May 25, 2016 in Games (E)
[prMac.com] Singapore - OrionArts PL updates its one-minute killer running game "I am Barbarian" by raising the difficulty bar. Replacing its randomized obstacles with a fixed sequence of even more tightly-paced death traps and new environments, the game is set to evoke a stronger sense of nostalgia among the fans of retro platform games. It is also made available for the Windows platform following the content renewal.
On the surface, increasing the difficulty of the game seems like a counterintuitive move. Post launch statistics show low completion rates despite each session lasting only one minute or less. Between the problem of being too difficult and not being tight enough for a retro-styled game however, the 35 year old creator behind the game Koh Siang Leng, opted to "fix" the latter.
Koh elaborated that the old school platform games used to make players feel good about mastering a difficult game with repeated plays. While the randomized obstacles was initially built in to keep the rogue-like nature of "I am Barbarian" fresh for players every time they start over, they are less likely gain confidence because there's no sense of familiarity to build upon.
To improve first time gamer's experience, the obstacle sequence was fixed and all the slack in between were trimmed to make the game tighter and harder. This would enable players to then memorize the rhythm of the game over time, and prepare them to get past the thrilling acrobatic displays of cascading bricks, stiff-necked giraffes falling over and swinging levers.
There are plans for an "I am ..." series of Super Casual Games, so the first installment is expected to go through a few rounds of adjustments till satisfactory metrics are achieved.
As noted by many indie developers, game making is a mix of art, science and luck. Nobody really knows what is going to work until the players show their hand. And while analytics can help developers narrow down issues with the game, developers still need to rely on their instincts to tweak their work until they achieve a desired baseline. In the case of "I am Barbarian", its developer hopes to get its players to save the Princess at least once.
Koh built the game with some input from his four year old son in his spare time over a course of two months. The game was later officially released under OrionArts. On the style differences and branding concerns, Koh explains "Sustaining a game development studio is hard, especially in Singapore where talents are hard to find and manpower cost is expensive. We've been working on 2 rather ambitious projects for the past year and have not had any showing in the App Stores for quite some time now. I'm hoping this mini game could generate some buzz and extra income for our studio meantime. Doing something-- anything, is always better than doing nothing."
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 8.0 or later
* 10.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
I am Barbarian 2.0 is Free (with in-app purchase) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. It is also available on Google Play and Windows Store for free. Play on your mobile or PC if you have upgraded to Windows 10. For more information about the company and its works, please visit OrionArts online, or contact Siang Leng Koh.
Based in sunny Singapore, OrionArts is an indie mobile-game studio established in 2011, with a focus on creating games for the mobile platform. the company operates out of a retail unit in High Street Centre with 7 members. Notable works to date include a Zombie themed Reverse Tower Strategy game called "Swarm of the Dead" and a Physics game called "Toyzilla." Other than its official titles which boast of a higher production quality, they also have a collection of mini games which are used for experimental purposes and cross promotion. The studio is currently wrapping up 2 productions, "Super Cake Boss" and "Petagon," which had been soft launched and is currently going through adjustments. Copyright (C) 2011-2016 OrionArts Studio. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.