Last week, we touched upon what little we had to report regarding Stormy Skies, and today I’ll lay it out for you, as well as give a preview into the game’s future.
Stormy launched in June 2014, and was coded by one person entirely (Harrison… me). It received a few updates and has kind of just been left to its down devices.
Since its launch, it has generated (from in-app purchases) a total of ~USD$95 and around ~USD$3 from ads (mainly RevMob).
It currently averages 1.2-2 downloads a day with very very little advertising.
Reviews of the game have been mostly positive, netting it around 4.2 stars aggregate for all versions.
So, where does it stand?
For a -frankly- buggy game coded by one person and graphically designed by essentially that same one person, it isn’t exactly bad. It isn’t the Scrooge-McDuck style swimming pool of gold coins we all hope for, but it isn’t BAD.
By the same token, it isn’t good either.
So, what can be done to make it better?
A lot has been learned from development of Hex Attack. A LOT.
Namely, things are prettier if you don’t have to wait for the game to load between menu screens. One big load at the beginning is better than a lot of smaller loads as you press menu buttons.
Second, ads make things ugly.
Third, gameplay needs to be more varied.
On that third note, Stormy has received some criticism from AppStore reviews to that effect, stating that there wasn’t enough variation in gameplay, no interesting scenerey changes, etc. It is, admittedly, a very boring and static game. I freely admit it.
It is the subject of gameplay improvement that has led to my decision to completely remake Stormy from the ground up. No ads this time around, four scenes total (instead of the 7 that make up the current game (Loader screen, title, stats, credits, settings, shop and gameplay screen)), and more varied gameplay.
One of the new additions is that of a “torrent,” a sudden, unstoppable burst of rain that causes the water level to rise without the player’s control. The chance of a torrent occurring increase as a player’s current streak do, with checks to prevent a player from gaming the system by just missing a drop here or there.
Rewards of credits will be made to players that beat their best scores and streaks (after a preset threshold is met, of course, to avoid boosting).
Other changes include the removal of the sun powerup (who actually used that thing, anyway?) and its inclusion as a random event in the game world, acting much the same as it did before, but also evaporating some of the water (at half the rate it is increased by a torrent).
Sponges will be slightly nerfed, and the cap on powerups will be decreased. However, this is to counteract the fact that the raindrops are considerably easier to hit (in beta testing, before anything has been added that modifies score or lowers the water level, I am consistently able to hit near 1000 points before game over).
Frozen drops will count for half as before, but will now take two hits to destroy (since they do not move for much of their life-span). They will also now increase the water level by half the regular amount for full-strength, and one quarter at half-strength).
With the new additions of torrents and sunshine, there are two new upgrade paths that will be added, to decrease the time of torrents and increase the duration of sunshine.
That brings me to the stickiest part of the update.
With the amount of work that has to go in to Stormy to make this update work, it doesn’t feel right to keep its original name, and it doesn’t seem fair to me as a developer to keep it free.
As such, once the update is out, the name will change to Stormy Skies DX (meaning “deluxe”) and the price will go from free to 99¢. This update will be free for existing users.
In addition, because of the change in the way data will be stored, powerups and upgrade progress, as well as achievement progress, WILL BE WIPED.
To make that less unfair, players who have played at least ONE game of Stormy will be given
100k 25k credits for free to use as they will, regardless of their upgrade progress from the previous title.
One last thing:
The new icon!