and say, “Hey man, it’s very different from the traditional game industry. Even if you fail at launch, if you keep updating the game it’s gonna take off eventually. You’ll earn more money after six months than during the first week after launch. Look at Angry Birds, man.”
Well, this might have made some sense two years ago, but it’s not the case anymore—unless your launch fails. If you really mess up your launch but you keep pushing for the game, then it will probably get better, that’s true. But you don’t really want your launch to fail. There is a “launch effect” on the App Store, now more than ever.
Your initial launch—along with special events like being featured by Apple, or promotions, or winning an award and getting some sweet coverage—that’s what will make your downloads go up. Content updates won’t (unless they are crash-fixes). Content updates like new levels are good to secure a user base and to build a community, but they don’t increase the user base. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do content updates, but don’t expect the wrong benefits from them.

Myth #4: Being visible on the App Store just takes a good post on reddit or a good viral video

Once you have a good game, the key to success is visibility on the App Store. Another tale I’ve been told many times (and that I actually wanted to believe) is that you can leverage big communities with a nice forum post or a cool and cheap video. I believe now that this is a waste of time. You can’t influence a community unless you’ve already been in this community for a long time. And viral videos suffer even more from the “jackpot syndrome” than the apps themselves, in the sense that you can’t at all predict if they will get 12 million views or 300 (although 300 is more likely).
Just accept it: being visible will be a long and tough battle that you’ll have to fight from the day you start to code, to a year after the launch.

Myth 5: Getting featured by Apple is completely random

Some indie devs think getting featured by Apple is a bit of luck. I don’t think so. Sure, the guys at Apple are honest folks who showcase the games they like and think are quality products. But like any publisher, they have their editorial line and they manage risks.
  • They showcase games that match up with their main audience (meaning a good educational product for iPad has more chance of being featured than the 2412th endless runner game)
  • They showcase games that will sell more devices and use their latest features (if you can use the new iOS 6 feature, good for you)
  • They showcase games that come from reliable developers / publishers (if you previously published a millions-grossing app on iOS, good for you)
  • They showcase games from people they know personally (because even in 2012, real life relationships help you trust people)
It’s not random that Infinity Blade 2 was featured at launch: it comes from a well known publisher, it’s a sequel of a hit, it’s an iPhone 4 showcase app, and Chair/Epic have probably had beers with folks from Apple more than once.
On a scale that’s more relatable to an indie developer, the same rules apply to Jetpack Joyride, coming from Fruit Ninja’s devs. Or Tiny Tower (the Pocket Frog devs). Or even Bumpy Road (the Cosmo Spin devs).
The point is: if you are an indie with no publisher backing, if it’s your first game and if it doesn’t particularly show off the new features of the iPhone 5, you won’t get featured. The good news is, it’s actually a VERY GOOD THING that App Store featuring isn’t random. That means we can do what it takes to reach that goal.

And now what?

Knowing that the App Store is not a mine full of gold ready for the taking, there are still ways to earn a living with that dream job of being an indie game developer. So let’s take a look at who is successful on this distribution platform.

The Blockbusters

Exactly like in the console game industry, there are certain games that are simply too big to fail. Most of the time they are made by a small dev team but backed up by a big publisher, securing the Apple featuring, PR support, and press coverage. Here are a few examples with figures:
Infinity Blade: developed by Chair and backed up by Epic. $10M in 7 months with 40% coming from iAP, according to Epic. In January 2012, the Infinity Blade franchise (1+2) reached $30M in revenue.
Cut the Rope: developed by Zeptolab and backed up by Chillingo. They did everything they could to make it an Angry Birds killer (they even made a better game), but “only” managed to sell 3 million games in 6 weeks.
Jetpack Joyride: developed by Halfbrick and backed up by Fruit Ninja’s notoriety. They had 350k downloads in a week and we know it was the start of a long-term success.
Order & Chaos: developed by Gameloft (and inspired by WoW). They made $1M in 20 days with a $6.99 game, which comes out to about 7,000 downloads a day if we exclude iAPs.
These examples are what make many people think that, when well done, an App Store game is bringing in a lot of money. There is no doubt these games are profitable, but even if $1M in 20 days is certainly a lot of money, I bet O&C cost more to develop. These games are the Call of Duty and the Skyrim and the WoW of the App Store, but they don’t bring in as much money, even proportionally to their budgets.
Along the same lines, there are some games that are truly indie successes but that can be considered blockbusters because, as opposed to Jackpots, you could tell they were going to be massive hits before they even launched:
World of GooLink to World of Goo post mortem
  • iPad version released 2 years after the critically acclaimed PC/WiiWare versions
  • Released at $10, then dropped to $5, where it had more revenues at than it had at 10$
  • Got featured by Apple. Sold 125k in its first month (iPad only!). Comparatively, the best month on WiiWare was 68k copies, and 97k on Steam.
  • Recently hit the one million download mark on the App Store (iOS+Mac)
Tiny Tower
The HeistLink to The Heist post mortem
  • 500k sold in one week
  • Had a 500k user database that received a newsletter at launch
  • Not really related, but the same devs also have a successful app called camera+ that reached 3 million sales, and they revealed that being the #3 paid app in the US means around $30k / day. We learn here that being In the Top 10 means around $15k / day.
So yes, it’s possible to kick ass on the App Store, but if you start from scratch, you probably won’t achieve the same figures—unless you have a “jackpot” app.

The Jackpots

Here are the real winners of the App Store lottery: the Jackpot games, the ones we could have expected to make a decent success, but not THAT INCREDIBLE a success. Angry Birds is of course the most famous example, but Doodle Jump or Fruit Ninja are crazy jackpots as well.
Here are two others worth mentioning:
Tiny Wings: developed by Andreas Illiger. Sold more than 3 million copies and took first place in the US for more than 2 weeks. It’s any indie’s dream: a great game, great critical reception, a great commercial success. A game made by one guy in 7 months. It was well done from start to finish, but try to mimic it and I bet you won’t end up at #1. It’s the reference jackpot.
Trainyard: a puzzle game that made a crazy streak to first place for a little while and made us all dream. The dev wrote a super post-mortem here, and as you will see at the beginning it was not all that successful. He also gave the interesting figure of $40k to $50k a day if you’re the #1 paid app in the US.
I’ve been looking at the French App Store charts for almost 2 years, and Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, and their spin-offs have not left the Top 25. What that means to me is that even Tiny Wings and Trainyard didn’t manage to stay in the Top 25 despite their great success, and that no game since 2010 has made it, either. It might happen again, but I feel that App Store “brands” have been created already and it will take new tech or a new feature from a new Apple device before newcomers have a chance of staying high in the charts for a long time. Maybe the next killer app will use Siri (haha).

The real world

This leaves us with the real world. The world you and I play in, with all the other indies and the other lesser publisher-backed games. Here are some numbers and stories I found that might help you. I want to thank all the devs who posted these post-mortems—it really helps guys, so thank you!
Hard LinesLink to Hard Lines post mortem
First week:
  • 14 reviews, all were good
  • 22 user ratings, all 5 stars
  • 452 sales in 8 days, grossing a total of $292
Then got featured by Apple (not Game of the Week, but New & Noteworthy).
Other interesting facts:
PortaballLink to Portaball post mortem
  • 4,000 sales ($0.99) from Sept 2010 to August 2011. Highest one-day sales: 160 at launch
  • 56k downloads during the free promotion period
Punch a HoleLink to Punch a Hole post mortem
WooordsLink to Wooords post mortem
  • Reviewed by TouchArcade
  • Featured in New & Noteworthy on iPad. Made around 1,400 sales a day for two days
  • Peaked at #21 overall in US iPad
  • Sold around 700/day during the first 20 days, then fell to 100/day
DappleLink to Dapple post mortem
  • Cost $32k to develop, sold for $4.99 at launch
  • Reviewed by Kotaku
  • Highest downloads peaked at launch day, then fell to fewer than 10/day. 131 copies sold during the first 24 days.
FishMotoLink to FishMoto post mortem
  • $182 grossed after 20 days
Flower GardenLink to Flower Garden post mortem
  • Made $21k in 8 months from April 2009 to January 2010
  • Added iAPs and free version and made $30k in one month
  • Average income is $1500 a week
Big Mountain SnowboardingLink to Big Mountain Snowboarding post mortem
  • Released in December 2009 with no buzz
  • $50/day during launch week, then dropped
  • N&N feature made the sales climb to $80/day, then back down to $10
  • iPad launch gave sales a small boost, then they fell again
  • Added ads: makes about $4/day (44918 requests, 946 impressions, so about a 2% conversion rate)
  • Android version makes $5/day
Ow My BallsLinks to Ow My Balls post mortem
  • 14k copies sold in one year, grossing $10k
  • Reached #1 free with free promotion and had 233,124 download in one day. Then reached 1.1 million downloads.
  • The day after the successful free promotion, they made $600.
QuizQuizQuizLinks to QuizQuizQuiz post mortem
  • Featured by Apple
  • Made around $70k in sales, mainly at $0.99
  • Main success in Europe, only 9% in the US
  • 23% of players were on pirated versions as of August 2010
Some conclusions after reading those post-mortem:
  • Being featured by Apple has a great impact on downloads
  • Being covered by big sites like Touch Arcade has a strong impact
  • Being featured by sites like Free App a Day can lead to an incredible number of downloads that don’t translate into big sales right afterward (the impact on your game’s reputation remains unclear)
  • Free promotions might make your ratings go down because you reach a lot of players who might not be your target


Dapple’s dev Owen Goss did an interesting survey about App Store game revenues. The findings are exactly what I expected when we created The Game Bakers.
Revenue per number of games by developer
1) The more games you make, the more money you’ll earn from one game.
Meaning experience matters.
Distribution of revenues per developers
2) 80% of devs earn 3% of the revenues.
Meaning there are about 20% of developers who can earn a living from their games, and 1% of them have a very nice car.
Edit: a pretty good analyse from Owen Goss research by Dave Addey here. Says that 19% of apps make $24k. 80% $300. Seems realistic.

What about SQUIDS?

Taking risks to reduce the element of chance
Our strategy with SQUIDS was super bold. We would spend more to develop it than Angry Birds, and earn less. That was the plan.
We would also spend more than Tiny Wings and earn less. We knew that and we aimed for that from the beginning. But what we wanted was to remove the “lottery” factor. The strategy was pretty simple:
  • Make a high quality game with a big scope (we knew it would be expensive, but this would differentiate us from the average $0.99 iOS game).
  • Target a “soft gamer” audience. People who were playing casual games but wanted a little more depth than Angry Birds. The next step in iPhone gaming, basically.
  • Create a community, and big user base of real fans who would help to build the brand. This meant going with a low price point despite the game’s scope.
  • Make it multiplatform. Because the game would be high quality with a big scope, we could then make it multiplatform and release it on iOS, PC, Mac, Android, PSN, XBLA, and so on.
That leads me to two other models I want to bring forward that don’t fit into the Blockbuster category or the Jackpot category. Although we didn’t base our strategy on their models at the time, I can say that these guys go where I want to go with The Game Bakers. They make deep games that target a niche audience and end up hitting much more.
Great Little War Game by Rubicon Development
These guys used almost the same strategy we did. They made a very good game with a big scope for an iOS release. They targeted the turn-based war game niche. They took a little bit less risk in their setting and title than we did (little soldiers might have a bigger mainstream appeal than SQUIDS, but I love my Squids nonetheless). Overall, they managed their brand smartly and have recently launched on Android with great success, taking the spot Nintendo refused to take with Advance Wars on smartphones.
Link to Great Little War Game post mortem
  • Released in March 2011 and had generated $150k in income by August
  • Development costs were around $100k
  • Appearing first in “New & Noteworthy” earned them $6000/day sales, but these quickly felt back to less than $1000/day
Sword & Sworcery by Capybara Games and Superbrothers
Capybara and Superbrothers did everything right with this game. They did the exact opposite of what you’re “supposed to do” and made it a hit. They released a teaser a year before launch, they targeted a niche of click-and-play retro gamers, they priced the game high ($4.99), they didn’t have any iAP, they released on iPad only. The budget was $200k and they took a big risk overall with the game’s context. It’s as if they were indie PC developers who mistook the App Store for Steam. And yet they sold more than 300k in 6 months and won many awards, making it both a critical and commercial success. Respect.

SQUIDS numbers

My little addition to all of the post mortems listed above:
  • SQUIDS was developed in 10 months and released October 11, 2011. At the time of this writing, it’s spent 92 days on the App Store.
  • The core team of 6 people is scattered all over the world, but the head office is in France. Several freelance guys helped (audio, animation, story), and we worked with a QA company as well.
  • SQUIDS’ lead iOS version cost more than $100k to develop.
  • We put a lot of effort into marketing and PR, including traveling to GamesCom in Germany and PAX in Seattle, making two trailers, and hiring PR reps and a community manager. Total marketing / PR budget around $30k.
  • SQUIDS was reviewed by more than 200 sites and blogs at launch. Almost all reviews are excellent except for three that are unfortunately some of the main websites (Touch Arcade, Edge, and Slide to Play). Touch Arcade and Edge liked the game but felt there was a problem in our in-App Purchase design.
  • We currently have 5-star ratings from a crazy 84% of users (1,373 5-stars out of 1,634 ratings total). We have had only one complaint about the iAP model in all 1,634 ratings.
  • We were featured in New & Noteworthy for 2 weeks. Our biggest grossing day scored over $6,000 with the app priced at $0.99.
  • SQUIDS was the #1 paid app in France for 7 days. This translates to about 1,700 downloads per day. Best rank in the US was #33, which grossed a little more than #1 in France (D’oh!). SQUIDS ranked #1 in the RPG category in 51 stores, including the USA.
  • SQUIDS grossed nearly $75k in its first month, with nearly 100k downloads, then fell off the charts with all the big Thanksgiving promotions and Christmas releases.
  • iAPs represent about 10% of the revenue. These were designed to be shortcuts for players who didn’t want to replay the levels to earn stars that give virtual currency; the iAPs were not designed to be the revenue model.
  • We launched an update to Universal on December 2, alongside Infinity Blade 2. (No fear!) Even though we did beat IB2 on the iPad’s French store, this only made a very small sales impact and brought in about $1,500 the week of launch.
  • SQUIDS is localized into 7 languages (EFIGS + Chinese, Japanese, Russian)
  • We have had a wonderful support from fans who keep writing great reviews and sending nice emails. Thank you guys!
Even if the App Store is not a goldmine that will turn any game developer into a billionaire, it is still a revolution in the industry. It has allowed very small teams to make fun games relatively cheaply and commercialize them in a very simple way, potentially reaching millions of players. Never before have we seen so many indies and such a great creativity in the indie world.
SQUIDS will very soon release on PC, Mac, and Android, which was part of the plan from the beginning. In my mind, being multiplatform is really where the indie developer has a future as a studio.
As for the money itself, even though SQUIDS hasn’t made us rich so far, revenues from the iOS version have almost covered our development costs and we are confident that its upcoming release on other platforms will make the game profitable and allow us to develop a sequel. And for The Game Bakers, that’s what all of this is about: in the end it’s not about getting rich, but about being able to make the games we want to make, independently.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

E3 Stage Shows : UbiSoft E3 2012 Press Conference gamespot

Total war: rome 2 gameplay

There is a video with some gameplay scenes of the upcoming Total war Rome 2 game. I think that this is gonna be the best strategy game of all time. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Transformers Fall of Cybertron PC

These days i bought and i played Transformers Fall of Cybertron for my PC. I want to say from the start that   i believe that Transformers War for Cybertron and Transformers Fall o Cybertron are the only Transformers adaptation games that shows that respect that these TV series deserve.  The game takes place right after the end of the first game and its plot is about how Autobots and Decepticons left Cybetron and reached to our Earth. Actually the game ends right where the first episode of Transformers G1 starts. The game has made some changes in the story of the Heroes and does not follow 100% the G1 Universe but it has the same scatting SCI-FI sense as the Series. The new characters that you will see in the game are Dinobots, with a really cool story, Metroplex, Combaticons (even in the form of Bruticus), Cliffjumper, Perceptor, Ultra Magnus, Wheeljack. The scenario of the game is really nice, the dialog and the voices are incredible, the visuals are good but not something incredible.  There are parts of the plot that are ripped from the original series and you will see some scenes that you will really bring you memories like the betrayal of Star Scream. The battle mechanics are similar to the previous game with the difference that you dont have a three unit team but only one character. This is the only part of the game that i did not like in fall of Cybertron. In the war for Cybertron the existence of the team used to give you more the impression of the war and in every mission you could choose the character that you want to control. This gave to the first game grater replayability. In fall of Cybertron you always fight alone and you play every mission with the one specific character. For example in the Dinobots Mission you play only as Grimloc and you will rescue (most of) the other Dinobots. The Single player scenario is about 14hours of game play. There is and multiplayer mode where you can choose classes, you can customize the appearance of your bot and you will spend much more time on online battles against other humanplayers. I think that Transformers Fall of Cybertron will be really loved by everyone that use to watch the G1 series and will be liked from anyone that likes action games will cool graphics, beautiful plot and enjoyable gameplay. It is not a revolutionary action game but it is really good.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rome Ar War

Rome At War is a free turn based strategy game inspired by the board game risk but with advanced features. The game is loosely set during the Roman crisis of the third centure. The roman empire has two Caesars and two Augustness that fighting each other to be the only emperors of Rome.

As a user you have to choose one of the four Roman leaders that you will control. Every leader can recruit the same units as the others but starts with the controlling of different areas of the empire and the goal is to takeover all of the Roman provinces. In every turn you earn 5 gold coins from each of the regions you control. You gain 10 extra gold coins with every battle that you win during the game. You can use the gold to recruit new units and empower your forces. The units that you buy will be available at the end of the turn so it is wise to spend your money after that you have decided that you will not do any more attacks and you know the regions that needs the reinforcements the most.

User Interface
As a user on the top you can see the name of your leader and the gold that you have. The zoom in and zoom out buttons to and the icon with the temple is the game menu buttons. Press it if you want to save, load or exit the game. You can have only one save slot so every time you save you lose the previous saved data.

on top of every region there is a flag to recondite who is the owner of the region. On top of it there is a number that specifies the power of the soldiers that exists in this region. The power does not calculate the poer of the units that will be available in the next round. By pressing on a region you select the place when you want to put some new units or to make a new movement or attack.

the white region is the region that is selected, blue is the regions where you can transfer units and pink is the regions where you can attack. Every time you select a region at the bottom left corner of the screen the recruis button is shown. If you press that buttons you can buy some new units.

The "Cost" column show how much gold you will spend to recruit that unit, the "Num" column show the number of units you already have. You recruit new units but pressing the plus button.

If you press on a pink region you initiate an attack. The same happens any time an opponent attack on a region of yours. During an attack you must choose up to 9 units to put in the battle. and then press the fight button that exists on the left bottom corner. The fight will be solved automatically and after that you will see the units that will be stand alive for the next round. If all of the enemy forces are dead and there are no other units to pu into the battlefield the fighting is over and if you were the attacker you gane te control of the region. During the fight all the units that you have that can attack will attack randomly to units that it is possible. If a unit has a range weapon or has no friendly unit in front of it then this unit can make an attack. Units can attack only to units that has not other units in front of them. For example in the above image the archer that exists behind the legionair can take an attack only if the leggionaire.die. When a unit attacks to another dices are thrown that correspond yo how success was the attack. The number of the dices depends on the "attack" attribute of the unit. The defender throws dices two based on the "defend" attribute. If the success of the attack is greater of the success of the defend then the defender dies. The attacker can retreat anytime he wants from the battle.

When you think that you have made all the decisions that you want and you can go to the next round press the hourglass button

The game ends when you conquer all of the regions or you control none

The available units of "Rome At War" are:


a melee unit with attack 2 and defense 2

a range unit with attack 2 and defense 1


a range unit with attack 3 and defense 2


a range unit with attack 4 and defense 2


a melee unit with attack 3 and defense 3


a melee unit with attack 3 and defense 4. If a general exists on the battlefield then all the army gains one extra dice of attack and defence.

Get it from