Those in the know

There’s an old adage that you should stick to what youre good at. That’s why when a good game comes out reviewers will often look at the developers pedigree.
There is nothing worse than some fly by night programmer wannabe that has no love nor understanding for videogames clogging up the market with his soulless products.
It’s not often that Gametrender will deviate from it’s usual informed and educated perspective to absolutely say how Earth shatteringly brilliant a single game is. Well ladies and gentlemen this is one of those occasions!
Orange Pixel is the developer in question and their love of gaming and sense of fun exudes from every pore of their new game ” Super Drill Panic  “. Taking the simple template of the vertical runner genre, you know the type, where an object/character drops onto different platforms and is steered left and right while the screen slowly descends, if the screen catches up it’s game over.
Well this is where Orange Pixels’ game stands out. Firstly there is a story behind it, with an adventurer crashing in the jungle and blundering through hidden temples in pursuit of treasure. The gameplay is also spot on, with no glitches and also some great retro inspired graphics.
The point where the game starts to become better then it’s peers is when you realise that there is more than one level and even a shop to buy upgrades such as run faster boots. Then to make it even better there are great unlockable extras like arcade mode and even a whole new character and story!
But what really shone out for me was the games personality which shows how the developers actually care intimately about games. The little touch of the character dropping references to classic past titles like Paperboy and Rick Dangerous it’s not only hilarious but also filled me with nostalgia and made me realise what a great heritage games have.
Orange Pixel, games by gamers for gamers, and that makes all the difference! gametrender.blogspot.com

What forums can teach us

Here at Gametrender one thing we know is our Android games, it’s our bed and butter and day to day business. However when we started to explore the forums we were in for a pleasant surprise.
Obsessed with new, better, more and the fact that new games come out at such a ridiculous pace means that so many great games become swamped under the deluge of titles that arrive on a seemingly second to second basis.

The Android market its often criticised for its lack of filtering and search unfriendliness so it becomes so hard to find what we might enjoy. In the name of Research gametrender recently set off to explore some of the wilder reaches of the internet. It reminded us very much of a certain locale in Hyde Park, London. In the park is an area called Speakers Corner, here on a small raised platform anybody can climb up, whenever they wish and harangue the crowds with their opinion, whatever it may be. Well the forums, and there are many hundreds of them are just like this with everybody having their own personal soapbox to climb aboard and shout from.

However from a gamers perspective they are pure gaming gold. All the little hidden gems that we might have missed can be found there, whether the forumites opinion on what is or is not a good game is irrelevant, as the android market is so happily filled with freeware that once you’ve got a games name you’re only seconds away from having it on your phone. That’s why I’ve found and enjoyed obscure titles like Wordwrench, Barr, Buka and Trapped.
Very likely those are games that for me would have been buried forever in the markets vaults, but a little but of digging has led to some great, and free, fun.
Just remember though in the fast paced gaming world that amateur opinions are great but Gametrender will always be there to provide you the customised service that you need to find the best games and apps that suit you.

Very particular

The market is all well and good for vaguely directing you toward the type of game you want. If you want an adventure game or a racer then you’ll probably find what youre looking for quite easily. But what if you are very particular about what you want?
What if you are not just looking for a racing game but a top down racer with an advanced career structure, three driver avatars to choose from and set in a multitude of environments including tropical islands and inner cities. That’s where personalised game selection by Gametrender comes into it. Only by communicating with a real person could you hope to get exactly what you want. This is the service that Gametrender hopes to give you.

How big is it?

World of Warcraft changed the gaming landscape in so many ways. Over time it became cool to game online, have virtual friends to game with and spend a substantial part of your time in a make believe world. It was and still is one of the largest generators of capital in video gaming history. Alongside the rise of online gaming has also been the overwhelming expansion of social networks. It is now almost unheard of for someone to not, at the very least, have a Facebook account. Into this maelstrom of online connectivity has come the new generation of smartphones. With fast internet connections, speedy processors, good graphics and slick user interfaces users are conducting more and more online activities via their phones. It is on the strength of this that online massive multiplayer mobile games are becoming huge. The granddaddy of these being Pocket Legends with it’s various iterations having a huge following. Gameloft has also added to it’s repertoire by introducing the cross platform game  Order and Chaos  which could be huge. Also just coming out of beta is  World of Midgard , another cross platform game which has been so hyped that it had better be good! I’m sure there are other examples out there but the point being that massive multiplayer has become very big on mobiles and due to the always on nature of mobiles and continuous availability of them once again redefines the gaming landscape.

And then it got Big!

So marketing campaign firmly underway we were quite happy bimbling along and re-translating the occasional app on the market and had just finished another optimisation for a client called ferreiradevelopment.com when he emailed back with an interesting proposition: ”I had an idea here. I got the hangman application which was made ​​entirely in Portuguese. I need to translate it to english, but i don’t know what words are easy and hard. So i need to help with that. I have de source code of game all done, beucase i did it in portuguese. So i need only the translated words. I don’t know if a english hangman application will be good sold at android market, but if you want to translate that for me”

(Please note his use of English and you will see why I thought he’d be the ideal client!)

And so with that simple email I was started on the road that would eventually lead to being a partnered publisher on the Android market itself! gametrender.webs.com

Where from here?

So a game on the market where to next . Well now that I’m starting to see the other side of the gaming spectrum I’ll keep updating you and tell you how it goes. Already seeing some insight into how things work on the market which I’ll tell you about. Also trying something different with the app and aggressively marketing the app  via ebay, gaming forums and review site. All an interesting insight into the world of mobile gaming and plenty of information about marketing . So lot’s more stuff to write about in subsequent posts!

Just remember gametrender.webs.com

Oh and of course please download!:

Hangman Mania! https://market.android.com/details?id=air.ferreiradevelopment.hangmanMania&feature=search_result

Life on the Inside

So life as a developer, now that I had ‘cracked the big time!’ I had to work hard time wise and thinking wise to get our app to market. Joao my business partner was already published on the Brazilian Android Market with https://market.android.com/details?id=air.forcalite&feature=search_result

Our idea was that we would take his Porugese version of Hangman and add new categories and words to make an English version. All in all it probably took about three days of work on both our parts to get this to market.

Joao of course concentrated on the programming side and I used knowledge gained from a previous life as an English teacher to conjure up categories(transport; clothing;colours;food;animals and more to come in the future) and words. When my creativity ran dry I would turn to the internet for inspiration. But all the time vetting and editing to decide which words would go into the easy; medium or hard categories.

I would have found it a much less worthwhile task unless I had made some crucial desicions right at the beginning. I found it so important to have a design philosophy . The overarching decision was that words would not just be categorised according to difficulty of spelling but also as to how obscure the words were.

The app was finally published on the market and now it remains to see how much of a success it will be. gametrender.webs.com

Our Core Business

Back to our original values in case you’ve forgotten, this is the reason that this blog actually exists and where we eventually want to get to. So if you’re interested then please contact us.:

Gametrender is an exciting new concept created by myself. At this stage of development we are an increasingly popular blog and a provisional website. In addition we have started a new marketing drive and are working to optimise app dialogue and descriptions for a handful of Android developers.The eventual endstate we hope to get to is to become a popular donation and ad supported website with strong links to app publishers.

How we hope to get there is by Trending apps for consumers.

A trender will be any Android savvy individual with a strong interest in predominantly gaming apps. The Trender will provide a personalised service to customers by recommending apps based on a customers individual likes.

So: If you want to become a Trender or have the required skills to get our provisional website up to a professional commercial standard OR are a developer looking to be trended then email me: gametrender@googlemail.com

Gametrender

Build it and they will come

Initial uptake after my marketing email was very good indeed with about three developers contacting me for work straight away and some for future work.

Another new client was Central Bytes : http://www.facebook.com/MonsterDefense . At this stage I was about to turn from a fixer of descriptions into a scriptwriter(almost)

Hello,
We are very interested in your proposition.
We can provide link to your website in credits window inside game.
I am attaching 2 files to this email: game description and app dialogue.
Thanks a lot!

I’d like to say that I did a good job on the game description https://market.android.com/details?id=com.centralbytes.defensecraft

But the real work was only starting! The developer had also emailed me his APK file which I had to go through with a fine tooth comb and change his awful English into something at least vaguely understandable! All I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t a RPG, as it ended up being a very late night indeed for what was probably only about a thousand words of dialogue!

gametrender.webs.com