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2009 Retrospective

Oh... a new year has come and it's time for a view back on the year past from a Spell of Play perspective.

2009 was a social year for me. TWTPB launched late 2008 and much of my energy went into marketing and getting the word out there about twtpb, hUb and Spell of Play in general. This was also the time when I discovered twitter and I quickly took it to my heart... probably a bit too much Sticking out tongue There is even a way for you to connect your spell of play profile and twitter profile, via our twitter app Game Twtr

Via twitter we got a bunch of followers and visitors to our website, I tried doing twitter contests, blogging contests, appeared on some pod-casts and also a web show featured the spell of play homepage. We then decided to host a small game development gathering called SoPCon in Gothenburg. We also managed to end up on a list of Swedens hottest small game developers resulting in some local radio and tv-interviews. Things where looking good!

However, as it seems reality catches up sooner or later Sticking out tongue and I've felt quite uninspired, burnt out, call it what you want after summer. The end result was that I did not manage to pull through the latter half of 2009 and the result is that the number of visitors to the site is at an all time low Sad Not much is happening and I've not been able to do much about it.

I also have not been able to get a real start on any new game projects this year. I'm torn between continuing working on TWTPB (I have some ideas for an expansion), Project L and some new ideas I have been experimenting with lately.

So what is my vision for 2010? What I would like to happen is to get the online community working and have some proper integration with our games. I want the homepage to feel more alive and kicking than ever! I would also like to at least start a new game project. I also have a number of improvements to the hUb backend that I would like to get on.

What will definitely happen is that we'll push our games to appear on Gamers Gate and also a port of TWTPB to XNA -> XBox is more or less done. So I hope we'll get accepted by Microsoft.

I will try to play more games 2010 Smiling

I hope your 2009 was good and that 2010 will be even better for you!

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Better Text Input in hUb

A new version of hUb has just been released, this is a very minor update but it features some long awaited improvements to the text input and scrolling. You can now use the common short-cuts when writing text (ctrl-combos, home, end etc). The scrollbar is now much more forgiving when it comes to hitting the actual bar and you can also do "page up" and "page down" by clicking above or below the scroll button.

As usual this is automatically updated when you start hUb.

hUb Server Offline (resolved)

Due to some technical problems (server hardware crash) hUb currently only works in offline mode. You can of course still play the games you have previously installed.

We're working hard to get our server up and running again and we hope to have it online in at 18:00 (GMT +1).

Thanks for your patience.

Update:
As it seems the crash was more serious than we first estimated. We're working hard to get everything back online and we hope to have a solution up and running during the day.

Update:
We now have a server up and running again and we're working hard to restore the game distribution system on it. Hopefully this will be up and running soon.

Update:
The hUb server is now back online. Unfortunately we had to make some major changes forcing a complete reinstall of hUb. This means that you will have to reinstall your games. On the up side we now have a better server giving you speedier game downloads.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Chat in hUb

A new version of hUb has just been released adding a chat. Now you can post your comments on games, chat with other gamers and developers directly in hUb!

This functionality is in beta state and we appreciate any feedback or comments.

As usual hUb will update itself to the most current version and no extra work is needed from your part.

New to hUb? You can read more and download on our play games now page

Enjoy!

Sense iteration 4 released!

Finally some work completed on my game Sense: Survival Prelude. This one adds lots of new gameplay mechanics and a bigger map. Play on hUb now!

Feedback is appreciated!

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Sidetracked... but there's a reference game now!

Hello all,

I've been working on games alright, but I've been REALLY sidetracked lately by my discovery of Speech Level Singing.

Never fear though, I finally managed to write the MVC reference game that I had promised. Discuss it in this forum thread.

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Hidden Object Games

So while things are progressing a bit slow at the moment I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I hope I'll get back on managing the site and developing some games in the near future! I've massed some creativity and feel really inspired to work on Project L again!

In the mean while I'm writing something about casual games and more specifically the genre hidden object games. This genre is the absolutely most popular casual genre at the moment. The latest being the hidden object game; Big City Adventure: New York City

To be honest I though that this would just be a fad in the casual games market, but as it seems the top casual games are mostly hidden object games! While the gameplay in the game are dead simple, basically click on a certain set of objects on a cluttered scene (with some variations on this) production values of the games are top-notch. The theme of the games also seem to lean towards the mystery/horror genre many of them having quite gruesome stories in them. A bit like an Agatha Christie novel.

As it seems this is a winning combo in the casual games market; keep the gameplay dead simple, add top quality graphics, music, user interface and a mystery story. Just check this list of the best hidden object games out.

So have you played a hidden object game at all? Why not? What did you think?

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