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I got hate mail!

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This was the first mail I found in the support box of Orangepixel this morning:

Besides EA, you guys are literally the worst game developers ever, your games are unfair beyond imaginable, leaving some levels to be almost or certainly impossible to beat, not only that, but every game you make is literally just a repeat of a game you’ve made before, for example, star dash and jump, the only difference between the games is the art style, its as if all you did was take star dash and retexture it and call it “jumpy”. You guys are a pathetic example of a game developer.

And it made me smile! Mainly because I think this is one of the first of it’s kind in all those 10 years of creating games. I’ve been extremely proud to create games for such a loyal fan-base and having so few complaints and even support emails.  Sure I get to occasional bug report or “hey I got some cool ideas to make this game even better” email.  But this type of email is very very rare.

I was tempted to reply to the kid, but I don’t think that would make a lot of difference. He might even be partly right!

I don’t agree with the games being “unfair” and “certainly impossible” cause I know my games are actually fair just extremely challenging sometimes and I always play every level until I’ve proven to myself it’s do able. I know that some levels in Stardash require a lot of work, and that’s excluding the extra tasks of collecting everything and completing it within the time limits, but they are do-able !

However! I do agree, partly, that all games are a repeat of what I made earlier. Every time I work on a game I bump into some new “trick”. It can be a gameplay trick, it can be an idea on how to visually show something or even how to handle in-game tutorials.  I take those new tricks and put them into the new games I create.

I usually start thinking about the new game mid-process of the current game. Often triggered by a cool little feature or moment in the current game which makes me think “hmm, I could turn that into a game”.

Each one of my games is evolved from previous games, so in that sense all games share a lot of common things.  However, comparing Jumpy to Stardash is like comparing Mario to Sonic: they both run and jump, but they are fundamentally different.

I would actually encourage other developers to do the same. It allows you to re-use a lot of code and quickly hit the ground running on a new game. In the end all my games share many common things but they are all different. Even the sequels are improvements over the original (Meganoid2 was much better build and paced than Meganoid1)

I think I’ll just leave his email un-answered.. I got a feeling he is used to that


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