So, Bungee Ninja seemed like a moderate success (see part 1) and now was the time to build on that success with an exciting, original, fun new game. So we did the opposite.
At the time, it appeared that a trend that was mildly popular within the "geek" community (us included) was gathering momentum. As such, we felt we could build something to capitalize on this interest and get it out quickly to meet demand.
This growing trend was... The Game. Sorry, if you know, you know. And just lost.
For the many who don't know, The Game is "is a mental game where the objective is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes a loss, which must be announced each time it occurs. It is impossible to win most versions of The Game. Depending on the variation of The Game, the whole world, or all those aware of the game, are playing it all the time."
Now you might be thinking to yourself "Russ, why would you build an app for a game whose sole objective is to FORGET about the game for as long as possible? Surely nobody will play and you will make no money"
To which, at that time, I would reply "You bloody fool, it's a growing trend! Like TheFacebook or MySpace"
We were the fools.
The basic idea was that the "player" would download the app, learn about the concept, then, whenever they lose, open the app again and tap the great big LOSE button. As an added "bonus" this would record where in the world they lost. Players could then go to a website we made that shows where all people have lost across the world.
Sold on the idea yet? No? Ok well how about if I told you that we actually charged for the app?!
Yes, amazingly this seemed completely logical. We realised that ads wouldn't make much money because the idea was to NOT open the app. Therefore, it seemed the only way we could make money was by charging upfront.
I apologise profusely to anyone who bought this garbage (all 20 or so of you). Feel free to contact me for a free promo code for Taps.
There really is little need for a post mortem of The Game - The Ultimate Mind Virus. It took about 4 weeks to make, had virtually no downloads, and was just plain bad.
What should you learn from this yucky chapter in my game dev history?
- Don't make awful games
- Don't make games whose sole purpose is to NOT be played
- Don't charge for awful games
So after this failure, what did we do next? Fortunately, I had something much more ambitious that I had been designing.