Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turbo marketing

No more calling home for Steve Jobs. I'm not really familiar with Apple products, but condolences to his beloved ones and many, many iFans. 56 is not an age to die, especially not if your head is still full of ideas and ambitions. Rest in peace Steve.

Pfew. The storm of emails and reactions is a bit over now. If you thought that demo movie was scary, I got my nerves in the throat as well last week! Having this unexpected, “massive” attention on the project is great free advertisement and can open doors, but is also scary at the same time. We hobby-developers, C++ and Turbo Pascal nerds may think T22 is sweet. But the common man who just wants to play a good game looks from a different perspective of course. It's either a cool product, or a piece of shit. If you buy a car, you don't care how much love was put into it, as long as it drives properly. In other words, T22 sort of got a little stress-test.

And... should I look for another hobby (such as whispering horses, playing flute, collecting Iranian stamps), or are we still standing? I suppose so :). Most of the reactions we're positive, a few hated it, and a couple found the second half of the demo movie an anti climax. Ugly HUD logo's, scripted shift!-run! (“QTE”) sequence, a goofy monster, and what in the devils name was that fat sprite doing at the end?

Taste differs of course. Especially when it comes to horror. I’m scared of clowns and porcelain puppets, others love them. Though some responders might have skipped the fact that this little demo-movie was done by a programmer without real art skills, in a 10% finished engine. Do you really want to know why the last part was scripted so much? Ok then... stair-climbing physics were still so bad that the player couldn't run up in a decent tempo. So I putted him on a rail, just like that goofy monster :D The available assets were very limited, which is why the weird robotic-hand comes from this test-model I made years ago in 5 minutes:

Third person?

Oh well, as long as the Angry Video Game Nerd doesn't say Tower22 is shitcrackers and he rather eats boiled apeballs, I guess we're ok. But sure, we still have a looong way to go. Rome wasn't made in one day either, especially not in the late night hours after a day of plumbing work! It's funny to see some think that we're actually almost done with a (sellable) Indie game. For example, I got mail from a website, asking if we could send a copy for review, as soon as the game is playable. I wish we can, but... do you have a minute?

As said before, we first need some more artists at least. The good news is that, just before T22 showed up on the internet, an extra person offered his help on the audio (when not busy with real work). Say hello to David Garcia Diaz(Espanol gringo):

The whole thing got me a bit thinking about... the Power of Internet (oooh). The reason why I'm not shouting T22 of the roofs, is because I like to make sure I show something good. Friends and others sometimes ask me about showing it to publishers, sending it to website X, doing aggressive marketing, and so on. Ok, I’m not trying to beat CryEngine or UDK, but showing half baked garbage is like cutting yourself with a knife. Imagine Apple shows a cheap plastic, not-white-colored, monochrome, clunky prototype of the iPad6. Jobs would beat the hell out of the marketing team!

It definitely becomes clear that internet can be a jump platform that launches you sky-high. Think about young talented boys & girls that suddenly got famous via Youtube. Or the amount of clicks Half-life fan websites get every day. But the Internet can also be a deep pitfall. To show you, here some professor Dolittle statistics:

amount of views on this Blog on an average day: ~50
...(half from them are looking for an Albert Einstein picture, or stuff like Horseporn)
amount of views on the Blog on Friday 30 September: ~2.000
amount of Youtube views last 10 months, 1 week ago: ~2050
amount of Youtube views today: ~28.500

Enough ego tripping, but see what I mean? Because of some "advertisement", the numbers mega-quadripled. If, say 80%, of the viewers leave with a positive feeling about T22, we can be proud on ourselves. On the other hand, if 50% or more doesn't really like it or even hates it, you have a problem. Now Tower22 doesn't involve money, commercial stakes, and neither was it under development for many years already. But imagine your product, blood-sweat and tears, got burned because it leaked in an unfinished state, or just because the majority doesn't like it? I can imagine some developers must feel really, REALLY bad if their (life)work receives a lousy 5.0 on Gamespot, only 2 stars at IGN, or a Crocodile Dundee Turd award for the worst game of 2011.

The first blow is half the battle. Now we weren't prepared to fight actually, but all in all, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Reactions such as "Thanks, another set of underpants ruined", "Dont give up on this!", or people who like to buy this non-existing game are heartwarming. More than ever we have good reasons to keep developing. Cause there is a lot to improve! For one thing, it's time to have a website that explains things a bit better. Although it's really fun to see people speculating about the game;

- Demo1 was a programmer "art" movie with very limited assets
- I know, too much (motion) blur sucks
- Don't worry, I hate QTE too
- The game is far from finished. First trying to form a proper team
- The game is not in Russia. Sorry for the confusion. But yes, the setting is inspired on it.
- Yes, the game is all about the story, and I won't tell you. Hence, some of the team members don't even know the story! Top secret shit.
- The genre is a platform-survival-music game. Ok, survival horror then.
- It all takes place in a massive building. Though it’s not only dusty corridors and Soviet-IKEA apartments…
- No military, failed experiments or spooky hospitals in this game.
- Most the time, you won’t see monsters or other badguys. Slow suspence, getting winded up, claustrophobia and sound should do most of the terror.
- The player is not named Robert (unless we really can’t find a name. I didn’t name my own daughter yet either. Picking names is so damn difficult).
- Your character isn’t an action figure, yet he won’t be completely defenseless either
- A next (Tech) Demo is planned end this year
- Another movie that shows bits of the gameplay and boogiemen is planned for 2012
- A true release date indication? When it’s done!
- The game uses a homebrew engine programmed in classic Delphi7. It uses the libraries OpenGL 2x, Cg, FMOD, Python and Newton.

I like to finish this post with quotes that made me laugh, cry, vomit, or piss my pants. Next time we're back on Compression DDS files!

"This shit is trippy",
"Boner at 3:40"
"YOUR MOM is more scary than Tower22."
"He’s a plumber? Now it doesn’t suprise me that at the
.....destroyed apartment the only thing that didn’t collapse was the pipe.
>>"It’s all a cunning plan to increase his plumbing business by making you shit bricks."

"but the monster encounter and very last bit were more than a little ridiculous."
"I can't wait to shit my pants :)"
"You're in my world now? Batman...."
"I shitted my pants. Twice."
"What the FUCK did I just watch?!?
......And who's going to pay for my now-ruined chair?
"Note to self: chairs aren't good at holding huge amounts of shat bricks "
"If i was playing I would of dived the fuck out that window at the end, falling to your death is better than staying in that fucking haunted shit hole!"
"do you play as steve form minecraft? he looks very blocky"
>> "it's actually steve holt"

“fuck watching this again at 1am "just before bed"
“I have a fever, and the onlyprescription is more motion blur”


  1. If you're wondering who was behind your explosion in views, I posted the video up on Reddit on the 30th. From there, the video's popularity must've soared. Thank you for working on this awesome-looking game! Can't wait to get the next taste of the game!

  2. And thank you too for supporting it! The more people seeing it, the more possibilities.