I've had some requests to create a place where players can post questions and discuss tactics, so here it is! Sorry it is a bit rough around the edges right now. Hopefully I will give it some polish if it takes off.
Please feel free to post in the Discussion or Suggestions boards. The 'Create Thread' button appears in the top right (I had trouble finding it at first!).
I saw the update in the game about the bug fixes and new levels, this is great because it sucks when an exciting game goes out of sync. Are there really new levels in the works? This is one of my favorite online games despite the sync bug.
The new maps will be free. For now there are only 2 new single player and 2 new multiplayer maps. The problem is that they take quite a while to design and populate and given that the game does not bring in much money, I'm taking time away from other projects to do it. I am considering creating and releasing proper editing tools to allow the community to create maps, new creatures and items and share them on the internet. The best ones could be integrated in with the official quest list. Again, this is a lot of work for me so I'm hesitant to commit, but there is always the chance it will help the game sell more and make it worthwhile!
Like others, I'm amazed that this game hasn't taken off. I guess today's game market is over-saturated. This the best multiplayer online game I've played. It is perfect for the phone yet very deep. I find that it is more exciting Julian Gollop's own Chaos reborn. I wonder if he has played this game. A few new levels would be great. As a new user, I was turned off that there were only 3 multiplayer levels. Today I know that each game is unique, and the levels don't matter too much. I would love a level editor one day. You've created a masterpiece from the character's animation to the level layouts. Large studios don't turn out games this good.
Thanks It's nice to here such glowing comments about the game! My aim was to make it very accessible on a phone, whilst also making sure it's not a shallow experience, so I'm glad you think it succeeds on that front. For me, too many mobile games are either very basic experiences designed to appeal to the mass market, or free-to-play games that are designed around timers and other mechanics that just limit the gameplay. I didn't want to make games like this, but sadly those are the kind of games that make money.
And you're right that the market is over-saturated. I get a lot of comments that people enjoy the game but came across it purely by accident. If you go to Google Play and search the App Store for 'The Last Warlock', you get 9 games listed before mine, none of which have 'Last' or 'Warlock' in their title and most of which have a lower rating than Warlock, but they are all free-to-play and have vastly more downloads than Warlock, and some of them have big marketing budgets, so they get listed at the top of the store.
Google Play is definitely not aimed at the small indie developer. The general public is amazingly callous with what they spend their money on (pay to play timers is the most idiotic concept I've ever heard of). No one wants to use their brain anymore, they'd rather throw money at a problem. This is very surprising, given the current financial climate, but I'm not surprised. I get the feeling most game purchasers are kids with daddy's credit card.
So unfortunately, when a good interdependent game comes along, it goes unnoticed, in most cases. What Alastair said about TLW being low on the list when its exact name is searched is a pity. Personally, every six months or so, I spend hours searching through RPG games on Google Play to see what's come out and, that's how I found this game.
I've pleaded with Alastair to make the game free with a full license IAP, but alas, I lost the argument; he won't budge. Nowadays, it's pretty much what's expected. Therefore, it is up to us dedicated users to help spread the word. So, if you can, write reviews and tell your friends.
My motivation behind this suggestion is personal. I want his next game to be released on Android. I hate to spill secrets, but Alastair is thinking of not releasing his next title to the mobile market because it's more trouble than it is worth.
Let's all try to help convince him it is worth it by spreading the word about this little gem. Sales motivate.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. A. C. C.
I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn. J. M.
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO SM-T900 12.2" - 32 GB with Android 5.1.1 (rooted and with custom stock ROM). Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T ‑ Wi‑Fi ‑ 32 GB with Android 6.0.1 (rooted and with KatKiss). Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 B8000F ‑ Wi‑Fi ‑ 16 GB with Android 4.4.2 (unrooted).
I've pleaded with Alastair to make the game free with a full license IAP, but alas, I lost the argument; he won't budge.
I wouldn't put it quite like that. It is something I occasionally consider, but I did try it already and it did not go well. The first release of Warlock was 'free to try'. You could play the tutorial to get a feel for how the game plays (and check it's ok on your device) and then there was one payment to unlock the full game. I had it up on the store like this for about 5 days.
Here were the reviews I got:
Lying jerks Tutorial is free. Real game costs money. I probably would have paid for it if they'd been honest up front.
There looks to be a gem of a game hidden in here if you pay. Without the unlock, there's no gameplay, not free-to-play.
It got two 3 star reviews and two 1 star reviews. All in all, over those 5 days, it only got 37 downloads, and no-one paid for the game. Contrast to the paid version, which has 164 reviews and a 4.6 rating (admittedly over a much greater timespan).
If I'd stuck with the free version, it would have just accumulated bad reviews and put people off even trying the game. I couldn't make the game truly free-to-play. That requires a complete redesign to integrate consumables and have timers and other things that don't really suit this kind of game. Also I hate those kind of games, so I just didn't want to make that. Free to try at least gives people who are sceptical the chance to see that the game is actually quite good.
What I feel I learned is: 1. Even free games don't get visibility on the App Stores. There are too many games, and the big game devs pump in too much advertising money. Small games don't get a look in unless they get extremely lucky and are sufficiently 'mass-market' (meaning simple). 2. If a game is free, the user has no investment in the game. They won't really give it a go and are prone to giving it a poor review for the sake of it. 3. People that look for free games expect the entire game to be free. It's well known that free-to-play games only make money off of 1% of their regular users. To make money, you need a game experience that plays indefinitely. It does not work with a traditional game that has an end to it.
So, that's how I ended up where it is now. As for my next game, well I have two possible games on the go. One is PC only, but the other is actually a free mobile game, that will likely be Ad supported. Even so, I'm still nervous that I won't be able to get the App Store visibility to make it worthwhile.
Well, I hate to say it, but I don't ever, under any circumstances, play ad-supported games. I'd hate to see you go that route, unless of course, there is an ad-free IAP.
As far as the bad reviews for the first few days of the IAP license, again, I see that as kids trolling. That's the standard model nowadays and, then you have to contend with this generation's sense of entitlement; they expect everything free - just given to them.
In our emails, I've cited examples, like Exiled Kingdoms RPG (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.fdgames.ek.android&hl=en).