Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Apple's approval times for iPhone apps dropping

As I mentioned earlier, our latest iPhone app, Vile Haberdashery has been released.

And guess what? We submitted the game on February fourth, five days ago. Apple has reduced its turnaround time on app approval from two weeks to five days. I'll leave the debate on whether the app store approval process is a good idea to others to hash out, but I think we can all agree that less time is better. Thanks, Apple, for putting the resources behind reducing the turnaround time on releasing apps.

Vile Haberdashery released!

Good news! Vile Haberdashery has been approved by the App Store, and is now available.

I'm afraid the murder rate at creepy victorian mansions among disreputable nobles is about to increase.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Vile Haberdashery

This past weekend, I participated in the Global Game Jam, and our team came up with a really fun and innovative game like I haven't seen anywhere before.

It's a creepy, unpleasant turn-based strategy game about murder and intrigue called Vile Haberdashery, and it borrows a lot of play elements from my old "Death in the Family" card game, but slides them all over to iPhone casual party play.

The premise is that you are one of four would-be heirs to a fortune, and you're trying to kill off your siblings so the inheritance all falls to you. You accomplish this by blackmailing, flattering, and intimidating your subordinates into doing violence to the other players.

The game is played on the iPhone. You take your turn, then hand the phone to your friend to take his turn. He hands it to the next player to take her turn, etc. Audio cues give clues as to what each player is doing. The goal is to gain influence over your subordinates, get one of them a weapon, and then send them over to hang out near other nobles. If you have enough influence over the subordinates around another player, and one of them has a weapon, then they kill that player, and you're one corpse closer to winning! (Of course, the other players are trying to do the same thing to you.)

We built the game in 48 hours, and the artwork is excellent thanks to the involvement of the three artists who worked hard for those two days to draw all 19 characters in the game. I programmed the game and did interface design.

The game has been submitted to the App Store, so you should see it in a few weeks. In the mean time, head on over to the Vile Haberdashery web site to check out the screenshots.