Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: Itch.io

Dr. Trolley’s Problems are Yours to Solve

Download Dr. Trolley’s Problem on:

Steam (PC/Mac)           Itch.io (PC/Mac*)          App Store (iOS)

Dr. Trolley’s Problem is fully complete and at version 1.0. You can play this gam all about the trolley problem on almost all the important systems, with hopefully more to come. It’s the trolley problem game you’ve been waiting for!Dr. Trolley's Problem

Dr. Trolley’s Problem brings the classic philosophical quandaries of The Trolley Problem to life and asks you to make life or death decisions on the fly. Explore your moral fibre in ways you never imagined (or asked for)!

Dr. Trolley is an infamous robot mad scientist from another dimension which has sequestered you in its simulation to answer the most pressing questions:

Should humans be allowed to drive cars? Or would driving (and most other things) be safer in the hands of Artificial Intelligence?

 

Successes

trolley problem game screenshot

What we found during Early Access and almost a year of lackadaisical testing.

  • The trolley problem situations spurred the conversations we hoped for.
  • People want to be mobile, so the iOS version came from people asking for it.
  • People enjoyed the chance-based situations after a series of serious ones. This was predictable since the inclusion of chance takes mental pressure off of the player.
  • My code is like spaghetti, and yes, it’s far worse than VVVVVV‘s. I consider this point about code a success since my coding as improved to know how bad I was at it 😉

Next Steps

Promotion!

Basically we’re going to try to get it this game in front of as many people as possible. We’d love your help in that process! Tell your friends about the game and share as much as you can on social media.

 

Since a game is never actually done, we’re going to continue to fix bugs. I wish I could release things that are bug free, but that’s basically impossible for me 🙁

*the Itch.io Mac version is suffering from inability to correctly sign the app. Still working on it. The Steam version seems to work.

trolley problem game

If we get enough sales (that’s to say quantifiable interest) we’ll do more:

  • Add thematic situation packs. Situations take time to make and I only want to create more if I know they’ll be played. Thematic situations like political ones require custom art and that adds hard costs (not just time).
  • Android version. I’ve tried and failed due to the bundle size, hopefully this will be released soon.
  • Better, real time, statistics. I’ll admit the game is deceptive and I don’t like that as one of the goals from the get go was to share stats about player decisions. Implementing this turned out to be a nightmare and delayed us releasing the game by half a year. In summary, sending data to an analytics program is easy (ads track you everywhere and you really should get a tracker blocker), showing the collected data back to players is hard. I know that someone reading this is thinking “but that’s so easy and I do that all the time”; but, my coding skills are limited and my patience has run out dealing with multiple analytics services and their limitations.

You made it this far in the post so I know you care 🙂

 

 

Please show your love by sharing this post on your social network of choice.

A Look Behind The Scenes At Itch.io

Itch.io is a great site for indie games for two reasons: you can find games to play (and buy) and it’s a handy tool for developers. The creator of the site is a fan of post-mortems, much like me, and he wrote a blog post outlining the inner finances and working of Itch.io.

Of all registered users only 13% have uploaded a public game. This suggests that the majority of users that have registered are more interested in playing games than distributing them. A nice indicator of where future development time should be spent as itch.io currently is primarily for sellers.

Interestingly, in the blog post he mentions how he first envisioned the site, which is rather different compared to what it is now.

84% of purchases are from external sites. Originally itch.io had no way to browse games, the philosophy was that the site would provide the tools but not the distribution. I’ve since changed my mind and added plenty of ways to discover games on the site. I’m not sure what my target percentage for internal purchases should be but I’m actively trying to increase it with features like the recently released game recommendation system. To me, it’s an indicator of how well I’m doing in distributing games. I get very excited when I release a new way for people to discover games and it results in additional purchases that might have otherwise never happened.

I’m looking forward to more of these sorts of posts in the future.

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