*2015 - A Year in Review*
2015 Has been quite a year for me. After spending a lot of time managing Minecraft servers and seeing the destruction of my own, I found interest in making Flash games again. I had originally started way back in 2011 - with the first release of Island Builder on Kongregate. It did fairly well for quite a simple game, and remembering it brought me back to making games.
Now for the this-year part of all of this. I published Electric Rubber on Kongregate earlier this year, shortly after I stopped all of my Minecraft server admin business. After getting very spotty views on Kong, I gave up for about a month. After checking back in, and seeing that it still hadn't recieved many views, ratings, or even feedback, I knew that there had to be somewhere better to publish this stuff. After checking around, I heard of Newgrounds, a name that was familiar to me even back in 2011. After checking around the site, and seeing how everything worked, I felt slightly intimidated with the community Blam system. I'd never had a game judged by an entire community if it was site-worthy before. After thinking about it for a few days, I decided to sign up and submit Electric Rubber with a few improvements based off of feedback. That's when something amazing happened.
Electric Rubber, a simple game of rubbing and upgrading, achieved four stars - beating the reviews it had achieved on Kongregate. After a week on the website, it had also beaten the play count Kongregate had for the game. Reviews and comments were mixed, some offering wonderful feedback I've turned around and thrown into the game, such as music, a mute button (idk why I have such issues with adding those devils), revamps to upgrade costs, and more. I never expected half of the things to have happened, such as adding music and having it added to over 80 different hosting websites. Having free-to-use music for games on Newgrounds is amazing, without having to worry about copyright.
I had my inspiration to make Flash games again with the reception of Electric Rubber, and brainstormed. I knew rubbing worked for me, and I knew that upgrades worked for me too. So I came up with the concept of Idle Game Maker. Originally, it was planned to be more like something you'd experience with Game Dev Tycoon, where you make a game, skill/upgrades factor into how good it is, then you get money based on that. It didn't turn out that way, as you can see, probably because I wanted to do so much that I didn't know how to do, and settled on what it was. Just recently I revisited the game, and saw ways to improve the concept even further, adding around 8 upgrades and more factors to success. The game initially got off to a rocky start, but after a few careful additions to the game, it's been getting better reception.
After experiencing this success on Newgrounds, I saught to try and import a game from Newgrounds. But which one would it be? Island Builder was in a state of crap, No Turning Back just wasn't to my standards to be anywhere, and 30 Second Clicker was just too simple. After thinking a bit, I decided to try and bring 30 Second Clicker over to Newgrounds, beefing it with metals and scoreboards to make it funner and more enjoyable. To my surprise, 30 Second Clicker was accepted and got some good reviews. Since the concept was so simple and easy, I decided not to throw in any flash ads. This apperently was a great idea, as some other websites picked up the game about a week after, getting it thousands of plays in less than a month, just as Electric Rubber had.
After the release of 30 Second Clicker, I noticed a date in the calendar box on the homepage of Newgrounds. It was Robot Day. Having no idea what this was, I checked it out and to my surprise it was a contest for robot-themed material. Now, bare with me, this was three days before Robot Day, and I had no idea what to make for it. I wanted to participate, since it'd be my first event here on Newgrounds, so I threw together a concept I was working on (Rubbing Adventures) and basically butchered it into an upgrade-fighting game that is known as Zomboid Grinder. Zomboid Grinder was made in less than 3 days. That is why it is well, lacking, in many ways. I wanted to update it this winter, but really have no idea how to improve on such a bare-bones concept that it is. Maybe another game with multiple levels would be better, but we'll see.
After Zomboid Grinder released, and somehow didn't get Blam'd, I was out of ideas. I wanted to keep creating new games, and noticed a quiz game hitting the Under Review section. I played it and found out that quiz games were actually a thing here on Newgrounds. They're not a big thing, nor a popular thing, but they're a thing. So I started work on a file that could be used as the basis for a flash-based quiz game. I added lives, 20 questions, and a timer to the game, and whoever got to the end with lives left would win. After reviewing this concept a bit more, I realized a health-based system might not be best for scores and such, since I had it based on how many hearts you had left at the end. I removed the health aspect of the game, and made it percentage based. After releasing Trivial Trivia: Impossible, I realized how crappily put together this thing was. Percentages were messed up, answers were detecting false positives and negatives, and so I went into repair mode. I fixed it up to an extent, and that's how it works today. I'd have released an update for it, but the system it runs on is just too outdated to touch anymore. Current Trivial Trivia games run on better code, which with the newest update remove false negatives completely.
Over the next few months, I keep releasing Trivial Trivia games, trying to push one out weekly. TT:Newgrounds even won 4th daily when it released, only to have the series brought down by TT:Math (everyone hates math games, especially those that don't work). After the rise of Donald Trump, I decided to do a spoof game on him, throwing stupid sayings of his around when a button is hit. As it was so low-quality, I just tagged it as Spam, not really meaning to publish it as a legitimate game, more of a joke.
After publishing Trumped, I already was working on Electric Rubber 2. After reading multple reviews asking for newer features, I felt it was time to make a sequel. Mind you, the few months in-between I had greatly improved my knowledge of Actionscript, and hadn't touched Electric Rubber enough to update it to what I had known. A major request was multiple batteries, and the current system would need a major overhaul with that being in place. So I created Electric Rubber 2 with that feature in mind, then added some elements of a smaller game idea into it - trading for currency. It may not be much different, but the way I built it is much better for change. Electric Rubber 2 got off to a great start, getting 4th place in Daily and Underdog of the Week (yey).
More Trivial Trivia Games, blah blah, I'll save you some reading by skipping to Idle City.
Idle City was the result of people commenting that Electric Rubber and Electric Rubber 2 were not idle games. Yes, they're not, but recieving 0-2 star reviews because they are not "idle" games is extremely bizzare for me since I had never intially said it's idle-based. So I made an idle-based upgrade game. No gameplay, just idling. I was surprised this game didn't get blammed, as I wouldn't even say the game I released was a game. Now that I've updated it, I'd say it's sorta a game.
Between Idle City and Candy Whacker I had teamed up with a few of my friends and created a Google Play Developer account. After tinkering around with 30s Clicker, and figuring out how to do all things Android, we planned to release Candy Whacker for Android and Newgrounds at the same time. I teamed up with my one artistic friend who made most of the assets you see in-game. Although the game didn't do so well, it was our submission for Halloween, both on Newgrounds and the Play store. Releasing this app really opened my eyes for how I fail in testing my own games. I tested it all until the 2nd level, which was a disaterous mistake. This caused major bugs being published, and negative reviews following. I fixed everything I could, and still see the game to be a good concept.
After taking a break and pushing a few minor updates, along with publishing various Android apps for my games, December came. I really don't know what made me want to make a clicker game, I really don't. I even had my original idea of Idle Game Maker ready to make an outstanding Christmas game, but then the realization hit - it'd be a Christmas game. I didn't want such a hard-worked on game to be played for only two weeks until Christmas, so I went the easy way out and made something simple, which I guess was a clicker game. I'd consider this my first clicker game, because it really is. I've made rubber games before, but not clicker.
Anyways, Jingle Clicker/Tapper. I made this to be as in-your-face and annoying as possible. I didn't want this game to just be another clicker game. I wanted it to be annoying, in a holly jolly way. So no mute button, no easy end, and an annoying bell noise for every click. Yes, I want this game to be annoying. After reading a specific review, I noticed someone pulled up the season-exclusitivity that it'd be since it's Christmas related. This relived me since I didn't actually spend so much time making a Christmas game if it'd only get shat on for being a Christmas game. Now I won't say this person didn't have any good points, he really did, but I just found that bit to be silly. Anyways, I also used this new game to test paid apps on Android and if it'd be downloaded as much as my other ones, which it wasn't. It's paid just to be a test if people would buy, I'm not actually expecting you to buy a clicker game for Android (unless you really want those achievements).
After reading this one reviewers comment that I mentioned above, it's what inspired me to make auch a large Christmas update. I also decided to take this time to publish major updates to make Island Builder suitable for Newgrounds. I also found that Idle Game Maker could majorly be improved. Smaller improvements took place on other games too. And now that brings me to this point, me writing this.
It's been a great half year on Newgrounds, it really has. And I'll leave you all with some statistics on the games to end this. Thank you all for such a great year and all the support & feedback!
Game Statistics for Dec. 30, 2015
30 Second Clicker: 10 Hosts, 17,325 Views
Candy Whacker: 12 Hosts, 1,879 Views
Electric Rubber: 56 Hosts, 84,447 Views
Electric Rubber 2: 66 Hosts, 97,035 Views
Idle City: 69 Hosts, 29,718 Views
Idle Game Maker: 28 Hosts, 31,295 Views
Island Builder: 2 Hosts, 328 Views
Jingle Clicker: 76 Hosts, 26,070 Views
Trivial Trivial Games: 11,908 Views
Trumped: 6 Hosts, 708 Views
Zomboid Grinder: 7 Hosts, 1,984 Views
Total Views: 314,605
Again, thank you for everything Newgrounds!