Monthly Archives: December 2022

Summary of 2022

Hey guys, as is my yearly tradition, here’s a summary of my year, in no particular order.

• Valve sent me a free Steam Deck! I felt like sempai had noticed me. Many of the indie games I wanted to try out didn’t fully work on it, but I eventually had a good time playing The End is Nigh and Everhood on it. It’s comfortable to play for hours at a time, so I give it a big thumbs up, as long as you’re happy with a bit of tinkering. Oh, and most of my games work on it too, to various degrees.

• I finished off and published the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection this year, which involved polishing off my old web games (not fun) and adding a little bit of new content to them (fun). The collection performed reasonably well on Steam, considering the games involved are ancient, and were originally available for free online. Valve gave the EBF series a nice featured spot on launch day, and as expected, EBF5 sold even better than EBFC did!

• I helped my brother build a fence and a pergola, and a lot of planters of various sizes. I also collected a bunch of rocks and logs for his new pond. In return, I got coffee whenever I visited, and some radishes and pumpkins from his garden. It’s gonna look good in a couple of years when his trees grow up!

I built a dog house for Ethel! It was made from recycled materials and is totally over-engineered. It’s incredibly sturdy and nicely embellished. I basically built a very small shed – and next year I’ll build a full-sized shed!

• Me and Ronja started shopping at a big Asian supermarket to try out some good instant noodles, weird mushrooms, sichuan pepper, and other new flavours. They went out of business later this year, but my instant noodles skills have massively improved.

• Me and Ronja went to Finland for an awesome and chaotic wedding, which included a cool barn venue, shenanigans with the bands, and an after party on a boat. We got a cold shortly afterwards (thought it was covid) and spent most of the holiday recovering. I was hit especially hard, and took 3 or 4 weeks to fully recover – half my hearing was gone!

• I bought a bunch of devices for my mobile development work, including a 2015 MacBook, an iPhone 11, and a Samsung S4 Tablet. The MacBook was a pretty good purchase – It runs well for such an old computer, still has USB ports, it’s perfect for my iOS development needs, and it’s also my first ever laptop. I’ve been using the iPhone as my main phone for a few months, and I still haven’t got used to it – I’ll probably go back to Samsung for the next one. And finally, the tablet… was fun to play around with for a few days. Games look good on the larger screen, but it’s too big to hold comfortably in many cases!

• I tried out a lot of mobile games this year. Most were awful and were uninstalled in 5 minutes, but some great ones include the Dadish series, Meow Tower, and Total Party Kill.

• Me and Ronja and Ethel stayed in a cute log cabin on a farm for a couple of nights. It was refreshing to not have electricity, running water, or internet, and to live more deliberately. They did have a gas barbecue though.

• I started going to therapy for depression and anxiety. I thought I had some sort of neurological disease, as my concentration and coordination was somewhat impaired, but it turns out I was probably just stressed out by work, relationship issues, growing old, and the state of the world. I’m a little better now.

• Continued going on small trips around England and Scotland with my dad, to deliver my mum’s paintings to art galleries. Found some interesting beaches in Edinburgh, visited Bamburgh Castle but it was closed due to a storm, and sneaked into a small private castle where a wedding was being planned.

• Me and Ronja started going out for brunch at least once a week, to see new places, try new food, and just get up earlier in the morning. Brought my parents and other close family members along to a couple of my favourite places later on. Previously me and my family have been too cheap to eat out. My favourite discoveries were egg and salmon toast, and pomegranate salad.

• We also had dinner in a few fancy restaurants, but the higher the price the less I enjoyed it, due to the pretentiousness, and the food looking less like food. But I’m willing to try it again on special occasions.

• Visited the Scottish Borders with my friends for a couple of nights – this was a yearly tradition until covid hit. This time it was more tame than previous trips, with earlier nights and more moderate drinking.

• I learned to drive a modern, automatic minivan, which I borrowed from my dad. It was really easy! Big improvement over my 20-year-old, manual Honda Civic. Me and Ronja are now considering buying an automatic car. (and Ronja learned to drive this year!)

• Me, Ronja, Ethel, my brother and his partner stayed in a hobbit hole for four nights in Speyside near Inverness. Very cosy building with a strong nature theme, fireplace, skylight, telescope, bunk beds, traditional construction, wood smell, and good vibes. Luckily we had minimal rain on our visit, and did some easy forest and seashore walks. Also tried a bunch of edibles – I’m into them now.

• I finished off my Android port of Epic Battle Fantasy 5 – it was in Early Access for a long time while I slowly and painfully sorted out some crashes and other issues. I did my best to optimize the performance, but this created a lot of bugs, and in the end, many of these optimizations were not worth the trouble. Lessons learned for next time. But the game’s done fairly well on the Google Play Store so far!

• Once the Android port was finished, porting EBF5 to iOS was fairly quick. It was mostly a case of getting familiar with the iOS ecosystem, and fulfilling a ton of annoying requirements for the App Store. It took less than a month, which ain’t bad, and the game seems to be off to a decent start on the store. With some luck, EBF5 will keep selling reasonably well on both mobile platforms for many years to come, so I have no pressure to work on anything new.

Flash is alive and well. Ruffle can now run some ActionScript 3 games, and AIR is getting regular updates with new features.

• While procrastinating from my mobile ports, I started work on a new hidden object game called Hidden Cats. I wanted to try a different (but still very much Flash) art style, and game mechanics that were focused more on art rather than coding.

• Me and Ronja hosted two Epic Battle Fantasy fan art competitions with cash prizes, and it’s been fun, with a lot of entries being submitted. We’re planning to do more competitions with bigger prizes in the future.

• I continued playing a lot of Age of Empires 2 this year with friends, and also added some Valheim sessions. Both games eat a lot of time!

• Other games I enjoyed this year were Astalon: Tears of the Earth, RUN: The world in-between, It Takes Two, and Hidden Through Time. I’m mostly still playing 2D indie games on my super powerful gaming PC.

• I donated a chunk of money to charities helping in Ukraine, and bought a limited edition war-themed Nintendo 64 Everdrive cartridge. I can save N64 roms on it and play them on a real console, so I played a few games that I never had as a kid, including F-Zero X and Yoshi’s Story. I also played a modded version of Ocarina of Time with quality of life improvements, and Smash Bros Remix, a fantastic mod of Smash Bros 64, which is made so well it feels like an official sequel.

• I started to enjoy shopping for clothes, where as previously I would buy the bare minimum needed to survive, and rely on gifts from family members.

• I finally decorated my bedroom. It’s a tiny room with little natural light, so I figured some fake plants and lighter furniture would help somewhat. Even added a Tiffany-style bedside lamp.

• Visited a lot of antique shops and markets this year, getting decorating ideas for the future. My first time at Glasgow’s infamous Barras market too.

• Me and Ronja have been thinking about features we’d like in our next house, like a double garage, wine cellar/basement, bigger rooms, etc. and we went to view a few houses for fun. We’re not actually planning on moving any time soon though, and thinking about it is more fun than the reality of extra costs and responsibilities.

• I was quite excited that Epic Battle Fantasy 5 was invited to be part of the Yogscast Jingle Jam event – this was the biggest content creator to cover the game. But in the end, it didn’t make any difference to the game’s engagement stats on Steam – much like any other type of game bundle. Helped raise some money for charity I guess.

• Hired a cleaner! No more scrubbing dirty bathrooms for me.

• Ronja’s mum visited us from Finland for New Years! Her and Ethel get along very well.

Here’s a collection of some of our favourite photos from 2022 – click to get a bigger version! And Happy New Year!

Steam Winter Sale

Happy Holidays Folks!

The Steam Winter Sale has just kicked off and that means you can now get EBF Collection for 30% off, EBF5 for 40% off, and EBF4 and BH2 for 65% off until January 5th 10AM Pacific.

This is the last itme you’ll see these games at such a low price. After the Winter Sale in January the prices for all the games will go up by about 25% so make sure to get them now if you intend to!

Hope you all have a lovely and safe holiday period, and a relaxing end of 2022.

EBF5: iOS Pricing

So it turns out I can’t change regional pricing on the App Store, which creates an interesting problem. I’ll use Vietnam as an example.

When EBF5 launched on Steam, a $20 game was đ188K. (still the current price of EBF5)

Today Steam suggests that $20 be localized to đ260K.

Meanwhile… today Apple says that $20 is đ500K (the actual exchange rate), and I can’t change it.

So as a result, in Vietnam EBF5 costs almost 3 times more on iOS than on Steam. To some extent this is true for many countries, but some are hit worse than others. I personally prefer Valve’s pricing model, and would like to make my games affordable for everyone.

Someone on Twitter mentioned that Apple plans to add regional pricing in 2023… so maybe I’ll lower some prices then if that becomes an option. I’m also considering adding an option to buy all the in-app purchases as a bundle with a slight discount (on iOS and Android), but I’ll have to do some more research there first.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, the prices on Steam and Android will be going up from $20 to $25 in 2023. So if you don’t own EBF5 on Steam yet, you should get it in the Christmas sale!

As for iOS and Android sales… I don’t know anything about those yet. I don’t know if those platforms make as big a deal out of sales as Steam does…

People have an expectation that games are priced the same on different platforms… but that doesn’t really work when the platforms are so different. So I’m still learning about this stuff.

Fanart: Merry Christmas

Hi Folks,

EBF5 for iOS is now live!
You can find it listed as Epic Battle Fantasy 5: RPG on the App Store. Please remember to leave us a review 🙂

We’ve been working hard to push out the iOS version of EBF5 as well as getting various other things out of the way before the holidays, and now that Christmas Week is here we’ll be taking it easy with work and focusing on the holidays. We’ll still share some fanart over the holiday period with you, and you should know we won’t be doing a Christmas Key giveaway this year.

PS. If you’ve not played EBF5 in a while, there’s a Holiday Event going on right now, where you can get your mitts on some unique equips. Happy hunting!

Here’s some lovely Christmas fanart we’ve been saving since the start of the year from Ggeishere.