Posts Tagged phil hassey

After Phil Hassey’s release of BREAKFINITY, the fast-paced endless Breakout game, he’s taking another stab at the world of free games: by releasing a free version of Dynamite Jack, his explosive 2012 action game – creatively entitled Dynamite Jack Free. While plenty of developers are starting to release free ad-supported games thanks to Flappy Bird‘s success, this is one of the bigger attempts at such a release. As such, I spoke to Phil Hassey about what he’s doing with Dynamite Jack Free.

148Apps: Many of the games that have gone with the free-with-ads route are simpler games: ones like Flappy Bird, and your own BREAKFINITY. Why take this route with a deeper game like Dynamite Jack? Was BREAKFINITY‘s performance a motivator in this regard?

Phil Hassey: Dynamite Jack came out almost two years ago, so it’s sales have run down pretty thin at this point. Since I did all the work to set up ads in BREAKFINITY it was pretty trivial to set up Dynamite Jack with the same thing.

I am really curious how well it will do. It’s definitely totally different from your typical ad supported game. I guess we’ll find out soon enough if the free crowd is ready for this kind of experience or not!

djack-advanced-labs

148Apps: Why did you go with the continues-as-monetization IAP system?

Phil Hassey: I’m not really an ad monetization guru or anything, since BREAKFINITY is my first ad supported game, and it’s only been out for over a month. Over the past year I had given thought to doing a F2P version of Dynamite Jack, with various ideas like “buying bombs” or whatever. However, changes like that would have seriously impacted the gameplay in ways I wasn’t too excited about.

So doing the continues is nice, because it doesn’t change the gameplay at all. If anything it makes the death experience sightly more intense because the penalty for death is greater than in the paid version of the game. I think the monetization will actually make the game have a slightly greater emphasis on stealth than the paid version.

djack-the-halls

148Apps: You have an IAP for unlimited continues for $4.99. Was there any thought given to making this a higher price than what the main game is available for?

Phil Hassey: About 6 months ago I changed the iOS price to $4.99 for the paid version. So the IAP for unlimited continues just matches that. I upped the price on Dynamite Jack because I think it’s a solid game and people definitely get their $4.99 of entertainment out of it. Some of the players who have gotten into the game have played for hundreds of hours thanks to the community maps.

148Apps: Is there a particular threshold where you see this being worth the time and effort put into it?

Phil Hassey: I really only spent a couple days putting this together, so it doesn’t need to do a whole lot to break even on my time. But really, in terms of being an experiment with how well a hard-core iOS game works in the ad supported market, the answer to the question “Will this work at all?” is going to be worth finding out.

djack-editor

If it’s found that you can make more heavy games and support them through ads, we might see more games going that route. Or maybe we’ll find out that this sort of game just works best as a paid-only title.

148Apps: If this is successful, do you fear that perhaps it could be part of a movement where players expect more free games, monetized primarily with ads? And if so, do you think that it is good for the App Store market?

Phil Hassey: I think anything that helps indies find new ways to support their art is great! The more avenues there are to being able to make games full-time the more chances there are that great games are going to be made. Another great thing about ad supported games is how they can reach a wider audience. People who don’t have the means to purchase paid games can play free ad supported games.

148Apps: Depending on how this does, would you ever consider releasing a future game initially with a free version like this? Perhaps even one of the Galcon games?

Phil Hassey: I’m still working on Galcon 2, which is going to be F2P. I’m still working out the details, but my experiences with BREAKFINITY and Dynamite Jack FREE are certainly giving me more insight into how to make it work out. I expect Galcon 2 will contain “earn more Galcoins by watching videos” options for those who want more in game currency but don’t have the means to pay for it.

Thanks to Phil Hassey for his time.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-05-22 :: Category: Games

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Games

Galcon Legends Review

Galcon Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Galcon Legends revives one of the original iPhone games, and it holds up well to this day.

Read The Full Review »

Remember Galcon? It was a pretty impressive space-themed strategy title that many of us at 148apps loved upon its release in 2009. Following that came Chickon, a fun chicken based spin-off of the title.

Creator Phil Hassey clearly fancied a change of genre with his next creation: Dynamite Jack. In it, players take the role of a Space Marine captured in battle and forced to work in a mine. This leads to what looks like a great combination of 2D gametypes with stealth elements included as well as Bomberman-style action.

Dynamite Jack isn’t yet 100% confirmed for iOS (with the game set to launch initially on Mac and PC next month) but Phil Hassey let Touch Arcade know via Twitter that a port to iPad looks very likely and with iCade support, also.

Check out the gameplay trailer below and cross your fingers tightly for a speedy release. Dynamite Jack looks like it’s going to be great fun.

[Source: Touch Arcade]

Far too often gaming is heinously thrust under the microscope of the media by organizations like Fox News and CNN.  In most circumstances an ill-informed host or reporter with an obvious bias is very outspoken and condemning of an hobby that more and more of us have come to know and love.  Sure, recently PopCap received quite a bit of good press for their work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, but more often than not things lean towards the negative.

Five teens from the rural community of Rye, Colorado, along with Phil Hassey of Galcon fame, thought that it was time to once again show the positive side of gaming. After deciding that they wanted to try to help raise funds for a new community center in Rye, the team spent two days designing a brand new game from scratch. When the dust settled, The Exterminator was born.

So how does one decide to make a game about a motorcyclist that is humanity’s last line of defense against mutant bugs?  Here is a snippet of Hassey’s rundown of the project’s creative process:

“Wes really wanted to do a motorcycle oriented game and Shamoa was interested in some kind of game where we’d destroy mutant bugs.  By combining those ideas we came up with ‘The Exterminator.’  From there we spent two days developing the artwork, music, sound effects, and the actual game.  Matt put together the electric guitar soundtrack using GarageBand.  Wes, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron all worked on the artwork.  Most everyone did some sound effects.  We also spent a lot of time eating food and generally goofing off.  We wrapped up the project with some solid play-testing and tweaking and we were all really happy with how it came out.”

First of all, hats off to Phil for making this project possible.  I’m sure these creative teens brought tons of amazing ideas to the table, but it takes the experience and expertise of a professional to bring all of those ideas together into a cohesive product.  Secondly, it is awesome to hear of the selfless generosity of Wes, Matt, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron, all in the name of a good cause.  Well done to everyone involved.

If you are interested in supporting this very charitable cause, you can download The Exterminator when it goes live on the App Store, August 17th.  All of the proceeds from the game will go towards the efforts to establish a community outreach center in Rye, Colorado.  If you would like to learn more about the project and their progress towards raising $200,000, you can check out their website or like the game on Facebook.   Also, be sure to check out the trailer below to both see the game in action and meet the teens that made this project possible.

From Out of Nowhere Comes… Galcon Labs!

This afternoon, Phil Hassey released a surprise sequel to his acclaimed strategy game, Galcon. Galcon was recently given an aesthetic facelift, and Galcon Labs not only incorporates these aesthetic changes but also adds four new game modes. Oh, and in addition to many AI single player difficulties with random maps there’s still fully-featured online multiplayer!

Galcon was one of the earliest strategy games on the App Store and remains one of the best with simple and addictive gameplay. You and an opponent are placed on a battlefield of planets. You each start out with a home planet, and your goal is to eradicate your opponents fleet. To do this, you send out a certain percentage of your ships from one planet to another. Based on the size of a planet, ships will grow at a certain rate. This sounds simple, but the game quickly becomes frantic as players set up satellite planets, fight for key strategic outposts, and eventually wipe their opponent off the face of the galaxy.

In addition to this “classic” mode, Galcon Labs features four new game modes:

Billiards – play in a battlefield of constantly moving planets.
Stealth – enemy ships are invisible.
Crash – ships battle mid-space.
Assassin – each player is designated a target planet. The first player to conquer their target wins.


Currently at only $.99, Galcon Labs is by all accounts a bargain. Expect a full review soon!
$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-01 :: Category: Games

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-07-18 :: Category: Games

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-09-17 :: Category: Games

Galcon

Galcon

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Galcon is an excellent space-themed strategy game that requires lightning-quick decisions and delivers some great gameplay. Definitely a must-have!

Read The Full Review »
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