May 17

Pteroglider Postmortem + full version now free!

Tag: Business,Codeminion,Free Games,Game DevelopmentMaciek @ 6:33 pm

PterogliderWhen it comes to Codeminion Games I’ve been writing about Magic Match, StoneLoops and Saqqarah for the most of the time. But in the past we’ve made much more games and worked on many “interesting” projects. Pteroglider is one of those interesting projects  – it was our first finished game actually published on the Internet. It’s also a space shooter. If you wish to play the game you can jump straight to the end of this article, but if you want to know what, when and why then please read on.

What went wrong?

Even if you try hard you won’t find anything about Pteroglider on the new website. Why is that? Basically the game was a commercial failure. It sold an outstanding number of 32 copies worldwide and simply (from today’s perspective) was a bad game in our opinion. We made absolutely no market research before jumping into the project and made many bad decisions along the way. For example the game requires DirectX 9 drivers, which even today is a high requirement when it comes to downloadable games. And the game was released in April of 2004. Talk about business wise suicide. We thought that new tech was cool and that it would benefit the game, when it was exactly the other way round.

But wait there’s more! The game turned out much too difficult for casual gamers, at least for those who had DirectX 9 installed. In fact it was even too difficult for most hardcore players. Of course we didn’t realize it at first. Pteroglider was very easy for us since we’ve been playing it every day during the whole 3 months of development. What is interesting is that the difficulty is not only due to poor level balance or a lack of tutorial. The very gameplay mechanics were also difficult. Some of you might ask at this point – how difficult the mechanics of a space shooter can be? Well, needless to say we managed to make it quite difficult…

Like most Codeminion games Pteroglider was not a blatant clone. It introduced the “innovative mouse targeting” into the genre. The basic idea was that you controlled the position of your ship with your left hand on the keyboard while targeting your enemies with the mouse. This control scheme is very nice… but only after you spend many hours of getting used to it.

What went right?

This part of the article will be much shorter. But some things must have gone right. Despite of all the mistakes we made even today we tend to get emails and phone calls from people who want us to resurrect the game. Still after many years the game graphics look good and quite fresh. Here is a link to the games gallery which still is online.

There is also one thing that puts Pteroglider on the first place amongst all our games. This is the only one of our games that was completed on time and on budget. Back then we (me and Konrad) where writing our engineering  thesis’ and we decided to take a 3 month brake to complete a game and start selling it. Well, this is basically what we did, so one could say that our plan was completed 100% and Pteroglider was a success. But somehow it doesn’t sound right…

Anyway, learning on your mistakes is painful but the lessons learned bring the most value.

Pteroglider download

Starting from today, Pteroglider is free for everyone to play. You can use it as a reference what shouldn’t be done or you can take this wicked kind of pleasure and try to play it. You can even look at the games website which is still online at The only thing that is missing from the game are the online scores which are currently disabled. Other than that this is the very same full version that was once available for purchase on our website. Perhaps if there is demand I will re-enable this option…

Download Pteroglider Full Version (11.2 MB)

Please note that I don’t plan to provide any kind of support for the game. In case your brain gets damaged by the innovative mouse targeting, please note that you are playing at your own risk.

To learn more about our new games visit the official Codeminion webiste.

Short game instructions:

  • When you start the game the first thing you must do is create a new profile by clicking the “new” text in the  lower left corner of the screen. 
  • You can control your ships position with either the WSAD keys or with the arrows. You shoot and target using the mouse. Left button is primary weapon laser, right mouse button are the guided missiles.


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16 Responses to “Pteroglider Postmortem + full version now free!”

  1. UKIPUKI says:


  2. Developer Hates Own Game | says:

    […] Via Codeminion […]

  3. rulz says:

    Easy game 🙁
    you guys should try ‘perfect cherry blossom’!

  4. Daniel says:

    I read similar article also named ider Postmortem + full version now free! | Casual Games Harmony, and it was completely different. Personally, I agree with you more, because this article makes a little bit more sense for me

  5. Review & Download Link | Pteroglider: blast your enemies to says:

    […] this unusual control scheme that’s been cited by one of the developers of this game in his blog as one of the reasons why it wasn’t commercially successful (the mouse targeting making the […]

  6. Tommy says:

    It took me a almost the entire first stage to get the control scheme, but I seem to dig it now. It actually makes sense when you have a boss on the screen. You can leave the mouse pointed somewhere near the center of the screen and run around dodging bullets while your ship still targets the boss accurately. Nice!

  7. cheats says:

    any cheats?

  8. red says:

    This game is completely uninsteresting. There’s no need to play more than the first level. Sorry guys, but you have terrible enemy models, bad control response and the game engine looks very cheap.
    Even if there was no demo, only judging by screenshots I would’nt buy this game.

  9. free java games says:

    i want the cheat please

  10. Maciek says:

    Sorry, there are noe cheats in the game. But the game is designed in a simmilar way to Diablo 2, so you can always restart the game with the same spaceship on some lower level and boost your params such as weapon level or lives and then go back to higher difficulty.

  11. free download mobimb says:

    great game, thank you

  12. anon says:

    Crashes with Vista x32 (ITA log). Tried to install it in C:\Users\\ to avoid protected dir in Vista, enabled XPSP2 compatibility mode, disabled Themes etc. Always crashes when it has to open game screen/window:

    Firma del problema
    Nome evento problema: APPCRASH
    Nome applicazione: PteroGlider.exe
    Versione applicazione:
    Timestamp applicazione: 40a48d4e
    Nome modulo con errori: PteroGlider.exe
    Versione modulo con errori:
    Timestamp modulo con errori: 40a48d4e
    Codice eccezione: c0000005
    Offset eccezione: 00024153
    Versione SO: 6.0.6001.
    ID impostazioni locali: 1040
    Informazioni aggiuntive 1: 3cf8
    Ulteriori informazioni 2: 54062592e52ea2fb75ef7cb817771499
    Ulteriori informazioni 3: d55d
    Ulteriori informazioni 4: b7457bf2df8a3a830b326ba1e0fe7c8e

    Ulteriori informazioni sul problema
    ID bucket: 478448960

    Please can you fix it to work for Vista + DX10 too?

  13. Maciek says:


    I’m sorry but I don’t have the time to work on Pteroglider anymore. The game works on Vista (at least on my computer it does) so probably you could get it to run if you tweak your settings/drivers/updates, etc.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help to you

  14. Kitæn says:

    This game is incredibly easy. Of course, Me being a major fan and avid player of danmaku such as the Touhou series created by ~ZUN, this would be more than an easy game. Nonetheless, It gets my thumbs up, and that’s saying something, given my high standards for danmaku.

  15. Nate says:

    I really enjoy this game, the point of a game is for it to be challenging. I can’t believe people were whining about it being too hard. B*tches.

  16. Download PSP Games free says:

    Luved it 🙂

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