Thursday, July 5, 2012

CSR Racing is live!

After what has been one of the most crazy years of my life (and probably all the Alien's lives!) we have managed to get CSR Racing "shipped". No, not shipped ... "in a box". No, not that either ... hrm. Mastered? Gold disk?

None of these things apply, but we're still at (mumble) million players and rising after a week. The experience of making a mobile game has been bloody awesome fun. If you want more details, head over to the official Boss Alien website and get involved - we're hoping to put up some background stories and technical articles over the next couple of months, if we ever get a free moment.

In some ways, this is a huge anticlimax - we've been in "two weeks" mode for about six months now, so we mostly feel well past the point where this should have been out of our hands and into the hands of players. It's also a bit frustrating - there's hundreds of features and fixes big and small that we want to see in our game. Mental eh?

But the overriding feeling right now is - a mixture of incredible glee and relief.

We've just made our first game as a new studio, and we're number one in the US as we speak - we are beating Google Chrome in the free app charts for iPhone and iPad, and we're top of the grossing chart. I think that we've officially done as well as we could ever hope to do, in just over a year.

I keep saying we, because this has been a fantastic team effort - from everyone inside Boss Alien, to all the friends who helped us on the project (Sprung, Steve S, Anthony J, Rockett and Taz, ShortRound, Trailer Farm and everyone else who pitched in - see our Facebook page for links to their respective sites). Lastly, all the friends and families who have managed to keep us sane and fill us with love. We've not been working crazy hours too much (we don't do that shizzle, it's not the Boss Alien way) but it has been tricky to keep all the kids happy. Nicky, Sal and Emma - you girls are saints.

I'll be putting up more stuff in the near future, as we can a) talk about the game now and b) might have some actual, honest to god free time. That'll be nice ;)

It's a Gas

I'm hosting this guest post by Toby at the request of someone who shall remain nameless. This post IS NOT ENDORSED BY ANY COMPANY, IS A PERSONAL OPINION AND IS HUMOUR. now that we've got that out the way ...

We at Boss Alien have been excitedly watching CSR Racing's progress in the charts; and we're all pretty chuffed. From the small beginnings of the first line of code, to a veritable behemoth; we've released to a furore of acclaim.

Reading the App reviews, and various forum posts from around the world has been de rigueur for a few weeks, and believe me we are paying attention.

One of the more contentious issues has been the idea that you require Gas (Fuel) to race.

Believe it or not, the Gas (Fuel) mechanic arose not to enhance monetisation; but to protect users from unhealthily long play sessions. One of our testers, Jim, was brought to the brink of ruin after having played the game non-stop for 4 days. He was a mess.

At this point we realised we had a hit! Also, that we had a problem.

After much deliberation, we realised that we couldn't unleash something so dangerous into the wild. This isn't China. So, we developed a variety of ideas on how to solve the problem. One involved having a "Play Session" timer always on screen. Another, would go through your Facebook and Twitter feeds, keeping you up to date with the real world and showing pictures of your loved ones.

Neither truly dealt with the problem. Thus the solution was to limit the amount of time you could actually play in one session, hence: Gas.

We are all aware of how difficult it is to be released from the vice grips of compulsive, addictive and satisfying gameplay. So, we've come up with a list of things that you could do, whilst you wait for your next Pip of Gas to arrive.

Eat: The list of things you can prepare within 8 minutes isn't a lot, but Beans and Toast should contain enough sustenance to keep you going.
Sleep: Just a quick nap, you'll wake up when your fuel is back. You'll be fine. Your body needs it.
Go outside: It's at least mildly sunny here in Brighton right now. Go catch a few rays.
Talk to your family: Remember, they love you very much. Maybe they can play the game whilst you go and have a shower.
Write an article about Gas, and post it to a blog.

Anyway. My 8 minutes is up, I've got to… you know….