Posts by: Tim Nixon

  • From all the team at Runaway, we hope you’ve had a fantastic holiday period with friends and family, and are ready for a big 2013.

    We’re back! In the office and rearing to go, theres lots to do and some exciting times ahead. As we mentioned at the end of last year, the game is all done, with submission to come in a couple of days. From there we wait for approval and co-ordinate with our partners to lock down a specific launch date. iOS is coming first, so once that’s submitted we’ll be looking to polish up the Android version and make sure its ready for release not too long afterwards. We also need to be ready for maintaining the live product, so that means preparing servers, analytics, community pages, etc so that everyone has the best possible experience and we can respond quickly to live game activity. You can also look forward to trailers and behind the scenes videos coming up with the game’s release.

    Can’t wait to get the game into your hands, and thanks for all your patience as we’ve worked hard to get the whole package together.

  • After months and months of very hard work we are now preparing to submit v1.0 of Flutter Mobile to the App Store! This is a super exciting time for us and we can’t wait to see what you think of the game.

    A quick heads up to let you know we’ll be doing a test launch where for a couple of weeks it will be available in a few select territories. This allows us to check a lot of the statistics in the game’s progression, make sure all the servers and working the way they should, etc.

    So if you’re in Australia, New Zealand, or Canada you’ll get to try the game a couple of weeks ahead of everyone else. Stay tuned for final live date, but no matter where in the world you are, everyone will be playing before Christmas :)

    [UPDATE] Good news: The game is done! Bad news: We’ve been held up a little with the release process so we’re now looking to launch in the new year, late January. So sorry for the delay, but the wait will be worth it!

  • That there is one of the brand new brazil nut storage barns (or ‘Payols’) that you guys made possible. You heard right, the project that you funded through the purchase of special WWF items in Flutter is well underway and already helping to support the Amazon communities of Lourdes and Tumbito.

    Two of the total eight Payol’s are already in use with the further six under construction. These barns shield the local farmer’s sustainable crops from the elements, dramatically reducing spoilage, increasing revenue to the community, and helping them be a shining example of how sustainable farming is the future of the rainforest.

    Think about that for a second. Because you guys cared about a sustainable future enough to actually put your money where your month is, now we can show you physical things that you’ve built in the real world Amazon Rainforest by playing in the virtual rainforest. Pretty special.

    So a huge thanks to those that took part, and to the amazing people at WWF New Zealand and WWF Bolivia who helped us make this happen.

    More where this came from, we’re just getting started!

  • We have an awesome opportunity for two aspiring game developers to join us here in the studio over the summer. One programer, and one artist.

    You must have at least completed your third year at a tertiary institution, and be able to show us working code or a striking visual portfolio. The programmer will work with the team on Flutter to create experimental new gameplay mechanics, while the artist with work alongside our in-house team to develop concepts for upcoming game projects (characters, environments, storyboards, etc).

    These are paid internships spanning 12 weeks, 10 working weeks with a two week break for Christmas. Start date is 19th of November.

    You have to be quick! Applications close 26th of October. Send me an email with a link to a playable build of your game or portfolio to tim@runawayplay.com


  • We want to take a moment to send a special thank you to all those fans who supported Flutter during its run on Facebook. We are incredibly proud of the game and generous to the huge following it amassed. The game was a great creative success, but ultimately operating a game on Facebook is a huge investment, and Flutter wasn’t covering itself. The decision was an incredibly hard one, most of all for the team who spent the better part of 18 months living and breathing the game. Unfortunately bringing a new Flutter back to Facebook was not an option we could take, but we are really excited to be seeing the game reach its full potential on mobile devices (p.s. the game will still be FREE to play on mobile).

    So! We’d like to throw you a couple of free treats to remember the original Flutter. Firstly here are a couple of high-res wallpapers of artwork from the original to adorn your desktop (click the thumbnails for full size images to download)

    And secondly, we’ve remastered the soundtrack for the game and made it available as a free downloadable EP on Bandcamp. When you go to the page click “Buy Now” and just enter $0 for the purchase price. The download also includes the wallpapers.

    Thanks again everyone, sorry we can’t come back to Facebook for now, but hopefully you can get behind our future developments and spread the good word for more beautiful games inspired by nature.

  • We’d like to announce that the new version of Flutter is going to be exclusively for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets. Now, we understand the change in platform will be a tough pill for some of our Facebook fans to swallow, but there are some good reasons for the move:

    • Play Style. New Flutter is all about building a nursery and collecting rare butterflies. This quick burst, nurturing gameplay is perfectly suited to soak up those spare minutes in your day wherever you are
    • Market. Mobile is booming big time, and Facebook is an increasingly costly environment to compete in. As a small team with a unique proposition, mobile is a better commercial fit for us right now.
    • Focus. Our last couple of games got us well aquatinted with mobile platforms and as a small team we wanted to focus in on one platform that we could become really competent on.
    • Graphics. It was always tough for us to achieve our artistic vision for the game within a browser, especially with the huge range of hardware out there. With increasingly powerful graphics and amazing screens on mobile devices, we can up our game’s presentation.
    • Touch. Guiding butterflies around with your finger and being able to touch the environment just rocks.
    The game is looking awesome, and we look forward to showing you more soon. We’re also incredibly excited that we are partnering with one of the greatest mobile developers and publishers on the planet to release the game, so many more cool announcements to come soon.
  • We’re having an awesome time working away on our all new Flutter, so thought it was time to share a new image and some details with you. Here’s a sneak peak at the refined caterpillars and butterflies from the game. Our ultimate goal this time around is for you to develop a special connection to your little creatures, for them to have an emotional range and be able to respond to your presence in a way that makes you feel awesome. This is a game very much about nurturing, collecting and raising a wide variety of beautiful species. You’re going to build an environment to be proud of; one that lights up each time you come back.

    Another thing we wanted to point out again and perhaps make clearer: the new version of Flutter is going to be a completely new experience. We are redeveloping from the ground up, using all the great lessons we learnt from the original and making a better, more focused experience. While this means there’s going to be a whole lot of new stuff to play with, it does mean that this is not a continuation of the old game, and hence will not use your old collections etc. We understand this might be a bit of a bummer, but we think you’ll be excited enough by the new game that it will be totally worth it :)

    All new Flutter is coming late summer (US time) and we’ll continue to bring updates here and on Facebook.

  • Download Howling Mouse for FREE from the App Store

    If you love the first 10 levels you can purchase three more zones for 99c a pop. We’ve also added a neat “Super Mouse” upgrade that makes your mouse indestructible for those challenges that are just a little too much. This is a really exciting upgrade for us as it’s the first time we’ve done in-app purchases for mobile, as well as integrating an advertising network to support the free version. The free-to-play model certainly looks like it’s the future of mobile so it’s a great thing for us to test the waters on.

    So jump on in, tell us what you think, and rescue those babies from the clutches of the Great Horned Owl!

  • Here’s a quick sneak peak of the update for Howling Mouse we have in the works. For those of you hungry for more levels and challenge, this is certainly going to bring it!

    Those that watch our Flutter fan page on Facebook closely will have also noticed a little teaser image on there. It gives a bit of insight into the direction we’re taking the game, and will be followed soon by a few announcements about what you can expect from the new version of the game.

  • hero

    Robot Software

    iPhone

  • Happy New Year everyone! We’re so excited to be kicking off 2012 all guns blazing, heads down on a project we care for very dearly and many more opportunities on the horizon.

    The start of a project is always an energetic and fun filled time, but it also plays an incredibly important role in setting the expectations, direction, and ultimate vision for a product. Given how much potential we think this game has, we’re taking that very seriously and making sure we incorporate all our learnings from prior projects to ensure this is our absolute best.

    In other news, the office has been completely taken over by Hero Academy fever. If you have an iPhone you should get it immediately!

    Oh and by the way, has everyone picked up a copy of Howling Mouse? If not you really should go ahead and do so. We have a cool update coming out in a few weeks too.

  • It is with a heavy heart today that we announce Flutter for Facebook will be going offline on the 23rd December. But wait! This is not the end, but instead the beginning of a transformation that will take Flutter to whole new heights. We’ve had a fantastic time producing and maintaining Flutter, it’s a product we’re proud of and care for deeply, but for us to take it further we need to look at the game from the ground-up and address some of its key issues to ensure that it can become a mainstream success. We are a lot more experienced now than we were when we first designed the game, and have been working very very hard to design an approach for the next version of Flutter which is a far better core experience. So from 23rd December we will be going into our chrysalis, putting our heads down, and emerging with a much more spectacular creature :)

    But we had to give this version of the game a proper farewell! So here’s what we’ve done for you guys to play with over the last couple of weeks:

    • All premium items except potions, powerups, and WWF items, are now purchasable with HD!
    • We’ve made an epic finale quest for our loyal fans involving a little magical mishap with the Owl.
    • The main forest is in sunset now, and in the last week will turn to nighttime before going to sleep
    • We have two new flower packs that will be going live for FREE over the next two weeks
    We hope you’re all going to have an awesome time with your friends playing the game out through these final weeks. Thank you so much for all of your support, you dedication continually blows our minds. And remember, this might be an end, but it is also a very exciting new beginning
  • Today another awe inspiring animated background has been added to the world of Flutter. Check out the WWF store to see the raw power of nature unleashed in the new “Thunder Storm” background. As always you can add it to your own grove for just 40 Facebook Credits. This is also a WWF item so remember this helps meet our target to build sustainable farming facilities in the Amazon.

    Speaking of which: 90% of the way there! That’s so close guys, cant wait for us to hit it :)

    Higher level players will find an incredibly cute new story quest awaiting them as the fruit bat looks to welcome a new addition to the family.

    We also have an exciting new announcement coming in the next week as we’ll be launching Flutter with a big player in the casual / social gaming space. Stay tuned.

  • You asked for it, you got it!

    More quests have arrived in Flutter, and not just one or two, but more than 50! We’ve built out a new system which gives you a new quest every day. That means more daily XP, and a new way to help the rainforest every day. Can’t wait till tomorrow? For just 10 Facebook Credits you can get yourself another quest straight away. This new system has taken a ton of work but now that its in there we’ll regularly be adding more and more quests to keep everyone busy in the rainforest. Got some ideas of quests for the system? Let us know!

    Get hunting for the red forest spirit to pick up your daily quest, and if you want more you can pick them up in the Power Ups tab.

    Also very importantly: we’re 78% of the way toward reaching our fund raising target to help our the Amazon! Let’s band together and help these guys out team, we’re so close to making a huge impact on this community’s life.

  • A Pygmy Marmoset monkey, a rich Heliconia (which your Hummingbird will love!) and some cheerful glow flowers have today been added to the WWF store.

    Every time you purchase one of these cute little critters – all real-life flora and fauna of the Amazon – you contribute directly to sustainable nut farming communities in Bolivia.

    Flutter is inspired by the Amazon, so we want to give back to the very environment that was our muse.

    The indigenous people of Versalles and Mategua are fighting for a sustainable Amazon by growing Brazil nuts instead of logging. But these guys are under-resourced, so they need your help to upgrade their operations and lead the way to a sustainable future.

    We’ve set a target to build 8 Payols (Brazil Nut storage barns) that will dramatically increase the productivity of these harvests by protecting nuts from spoilage.

    Every item purchased from the WWF counts and we’re over halfway there already with your contributions to date. So let’s do this together and increase the quality of life for these amazing people.

  • Next week we take the adventure deeper into the rainforest. We’ll open a new environment, introduce you to a new creature, add a new daily action, and tease the look and feel of the second main forest area. We also have some great new items coming to the WWF store and a really exciting announcement about the work we’re helping with in Bolivia.

    Stay tuned, will be an exciting week :)

  • We’re looking for a talented and enthusiastic programmer to join our team on the development of our latest iPhone game inspired by an incredible work of nature.You’ll work with the wider team to build a polished game product from a strong established gameplay mechanic previously developed through an extensive prototyping phase. It’s a character fueled 2D adventure associated with one of the biggest brands in factual entertainment and will be a challenging and rewarding project. 

    Skills Required

    • Exemplary object-oriented programming ability
    • Proven ability to ship a polished product, preferably a game
    • Excellent written English and teamwork skills
    • Passion for great games and drive to iterate a highly refined, fun gameplay experience

    Desired

    • Objective C experience
    • iPhone SDK experience
    • Specialty in 2D graphics animation and “bling effects”

    Engagement

    • 8 week on-site fixed term contract in Dunedin, New Zealand
    • 18th July – 9th September
    • Competitive weekly rate (advised on application)

    Apply with CV and sample code / project to: tim@runawayplay.com by 4th July 2011

  • Good news team, there’s now a very good reason to visit Flutter more than once a day!

    Recently we revised the way the flower beds worked. We did this to bring them in line with all other resources in the rainforest in “recharging overnight”. This gives our game a unique differentiator in that you can pop in once a day (at any time that suits you) and really feel like you’ve been productive, not pressured to come back every five minutes. This is in line with the more relaxing nature of the game, and also makes the flowerbeds functionality a whole lot easier to understand.

    However! We recognize that some fans are very keen to return more than once a day, so we wanted to make sure there was something for them to do and get a little bonus. New to the rainforest are “Honeydew Flowers” that you’ll find popping up around the place, with one appearing every hour (up to a max of six). These become worth more as you progress, so they’re still meaningful for higher level players. All flower beds orange? One of these will be worth one orange flower.

    Also, the Honey Dust will now regenerate every 6 hours, giving you even more to pick up!

    We’re happy this update gives the best of both worlds in that the main Honeydew collection source supports our casual, once a day players, while those keen to return more can get a little advantage for their dedication.

    Look forward to your feedback as always

    P.S. Thanks again for all your feedback on the new interface items, we’ve been listening and making refinements through the week, so as a little thank you we’ve sent you all a free pack containing: “Instant Grow Formula” “Blue Seed” “Instant Brew Formula” and a “Luck Potion!”. Have fun :)

  • Today we’re really excited to release some updates to the core interactions in Flutter that move us closer to a more intuitive, lightweight experience for our daily players. These updates are informed by months of quantitative analysis on player data, and qualitative feedback from both experts and everyday players. Here’s a rundown on what we’ve changed and why:

    Contextual Interactions: For new players and seasoned veterans (developers included!) we found it could be laborious and confusing to know what you should be dragging-and-dropping to keep your rainforest alive and at full productivity. To combat this we developed a system that would clearly show for each object in your world, what its state was, and what actions you could perform on it. With one click you can now expand and upgrade flower beds, feed animals and apply potions. This significantly smooths out the difficulty curve for new players, and makes the daily cycle for experienced players that much more straight forward.

    Reminder Bubbles: We needed to make it clearer where there was something in the world that needed your attention, so alongside these new menus we’ve integrated a neat little bubble that alerts you when an item or creature needs your help. No more will you aimlessly flutter about the forest wondering what to do next, the inhabitants of the Amazon will just pop up a friendly reminder.

    Daily Honeydew: One of the things that makes Flutter great is the fact you can just pop in once a day. A while ago we updated the harvesting system to take into account your local timezone and have the rainforest “recharge” overnight. This meant that no matter what time of day you found a few minutes to check in, you’d still get a full benefit of a daily harvest. We’ve now brought the pollination flowers in line with the idea, so you just have to pop them once a day to get your full 24 hours worth of Honeydew!

    These changes don’t come lightly, and for our existing player base we appreciate that change in the world that you have come to know and love can be tough. We as players love the newfound fluidity that these updates have introduced to the game, and we’re confident they will lead to a better experience for all.

    As always we are close knit with our community and appreciate all of the constructive feedback and generous support we receive from our passionate player base. As such we will continue to refine these new interactions and the game as a whole in partnership with our devoted fans.

    Thanks again for all your support as we strive to make Flutter one of the best games on the Facebook platform :)

  • Hey Flutter fans, just a quick update to let you know we’ve had our heads down working on some really cool updates to the game which will make it easier to learn, smoother to play, and lay the foundation for all our future extensions of the rainforest.

    A lot of new players have found it hard to deal with the game’s complexity, especially when having to drop special items on special objects in the world. That frustration is going to come to an end very soon as we introduce a one-click system for interacting with objects that magically knows what everything in the rainforest wants! You’ll get to see it in action very soon, and hope you enjoy the new fluidity it’ll add to your trips through the forest.

    I’d also like to take this chance to welcome our new Community Manager, Donnelle, to the team. She’ll be round to help you guys out if you have technical problems, game suggestions, etc. We’re really excited to have her on board to ensure we stay right up to speed with our community, and that we’re doing the best we can to make the game better for our players. Join us in welcoming Donnelle here, or pop her an email with a question or suggestion atsupport@runawayplay.com

    Hang tight for a very cool update end of this week :)

  • We’ve released an awesome update for our higher level players today with the release of the Master Potions in the Magic Cauldron. This also includes a new “Blazing Orchid Chest” potion, opening up a new collection of 6 rare and beautiful orchids. You’ll find three new quests to complete, two based around the cauldron and the new orchids, with the third based on the new Lucky Dips. These can be brewed in the cauldron or bought with credits, and are for sharing with your friends to give them a surprise gift. What a treat!

    You’ll notice we’ve shuffled a couple of potions around also, adding a new “Honey Dust Scramble” potion to the Beginner recipes. This is one of my favorite potions, adding a new challenge for you to grab as much valuable Honeydew as possible in 20 seconds! Those faster butterflies would really help you out here.

    Last but certainly not least: You can now take screenshots and post them to your Facebook albums through the game! Not only can you capture the screen you can see, but in the grove you can take a picture of the whole thing in one frame. So get snapping by using the camera (screenshot) and photo (grove shot) icons in the bottom right next to your friends. This is something players have been asking for for a while so we’re thrilled to release it, and will be running a competition here on the blog to see who can create the best grove. Stay tuned for details.

    Next week we have some new decorations for you, and we’ll be putting a lot of work into streamlining the core gameplay to make the game a little more accessible to the widest range of players. This will lay the foundation for some exciting new expansions to the world which we can’t wait to show you.

  • The update this week brings a beautiful new vista to your grove through the New Dawn background. We’ve also added a new HD butterfly for our higher level players to collect (the Snowflake) along with some new premium flowers and HD flowers. Check out all the new stuff in the Feature Store or on the Grow panel in your grove.

    Speaking of panels and tabs, we’ve made some interface updates as well to make managing your items a little easier. Firstly, you can now expand the side panel view to show 4 items across by clicking ‘more’ at the top of the tabs. Want it smaller again so you can fly round with it open? Just click ‘less’ to switch back to the 2-wide option. There is now a “My Stuff” tab as well (looks like a little crate) which will just show you all the items in that category (Grow or Consumables) that you own (good for recycling lots of stuff to save for a high price item). Final change is breaking up the Consumables tab into Food, and Power Ups, as it was getting a little busy with only one tab!

    So the last couple of weeks have been spent busily bug-fixing and optimising the game. The exciting news? We have new features on the way which now we can really sink our teeth into. That means next week we’ll have some new quests to release! Can’t wait :)

  • How bout epiciphyte? Maybe too much of a mouthful. Well we decided to go with Super Bromeliad to keeps things a little simpler. That blue version of the epiphyte produces Super Water that your Fruit Tree will just love.

    Another very exciting (and much requested) additional this week is Moss and Vines for the grove. Now you can make your home feel really bedded-in.

    We have a very exciting update coming for you next week which is going to bring with it a very creative competition. I’ll give you a little hint: brush up on your grove decoration skills. We’re also adding some cool new critters to the forest next week who will liven the place up a bit.

    Stayed tuned and thanks as always for your wonderful support.

  • The palette of the rain forest’s mood and lighting expands again today with the release of the Nighttime decoration set and background. The deep blue and twinkling stars set an awesome scene for arranging bright flowers that seem to glow in the moonlight. Jump into the feature store to see the background, or grab one for your grove on the ‘Special’ tab. You’ll also find new matching foliage and premium flowers to complete the set!

    Also released today is a set of items that have been requested for a while: Fruit Tree style foliage. Now you can make your whole grove environment flow together with the style of your fruit tree, pasting tree leaves all around your grove. You can find them in the normal foliage panel.

    Boy have we had some long design meetings this week! We’ve been very busy prioritising whats next for the game, balancing refinements to the existing experience with new content for our dedicated players. We now have a plan for the next few months and are busily working towards a couple of big upgrades we’ll be able to sink our teeth into. Will be able to share more with you soon.

    See you in the rainforest!

  • Say hello to the Feature Store, a new space in the rainforest you can go to check out neat premium items in the flesh. We’ve packed it full of new goodies including a very special golden epic flower (10,000HD a day for you and your friends!), the Blue Doctor Butterfly, and decorative flowers. We’ve also added an area for Potion Packs, so with one quick purchase you can stock up on insta-brews or insta-grows to speed your way through the game. You even get 2 potions for free when buying a pack of 10!

    We’re working really hard to line up some great new quest progression content for you all, so if you’re a high level hang tight cause theres some brilliant new exploration coming for you soon! We’ll also bring a new background and decoration set next week. I wonder what it could be? :)

    Thank you all for your wonderful support, we hope you enjoy looking around the store, and remember the revenue from all your Facebook Credits purchases is coming back to the developers so we can make more, bigger, better adventures for you to experience in the rain forest.