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We all know that Avatar is the biggest movie ever. It just recently beat Titanic for the top grossing screen dollars ever. But, there’s a more interesting movie story that’s playing in the theaters. And, it involves 3 adorable little singing Chipmunks!
I don’t think that a lot of people have been paying as much attention to this movie as they should. Because if you’re in the entertainment industry, it’s a really fascinating case study on how to get rich.
What I’m talking about is very simple – a good estimate of the cost of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel can be based on the cost of the first flick. The first movie cost about 70 million and I’d argue that the squeakquel… er, sequel, probably cost LESS to make (because of greater efficiencies ie they new what they were doing this time around and could do it cheaper/better/faster).
Now, I’ve been watching Alvin for some time now, and since it’s release on Christmas day, it’s been hovering around the top 3-4 place for some time. More importantly, it’s box office total according to Rottentomatoes.com is about 204 million.
That’s an incredible sum of money! When I was a younger and more naive I used to to wonder why on earth this type of movie was made (bad script with fairly bad acting, family friendly type of garbage). As it turns out, this kind of movie is made because it makes shit tons of money.
Based on the success of the first one (which itself earned a box office of 215 million), it was a pretty big no brainer that this movie would do just as well.
Which brings me to how this affects Jr. Jellybeans. We’re as passionate as anyone when it comes to creating great art that not only inspires us to do our best but also push ourselves to try new things. We’re also big fans of money :)
Whenever I think about situations like this, it gets me thinking about the traps of easy money – given the ability to just throw something out to the world and make a fuck ton of money would we take it? You’d like to think that you wouldn’t, and that you’d be happy with the art that you have.
Unfortunately, there’s also a business aspect to art. It’s, like, you don’t want to make money JUST so you can have nice shit (although that is awesome), you also want it to show how talented you are (the thinking being that people who are really talented and passionate earn more money than other people).
It’s an interesting thing to think about and this movie had really gotten me thinking about what we’d be willing to do to make a buck…
So, we decided to change things up a little bit. We recently spoke about the changing video game industry in our article about EA's Battlefield Heros (check out our article HERE). And, well, we decided to try to make our next game in Flash.
Luckily, we've learned quite a few things from using Game Maker. In fact, we've only been working with Flash for about 2-3 days, and I think that we can already make a SIMPLE platforming game (oh, by the way, the new game is going to be a simple platformer - and it MIGHT be FREE!). We started learning by using Michael James Williams Simple Avoider Game Tutorial. It's a fantastic tutorial, and it really helps you get started with Actionscript 3.0! Just after finishing that alone, we're pretty much prepared to make a platformer (a simple one, however).
Being the ambitious bunch that we are, however, we're going to take things a little further. Now, our first Flash game isn't going to be anything major, but we are going to need to know how to do things more advanced than making that simple avoider game. And, figuring out how to learn these tricks has been tough...
Currently, we're using the forums at kirupa for our Flash information. Now, I'm not sure if that's the BEST place to do it as most of the people seem a bit more advanced than us :( But, overall, people have been friendly and supportive and have answered our questions quickly.
Interestingly enough, that exact thing is one of the things that drove us AWAY from Torque - ie having a community where we can ask lots of questions. There isn't a huge Torque 2D gaming community and we learn by using other people's example. We're not smart enough to do things on our own :(
One way or the other, Flash has been quite difficult. Yes, we expected it to be, but it really makes us appreciate Game Maker for all it's worth. Right now, we're building a simple level editor and that alone is making us want to pull out our hair.
Still... it's fun. It's an exciting challenge that we're really looking forward to. I don't know if it's because we've finished a game that we're quite proud of or just that we're ACTUALLY getting smarter, but we are getting the hang of things a bit more than the last time we tried to learn Flash.
Hopefully, we can get a working game within the next 3 months...
Okay, we finally got our game page for The Good Apprentice set up. You can find it right here:
All right, with that out of the way, we have decided to use our main blog as basically a duplicate of our wordpress blog.
Basically, we spend a bit too much time writing a regular blog and a wordpress blog. So, unless someone tells me that it's against the policies of moddb, this main page blog will literally just be a cut and paste copy of the Jr. Jellybeans blog found here:
I want to point out however, that our games pages news will be updated as frequently as possible!
With that said, I'll be working on a new video to upload soon. Check out the game page for more information.
In addition, we should be releasing a game play demo very soon! Check out our homepage for more information:
So, we actually scrapped the save system. We FINALLY figured out what the problem was and decided was able to use the system that Game Maker usually uses. Lucky us!
Aside from that, due to the fact that we couldn't find any free royalty free midi files that sounded nice, we're now working on our own music!
It's actually going decently. We're certainly not making the best music in the world, but it's definitely not the worst music either. They're small, single note playing music that suits the game rather nicely.
We'll be uploading some tracks as soon as we get them finished. Should only take a couple of more days as we seem to be making about one track a day and we only need six or so.
Yeah, so the Game Maker save system was kind of broke, so we just decided to create our own one. It's actually a pretty simple system and it will make it possible for people to cheat a little...
Meh... hopefully, they play the game for the story :)
Aside from that, our artist is working hard so we feel good about that!
And, we're going to try to work on some music for the game. Hopefully that turns out well because if it doesn't we'll be a bit screwed. Well, not screwed, but the game file will grow a bit bigger than we'd like.
Check out our regular blog for more information:
Yeah, we are finally at a point when we will be finished with all of the boring stuff of game design.
After that, we just need to do some code related to setting the bosses behavior correctly. Actually, all we need to do is set the bosses behavior so that it displays the correct image. Should be fairly easy actually.
We just sent an e-mail to our artist. She needs to hurry her ass up. We're not paying her much, so I guess it's a "what do you expect" sort of situation, but still! It will piss us off if she doesn't hurry up!
We just redid our website again. You can check it out by going to:
Besides that, we're still doing tile placement. Yes, I know we said we'd have that video. We're trying our best! Just give us some time!
Besides that, things are going great! Stay tuned for more information.
So, far we're placing tiles for the various levels in the game. We've done ABOUT half the levels so far and we should be finished within a week or so.
Then, all we'll have left is some additional code!
It feels great to be at this point in the game. We've been working our asses off trying to get this game finished in two months. Our marketing efforts seem to be going great. The game is fun. It's simple.
We really feel great about The Good Apprentice!