A development blog for our mobile adventure game

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MicroVentures is now available on Apple iTunes for iPhone and iPad!

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We did it! MicroVentures is now available on all iOS devices:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microventures/id589994705

Like our Android release, it’s completely free/ad-free! Let us know how it plays, we’d like to know what you think.

In other news: 

  • Android release is still going strong with over 1,000 installs
  • New Studio Mu website in the works
  • Kickstart Bunny Run: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1738566771/bunny-run

 


MicroVentures is now available on Google Play!

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As some of you may know, MicroVentures is available on the Android App Store, or ‘Google Play’. It’s completely free, ad-free, and available for download here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.studiomu.microventures

So far, we’ve been getting 5-star reviews, which is a great accomplishment since we didn’t pay for any of those reviews. Our only problem right now is that the game does not work on Samsung Galaxy S3, which we have just pushed out a fix for. It should be up on the app store by tonight, and hopefully those display issues are fully resolved.

We’re trying to get our game up on the Apple App Store as well, though that process is a little bit more tedious. Nonetheless, we hope to get MicroVentures on iOS, also free of charge and ad-free!

So if you have an Android, and that Android does not have MicroVentures, then what are you waiting for? It’s FRREEEEE!!

– Studio Mu


Beta v0.4 is Here!

It’s finally here, Beta v0.4 is now available for you to download FOR FREE!

Features/Bugs:
– Massive story generator fixes
– New UI Art
– Loading Screen Hint Text
– Updated music
– Small bug fixes & minor tweaks

Here’s a link:
Download Here!

Also, Check out our IGF page!

QR Code for the game:
Take a picture of this or whatever

Love,
James F


MicroVentures has been submitted to IGF, hurray!

Hey All,

We haven’t put out an update in a while, mainly due to the scramble of employment post-graduation. Though as CEO of Studio Mu, I am proud to say that we have submitted our game to the Independent Game Festival, both the general and student competition. Our team worked extremely hard on this game, and we that it shows during the judgement of our game. Along with us, Pretentious Games’ Hello World has also been submitted to both competition, and we wish them luck as well.

In other notes, we’ve tweaked and polished a few things in the game, including:
– Few art updates
– Fixed several bugs with teleportation
– Fixed several bugs in storygen
– Many other small fixes I can’t think of right now

The Story Generator still has some kinks in it that show up while playing on the phone, and not while debugging on the computer. We have some leads, but unfortunately we’ve been so tied up with our jobs, as well as hunting for jobs, that it hasn’t been fully cleared out. Kyle has made great progress on it, and since we can update our IGF submission, I hope to get it fully sorted out soon and have it ready for judging.

Some future thoughts our team has been throwing around include the possibility of porting our game to another SDK. Though Marmalade has been good overall, there are many flaws within their SDK that seem to especially affect our game. This of course, will only happen if our game picks up an incredible amount of hype and it becomes apparent that we’ll need to expand outside of Marmalade.

One other future thought (now getting into fairy-tale dreamland), is that, if our game becomes so popular and grows a huge fanbase, we will develop tools for users to create their own content for our game, including new levels, heroes, enemies, stories, etc, and hopefully create a community where this user-generated content is freely shared. This game started from a humble childhood-inspired idea, free of any monetization plans, and I plan on keeping it that way whether this project tanks or prospers.

Well, aside from all those pie-in-the-sky ideas, that’s all I have for today. We should be pushing an updated .apk very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Over and out,
James F


An Update to our Beta v0.3 Coming Soon!

There’s several bugs in our current beta, the biggest one being that everyone is getting the same three stories. We’re going to fix this in the next week or two and release a Beta v0.4, once we’ve all settled down after graduation.

Also, we’re going to be posting up the soundtrack very soon, probably with our next beta release.


We have a new trailer!

Check it out!


MicroVentures Beta is up!

Are you READY!?

Make sure you’ve allowed installation of Non-Market Applications

If you’re looking at this on your phone, Download MicroVentures Now!
Note that this is a Beta Release.

Have a QR Code Reader?

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What is this?

How was it?

Give us some feedback after you’ve played!

Problems installing? Let us know!


From the Executive Side-Table: 900 Revisions Later

So as you may have noticed, we haven’t been updating this blog too much. Sometimes when there’s a lot of work to get done, things go on the back-burner. Sometimes, those things on the back-burner are actually really important things that should be routinely getting done rather than shoving them on the back-burner.

But I digress.

One of the biggest news is that we will be coming into beta in several more days! We’ve definitely come a long way since our last posts. Here is a brief overview of some development accomplishments/features/whatever that has happened:

  • We will have SIX areas: Dungeon, Forest, Snow, Cave, Swamp (graveyard), and Desert
  • The Story Generator now includes SAGAS! Basically, a Saga in a story that you continuously play over several adventures. So rather than having little tid-bits of stories, Sagas have a good story build-up and ending. This is especially good when major things happen in the story world, such as a Boss’ defeat.
  • We will be implementing Shops/Special Rooms in the levels, as well as random shrines that will have some sort of cool (possibly meta) functionality.
  • The three heroes all have different fighting styles: The Knight is a melee-based fighter with combo attacks and blocking, the Wizard picks up spell runes that give him special abilities, and the Rogue is equipped with a Crossbow and has extra sight for stealthy distanced attacks.
  • A whole ton of fun, wacky items that help you build strategy as you play.
  • An amazingly solid Marmalade game engine that houses our awesome game.
  • Awesome art, music and writing that give MicroVentures it’s own whimsical style.

There’s many more, but you’ll just have to wait and see. The next steps, as we reach our feature freeze, is to hammer out all the bugs, get in every art/sound asset we can, and give the final product a pristine polish.

We will be creating a demo video soon after the beta, so stay tuned!


A Few Sneak Peek Screenshots

Here’s some screenshots of our game. We’re still in the process of replacing all the programmer art, but that should be relatively soon.

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The idea of MicroVentures – Part 1

As the Product Owner and initial creator of the idea for MicroVentures, I am often asked questions like “How did you come up with MicroVentures?”, “Why are you making a casual game? I thought you hated casual games.”, “Why a phone game?”, “You like games like Braid and Limbo, why aren’t you making a pretentious indie game?”, “Seriously, why are you making a video game for a fucking telephone?” Okay, maybe not so much that last question, but some of the above assertions are true: I really don’t like casual gaming, and my ultimate dream in life is to make thought-provoking games independently. So, as one of my roommates would say, “Why MicroVentures even?”

I’ll start off by talking about the current trend in the game industry. It doesn’t take any statistic gathering to realize that casual gaming is on the ride. Importantly though, I do disagree with the assumptions that console and PC gaming are falling, but rather that the gaming market is stretching out to new audiences. As a game designer, I can’t ignore the growing trend in casual gaming.

No, I do not hate the idea of casual gaming. I think integrating games into even the smallest gaps of our schedule is something positive. What I don’t believe is this notion that casual gaming will eradicate the console/PC gaming market altogether. The idea of  of the usual Friday night LAN party with a group of friends being replaced with an all-night Angry Birds party just makes me cringe, and I can never see that happening. Ever. Why? Because that’s not what casual games are supposed to be, and what they are not is a replacement for highly-immersive, 3D experiences on consoles or PCs.

Casual games are meant for one thing: A short distraction. They serve as a way for someone to break away and have a short break from a normally dull, repetitive existence. That’s why people play Angry Birds and Farmville, it gives people a fresh set of goals and tasks that can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.

And that is essentially our goal with MicroVentures: giving someone a break from their life to accomplish other goals. I went with the genre of Roguelikes mainly due to the major influence from Binding of Isaac, but at the same time it seemed like a perfect solution to my problem: Creating an awesome game experience by having a DIFFERENT experience every time! By having each roguelike adventure to be aimed to play for 2-4 minutes, we successfully create a short, concise adventure game.

Though something’s missing. The problem with having these procedural adventures, there’s no way of having character development, story, or anything like that. OR IS THERE?

To be continued…

 


FIRST BLOG POST FROM STUDIO MU!

Our first blog post yay!

So yeah, today I set up a twitter for us: @studio_mu

Hopefully, I’ll be updating it more than my usual Twitter account. Anyway, this weekend and week (up till Wednesday) we are working on our UML for the project. I’m personally working on the Story generator Code and Sequence Diagram, hopefully can finish early and give Chris a hand with all the work assigned to him.

Not that much more to say. We’ve started our first official sprint yesterday, so we’ll be updating this blog as we finish tasks.

Over and out,

James Farmer