Indie Gems

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Indie Gems has new feature article right now. We like to talk with indie developers. Our first guest is moWOW Studio, Germany based indie developer and here is my interview between Alex, one of moWOW founder. moWOW Studio has been founded by Tudor and Alex since 2011. So far, they've made 2 games for iOS platform. Check the full interview below :)

Hi, my name is Yesi and would you mind if I do a short interview with you?
Could you tell us more about your company? How many person on it? When and how was it founded?
Hi Yesi. It would be my pleasure. It's just me and Tudor right now. We founded moWOW studios in 2011 with the main goal to make fun games for iOS.
I played your game, The Way Home. Is that your first game?

No, it isn't.

Then, how many games have you made so far? Are they built for iOS only or also other platform too?
The Way Home is our second game. The first is Clumsy And The Stars, a precision physics game. In a way, the theme and story of Clumsy is a reflection of our goal to make a living out of creating games.

Hmm, I see if you make game for iOS platform only, are you indeed focusing on iOS platform only?

At that time we started thinking about making games, and it seemed iOS is like the best fit for us. We didn't have too much overhead with adopting the platform since Tudor already had experience with developing for iOS. We also saw it as a more compatible platform for our small team.
Your game, The Way Home is bit twitchy and requires fast reflex. Could you tell me what's the idea behind it?
We usually play a lot of web games and flash games. The inspiration came from a similar mechanic found in one of the games we played and we made some improvements and changes to the idea in order for it to fit the theme of the game.

What engine did you use to develop it?

Cocos 2D and we will move to Cocos 2D with Swift. It's not that we wanted to stick only for iOS but we will only move to the next platform and porting when we find a good game or app to do it with.
What's decided you to make your game freemium instead of a premium (paid game)?
We like the idea of people having fast access to our games. Making the game freemium enables that.  We also like that players can test out the game before deciding to pay.
The game is challenging but it can be finished without using any IAPs (this goes for the hardcore levels too).
We launched as freemium knowing that there was a good and fair balance between the player's skill and his need for aids in the game (which means using IAPs)
How long does it take to develop this game?
Right now, with the work on the big update included, we have counted somewhere along the lines of 1600 hours per person. That includes everything, from prototyping, story writing, design, implementation, marketing and promotion.
It was a bit of a challenge and it ended up taking a lot more time than expected. But it was and is a fun ride.
Wow, 1600 hours per person. Anyway, the game has been out since December 2013 and hasn't receive any update yet till now. However, I hear if the update of this game will be out soon. Would you mind to give us the sneak peek about feature update of this game?
The Way Home did have a small update at the end of January, but it was mainly a bug fix.
The big new update comes with a new refreshed UI, new scoring system that features a win streak bonus (similar to bowling), a new story with hardcore levels and localization for Portuguese and Spanish.

The game also available for iOS only right now, do you plan to port The Way Home to other platform like android in the future?
iOS has the technical platform where we have the most experience and it has a slightly higher quality standard than Android. Having said that, Android is surely the next step, if the game is successful.
Android is looks interesting because there are many other App Stores, aside from Google Play.
Do you have any inspiring or may be fun fact for being Indie Developer so far?

Let me think it first.. Hmm, not funny or fun but quite interesting.
Last year we found out that one year after we launched Clumsy And The Stars, another game with similar mechanics had pretty big success on the App Store. We kind of flopped on launch

Last question, do you have other project in work right now?

Mind to reveal some teaser about that for the readers :)?
As a matter of fact, we do. Hmmm, teaser... Well, it will be a blend between gambling and luck with skill and strategy.

Thank you Alex for spending your time to do the interview with us. I learn some interesting story from you, wish the best for your company and can't wait to see your next project in the future.
For the readers, you can follow +moWOW Muntleau on Google Plus or @moWOWStudios on Twitter and visit their homepage to get the latest update from moWOW Studio :).

Here is me, trying to play the hard mode of this game and it's really hard... I'm serious...
My suggestion: Don't be like me wasting all my lives for nothing :p. Just mastered the normal mode first before you try the hardcore one ;)

Ps: Yes, yes... I know I played like an idiot in this game (No laugh, please, let me explain it first) (just seek until 05:42 and you'll understand what I mean). I don't know why my finger is so freaking stupid even after I've used the slow power up and still I hit that wall -,- dangit... Okay... You can laugh peacefully now -.-
You might surprised with the guys behind this game. Odenis Studio has been experienced in nintendo Gaming world since 2007, before they decided to expand their work into iOS platform now. Their first iOS game has been released since July 25 which was came as a free endless swimmer game, yes a free game without IAP. So what's make this different with other endless game, beside the swimming part of course. Though, to be honest there're already several endless swimmer too outside there.

I won't say if they use a pretty fresh new concept in this game. It just an endless swimmer game, but as long as I play iOS games, I haven't met any interesting endless 'runner' game again, after the Temple Run 2 era. However, in my opinion this game has enough 'power' to attract gamers for playing it, at least to try it once. Fish & Shark will let you choose to play as a good fish or bad shark. Actually, the good fish is like an easy or may be normal mode in this game. While the bad shark will give you hard mode.

Beautiful 3D Graphic

You will swim inside an infinity pool, trying to collect coins to increase your score. The game has one control only, touch to jump. The longer you tap, the higher your fish/ shark will jump. You need to avoid hitting the building by jumping through it. Though it looks easy, except you're a master you'll end up with score only 4 or 5 even you might got 0 in your first playing. However, the more you play, you'll learn the difference between the shark and the fish. The fish is heavier than the shark also has lower velocity than the shark. So, it's necessary to find the right timing for doing the jump action.

One thing, which I never understand from this game is how the level getting randomized inside. Sometimes, I play from the last checkpoint after game over, sometimes I play from the start line. Sometimes, not far away from the first start, and other different spots that ever passed by you. It'll be more interesting if the level generated differently everytime we play. Ah, almost forget, the game has interesting mechanic too where your fish/ shark can swim in 2D also 3D point of view. It can swim from left side to the right side, from bottom to the top, also from top to bottom.

Jump on the right time

Unfortunately, because of the game itself has beautiful 3D graphic similar like in minecraft game and I really like it, I often ended up with game over because I'm too focus admiring the graphic rather than focus for playing the game and chase the score. Fish & Shark also has multiplayer feature too. You can play this game along with your friend in one device. The screen will be split into two part, and you'll play with your friend in real time. You and your friend can see the game play at the same time. In conclusion, I must admit if Fish & Shark is a prove if endless 'runner' is doing right once again. In other word, there's a hope for other great endless runner games in the future.

Graphic/ Sound: 5 out of 5
Game Control: 4.5 out of 5
Gameplay: 4.5 out of 5
Replay Value: 4 out of 5
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

App Store Link: Fish & Shark, Free

It might be funny when I talk about this topic, but seriously I'm feeling bad with this kind of label as a gamer. If you take a look into wikipedia or search about 'female gamer' on google, the result comes with; girl gamer was such kind of sex material only. Even there's a difference between girl gamer with gamer girl, which to be true, I don't see any necessary for doing that. I won't post any pictures of that, you can search it by yourself. In fact, I also read if so many people said gaming world needs more women, but what should we do if we're just 'used' as 'sexism symbol' only. Do we want for that? Of course, Not. To make it brief, there're 2 different type of  female gamers in this world in my opinion. First, the one who actually play games. Second, the one who only act as a gamer and feeling great because of that.

via Herbalcell
So, you're asking how about me? I'm playing games, because I like them, I won't say... hey I'm playing games, I'm cool right?... Wut.. I might be crazy drunk if I said like that. I play games a lot, mostly mobile games. Only have few games on my laptop. However, I'm not a console gamer, I even don't have them. Well, to be honest I have the first nintendo console, but never play it more than twice a year... Yes, a year.. so pity right? My mom doesn't allow me, she's afraid I'll become stupid and lazy because of that. So why now I'm playing games? Okay, playing a game is like a love. It's hard to be described and came anytime without notice. Once you fall into it, it's hard to stop, but it's different from drug. You can control love, but not drugs, right? Same, with choose your game style. Alright, back to topic.

I think to be a gamer, we don't need to call ourselves as female gamers just because we are female. We are same, but you know there're so many bi&&&& outside there who took and post her photo, pose by bitting her controller like piece of **** or put it between her 00, think if they're acting like that will attract more guys.... Beeaccch, pleaseee... You made us (the true player) got a new identity (label) as a fake gamer and it suck. WTF.

The worse thing, I ever watched video about female NPC inside games, and it's so pitiful. How can? It showed if most of female inside games who plays as NPC will act as bitches or sexism symbol or toy only. Not just one, two, but so many games having those scenes, where woman as cheap offering pleasure to man. I know if it might part of the story line, but come on.... why female should act like that in most of games? Still, there're so many female characters outside there who are doing greatly, said Tomb Raider Series, Mirror Edge, etc.

Why the disparity between male and female still exist in this world? Do you ever read a meme comic, where the less armor (outfit) that wore by a female character, the more defense she will got.... Funny, but that's the fact especially in MMO games. Actually, I'm bit confused here sometimes I feel bad why so hard for being a female. When we are truly gamer, man said we are fake. Does being a female gamer, we should become a sexy, cute person too? Who made this stereotype? Who is the first person that think being a female gamer can attract more guys? Come on, stop this viewpoint, enough for that!

The last thing, it might happened only twice on me (so far), but may often happened to other female gamer (actual-real female gamer) outside there. What is that? "The capability", well.. most of people think just because we are female, we don't have enough capability for playing games. We just play girly games such as Candy Crush Saga, Cooking Mama, Hay Day, etc. To be honest, when I should wrote about 10 mobile games which was liked by most girls, I should ask to my girl friends one by one, doing a small research on it.

I'm not saying if I never playing those games, but I prefer to play twitchy arcade games such as Boson X, Super Hexagon vibe, etc also puzzle, platformer, and action adventure games. I play other genres too, but not  much intensive as those genres which mentioned before. So many female outside there who plays DotA, KF, CoD, HALO, etc and they're great at those games. Actually, what's the definition of gamer? Based on oxford dictionary gamer is, A person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game. However, actually gamer is not someone who playing games in Computer only. There're so many other gaming platform outside there such as handheld games console, console, also mobile and we're deserve to call ourselves as gamer. Not female nor male, everybody is same. Don't that better, than divide us into two parts which made high disparity? Let the time answer it.

via Keep Calm-O-Matic
Other interesting article about female gamer: 9 Things Real Female Gamers Hate About Gaming
Hi, this is not a review. This is just my quick post about my iOS playlist. I played them randomly and made gameplay video of them. I played LEX from my friend's recommendation (check his blog too here), played Super Digestion Moose because it's hilarious as bell.. yes the bell :p. Then I played Ettetetta because occasionally I grabbed it when it's free. The last is Preplexity, I played it because I'm curious with that game, never played the first one, but this one with neon color is good enough to be tried.

LEX by Simple Machine

Played Version: 1.2
Price: $0.99 (FREE Today July 24, 2014)
Game Center: Yes
iTunes Link: LEX

Super Digestion Moose by Alvar Pernroth

Played Version: 1.20
Price: FREE
Game Center: No
iTunes Link: Super Digestion Moose

Ettetetta by Artyom Shumilov

Played Version: 1.0
Price: $0.99
Game Center: Yes
iTunes Link: Ettetetta

Preplexity: Neon by Blindspot LLC

Played Version: 1.1
Price: FREE
Game Center: Yes
iTunes Link: Perplexity: Neon

I'm so sorry, folks, because no posting since the last month. Well, I was so busy with exams and school projects last month. However, It's so disturbing me when a great game doesn't get enough attention from audience. That's why today I decided to make bulk review (only) from now. It'll come as short review for 5 games or so on in one post only. Why? Because, it's easier for me to recommend you more best indie games in once post. To be honest, it'll took a long time for me, if I should make full review for each game one by one. I don't have enough time for doing that... At least for this time. If I have enough time, sure I'll work with full review, but right now, let it go like that. I wish you can understand. Thank you :).

Super Ccatch by Eduard Anton

At glance this game reminds me with Intake game. To be honest, it's bit similar, but just a bit. Super Ccatch has more simple gameplay rather than Intake. You should change the color on Intake, but you don't need for doing that in Super Ccatch. All you need to do just concentrate with your color now and catch each shape that has same color with you. Really simple but challenging at the same time. It's an endless game, so you won't see any ending here. The more level you reach, the shape will drop faster and you need really fast reflex for doing that.

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5

Download Link: Super Ccatch, $1.99

Farting Felix by Black Sheep Apps

Sometimes fart is really useful. Well, that's the valuable lesson which I can learned from this game hehe... In this game you will play 4 different kinds of games, endless runner, side scrolling shooter, platformer and the last one said as puzzle game. Completed the quest to collect golden ball and finished the game. To be honest, I haven't unlocked the last mode (puzzle game) yet. I need to find some time for playing more btw. However, I can conclude if Farting Felix is a really well made game. Every mode is unique, and of course still uses fart as its main power. Though sometimes that fart sound will annoy your ears, but still the game really addictive. There's no IAP inside, so you can't cheating here. All pure need your skill.

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

Download Link: Farting Felix, $1.99

Alphabeats by Rad Dragon

I must admit if I don't really into a word game, but when it comes with a rhythm game, I'll become so curious. You need to arrange word as much as possible for each song played. Too bad, there're only 5 songs inside. You can buy another song packs inside the game costs about $1.99-2.99. There're 3 modes, spellfire (you'll game over if you spell wrong word 3 times), casual (standard mode), also tricky (more drop letters). You will move a paddle here, catch the letter, and make as many long words as you can until the song ended. There're 3 power ups, score multiplier, shrink, and bomb. Unfortunately, may be it caused by I haven't adapt with this game yet, but I feel the game is hard to be controlled. However still, Alphabeats brings a new innovation for word game.

Overall Score: 4 out of 5

Download Link: Alphabeats, $1.99

HexSweep by Splitcell

If Super Ccatch reminds me with Intake, then HexSweep reminds me with Unpossible game. Since it has pretty similar graphic, both of them also has similar gameplay. However, I won't say if it was a clone. Definitely not. In this game, you need to pass through the required amount of white gates to unlock the next class. The great thing of this game is the force visualization. HexSweep has 'pushed adrenaline' effect which was shown every time you pass the white gate and that's really cool IMO, but be careful you might get bit dizzy after that :p. You can play all class for free now, with IAP costs $1.99 for get rid of ads. Though it feels bit repetitive, time after time, HexSweep still worth to try if you looking for a fast paced arcade game.

Overall Score: 3 out of 5

Download Link: HexSweep, Free

The Day Of Totem by Cesar Varela

The Day of Totem is a stack puzzle game where you should collect at least 2 totems to finished its level. You will play as a piece of totem and you should move your friend and stick them with you one by one in purpose to complete the level. However, you need to be careful, because sometimes it's not easy as it looks. There're portal, gravitation switch, gate, etc to add more gameplay variation for the game. Sometimes, you need to learn and understand the pattern first before taking the next step. Overall, this game is worth to try by you, puzzle lover.

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5

Download Link: The Day of the Totem, $0.99

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