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, May 27, 2010

Shoot 1UP, Popular Xbox 360 Action Game, Updated for Disabled Gamers

Highest rated* Indie Game shoot 'em up on Xbox 360 has been updated for ease of play by disabled gamers to include single-button controls, quick start options, and more.

Indiana May 27, 2010 -- Game developer Mommy's Best Games, creator of award-winning, independent, console games are proud to announce an accessibility-rich update to their second release, the shoot 'em up space-ship orgy known as Shoot 1UP. Currently available for download on the Xbox 360 Indie Games channel, Shoot 1UP is only 80MS points (equivalent of US$1).

Shoot 1UP, now with more ways to love it.
Shoot 1UP, now with more ways to love it.
Shoot 1UP now supports a "single-button" control option, ideal for disabled gamers, allowing players to pilot their phalanx of up to 30 fighter ships against swarms of enemies using only one button. Used in conjunction with the “auto-fire” option players control their ships by pressing a button to travel in the direction of an on-screen arrow. After each button press, the arrow rotates 90 degrees, giving players access to the full screen with one input. This button is configurable from 6 button choices; based on the player’s accessibility and comfort needs. Other accessibility features include:

  • Game play speed controls in which gamers can slow the entire game down to accommodate slower reaction time,
  • Quick start option which can begin a new game with a single input, using your last settings,
  • Auto-fire and auto-formation management options for those who become easily fatigued,
  • New flight-path icons for less dependence on screen text,
  • Contrast changes to the background graphics for gamers with eye sensitivities or various perception problems, and
  • Fully configurable button re-mapping for regular controls.

Shoot 1UP includes three vastly different, hand-tuned difficulty settings ranging from “Chilled” mode for novice gamers, “Normal” mode for core gamers looking for a nostalgic blast-a-thon, and “Serious” mode for hard-core shoot ‘em up fans. The special "Score Trek" mode, in which players control one ship but can save progress after every level, has been re-tuned in this version to be easier, more approachable, and more fun over all.

“We want everyone to get a chance to enjoy the complete insanity of dead killer whales, Mecha Lilith, and flying brain ships...adding more accessibility options was a no-brainer."
Barrie Ellis, director of www.oneswitch.co.uk, says “Bullet-Hell made accessible like never before. The main-stream could learn a lot from Shoot 1UP.”

“We want everyone to get a chance to enjoy the complete insanity of dead killer whales, Mecha Lilith, and flying brain ships,” says Nathan Fouts, president of Mommy’s Best Games, “With the potential for a shoot ‘em up to be enjoyed by more gaming fans, it was a no-brainer to add single-button and remappable controls support.”

To follow Mommy’s Best Games on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/MommysBestGames

Mommy's Best Games, Inc., located in the Midwestern Silicon Valley that is Southern Indiana, is a boutique game developer founded in 2007. We strive to deliver games that push at the edges of the medium through gameplay, art, and pie.

*Rating based on GameRankings.com aggregate of professional game reviews for Shoot 1UP.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video Game Movies Are Actually Successful


While working on Grapple Buggy, any trip to the internet to check email or find music usually presents me with an advertisement for the new Prince of Persia movie. I had read it had a big budget and the trailers looked pretty good. This got me to wondering... will it flop all the more spectacularly? I remembered reading Bruckheimer defending game movies but wanted some more concrete numbers to find the truth. Turns out it's really different than the mainstream media had led me to believe!

Financially, there are more video game movie adaptations that have succeeded rather than failed. Seventeen, theatrically-released, game movies have at least broken even, while only nine game movies have financially flopped.

(Click for sales to budget comparisons)

Lara Croft, Hitman, Mortal Kombat, Pokemon, Silent Hill and Resident Evil movies have done very well, often grossing 3 to 4 times their budgets when you examine their Worldwide box office and DVD sales combined.

Financial failures like In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Alone in the Dark, Double Dragon, and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li failed mainly due to them just being terrible movies as their Rotten Tomatoes rating is never above 5%.

The German director Uwe Boll has created the most unsuccessful game movies (three). Their failure as movies is probably related to his failure as a director rather than their nature of being based on video games, since only 4% of critics rated them favorably.


The most spectacular game movie failure is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, costing even more than Prince of Persia (167 to 150m). Final Fantasy TSW is the highest critically rated game movie, yet with only 85m in sales many other game movies have surpassed it, and doubled or tripled their budgets in the process. The movie's story which did not tie into the game franchise, and didn't even really feel like a typical Final Fantasy mood is probably the cause of the low sales.

The closer the movie can fit to the game atmosphere, the more likely it will be a success at least with fans. Lara Croft traipses in tight-fitting clothing through exotic locales looking for treasure, Resident Evil has plenty of entertaining zombie fighting, Hitman features Agent 47 killing for hire, and Silent Hill is extremely strange and disturbing.



Statistically the odds are in favor of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time being financially successful. Jake Gyllenhaal is an Academy Award nominated actor and if the story fits reasonably with the game universe it should please game fans. The $150 million budget for Prince is very high for game movies, but actually less than the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie which went on to gross over $650m worldwide. All taken together Prince of Persia sales will probably surpass its budget and join of the majority of game movies which, contrary to popular belief, are actually profitable.