Time to get back to work!

A couple years ago I started Hyper Hippo a game studio in Kelowna, British Columbia Canada. Through a series of endless twists and turns the studio created more than 80 games in the last 5 years. Many of the games failed, but we learned a lot! We learned how to test, we learned how to validate, we learned about the mobile market and we learned how to listen to our the fans.

I am disappointed with the recent announcement from Disney about the closing of Club Penguin. I do not see a need to close Club Penguin. I understand that Flash is being retired, but the Web is not dead. With a couple clicks the current Flash World could become a stand-alone Desktop Application. Look to Minecraft. I am a designer, designers solve problems.

Two worlds collide!

For years I have been struggling to create a new Virtual World that would live up to the success of Club Penguin. I have watched a generation of players move from the web browser to the mobile device. I have learned that mobile is very different then the desktop. Yet both are key to the success of a modern Virtual World.

Time to be honest. When I heard the pitch for Hyper Hippo's AdVenture Capitalist, I thought it was a joke. How could a game about squeezing lemons and progress bars be fun? I was wrong. Very wrong. AdVenture Capitalist has more than 20 million downloads and continues to generate a couple million dollars a year. A quick glance at the Apple Charts and AdVenture Capitalist is one of the top 25 games downloaded. AdVenture Capitalist continues to surprise me and Hyper Hippo has become a leader in Idle Clicker games.

The secret to Idle Clickers is that they are popular with the "core" game audience. This is the same audience that plays MMOs like World of Warcraft and Virtual Worlds like Club Penguin. When you distill an Idle Clicker you will see an deep gameplay that drives Completion (collect stars, complete all missions), Power (leveling up, getting powerful gear) and a strong pull to see what you missed.

I am a leader in Virtual Worlds and Hyper Hippo is a leader in Idle Clicker games. It is time to create an Idle Virtual World.

But how will it work?

I don't know.

Back in January I decided to get back to work. My goal is to create a number of Virtual Worlds, MMOs and Idle Games that explore this idea. Each will focus on a unique set of features and social communities. Yet, they will all share a common server and development pipeline.

Here is a list of the worlds that I am working on:

Box Critters - This is a Virtual World similar to Club Penguin. You will create a character, explore the world, collect items and meet new friends. The economy will be different. You will collect coins and items with an idle generator. Help create this world and reserve your nickname. Visit: http://boxcritters.com

Unnamed MMORPG-Lite - Many years ago I ran a BBS Door game called Legend of the Red Dragon. I have always wanted to create a simple MMORPG where you create a hero, go on adventures, collect loot and save the village. This game has been fun to develop, and I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Unnamed Snail Tank MMO - For years I have had an idea of Snail Tanks. Hey I'm RocketSnail! This is a little word where you create a snail and battle with your friends. I have partnered with another studio to develop this game and expect to begin testing on Steam in a couple months.

2017 looks like an exciting year, and I look forward to sharing my new worlds with you. Got questions, tweet me on Twitter @rocketsnail

What are you building?

Many of you have been following me on Twitter and Facebook and I have been posting a series messages about my secret project call "coffee". The idea behind coffee is to start small and create a single multiuser space for desktop and mobile. My goal is to develop the following core features:

  • Server - I am using a Photon server to connect all the players.
  • Triggers - Triggers are locations in the scene that trigger an event. I currently have triggers that will move the player, start animations, open doors, activate monsters and change the player.
  • Accounts - I am currently working with PlayFab to develop accounts. Accounts allows each player to save their player profiles, characters, items and stats.
  • Chat - I am currently working on a couple ideas for chat. My goal is to create a messaging stream that will allow players to communicate when they are on and offline.

My big vision is to create a Virtual World with MMO features and activities. 

Game Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Added Analytics to my little MMO. One step closer for you to play around. Most game developers miss this step. It is critical that you know what is going on in your game. Imagine a submarine navigating without sonar. There are many great solutions out there. Try Unity Analytics, Google Analytics or Game Analytics. Next: Monsters or NPC characters.

The history of Grub!

Grub Yums! 

Grub Yums! 

When my mother-in-law would get upset, she would say "Grub!". I continued this tradition and added it to Club Penguin. This is one of the original messages penguins can use to express their feelings of frustration. Others included the angry and skull emotes.  

Grub appears in most of my games. Mech Mice makes reference to a food and weapon company called Grub Co and the mice say "Grub" when they are frustrated.

A little secret about Club Penguin

image.jpg

Want to learn a little secret about Club Penguin? I didn’t make it for kids. I made it for anyone that loves imagination.

Club Penguin is a world full of adventure, mystery and delight. You can be anything you want to be. A pirate that sails the seven seas, a thief that robs the pizza parlour, a ninja that masters an ancient legend, a secret agent, a barista or even an army that wages war on this little snow covered island.

I do not create kids games, I create games that kids can play. Club Penguin is for everyone

Club Penguin turns 10!

The First Newspaper

The First Newspaper

10 years ago today, we launched Club Penguin to the world. Over the years I have had the amazing opportunity to work with hundreds of crazy talented people and the opportunity to watch a generation of kids become creative young adults. In the past 10 years, around 400 million children have created penguins, made friends and waddled around. I look forward to the next decade.