Where’s the Beef?

So we just launched Interrupting Cow Trivia late Friday afternoon. Friday’s not a great time to launch things, because you usually spend most of Monday super-gluing back together the shards of whatever assploded on you over the weekend. But after sinking twenty-five hours into the Music portion of the game alone, we were anxious to share the results to keep from going nutso.

Interrupting Cow Trivia

“Black” is the new “graphics”.

In another gutsy move, we launched the game without graphics and called it “alpha”. It’s an honest moniker – the game is fully playable – even multi-playable – and i figured it’d be best to test the waters of functionality before applying the paint n’ spackle that the game requires.

Most importantly, i want the game to be “hooky”. i want players to be sitting at home or at work, thinking “gee, i’d certainly love to scour the net for that mythical Britney Spears sex tape again, but that cow trivia game was pretty fun too.”

Why Buy the Cow …

The plan is to distribute the game as far and wide as possible. With original titles like Two By Two, which is featured in our Pimp My Game series, free distribution was a bit of a sore spot. i didn’t feel great about giving my work out to as many people as possible for free, in excange for a few pennies of ad revenue every day. And i figured if i couldn’t recoup the cost of a game like Two By Two, which was built in a single weekend by one resource, how could i ever justify a longer, more expensive development cycle on a better game and give it away for free too? All babies must eat.

Interrupting Cow Trivia was a far pricier game to develop. Jeff was our primary developer on the product, and the man has expensive tastes; each morning, i am forced to fashion a new chair for him out of crisp twenty dollar bills, or he threatens to quit his job. Despite this, there are some key differences between our strategies for Interrupting Cow Trivia and Two By Two:

  • Like 2×2, ICT will have injected MochiAds, but they’ll be shown more frequently. We’re considering popping up a 10-15 second MochiAd before each round of ten questions. Higher ad frequency = (potentially) higher revenues.
  • ICT was made to take advantage of our new membership features. You can play the game as SomeSchmuck69, but you can also log in using your Untold Entertainment login and password (get yours here!) When the game travels far and wide, there will still be that membership hook to our site. With a little more development, members’ avatars will be displayed in the game while they’re playing. We’ll enable members to submit new questions, and we’ll recognize top submitters when they enter the game with glitter and sparkles or some other nonsense. And we’ll be able to track members’ progress by storing scores and handing out trophies, which will be displayed on members’ profile pages.
  • We’re planning to integrate the game with Facebook to up the Crack Factor a little. i’ll be leaning on all my old high school friends and sixth grade crushes (i’m looking at you, Jenny Kennedy) to help kickstart this initiative when we launch.

Our Plan for World Domoonation

More savvy readers will wonder how, financially, ICT is any different. Same thing, right? Another game with MochiAds in it that may well under-perform. We’re looking at ICT as a gateway drug for our upcoming projects, an entertainment delivery system that will help us build an audience, so that when we launch a game that we want to charge actual dollars for, we’ll have actual people to whom we can charge that money. And they’ll figure “well, i play Interrupting Cow Trivia every night for thirty-nine hours … their new game is probably worth a few bucks.”

It’s along the lines of the patronage system that Blurst is attempting, except that we’re chasing different patrons – a kinder, gentler crowd that prefers trivia and jigsaw puzzles to oh, say, running over velociraptors with a spiky ball-bedecked Range Rover.

Blurst's Minotaur China Shop

Off-road Velociraptor Safari may not be everyone’s bag, but the concept for Blurst’s Minotaur China Shop is HILARIOUS

Who’s Got Your Back?

The technology we’re using for the ICT back-end is Electro Server 4 by Jobe Makar and friends. We’re using the free version, which gives us something like ten or twenty simultaneous connections for free. Once we see the game bumping up against this limit, we’ll consider upgrading the server for 700 clams, but it’s definitely not a cost we’re keen on absorbing until we see some worthwhile traffic from the game.

And we won’t see worthwhile traffic until we see cows. The art style planned for the game is unique and fun, and involves at least one cow. Unfortunately, Untold Entertainment has no resident artistic staff for the time being. We’re sitting on a mountain of code IP, including ICT, just waiting for an artist to give it life.

What’s in a Name?

i hope that clears up any burning questions about the game and our strategy for it? The one remaining question you may have is “why did you give it such a stupid name?” As with Kahoots™, our fun crime-themed puzzle game that we’ve modeled entirely in clay, we see a real need to differentiate our products from the crowd of freely-available online games. How many trivia games do you know that are called “Super IQ Trivia!” and “Smarty IntelligentPants Quiz!” and “BrianPuncher Challenge!” ? Probably a lot. But i’m hard pressed to come up with any trivia games named after every six-year-old’s favourite knock-knock joke.

So there you go.

Also: moo.


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