The Big Big Castle!

Jul 9, 2012 twenty to three pm

Sometimes it feels like Clayton Kauzlaric and I have a game-making addiction problem.  We both have day jobs where we sit around all day long and make games for money, but then we go home and make games for free.   If God didn't want us to make games he shouldn't have made it so much damn fun.

Over the past few years we've made around ten iOS games in our spare time.  We'd work on one for a month and then some new idea would hit us and we're on to that.  ADD game designers.  The Big Big Castle! is the second one we've actually gotten around to finishing.  The first was a word game called Word Spiral.  Both are for the iPad.

The Big Big Castle! stared out because I wanted to play around with Box2D, then Clayton brought up this idea he's had for the last 10 years about building stuff and watching it fall down, so we started working on that.  Clayton's nine year old son said he'd like to blow up the castles he'd just built, so we added that, then we thought it would be fun if you could destroy castles your friends had built, so we added that.

The Big Big Castle! is the result of a few months of spare time on the weekends.  It's just a fun little game.  A labor of love we thought we'd share.

It's FREE so what have you got to lose.  If you feel guilty about pirating Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, DeathSpank or Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, buy a coin pack and we'll call it even.

Other people's comments:

Posted by Concha Fernandez on Jul 10, 2012 twenty to five am

Well, I am going to try them this afternoon! I had no idea you were involved in other projects. And I also do the same: I finish work and still keep doing other things related to it for fun :)

Posted by chrisis on Jul 10, 2012 five past eight am

Now, who wants to buy me an iPad to play it?

Posted by Jenni on Jul 10, 2012 twenty past three pm

I'd happily buy it... but I don't own any Apple products and don't see myself buying an iPhone or iPad any time soon.

Posted by Jeff on Jul 10, 2012 twenty five past four pm

Hey, I bought DeathSpank I & II!

Posted by Jeff on Jul 10, 2012 half past four pm

By the way, what's "Mansion Mansion"?

Posted by Art Gamer on Jul 12, 2012 quarter past one am

Hey Ron. What are your thoughts on the Ouya console?

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jul 12, 2012 ten to eleven am

I hope they don't screw up the process of people being able to buy games. It's one of the things Apple got right and Android has struggled with.  I also hope they take players privacy very very seriously.  It's always a problem with open platforms (including the PC).  If the console becomes a malware and virus haven, they are dead.  That's something Android as also struggled with.

Posted by Louis on Jul 12, 2012 twenty five to five am

Gee... I want an iPad now...

Posted by Reg on Jul 14, 2012 quarter past midnight

Looks like a fun little game, but unfortunately supporting Apple plays into the hands of the corporate pigmonster. Solidarity, mi frater!

Posted by Chris on Jul 17, 2012 five past midnight

Free to play -- EVIL!!!  ( But I hope you guys make lots of dough from selling virtual coins. :) )

This game has makes me sad. :(  I own an iPad for development and I've been registering with Apple as a developer since 2005.

I've been an Apple guy for decades and have always loved my Macs; but I don't know this new Apple. They're not the company I once knew, respected, defended, and sold so many of my friends and family on.  They're now a company I absolutely DESPISE on so many levels... I now view Microsoft as the good guys...

So sadly, I won't be downloading your new game to try out.  I have absolutely no care to access the iTunes Store for anything personal again.

But no worries, I owns a PC, so I'll be buying The Cave on day one!

AND, if you ever decide to look at Android in a positive light - - that's the platform I'll gladly download and try your FREE game on - - then buy some of your coins to give your ideas my financial support.

Take care Ron.

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jul 17, 2012 quarter past ten am

The game is more FREE than FREE-TO-PLAY.  Yes, there are virtual coins, but you don't need them to play 90% of the game.  I hate Zynga style FREE-TO-PLAY game as well.

I won't argue with you that Apple is evil.  I've been a using Macs since 1985 and I don't like the direction they are going any more than you do.  

But, I also hate Google.  I haven't posted on Google+ in months because I saw the way they were sharing personal information about me with other people they just "assumed" where my friends.  I hate the way they are tracking everything you do while logged in with a G+ account.

Of course, this didn't stop me from using the Google App Engine for the backend to The Big Big Castle!

Google and Apple are both evil companies, just in different ways.  What company isn't evil these days?  I'm about ready to quit Twitter due to them heading down the road to blocking 3rd party twitter apps because they interfere with their ability to make money.

I don't look at Android in a negative light.  It has just as many issues as iOS, just different issues.

Converting The Big Big Castle! to Android would be a lot of work since the whole thing is coded in objective-c.  I love objective-c, it's one of the best programming languages I've ever used and I'm having a lot of fun with it.  These projects are just fun things I do on the weekends, so I want to have fun making them and objective-c provides a lot of that fun.

I wish Google would spend a fraction of the billions they have in the bank and make an Android framework for xcode that allows Android devs to code in objective-c.  It would be a huge win for them.  I don't think they understand that.

I don't use any of UIKit (ok, 5 lines of code to create the opengl UIView) in my games, it's all pure opengl code.  I don't know a lot of iOS game devs that use UIKit, so all Google would need to do is support OpenStep and they'd get 90% of what I and most iOS game devs need to cross develop on Android.

If Google has already done this, I can't find it anywhere.  Maybe I should search with Bing.

Posted by dj_pale on Jul 20, 2012 five past four pm

Haven't looked into Objective-C, doesn't look like that much fun ;) I find the Haxe NME ( approach currently more interesting. It let's you compile for different targets like Flash, iOS and Android. Also has libs for Box2D etc.

About the evil thing, I'm a bit torn on this. You have to create ecosystems and platforms with a certain level of Quality Control. But this means to sacrifice some user control or choice. I really hope OUYA can pull this off.

Posted by Someone on Jul 23, 2012 eleven am

'Maybe I should search with Bing'  That last line made me laugh out loud on numerous levels :)

Posted by Chris on Jul 18, 2012 three am

I'm not a big fan of any one company and avoid services like Google+. I'm not even on Facebook. If not for work that involves building Twitter feeds, I wouldn't be on it either.

I agree with your points.  It's just depressing to see how things are heading, as in less open.  I'm latching on to the lesser evils I guess.  Ironically, the guy that runs the local Android meet, hates Google.  Go figure.

I spent the day with a client and helped him pick out an Android tablet(ended up ordering a Nexus 7 online.) and also an iPad... Bleh. I'm hoping iOS slips down just enough, that Apple will have no choice but to be nice.

My first iOS gig was building the art in the UIKit/Interface Builder -- I'm an interactive designer, so if I'm not programm-eh-fying, I'm art-eh-fying and designing UIs; but for the undead corporate stuff.

BUT, having said the above, for my own personal projects, my first iPhone book was "iPhone 3D Programming," which taught me not to use UIKit for performance reasons.

Google needs to improve its interface builder, but I don't use it... And BING is of no use, it only returns Google's results... O_o

Anyways, I blame you.. I downloaded your game on my iPad and I had fun.  Now I feel dirty. :(

It was free and you guys did put in the time to offer something to share. So thanks!  I hope that soon, I'll have something up for free, that maybe you'll download and have fun with; I'm working on a game with a friend that lives two states away, so it's slow going.

Take care.

Posted by Derk on Jul 21, 2012 five to noon

I had a blast playing the game today with my 5-year old nephew - awesome job and keep up the great work!

Posted by GrumpyOne on Aug 6, 2012 noon


Posted by Skippy on Aug 7, 2012 ten past eight am


Posted by Cindy Stanton on Aug 7, 2012 half past eight pm

I agreed with you about the game being boring until I got to level 9, then the game gets really fun and is a challenge. I am addicted to endless building right now. Give the game a chance. It grows on you.

Posted by Victoria Tillman on Aug 8, 2012 ten past noon

Hi Ron, I just wanted to say that I have admired you for a long time. You are a very talented person who creates game that people love. Thank you so much. I hope you are doing well and hope you are having a wonderful day! I love you so much!

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