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Newcomers AppGameKit Corner / The Vomit Dodge Post-Mortem

AGK Developer
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Joined: 18th Aug 2010
Location: Canada
Posted: 19th Jun 2015 20:54
Salutations Dodgers!

We're on the cusp of the release of Vomit Dodge on Android and Windows/Linux (about a week away for iOS devices). I took the time this afternoon to write this retrospective, if for no other reason than to talk myself through my decision making process. I hope you enjoy.

The Vomit Dodge Retrospective

Realistic Goals:
My career path outside of this hobby has led me to a comfortable lifestyle. In turn, I no longer wanted to create a game that I thought would be an instant success. I threw away the get rich quick scheme. I just wanted to create something fun and enjoyable, that I knew people in my profession could relate to.

I've learned I like it simple. I no longer have the lust or desire to chase after the latest and greatest technology. It's not worth my time and effort for something I do as a hobby. I took full advantage of AppGameKitv2 and it's limitless potential and was able to hammer out this quirkly little game in a very short period of time.
If there's one thing I can pass along to other developers out there. Don't over optimize! I can't recall how many times I've rewritten the same function, to get the same result, with fewer lines of code. I could have easily spent that time working on something else, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. If it ain't broke, don't fit it. I get it now.

I've learned over the last while, there's no substitute for real artwork. Programmer art just doesn't cut it. For too long I've tried to do every role myself in app and game development. It doesn't work. Alas I had a little disposable income, I decided to make the leap and invest in a free-lance artist ( It was worth it. I was able to hand my artwork-that-looks-like-a-two-year-old-drew over to a professional artist in Pakistan, who quickly caught my vision and provided me with exactly what I was looking for. I admit, I was hesitant at first. The freelancer site can be hard to navigate, there are a lot of individuals who leave generic responses with a bid. I took a gamble on a user with a good price in a short period of time. While his English wasn't perfect, he understand what I was looking for and made all the adjustments I asked for. I will definitely use him again in the future.

Someday perhaps I will pay for sound, but there are so many great resources out there that provide royalty free sound effects. I'm sure the more I create, I'm going to need something very specific but for the time being, I've been able to find everything I've needed for free!

Why charge for such a simple game?
This decision didn't come lightly, there are various means of generating revenue from Apps. Will I ever release a free version of Vomit Dodge. Maybe. Though it would likely have Ads. The game has a small target audience, as for the most part, the humour is geared towards health care professionals. It would be a lie for me to say some profit wouldn't be exciting, but I have plans for a large percentage of the proceeds. The remainder of it will go to maintaining the website and paying artists for my next projects! With that in mind, I set myself to $1.99, and 50% of the net proceeds will go towards a PTSD organization, see below.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
For some time now, thanks to a certain someone, I've come to understand the importance of breaking the stigma of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in first responders, health care workers and military. I decided to make a personal commitment that for each sale, I would donate a percentage of it's profits towards the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, for research, education and training on first responder PTSD. You can follow the progress of these donations on the website when it goes live. Heroes are human.

Long may you dodge,

Rob, The Developer

Robert Janes (Samu Games)
AGK Developer
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Joined: 18th Aug 2010
Location: Canada
Posted: 20th Jun 2015 17:00
In need of a few testers to hunt down bugs or provide recommendations before I submit this for approval.

Robert Janes (Samu Games)
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Joined: 1st Jun 2006
Location: Doha, Qatar
Posted: 22nd Jun 2015 11:24 Edited at: 22nd Jun 2015 11:25
- The dedication screen disappears way too fast to read.

- On the 'How To Play' screen, white text on a very light background is hard to read.

- Maybe add a 3-2-1 countdown on game start, its super abrupt right now. The countdown would also help to build anticipation.

- I think the gameplay needs some readability to prevent it feeling like you lose randomly. You could have the eyes look in the direction of the next 'shot' for example.

- Instantly going to the score screen feels too abrupt. I was expecting a 'sad trombone' kind of signal to tell me I lost. There should be some sound/animation 'event' to being hit and losing a life. After I noticed the life-hearts in the top right corner, I thought there was a bug preventing them from being used. Apparently they do get used up, but it happens to quickly to notice that you've lost a life. Again this needs a readability signal - shake/vibrate your player character, tint the screen, add an 'Eeew!' sound effect. If I know I'm on my last chance, I'll feel more tense.

- Impacts feel arbitrary and unfair/random, lessening the feeling of skill. If its not my fault I got hit, I don't feel like I can improve. Instead of free sliding the width of the screen, maybe divide it into five lanes and snapmove between them. If I'm not in the lane of the projectile I know I won't get hit unless I left it too late.

I couldn't trigger any bugs.

Overall though its a nice concept, great art and for a very worthy cause.

Keep on hurling, man.

Twitter: @itanican
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Joined: 1st Jan 2014
Posted: 22nd Jun 2015 15:39
Enjoyed reading the retrospective. Always interesting to hear the thought processes of others. Good stuff.

Using Tier 1 AppGameKit V2
Started coding with AMOS (Thanks Francois Lionet)
AGK Developer
Years of Service
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Joined: 18th Aug 2010
Location: Canada
Posted: 23rd Jun 2015 02:06
A few announcements; I've decided to overhaul some of the gameplay after a few rounds of play testing, we're now on twitter ‪#‎VomitDodge‬ and our website is quickly become available

If you're interested in testing, I would love for a few people to try out the latest changes and provide feedback! I took a lot of advice from you Wilf.

Let me break it down:

1. The new gameplay mode:
Overhauling the game was a tedious task but it has created a lot more replay value and enjoyment. Previously, you selected a Nurse, Paramedic or Doctor and were thrown into an environment with no real objective other than to just dodge vomit and try to get a high score.
To give the game more appeal, I've built a level system, where players complete objectives to move onto more challenging levels. I've also added in game items (Health Kids and Pill Bottles) which add an interesting twist to gameplay. Free Play Mode still exists if you want to mindless dodge vomit, but the level system is far more enjoyable. I am hoping to have 42 Levels at the Launch of the game. Some levels are time based, others dodge based, other's objective based - collecting randomly spawned items, while others involve catching certain items while dodging others.

2. Twitter feed! It's social media, of course we wanted a twitter feed.

3. The artist who developed the art for the game is diligently working on our website.

Robert Janes (Samu Games)
easter bunny
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Joined: 20th Nov 2012
Playing: Dota 2
Posted: 25th Jun 2015 04:47 Edited at: 25th Jun 2015 05:03
The artwork look great! If I might offer a tiny bit of advice on getting installs early on for Android...
Making the game paid is actually not a bad idea at all. Why? Well since most Android games are free or at least have free versions, the "newly released" section on the Play Store doesn't really have many apps on it. I literally made it to the top 20 results with just 15 installs, meaning a lot of users saw my game.
The trick is to get about 5-10 installs with 0 uninstalls. I recommend you get a few friends to buy it (reimburse them if you like), just let them know they can't uninstall it for a few months. This will make it shoot to the top of the charts and get a lot of visibility for it.
The fact that is has such good graphics should hopefully mean you get a lot of legitimate users fast.

Just a little bit of advice from me Hope it helps
I'm downloading it now, I'll edit with feedback soon


My thoughts as I'm playing it:
1. Splash screen could maybe fade a bit quicker. Just a personal thing lol, I really don't like slow fading games
2. Didn't really have time to read the text at the start, maybe make it a lil bit longer?
3. No button animation on the menu. Maybe give the sprites 50% transparency while the mouse/finger is over them. Alternatively shrink the sprite size or something
4. Help screen. Create 2 different versions of the game, 1 for PC which tells them to use the arrow keys, and the mobile version tells them to use touch. Just don't package both images with each version cause that will make the app size much larger

5. Maybe have a next level button on the gameover screen?
6. The vomit seems kinda of blurry by the time it's fully expanded... Just something to think about fixing
7. It isn't particularly clear when the vomit is actually about to hit you either...

All in all, not bad at all I like it
One more thing, the little text boxes that pop up as the patient is throwing up, you have each of them as a separate image. This will end up using a lot of space and more importantly, making the load time fairly long on mobile devices. Consider using a text object and blank text box sprite instead. If you need a good font, there are tonnes of good one's freely available online, you can use Bitmap Font Creator to convert them. Just make sure they're free for commercial use though.

Sorry about all that so close to launch time lol, don't feel like you have to change any of these, the game is great without the modifications, those were just my thoughts as I was playing it

Good luck with your game Hope it goes well for you and makes you a billionaire

Audacia Games - Latest WIP - AUTOMAYTE 2.1, AppGameKit one click deploy to Android
"125,000 installs with AppGameKit and counting"

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