A little Q&A about some things regarding sharing games

Just want to know some things;
1. Are you planning on releasing any of your old, forgotten games to lesser known game sharing sites like FreeRideGames (gives revune based on ads) or WildTangent (gives revenue based on buying WildCoins and using them in games, not to mention buying the game itself)?
2. Are you planning on releasing games like Hamsterball onto Steam, since Chuzzle is on there?
3. Are you guys thinking about making games for Steam aligned torwards the higher end of the age group, like FPS games and things like that?


  • edited April 2017
    1. Hamsterball is (was?) already on WildTangent.  Chuzzle is "owned" by Popcap games, so I don't have many options there until I do Chuzzle 2 (which I still have the rights to).  Hap Hazard was a cathartic game that I did "for myself" and really would only appeal to Jumpman fans, so I don't think it'd be worth the effort to do that.  Boonka is under a curse and so I won't touch it again until the curse is dispelled.  Everything else has either been sold to another company, or is mobile-only.

    2.Yes...but Hamsterball is so dated that it would get a lot of hate on Steam if I tried to release it there.  I'd have to either remaster, or wait for HB2.

    3. I have a very hardcore FPS game designed, but I might not ever implement it because I think games should always be "kid friendly" but designed in a way that adults can enjoy.  I have a few rules like "you only kill nonhuman, evil creatures" and "no disgust or disturbing imagery" (any gross stuff in Solomon's Keep is designed to be so over the top as to be ridiculous and funny, not disturbing).  The hardcore FPS I have designed does not violate any of that, but, well, if I ever do it, you will understand exactly why I'm a little bit hesitant.  It has potential human, non-bad guy collateral damage.
  • I'm a fan on the now defunct Sandlot Games you collaborated with during Boonka's development. Being interested in the history and preservation of their games, I came across your site. What's this I heard about Boonka being under a curse? Could you elaborate?

    Thankfully, the game is currently still available on WildTangent, but who knows how much longer? Not too long ago, anything Digital Chocolate (the company who bought and killed Sandlot Games) published at Big Fish Games got delisted, including Boonka. The most likely reason is that BFG's contract with Digital Chocolate expired, what with them having ceased all activity years ago. If WildTangent's contract is similar, then it's only a matter of time before Sandlot Games lineup will disappear from there as well. Not much can be done about most of their games, seeing how their owner never cared about them in the first place, but if you still have the rights to Boonka, I'd appreciate if you could at least save it.

    You also made a very short-lived mobile game called Boonka Snap. Hardly any information about it exists on the web, but according to the last post on this page, it's an upgraded version of your first mobile game, Get Lucky. Is there any chance it could one day be re-released?

    Interestingly enough, the aforementioned post also claims that Boonka Snap was merely supposed to be a preview for another Boonka mobile game. Did it get cancelled?
  • edited July 2017

    As it does not appear John is going to answer I will take
    the helm.

    Boonka was a game similar to Meteos in nature, but I
    honestly believe better. John took a long time to make it. It was released
    before tablets were inexpensive and commonplace. The gameplay lends itself to a
    touchscreen to a great degree. As such, it did not sell well and certainly did
    not sell enough to justify the time spent making it.

    So now John says it is cursed. I have, from time to time,
    tried to convince him to release it on tablets to no avail. I also believe, but
    am not quite certain, he hated the game so much he erased the source code for

  • Oh, I did, I answered him in a private message. :)

    Yep, it's cursed for sure.  I was debating porting it to mobile a few years ago, but my wife won't even let me touch it, the curse was so obvious and devastating.
  • Such a freakin' awesome game
  • You sent me a PM? That's weird. I just checked my inbox, but it's still empty. Never did so before, though, so if PMs get deleted automatically after a while, that could explain it. Do you still have the message you sent me?

    Anyway, if I understand TheDorkLord's post correctly, the reason you refer to the game as cursed is because it sold nowhere near well enough to justify the large amount of effort it took to make. That's a real shame. It must be really frustrating to put so much work into a commercial flop. Haven't gotten around to playing it yet, but it looks pretty fun and innovative, judging from the YouTube footage I saw.

    Still, do you really want to distance yourself from the game so badly to the point of not even selling it on your site anymore? Surely, you could still manage to sell a few copies to your more recent fans just by making the game available here again. I'd buy it, for example. Already have a copy from WildTangent, but I'd prefer a DRM-free version. Or are there extra costs involved with that that would probably outweigh any sales you could get?
  • I have known John for over 20 years and I do not think he will change his mind on this. But even if he did, he no longer has an uncompilied version to work on so it would be playable on newer devices. I do not know how much experience you have with programing,  but reverse engineering a compiled piece of software takes considerable time. Sure, not as much as programming from scratch, but considerable nonetheless.

    I wish John would make it available again, it was a great game!

  • Did John really delete the source code, though? If he considered porting it to mobile phones a few years ago, then he should still have it. Without it, porting it to any new platform would probably require reprogramming it from scratch. Considering how much work the game apparently took to make, that sounds like it'd be way too much effort to even remotely consider doing.

    Of course, porting a game is still hardly effortless even with the source code, but just rereleasing the PC version should take very little work. I could only see that being unfeasible if John has neither the source code, nor an already compiled executable without DRM.
  • I thought I deleted the source code... but I did find it on an old external drive some time later.

    The main issue with trying to get Boonka on mobile (and it would do a LOT better on mobile) is going to be screen resolution.  Although it would work in portrait mode, not every level is the same width.

    Well, I'll think about it.  Perhaps one day.

    It's not cursed because it did so poorly-- some games do poorly.  Four Letter Words is my all time worst selling game (but it only took days to make so it wasn't a heavy investment).  It's cursed because the run of bad luck I had when working on the game, and the subsequent bad luck STOPPAGE whenever I took a break from the game, has led me to believe that some shadowy tribunal of beings does NOT want the human race to achieve the metaphysical enlightenment that Boonka would bring at this time.

  • I see. Good to know you still have the source code in case you ever have a change of heart and decide to give it another chance. If you ever bring it back, I'll buy it for sure. Same with Boonka Snap.

    Shame about Four Letter Words as well. The only footage I could find of it is its trailer, but it also looked pretty interesting. I would've asked the publisher if there was any chance of a rerelease, were it not for the fact that their contact form is broken. Though if it was taken down for being a total commercial flop, chances are they would've said no anyway.
  • Well, I'll tell you what... if you REMIND me, after I have the iOS/Android ports done, as well as the (possible) Hamsterball port to mobile, I will either compile up a copy for you, or freeware it (Boonka).
  • Wow, that's incredibly nice of you. Really appreciate it.

    Any chance you could reupload the demo as well for preservation's sake? Seeing how it wasn't available on your site for long, the Wayback Machine didn't archive it. Or was it just the full game with a 60 minute trial? Guess there's no real reason to preserve something like that.
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