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 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 23 2008

Blog Update: Few days off

Tag: General,On a lighter note,PersonalMaciek @ 5:10 am

Currently I’m on a short vacation at the Baltic Sea with my dogs so I won’t be blogging for several days due to limited Internet access. But please stay tuned as I have already started putting together several interesting articles that I would like to post during the next week. I will be writing about the methods we use at Codeminion to make our game downloads small and I will also give you an update on the status of Saqqarah beta. And in case you have missed it, the free launch of Pteroglider Full Version as well as it’s music soundtrack are getting most of the attention on my blog these days.

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May 19 2008

cgMusic – Can computers create music?

Tag: General,Music Composition,Personal,TechnicalMaciek @ 3:45 pm

The short answer is –  yes they can. The long one is – yes, they can and in fact they do it better than most people. I’m not talking about computers performing music (like a MIDI Player or a Toyota robot playing violin). I’m talking about computer software that is composing music – making up melodies and writing scores for some instruments. The only thing which gives us, people an edge at composing music is that a real person can tell which one composition sounds better than others. A computer can create hundreds of songs in a second but it will never be able to tell which one it likes the most. But let’s get back to the beginning…

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May 12 2008

The 13’th post

Tag: Casual Games,General,On a lighter note,PersonalMaciek @ 1:21 pm

The 13 ghostsYes this is the 13’th post of Casual Games Harmony, which is a major milestone for me as this is my very first blog. I’m not a superstitious person, but I didn’t want to risk writing about Saqqarah in the 13’th post – especially after StoneLoops! not performing up to our expectations on the first 3 portals it was recently launched on.

Fizbin of MisfortuneAnyway, misfortune is one of those things that you won’t find playing casual games. At least in the properly designed ones. Whenever you find your barbarian suddenly equipped with a Fizbin of Misfortune (Army Morale -2) she can’t throw away or you find that your dinosaurs suddenly destroyed the fences and left your dinosaur theme park, there is a good chance you are playing a hardcore game. The best casual games can give you satisfaction and immersion rivaling the best mainstream titles, but even the worst casual games will never frustrate you on par with some of the hardcore gaming classics. After all if they do frustrate then they are simply not casual anymore!

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May 10 2008

The StoneLoops! review coincidence

A really funny thing happened to me today. When StoneLoops! was launched on Reflexive Arcade I decided to write and submit a short review for the game. After all everyone is entitled to having his own opinion and developers should not be discriminated in this manner. The review was quite honest (in my utterly biased kind of way) and went like this:

Wow! This game is simply amazing! Even if you don’t like marble poppers you should check it out because it has this new pull and shoot mechanics that I’ve never seen in any similar game before. The gameplay is much more strategic then in Zuma or Luxor because you get to choose marbles directly from the path. Such a small change, and suddenly the rusty old marble popping gets interesting and fun again.

The screenshots don’t do the game any justice – it looks much better in motion and with all the sound effects. The only negative thing I have to say about this game is that the sounds are a bit on the aggressive side and can get tiresome after a while, but you can always tweak the volume to your liking and keep having lots of fun!

The funny part started today when I was contacted and informed that my review was chosen as the last weeks best review. I was happy to hear that due to this StoneLoops! review will be featured on the Reflexive front page during the whole next week. It will hopefully give a nice boost to the game. Oh, and I also get to choose one free game! I think that I will be writing more reviews from now on. If you’re a developer of causal games I suggest you do the same – if your game is not a time management or hidden object, this might be the only way to get your game some front page portal promotion…

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Apr 29 2008

Casualovision 2008

Tag: Casual Games,On a lighter note,PersonalMaciek @ 2:55 pm

The Eurovision 2008 European song contest is nearing and as always it’s making me unreasonably happy. Anyway what I came to realize is that the contest resembles the casual games market in some limited ways.

Basically some countries try to write good songs (and they don’t stand a chance), while others try to butter up to the lowest instincts and make their songs as catchy as possible (casual developers think in the terms of the upcoming time management title Jane’s Pride Purrfect Paradise Pet Saloon-Hotel with Shop, Spa and More!).

Anyway, below is my personal top 4 of this year’s Eurovision. Please note you’re watching at your own risk…

  • Dusting the Turkey representing Ireland
  • Leto Svet – a sunny proposition from Estonia
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  • Latvian Pirates Of The Sea singing “Wolves of the Sea”
  • Rodolfo Chikilicuatre – Baila el ChikiChiki (from Spain)
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