Continuing our countdown to Halloween games, we have one that is really dear to us...BECAUSE WE FRIKKIN' MADE IT. Check out our shameless plug for Count Crunch's Candy Curse, a mobile platformer! This one will have a little more dev-talk mixed in.
When we quit our 9 to 5 software jobs, we set out to start a new game. We foolishly decided in July that we would do a Halloween game for release that same year. We finally get in full swing by early August and were knee deep in development straight into October. We decided to try our hand in multiplatform development and release on ...*deep breath* iOS, Android, Windows Store, Mac Store, Amazon, Amazon Fire, and Amazon Fire Stick. That was a dumb idea, but nevertheless, we did it. Check out the trailer:
When we set out to make this game, the number one goal we wanted to achieve was to nail the Halloween atmosphere. So many games and movies just do not encapsulate the mysterious juvenile creepiness of when you were a kid on Halloween night. It's always jump scares, gore, or overly-kid friendly approaches. We wanted something fun but had a smidgen of spooky vibes.
The first few levels are an attempt to teach the player basic controls. It's not easy playing a platformer on a touch screen, but we tried hard to create a control scheme that would work. Many of the reviews agreed with us. We also supported the controller on the Amazon Fire Stick. Later levels will challenge you and force you to use your powers.
The story plays out that Count Crunch has escaped from a box of Count Crunch cereal, unleashing candy-filled monsters all over the town, terrorizing all the children. Skeleton Boy dons his mask and magic glowstick, from the cereal box, that gives him special powers that he can unlock. It's a standard progression style platformer; beat one level, unlock the next. Eventually you will get to the boss Count Crunch.
We kept the game short, due to the mobile platform. Play testing with people revealed to us that player's ability varied widely. Some people could not finish the first level, some finished the game in a freakin' hour! We tweaked things here and there until we felt it was a balance. We did a lot of balancing for gameplay, including when users get power ups (which happens when you collect candy).
It was a great development period for us. Probably the best part of it was that we got to start celebrating Halloween in August, haha! We're happy with the results, although the development cycle was extremely rushed. We are averaging a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. We ultimately had to make a free version (with in app purchases) as the mobile market just doesn't respond well to the traditional pay model. Even Touch Arcade pointed out that it was a bit refreshing to see a classic style game show up in a time when everything is freemium.
Give them game a whirl! If you dig Halloween, you'll get what it's all about. If you like it, spread the word!