Jun 18 2008

Saqqarah – a new record!

Tag: Business,Casual Games,Codeminion,SaqqarahMaciek @ 4:32 pm

SaqqarahI hope that you don’t mind that recently every blog post on Casual Games Harmony is about Saqqarah, but I can’t help it as there is so much going on! Anyway we’re thrilled to see how good the game is doing so far. The feedback is very enthusiastic and coming from both gamers and publishers. So far the game has not been rejected by a single publisher we talked to, and we already talked to about 10 different distribution channels. We were very worried that we would have problems similar to the ones I wrote about earlier regarding StoneLoops! After all Saqqarah is also not a hidden object game. Fortunately everyone seems to be noticing how much effort went into creating Saqqarah and now we have first hints that not giving up on quality was the right way to go and that we won’t regret it.  Anyway, you’re probably wondering what record I was referring to in the title of the post…

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Jun 16 2008

Saqqarah is finally here!

Tag: Casual Games,Codeminion,SaqqarahMaciek @ 3:23 pm

SaqqarahToday, after exactly 1 and half year of development Ancient Quest of Saqqarah has been launched on Game Club Cafe. This is a pra-premiere of the game and for now you won’t find it anywhere else on the Internet. The game is available for purchase so if you’re wondering which seven puzzle types made it to the final version don’t lose this opportunity to give it a try!  Below you can find an official description of the game.

Restore the ruined temples in an ancient tournament of divine puzzles!

Take part in the Ancient Quest of Saqqarah and descend deep below the sands to the magical underground oasis filled with puzzles, treasures and mysteries! It’s up to you to fulfill an ancient Egyptian prophecy and stop evil god Seth from breaking out of his arcane tomb prison. In order to succeed the chosen one will have to master 7 different types of puzzles as well as exciting mini-games spread over half a thousand hand crafted levels. The Ancient Quest of Saqqarah awaits you!

Game features:

• 7 different puzzle mechanics
• Hidden Object bonus rounds
• Over 500 hand crafted levels
• Stunning high resolution graphics
• Earn Ranks, Trophies and Magic Powers
• Epic and engaging storyline narration

< Click here to play the final version of Saqqarah! >

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Jun 15 2008

Saqqarah Launches Soon!

Tag: Business,Casual Games,Codeminion,Personal,SaqqarahMaciek @ 9:44 am

Saqqarah LogoYes, it’s true – Saqqarah will be launched on one of our websites in a few days. This will be a short two-week soft launch and we will try to catch some last minutes bugs and make some final improvements before we give green light to selling the game on the portals. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that we are very excited and anxious to see how Saqqarah will do on the market. We are also a bit worried that it won’t do as good as we expect because the market for online downloadable games has dramatically changed over the last several years.

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Jun 10 2008

Mac game porting

Tag: Codeminion,Game Development,TechnicalMaciek @ 3:01 pm

We are currently working hard to bring our latest games (StoneLoops! and Saqqarah) to the Mac platform and I must say I am shocked to see how problematic it is. StoneLoops! was developed using the Popcap Framework and is now being ported by RedMarble Games.  With the second game it is different because Saqqarah is the first game developed on our own new 2d game engine CUG Framework, which was designed to support Mac out of the box. What is interesting that both games are actually running fine on Mac computers but almost every day we encounter a new issue which prevents us from calling the games complete!

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Jun 06 2008

Best games on Game Club Cafe

Tag: Business,Casual Games,Codeminion,GeneralMaciek @ 6:08 pm

Game Club CafeYesterday we have launched Game Club Cafe, our premium casual games distribution portal. Like with most our projects we had many problems developing the website (don’t ask me why is that – we probably are cursed or something). We had to limit the scope of the project several times and it took very very very long to complete, but finally the first version of the website is online. Currently Game Club Cafe has a selection of 112 games. All of them were handpicked and we believe that it is the single best catalogue of high quality casual games from all over the Internet. Be sure to bookmark the website because we will be adding more new quality games on a regular basis.

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Jun 05 2008

Spellscape cRPG Postmortem

Tag: Codeminion,Free Games,Game DevelopmentMaciek @ 6:12 pm

SpellscapeAfter writing about Magic Match and about Pteroglider it’s time to go even further back in time. Actually I would like to go to the very beginning and give you a glimpse of how it all begun with Codeminion. This will be a story of Spellscape, the first game that was developed under the Codeminion brand. We are used to thinking about it as a “spectacular failure” …

What you must know is that we didn’t start by making casual games – mainly because back then no one knew the term and we didn’t even know that such games have already started appearing. Rather than that, we were under heavy influence of “normal” hardcore games like Diablo, Master of Magic, Lands of Lore and such, and we wanted to be a part of it. Bu let’s not get ahead of things.

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Jun 02 2008

Magic Match Soundtrack + Bonus Song

Today I have added several music tracks from our Magic Match: Journey to the Lands of Arcane game to the Game Music Section here on the Casual Games Harmony blog. I’m very happy with the music I made for the game as in my opinion it adds a lot the game’s mood and the theme is very strong and constant throughout the whole game. Of course the cut-scene songs were the most important part and also the most difficult to execute, but with the help of the voice talent Barry Seymour all went very good.

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May 29 2008

Saqqarah Beta Update + Surprise

Tag: Casual Games,Codeminion,SaqqarahMaciek @ 3:39 pm

As promised I’m giving you a quick update on the progress of the beta tests of our latest game Ancient Quest of Saqqarah.  We are currently preparing a new version of the game which will be used in the closed beta. It means that we will choose the best testers from the open beta and give them the full version of the game in return for their voluntary playtesting services.

The new version should be ready in the next week and will include many fixes and improvements. We have already solved several difficult technical issues that prevented many gamers from playing the game, so if you were experiencing the strange mouse cursor delay problem on Win XP systems with Radeon Xpress 200 you should check the new version out. Also I am currently in the middle of adding several improvements to the game. Amongst many changes there will be better hints and adjusted tutorials, and additional Khufu in-game events. After careful analysis of almost 500 surveys we received we will also be changing the order in which new puzzle types are introduced throughout the game.

Now, you are probably wondering what the surprise is…

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May 27 2008

Small game downloads

Small GamesA lot of people wonder how do we make our game downloads so small. Magic Match installer download with everything including all 7 cut-scene songs was 6,5 MB and our upcoming game Ancient Quest of Saqqarah which is packed with high resolution graphics is only 25 MB. It is easy to find games with far less content that are much bigger in size. But is shrinking the games to the largest possible extent worth the effort? After all broadband connections are more popular with each day and portals often sell games which are more than 100 MB.

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May 20 2008

Game Music Section: Pteroglider Soundtrack

In case you haven’t noticed I have launched a Game Music Section here on the Casual Games Harmony blog. It will feature various soundtracks I did for our games as well as other compositions I created over the years.

Currently the Game Music Section only has the music from Pteroglider and some samples from cgMusic, but I will be adding more tracks from my other projects on a regular basis. Most of my compositions are instrumental pieces so Pteroglider’s electronic soundtrack is not what I usually do. I remember that after the launch of the game we received several reviews on the Internet. One review author was even generous enough to include a single sentence summarizing my music! I remember it till this day, because it went like this:

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