July 8, 2016

What now?

I'm not sure if just developing games by myself is the best thing for me. It's been fun for the past half a year, but it's unhealthy physically (daily steps around 500, between kitchen and man cave), and socially (only communication is with my girlfriend). It is also extremely hard to break through and start generating an actual income (doesn't mean one shouldn't try, though).

I've had the opportunity to work on a few interesting subcontracting gigs while indieing around, and they've been challenging and equally fun. I also made a prototype as a gig for someone else, which was kickassingly fun; I got to develop fast and only needed to deliver a good prototype; a week worth of work.

I've also gotten a few offers to join a company, or start from scratch and co-found a company with others. Some publishing deal negotiations, too.

However, even though I appreciate all of it and many of them are very tempting, here's a few things I've enjoyed the most and could see myself doing. Let me know if you know anyone in need of anything like below:

Helping Others
Whenever I get to use my knowledge of game development to help others, I enjoy it a lot. Whether its been in form of art direction, Unity lessons, programming tutoring, audio design, game design, or even game development mindsets in general. I'm not a master in any of the previous, but I believe I am at least okay or good in all of them, which makes me a good "game development generalist."

It would be awesome if it was possible to do this as a partial business, in form of private lessons, classes, or existing teams.

People keep telling me how fast I develop my games. I try to keep my feet on the ground, but I guess it's at least partially true, considering all my games' development times. As mentioned before, I recently made a prototype in less than a week for a company and they seemed very happy with it. They wanted a proof of concept. I really loved developing it, as it was a quick thing and it seemed to really help the other party.

This is definitely something I'd be happy doing for a living; someone having a high-level idea they want to test in action, and I deliver.

Small Games
I do still get the kicks out of creating complete games, too! But if the game takes more than 2-3 months to finish, or if it's too content-heavy, I tend to get bored with it. I would love to deliver complete games based on others' ideas as subcontracting gigs, as long as they are small and casual. The terms would be obviously negotiable, whether it's a 100% work-for-money, rev shares, or other forms.

Starting Up
Founding my second actual game company would be nice, but it is extremely hard to find the right partners. It's very unlikely this would happen anytime soon. But I'm open for discussions. :)


It's been a cool ~8 months being an indie. Now it's time to take a break, do a little roadtrippin' in the U. S. of A. with my lovely girlfriend and friends, and just chill. Monkey out.

July 7, 2016

Unity + Asset Store = WIN

Recently I've had the chance to work on a cool project as a freelancing designer. We used a bunch of different tools - some in-house and some from Unity's asset store. I knew the power of asset store beforehand, but now it became even more clear.

There are TONS of ready-made tools, helpers, assets, effects, models and whatnot on the asset store for extremely cheap prices. I'll list my favorites here. I'm sure some of these will dramatically effect the development times of yours, too, if you give them a chance.

Dreamteck Splines (26.80€)

An insanely designer-friendly tool for creating anything with splines, including extruding meshes, placing objects, animating, etc. Almost any project can take some advantage of it.

Quickbrush (13.40€)

Designer- and artist-friendly tool to place objects on meshes with lots of customizability. An absolute must-have if you need to, for example, decorate your levels with prefabs etc.

I2 Localization (40.20€) 

I was worried that when ultimately I need to start localizing my games, I'd have trouble developing the tools for it. With a quick browse in asset store, I found this gem. Extremely easy and developer-friendly system with a complete localization implementation using either Google Sheets or local files.

Realistic Car Controller (44.67€)

For games that have cars, obviously. Again very designer-friendly implementation with lots of customizability. Includes not only the car behaviour, but also implementation for dynamic lights, audio, damage system, etc.


To give you an idea on just how powerful Unity can be especially when utilizing asset store, here's a game I made. It took about 3 hours from start to finish. It's not a shippable game obviously, but it has a lot of features that would take months to do from scratch if you wouldn't utilize the asset store.

In this game I used Dreamteck Splines, Realistic Car Controller, Quickbrush, and all the visual assets were bought, or downloaded for free, from the asset store. The visual assets I used cost about $3 to be precise.

The game required programming only to create the UI functionality and the finish line. Everything else was out-of-the-box ready-made Unity asset store magic.

Controls are WASD. It's an executable in a zip-file. Have fun!

April 14, 2016

Space Bang Launch Week

Space Bang has been globally available on the App Store for a whole week now. This post covers the key metrics and other information about the project and the launch.


  • $219 revenue (uncut) from IAPs
  • $2,300 revenue from UnityAds (~$20 avg. eCPM)
  • 4.4/5 average rating
  • ~24% day-1 retention
  • 20% day-7 retention (might be flawed)
  • ~1.5 avg. sessions per user

Similar to Monkeyrama, people seem to dig the game but don't necessarily stick around for that long. 

The game got some featuring but not nearly in the best places available. The best spot it had was the iTunes Home Page, Best New Games position #12 in the UK, which also brought in a bit more than 50% of all revenue.

It also got 191 other miscellaneous highlights here an there.

Considering the fact that the project took about 2 months to develop from start to finish, the metrics are quite a positive surprise for me as an indie dev. The first update (out 5th of May) took 5 days to develop, and if it gets anything close to the launch visibility, I'm already running a "sustainable business"! That is, if I can survive with just noodles and live in a cardboard box.

It took me by surprise how well incentivized video ads monetize, and how high the eCPMs can get especially during the launch week.

Another nice-to-learn fact was that the launch of Space Bang affected the downloads of Monkeyrama, and even Party Soccer, too. Nothing major, but some.

With the two actual launches I've now done (Space Bang & Monkeyrama), I've come to learn that Apple really digs quality over anything else. Even though about 3500 games get launched every week, it's possible for indie devs like me to get visibility on their store fronts even without a recognizable name, high marketing budgets, large teams, or long development times.

And obviously, I've started the development of my next game already. I call it "GTA Express." More of that later.

January 12, 2016

Freelancing, prototyping and beginning production (Update on the latest)

Been a little quiet lately on Part Time Monkey's behalf, so here's an update on the past few months.

An awesome unannounced Best Fiend title is in development at Seriously, which is in need of a Senior 3D Game Artist. I was fulfilling that hole for a while, and can recommend the project, team and work environment to any experienced game devs!

Even though the above pros, I still felt the urge to come back and focus on my own projects for the full 100% I have in me.

Video: https://youtu.be/aj1mFCFL_sE

During my time in Seriously and a little after that, I developed a Pod Racing prototype (working title "123 Go!", above picture).

The idea was to make a basic racer-type game with higher-than-normal production values using ghost player data to simulate real-time multiplayer tournaments. While the racing and competing felt good, the "meta-design" of it just didn't feel right. Either it was going to be overly complicated or just plain boring after playing for a day or two. Also the way the levels needed to be created took too much time and after Monkeyrama I swore that I wouldn't do a game that required too much on the level production.

So I buried (or at least froze) "123 Go!" after two or three weeks of development.

Video: https://youtu.be/3xP5UQl6J8Q

Next up, I wanted to try make something similar to Hill Climb Racing but with, again, higher production values and a little something added (working title "OffRoad", above picture). 

The meta-design was supposed to be close-to ripped off from HCR with added features, such as being able to fine-tune your car's values and slot-machine type-of retention features. The racing feels pretty good and the car behavior varies quite much with its "bad", "medium" or "good" settings but, for some reason again, it's just missing that something. Also, whoever played the game felt that it's just "Hill Climb Racing with pimped up graphics."

So I scrapped (or at least froze) "OffRoad" after a bit more than a week of development.

Video: https://youtu.be/zGqzlNGyhp0

Currently I'm developing a space shooter game (working title "Space Shooter", above picture).

This one more or less follows HCR's meta-design as well. Long levels that can't be completed fully on the first try, upgradeable and changeable weapons and pod, etc. The levels are pseudo-randomly generated, i.e. they follow predefined curve-based rules for object type and probability, but some of their properties are random such as position and scale. This way creating levels is fast, and they feel the same with minor changes every time you play them.

The game's been in development for a bit more than a week now. I'm aiming to publish it in March/April but you never know, of course.

"Space Shooter" will be free with IAPs and incentivized ads. After the previous premium-test with Monkeyrama, it seems like the only way to go - at least for now.

Speaking of Monkeyrama...

Video: https://youtu.be/ISBcx-l38dM

While developing the prototypes, I also switched to a free model on Monkeyrama and developed it for Android (it needed more than one push of a button in Unity! At least three.) I also integrated my "game portal" in it, which updates its content online so I can cross-promo my other stuff more easily.

The first chapter is fully free to play, and the rest of the content (3 episodes with 84 levels each, 4 Challenges) can be purchased with $0.99. 

It'll be out as free on iOS and Google Play on the 14th of January. Unless I f*ck something up.