Monday, July 20, 2009

Bunni Beta and Casual Connect

You should play Bunni here

Two small announcements: 
  • Bunni: How we first met is now in public beta. There's still a bunch of work left to do. Right now we are stabilizing so that we can turn on the more interesting monetization and distribution features without creating an angry mob. 
  • I will be at Casual Connect in Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'll be attending talks, but if you want to meet up, drop me a note at danc@lostgarden.com. 
Some Bunni beta stats
  • Players have created 380,000 bunnies so far during the beta. 
  • This was primarily the work of one person, Andre Spierings over a period of 6 months. 
  • The game, in its beta state, scores 4.1 out of 5 on Kongregate. This puts it in the top 0.6% of Flash games. 
  • Bunni uses an extended set of the Small World Prototyping graphics that are available on Lostgarden for free. 
If you find any bugs, report them on the BunniBunni.com forums.
take care
Danc.

19 comments:

  1. Nice work! I'm especially excited to read a postmortem of the game, detailing your process of adjusting the game based on metrics. When's that article coming out? ;)

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  2. Congrats Dan and Andre! The game turned out great.

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  3. Wow, I LOVE IT. Totally awesome! Great work :)

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  4. Dan, I played the game last night for a bunch. It seems like it's maybe similar to Sim City or a "tycoon game", is that accurate? My big question about Bunni is(and it's my big concern with those games as well), what is there to create tension? Can I lose the game? It felt like I was very insulated, as long as I didn't like purposely try to lose.
    Anyway, nice work in general.

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  5. Nice work Dan, I went to check the game and I ended up playing for 3 hours. I guess I opened all the Islands. I am not sure where is the MMORPG part of the game? Any plans for multiplayer? also sounds like the kind of games that can be integerated with Facebook.

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  6. So I played along for some time, I gave them the fruit, they gave me the money. Monsters gave me a hard bargain but I'll make sure to get every gem 10x back.

    One day the bunnitshes made me stop like them a lot. the one wanted 500 gems, the other some "tiara". wtf is a tiara? It was when I decided that it was enough: I dropped by the shoppe and got me some bombs...

    Freaking bunnitshes are immune to explsions! I'm getting the fox out of here!

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  7. Congratulations. Great work.

    I completed the game. I hope you're planning on an ending animation for getting all of the hearts, the pirate dance one was distubing and the other one was cute. Something for total completion seems like a must.

    Had trouble towards the end getting gems fast enough, but I was selling a lot of fruit early on for wood.

    Try to find someway of expressing that the bunni are cheap and easy to maintain... I think my RTS experience caused a problem here. I was too conservative so it caused slow down at a couple moments.

    The first fox quest seems to have a few issues about knowing when a fox shows up, but someone has already posted as such.

    One suggestion, make your bug posting not part of the forum. I'm not going to join just to post a bug.

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  8. It won't run on the Wii's browser, for some reason.

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  9. The graphics are cute, the rules make sense, but there are some problems nonetheless:

    - Fruit tree drops, and more rarely any other bubbles, can be stuck behind a tree or other structure where they cannot be picked up. Having to bomb in order to get them is clumsy.
    Moreover, clustering fruit trees in "orchards" exacerbates this problem while spreading them around erodes the available area to grow rocks and trees.

    - Having to click on a bubble and then click on the same thing in the inventory and then drag it into place (usually near the original bubble) is cumbersome. The inventory queue also clutters everything around it (and itself), and it loses items when it grows too long.
    Did you consider a more conventional inventory system? Items could be picked up by walking near (also obviating the occlusion problems) and dragged into the playfield from a palette or menu.

    - Items for sale around stores are competing for user clicks with bubbles on the ground; in addition they waste a lot of space.
    Available items could be shown in a popup list when clicking the store, or simply appear in the palette of things that can be placed into play (showing the buying confirmation dialog when the player tries to place an item he doesn't have or from buttons in the inventory).

    Clicking and/or dragging existing structures should do something useful, like moving or dismantling the structure.

    - The copious and unlimited production (fruit trees beget fruit trees and all rocks and trees are cheap) isn't a good match for the very small environment: I run out of space very soon and very badly.
    A typical RTS has both a vast environment that can be nontrivially explored and intelligently colonized rather than filled to the brim, and a limited resource influx (e.g. a given set of mines plus something to compensate attrition).

    - Creatures cannot be dismissed; on the other hand, they literally grow on trees, meaning that too many for the capacity of the islands are accumulated quite soon.
    I dump them into unproductive sawmills or mines to twiddle thumbs. Maybe I could sell them, but I didn't try: it is both horrible and inconsistent with the game's premise.
    I did release previously bribed monsters from bubbles to bomb them dead, which is only slightly less horrible than bunni slavery.

    - Without score and victory conditions, ornamental trees and statues and the fountain are a pointless waste of real estate.
    The total creature count, the hearts, marriage and other quest outcomes, etc. are also meaningless but at least they don't get in the way.

    - There is no practical way to lose: the initial funds can only be reduced by deliberately selling at a loss and buying stuff.

    - Two women but no jealousy issues; what's worse, no need to choose between them.

    - Why can't I send the monsters to kill deer? Quasi-suicide bombing is a rather bizarre way to hunt.
    On a related note, shouldn't soft rodents be scared to death of foxes and monsters?

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  10. Adorable game, but the shallow portrayal of women made me sad.

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  11. Factual error; there are no cheap flats in Stockholm ;)

    And yes, we SHOULD go out drinking again :)

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  12. It would be nice if duplicate items in the inventory train were grouped into a single inventory item (perhaps with a count subscript).

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  13. Micromanaging all the trees and flowers and rocks that get chopped within moments is a real bore. What do you have against fun?

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  14. Lorenzo said everything!
    Especially about killing deers xD

    Once, I let all deers at the big apple forest I had made, eating apples from the floor. And they stopped eating my flowers! \o/
    I felt that was good for the environment (a new idea for a quest?), and there was no need for bombing anymore.

    I hope I have some time to play the alpha.

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  15. This would be an awesome little Facebook app/game.

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  16. Hi, I am a beginner blogger from Indonesia. I want to say, "Cool Website...". Adobe Flash Player is a nice topic. Greetings of peace from Indonesia. Ciao...

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  17. Hello, I am YUnya from Russia. I just played this game, it was funny =). I like to read your blog. Come to me, if you have a time, ;)
    http://alergiablog.ru/

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  18. Figured you should check out this strange little game from the Polyphonic Spree band in promotion of their newest album: http://www.questfortherest.com

    Fun, without any real instructions.

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