Age of Curling: Thoughts about Online Multiplayer

Lots of people have been asking for online multiplayer for our iPhone Curling Game “Age of Curling“.

Here’s why it’s might not happen:
It’s a niche game with a fairly small number of players. Don’t get me wrong, while it made less in half a year than the few top apps make in a single day, it made enough to pay the rent for a few months, which makes it a success to me!
And I’m proud to say that it seems to be doing quite well on replay value – the numbers suggest that each day there are a few hundred people playing the game. But 500 people / 24 hours / 30 mins (let’s pretend each of them would spend 2 minutes in the multiplayer lobby) = 0.69 – So, on average you’d have a little over half a person in the multiplayer-lobby waiting for a game… Not very “multi”…
But here’s why it still might happen eventually:
It’s only the beginning of autumn, the number of regular (and overall) players will most likely rise quite a bit during Curling season.
And anyway, it’s all a matter of doing it right… With a scheduling system, push notifications and a weekly timeslot for tournaments it might well be possible to get together a whole lot of players on a regular basis. And I’m sure it would get some attention for that!
And now here’s why it still probably won’t happen:
It’s a lot of work. – I am very committed to expanding the game (and I’ll continue to do so as long as people are playing it), but I’m not sure if the goal can be to make it the be-all-and-end-all Curling game and if it kills me.
Age of Curling is a mobile curling game that’s fun to play with a friend while on a train. It’s a fun game to play while waiting for the bus. It’s not a 100% accurate curling simulation, it’s not an e-sport-league game.
Each time I sit down to add something to the game I should really ask myself: “What can I do improve the strengths of the game?”. You know… Do one thing and do it well… And there you go… I just told you the secret philosophy behind BLACKISH and how we’re planning to survive as indie game developers.
(this post was somewhat inspired by this talk, mostly from min 46 onwards)
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    Anonymous on February 17, 2010 at 13:27 | Permalink

    What about a stand alone version non-iphone (PC) curling game? A la Take Out Weight Curling?

    The curling market is missing a "Rock" solid curling game. Take Out Weight is awesome but outdated and tons of glitches.

    Would love to see a proper game with real teams and some Bonspiel\Brier\Olympic modes. If I had chance I would do it myself with the right kind of help. But I don't know squat about programming.

    You could in fact make a curling game good enough and sell it as a training tool for teams all around the world and throughout Canada. To practice strategy with, off-ice. Teams would have the chance to play all sorts of situation over and over again so they know the right shots. And if it were good enough to sell as that, Curling fans would really enjoy it.


    Anonymous on February 17, 2010 at 13:32 | Permalink

    well I see the PC version gonna try the trial version out! But ya more in-depth game would probably be wicked. Along with online capabilities


    col000r on February 17, 2010 at 13:56 | Permalink

    I agree that a lot of people would enjoy a game that was focused on realism. This wasn't our main goal for Age of Curling, but maybe we'll do a more serious simulation at some point down the line… No promises, but it's certainly something we're thinking about!

    Anonymous on February 17, 2010 at 22:46 | Permalink

    Ya, you're correct in saying that the market is small though and it would be a chance you're taking to go that route.


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