The original Panic! puzzle games go retail, I Hate Holidays now, TorqueIDE, Trajectory Zone

All three of the original Panic! puzzle games are being collected up in a single package (Midnight Ryder’s Panic! Pack Volume 1), and are moving into a retail space. You’ll soon be able to cruise down to CompUSA and pick up a copy. (BTW: Something of interest is that one of the games has reworked graphics, done by Eric Forhan, who also does the 2D texture, level design, and art management on Trajectory Zone and in theory most future titles from Midnight Ryder Technologies.)
However, don’t look for it at all CompUSA locations, and don’t look for it to appear in a box. Instead, it’s going to be appearing in Protocol’s new SoftwareToGo Koisk systems that are being installed a CompUSA locations. So far, there are only 25 Koisks, with more on the way. That doesn’t represent a huge chunk of money. But it does mean bragging rights (IE – getting into retail space) and some increased visibility. But given the low amount of effort (gotta do box art, and the autoplay for the CD), it’s a fairly good deal.
The only downside is that it pays more like retail profits than online sales profits. Too bad – I prefer to only loose a couple o’ bucks to a sales channel rather than the majority. Oh well.
The contract is signed, and only the box art needs to be completed – which means look for a press release and the usual blahblahblah on the subject sometime soon. I’ll also post updates on my experiences with the deal – that way if anyone else is looking along those lines, they know what to expect.
One extra bonus to doing the deal – I now have a retail title. While that doesn’t mean as much to Indies, it does to ‘professional’ game developers and publishers. I used to pick on David “RM” Michael about having a book to whack people upside the head with when it comes to discussing game development – well, now I have my first retail title (as small as it may be 😉 to do that with 😉
I now have a love / hate relationship with the holidays now. Since I only get paid for days that I work (no corporate welfare here!) I now hate having a day off. The upside is getting to see friends and family (who I rarely see now, since I’ve become a Technology Mercenary) and get the chance to relax. Watched lots of movies, rebuilt my PVR machine setup, clean house, and most importantly – actually get to spend time with my wife 🙂
But I’m happy to be back in the office – the lack of paychecks kills my mood quickly.
TorqueIDE isn’t dead, just in case anyone is wondering why it hasn’t gotten updated. As soon as TZ Beta 3 ships, I’ll polish off TorqueIDE 0.2. Lots of cool stuff in there. It took quite a while (at about an hour a day at max) to hack in the features that I needed to make live syntax highlighting work properly. Cursoring around with
Trajectory Zone is still plodding along – right now, I’m writing the MOTD functions, still having problems with proper ‘spread’ of projectiles in certain weapons, and a few other minor nit-picks that I just refuse to let go 😉 I still don’t have a headless version of the game server running either – something that’s going to be more important down the road, but I think I’ll let it slide on this version (I’m still having ‘issues’ at the moment when it comes to headless – it fails. That’s the issue in a nutshell 😉 I’m excited – after this beta proves it’s self out, I’m going to be showing it off to a publisher. Then after that – bigBetaBOOM! will happen, and we’ll find out anything that’s wrong gameplay wise.
God I want done with this particular game – I’ve got so much else I’d like to work on. Lists and lists of games I’d like to do 🙂
OK, well, back to being a Mercenary – I’ve got work lined up until Feburary. After that, well, the schedule is blank – which is rather scary. Gotta fill that void with some projects or game development – something that’s bringing in money 🙂
Kenneth Mair   (Dec 29, 2003 at 10:19)
How come you hate holidays?
Ken (AKA Marbleman/Orbulator)
Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr   (Dec 29, 2003 at 10:40)  
Not stated directly in this .plan, but, mentioned in some of my other .plans is the fact that I’m no longer a full time employee. Instead, I’m a full time Indie Game Developer and contractor for MMI, computer administration / security, and CAD work. I used to get paid for holidays when I was working for my Day Job. However, since I work for myself, I no longer get paid for holidays. I also have to put up with people being out of the office, so I can’t get a lot of stuff done until people get back in the office again. It’s all about money – I ain’t making any if everyone is out on holiday 😛

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