The Arkedo Series Official Thread of 240MSPoints Down a Month

Dec 6, 2008
5,399
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0
Pharoah said:
Hello,

As promised, please find some bullshots and a small excerpt from our design document for our -now dead- Natal project. Please remember that we could only allow ourselves to work 12 days on this, so it's very far from being polished stuff. The screenshots are bullshit of course, but they respect the technical limitations, and also were designed so they could fit in with our tools. So they are semi-bullshots.

...

Ok, there's no such things: they are bullshots.

To put it in perspective, after having "upgraded" from the DS to the Wii, we wanted to see if we could do HD games without having everyone going facepalm and telling the world we should have sticked to simpler games. It may sound silly, but as Aurélien and I started making games in 1999 for mobile phones, and our first games were in 96X65 pixels resolution, in B&W... each year we are wondering if taking the leap of faith towards more pixels is a good idea or not.

So Natal had a great user interface, and we tried to play with concepts which were not possible before. Something that would not feel old, hopefully. And most important, something we would have fun making.

So, introducing 2-Finger Heroes, a silly tale of friendly invaders who did not have enough time to scan the entire human body! So they are left on Earth as merely fingers (yup, scan was 3% complete), but with the WILL TO LIVE AND FIGHT THEIR NEMESIS, THE GIANT FOOT FROM OUTERSPACE!

Ahem.

↓ ↓ ↓ Click for fullscreen ↓ ↓ ↓










One of the designs flaws of this, apart from the fact that it demanded some very precise pattern recognition from the Natal system, is that it would have been HELL to localize. Yup, what can be understood as the victory sign in France, could be a terrible insult in the UK, for instance. And we are not even talking about Italian. Oh, the possibilities...

Still, would have been fun.
The final Boss had to be given 25 real headbutts to be defeated, ffs... >_<'
Really bummed this isn't real now :lol

Fuck Natal :/
 
Dec 5, 2007
7,983
0
0
Warsaw
Pharoah said:
One of the designs flaws of this, apart from the fact that it demanded some very precise pattern recognition from the Natal system, is that it would have been HELL to localize. Yup, what can be understood as the victory sign in France, could be a terrible insult in the UK, for instance. And we are not even talking about Italian. Oh, the possibilities...
Now that you mention it, this will be a problem in all Natal games, I mean I don't think waving "F U" sign will be ok with people from many countries. However, if the Natal games are gesture based (they are) and in oredr to familiarize people with the game your hand motions should more or less resemble the action on screen, I don't have a clue how can you go around it. Also the lack of precise recognition worries me.

Nevertheless great job and wonderful art design. I don't have very fond memories of France (did my MA in Grenoble), but you guys are great (for a French lol).

How about some more info on Game 04?
 
May 28, 2006
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To give more info on #04 SLASH!

We will resume working on the game in 10 days.

We had an opportunity to make a prototype for a company we have been longing to work with for quite a long time, so we took the job with a big smile. The money, too.

But now that it's almost done, back to the Series!
 
May 6, 2006
7,404
0
0
35
Milan, Italy
it.ign.com
Pharoah said:
Hello,

As promised, please find some bullshots and a small excerpt from our design document for our -now dead- Natal project. Please remember that we could only allow ourselves to work 12 days on this, so it's very far from being polished stuff. The screenshots are bullshit of course, but they respect the technical limitations, and also were designed so they could fit in with our tools. So they are semi-bullshots.

...

Ok, there's no such things: they are bullshots.

To put it in perspective, after having "upgraded" from the DS to the Wii, we wanted to see if we could do HD games without having everyone going facepalm and telling the world we should have sticked to simpler games. It may sound silly, but as Aurélien and I started making games in 1999 for mobile phones, and our first games were in 96X65 pixels resolution, in B&W... each year we are wondering if taking the leap of faith towards more pixels is a good idea or not.

So Natal had a great user interface, and we tried to play with concepts which were not possible before. Something that would not feel old, hopefully. And most important, something we would have fun making.

So, introducing 2-Finger Heroes, a silly tale of friendly invaders who did not have enough time to scan the entire human body! So they are left on Earth as merely fingers (yup, scan was 3% complete), but with the WILL TO LIVE AND FIGHT THEIR NEMESIS, THE GIANT FOOT FROM OUTERSPACE!

Ahem.

&#8595; &#8595; &#8595; Click for fullscreen &#8595; &#8595; &#8595;










One of the designs flaws of this, apart from the fact that it demanded some very precise pattern recognition from the Natal system, is that it would have been HELL to localize. Yup, what can be understood as the victory sign in France, could be a terrible insult in the UK, for instance. And we are not even talking about Italian. Oh, the possibilities...

Still, would have been fun.
The final Boss had to be given 25 real headbutts to be defeated, ffs... >_<'
Holy shit, that sounds (and looks) AMAZING.
 
May 28, 2006
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mujun said:
Hey Pharoah, are you planning on bringing Two Finger Heroes to XNA as a standard controller game?
We will enjoy doing this very much. Maybe not in the very next Series, but definitively in the next batch of 4, yes.

Also, nothing is signed yet, but the idea is to put the Series to another level on XBLA and/or PSN (or both). Should this happen, we would then shut up for quite some time -which won't be a bad thing ^^- and come back when it's done, hopefully with candies in our pockets.

We do not want them to be just compilations.

We hope you'll be pleasantly surprised :)
 
Jun 7, 2004
6,740
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0
Liverpool, UK
Pharoah said:
We will enjoy doing this very much. Maybe not in the very next Series, but definitively in the next batch of 4, yes.

Also, nothing is signed yet, but the idea is to put the Series to another level on XBLA and/or PSN (or both). Should this happen, we would then shut up for quite some time -which won't be a bad thing ^^- and come back when it's done, hopefully with candies in our pockets.

We do not want them to be just compilations.

We hope you'll be pleasantly surprised :)
Pixel coming to PSN?! plzplzplzplzplzplzplzplz :D
 
Jun 15, 2007
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SecretBonusPoint said:
As much as I'd love them to chuck that chip back into the thing to make finger tracking possible again just on the basis of HOW AWESOME this would be, don't think its gonna happen people.
I don't think any chip would help this... you'd need an insane resolution on the camera to pick up individual fingers (whilst also picking up the arms / body). It would work as is if the camera was focussed just on the hands. Though obviously the game would have to do without the extra functionality mentioned (basically lose the alternate moves section).
 
Mar 16, 2007
3,734
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Seattle
Pharoah said:
We will enjoy doing this very much. Maybe not in the very next Series, but definitively in the next batch of 4, yes.

Also, nothing is signed yet, but the idea is to put the Series to another level on XBLA and/or PSN (or both). Should this happen, we would then shut up for quite some time -which won't be a bad thing ^^- and come back when it's done, hopefully with candies in our pockets.

We do not want them to be just compilations.

We hope you'll be pleasantly surprised :)
That's a really interesting concept Pharoah! :D Reminds me of those tech deck dudes a bit who were like thumb? things...

But Natal can't recognize finger movement. :(
 
Sep 17, 2006
30,835
0
1,075
Puerto Rico
It will make a cool Indie/Arcade game (with traditional controllers)..heck would be a blast a 4 players/multiplayer match on Live..with everyone playing with 2 fingered characters beating the crap out of each other..the finger could be customized too to make them more personal said online matches.. :p
 
Jan 5, 2009
3,095
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noogy.com
Thank you Arkedo for the inside scoop on that game. I think it's a great idea, and look forward to whatever becomes of the final product, Natal or otherwise.

And I'm sure you guys know that everything you make is pure gold :) I will happily buy a brawler that looks like THAT.
 
May 28, 2006
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Jackson said:
That's a really interesting concept Pharoah! :D Reminds me of those tech deck dudes a bit who were like thumb? things...

But Natal can't recognize finger movement. :(
Hey Jackson, thanks for the kind words. Coming from an awesome studio like yours, it's quite something ^^

You are perfectly right about the current finger recognition issue. But we had a Plan B for 2-Finger
and it was not the Shocker
.

Keep in mind it was just a pitch, 12 days we allowed ourselves to play around with the concept, make a doc, then show it to publishers. Long story short: we eventually could not get access to a Natal devkit (a good example of the saying "close, but no cigar"), so everyone forgot about this and went pasture new.

But if you read closely our concept document, we have tried and be a little smart on this: you can still play the game pretending you were moving your fingers, even if that was a lie. (We love lies in videogames, just look at our "3D" backgrounds in our DS games :D )

You just need to do 3 things in 2FH, for the basic moves:
- Move it around = just look at where the arms are, detect the wrist
- Make it Jump = same thing, just follow the wrist and register a vertical acceleration, no need to register the specific finger moves
- Attack = either find a trigger around the wrist, or make a one-hand-kamehameha, if there was such a thing.

The idea was to start the project with basic arms recognition, then along the line, fine-tune and see if fingers recognition would have been possible without too many false-positives.

But as I said, eventually we did not get access to the real devkit, and started the Series instead.

At the end of the day, we had fun playing around with the concept, so we'll get our revenge by releasing a variation of this in one of our next Series.
 
Mar 1, 2006
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I really love the crazy universe of Arkedo, since Nervous brickdown, and 2FH could have been a lot of fun...

Do you have any plan to port the Series to Wiiware ?? Give the wii some of your crazyness, that console needs it ! ;)
 
Pharoah said:
Hello,

As promised, please find some bullshots and a small excerpt from our design document for our -now dead- Natal project. Please remember that we could only allow ourselves to work 12 days on this, so it's very far from being polished stuff. The screenshots are bullshit of course, but they respect the technical limitations, and also were designed so they could fit in with our tools. So they are semi-bullshots.

...

Ok, there's no such things: they are bullshots.

To put it in perspective, after having "upgraded" from the DS to the Wii, we wanted to see if we could do HD games without having everyone going facepalm and telling the world we should have sticked to simpler games. It may sound silly, but as Aurélien and I started making games in 1999 for mobile phones, and our first games were in 96X65 pixels resolution, in B&W... each year we are wondering if taking the leap of faith towards more pixels is a good idea or not.

So Natal had a great user interface, and we tried to play with concepts which were not possible before. Something that would not feel old, hopefully. And most important, something we would have fun making.

So, introducing 2-Finger Heroes, a silly tale of friendly invaders who did not have enough time to scan the entire human body! So they are left on Earth as merely fingers (yup, scan was 3% complete), but with the WILL TO LIVE AND FIGHT THEIR NEMESIS, THE GIANT FOOT FROM OUTERSPACE!

Ahem.

&#8595; &#8595; &#8595; Click for fullscreen &#8595; &#8595; &#8595;










One of the designs flaws of this, apart from the fact that it demanded some very precise pattern recognition from the Natal system, is that it would have been HELL to localize. Yup, what can be understood as the victory sign in France, could be a terrible insult in the UK, for instance. And we are not even talking about Italian. Oh, the possibilities...

Still, would have been fun.
The final Boss had to be given 25 real headbutts to be defeated, ffs... >_<'
I'd buy it on Natal....seriously....sucks that this isnt coming out. It would've been real fun playing this with my younger cousin.
 
Apr 22, 2006
26,198
1
0
How long is Pixel? I'm very tempted to buy it, but if it's just a couple more levels after how far I played through it, then I'm not buying it. Do the game mechanics evolve more down the road or is that it?

As for Slash, whatever happened to one game a month dealio for Arkedo?
 
Jun 8, 2004
5,517
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1,300
Ha, my brother and I were talking about these guys today - they havent had a game come out since December (Pixel). What in the hell happened?
 

Shig

Strap on your hooker ...
Sep 30, 2004
15,086
0
0
Georgia
baconmcshig.tumblr.com
robot said:
Ha, my brother and I were talking about these guys today - they havent had a game come out since December (Pixel). What in the hell happened?
I guess this:
Pharoah said:
Also, nothing is signed yet, but the idea is to put the Series to another level on XBLA and/or PSN (or both). Should this happen, we would then shut up for quite some time -which won't be a bad thing ^^- and come back when it's done, hopefully with candies in our pockets.
 
Jan 18, 2005
385
0
0
Alma, AR
Well, we finally got some details on O.M.G.(Our Manic Game) from PocketGamer.co.uk...

In this classic shoot-’em-up with a twist, enemies can be tapped to unleash their 'manic' mode, where they spew out more bullets than usual. Capping these intensified foes, however, will give you points for each bullet they’ve shot, meaning massive points.

“The more bullets, the more you score... It's all about taking risks!” the developer said.

OMG (which stands for Our Manic Game, by the way) will be part of Microsoft’s carefully ‘curated’ series of games, which will allow gamers to pick up official Xbox Live Achievements and challenge buddies on the game’s worldwide leaderboards.
http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Windows+Mobile/OMG+(Our+Manic+Game)/news.asp?c=23030

They have a screenshot gallery there with 15 screens. Here are a few...







Looks great! Can't wait to try it out!
 
May 28, 2006
148
0
0
Hey guys,

Long time no talk.
Sorry for having been silent so long.

Well, we've been quite busy not being dead, lately :D
But we won a badge in the process. It's a rare one.

I'll make a short post soon on where we are heading, but wanted to take the opportunity to give you guys as promised a little feedback on our Arkedo Series.

Was it worth do do them?
Are we happy with them?

Hopefully it will give other game devs (and gamers) a better understanding of it.

So, lets start with the basic numbers.

Costs
Well, that was quite allright, thanks to XNA being an awesome platform. Each Series would take approximately 1 month, for a team of 2 (great) guys (or girl, for 02-SWAP!). Well, a little more: let's say 6 weeks :) So depending on where you are located, cost of labor and massages, etc. it can vary quite a lot, but let's say that here in France, where massages are cheap, it was something around 10 K€ in wages and taxes per Arkedo Series. A little more for 03-PIXEL!, but you get the idea.

Revenue
Here are the raw numbers.

01-JUMP, (launched 09/09, take that, Dreamcast 2!)
* Trials: 42 974
* Purchases: 4 990
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 11.61 %

02-SWAP, (launched 10/09)
* Trials: 20 278
* Purchases: 4 369
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 21.55 %

03-PIXEL, (launched 11/09)
* Trials: 62 636
* Purchases: 11 432
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 18.25 %

04-SLASH (nah, kidding ^^).

How much money did you guys make?
The Arkedo Series are priced 240 MS moints, which are approx $3, same in Euros (haha).
Microsoft takes around 30% off the 240 MS Points for their own massages, which makes sense. 2 Eurodollars left, yay!

Wait.

If you are a non-US studio and your country has a tax treaty with the US, there is an additional minigame for you if you want: try and not pay taxes twice (once in the US, once in your own country).

If you don't do this, another 30% is deducted from your royalties, so you have got a pretty good incentive to use the proposed workaround. It looks quite horrible (I... have to fill all these forms, call the IRS and enroll on something and maybe be wrong and then get US Tax Ninja fly to my home?) but in the end it's a simple form, and the IRS is pretty friendly after all, at least when you call from abroad with a horrible French accent and you have blatantly no idea what you are talking about.

Arkedo made between 1.5 and 2€ per Arkedo Series.
Approx 20.000 Arkedo Series were sold on the Indie Games.

So we made between 30K€ and 40K€.
That is approx. 40K$ to 50K$.
...

Profit!

Next post : how much we really made.
 

Princess Skittles

Prince's's 'Skittle's
Dec 7, 2007
8,267
0
0
OMG an update!! I bought (and enjoyed) all three of these games. <3

I was so bummed when they stopped (especially with what was said of SLASH!).

Anyway, I love your games and will wait to see what's coming up (with an open wallet).
 
Sep 28, 2006
21,039
0
0
South Shields, UK
twitter.com
Awesome to see you posting again Pharoah and your cander with it.

:lol glad you guys got it.

You guys really deserved more sales but limitations of the platform at the mo and all that. Hope you give us your thoughts on the Xbox Indies platform too.

Love the details & look forward to your next post to see how you guys are doing and what's next instore for you all.
 
Jul 12, 2007
10,068
0
0
Germany
Pharoah said:
Hey guys,

Long time no talk.
Sorry for having been silent so long.

Well, we've been quite busy not being dead, lately :D
But we won a badge in the process. It's a rare one.

I'll make a short post soon on where we are heading, but wanted to take the opportunity to give you guys as promised a little feedback on our Arkedo Series.

Was it worth do do them?
Are we happy with them?

Hopefully it will give other game devs (and gamers) a better understanding of it.

So, lets start with the basic numbers.

Costs
Well, that was quite allright, thanks to XNA being an awesome platform. Each Series would take approximately 1 month, for a team of 2 (great) guys (or girl, for 02-SWAP!). Well, a little more: let's say 6 weeks :) So depending on where you are located, cost of labor and massages, etc. it can vary quite a lot, but let's say that here in France, where massages are cheap, it was something around 10 K€ in wages and taxes per Arkedo Series. A little more for 03-PIXEL!, but you get the idea.

Revenue
Here are the raw numbers.

01-JUMP, (launched 09/09, take that, Dreamcast 2!)
* Trials: 42 974
* Purchases: 4 990
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 11.61 %

02-SWAP, (launched 10/09)
* Trials: 20 278
* Purchases: 4 369
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 21.55 %

03-PIXEL, (launched 11/09)
* Trials: 62 636
* Purchases: 11 432
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 18.25 %

04-SLASH (nah, kidding ^^).

How much money did you guys make?
The Arkedo Series are priced 240 MS moints, which are approx $3, same in Euros (haha).
Microsoft takes around 30% off the 240 MS Points for their own massages, which makes sense. 2 Eurodollars left, yay!

Wait.

If you are a non-US studio and your country has a tax treaty with the US, there is an additional minigame for you if you want: try and not pay taxes twice (once in the US, once in your own country).

If you don't do this, another 30% is deducted from your royalties, so you have got a pretty good incentive to use the proposed workaround. It looks quite horrible (I... have to fill all these forms, call the IRS and enroll on something and maybe be wrong and then get US Tax Ninja fly to my home?) but in the end it's a simple form, and the IRS is pretty friendly after all, at least when you call from abroad with a horrible French accent and you have blatantly no idea what you are talking about.

Arkedo made between 1.5 and 2€ per Arkedo Series.
Approx 20.000 Arkedo Series were sold on the Indie Games.

So we made between 30K€ and 40K€.
That is approx. 40K$ to 50K$.
...

Profit!

Next post : how much we really made.
Btw. could you tell me what I have to do for the Annoying achievement in O.M.G. Or a hint about the secret achievement?
 
May 28, 2006
148
0
0
OMG Achievements
Annoying: just do as usual. Piss off your bosses.
Secret: well, it would not be that secret, would it?
Time will tell.

Arkedo Foolish Promise #08
04-Slash: postponed sine die. We want to do it, and will.
We had to put the whole team back on 2 bigger projects (XBLA and PSN) in 2010.

There will be soon some news about the Arkedo Series.
No new Series yet, but new platforms to play them :)

But we are on something else right now, it is taking all our time and mojo, and there is nothing on Earth we would rather do than what we are currently doing (more on this in a year I guess).
Hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

Next post soon today, tomorrow max.
Arkedo Series: is it interesting for a studio to do this? Did it open doors?
Hint:
YES
.