13 Feb

Updating older games

We’ve finished updating several of our older titles, specifically, The Rainbow Machine, DragonScales: Chambers of The Dragon Whisperer and DragonScales 2: Beneath a Bloodstained Moon. These games were originally built with versions of LibGDX <= 1.6, so we took the chance to update them to the latest LibGDX 1.9.9. As expected, updating LibGDX broke a lot of things: several functions had been altered or simply removed, support for LWJGL3 was added, and plenty of other details we had to address. Once we managed to fix all the projects, we were able to create new Windows and Mac versions.
Extra steps were taken on Mac, as we had to produce a bundled Java app, code-sign it and resubmit the games to iTunes and other stores. Little by little, we’ve been getting the games live on iTunes again:

Our next goal is updating DragonScales 3: Eternal Prophecy of Darkness too. But this time we’ll also try to integrate the game with Steamworks 🙂

07 Feb

Recent Progress

Things have been a bit hectic over here, for good, since the beginning of 2019 🙂 We’ve managed to get new publishing deals and a few of our games have been recently released. Specifically:

Currently, we’re focused on updated builds for DragonScales 1 to 3. Of course, we’re also making progress on DragonScales 6. And other (secret) projects 🙂
Oh, remember DragonScales 5 is on sale (Steam Lunar Sale) until next Monday.

07 Jan

2019: Projects

2019. We’re back to the grind!

The first project we’ll be working on, undoubtedly, is DragonScales 6. That installment of DragonScales should wrap up the Zarya arc. We’re still in a very preliminar design stage (for instance, we’ve not yet reached a consensus regarding the title of the game,) but design of the new levels is coming out smoothly. DragonScales 5 had 200 levels, so the new level count must also be, at least, 200. At the outset, DragonScales 6 is expected to be a desktop-only game (Windows and Mac,) with no plans for a mobile version.

We also have plans for additional games. For instance, we’d like to deliver a mobile version of DragonScales. A totally new, custom DragonScales, different to the desktop versions of the game. In the past, we generated Android ports of DragonScales 1 to 3, aimed at tablet devices. However, we’d like to produce a novel DragonScales game, specifically tailored to cellphones. This version might pose a significant challenge, as we’ll have to fully redesign the UI and create new levels with proper dimensions for tiny screens.

There are other projects we’d like to tackle. For instance, we’ve been designing a new casual game with a non-fantasy setting. However, we’ve not been pushing this new franchise as much as we’d like because the casual market in 2018 has not been overly attractive. We’ll keep monitoring this trend. Nevertheless, we hope DragonScales 5 is released though several casual partners in Q1 or Q2 of this year.

There are also older projects we’d like to revisit, but we’ll handle them as (if) time permits.

Looking back, 2018 has been a good year: we completed two games (DragonScales 4: Master Chambers and DragonScales 5: The Frozen Tomb,) and we (finally) completed the submission for the greenlighted DragonScales on Steam. Please buy our game here:

OK. Now it’s time to return to work. First the story of DragonScales 6. It’s the beginning of a long journey.

20 Nov

DragonScales 5: The Frozen Tomb clinches the top spot on iWin

Good news! Our newest game DragonScales 5: The Frozen Tomb has reached #1 entry on casual game portal iWin.com. Yet more, DragonScales 5 clinched the top spot for all its 3 categories:

  • Match 3
  • Puzzle
  • Brain/Logic

We know new and fantastic games are released every day, and these “top spots” are temporal things, but today we’ll enjoy our little victory. Thank you very much to all of you who made this possible!

27 Jun

DragonScales 4: A solution for Level 9-6

Level 9-6 of DragonScales 4: Master Chambers demands a high level of dexterity with the game’s strategies. In the following, we present a possible solution.

1- First activate the top arrow (the one going upwards.) It’s essential not to activate the arrow going down (yet.)

2- Then play your scales in order to occupy the cells around the bomb strategically. We aim to activate the arrow going down and, in doing so, yield a combination to explode the bomb. In our example, notice that the two green scales (one of them having the bomb) will combine with the lone green scale we’ve placed at the bottom left. When the arrow is activated, a combination will be formed immediately, exploding the bomb.

3- That’s it for the hardest moves. Now it only remains to activate the other arrow to descend the bomb.

4- Explode the bomb.

5- Finally, activate the arrow and conquer the top red cross-scale.

Good luck!

23 Feb

DragonScales 3: Beating monsters and removing symbols

In DragonScales 3 you’ll have to destroy some special monsters by using the Sacred Axe. Specifically, all the levels of World 15 are full of such pesky creatures. Destroying them is easy, though. Pay attention to the scales you receive to play. Some of such scales will contain a little axe. Try to place the scale with the little axe in a cell of a column containing a monster. Then continue playing to form a combination which includes the scale with the axe. When such combination is formed, the Sacred Axe will appear to smash the monster (see Figure 1.)

Figure 1

Further on, in Level 16, you’ll find the traditional DragonScales symbols on the board. To remove them simply form combinations on the cells with the symbols (see Figure 2.)

Figure 2

Remember we’re available to help. You can reach us via our Facebook page or our Twitter account (@superikigames).

07 Dec

Our current projects: an update

A few months ago we published a list comprising the projects we were dealing with this year. As 2017 is closing down, let’s comment on the current status of each project:

  1. Revamping of DragonScales internal engine.
  2. 95% complete. Minor tweaks and optimizations remaining.

  3. Design of DragonScales 4.
  4. 50% complete. We have to design special levels, new battle mode, the new powers bar, and parts of the story.

  5. Design of a special version of DragonScales for advanced players.
  6. 80% complete. Most of the 150 levels of this game are already completed. We have still to work on the UI (skins, fonts, etc.), but for the most part the design and programming work is done.

  7. Localization of the original DragonScales into Japanese.
  8. 100% complete. The game was released a few weeks ago in Big Fish Games Japan: ドラゴンの鱗:ドラゴントレーナーの部屋

    DragonScales reached the TOP-10 of games in BFG JP!

  9. DragonScales 3 for Android (complete, but yet to be released.)
  10. 100% complete and released a few weeks ago via Immanitas.

  11. Production of a new build for The Rainbow Machine (German version.)
  12. 100% complete and released a few weeks ago in Big Fish Games Germany.

  13. A new build for NagiQ 2 which fixed a few issues (already live here on our site.)
  14. 100% complete and released a few weeks ago via Immanitas.

  15. Yet another build for NagiQ 2 suitable for localization (this localization of NagiQ 2 is currently a work in progress.)
  16. 50% complete. We created a full localization kit, but it still has to be localized by our partner.

Of course, this year we also released DragonScales 3 for Windows and Mac, via the major casual game publishers. We expect to have a strong 2018 start, with the release of the special version of DragonScales on Steam (we were approved this year on the now defunct Greenlight system), DragonScales 3 in German, French, and other languages, and of course, our main game for 2018: DragonScales 4.
Now, let’s go back to the grind. There’s still a lot of work to do before 2017 ends.

25 Sep

UTF-8 with BOM

When localizing DragonScales 3 we experienced a baffling issue with an internal tool whose purpose is simply to replace text in a group of files. Those UTF-8 encoded files contain messages loaded by the game from the very beginning. However, after running the tool, the game started crashing when reading such files. By using an old buddy, fc /B, we found out that our tool was “injecting” a few extra bytes at the start of the file: EF BB BF. In short, the tool was altering the encoding of files from UTF-8 to UTF-8 with BOM. That was the cause for the crashing, as our game expects the files to be UTF-8 encoded without BOM.

What’s this BOM, anyway? Simply put, it’s just a sequence of bytes (EF BB BF) used to signal readers about the file being UTF-8 encoded. It seems such mark might be useful in some specific contexts, with some specific programs. Not our case, so we had to remove the BOM with a little batch script like this:

for /r ".\DE\scenes" %%i in (*.*) do (
  copy %%i .\tmp.txt /Y
  sed -i '1s/^\xEF\xBB\xBF//' .\tmp.txt
  attrib -R .\tmp.txt
  move /Y .\tmp.txt %%i
)

In this snippet we remove the BOM via sed. Files are those under a fictitious directory, .\DE\scenes. Those copies and attribs help to circumvent some problems with permissions of files created by our sed version on Windows.