Tappy Lander Update!

Tappy Lander has been out for about a week now and people are loving it! I’ve had a few contests on Touch Arcade and on the Facebook page and there are some amazing high scores and trick scores on Game Center.

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Go get Tappy Lander on the App Store for free and take on the Game Center challenges and achievements. Help us spread the word by challenging friends, writing a review or joining us on Facebook!

I’m currently busy preparing the first update, but will be back soon with more posts.

Tappy Lander is now available on the App Store for free!

Thank you for believing in this project! I can’t wait to see you all on the leaderboards!

Tappy Lander is now available on the App Store for free!

Tappy Lander

Be sure to like and follow Tappy Lander on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

 

Tappy Lander Dev Diary #7: Achievements and Collectibles

As the developer, I wanted to add something a little mysterious to flesh out the atmosphere of Tappy Lander and I have always enjoyed collecting things and striving for 100% completion in games.

Data Disk

As such, I have added collectables and achievements

Collectables

In the world of Tappy Lander you may find floppy disks floating around in space. These disks are numbered and contain data that can be read-if you know where to look. We don’t know who wrote these tidbits of information and they can be random. From time to time however, they can provide hints, tips and even insights into the Tappy Lander backstory.

This disk idea started as simple tips that would appear on the title screen to teach you how to play-but evolved into a full blown collectable. This means no in-your-face tutorials. I want to preserve the sense of discovery in this game and I think you will enjoy figuring it out on your own.

Collecting all the disks is one of the 14 achievements.

Achievements

There are 14 achievements in Tappy Lander. I don’t want to give them away, but I will say that some are easy and some are very difficult. It will take some practice to master the skills necessary to get them all. Skill and a little luck that is-you’ll definitely need the universe to throw you bone for some of them.

That’s the short and sweet story behind collectables and achievements. I’m writing this before the game is released and I don’t want to spoil the fun of discovering things on your own.

I’m not sure what the next entry will be. The game is coming very soon and I’m so excited to see you on the leaderboards.

Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow Tappy Lander on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

 

The Tappy Lander Podcast

In this video podcast, I discuss the ideas behind the game and the gameplay mechanics of Tappy Lander. You can see lots of gameplay in the video too. I’d love to hear your feedback! Enjoy!

Tappy Lander Dev Diary #6: Scoring, Risk & Reward

I love going for a high score! I first tried back in the arcade days and again when home consoles were in their infancy, but as they grew, the tech grew, and soon visual storytelling trumped scores and they nearly disappeared.

Then games grew even further. The market expanded, the internet came, and Microsoft tried something crazy with achievements and gamerscore, little indies threw out the rules out and started making games about everything, and arcade experiences made a comeback on our telephones of all places!

So scoring is back, thank goodness. Both Apple and Android platforms are great places to challenge your friends, again.

That pesky buggy!
Scoring

Tappy Lander is all about scoring. A successful landing on a each pad nets you points (based on the precision of your landing) and, if you’re feeling dangerous, you can grab a data disk for 1000, pop a buggy for 1000 or rescue tomatoes for 1000, apples for 2000, bananas for 4000 and the ultra rare carrot for 8000!

Disks, buggies, fruit and veggies are rare and may not appear at all. If they do appear, they are in hard to reach areas or places where going for them may put you in danger, so don’t get too greedy!

Oh, who am I kiddin’? Get greedy! Get reeaal greedy! Beating your friends will not be easy because of the risk reward system.

Risk & Reward

If you successfully land your rocket you will be given two choices. You can either “Cash In” to cash in your points to level up and submit your high score to the game network or you can “Risk It” and go on another random run, adding to your current score but risking losing everything. Tappy Lander is a game of permadeath. If you blow up, you lose everything, no matter how big your score is. Getting to the next landing pad is ALL that matters.

Leaderboards

There are four leaderboards:

  • Biggest Bounce (See dev diary #5)
  • Longest Slide (See dev diary #5)
  • Best Run (Best score in a single run including pickups, pops, tricks and accuracy)
  • High Score (The mother of all leaderboards)

The Big Picture, Your High Score!

At the end of your run, danger points are tallied for your pickups and buggy pops along with points for bounce, slide and accuracy. Once added together, a risk percentage is thrown in to boot! The more you “Risk It” the higher your risk percentage gets which can make or break your placement on the High Score leaderboard!

Next I will discuss achievements and the data disk collectables.

Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow Tappy Lander on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

 

Amazon Fire TV: A Consumer Review

I recently purchased a Fire TV and have been surprised by the lack of information out there. After a few days experience with the device, here’s my two cents.

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Why did I buy it?

  • I’m a cord cutter and I love set top boxes.
  • I’m a gamer who enjoys alternative ways of gaming. I was hoping for another option for gaming before bed other than my iPad.
  • I’m a developer and interested in this new platform for my own games.

Why do I know what I’m talking about?

  • I’m experienced with set top boxes. I have a Roku 3 downstairs and a Roku 2 in my bedroom that the Fire TV will replace -if it’s good enough. I have tinkered with a friend’s Apple TV as well.
  • I’m a gamer and developer. I currently play mostly on Steam, iPhone and iPad. I have a PS3 and Wii. I haven’t invested in the new consoles because there’s too few options for me that I can’t get on Steam or functionality I can’t get through my current devices.

I have to admit, I’m a little biased. I want to like the Fire TV. I want it to be a success because it could kindle (no pun intended) a gaming set top box industry, giving me more places to play and more places to develop.

I typically avoid reviews because I don’t want them to sully my enjoyment of new experiences. I only looked into information after I had paid for the device. Mostly, I found “ho-hum” reviews and sentiments. Very few of those sources however seem to have a credible background in gaming.

What you need to know about Fire TV

  • The voice feature only helps you find Amazon content. This was a disappointment. The Roku has a search feature that allows you to search for content across all its apps. The functionality of the voice recognition is great so I hope they will consider changing this in the future. As it stands, I probably won’t use it.
  • The response time is good. You know that laggy feeling you get on some devices-like it’s a second behind you. It’s so aggravating and some people can’t even articulate that this is why the experience is lackluster. Well, on Fire TV, it’s good. it’s snappier than the Roku 3. The games run very well. One of my favorites-Hill Climb Racing, worked as well as the iOS version. The controls were not delayed. The sound effects were not delayed. All the 2D games I played worked great and ran smoothly. I definitely want to make a game for this system! I played three of the available 3D games. Riptide 2 – worked well with remote or controller. The game is pretty good. Asphalt 8 – The reviews are true, this is a great game with lots of options, tracks, cars, customization and still accessible to anyone. It makes you feel like a great driver, the wrecks are spectacular and rewarding, it’s fun! Sev Zero – I was very impressed by this game too. It’s actually a tower defense game, not a shooter, but you can teleport anywhere on the map to help your defenses fight in third person. IThis part of the game is like a shooter. You unlock cool guns with alt fire but I found no cover system in the game (yet?) and the AI is on par with a tower defense game, not a shooter. Still, I had a lot of fun, the framerate and control is the best it’s ever been for a set top box. The game has easy to learn controls and works in real time. You can zoom in and out of the map quickly to relocate your character, upgrade turrets, etc. The presentation is nice too.
  • The remote is good. It’s heavy and feels like a chunk of metal in your hand. The button layout is great and its simple. I was intuitively using it in a fe minutes without thinking about it. There are games that just use the remote. You can even filter out games that require the controller when searching for games. The buttons on the remote feel firm and clicky. They work just fine for gaming if you are playing casual games.
  • The controller is good. It doesn’t feel cheap, the buttons and sticks are solid. It is nearly the same layout as an Xbox controller but because of slightly different dimensions, takes a few seconds to get used to.
  • The UI is ok. I am used to the Roku grid style layout and prefer it despite the fact that it limits the accessibility to a large number of apps. On Roku, you tend to use 3 or 4 apps 90% of the time, so it’s not an issue. Here, since there are games that you actually want to play, there is a need to get to and search lots of content-its current UI is not the perfect solution-but it works.
  • Hulu Plus works great, as good as the Roku 2 I had in bedroom before it. Netflix is not as good as the Roku 3 version, but better than the Roku 2 version in that it has continuous play. Hopefully Netflix will refresh this soon. Of course finding Amazon content is easier than it is on the Roku Amazon apps.

Because the games are actually good for the first time in set top box history, I am sticking with the Fire TV and retiring the Roku 2. If you’re on the fence, need a set top box and especially if gaming is a factor in your decision, get it. It’s a great value.

If you already have a Roku 3 and you are not interested in the gaming aspects. You’re probably fine with what you have.