Posts Tagged simulation
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Imagine having your own tiny pet mountain, floating through space, needing nothing from you and yet still intriguing you with its serene beauty and occasional falling detritus from the stars. MTN, by David O’Reilly, presents us with a game that has no controls. The mountain does not need tending. It does not offer farming. It is a gently spinning safe haven from the world outside. The player can sit and watch time pass, seasons change, things grow and die off, all while the mountain babbles at you about how it is feeling that day.
MTN will bring a smile to your face for only $0.99 on the App Store.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Is Real Racing not real enough for you? How about a game where you can drive cars, buses, and trucks in accordance with local statutes to try and get your license? Then that’s what School Driving 3D will offer for you. Stop at train crossings! Wait for pedestrians! Safely overtake other cars! Use your blinker and obey all the rules! Awwwwwwwww yyyyyyyyeeeeahhhhh.
School Driving 3D‘s only unrealistic aspect? It’s free, unlike real driving school.
Ever wanted to start up a tech firm? Got an idea that seems stupidly awesome and original? Or just fancy running a business, warts and all? There’s a fairly safe and inexpensive way of experiencing that life coming to iOS later this year. That title is Hipster CEO, a game which challenges players to “take an idea from their dorm room to Wall Street, Zuckerberg-style”. We had a word with Dublin-based developer, Ger Kelly, on his vision for the game and just how it came to be.
148apps: Where did the idea for Hipster CEO come from?
Ger Kelly (GK): Well firstly I have a huge passion for tech startups – I love reading about the causes behind startups’ success and failure, exciting new technologies, marketing techniques, stuff like that. Whenever I tell someone I work in a startup they always say that they’d love the opportunity to do just that. I wanted to give people a taste of what running a startup company is like – fun but difficult. It isn’t all air hockey tables and free beer but when it works, it’s the best feeling in the world.
Secondly, I was a video game addict as a kid – particularly sports/business simulations like Championship Manager and Theme Park. I always felt games like that were different in the sense that you were especially proud of what you did – like bringing some low-tier football team all the way to the Cup Final – you always wanted to tell your friends. Even now one of my fondest teenage memories is winning a league title with my favorite football team – which probably says a lot about my adolescence! I felt that there was room for a tech startup simulator in the same vein.
The name came about when a friend called me a total hipster because I guess I can be a little snobby about my musical taste at times. I had a few other ideas for a title but people really reacted really well to Hipster CEO so I went with it.
148apps: The idea of the game seems pretty lighthearted, will that continue throughout the game?
GK: The Hipster element of the game is simply a veneer, the game will create the experience of building a tech startup as closely as possible. I think the Hipster shtick appeals to a lot of people in a fun way and I want people to have fun playing this game. However, the gameplay will be firmly rooted in reality so there won’t be any “wacky” investment offers tabled or disgruntled developers setting fire to their desks. On second thoughts I might include that last one!
Stuff like the Social Network movie and TV shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank makes every man and his dog feel like they could grow a startup company into a huge success but, as anyone who has ever built a startup will know, it’s a lot of hard work. There are so many things you need to get right to build a winning product: quality development, creative marketing, and of course sales. It might sound crazy but so many tech startups out there have no sales strategy starting off – Hipster CEO will encourage players to start making revenue from day one.
Players will need to get the right balance of these three in order to succeed, all the while keeping their staff happy, handling investors, and dealing with the media. That sure seems like a lot but trust me that’s what a startup CEO has to deal with on a day-to-day basis!
I hope my app puts a smile of the face of those who play it because they feel rewarded not just because of some jibe at hipsters.
148apps: Will the game solely be quite text focused, or will there be more game-style graphics too?
GK: I really wanted to have a basic graphics pane which displayed your character, your employees, your office and stuff like that but it’s just not feasible for the first version. Like being able to see your little team graduate from your parent’s basement to some swanky, playground-esque office would be awesome. I have some design skills but nothing on the level that would be required for proper animation so I’ve had to shelve that idea for now. It will probably be one of the first things addressed if the game takes off.
I think Championship Manager showed that you can just have words and numbers on the screen and still create a totally immersive experience.
148apps: Will it be a one-off payment game, or will there be in-app purchases involved?
There will be a one-off payment and the option to get additional investment via in-app purchases. I want to stress, however, that you don’t need to make any in-app purchases after getting the app in order to build a great startup – it’s merely there as an option. I’d actually prefer if players declined the option to take investment completely and slowly but surely built a solid company but I know there’s people out there who will just want to get to a certain level as fast as possible.
148apps: Is there a way of completing Hipster CEO? Or is it more open ended than that?
GK: It’s open ended. Each character in the game (including you as CEO) has certain stats that will grow and shrink based on their performance. If your company goes broke you’ll have the option to build another startup with the skill set you’ve developed. Most entrepreneurs fail with their first few startups so it may take players a few different cracks of the whip before they really hit the big time. It’s totally possible of course that they have a huge success of things and start getting acquisition offers to decide upon.
There will be an online leaderboard of all the players worldwide so you can see how you measure up as a CEO in the game. I’ve a lot of long term ideas for the game too – like inviting the top players around the world to become virtual venture capitalists in later versions of the game which other people can pitch to.
Sounding a pretty intriguing idea, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Hipster CEO‘s progress. Further information is also available at the game’s site. It’s hopefully set for release in October. Thanks to Ger for taking the time to answer our questions!
With the recent iOS release of XBLIG darling, Smooth Operators!, we checked in with creator, Andreas Heydeck, to learn more about the team behind it and their inspiration.
148apps: Who makes up the Heydeck team? How many of you worked on Smooth Operators?
Andreas Heydeck (AH): The team consist of me (Andreas Heydeck), and…graphic artist Murry Lancashire. I’ve also [had] some help with graphics from Scott Tykoski, and music from Zack Parrish…[as well as] a couple of ‘consultants’ from the call center world.
148apps: Where did the inspiration for Smooth Operators come from? Why a call/contact centre?
AH: Well, I’ve worked as a programmer at a multinational call center for quite some years now, and I’ve always thought that the inner workings in a call center is a pretty good setup for a management simulation game. The mechanics and game rules are already there. But, what basically happened was that me and a couple of friends from work went for a couple of beers, and we joked about doing the game and what cool features that could be put in to it. So, the day after I started working with it.
148apps: Did any particular games inspire you while making the game?
AH: The obvious one would probably be SimTower, but also Corporation Inc. When you play the game, you will also notice some elements from your typical Tycoon type of game.
148apps: What encouraged you to port it over to iOS?
AH: The mobile gaming market it so much bigger than the XBLIG market, and so it’s an attractive platform to develop for. I’ve also heard people say that this game would be an awesome iPad game, and it was a good challenge for me to port it.
148apps: What challenges did you come across, going from XBLIG to iOS?
AH: First, I wasn’t sure what way I was going to do it…I chose to go for the Monogame framework, and it was quite easy. However, as with any new platform, there are some kinks and obstacles you need to overcome, but it wasn’t anything major. The biggest ones was adapting the screen ratios of iOS devices, and also to cut down on the memory handling, which isn’t really an issue when you develop for Xbox or PC (especially not with a 2D game). Oh, and changing the controllers from a pointer to a touchscreen.
Thanks to Andreas for taking the time to answer our questions. Smooth Operators! is out now as an Universal build, priced at $2.99.