After an amazing 2 months in the wild, we decided it was time to let fans of Party Golf have some brand new content. Since Party Golf launched with dozens of trials, hundreds of customization options and limitless procedural generation, we decided that something a bit different was in order.

We’d been kicking around the idea of online support for Party Golf for a while now, but the various challenges of getting the game up to a high standard over the internet, whilst also staying true to our philosophy of couchplay first, we thought of something a bit different.

That’s where Online Leaderboards come in. As many of you know, Party Golf has a trials mode, where you can replay a certain set of holes with a certain powerup, ball shape etc. To encourage people to continually strive for better scores, we now list the global top 100 of all player’s scores for that course, along with your score relative to other players, and amongst your friends.

This is to incentivize players to try every trick in the book to try and get higher and higher up the leaderboards. What’s more, is that us the Giant Margarita devs will continue playing these trials, to assert our dominace, and try and remain at the top of the leaderboard. Whilst our Lead Designer Ian is a wizard at Party Golf, we know there are some people out there who can challenge him, and we would love for any challengers to step forth and show him how it’s done.

Online Leaderboards are available now for PC, and in the near future for PS4.

After 18 months of development, Party Golf is finally available for purchase on the PS4 and Steam for PC. We’re so excited to finally let the whole world know about what we’ve been cooking here at Giant Margarita, and the response we’ve had from people so far has been overwhelming.

 

Cheers to the fans, see you on the green 😉

There’s been radio silence here at Giant Margarita. But that is due to us working feverishly day and night to get Party Golf ready for launch. And that launch date for PS4 is…..

OCTOBER 4 2016!

Woohoo! After a Quality Assurance process with Sony, our release date is set in stone. Code-wise, Party Golf is is almost gold, with a few tweaks being prepared for our day one patch. We’ve prepared a truckload of marketing materials for the game, and I thought I’d share just a few with you right now.

Here are some fabulous gifs of the game in action:

 

 

And the main attraction, our launch trailer! We hope you enjoy. Remember, Party Golf is available for PS4 on October 4, 2016. Steam is coming straight after the PS4 release, before the end of the year.

 

Get ready to golf.

 

 

What a crazy time of year! We’re bouncing from one event/game/games-jam to the next. A man gets tired.. Anyway, the show must go on.

We’ll be having a Festival of Bright Ideas encore for the UTAS Open Day on 30th of August. We’ll be showcasing Party Golf and for anyone who missed out, come to the Centenary Building and partake in merriment. In the meantime, a PC demo for Party Golf is currently available here.

The full PC version of Party Golf will be available to purchase very soon, we’re just ironing out a few kinks to make sure it’s fit for use. This should be available Soon™.

What a month it’s been!

 

After winding down from our latest games jam, and dealing with the biggest snow dump in two decades, we’ve been busy getting a variety of things in order. 2016 looks like it’s shaping up to be a really defining year for Giant Margarita, and we’re quietly excited to release Baggage Handler to our fans, amongst other things 😉

But that’s not what this post is about! What we’re talking about today is the release of Party Golf 1.1 on OUYA. The following patch notes come direct from the desk of our Lead Programmer and Dear Leader Ian Lewis.

– Fixed an exploit where some players were able to shoot slightly further than others despite no custom settings for this and as a result generally improved controller responsiveness
– Improved Random Per Round game mode experience
– Minor bug fixes for end-of-round conditions
– Improved first-time player experience
– Left stick works in menus now
Heady stuff indeed! You can download the update today from the OUYA store. It’s automagic!

The midnight hour crept quietly by as the team worked steadily (and at times hysterically) through towards our first gameplay testing session. Between the 8 and 9 hour mark, we had a mess of elements on the screen vying for attention. Colours and movement galore, but most importantly playing with the little bits of game that had been cobbled together so far.

Screenshot 2015-07-24 23.08.24

9 hours in

And then finally the great coders called us in for a full 4-man testing session. At the 10-hour mark, we have a “game”. Mechanics, rules, predictable behaviour, goals. The whole shebang. Nothing is nederlandsegokken online casino too good for our baby. At this point, we had a Snake-like game very much cleaned up from what we had even an hour ago. More controlled and measured, each player competes for items on the stage.  Even at this early stage, we were tweaking the game live using modifiers to find a good balance of hectic and fun.

10 hours in

We started the session with zippy movements, dashing every which way on the screen. Frequently, we overshot our marks as we jockeyed for position. As we experimented with what we had available though, we found that that speed should be tempered with some slow (and in some ways agonizing) controls. Creakily turning as you watch your opponent barrel full blast at the target built up some good tension for such an early build. So at last we had at least one fun variation on our hands.

Now as we roll closer to the 12 hour mark, team members are skulking off to find small shadows to nap in and recharge batteries.

Hiya! My name’s Aran and I’m in charge of the marketing for Save the Teenies.

So here’s the big news: Save the Teenies has launched worldwide to great acclaim 🙂

If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you may have missed this momentous event. If you haven’t already, you should download the app for Android or iOS for free!

What I wanted to briefly talk about besides this great news, is how to market your app if you’re an indie developer. Obviously, this experience was hard won for me, and I wish someone was around to point me in the right direction.

Our game has been selling well over the last few days since launch, especially on iTunes and I believe that came down to one thing and one thing alone. Here it is:

Quality

If you’re app is not quality, it will never succeed. So you’ve made a Christmas game where you flap a santa’s hat through some candy canes (not at all like every other floppy/flippy/flappy bird clone ever) and you’re wondering why it is not shifting even one unit.

It’s because you’re app is lacking in Quality. Now that’s a really hard thing to say to someone who has put even a small amount of effort into a creative medium and shared it with the world. But it’s true. Rhonda from Mississippi doesn’t go to the App Store, browse for casual games and chooses to install Fluppy Santa 3 HD Christamas Edition when she could just download Angry Birds or Cut the Rope like her friends have.

 

How can we stand out on an app store that contains 1.3 million Android and 1.2 million iOS apps and have a hope of competing with those big guys always in the top 50?

 

You need to start from the start. Great idea and a Passion to construct that idea into an app. Drive to sell that app to the world. Accept small victories as big ones.

Great Idea 

Save the Teenies, while bearing a slight resemblance to other games, is unique. Not all unique things are good, but we think that our unique has hit the right tone of familiar and fresh. That idea was what started the whole long process.

Passion

Here at Giant Margarita, Save the Teenies was in development for nearly 2 years. That doesn’t mean it was continuously worked on like some Frankenstein super app. But it was the sole hobby of two talented developers who juggled full-time jobs and families to create the game.

And the game was good.

Drive

Getting our game onto social media like twitter and facebook early on was the best decision ever. I was skeptical at first. Who would like a game on facebook that didn’t exist yet? But people did, from all around the world. We got Save the Teenies fans in Slovakia 🙂 Social media before game lauch, preferably a month or longer seemed to work well for us.

Putting up meaningful posts, creating a, posting character teasers all helped to create a bit of a buzz.

We jump started the page by inviting all our friends to like the page after we made some promo banners and bootstrapped some content. That bought us around 300 likes (some people just can’t be told like things apparently). While not a huge number, that was now our springboard. We paid for some (very) moderate advertising on facebook to get our game out as well. This was a great decision, as for a really tiny (sub $100 dollars) sum of money and some careful audience targeting we were getting a steady stream of likes per day. These weren’t pay to like profiles either, we very specifically targeted our core audience, matched their app playing behaviors (in this case playing a game in the last 7 days) and only targeted western countries. This was to make sure that old Jimmy LikeAlot in Indonesia didn’t make facebook and his ungainful employer some money by engaging in like buying.

When the game was ready to launch, we posted a big launch post with all the relevant links, a gorgeous post image and a big thank you. We also crucially asked people to share the post with their friends if they thought the Teenies were cute. Result? 13,000 impressions around the world, 37 shares, 50 comments and over 100 likes. Not bad for a game with a marketing budget of a peanut from a company no-one had heard of three weeks before.

Reviews

To my mind, reviews for apps from unknown developers these days come in two flavours. Paid, or paid. You’re not going to get reviewed by a moderate sized website with good traffic without encountering a paywall. These sites will review your game for an “expedited administrative cost”.

Basically, an ad masquerading as a review. Whilst it’s hard to not want to cough up the money for some exposure, we here at Giant Margarita would rather have our app reach a handful of people, than engage in pay-for-comment type situations. The worst app in the world will have its praises sung to the heavens if the dev pays enough to the reviewer.

We submitted press releases to quite a few review sites and have received very little encouraging news. Time will tell if any reviews come out of this process. It seems that other indie devs are suffering from this blight just as much as us. Our advice? send out a nice email to some little guys, basically begging for a quid pro quo promotion and hope for the best. That’s not say that games don’t get reviewed for free, but they’re usually either games that are made by well established companies, or are games that have already taken off in popularity.

In my anecdotal experience, Rhonda from Mississippi doesn’t sit on app review sites all days trying to find apps to download. Rhonda just goes the the app store. Heaps of people read reviews, but the VAST majority do not before they click download on the App Store or Play Store. Better spend that time cranking your direct social media profiles, meeting people in person or creating attractive app icons.

So what have we learned from this long and sometimes discouraging process? It’s hard being indie. But that’s why we struggle, for the joy of making games.

To recap, once you know you’ve got a good game idea we’ve learned from our own experience to focus on these things:

  1. Creating, polishing and finishing a game so that it can stand next to big name games and not be laughed at.
  2. Getting your game on social media, creating gorgeous promotional materials and engaging as many of your real and facebook friends as possible. Burn the app name into their memory. Save the Teenies. Hard to forget right?
  3. Try for, but don’t obsess (and especially don’t pay) for reviews. What’s more important is making a game that 500 people liked and downloaded, than buying app reviews from people who didn’t care to game the system. And if your game gets a little bit successful? It’ll get reviewed in no time at all.

Indie is about small people making games from the heart. Getting that game out there is hard, but if you like it, the game is already a success