Based in Antwerp, Belgium
December 11, 2014
Free Version for Android
ConceptThe world wide web is filled with tips & tricks, how to's, blogposts and forum threads about what a game needs to become the next 'thing'. These conditions probably help an app to find a way to get it done, but can they manage on their own? In essence every mobile game is roughly the same, you touch the screen and something happens. It's the visualization on the screen that dictates how one game differs from another. If one would try to prove or disprove the internet is right about 'What makes a viral game viral?', the gameplay should be stripped down to its core in order for the virality-tips to do their job independent of the game. This is exactly what we've done with 'The One' in a Million. The stripped down version of what's described above is a counter. The player taps on the screen, the counter counts (What else would it do?) and the game progresses. Build this, and you have created the most basic game. Done and done. But, is it a game though? It's not a fun game, but that's not a problem per se, there are enough examples of games that are not fun at all. Still, something is missing. Not everybody would agree a counter is a game, although we've all played the 1 + 1 execute, + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + ... game on our calculator back in school to see how far we would get to keep ourselves awake. We've all had that teacher who was less interesting than a calculator. What's missing is an endpoint, something we wish to achieve, a goal. Make the counter stop at some point and suddenly it's a game. You can win, therefore it's a game. There you have it, the basic mobile game. We've implemented this basic mobile game (which wasn't very hard) and started working down our list of things-that-make-a-viral-game-viral. By the way, no luck so far... It seems the internet was wrong, which is strange because that never happens. Perhaps one day it'll explode. I'm a patient guy.
ImplementationOn top of the counter-game, our work-title at this stage (not true, it was Click-s), a set of rules should be implemented. These rules are carefully selected (not true) by days, perhaps weeks, (not true) of work ploughing through all possible results (not true). We've consulted professional agencies (not true) and independent bloggers (not true). For those who question our honesty, I personally guarantee (not true) these rules are not made up on the spot. Now our authority on this subject is established, you'll find it easier to accept this ultimate list of rules which guarantee a viral game:
- Be beautiful
- Be social
- Be frustrating
- Have achievements
- Have a goal
Be beautifulWell, this is a hard one to describe. You'll have to check out the end result for yourselves, or take our word for it: THIS GAME IS GORGEOUS!!!!!
Be socialWe've implemented a foolproof mechanic that will insure you'll share the app on every social medium you've ever spend time on (including geocities, it's coming back, that's what the insiders are whispering at least). There is even an achievement for doing so, you know you're setting yourself up for success when you manage to combine multiple rules.
Be frustrating... it's a counter, what's not frustrating about that?
Have a goalHere is the thing, if you've read all the way from the top, it may be hard to convince you I'm perfectly honest this time. This game does have an endpoint, as a matter of fact: it has two. For the first ending I can give you a clue 'the truth is in the title'. The other one is fairly obvious, if a counter has 7 digits it can count only so far... Both endings are very real, there is a hidden truth about this game, this app is much more than you would guess. Unless you guess right, in that case this app is exactly as much as you guess, which is still a lot! For those who like guessing-games, I repeat: 'the clue is in the title', for those who don't: better start tapping, you've got a long way to go.
ConclusionAll of this is a load of crap (Except the thing about the endings, that is completely true, I swear.). Just build a great app, this is the only marketing that should matter. And yes, at the moment I'm typing this both of my apps have less than 500 downloads. That may indicate there is something wrong with my argument, or my apps, ... let's go with arguments ... "Even if a monkey wears a gold ring, it is and remains an ugly thing." ... perhaps that didn't translate as well as I hoped.
Every new company needs a 'first project', this was it for us. "Everybody can participate, everybody starts as equal and can climb the ladder of success." they said. "The sky is the limit." they said. Naively starting off our adventure in the 'World of Android Freedom' resulted in an immediate reality-check. Android is the indie developers dream, it takes virtually no budget to develop and publish an app with the world as your area of distribution. After more digging around, it became obvious this task would be harder than it seemed. Instead of wining about it, this became the theme of our starting project.
WhyI feel obligated to explain why I do certain things and make certain decisions. This honesty keeps my egocentric self from taking over. If I force myself to be able to explain myself afterwards, I'll try to do the right thing instead of the smart thing. Doing smart things most of the time means doing something sneaky so you'll fare better than an other. I don't like sneaky. Having said that, everybody should manage their company as they please, it is not my place to judge or even care about what other people do, so I don't. If you've installed this game you'll understand it wasn't created to be the next flappy-crush, rake in the money and rule the world (If you're looking for that type of game, check out Balls, that's our this-will-make-us-riche-and-we'll-be-ruling-the-world-soon-project). 'The One' in a Million was mostly meant to pave the way for projects to come. It would've been unwise to test all practical issues with a game we believe has real potential. Having no clue how the Google Play Store works for instance we would be setting ourselves up for a failure going in blind with our good app. (I'm sorry 'The One' in a Million, you're lovely as well, but you know how we feel about you and your big brother. He has more potential, he can make us riche. We know you are the funny one, but nobody ever picks the funny one. There will be a few people who will understand you, but the rest will one-star-rate you. You understand mommy and daddy need to eat, right?) As it is an app that was mainly created to help us understand how to publish an app and configure the in-app advertisement banners and interstitials, the content could be considered irrelevant. This allowed us some freedom, which we used to create something more conceptual than practical. Probably nobody will ever know what this game is really about and what the 'hidden secret' is. It's an interesting feeling, knowing something is buried in the deep somewhere, without anybody knowing about it. It's like a time-capsule you hide for a future generation (or aliens). It will most likely never be found and if it is, the context will be so far lost it won't make sense. That doesn't mean it is my wish this is how it should play out, you won't hear me complaining if suddenly the world understands what is going on. But at the moment this is written, the world doesn't know, the world doesn't care, the world is doing its own thing. A few hundred people have walked upon the earth where the treasure is hidden, but nobody cared enough to start digging.
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About Gummi Entertainment
Gummi Entertainment is a one-man-team (for now) with an ambition to carry out projects that are worth it. This may seem like an empty statement, but it translates to a very specific philosophy that can take on various forms depending on the project.
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'The One' in a Million Credits
Development & Design, Gummi Entertainment