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The Secret of Grisly Manor is free for a limited time!

firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
edited February 2012 in Non-GS Game News
Hey everybody!

To celebrate the release of The Lost City I just made The Secret of Grisly Manor free for a limited time!

I added a little "new game" badge to the Main Menu in the game that directly links to The Lost City. A little test to see what happens with some cross-promotion. This is the first time that GM has been free on the App Store. I'm curious to see how it goes!

If you haven't had a chance to play it yet, please give it a try!

Joe

Comments

  • EbreezeEbreeze Posts: 481Member, PRO
    I love that game....do you do all the artwork yourself?
  • ericdg123ericdg123 Posts: 156Member, PRO
    Got it. I've played it via html5, never on a device though. Really great game. Is the reason The lost city is 3 times larger because of higher res images/animations or because it's that much longer? I'm getting ready to try out lost city as well. Quick question, did you have most of your scenes in different scenes or did you do most of them in the same scene? They seem to load really quick so I wasn't sure. I'm referring to the gamesalad version, not the corona one. I'm guessing your html5 version is gamesalad as I don't think corona supports that, unless its something new. Congrats on your success on amazon and barnes and noble. Your really kicking butt there. I thought that was awesome your game was in the barnes and noble commercial.
  • ericdg123ericdg123 Posts: 156Member, PRO
    @ebreeze The last thing I remember reading about that is that he does. He uses photographs and uses photoshop to add stuff and make them look awesome.

    @fmg I noticed the images in grisly manor seem to show a lower color palette, did you use gif files instead of jpg or png? I'm wondering because I am getting ready to release a game with high res artwork intensive scenes and it's around 40mb for only 20 scenes with jpgs. Png's would have been insane. But its also 1024x768 images instead of 480x320.
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    @Ebreeze: I work with a close friend of mine who is an amazing photographer. We traveled all around the country to various state parks to shoot photos. I then take them into Photoshop, collage bits from them here and there, and then "hand paint" over top of them to make them cohesive and give them sort of an otherworldly look.

    @Eric: Grisly Manor is so much larger because it has 1200 or so (3x the amount of GM) and also 20 minutes of music. The images are all jpegs where possible and PNG-24 when transparency was required. Since I built this game in Corona, it doesn't have the same concept of a Scene as GameSalad does. I am replacing one group of objects with another, which makes it possible for me to do stuff like cross-fading. In the original GameSalad version, there were 15 Scenes to hold all 49 "scenes". I packed as much as RAM would allow into each one, and just set the camera appropriately.

    The GS version used PNG-8 to save on size wherever possible. (I did not know about the jpeg trick at the time!) I made The Lost City 480x320 as well because of the app size limit on the Android marketplace and the Nook Color of 50MB. If I made a special Universal version with the 3 iOS sizes, as well as separate Android/Amazon/Nook versions I think I would have gone insane!

    Can you show me a link to the TV ad? Or describe it for me? They said that they were going to do that but I haven't seen it yet! That is soooo cool!

    Joe
  • calvin9403calvin9403 Posts: 3,190Member
    @FMG why don;t you use image alpha and change the images to 8 PNG? reduce the images a lot

  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    edited February 2012
    @Calvin: I do use ImageOptim AND ImageAlpha! ;) Jpegs are still the smallest way to go usually, even smaller than PNG-8. And ImageAlpha even lets you create JPEGS with transparency, but they wouldn't work properly on all the devices.
  • EbreezeEbreeze Posts: 481Member, PRO
    Thanks for sharing Joe :D
  • ericdg123ericdg123 Posts: 156Member, PRO
    @fmg Thanks for all the info, great stuff. The commercial I saw GM on was on the web. Just go to b&n and look at the nook tablet like your going to buy it and there will be a nook tablet tour video on that page. Start watching the right side of the screen at about 57 seconds and you will see your icon float down for a few seconds. It definitely sticks out. I loved the game by the way. I guess it was a little short like everyone said, but it actually took me a while. I got stuck in a few places and it took me a while to figure it out, mostly the love is the key to the world on the back of the door.

    People are brutal with reviews though. Not just on GM but in general. A lot of my apps are like some of your reviews I saw where one review will be a 4 or 5 star saying its great, then the next will be a 1 star saying its worthless and they wanted to give it zero or negative stars but couldn't, lol. I've stopped taking the reviews personally because you just can't please everybody. It's amazing to me what people expect for a buck or two.
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    Oh ok, the icon in the web ad. You got me excited there for a moment!

    Yeah, I don't read the reviews anymore. it puts me in a bad mood.
    Yes, I get it, the game is "waaaaaaaaaaay too short!" ;-)

    I still get about 25 emails a day from customers saying that they really like the game, which is much more satisfying!

    I tried really hard to fix the flaws that I saw in Grisly Manor during the production of this game. One being the length obviously.

    I also tried to keep the game at the same difficulty level of GM (very easy) to have the widest appeal possible, but I still get emails saying how hard it was.

    It's quite a trick to keep a game easy and then make it longer, as it requires tons of content. And now there internet cheats and the in-game hint guide if people start to feel the weensiest bit frustrated! People definitely have a different level of patience from when I was a kid. We'd play these games for months. There was no internet, no hints, nothing! ;-) It is definitely hard to appease everyone and unfortunately it is the people who don't like the game that write the most reviews! Grisly Manor has close to 300,000 paid downloads - and only 3,000 reviews or so. I wish the other 99% that probably enjoyed the game just fine would chime in! ;-)

    It's still a process though and I am still learning. Hopefully each game will be better than the last!

    Joe

  • imGuaimGua Posts: 1,089Member
    edited February 2012
  • imGuaimGua Posts: 1,089Member
    edited February 2012
  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Posts: 6,577Member, Sous Chef, PRO
    edited February 2012
    That's great news, Joe, thanks! I'll be playing The Secret of Grisly Manor (again) on my iPad. :-) Off to download now... (and buy a copy of The Lost City)

    TSB, thats a neat trick about replacing PNG with JPEG in the package. I guess it's worth pointing out that only replace PNGS that have no transparency?


    ----------------------------------------------
    http://davidgriffinapps.co.uk/

    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain http://spidergriffin.wix.com/alphaghostapps

  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Although short, i found it a good length for me. Not being a player of point and click games, this was about right for me. Im playing The Lost City at the moment and although I'm learning where i am better at the moment, i've had moments of feeling overwhelmed and like its too big for me. TSOGM felt great for me :) I can see how it would feel too small and short for seasoned players of point and click so hopefully TLC is taken well
  • App SurgeApp Surge Posts: 651Member
    edited February 2012
    On Amazon TSOGM (Still $0.99) is ranked 15! That's better than Tetris! Congratulations man, excellent work.
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    @redsky: Thanks! And that's on Amazon, where it is doing great. It has been within the top 25 since the store opened, which is ridiculous. And The Lost City is currently #35 and climbing.

    On the Android Market Grisly Manor is quite a bit lower, but is still doing good.
  • calvin9403calvin9403 Posts: 3,190Member
    nice trick TSB
  • ozboybrianozboybrian Posts: 2,102PRO
    I shared a video of the lost city on www.facebook.com/FabledApps

    Seems to have gotten some attention from my 530 fans :) hope it helps.
    (Which you obviously don't need it but yeah lol)
  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Posts: 6,577Member, Sous Chef, PRO
    It's brilliant for you that The Lost City has become so popular so quickly; and it's bound to continue and so well-deserved. :-)

    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain http://spidergriffin.wix.com/alphaghostapps

  • FanStudioUKFanStudioUK Posts: 459Member
    Congrats for the game Joe! So nice and well polished!
    I really like the story behind. I almost finish it :)
    One thing, I think you forgot to put UIApplicationExitsOnSuspend = false ;)
    Good luck with the sales!
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    Thanks, guys!
    @FanStudioUK: yeah, I have that set to true on purpose right now so people see my logo more often. ;-) I will change it eventually.
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,865Member
    Got it, played it and was very amused.
    Gave a 5 star in the Dutch app store.
    Will try Lost World soon.
  • SAZ_1SAZ_1 Posts: 397Member
    Joe, both your games just got featured on IGN, hope thats boosts your sales well they deserve just as much, very polished and good fun!
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    edited February 2012
    Thanks Ludwig! I really appreciate it!!!

    @SAZ: Wow! Thanks for the heads up! Do you have a link? I am having trouble finding it. ;-)
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,865Member
    Most of the reviews in the app store where negative. They complain about it being to short and they didn't like the end. A lot found the puzzles to easy.
    Can't say I agree. It was a bit short but the end was funny. The puzzles where perhaps a bit easy but well balanced.
    I like these kind of games anyway. My favorite is the Indiana Jones one from LucasArts from a long time ago ;)
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    Yeah I love that Indiana Jones game!

    Thankfully the reviews for The Lost City have been predominately positive. Hopefully I won't be getting as many "waaaaaaaaay too shorts!" ;-)

    The Secret of Grisly Manor just broke into the Top 100 overall in the US App Store!
  • SAZ_1SAZ_1 Posts: 397Member
    http://uk.wireless.ign.com/articles/121/1217704p1.html ... thats the link joe, mentions both your game in what seems to me as extremely positive! :)
  • uptimistikuptimistik VenezuelaPosts: 3,598Member, Sous Chef, PRO
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