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Unfamiliarity killed the cat

What is it with this player versus boss genre?

I get it, gaming is in a rat race of simplification and everything pre-gratification is expendable. Imagine Metroid Prime without all the exploration and only the boss battles… Yeah, it’s not as good is it BUT that reduction is where we’re headed.

Just look at Absolver, a game where the bulk of the world is empty beyond players a) wanting to gank you or b) wanting to team up to easy-mode a boss. And more often than not, b) is followed by a) anyway.

It’s empty. Yet players flocked to it because who doesn’t want to learn kung fu.

The problem for Absolver is not that it’s difficult, but the player behavior and fighting system have a learning curve.

Therefore the initial flock thinned, and ultimately the game is spiraling downwards in terms of popularity. The same was true for the Ubisoft game For Honor.

When players can’t be the winner via familiar actions they get turned off.

This is why players don’t get turned off by the challenge in Hotline Miami, Cup Head and Dark Souls.  Familiarity.

What we know is that Death by Game Show, which was challenging, failed to get traction despite having short levels, instant replay value, and countless rewards. It had the ingredients but was unfamiliar to players and despite the market demanding “unique” or “innovative” products, consumers no longer connect when something is unfamiliar.

This is, without doubt, the fall off from mobile gaming culture.  Everything must be obvious and gratifying.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Speedball crossed with Death by Game Show

In what I consider the heyday of gaming, the Bitmap Brothers developed Speedball. A futuristic, brutal sports game which to this day remains a classic amongst Commodore Amiga fans everywhere.

What does this nostalgic tour-de-force have to do with Death by Game Show and Oointah Games?

Could Death by Game Show become a sports game?

Imagine…

Yardage lines mark out the distance between two end zones. Within each end zone, contraptions drop from the sky.  From those contraptions, droids rush out towards opposite end zones.

You take the role of the head coach picking what droids spawn when they spawn and calling in super defensive units that can stop an enemy attack as they close in on your end zone. Whoever gets the most droids into the opposing end zone wins.

So what else would it include?

Coaching mini-games to bolster your droids speed, health and “ball handling”. Perhaps even a fictional draft where you can sign up new cocky youngsters for insanely high wages.

It’s an idea at least.

Perhaps not the best, but our minds are on NFL season right now and it’s the only idea we’ve got.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Hyper Super Turbo Face Fister Redux Edition

In the laboratory at Oointah Games, we’ve been busy.

We have two mobile games and an RPG Maker 8-bit Death by Game Show origin story in the works.

That’s not too shabby considering we’re also knuckling down on Death by Game Show to make it more casual friendly.

We’re still “in-development” on all projects but we’re looking at a game 100% away from Death by Game Show.

So welcome to Hyper Super Turbo Face Fister Redux Edition. A quirky game that takes the classic Punch Out and puts it on rails.

Swapping the boxing ring and replacing it with an endless office environment where you race through punching bosses and executives.

It’s a mad-dash race to escape work each day and collect as many teeth as possible to upgrade your fist weaponry from bare knuckle to iron gauntlet and beyond.

Expect more quirky ideas soon as we explore new projects and identify “life beyond Death by Game Show”.

 

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Warning to rookie journalists

Some rookie journalist for an unknown site reached out to me the other day asking about Oointah. It was 100% phishing, but still, they found us. I was excited.

Initially.

I asked him to get back to me with some real meaty questions about game development, Steam, and all the other usual confrontational “stuff” Jim Sterling goes after (or goes after him as the case may be).

I didn’t think there would be much value in doing a shallow, surface only interview. If the questions were uninteresting, there would be no interest in Death by Game Show or Oointah. It needed balls for people to read obviously.

So with carte blanche to ask anything this is what the journalist comes back to me with…

When is the expected release date?
What is mobile gaming changing for game developers?
What is the expected price?
What platforms will it be coming out on?

What the f***!

Carte blanche. Carte blanche on the questions!!!!

My excitement was gone.

Expected release…  January 2016!  It’s been out for years.  Nice research fella.

I did want to write back slamming the lack of originality or inventiveness. Suffice to say, I didn’t and won’t. It’s bad enough I’m doing this.

My frustration comes because I know curiosity lives on Steam. I’ve had great conversations about the gaming industry with players on the platform covering everything from Early Access to Greenlight, to market saturation and mobile ports.

Why couldn’t they be journalists with interesting questions and opinions?

And here’s my point. If any journalist, big or small want to ask any REAL questions reach out to us.

Peace, as the hipsters say.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Why are we forced to cut words to fit character limits?

We always try to reply to constructive reviews on Steam for Death by Game Show.  We find people’s feedback invaluable.

As we bundled the game last week for the first time we’ve found a host of new reviews.  Many negative sadly saying the game is too hard, too simple, too chaotic, too boring and too much text but not enough explanation.  You can imagine our heads are a little like a pinball bouncing about with the contradictions.

Yet, I focused on one review and started to write a reply. I wanted it to be a sincere response explaining why the game is chaotic and why many people who like it seem to stop playing between 1.5 and 4 hours into the game.

Several paragraphs in and it was a succinct but explanation full response to an angered and frustrated player.

I had explained that the chaos of the game is representative of how the lead character sees’s the world, full of noise and only when thinking (aka stopping time) and strategizing can they succeed. I also admitted the game gets much harder and varied after 1.5 hours. Sadly, some people get frustrated and stop playing due to the difficulty curve.

Yet each time I tried to submit I was told by Steam’s platform it had too many characters.

I shortened. Nope. Shortened again. Nope. By the end, it was a husk taking only the key points without any sentiment. Somehow my sincerity was reduced to a wedge of text that sounded more like an excuse rather than what I wanted to say. Why are these systems in place?

The only logic could be that they’re trying to cut down what people say to each other online. Turning our wonderful languages into a series of short catch phrases and abbreviations. What’s next, no words – just emoji’s?

If language allowed the human race to evolve, what does the loss of language represent? No doubt, less expensive reading glasses.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork…

Another week and another tree chopped, pulped and pressed to process the last seven days worth of paperwork at Oointah Games.

It’s heartbreaking when your game doesn’t perform but the artwork has charm and characters have enough life in them to live on in numerous spin-offs going forwards.  Hence the paperwork.

The big question is “where does that leave Death by Game Show?”  It’s already destined for bundles and numerous sales leading into the end of 2017 but is there anything more interesting in its future?

“Yes”, I say wholeheartedly.  In the background, we have a cunning plan to make Death by Game Show simpler, more casual friendly and far more accessible.  With limited bandwidth, we’re aiming to launch the first update around August.

Yet it’s the end of year update which will prove a potential game changer but our plans for that are super top secret.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

 

It’s time to stretch out our rod

Last week we spoke about casting our rod in all directions trying to get momentum. So what other directions, beyond bundles and sales have we been casting? Well…

We have previously disclosed one avenue which included a mobile spin-off. As of now, we have two spin-offs muahahaha that use our loveable droids and tub of goo lead character U.H.Wutt.

Our second spin-off is an F2P mobile game which is a throwback to the classic era ye-olde button mashing Olympic games. The principle is simple, the quicker you mashed, the quicker you ran.

We’re obviously changing this up for mobile. With a focus on how to bring the retro mash-tastic gameplay to competitive mobile multiplayer.

The concept combines the above with futuristic crazy Olympic events and a progression system that advances your robotic athletes even when you’re offline.

If you have an opinion, thought or idea let us know? Otherwise check back in the future for more updates on this new Death by Game Show spin-off.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

When I was a lad, kids use to play out and old people stayed married. What has happened to this world? Technology.

The blinking light of a notification waiting for view has all the character and personality of the modern masses. An empty glare momentarily on and then just as quickly idle of expression. It just waits for fumbling interaction resulting in irritation or gratification.

The irony here is you’re not sure if I’m talking about a person or a phone…

The mobile phone has somehow managed to turn a once vibrant world of disconnected opinion and clicks of personalities that thrived amongst like-minded individuals and warred with those not fitting their ideals into a slanging match via wifi, that also has wars.

So as that notification light blinks on and off and users do the usual grunt, shuffle and thumb slide before consuming vapid sweet nothings once reserved for landlines and in-person high-fives. The rest of the world devolves attention spans, IQ and diversity. We really have achieved maximum idiocracy.

The next step after zombies is the pain for entertainment purposes. Then again, we already have MTV and the Kardashians.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

Steam, huh, yeah, What is it good for…

Absolutely nothing. Say it again, y’all.

I know that is harsh, but it’s crystal clear the uniqueness of Steam is largely smoke and mirrors.

The illusion of millions of gamers having huge libraries of games might make you believe the consumer market is strong but outside of mega sales, bundle activations and key giveaways, Steam is a graveyard of hopes drowning in a flood of desperation and panic.

Ignore what Steam says and know that you are more likely to inspire its audience with games like Genital Jousting than Death by Game Show. Shock value + simplicity = success. Don’t try to add layers of complexity or progression, don’t try to add depth or hours upon hours of content. Don’t even come to market with a finished product.

This isn’t a slight on Genital Jousting, it’s a mini-postmortem on Death by Game Show and Steam. Death by Game Show was all about what Steam said it was in September 2014 and what gamers demanded back then.

In 16 months Steam changed dramatically. We’ve all seen the flood of content it released. An insane 60% of Steam’s content has been released since July 2014. With the growing library of content, the audience no longer needed games which had hours of game time as there were hundreds of thousands of new titles at low to no cost to cover any and all voids. Gamers were spoilt for choice and like mobile gaming, spending time in any game unless immediately gratifying was pointless. So each new wave of games became more and more gimmicky to stand out and quick to please.

The same methods and ideas delivered on mobile have become commonplace in Steam games. In September 2014, the Steam community would have been in an uproar with mobile games on Steam. Now, it’s normal.

By the time Death by Game Show came out the idea of having to learn controls rather than it adhering to familiarity was a bridge too far for most reviewers. The number of times we heard “no jump?” even though the lead character is a 300lbs tub of goo is bamboozling. Running, moving the cursor and clicking was too much work and let’s not get started on attention. Too many clicks to win = overwhelming gameplay.  Although majors get away with it as gamers are more willing to invest in the more popular or mainstream titles.

So at some point between starting development and launching Death by Game Show the market swung. Steam is now a hybrid of mobile ideals and PC visuals. Indie has been fragmented between the two extremes, probably forever lost to simplification and obviousness.  Unless itch.io can once again put indie in the light.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.

We’re having a droidgasm

So last week we spoke about a new route for the Death by Game Show entourage. It’s all still very much in discussion, but here’s what we’re thinking.

Firstly, our WIP title is Droidpocolypse but it may become Droidgasm.

Secondly, it is inspired by Clicker Heroes. I can hear the moaning already but remember, we tried to be innovative with Death by Game Show and it backfired.

Thirdly, it’s survival based… But I cannot go into more detail that that as it’s our unique +1 feature. Isn’t that the trend? Copy and add something.

We do know there is a fair amount of Clicker Heroes clones and more release every day, like Ragnarok Clicker. Yet our game will be ad based only – so no nickel or diming you at every turn. Think of it more as a conduit from super casual clicker to intense mayhem Death by Game Show.

Expect more information regarding Death by Game Show’s sales, upcoming bundling and the mobile spin-off soon.

Please follow us on Twitter, YouTube or add the game to your wishlist if it interests you. Also please check out our Steam Group for Death by Game Show.