Jan 22 2010

Want StoneLoops! back in the AppStore? Sign the petition.

Tag: Codeminion,General,StoneLoops! of JurassicaMaciek @ 10:45 am

StoneLoops! of JurassicaIt seems we’re not alone in our struggle to bring our iPhone app back to the AppStore after it was removed basing on a complaint from a competitor. The StoneLoops! precedence has apparently repeated as more apps have been removed in the same questionable way. You can read about the AppVault case here.

Anyway, the authors of AppVault have created a petition so that Apple hopefully reconsiders its policy towards copyright infringement claims, which currently clearly allows serious abuse. In our opinion Apple should definitely put more effort into checking the validity of each claim, because automatic removal of disputed apps is already causing harm to developers and customers alike. You can find the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/open-competition-in-app-store

Thanks for your support and for helping us spread the news.

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Jan 09 2010

More games coming up in 2010

I’ve been recently receiving lots of questions about StoneLoops! and about our upcoming games so I decided that it’s high time to write about it. Even though we didn’t release any new games in 2009, the last year was quite good for us. We weren’t affected by the collapsing economy and we managed to release third expansion pack for Saqqarah, both StoneLoops! and Saqqarah were released on the iPhone and we also released a short flash webgame version of Saqqarah. But what you might not know is that in 2009 we have started working on 6 new games and we have an ambitious plan to launch all (or at least most) of them this year! Continue reading “More games coming up in 2010”

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Oct 23 2009

Where is StoneLoops? Or how to get rid of your competition in the Apple AppStore?

I know that lately I haven’t been blogging a lot, but recently something very notable  happened that I feel everybody should learn about. As you know our marble popping game StoneLoops! of Jurassica has been ported to the iPhone platform and proved to be a huge success. It  stayed in the global US app top 10 for almost two months and never dropped out of top 100. Until now that is, because today StoneLoops! has been removed from the App Store by Apple on the request of… MumboJumbo.

If you don’t know Mumbo Jumbo, this is the company that creates Luxor marble popping games. In fact Luxor is one of the  biggest marble popper franchises in the entire casual games market. When StoneLoops! was released on the PC and MAC it was over 3 years after the first Luxor game and the marble popping genre was almost dead. In result StoneLoops! never reached any serious top-tens and has stayed in the shadow of the giants – Luxor and Zuma. But on the iPhone it was the other way round.

Together with an external company Playcreek we managed to prepare a very solid port of StoneLoops! to the iPhone platform. It was a great success for us that we managed to launch the game sooner than MumboJumbo managed to complete their iPhone port of Luxor. In result the roles for StoneLoops! and Luxor have reversed in the AppStore. Due to an excellent port and good timing our game became the genre leader receiving hundreds of positive user reviews. In the meanwhile Luxor for the iPhone received very little attention and quickly dropped out of the various top100’s. I can imagine that MumboJumbo wasn’t entirely satisfied with this result, but hey – what can you do about it? It seems you can do quite a lot…

Continue reading “Where is StoneLoops? Or how to get rid of your competition in the Apple AppStore?”

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May 28 2009

StoneLoops! for IPhone is nr 4 in the world!

Tag: Casual Games,StoneLoops! of JurassicaMaciek @ 4:28 am

StoneLoopsJust a quick notice for you, that StoneLoops! is out for the IPhone and the game has so far exceeded our expectations. We are currently nr 4 app in the US and nr 3 in games. In many countries we are already nr 1. Here is the link to StoneLoops app store page, you can check how awesome the game is for yourself!

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Mar 14 2009

StoneLoops! coming to IPhone

StoneLoopsIt’s not official yet, but I’m already sharing with you that we have licensed StoneLoops! for IPhone development and the project is already in a very advanced state.

As a proof I have uploaded a short video that shows how smooth the game is on the IPhone and how close it matches the PC/MAC original experience. Please note that it’s still a work in progress and the final version will be even better.

The company that is developing the port (which I will not disclose at this time, as I’m not sure if they would want it) has done an amazing job in our opinion. I’m not sure when the game will be finished, but it will be a matter of months or perhaps even weeks. Anyway, if you wish to be notified when the game is available please stay tuned or simply subscribe to our newsletter at our website.

 

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May 15 2008

Codeminion May Update

CodeminionWhen you look at our website it may seem that not a lot is going on. But on the contrary the moments when our website is quiet are probably the ones when we have a lot of work. Just to give you a small idea of what’s coming up here is a list of things that we are currently working on:

As you see we have a lot of work. And apart from this we also need to handle the business part of running the company, distribution of games already launched, provide support for our customers and maintain our websites. This is a lot of work, especially for a team of 6.

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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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May 09 2008

The making of StoneLoops!

The making of StoneLoops! of JurassicaWe came up with the idea of StoneLoops! less than 3 years ago when Luxor and Luxor Amun Rising were topping the charts. At the root of the idea there was a very simple (yet powerful) twist on the usual marble popping mechanics. We would try to blend the mechanics of Luxor with the pull and push gameplay of Astropop. We knew that what we came up with would work the moment we completed the prototype. Making it took us about 3 hours with one of the early versions of our in-house game engine CUG Framework.

On the screenshot to the right you can see how the prototype looked. If you’re interested you can even give it a try! Anyway, we had this great idea but we didn’t have the time to implement it. This was because after completing Magic Match and witnessing its success, we (me and Konrad) decided to StoneLoops! early prototypefinish our master studies. Then we would be setting up an office and gathering a team of developers. But that’s another story.

In the end we decided to outsource the development of StoneLoops! to a second party developer – The Farm 51, also from Poland. Everything looked good up till this point. We had a solid initial design, a working prototype and a company run by retail industry veterans to develop the game. What more would you want? A lot, in fact. According to the development contract StoneLoops! was to be completed over a period of 4 months and launched before December 2006. Yes, this is not a typo. The game was finally launched in March 2008, which gives a 16 month delay to the original schedule. Interested what the hell happened? Read on!

Continue reading “The making of StoneLoops!”

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May 06 2008

Portals not interested in high quality games?

StoneLoops! is a good game but not a great hit. At least not as big of a hit as we have hoped for. This is due to the fact that the game was launched about a year late off the schedule and with passing time the market became very harsh for marble poppers. I will be writing more about it in the postmortem of the game later on. Anyway, StoneLoops! has already been launched on several portals (Bigfish, Reflexive and Iwin) and is on its way to others, but still there are some distributors that passed on launching the game.

We asked a representative of one of such portals (which I won’t name here) about the reason for the rejection of the game’s submission. To our surprise we received a very honest answer, which went something like this:

Continue reading “Portals not interested in high quality games?”

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