Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is an independent game developer founded in 2007. Our seventh game, currently in development, is Pig Eat Ball on which we started working in 2013. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.

Nathan

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Debug Mystery Theater

Thank you to all that have played it on Steam!

We are busy porting Pig Eat Ball to consoles.

In the process, we found a tricky crash, and a PS4 tester recorded this video.
Watch to the end, and see if you can decide what caused the crash.



Ready for some hints? 

Hint 1: The objects that cause the crash are on-screen (something off-screen didn't do it).

Hint 2: It's not just one object.

Hint 3: The player is indirectly involved.

Hint 4: The text that displays over the Toilets is not the cause.
(That's the fun credits level from the end of the game! Spoiler! Don't worry, it's super fun to play even if you know about it.)

Hint 5: The Pillbugs are mischievous, but they aren't responsible for this one.

Answer: 

Okay, it is a bit of a trick question. It involves 3 objects, not just one.

The Bomb, the Cigar, and the Pinata. When you spit a Bomb at the Pinata, it works fine. The Bomb explodes, and hurts the Pinata. If you spit a Cigar at a Bomb, that works fine. The Cigar lights the Bomb on fire and the Bomb explodes. When you combine all three, there was a crash.

Turns out, deep inside the code, I had a problem. I was not setting the "instigator" for each attack. If the player spat the Bomb, he was the Instigator. But when the Player spits the Cigar, which then lights the Bomb, the "instigator" was not being set in the Cigar. And when the Bomb asks "who lit me" the Cigar didn't tell it. So when the Bomb blows up the Pinata, and the Pinata checks for an instigator, it was "null" (empty) and it crashes!
NullExceptionCheck

The end of the mystery!
I've since fixed this crash (update soon for Steam!) and it will be fixed in the console release.

Make sure to get the game on Steam if you've not already!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/339090/Pig_Eat_Ball

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pig Eat Ball out now on PC/Mac/Linux

After 5 and half long years, Pig Eat Ball, our 8th indie game, is out now on computers!
You can get it on Steam, Humble Store, Green Man Gaming, and itch.iohttps://mommysbestgames.itch.io/pig-eat-ball.
Please do buy a copy, if you'd like to support our crazy games! Every sale really helps. And thank you!

Check out this launch trailer, which is basically just 60 seconds of gaming insanity :)



Reviews

The critics have been loving it!
 
We've had two Metacritic-rated sites that really enjoyed it.
PC Invasion game it a whopping 90/100!
Calling it "easily one of the best games I’ve played this year."


Hardcore Gamer gave it a 4/5 saying it was "incredibly playable".


And Tech-Gaming, a great all-around site, loved it as well!

Updates

We've also been fortunate to have some really dedicated players. On the Steam forums, some players have played through every nook and cranny in the game. While this definitely my biggest game, it's led to a few missed bugs. And not just Pillbugs, actual bugs :)
Thankfully I've been able to fix up all the little, tricky issues for certain Achievements and powerups, and on update #5, only a few days after launch, I think all new (and old) players are really getting a great experience.

Release Relief

Pig Eat Ball is out in all it's barfy, puzzle-solving glory. Grab a copy, tell some friends, and thank you for all the support!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Why Only Steam?

This Thursday, September 27th, after 5 and a half years in development, we'll finally be releasing
our newest, biggest game Pig Eat Ball!
You can Wishlist and Follow the game on Steam:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/339090/Pig_Eat_Ball

But it's only coming to Steam this week.
Why?



For starters, it will be on 3 different platforms: PC, Mac, and Linux. That's no small undertaking to support multiple platforms. In addition to Steam, we're releasing to the popular "Green Man Gaming" store, and we plan to release a DRM-free version on a smaller digital store called itch.io.

But it is true the game will only be available for personal computers this week, and not yet for consoles.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Pig Eat Ball are working great!
The trouble is tied up in some red tape and timing. When I made the decision to delay the console releases of the game here's why.








Certification and The Fall

I had to make the decision to "split the launch" months ago. I was pretty sure that we would not get through the "certification" process for each console with much time to spare to hit a release date in September. And it was possible that if we had submitted to review for consoles it could have forced the launch later than September.

This Fall 2018 for games is going to be big. Really Big. One reason is Red Dead Redemption 2 coming out in October. But there are other big games from here on to the end of the year that will take up players' and the press's time and attention.

We're releasing now on Steam in an attempt to come out before all the upcoming bigger titles (even though some big ones such as Spiderman on PS4 has already hit).
Pig Eat Ball does not have millions of dollars to spend on marketing, so it could be very easy to get lost in the noise if we're not careful. By coming out on Steam in the early Fall, and levering the great story-player combined with an easy-to-use level editor we hope to build up the community of players leading up to the console launch.


Time to Market

The other big reason was to ensure that both Sony and Microsoft's internal teams had some time to promote Pig Eat Ball for PS4 and Xbox One. Even if we did manage to squeeze Pig Eat Ball through certification quickly, the console holders like to have some time to promote a title.

If the game had finished certification and then come out within weeks later, it's unlikely that Sony or Microsoft would have been able to move and plan fast enough to promote the game properly. There are many games in development for consoles and one way each MS and Sony *know* a game is serious is when the game is actually finished the review process for each console.

My hope is to get Pig Eat Ball through the review process in the Fall giving the promotional teams time to incorporate the game into upcoming promotions.


Console Me

So when it's actually coming to console? Well I don't have a firm date yet, but I'm shooting for very early 2019. 
In the meantime be sure to grab a copy this week on Steam so you can play the single-player and start to dig into the awesome level editor!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

PAX West 2018 Wrapped!

Sexy side-view with a lucky cat (he's in World 2!)
I spent several days this past weekend in Seattle at PAX West. The convention runs for 4 days, Friday to Monday. I didn't do it all, but got there on Saturday spending some time exploring the show floor.


Before the chaos starts.
Pig Eat Ball was accepted to the Indie MEGABOOTH which helped get it a good spot on the show floor, for a much cheaper cost to me.

Poke-4-Players

The Minibooth is a single kiosk station, instead of a 10x10 foot proper booth. I elected to stay in the "Minibooth" for a few reasons:
  1. It costs me much less money.
  2. It gets the game on the show floor and in front of people. 
  3. You only get to show it two days (my set was Sunday and Monday). This sounds bad (and is since you see half the people), but it also costs me much less since I did it all myself. Getting a 10x10 booth I would have definitely needed extra help.
  4. I was able to show it to some press. And I showed it just about as many people as I could as it was pretty much constantly busy. 
  5. Great show floor position as handled by the Indie MEGABOOTH people.
Note the cool, extra-layer of signage I added to the top!
The cons of taking a Minibooth position include, of course, fewer days to show the game and fewer people playing, but also less room to do my wild "show" stuff. I had made some "photo props" for Pig Eat Ball, but with the kiosk space I didn't have enough room to let people take pictures with them.

Here's my new booth-mates from the game "EastShade" kindly taking a fun pic using the props! Most of the time people would play the game, but feel too crowded to make use of the props.
Made friends with another dev who had a glitzy booth and a cool platformer game called "Exception"!
I call this photo/cosplay "Attack on Pig" :)

I spent two nights at parties meeting other developers. Both were good events and I had several chance encounters that may yield important business in the future. I also met again with Sony and Microsoft reps which I find helps them to remember that "Pig Eat Ball is coming"!

I also dropped in on the Seattle Indies party and it was filled with lots of games being made in the area.
Good turn out for the local devs event.

By far my favorite game at the Seattle Indies event was an up-and-coming one (still early in the works) called "Fowl Damage". It's a puzzle platformer that reminds me mechanically of Escape Goat.
And finally, there's nothing quite like stickin' it to the MAN.
I'm pretending to punch AAA games. Does it look like it? No?
And why would I punch them? Because I'm indie! Okay I dunno why.

Pig Eat Ball is coming soon and still needs fixes, so I better get back to work!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Alpha Pig!

Pig Eat Ball has finally hit "Alpha"!
That means all the gameplay, levels, and characters are in, but there's still some things to rearrange and big bugs to fix. But that also means we're releasing the game SOON!


If you backed the game long ago, check your inbox, because I've emailed out all the Steam keys. If you didn't get one, check your Spam folder. And email me if you still can't find it.

Here's some art I did to encapsulate what going Alpha feels like. 

Yeah, that's me blissfully driving the spaceship while my tech lead, John Meister from Super Soul, is pushing this crazy thing :)
Now we'll see if the wheels stay on this jalopy as all the testers play the game for the first time!


You can complain about bugs over on the Steam forums here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/339090/discussions/
And we will be chatting with folks on our Discord server here: https://discord.gg/q4fCzjs
Finally, for all those interested, please Wishlist the game on Steam!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/339090/Pig_Eat_Ball

And tell any friends about it too, it really helps. 
Thanks all!