Guide a thief through a "maze styled" museum, stealing valious pieces and diamonds until achieving the goal and leaving without been caught by the guards. The video below goes over the main game features in detail and is presented by the company CEO, Sean Demeyere.
Note: "Maze Thief" sits on the middle of two different business models, being targeted not only to final players, but also to be sold as the source code itself. Awesome Wicked Games followed the business model taught by www.gameacademy.com, which, at least at that time, was focused on having advertisements on as many games as possible as the main source of revenue. AWG was part of a whole network of companies who would sell their source codes to each other and also cross promote their games to acquire more and more users to this network.
(screenshot based presentation made by the company CEO, Sean Demeyere, at 5m12s)
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- Python (occasionally)
- SDK Integration (Twitter, Facebook, Flurry and all the ones made through the Reusable Code Pack)
- Mac OSX
- iTunes Connect
- TestFlight Beta
- Time Doctor
- Pivotal Tracker
Distributed and working on multiple projects, one per programmer, so for this project I have worked with an artist under the guidance and major design decisions from the company CEO.
Updated on June/July 2016 and developed from Jan/2013 to May/2014, however, being most of the gameplay features already finished in July/2013, when the Reusable Code Pack implementation started, having its scope far beyond Maze Thief and so putting this project some times on hold and other times on a small workload.
This game was updated last in 2016, however, at this stage, Awesome Wicked Game is not alive anymore and this game is not available for downloading on iTunes.
- creating the backlog with user stories to address the design decisions, detailing them with description and tasks, making estimates and planning user stories for each sprint together with the company CEO.
- co-designing the game. Check "Design Tasks Performed" below on this page.
- coordinating QA by constantly engaging the company CEO, other team members and myself on testing specific features being released on different devices and reporting bugs through a QA spreadsheet where issues would be prioritised and addressed considering the current sprint commitments.
- making the game remotely customizable via plist files and documenting available settings, so not only the company CEO, but also the source code buyers could easily customize the game and that could also be done remotely after the release by adding game version updating plists at the server.
- [2016 update] Manage iTunes Connect on adjusting and proper filling forms for In App Purchases, Achievements, releasing test builds and submitting the final distribution build.
Main Programming Tasks Performed
- Reusing and adapting source code: reused as much as possible of the Meow Maze Zombie Cats game source, which was given by the company CEO as the start point for this project. Despite of the fact the code ended up being a lot different, due inumerous feature requests, the existing base allowed a very fast results coming since the first week of development.
- Efficient texture usage: All the game spritesheets were smartly composed to find a good trade between minimizing memory consumption per game scene/screen while also avoiding redundant texture swaps required per frame. Also, the game nicely cleans all its texture memory when the app goes to the background, making the game crash proof even with high quality textures for retina display.
- Reusable UI system: Replaced the harded coded UI from Meow Maze with a simple and clean reusable code that allowed the easy creation of 15 different rich UIs through the game and made very efficient the whole UI redesign more than once during the project. It supports the UI setup through plists, for multiple resolutions (iPad, iPhone, iPhone5), being full-screens or windows, having images, buttons, text from different fonts and pop up effects.
- Parameterized dialog system: More than 70 unique dialogs for action confirmation, tutorial hints and alerts were easily created for this game thanks to a generic and reusable system that would automatically fit texts and resize dialog windows with support to multiple parameter injection via code, avoiding text replication and allowing the proper separation of texts and game configuration.
- Pathfinder AI: replaced the brute-force pathfinding system from Meow Maze (meant only for moving the player in "true mazes") for an efficient AI pathfinding system supporting huge non-static and "non-true" mazes with more than 15 enemies able to chase and ambush the player simultaneously from very distant locations.
- In-game map editor: allows the quick creation and testing of fully-featured levels directly from the device.
- Full Reusable Code Pack usage: check the Reusable Code Pack page to see all the features that were applied to this game in real and meaningful usage of them.
Design Tasks Performed
- Gameplay Design: responsible for conceiving most of the gameplay features, such as the core gameplay (thief stealing a museum), power ups/items, enemy types, special player characters, etc... However, the company CEO was behind some major design decisions, having to approve each user story I would work on and constantly making adjusts on my suggestions.
- Monetization balance: Created a monetization balance spreadsheet, considering the in game currency, worked on the possible configurations for the value of each different museum piece and their distribution inside each level in order to make doable to the player reaching some levels without paying real money, but finding serious issues to go ahead from some point.
- Level Design: Designed all the regular and bonus levels of the game, increasing at each level the difficulty, the size and the kind of features presented, making sure the items/treasures distribution would follow the monetization design.