Hello folks! As you may of guessed from that stunningly witty title, I’ve decided to release my game Six O’Clock High for free. It’s now free on android, iOS will follow in the weeks to come.
Along with the new free-ness, the game itself has a new build which is a little shinier. There are chartboost ads involved BUT you can disable them completely via the options menu. Anybody who has purchased the game before now will have them disabled by default.
Releasing a previously paid-for game for free is always a bit of a moral grey zone for developers. I wanted to release SOCH for free because I think there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to pay for it, but who would play it. It’s a small game so it was always to be expected. But I don’t want to screw over the people who did pay for it and support it early on, AND I wanted to keep it all in one version. When you have multiple versions of the game game- paid and free, things get trickier to manage.
So that why I’ve just gone and made the ads completely optional. I would hope that a lot of people leave them turned on because, when it comes down to it, I do need money for food. But even if you just download the game for free, you have the option of removing them.
So what went right and what went wrong with Six O’Clock High?
I was and still am pleased with the quality of the core game. I still have fun with it whenever I need to test it. With some reservations that I’ll expand into further on.
I’m still very pleased with the graphics. Tonnes of thought and adjustment went into creating the ever-so-slightly-washed-out-but-still-vivid colour palette. I had some lukewarm comments on the half-pixelized style I attempted, and I would have to agree it didn’t quite come together as well as I hoped, but I’m glad I tried it.
Controls still remain an issue on touch screens. I think I personally like them more than the average person, but they come up a lot. At this point it would be a lot of work with little reward to go back and input a whole new control system. Sorry guys. Maybe in a sequel?
The content is light, especially for a paid game. I always knew this was going to be the case as I wanted to keep this as a small project. Every project I do spirals out of control, I end up spending 1 year+ on. I wanted to do something small and light. Yes, I thought about doing an awesome single player campaign, with friendly AI, different levels, and progress saving. If I make a sequel this will definitely be on the cards. But Six O’Clock will always be just a little survival arcade game.
As for the price (tier 1), I thought it was reasonable outside of the context of the app store. I still do. $1 for a cool little time waster is fine right? The reality is the competition is very heavy, and even a tier 1 price can be a tough sell when it’s really quite a small game and up against free-to-play titles. That’s just the reality.
Bugs. Always a downfall. I think I’ve got them all now.
The looping soundtrack. I couldn’t afford multiple tracks OK? BA-BA-DA DA-DA-DA!
Performance on lower end phones. Also somewhat unavoidable. I spent weeks trying to optimize each version as much as possible. It’s as good as it can get. If you have devices made from 2012 onwards, you should be fine though.
So there we go. I hope you enjoy Six O’Clock High. I very well may return to make Seven O’Clock one day. It’s certainly a game I’d like to expand upon.