Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Game You Win by Losing

So, if you read my first post, you know that I am finishing up a card game called Flummoxed. Flummoxed is actually a game my Dad has been wanting to make for about 15 years now. Originally called Pink Puppy, Flummoxed has gone through a lot of changes, and names, over the years. The game is based off the old Casino game Red Dog (also known as Acey Deucey or In-Between).

One of the main problems with Red Dog, and likely why you won't find it at casinos anymore, is how difficult it is to win. I'm sure the casinos didn't see that as a problem, but players did, and eventually the game all but disappeared. My Dad's idea was to revive Red Dog as a game you won by losing! And so Flummoxed was born (after a long, twisting history, and at least 4 different names).

The base idea of Flummoxed is the same as Red Dog. You ante 1 point and are dealt two cards face up. You can then raise your bet anywhere from 1 to 4 points. Another cards is dealt face up. If the value of the card falls in-between the first two, you win. The payback varies based on the spread between the first two cards.

The real difference in Flummoxed is that you can also win when you lose. If you lose at least six hands in a row (or more at higher difficulty settings) you get a large bonus, called a "Flummoxed". It is almost impossible to win a round without getting at least a couple Flummoxes, hence the tagline, "The Game You Win by Losing".

Of course, there is nothing more annoying than getting five losses in a row and then getting dealt two cards with a huge spread, almost ensuring you will win the hand and reset the losing streak. Luckily, you start each round with five "passes" that let you fold a hand without winning or losing. Your streak stays intact and you get to try again. When you do get a Flummoxed, your passes reset back to five.

Programming Flummoxed has been a lot of fun, and a real learning experience. In future posts, I hope to get deeper into some of the actual coding, sharing some of what I have learned, and hopefully learning more from the people who comment. I will post as soon as I get Flummoxed submitted (right after I enjoy some sushi and warm sake as a celebration!)

Almost there...

The journey is almost over. Or is it just beginning? Either way, an exhausting 2-year project to learn Objective-C and develop a game for the iPhone is finally about to bear fruit. And thanks to my ADD I have 5 games at various stages of development (all pretty far along, actually).

The first to hit the app store will be Flummoxed, a card game I've been working on with my Dad for nearly a year. It's been a true collaborative effort, with my Dad and I doing the programming, Stephanie working on the music and Amy Grubbs doing a lot of testing.

Flummoxed is going to be a 100% free, ad supported game. I have iAds integrated and working, but due to their low fill rate (around 15% from what I hear) I'm adding code to use adMob as a fallback. This is the last task I have remaining before Flummoxed is ready to submit to the App Store.

Needless to say, I am very excited and nervous as well. I will use this blog to detail my experience with the submission process as well as discuss technical issues I encounter while working on the rest of my games.