Dev Armada – A Proposal

UPDATE: This post has turned into an actual event: www.pirate-jam.com

Seeking feedback on an idea I’m brainstorming: Hackathon + Sailing + YouTube

A rough draft PDF overview can be found here: Pirate GamesV2 (Updated Mar 10, 2015)

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Here’s the request for feedback I’m posting to Reddit’s /r/gamedev

Seeking Feedback: Hackathon/Jam + Sailboats + Reality Show

tl;dr: Game dev wants your feedback on “sailboat-based hackathon + video series” concept.

For the last 23 years I’ve been making games with non-traditional themes, in unusual development environments, and with interesting financial/legal structures. For instance, 9 years ago I started a studio in China which went on to make the first AAA Western console game 100% developed by a China-based team. Spicy Horse continues making games to this day, but with a focus on F2P mobile games.

Always seeking a new challenge, I’ve been brainstorming a way to combine some of my favorite pastimes: game development, sailing, and YouTube content (creation and consumption).

I’m here today seeking feedback and advice on what’s tentatively called “Dev Armada” AKA “Pirate Games” AKA “Will it Float?”

The idea:

Create a 10-day hackathon/game-jam; put it aboard sailing vessels in the Andaman Sea (Thailand’s most beautiful place to sail); insert competing teams of 3 devs per boat; allow for 7AM-12PM development; fill the remaining day with “pirate games,” sailing, diving, and fishing; film the whole thing; and release 30 minute episodes to promote the brand and finished apps. Finally, release the apps for free and generate revenue via YouTube, ads, Patreon, branded merchandise, sponsors, and other sources. Participants share in the financial success of each adventure. Repeat this 6 times per year.

Thematically, the video series explores a “fish out of water” narrative as participants overcome various challenges related to life at sea and development in remote locations.

The pilot episode will feature two sailboats (one mine, one belonging to and captain’d by friends who are sailing couple). Two teams of 3 devs will be flown to Thailand to participate in 10 days of development and fun. The resulting media content (video, apps) will be used to verify the concept and pitch the idea to potential sponsors, financiers, and future participants.

I’m looking for feedback in general. I have some specific questions in mind, but will wait to see the general feedback before posting those.

So, what’s wrong with the idea? What’s great about it? Why would you participate (or not)? Would you watch the videos? What’s your pirate name?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Change Log
Updated the PDF. Adjusted goals related to content type and theme. Old version of the PDF can be found here: Pirate GamesV1

Disappearance of my Sister, Mercy Covington

On November 10th, 2015 my sister went missing. Mercy Covington is a mother of three living in Dallas, Texas. Dallas PD believe Mercy may be in severe danger or has been a victim of foul play.

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Our family is asking for your help.

Funds are being raised to hire a private investigator. Dallas PD are overloaded and understaffed, so their assistance can only go so far.

A GoFundMe page has been put in place where you can lend your support.

Thank you for your support.

Critter Academy – Android Launch

Spicy Horse is proud to announce the launch of “Critter Academy” for Android devices.

Tower Defense meets RPG meets Deck Building Action with beautiful 3D art. Collect and train Critters. Battle in real time against friends from around the world. Establish a Guild and challenge others in the Tournaments. Defend and rule the Critterdom!

Critter Academy is the most prestigious university in the Critterdom. Students from around the realm travel here to learn the skills and magic necessary to compete in Critter battles.

As your battle skills improve, you’ll travel to new parts of the Critterdom, making friends and battling ever more powerful Critters.

Prepare to be pulled into a story spanning the history of the realm and the origin of the Critters. From the Critter miners in the lowest caverns to the royal family in the highest castles, this tale will take you on an epic journey of power and deceit.

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As we enter the 2nd week of 2016, Critter Academy marks the 7th release of a F2P mobile game from the development team at Spicy Horse Games in Shanghai. After 9 years in business, with the last 5 years focused on the development of F2P mobile games. We’ve launched some good games, made a lot of mistakes, learned many valuable lessons. Critter Academy is the distillation of all the learning – and I believe it’s the best mobile game we’ve made to date.

Grab Critter Academy for Android via the Google Play Store.

iOS version is scheduled for launch late January 2016.

November Alice: Otherlands Promotion

Did you miss your chance to grab physical rewards during the Alice: Otherlands Kickstarter campaign? Fear not! Due to overwhelming demand from fans around the world, we’ve put together a triplet of promotions you can use to acquire the Otherlands “Art of” book, DVD, or BluRay.

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To receive an “Art of” book, DVD, or BluRay, with free shipping to anywhere in the world, just complete one of the following deeds…

Reach Royaly Level 6 in Spicy Horse’s mobile game “Chains of Darkness”

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OR

Reach Royaly Level 6 in Spicy Horse’s mobile game “Heroes of Night”

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(iOS and Global versions of Heroes of Night launching on November 11th)

OR

Purchase a Red Hood Bag from Mysterious

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You can complete these promotions as many times as you like and choose a reward each time.

To claim your promotion reward:
When you reach Royalty Level 6 (also called VIP level)* in either game, contact Spicy Horse Support and provide your reward selection, full name, address, and phone number.
When you purchase a Red Hood Bag, include your reward selection in the purchase notes, or contact Mysterious with your reward selection and it will be mailed to you automatically.

Promotion ends at Midnight, 30th November, 2015 – Shanghai time. Royalty Level achievements or claims submitted or purchases made after the promotion end time will not be accepted.

This promotion is retroactive – if you’ve already achieved Royalty Level 6 (or above) in either game please contact support with your reward selection, full name, address, and phone number. If you’ve purchased a Red Hood bag, contact Mysterious with your reward selection and it will be mailed to you automatically.

*Click the top banner on the main screen to access your profile and see your VIP Level.

We reserve the right to reject reward claims that subvert the intention or spirit of this promotion.

Alice: Otherlands Asset Drop

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Contained in this post are links to digital assets for Alice: Otherlands.

This content was made possible by generous support of those who backed the Alice: Otherlands Kickstarter campaign. My sincerest thanks to all those who backed, supported, and worked on the campaign.

Otherlands represents a narrative exploration of Alice’s journey after the events of “Madness Returns.” Being fan-funded and deriving from the property’s film license, Otherlands carries an unusual, rogue-like status next to the “official” content contained within the games published by EA.

It’s uncertain whether we’ll see Alice continue to explore Otherlands (in film or games), or if her adventures will continue along a different path. Despite the magical nature of these explorations, their existence requires real world funding and planning – a fate controlled by mysterious corporate and legal doings.

For now, we have two short films and supporting art to sate our appetite for psychological adventure. Directors Troy Morgan and Ed Goin take us on journeys as unique as the characters whose minds Alice invades. Their visions add to the growing collection of art and storytelling that’s grown out of the Alice series.

Linked below are digital assets produced by the Otherlands project. These can be used to recreate the physical rewards from the Kickstarter – Art book, DVD, and BluRay – as they are the same files we used for physical production. Due to legal constraints we are unable to sell physical rewards outside of the Kickstarter campaign (now ended).

If you just want to watch the videos (not download the video files), you can do so via my YouTube Channel.

These assets may be reproduced and distributed freely, but not offered for sale in any format.

“Leviathan”
Full-res, Uncompressed Leviathan
Youtube/Vimeo Streaming

“A Night at the Opera”
Full-res, Uncompressed
Youtube/Vimeo Streaming

Disc Files
DVD ISO
Bluray ISO

Art Files
Complete Art Package
The Art of Alice Otherlands – Digital Art Book.zip
AOL Artwork Assets
DVD:BluRay AOL Cover:Disc Artwork

Music Files
MP3 Soundtrack

Content Listing for Complete Art Package

• High Resolution PDF of Alice: Otherlands Art Book (50 pages, full colour)

• High Resolution copies of all Spicy Horse Alice: Otherlands Artwork, suitable for printing- 22 full colour illustrations, namely;

– A Royal Blue Knight – Shu Yan
– A Wilde Mind – Zeng Shuo
– Above the Clouds – Shu Yan
– Alice 20000 Leagues Under – Joey Zeng
– Butchers Mind – Tyler Lockett
– Butchers Mind II – Luis Melo
– Lust, Money & Time – Zeng Shuo
– Otherlands Gallery of Minds – Lin Ran
– Painter’s Mind – Fancy
– Stone Queen – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Arthur Conan Doyle – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Bram Stoker – Shu Yan
– The Mind of Charles Darwin – Pt1 – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Charles Darwin – Pt2 – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Henri Matisse – Nako
– The Mind of Robert Lewis Stevenson – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Sarah Bernhardt – Zeng Shuo
– The Mind of Thomas Edison – Nako
– The Mind of Vincent Van Gogh – Chen Xue Jiao
– The Mind of William Morris – Nako
– The Others – Alice Otherlands
– Wonderland Transformed – Tyler Lockett

• Alice: Otherlands Logos / Spicy Horse Logos

• “Leviathan” Conceptual artwork – (Alice Dress Renders, Environment Concepts, Model Test Renders, Rendered Images/Stills, Story boards)

• “A Night at the Opera” Conceptual artwork – (Dragon Test Footage, Production Photos, Sketches, Storyboards)

• Alice: Otherlands MP3’s Soundtrack/Score – 2x MP3’s, composed by Walter Sickert

• Alice: Otherlands Wall Poster Artwork – High Resolution Download – 600mm x 1630mm approx

• Alice: Otherlands Graphics/Borders + Alex’s Artwork – 7x full colour illustrations + collection of design elements used in A:OL media

• Alice: Otherlands Blu-Ray & DVD cover/disc artwork – Suitable for printing or digital application

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Mysterious Sale

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Since its launch in June, Mysterious has sold dozens of fairy tale inspired bags and wallets to people around the world. Happy customers write us to express their reaction to the quality and presentation of our products. Here’s just one example:

The bag itself was just… Wow. I am blown away by the quality. The friends I’ve all shown it to have marveled at it as well. I was hesitant to spend so much on a handbag but as soon as it arrived and I started unboxing it at work, I knew I’d made a fantastic investment. The leather feels absolutely amazing and the lining is every bit as wonderful as it looked in the pictures, if not, better.

One thing I loved about the way it all came together was the mysterious protective bag (The QUALITY of this protective bag, too!) and the big heavy box. I’ve never really been one to purchase high-end leather goods or accessories, but I imagine that if I bought a D&G or Louis Vuitton bag, it would come with similar protection and storage accessories. 10/10.

Inspired by all the positive feedback, Yeni and I have added two new bags to the shop, and have plans for additional bags, wallets, scarves, and umbrellas to be added soon.

Time for a little celebration!

Let’s celebrate Halloween and the addition of these new products with a sale! From October 26th until Midnight on the 31st all items in the Mysterious shop are 10% off.

Use this code at checkout: Halloween10

We’ve added 200 of The Vorpal Purse
We’ve added 100 of The Big Teeth Bag

Get yours before they vanish like a vampire at sunrise!