Following last time’s post mortem I thought it’d be worth summarising where InTo Games is and where I think it might be going (if anywhere), something I’ll aim to do periodically. As I see it there are three activities warranting attention: Promoting BlastOff!, adopting Monkey and developing my next title. Individually…

Promote BlastOff!

While I’d hoped that BlastOff! might’ve made a slightly bigger splash than it did, I didn’t leave it completely bereft of promotion despite a non-existent budget. Unfortunately, submitting promo codes to some of the more popular review sites and the remainder to a (still!) favoured website didn’t seem have a discernable positive effect so I’ll be looking to a couple of other avenues over the next few months and will almost certainly wind up discussing how things go here.

One of the ways to make an existing title marginally buzz-worthy is to release updates of course, and while I’m not going to faff with BlastOff! too much (and certainly not for the sole purpose of being able to bleat “Update!”) I do want to replace the somewhat generic in-game backdrops with something closer to what was originally planned (which was a series of related locations with the action taking place deeper and deeper in space). A job for DeleD and a choice toon renderer perhaps.

Adopt Monkey

As mentioned on my personal blog, Monkey is a neat intermediary language from BRL that allows you to access a useful OOP feature-set in a friendly high-level language. It will spit out projects for a variety of platforms and is almost certainly going to be InTo Games’ language of choice for the foreseeable future – not only does engaging directly with a platform’s native API lock you into that platform in a rather hideous way, it also tends to be done at what is, largely, an unnecessarily low level. In plain English, I don’t want to wrestle with Objective-C (or C++) for my next release because the returns haven’t proven themselves worth the associated headaches. I’d rather deal with a language that feels modern and light than archaic and leaden, because if this isn’t going to be profitable then it can at least be fun :) [More seriously, I genuinely believe that a good intermediary solution enhances the likelihood of profitability so they make sense from both directions.]

On iOS (which remains my primary platform) this will of course mean leaving Cocos2D behind, which is a pity because it’s a great library and I would’ve been lost without it when developing BlastOff! Monkey is also relatively threadbare, shipping without many of Cocos2D’s niceties (2D physics, tile-maps, scenes, transitions etc) so the first point of order will be to put some sort of game framework in place. Fun fun fun! :D

Develop Next Title

What to do next?! I think I will inevitably have a crack at cutting the arcade puzzler down to its bare essentials for my first Monkey project – that should mean a low investment risk and a speedy development schedule while complementing Monkey’s fledgling status. I also have an interest in so-called interactive fiction and definitely want to see InTo Games involved in this area at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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