In August of this year my company Lucky Frame released Bad Hotel, an “insane hybrid of a tower defense game and a procedural music toy, with beautiful art and tons of bullets.”
Bad Hotel is another example of what I’ve been working on over the past few years, both on my own and with Lucky Frame. It is looking at interactions with sound, and seeing what other things can be used to expand our experiences with sound in general (and vice versa – how can music generation be enriched by other interactions?).
I was very proud of Bad Hotel when it came out, because I felt that we really managed to make something unusual and wonderful whilst still being an iPhone and iPad game (with all of the associations that comes with that world). We put a lot of love and work into it, and we were very pleased with the reception it received. A few choice quotes from reviews:
“…an unlikely work of minimalist art.” – Nick Gillett, The Guardian
“… endearingly bizarre.” – Shane Richmond, telegraph.co.uk
“Bad Hotel is, in short, the stuff of wonderful nightmares: an eerie soundtrack, a menacing palette and an all-pervading sense of inescapable doom. Yet it’s also one of the most original and atmospheric tower-defense games we’ve played all year…” – John Bedford, modojo.com
“…to understand how excellent Bad Hotel is, you need to play it. And you need to hear it…I like Bad Hotel so much I’d buy it for you. Get it. It’s for iPhone and iPad. It’s wonderful. ” – Stephen Totilo, kotaku.com
Our extremely positive reviews resulted in a mini storm of interest on the internet, which drove sales! It was great.
In the end, we’ve sold nearly 10,000 copies to date, which is wonderful. On the other hand, it’s a lot less than people think. To try and educate people and help out other small companies, I decided to be very open about our sales figures. You can read my full analysis and statistic on the Lucky Frame blog.
That blog post, in turn, seems to have created a bit more interest, and you can read two articles that delve into our iOS release strategy a bit more:
Bad Hotel and the five things every iOS developer must know, The Guardian
No one cares about your app and it won’t be a hit, reckons Lucky Frame’s Yann Seznec, Pocket Gamer
At Lucky Frame we are currently working on our next game for iPhone and iPad, which takes a similar concept of generating music through gameplay and applies it in a different way. It’s super fun!
In the mean time, be sure to pick up Bad Hotel on the iTunes store.