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Shooting Stars! out now!

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Shooting Stars! out now!

For us, this is probably one of the craziest moments since we have founded Bloodirony Games – 'cause today, shit just got real and we couldn't be prouder!

But to skip my usual emotion-filled jabbering let's jump right into it.
In the name of the Bloodirony Team, I am beyond excited to announce that Shooting Stars is finally available at the AppStore.

About Shooting Stars!

Shooting Stars! is a mobile roguelike shoot 'em up. It's all about evil aliens, superstars, cats and rainbow lazers. Aliens have secretly conquered the earth and replaced all the famous pop-culture superstars by installing evil marionettes serving one purpose only – to control all human life. The sacred rainbow unicorn made it your mission to free the imprisoned stars, fight back the evil aliens and restore the balance of entertainment on planet earth. 

Thank you for all your support!

We want to thank so many people for their endless support. Without you, Bloodirony and Shooting Stars! wouldn't even be close to what Shooting Stars! finally became.

Thank you so much Katharina, Johanna, Stefan, Chiara, Francesco, Johannes, Jan, Sönke, Josef, David, Thomas, Philipp, Alexander, Stockwerk, Noodlecake, Wirtschaftsagentur Austria (Departure) and of course, thanks to you dear Rainbow Unicorn!

Please help us to spread the word

We have a lot of screenshots and made even more crazy gifs for you to share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and all the other platforms old people like us have never heard of. The hashtag is #ShootingStarsGame. So please, help us to spread the word that Shooting Stars! is finally available on the AppStore.

Find all the craaazy gifs in our imgur gallery and screenshots on our press page.

What about android?

Android is coming soon, there is still no official date yet but let's say that it will be before Gamescom :)
The easiest way to get all the information first is to signup to our newsletter.

 

If you have this burning feeling that you need Shooting Stars! right now, we will definitely not stop you from downloading it.

 

May the Rainbow Unicorn be with you

Michael, Alex & Stefan

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Shooting Stars is coming July 9th

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Shooting Stars is coming July 9th

As most of you may know, we've spent the last six months working non-stop to create the worlds best mobile game called Shooting Stars! This game strives to combine great gameplay, super easy controls and lots and lots of fun. Or in other words, we drank about 12 megatankers of coffee, fred bull and horst limo (they should start paying us for this shameless product placement).

And as the first reviews and hands on are coming in, it seems like we've done a pretty good job! But hey... we are not here to tell you how awesome we are, we are here to tell you, how awesome every single one of you is! Without your help and feedback, we wouldn't have made it this far! Thanks a million! (delivered with rainbow glitter)

And since you are super important to us, we want to share a huge secret with you. Are you ready?

🎈Shooting Stars will be available July 9th for iOS🎈

Add the date to your calendar (ics file)

For us, this announcement feels like birthdays, international burger day, rainbow unicorn day and stroke a kitty day coming all at once! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, isn't it? So, we've decided to put together a new Release Trailer just for this super awesome! Ready, set, watch!

Android Version coming later that July

We did not forget about you fellow Android folks. Shooting Stars is coming for Android in July too but we need to do some more polishing and testing. And everyone knows that shipping a buggy version sucks. 

Except the fact that we're so incredibly excited about the upcoming weeks there's nothing to add!

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Bloodirony joins forces with Noodlecake Games

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Bloodirony joins forces with Noodlecake Games

When we started to work on Shooting Stars, we planned certain milestones and things we want to achieve within our six months timebox. For example, we planned to release a nice and polished beta every six weeks. What we haven't planned back then was how are we going to release Shooting Stars. Not because we had no ideas or simply didn't want to. No, we always wanted to wait and see what happens next. 

A few months later, after releasing the official Shooting Stars announcement trailer, things just started to fall into place and we just happened to be in negotiations with the lovely folks of an Canadian publisher. A publisher for mobile indie games that started pretty much like we did. A publisher that understands our needs perfectly and gives us the creative freedom to let the schwartz flow.

Ladies, Gentleman and Unicorns, we are extremely happy to announce that we are joining forces with the Canadian mobile games publisher Noodlecake Games for our upcoming game Shooting Stars.

We are super excited to be working with Bloodirony Games on their game Shooting Stars. The second we saw it, we knew it was something special and after meeting the team at Bloodirony Games, it really was a match made in heaven.
— Noodlecake Games

Shooting Stars will be released this July for iOS and Android. If you haven't signed up for the beta, you'd better hurry!

Oh and if you're looking for the official announcement, you can find it at the Noodlecake Games blog

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Shooting Stars Announcement Trailer

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Shooting Stars Announcement Trailer

We are super excited about the progress we've made in these past few weeks with our game Shooting Stars. We are just about to finalize the basic gameplay to finally kick off content production in order to include tons and tons of great stuff in the game. 

So, let's not bore you to death, it's time to present you our first Shooting Stars Announcement Trailer.

Ladies, gentleman & unicorns. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the show!

New Shooting Stars Beta "Techno Viking"

We haven't spent the past few weeks just polishing our trailer. So from today on, there is a new and exciting beta of Shooting Stars in town, or at least on your phone. It's called "Techno Viking" and is completely different to what the previous beta looked like. And of course, it is not affiliated to the real Techno Viking in any way. (So, it's not a cheap ripoff, it's just harder, better and faster)

As mentioned before, we're pretty happy with the basic gameplay and most of the stuff is already where it is supposed to be. But as usual, we still have incredible arrays of open tasks and ideas to make the game even better than we as promised it to be.

If you aren't among the existing beta testers feel free to signup to our beta testers mailing list!

When is the final version of Shooting Stars coming?

There is no exact date yet, but we will launch it at the beginning of July. In the mean time, we will keep you up to date through our social media channels. (Mostly by showing you gifs of cute little kittens)

Meet us at the A Maze Festival Berlin

We are super happy to announce that we've been selected to present Shooting Stars at the A Maze Festival 2015 in Berlin. We'd love to meet you at our booth on Friday from 8pm to 12am. Just look out for this super cool hipster dude on a hoverboard with a lazer cat in his arms.

May the Rainbow Unicorn be with you! 

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Insights #1: Premium vs. Free-to-Play Games

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Insights #1: Premium vs. Free-to-Play Games

We are making great progress with the development of our game Shooting Stars and as this progress continues we have to face lots of different challenges every day. Many of those challenges have minor impact on how to play the game or how the game looks like and most of this decisions can be even changed later without much fuss. But unfortunately, life isn't just a colorful world with Rainbow Unicorns singing Eminems Slim Shady in a beautifully weird honkytonk-ish mashup. We have to face major decisions too, like going Free-to-Play or premium which will radically change the complete game.

For this reason we have decided to share some of our decisions and challenges with you and most importantly why we are going that way. Don't expect this series to be too regularly, but whenever something important comes up we'll let you know. 

Free-to-Play vs. Premium Mobile Games

If you are a regular visitor on our Blog you may have already stumpled upon the fact that this is our first game as a team. So we try not to rush things and instead learn as much as possible to make rational decisions based on our core mission to save mobile gaming.

Ever since we have started with the development of Shooting Stars we had one question in mind: Free-to-Play or Premium? And after endless discussions we came to a point that the perfect fit for Shooting Stars is to become a Premium title. But how did we come to this conclusion?

Our Situation

First things first – the bigger picture: We are a small studio of three people with limited funds and a time box of six months to create (the worlds best) mobile game. Even though this is our first game as a team and the short period of six months, we are confident to do an outstanding job – especially the great feedback we receive on our first prototype (Mitch) proofs us right.

Why Premium instead of Free-To-Play?

If we fade out the needs of our target group, Free-To-Play makes total sense from a financial point of view – and our game would easily allow some cool InApp extensions. In our case, we could add new enemy celebrities, items, attacks, skins, ... every month. We have to change the overall gameplay to balance the In-App-Purchases but we may be able to establish a system with an constant income stream. To keep it short and simple: income is always a good thing and a constant income stream is even better! 

In theory, to implement a system like this sounds super easy.  (I imagine that everyone who reads this secretly wants to slap me in the face) – but even though it may not be that hard to implement Free-To-Play mechanics, there is a lot of overhead to consider. We need to define the Free-To-Play mechanics. We have to design and implement additional interfaces. We need to setup, test and maintain all the possible In-App-Purchases and the technical handling for two platforms. And most importantly, we need to balance those In-App-Purchases. Based on our assumptions, all this together will consume most of the time.

On top of that, we don't want to hide the fact that we are lacking Free-to-Play monetization knowledge. We don't want to start with a risky experiment in a field where we have not enough experience yet. 

Going premium allows us to solely focus on gamedesign & gameplay mechanics, arts, UI/UX, sound design, the overall story and a solid polishing job – not to forget to mention all the side jobs like planning a marketing campaign for the game. 

Another very important event, which gave us a huge confidence boost about our decision, was Apples promotion of Games without In-App-Purchases within the AppStore and we hope that over the course of the next months, Apple will expand that "category" further.

Furthermore, the setup of our game will be an action packed – meme-ified – pixel art – roguelike – shoot 'em up, where we are able to selectively narrow down the target audience to a mixture of various niches. This allows us to focus our marketing efforts on fewer channels without the need to tackle mainstream media in the first place.

Pricing of Shooting stars?

We haven't decided yet on what the final price for Shooting Stars will be. But we will let you know as soon as possible. In the meantime, there is an excellent read on Gamasutra about this

your opinion on Premium vs. Free-to-Play?

We would love to hear your opinion on Premium vs. Free-To-Play. What are your thoughts when it comes to Premium, Freemium, F2P? If you are a Gamedev yourself, tell us how have you handled this decision.

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Get the Shooting Stars tunes (Free DL)

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Get the Shooting Stars tunes (Free DL)

On Monday we kicked off the early beta test for our game Shooting Stars. The positiv feedback we received so far was simply overwhelming. Thank you for all the great suggestions to improve the game!

Since the launch, we have established this little morning routine where Michael shows us the latest highscore entries. So, two days into the beta run, we had this jaw-dropping moment when we saw that the player "Duderino" has quadrupled our personal highscore with a score of 1644. In words: onethousandsixhundredfourtyandfreakingfour. This is completely amazing! – We should mention that you need to play for approximately two hours to reach a score like that.

If you want to beat Duderinos highscore, feel free to join the cool kids beta club and sign up. We'll send you an invitation link as soon as possible.

Well, back to the original topic. Since it's Friday, the sun is shining and after a great week like this, we feel like celebrating with you. And just because we know that there is no better way to celebrate then with music, we want to share some tracks that we have made. Feel free to download and share them.

To be as cryptic as possible: some of those tracks are already available in the current beta. Some of them may be available in the near future and... I'm sorry I'm not allowed to tell you, but it's going to be awesome! (just imagine this "awesome" in a super high pitched voice).

So, enjoy some of asebists great retro tracks:

Enjoy some tracks I've made for Shooting Stars:

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What the heck is indie? #CEGC15

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What the heck is indie? #CEGC15

Last week we've spent two days at the first Central European Games Conference 2015, at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien. And to keep it as short and simple at possible: we've greatly enjoyed being there. We've especially enjoyed the high quality of speakers, interesting (and mostly bearded) attendees, the overall organization and of course the afterparties. #CEGC16 we are coming!

 Tscherno photobombs a speakers panel at the Central European Games Conference / Photocredit: www.cegconf.com

Tscherno photobombs a speakers panel at the Central European Games Conference / Photocredit: www.cegconf.com

While we were talking to lots of attendees and showing them our Shooting Stars prototype we had several discussion about our way to develop this game. Not from a tech-related point of view but much more how our game-jam(-ish) approach works and whats the ideology behind all that. There, we realized that the definition of being an indie game developer creating indie games couldn't be more diverse. Especially when everybody claims to be indie. Which (obviously) led us to the question:

What the heck is indie?

If we trust Wikipedia being indie or being an indie game developer means nothing less than:

"Independent video games (commonly referred to as indie games) are video games created by individuals or small teams generally without video game publisher financial support."

So, that basically means: If you decide to make a video game without a publisher you are an indie game developer. End of story!

If we compare a title like This War of Mine with e.g. Binding of Isaac, both being indie games, you're able to see lots of differences like graphics, sound, gameplay, ... but in our case none of those differences matter. Because the thing you can't see is the biggest differentiator: the budget!

So, This War of Mine is kind of an AAA indie game but separating the indie scene into AAA games and "other" games seems pretty useless to us. Because, we believe that having 30+ people on your payroll, and according to 11bit studios Design Director, Michal Drozdowski, 14 people in the core-team just working on This War of Mine, you need a shitload of money to fund this. And to earn this pile of money you need to have investors or a valid and working business (in 11 bit studios case they are just doing a pretty good job creating games). 

And to finally come to my point, I'm going to borrow a definition from the startup-world. 

"A startup company or startup is a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." – Steve Blank

So, if you are able to pay for people other than the usual founders and maybe first employees you've probably left the startup/indie phase and are in a growth phase but much likely it's not a startup anymore – it's a company, a company with a clear and valid business case.

In our case, we have decided to be an indie studio. We want to keep our team small, and work on crazy and funny projects that seem ridiculous. There is no desperate wish to roll in money and to head straight to our IPO. But sure if things happen differently than planned we may leave the indie phase to become a "regular game studio" like 11 bit studios is today.

To sum things up

We believe that being indie is a phase (that you don't necessarily have to leave): 

"An indie game developer or indie studio is a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." – Steve Blank Malzner

Oh and by the way, we actually love what 11 bit studios are doing! Additionally they're creating jobs, (hopefully) pay taxes and of course they create pretty awesome games. So, this article is not supposed to be a rant, they are just a perfect example for the situation we're talking about. 

Feel free to discuss this article with us and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and sign up to our Shooting Stars Beta.

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The Bloodirony Founders Story

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The Bloodirony Founders Story

As stated in our Bloodirony 101 we are three people from Vienna, Austria with a clear-cut mission: We need to save mobile gaming – the indie way. To start things up we had to decide on a name. So everyone came up with a couple of ideas. The clear winner was Bloodirony. How, why and what? We will let you know later. Promise! Basically, it just felt right. And let's be honest it sounds and looks awesome. So, why not?

We have clear goals. very early player involvement and quick results are the things that we want to make our vision work. We invest passion, time, and money to accomplish our mission and reach our goals. And it is about about fun, agile fun. Creating games should be fun, fun for the player and fun for the creator. We go mulitplatform, because it is fun.

Recently, my 5 year old son told me he wants to create a game when he grows up. "Cool," I said and asked him if it would be a video game, tabletop game or something like that. "No," he said, "it won't be a video game, it will be a game for the iPad."

Mobile games are not the sort of video games we grew up with and learned to love. They certainly are no console games either, because 99% of the time the reason to buy a console is to play games (except if you fell for the trap Sony set with the PS2 and PS3 that were supposed to be DVD/BlueRay Players and gaming consoles at the same time). You hardly ever buy a smart phone or tablet just out of the urge to play games. However, we think mobile devices have everything in place to become a platform that can become the next big thing in the evolution of digital games. The only thing missing is someone to create and actually build them without being afraid to try something new and different and not follow everything that kind of works and just copy it.

THE VISION

We want to create games for touch devices that feel like real video games but are native to mobile.

That means overcoming the challenges of touch controls aka controlling a game with a sausage, breaking out of porting handheld game concepts to phones with d-pad controls, and taking the chance to step away from having IPs that sell anyway and to just add sequels. WE WANT TO CREATE SOMETHING GENUINE AND NEW THAT WORKS AND IS FUN.

And yes, this is challenging, definitely not easy, and unlikely to pull off. But hey, it is about fun! And it is a chance. We take it. Everything else is herealready: the devices, the software-tools, the fail and success stories, and most importantly, our ambition to do it.

Let's look at the time frame: We started in January 2015 and the first game must be released by July 1 at the latest. So our time frame is only 6 months. You can see it as an expansive game jam: 3 people creating a game to fulfill our vision in 6 months. We are confident that we will reach our goal. Follow us on twitter, subscribe to our blog to get weekly updates, and gain (free) early access by subscribing to our newsletter. The first playable release of our first game will come in mid February. 

Shooting Stars

If you want to become the indie game studio that saves mobile gaming, you need to start somewhere, and we start with our first title: Shooting Stars. We will keep our development and design decisions open, and we will keep you up to date about them. You can follow the development on our Twitter Channel. This is the place where you can be a part of it and tell us what you think after you played an (really) early beta, and you will have the chance to get great in-game items exclusive to early beta testers. Be a part of it. Follow us and subscribe to the newsletter. We want you to be on board as early as possible. The first Version (0.1, named Mitch) will be available mid February. The 1.0 Version (named C.J.) will be out on July 1, at the latest. More on the roadmap in another blogpost.

Read the Shooting Star page. Sign up to the Newsletter and gain access to the early beta. Follow us on twitter and facebook so you can keep updated on how we save mobile gaming. We will have a blog post at least once a week and give juicy, funny insights that are worth reading. All in excellent Austrish (no, not the giant bird from Africa but the perfect blend of Austrian German and English), because that's where we are from. 

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The Bloodirony Games 101

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The Bloodirony Games 101

In order to make to make the start of Bloodirony Games as smooth and clear as possible we gathered up the most frequent questions and compiled a little FAQ/Bloodirony 101.

What is Bloodirony Games

We are a small Vienna based game studio fully dedicated to creating mobile indie games. Our heart beats for music, food, mobile technology and most importantly for unicorns. The ultimate goal of our mission to eradicate boredom is nothing less than to save mobile gaming. To find more about us visit our About Page.

Who we are

We are three guys from Vienna, Austria following our big bad bearded boss Michael into the darkest depths of gaming.

Since I've already mentioned Michael let's start with him: 
Michael Hartinger aka. asebist was a senior developer and SCRUM Master at a huge Austrian financial institute doing super secret stuff he's not allowed to talk about. If he does... you know the drill. He is mostly taking care of the Bloodirony business, gamedesign and all project management related stuff. He is a proud father of two wonderful boys. A perfect homemaker and most probably the biggest Blizzard, Nintendo and Vlambeer fan alive.

Alexander Haider aka. haidelbert is our master chief developer. He was working with Michael at the same financial institute. As far as I can imagine he was working on the same secret stuff as Michael did. But at this point I'm too afraid to ask. Nevertheless Alex is a problem solver. Whatever needs to be done will be done in a timely manner, no matter how complex the problem is. Whenever Alex is not at the office he might enjoy a concert or can be found absorbed in tactical multiplayer shooters like the Battlefield franchises that he deeply loves. 

Stefan Malzner aka. adlk (even though my Twitter handle might says something different) I'm a graphic designer and frontend developer hybrid and I take care of the overall look & feel of our games. As I am a startup founder myself, I'm not afraid to try new things and to improvise to reach my goals. I'm a hobby chef and huge burger lover always looking for new burger joints or better recipes be able to prepare the holy grail of burgers sometime in the near future. Oh, and I consider myself a Dota 2 noob. 

Over the course of next few weeks we will update you with more introductory details about us and shock you with the occasional dirty detail on the world or Bloodirony Games. 

Why are we doing this

The better questions is: Why aren't you?

We are creating games because we simply love to. Ever since we were young, we spent endless hours in front of our gaming devices and completely lost track of time. How often have you dreamt of creating your own game? Thanks to the never ending technological progress being made, it has never been easier to develop your own games – especially for individuals or small teams with a limited budget. At this point I think it's appropriate to say thanks to ecosystems like the App Stores and technologies like Unity. 

In times nearly everyone owns a smartphone we're able to play thousands of different games by just downloading them to our device. It has never been easier to share content and to compete with friends. It doesn't matter wether we are on our daily commute to work or bored to death in the waiting room at the doctor's office, we can play the games we like without any limitations – most of those games are even free (-ish).

But here's the main issue:
We are totally aware that free2play games make a lot of sense from a business point of view and we don't have any problem with free2play games in general. Especially in mobile gaming, however, the latest trend is to spend huge amounts of money on so-called "monetization managers" who optimize the shit out of a game to increase revenue by completely ignoring the needs and wants of the gamers. It's about getting someone hooked on a game and to nickel and dime this person who probably hasn't even developed a real understanding for the concept of money yet and doesn't understands what's really happening behind all of that. In the end, it's much more about making shareholders instead of gamers happy.

So why are we doing this?
We believe that (mobile-) games are ment to be fun and are ment to make people happy, no matter if it's a premium or free2play title. No one should be forced to buy InApp upgrades just to be able to finish the game or being able to compete with their friends. We want to create exactly those kinds of games we want to play ourselves. 

From a much more personal point of view, I can assure you that every time I've bought something like in-game currency to speed things up, the progress I've made wasn't satisfying anymore and I almost immediately lost interest.

You are talking about saving mobile gaming. Are you diluted?

Even though Austria has a broadly established drinking culture, right now we're completely sober. And we are totally aware of how bold or arrogant this may sound. Well, seems about time to clear up some things. 

Last spring, one of our idols, Markus 'Notch' Persson, posted the following tweet: 

"Could someone please save mobile gaming already? Kids are growing up being used to this, and they're doing it intentionally."

Michael was so inspired by this tweet and at the same time so frustrated with the free2play development that he wasn't able to wait any longer to fulfill his lifelong dream of creating video games.

Here is how I imagine things happened on April 26:

Notch: Can someone please save mobile gaming already?
Michael: Sure dude, challenge accepted!

We are completely aware of the fact that we won't save mobile gaming alone. But together with our friends from indie studios around the world and the awesome indie community, we know that we can do it one step at a time.

Do you really have a direct line to the Rainbow Unicorn? is there something you can tell us?

Erm... the only thing we can tell you right now is that there is no need to grab your tin foil hat.

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