#94 Spirits

It’s here!

99 Spirits has finally broken the elusive roof on Steam Greenlight and listed in the top 100 game entries.

99 Spirits rank #94 on Steam Greenlight

Currently ranked #94, the Puzzle RPG 99 Spirits has been rising strongly over the past weeks, and we look forward to climbing even higher.

In related news, Rice Digital is running a great promotion where you can help us on Greenlight and get free games in the process! Check it out at http://www.ricedigital.co.uk/free-games-from-fruitbat-factory/

Many thanks to the good folks at Rice Digital!

Our other two Greenlight entries are climbing nicely as well, War of the Human Tanks is currently 90% of the way to top 100, so not far behind, and the new contestant 100% Orange Juice is already 51% of the way up.

It’s truly a joy to look at these numbers, and they’re all thanks to everyone’s continuous support.

Let’s build a Doujin bundle!

Untitled-1

It’s time for another great offer – Groupees is hosting a Build a Bundle called Build a Doujin Bundle, which is completely doujin game themed. Based on the first day, the bundle is doing exceptionally well, nice to see so many people interested in the scene.

Participating teams are: Fruitbat Factory (that’s us, no mistake there), Nyu Media, roseVeRteX and Sakevisual. We’re happy to be part of it with War of the Human Tanks. The other games are:

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club
Ether Vapor Remaster
Yousei
Yatagarasu
Croixleur
CAFE 0 ~The Drowned Mermaid~
Pester
Jisei
Kansei

Including Desura and Steam keys for the ones that are in Steam. Don’t miss this chance if you don’t have these games in your collection!

War of the Human Tanks… a best seller

While I’m writing this post, our first release War of the Human Tanks is the best selling indie game and the third best selling game on http://www.gamersgate.com.

Can’t tell you how uplifting this news is for our team.

Currently we are resting a little, recovering from the hectic period of releasing our second title 99 Spirits and its highly successful IndieGoGo campaign while also working on a couple of projects we are getting ready to announce soon. That is why our blog has been unusually silent lately, be ready to receive some announcements soon.

In the meanwhile, take advantage of the summer sales all digital distributors are running these days and stock up on games. I know I did…

Spirit Hunt Progress #2

The 99 Spirits IndieGoGo project just hit 40% of target funding – big thanks everyone!

To commemorate that, we’re launching a 4-day 40% discount for our previous release, War of the Human Tanks – you can head over to Desura to grab your copy.

Shizuru expresses her gratitude like only she knows how.

Shizuru expresses her gratitude like only she knows how.

Also, here’s an update on the current status of the localization:

We just finished working on chapter 7 out of of 12 of the story.
The game mechanics are starting to be in playable condition – as illustrated by this gameplay preview we put together last week.

We’ll still need to perform a lot of play testing before the release, and there may yet be large changes ahead. However, the first compiled versions are starting to look pretty good.

We are working on a trial version and aim to have it complete by the time the IndieGoGo project closes – note that one of the pledge rewards features an early access to the trial a week ahead of others!

Brewing Spirits

We have been preparing something big for 99 Spirits. You can look forward to an announcement within a week or two. Meanwhile, here’s a new screenshot from a little further into the game:99 Spirits - screenshot 04

We are presently also working on adding a feature some of our players have requested to War of the Human Tanks, and making good progress with that.

In other news, we have added some more distributors to our list of partners; here is the current list of them:

Amasson Amazon
Bandcamp
Desura
GamersGate
Green Man Gaming
Indievania
J-Box
Nyu Media
Shiny Loot

We are still working on getting War of the Human Tanks onto Steam, but we need more help on that front. You can lends us a hand by dropping a YES vote to War of the Human Tanks’ Greenlight entry.

It gives us great joy to see the ongoing, overwhelmingly positive response from people who have tried the game. We are still small profile, so if you like our work please tell your friends about us also.

4th in “Best Indie Strategy of 2012”

This morning we woke up to an unexpected nomination.

The good folks at indiegames.com have put together their ranking of Best Indie Strategy Games of 2012. You can find it here.

We found War of the Human Tanks in the 4th place.

“War of the Human Tanks would definitely head our top named games list of 2012, but, alas, we have prepared no such thing for you dear readers. We will though suggest you give this strategy/visual novel hybrid a go and see what you can do with its cast of armored humanoid weapons and simple yet deep RTS mechanics. The game includes over 30 maps of tactical challenges and even allows players to use resources earned from combat to purchase new abilities and upgrades between battles in what can only be described as its strategy mode.”

IGTW 4th best strategy game

This definitely makes for a nice start for the new year, as we begin to gear up for the work ahead. Big thanks @ the Indie Games weblog.

What was your favorite indie strategy of 2012?

2012 Reflections

With the year 2012 drawing to a close, we’re looking back at the year that has passed and evaluating what we have accomplished.

Fruitbat Factory
came to be in early 2012. The missive we set to ourselves when we started was to bring unique and interesting Japanese games to English-speaking audiences worldwide.

Our first localization – strategy game War of the Human Tanks developed by Yakiniku Banzai, was announced in May and released September 14th 2012. It was met with a by and large positive reception, though it’s obviously not a game for everyone. War of the Human Tanks is still struggling on fiercely in Steam Greenlight.

Our second localization, the Puzzle RPG 99 Spirits by TORaIKI was announced in October, shortly after the game’s release in Japan in August. Just last week we wrote about winning the Eclectic Indie Dev Grant competition with it. 99 Spirits is planned for an early 2013 release.

Following the release of War of the Human Tanks, we have taken advantage of two bundles – Bundle in a Box and IndieFort (which right now is still running) to spread awareness of our work. It’s been great to see new people commenting on the game and taking an interest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now let’s review some stats (everyone loves stats, right?):

War of the Human Tanks and its soundtrack, Sound of the Human Tanks;

available from 8 digital distributors,
over 7600 copies distributed,
made it to top10 sellers on Green Man Gaming, and rank 6 on GamersGate,
29,255 unique visitors on Desura,
21,316 unique visitors on Steam Greenlight.C

And our company Fruitbat Factory;

40,089 video views on YouTube,
25,548 unique visitors visiting our homepages 34,560 times,
5,611 visitors on this blog.

It’s hard to say how they compare, but those are some nice numbers overall. We hope things will only get better from here.

99 Spirits of X-Mas

Good news everyone! Yesterday Bundle in a Box that our first release War of the Human Tanks partook ended with great success and our next release 99 Spirits won the Eclectic Indie Dev Grant.

6322 people who bought Bundle in a Box – Eclectic Delights were given the chance to vote for the game they liked the most amongst the 22 candidates. After two weeks of voting, our 99 Spirits won the Eclectic Indie Dev Grant. We take this as a sign that we are doing something right and can hope for a favorable reception for 99 Spirits once it is released, so it is a tremendous vote of confidence.

Thank you!

To celebrate, we decided to publish the opening sequence of 99 Spirits, which we recently edited to English. This video will show up when you start a new game. It’s very brief and not a trailer, so it won’t show you any gameplay, you have to wait a little more for that. But this is not all! While we still have a couple of months until 99 Spirits‘ release, we have something big planned for next month already, so keep your eyes peeled!

For the duration of the next six days, our War of the Human Tanks is being featured in the GamersGate’s IndieFort Bundle alongside Will Fight for Food, Zafehouse: Diaries and Zombie Shooter 2. Don’t miss this chance to grab all of them at the incredible price of $4 and save $36!

Last but not least, Merry X-Mas everyone! We prettied our sites in the spirit of X-Mas if you noticed, hopefully they’ll be easier and more fun to navigate now. We also have some nice discounts coming for the holiday period, to give you a chance to buy our products at very affordable prices to gift them to your loved ones. We hope you’ll enjoy our Christmas presents, and share in our excitement for the coming year.

Countdown Bundle

While we’re working on 99 Spirits, we most certainly haven’t forgotten War of the Human Tanks. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to give as many people as we can reach the opportunity to enjoy the game.

IndieFort Countdown Logo

On that note, we’re happy to announce that War of the Human Tanks will be featured in the IndieFort Countdown Bundle!

WotHT will be included in the final week’s bundle from 12/21/2012 to 12/27/2012, but do check out the great lineup below – if you buy all of the previous weeks’ bundles, you will get the bundle with War of the Human Tanks innit for absolutely FREE.

How is that possible, you ask? Read on after the trailer.

Countdown Bundle is made of five separate bundles, a new bundle every week for five weeks. Each bundle is made of four games and priced at $4. For each bundle you buy, the next one will be $1 cheaper. So if you buy the first one, the second bundle is only $3; buy that and the next one is $2, going that way next one is $1 and the final bundle (that is to say, the one War of the Human Tanks is in) will be completely free.

That’s $10 for a total of 20 games at the end of five weeks. We also have bonuses that will unlock upon reaching set sales goals that include 7 more games, 6 OSTs and an add-on. Making the full price of everything you are getting for just $10 into a grand total of $250. A 96% discount is a deal you should not to miss.

We have also teamed up with the kind folks at the charity organization Help-Daniel. We are dedicating part of the proceeds from the full five weeks of sales to him, and want to reach out to the community for help in the hopes he makes a full recovery soon.

Since this bundle is hosted by GamersGate, you will get a key for everything there. Also the games on this bundle that have Steam versions already present will give Steam keys to add to your account. (Marked those with (STEAM) below) And the rest are all on Greenlight (except 2, here is a link to the Greenlight Collection) and you will get a Steam key for those when they are greenlit with your votes. So don’t forget to vote YES for them. (Marked those with (Greenlight) below)

IndieFort Countdown Bundle:

Week 1:
Aeon Command (Greenlight)
Genetrive 2
Space Pirates and Zombies (STEAM)
Waveform (STEAM)

Week 2:
Caster (STEAM)
Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece (STEAM)
Strategic War in Europe (Greenlight)
Zombies (Greenlight)

Week 3:
Alien Hallway (STEAM)
Bridge It (Greenlight)
Eryi’s Action (Greenlight)
Terrorhedron (Greenlight)

Week 4:
Achron (STEAM)
Alien Shooter 2 Conscription (STEAM)
Orczz (Greenlight)
Syder Arcade (Greenlight)

Week 5:
War of the Human Tanks (Greenlight)
Will Fight for Food (Greenlight)
Zafehouse: Diaries (Greenlight)
Zombie Shooter 2 (STEAM)

Also we are having a Black Friday special sale! Everything at half the price.
Go grab some copies of War of the Human Tanks as presents for your friends, it’s only $4.99!

Interview with a Walrus

As we’ve been busy working on 99 Spirits and suddenly realized we haven’t posted anything on the blog this week, today we decided to bring you an interview with one of our own: Tony Blomqvist, the coder, proofreader, infamous walrus lover.

Jakke: Can you tell us a little about yourself, Tony?

Tony: I code stuff and it either works or doesn’t, I like music and anything Jakke doesn’t like.

Jakke: That’s a good start, what about…

Tony: and I believe all monkeys should be set free.

Jakke: Quite so, quite so. Now for the thousand dollar question: what is it you actually do around here, Tony?

Tony: Well, dearest Jakke McFlammy Flemington, a lot of different incoherent things. My main participation is in creating scripts and programs that help Fruitbat Factory’s localization projects, as well as proofreading the text. With War of the Human Tanks, I made the installer and launcher, developed scripts for managing the project’s text files, and edited the game’s source code to improve some text positions and gameplay mechanics.

Jakke: Oh, yeah, I think that rings a bell. What would you say was the hardest aspect in working on War of the Human Tanks?

Tony: Studying the game’s code with no prior C/C++ experience! As someone who has only recently started programming (mainly with Python), there was a lot to learn. The engine War of the Human Tanks runs on, System 4.0, allows games to be coded with C-like abstraction, but it was all new to everyone on the team, and all the documentation, of course, was in Japanese. Though frustratingly difficult at times, it was also a very educational process, and taught me a lot about C and code structuring. When I eventually could comfortably alter the code of bigger segments such as changing pre-battle tank repositioning to work on-the-fly, it felt very rewarding.

Walrus

Jakke: What about your strange, unnatural love for walruses?

Tony: My love for walruses. Now that’s a tough one. I have no idea. I guess the Finnish word for a walrus sounds cute? Yeah.

Oh, there’s that Beatles song about walruses. That’s pretty trippy. Maybe that has affected me too.  Its name is, unsurprisingly, “I am the walrus”. John Lennon wrote the song after he had heard that there’s a study group that likes to analyze the meaning of his lyrics. He made the lyrics totally nonsensical and thought “let the fuckers figure that out”. At least so Wikipedia or some other documentary claimed. That’s my most trusted source, I have to admit I wasn’t there.

Jakke: Thank you very much for the insightful commentary on the state of modern localization work.