Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hidden in Plain Sight -- published and roundup...

I hit the Publish button late on Thursday evening. I'd advertised a Friday release date, but there is a lag between pushing the button and seeing it show up on the Xbox Live servers, and I really wanted to watch it show up.

So, late Thursday night, there it was. Another game, published for the masses to see.

On Friday and Saturday, a few reviews showed up online:

This is one of the most enjoyable and unique multiplayer games to come out of the XBLIG channel. It forces players to mingle with and behave like the NPCs walking around the screen in order to inconspicuously meet some goal. Depending on what mode you’re playing, this goal could be assassinating the other players, collecting coins, or racing to the finish line. My favorite modes are those that split up players into two teams, where one team consists of snipers trying to figure out who’s an NPC and who’s a human. These matches become incredibly tense (and hilarious) as the non-snipers get closer to winning. But because this is restricted to local multiplayer only, part of the challenge is first figuring out who you are without everyone else noticing. Sometimes, five minutes will go by, and I still don’t know where I am! That doesn’t necessarily ruin the game, though. In the right company, every moment—from the initial confusion to the winning move—is a thrill. So if you have someone to play with, get this. Hidden in Plain Sight makes for a very fun party game.

Pros:Amazingly fun multiplayer with tons of replay value - Cute graphics - Fantastic price
Cons:Would love to have more game modes ;)

So far, so good!

I was also a guest on the weekly GameMarx podcast. You can listen to it here if you're so inclined. I'm getting over a cold, so I apologize in advance about the sniffing. Ugh.

I was really prepped and had a lot of stuff I wanted to talk about on the podcast, but sometimes it was hard to get a word in, and the conversation didn't always go in directions I anticipated, but it was a fun experience and I'm honored to have been a part of it.

On Friday evening, my in-laws were over for dinner, and they wanted to see a demo of the game. So I fired it up, and walked them through a couple game modes. What we quickly discovered, though, in Knights vs. Ninjas, was that some debug code was left in the game. This means that players always start in the same location, rather than randomly spread around. Serious bummer. I'm pretty pissed about it, but there's not much I can do now, aside from fix it and send it in for another Review and get it patched. I'm giving myself another day or two to see if anything else pops up. It just sucks to put it so much effort to get everything just right, and then make a last minute change and mess things up. Oh well.

No sales figures yet. I'm really not expecting anything big by any stretch. Seeing the positive reviews and that email have been super rewarding as it is.


  1. Adam,

    You have a great game here. I'm glad you already know about the bug (that was the reason I found your sight).

    I have one question, or rather something for you to think about. On the Assassin game, my brother and I were trying to see who could rack up more bodies, but the problem is, if the sniper decides to take 3 quick guesses, the other guy doesn't have time to rack up any points. I don't have a fix yet, juts something to think about.

    On the race game does it make sense to not end the game until a player actually crosses the line, rather than a NPC? Not sure, just something else to think about.

    You should stick with this game and add more mini-games, you've got yourself a winner here. Online play as an addition would be good too (this would be really nice actually, but I appreciate the increase in coding it would take), however, I really enjoy the party atmosphere with local multiplayer too.

    Bravo all around. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for your nice comments, Ben!

    With Assassin and Catch a Thief, I had a hard time coming up with a scoring system. So I basically left it up to the players to figure out who wins and who loses. Basically, use it as a tool to have some fun, and make up your own rules. It's kind of a cop out, I guess...

    I think the race game definitely needs to end as soon as the first character (NPC or player) crosses the finish line.

    Multiplayer is a great idea, but I don't think you'd find a lot of people to actually connect to online. This isn't MW3 or Rock Band with thousands of players playing simultaneously. I wish it was. :)

    Thanks again. Tell a friend! :)

  3. Adam,

    We had a weird error the other day. My son and I were playing. The race was about half way over (it seems like that matters), Player 1 shot but missed, then player two immediately sprinted towards the finish, but about 1 second later a "Code 4" error popped up and the game exited. This happened twice in a row (my son was trigger happy and still learning the intricacies of the game). I'm not sure what Code 4 is but just trying to help you out in case you hear other people getting that.

    Upon further though I do agree with you about when the race should end.

    For Assassin, I had one idea (this could be a player option when you start). If the sniper runs out of bullets, all dead sprites could be regenerated (so basically if 8 people have been knifed, then 8 new sprites instantly spawn) and 3 new bullets could be given. You could continue this to some body count (say 30 or something). This gives the Assassin a formal way to win the game. Give some thought to this (or try it out (you can always comment the lines of code out)).

    Don't take these as negative criticism, just trying to add some fun.

    For multiplayer, I agree with you that there won't be a lot of other people, I was just thinking of playing with my online friends. I'm assuming your younger (under 30, assumption on my part, may be wrong) and don't have kids yet. It gets hard to get out a lot and see your friends often when you get older (some even move a decent drive away) and its nice just to hook up online once in a while with fun mini games like this so you can talk while you play.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I make no claims, now or in the future, to any rights for this game due to the contributions presented from this date and any previous date before today.

    Thanks for listening.


  4. Yeah... I know about the crash in Death Race, and it's been fixed locally. But it will take a few weeks before it actually gets pushed out as a patch, unfortunately. (Code 4, by the way, is just a catch-all "something went wrong").

    The problem happens, I think, when two people are aiming at the same character. The first person fires, and the character dies. The second person then moves his cursor off the dead body.

    It's a bummer to release a game with a bug like that in it, but what can you do.

    I've actually change Death Race to be "free-aim" instead of pushing up and down to select characters.

    I'm reviewing a couple ideas for Assassin and Catch a Thief. Will continue to think about it.

    I'm actually closer to 40 than 30(unfortunately) and do have a kid (fortunately), and I do know how hard it is to get people together to play. I just know that adding online multiplayer will be months of work, and it simply isn't worth my time. Sorry.

    Your legal disclaimer made me laugh. I hope this game makes enough money that someone would want to sue me for some stake in the profits! But thanks.

  5. Glad my legal humor wasn't lost in text.

    Free aim? Wow, that sounds much harder. I'll trust you on that for now, but reserve the right to to complain later.

    I know how much work online would be, I'll layoff that one.

    Thanks for fixing the bug.