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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Help Translate Shoot 1UP

We're nearly finished porting Shoot 1UP to Windows Phone 7! It probably won't be out on the marketplace till early next year, but it's exciting to have it almost complete.

Mecha Lilith needs your help!
Microsoft is publishing the title, and has been a great help navigating all their tricky rules for being an official LIVE enabled game. But Mommy's Best Games is responsible for figuring out localization. We're looking at various translation houses (and even Google Translate) but I wanted to check in with shoot'em up fans first.

Bullets speak louder than words, but there's menus and tutorials to be translated too!
Are you interested in helping translate Shoot 1UP
We need a few translators for each of the following languages: French, Italian, German, and Spanish. There are about 1,100 words to be translated. I say "a few" people to translate, as I think it would be beneficial to have one translate the original text, and at least one proofread.

Here's a random sample of strings needed to be localized:


Title Text to translateNotes

AwardsCompleted Achievements Completed!
Back Back go back one menu
BestScore Best Best score
BuyGame Buy Full Game purchase the complete game
CalibrateDescription1 Please hold your device in a resting 
CalibrateDescription2 orientation that is most comfortable
CalibrateDescription3 for you, then press Ready...

I'll provide notes as well so for instance, the "Back" word could mean a human's back, or go back to the previous menu. Obviously here it means "back to the previous menu" which is included in each entries notes.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who's offered to help! 
It looks like we have enough people to translate the game to the above 4 languages. If you're interested in translating the game to any other languages (like Brazilian Portuguese for instance) please contact me and we'll see if it would work.



If you are interested in contributing, please email me at nathan (at) mommysbestgames (dot) com and specify what language you can help with. Native speakers would probably work best. If it works out we'll definitely get you in the credits for the game, and hopefully be able to compensate you as well.
Thanks a bunch!



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Serious Steam Fall Sale

Fight holiday food comas with THOUSANDS OF BULLETS!
Check out the Steam Fall sale, running through this weekend, November 27th.

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, 50% off, only $2.49!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/201480
2 words: Pixel Sam
2 more words: Kamikaze bait



Serious Sam Double D, 50% off, only $3.99!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/111600
2 words: Gun Stacker
2 more words: Pancake monsters


If you've been on the fence about either game, hop down and snap these puppies up! Tell your friends that would be interested (and even the ones that wouldn't be ), and thanks for the support!

And of course thanks to all the fans that have already purchased and enjoyed--it's very much appreciated. We love getting to make games for you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Flotilla and Weapon of Choice in Sale Promotion

Microsoft has a "Fan Appreciation Sale" going on now on the Xbox 360.
http://majornelson.com/2011/11/22/xbox-live-fan-appreciation-sale/

Lots of games on sale, from Super Meat Boy to Stacking.
And we're thrilled to announce two Indie Games have been added to the promotion!

The first XBLIG is Flotilla by Blendo Games, a interesting blend of tactical space-combat and odd-ball adventure.



The second game is our own action-packed Weapon of Choice!

Both games are now 50% off, making each only $2.50! (200 MS Points)
Tell any friends who've been on the fence to take the plunge. Thanks!
(And both games still have free demos to check as well.)

Just in time for it's third birthday--Happy 3 years old Weapon of Choice (originally released November 14, 2008)!

I'm not certain how long the promotional sale will continue. I'd guess probably through this holiday weekend. Happy gaming!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Add Ringtones to XNA games for Windows Phone 7

(This is for game developers offering ringtones through their games--for end users adding their own ringtones to their Windows Phone 7, check here.)

Shoot 1UP for Windows Phone 7 will be coming out early next year. We're excited to offer 3 custom ringtones created from game music, that you'll be able to add to your phone from within the game. Turns out though, none of the online tutorials explained everything necessary for our XNA game to install ringtones.

When we heard about the Mango update, we were excited to support new features like ringtones and 'live tiles'. Searching for help on creating ringtones in the game we found the official MSDN walkthrough.

You can have MP3s or WMAs of the ringtones and you can add the sound from the XAP itself or pull it from isolated storage. Since our game was not generating the ringtone itself (as they were previously recorded), our ringtones are added to the solution and will be pulled from the XAP as shown in the MSDN example.
This shows a .wma being used, but we used .mp3s which work as well.

try
{
    saveRingtoneChooser.Source = new Uri("appdata:/myTone.wma");
    //saveRingtoneChooser.Source = new Uri("isostore:/myTone.wma"); 

    saveRingtoneChooser.DisplayName = "My custom ringtone";

    saveRingtoneChooser.Show();
}
catch (System.InvalidOperationException ex)
{
    MessageBox.Show("An error occurred.");
}
 

The Problem?
When we ran the game and checked for the ringtone file--the file never existed on the phone after we deployed.

The Answer?
We had have "Copy to Output Directory:" set to Copy if newer. This isn't obvious since the default which works with all other content is "Do not copy".




From what we've seen, Live Tiles images work like this too. If you want to use them, you must set them to "Copy if newer" to get them to show up on the phone, as they seems they circumvent the traditional content pipeline. And I believe this issue is only for XNA games (not Silverlight) but if I'm wrong, please inform me in the comments.

Good luck to all devs adding additional, cool content made possible by the Mango update! I think the 'new' WP7 is really sharp and it can help all new games really shine.