Dearest reader,
Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is a small, private game developer founded in 2007. Our current game in development is Pig Eat Ball. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.

More game titles are on the right, from Serious Sam Double D XXL to our first, award-winning title Weapon of Choice. Enjoy!

Feel free to contact me if you need more game information!
Nathan

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pig Eat Ball Greenlit for Steam!

It's official--Pig Eat Ball has been Greenlit by the community and approved for sale on the Steam digital marketplace!


This is great news, as the 'Steam' store is where around 90% of all PC game sales occur, so it's great to have the game set to be sold there.
The game is still in development and we're targeting a Spring 2015 release. You can pre-order the game, for a early-bird discount, here: www.pigeatball.com.

And to accompany the Greenlight announcement, I've recorded a playthrough of one of the levels in the second world in the game. This is from world 2, the Sushi Gardens, and it's the 8th level, which is named "The Barfopolis".

Usually I cut a much shorter, quicker trailer, but because Pig Eat Ball is so strange, and sometimes tough to understand in a standard trailer, I wanted to show the un-cut gameplay so people can better get a sense of it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"External Power-ups" for All Unity Games

And now something from the blue sky department...

I had a thought the other today, watching two people playing two tablet games. Wouldn't it be great if the players could help each other out, even though they were playing two different games?
Two *completely*, unrelated games?

Baby wants a tablet too!
Well, here's how I imagine it could work, in very general terms. When players are in close proximity of each other (10 feet, or so), similar to the Nintendo StreetPass/SpotPass system, the mobile devices are made to automatically communicate with each other.
The devices do this in order to trade "external power-ups" or let's say "extra-ups". This would be a form of help from each player, to the other player, in their respective games they are playing. The idea is to have players helping each other, as they sit around playing their games (imagine in the airport, or coffee shop). 

Example

Imagine one player (X) is in Cut the Rope, playing a few levels, and another player (Y) is playing an arena shooter like Inferno Plus (also a single-player game).
Cut the Rope

Both games are designed to handle an "external power-up" or "extra-up" from this system.
In Cut the Rope, for instance, let's say Player X beats a level with 3 stars, then their game would automatically send an "extra-up" to anyone playing *any games* around them.
Player Y, playing Inferno Plus on the bench nearby, could get a message like "Mike sends an extra-up!". And within Inferno Plus, Player Y suddenly has a new shield.
Inferno Plus

Now with Player Y in Inferno Plus, let's say they beat a level, and now send an extra-up back to the Cut the Rope player X, which could be a freeze-style powerup or perhaps their level slows down so as to allow player X more time to react.

Extra-Up Integration

Each game would implement what an 'extra-up' does when received from an outside player. Obviously the game could simply ignore it. Or the game could work within its particular design structure to add a very small, but still noticeable bump to the game, to the benefit of the player.

Of course, it could be much more complicated than all of this; as it could allow for more information to be sent. Perhaps a simple magnitude of help could be sent (such as a number), allowing the game to do more, if gamer X did something great, and to really help out gamer Y.
The key would be to keep it basically invisible on the players, so they don't have to do anything additional, except play their games around someone else.

Real Social Benefits?


Facebook game requests
To me, this could invite actual, positive social benefits. Sitting next to someone playing another game, and having them help you out could naturally lead to talking about the games and potentially making a new friend. Contrast this to the feeling of being nagged by Facebook-style games, in which players are always directly asking for help through their games.


In this new "Extra-ups" situation, by design, players must be in the same physical area to get any benefits. Their games do not request anything from them, they only give positive help. Players are next to each other, able to talk and enjoy their company all the more if they so choose.

Implementation In Unity?

There *currently* are many barriers to this working. Tablets/mobile devices would have to make this an option for apps to tie into--the "always-on, light, background internet connectivity" required to notice each other in close proximity.

Another big issue would be a necessary 'platform', or SDK, or general system to tie into, for all games in the background. I can imagine Unity working well  here, as many mobile games are built in Unity. Here it could be as simple as a behavior function that is overridden, and hooked into.

Nintendo has games that use a similar system, with some games exchanging characters, scores, or even initiating special battles. But the trick to all these exchanges, is both players have to have the same game. In this new system, the gameplay exchanged is very simple, and in some ways less impressive, but it differs in two important ways:
1. An extra-up is sent during active, current play.
2. The extra-up is not tied to the game it's being sent from, but from the game that accepts it.

Cross-Platform

And of course while we're at it, one further amazing attribute would be if this system could be cross-platform. So if player X is on an Android tablet, and player Y is on an iPad, both their games could still exchange extra-ups.
If Unity were used, the game programming wouldn't be an issue. But I could see there being a hurdle in getting iOS devices and Android and WP devices to all 'talk' to each other in the background properly.

UPDATE:
In this article here (thanks to Jerrod Putman), it describes the app FireChat which is using Apple's "Multipeer Connectivity Framework" to have iOS devices see each other without wifi. It's exciting to know at least one small piece is already in place.
http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/16/6981127/firechat-messaging-app-accidental-protest-app-hong-kong



Regardless, I wanted to get this out there as an idea--of separate games that are able to communicate with each other to gamers' benefits. The general idea being: encourage potential socialization through gaming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cavalcade of Cool




The temperature in Louisville is predicted to be back up to 50 degrees this weekend, and we have something fun for the whole family. A new comic con! Yes, this year there will be "Cavalcade of Comics" held in the Ramada Plaza Louisville, and Mommy's Best Games be there showing off our locally video games!

What: Cavalcade of Comics. It's a new comic con, from the people that brought you the 'Derby City Comic Con' in the summer time.

Where: Ramada Plaza Louisville - Triple Crown Pavilion
9700 Bluegrass Parkway, Louisville, KY 40299
Easy On Site Parking
Ticket Information

When: November 22nd, Open to the public 10 am - 5 PM


MOMMY'S BEST

 We'll have our next game, Pig Eat Ball, at the show with all new levels for multiplayer and single-player to try out! Pig Eat Ball won't be completed till this coming Spring but we enjoy bringing it to public shows to let people try it early and tell us what they think.

NEW SHIRT DESIGN

We'll also have custom T-shirts for sale at the show, including some very hip Pig Eat Ball shirts, and a new "Video Games Made in the Midwest" shirt.



Here's the order form if you're interested in the Midwest shirt. $15 to show your support for locally made games! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Gi4DmDvkZwRCWYmndDeecUtZaO2_yM962qowcP9EsUM/viewform

WEEKEND WARM UP

The comic con will be the perfect place to pick up some early Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for the comic book/game lover in your family. See you this Saturday!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Indiana and Kentucky Public Game Events for Fall

Kentuckiana is the name for the region of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana. And our area will have two public game exhibitions soon!

Mini Making Games

The first show will be this weekend at the Louisville Mini Maker Faire.
The GameDevLou game development group will have a booth there, showcasing plenty of games made by developers from around the Louisville, Kentucky area. And we'll be there showing Pig Eat Ball with new single player content! (Okay, so Mommy's Best Games is in southern Indiana--but we're very close to Louisville :)

Details: Saturday, September 27, 10AM - 10PM at the 800 block of East Market Street, Louisville, KY. Free Admission




Full Roaming Action


The second show is the Free Range Arcade which will be in Bloomington, Indiana. This will be the second time they've held the event this year as it was a definite success.
Free Range Arcade will showcase even more Kentuckiana-developed games, this time primarily by developers in Southern Indiana. And we'll have Pig Eat Ball there as well--complete with more improvements which I'll implement after each playtest and show!

Details: Friday, October 3rd, 5PM - 8PM at the City Hall Atrium, 401 N Morton, Bloomington, IN. Free Admission


 

Bonus Bash


We'll also be showing Pig Eat Ball at the upcoming Cavalcade of Comics in November! Feeling good to have plenty of places to showcases games made around here.

Meet, Greet, Game

If you're a gamer to who loves to play something new--come on by these shows! And if you're a developer interested in the "scene" 'round here, these are great places to chat up active devs making games in Kentuckiana!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Logo and PAX Prime

First off, we have a new logo for Pig Eat Ball!
 It took a while to find just the right look, but we hope you love it! And that it makes you hungry.




And please vote for the game on Steam Greenlight!
This will help us sell the game on the Steam marketplace which is kinda a big deal for us :) http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=305804283
Please tell your friends too--every vote counts! 



 
And the other big news is PAX Prime 2014 was a big hit for us!
We had hundreds of people come through to play at the show and it seemed like everyone really enjoyed the game.

It was also great for playtesting. Each day I would watch people play the single player and each night I would tweak any levels they were having problems with. Definitely got some valuable information from it.

We also had some good media visits. Razer, the game hardware company, had a team on the floor looking for fun indie games to play and they said Pig Eat Ball was one of their 3 favorites!




Even Gamespot managed to find us and play the Party mode with our custom RMP SHKR controllers in their "PAX the Ultimate Show Tour" video.

Danny O'Dwyer is dreamy... skip to about 24' 45" to see him play our game.


Some other good press too:
http://drinkingcoffeecola.blogspot.com/2014/09/pax-prime-day-3-4.html


And some from Prima Games:
http://www.primagames.com/games/middle-earth-shadow-mordor/feature/games-pax-prime-2014






We had plenty of wild characters come through the Mommy's Best Games booth.
Toad and Toadette

Mr. Destructoid!

A man-princess? Not sure where the design is from...


And from the show floor, there was plenty of cool stuff to see as well.

Shovel Knight cosplay!

The Evolve monster was absolutely massive. 18 foot high? Bigger? It was hard to tell with the high show ceilings.

Pikachu keeping an eye on his collection.
 
Operated like a mechanical bull... but it was a dragon! (Or wyvern I guess, don't think it had legs).


They finally found me!




And Amy and I even got to tour a bit of Seattle.
We visited the "Troll Under the Bridge" which was pretty spooky! It's a huge concrete sculpture hidden under an in-use bridge in the city.

And another night we went to the Sony party which was in the Chihuly Glass Garden. It was gorgeous.







All in all, it was a great trip!