News

Stunt Guy 2.0 Launch Update (Facebook)

I'm going to try and document the launch of Stunt Guy 2.0 over the next few days, they've been so many findings already and I'm sure other people will find them useful.

I've just added a news update to our Facebook but the key finding thus far would appear to be that it is totally possible to get into the top 20 without getting any App-Store features at all! Once I work out how... I'll feed back!

*** Update *** The Facebook post below is, in fact, incorrect. One thing I've learnt is that - for some reason - it takes App Annie and App Figures 12-24 hours to pick up on features. Since writing this i'm pleased to say that we picked up the following features:

Best New Games (iPhone) - Brazil, China, Japan
Best New Games (iPad) - Brazil, China, Japan, Turkey

Needless to say we are super-pleased with this and relieved that we managed to get the Japanese translation done in time - we're looking into getting the other localisations done this week.

***


Okay... change of plan...

Hi There - Chris here - sorry it's been so long since we've been in touch, it's long past time for me to explain.

At the end of last year / beginning of this year things at Kempt HQ went totally mental. We had a series of technical issues - mostly relating to our switch from PC to Mac (and our existing infrastructure not playing ball), massive illness in the team - everyone was out for the count several times - and also several of our commercial projects (which pay the bills at the end of the day) massively over-ran.

Nevertheless we did plough on with Bar Fight. We tried the first prototype, but neither of us (you or us) felt it was good enough so we tried some other simple prototypes in Flash which - frankly - weren't good enough either and so we didn't release them. In hindsight though, we should have communicated what was going on to you - our clients - and for that I am extremely sorry. I can only say that - when you're under attack from all sides, you sometimes feel like you have no choice but to hunker down and try and dig your way out of the situation.

However, throughout this time we have also continued to develop the Stunt Guy universe and, it's fair to say that the plans have developed somewhat. We now have a much clearer picture of what we're creating here and where it should go next.

Now that we've finished the last of our major projects (the really big one got released today but it would be crass to promote it here) the Stunt Guy project is firmly back on the radar and (I hope you'll be pleased to know) it's going to be bigger and better than ever. The plans however are going to change a little - but I hope you'll agree that was always going to be the case right?!

Anyway - I'll be in touch shortly with more information but, in the meantime, let me confirm a few details:

1) For the time being BFL has been taken off the App store just in case anyone buys in without realising what they are getting themselves into.

2) Since it's been so long we think it's only fair to give the rest of you - our backers - a chance to decide what *you* want to happen next - this time it's not a vote - it'll be your personal choice.

3) We'll give you a series of options of what to do with your investment these are likely to include:

  • Receiving a refund for your investment + 50% interest

  • Migrating your investment into the re-vamped project.

  • Donating you investment + 100% interest to a charity of your choice.

However in addition - to say thanks for your belief in the project thus far there will be an additional gift for every backer (regardless of investment) which is likely to be a limited edition Stunt Guy comic and sought-after glow in the dark skulls tee-shirt.

So... there you go. I hope that sounds good to you? Sorry again and personally I'm really looking forward to getting back to it!

Bar Fight Live Vote #2: Back to the Drawing Board?

When we launched version 0.2.0 of Bar Fight Live we were hugely excited as it included the gameplay prototype, which let you get to grips with a punching, kicking Stunt Guy for the first time.

Bu what did you think of it? Alongside this initial demo we asked you to give us your feedback by voting on the following question:

Q: What do you think of the demo’s touch controls?

  • Just right (same again in the next update)

  • Getting there (I’d like to see the controls develop more)

  • Try again (I would like an alternative)


The results were something of a surprise - and another notable landmark in democratic development:

You voted for "Try again"

 

  • Just right - 5.7%

  • Getting there - 45.7%

  • Try again - 48.6%


That’s right, nearly half of you asked us to ‘try again’ which pretty much means ‘go back to the drawing board’!

Well, that’s the deal. The winning vote decides what we do next and so we’re beginning the process of coming up with new controls for you. The downside to this is that it’s going to push everything back a little and we want to take extra care to make sure the next version of the prototype gets a resounding thumbs up from you. We’ve got some thoughts on how we might get this to you quicker but please be patient – we’re starting again!

Sneak Peek: Bar Fight Live Level Art

Whilst you've been pondering the gameplay prototype and how you'd like that to progress we've been busy with other aspects of the game.

In particular we've been looking at the game environment - after all, every Bar Fight needs a bar!

Here's a sneaky peek at what we've been working on - a classic saloon bar. Note that it's ACTUALLY a movie set, built on the Hollywood back lot that Stunt Guy calls home:



As ever we're after your input, let us know what you think in the comments below - or get in touch on our contact page.

Reality Bites: More Realistic Release Schedules

We've learned a few things over the time that we've been working on Bar Fight Live and one of them is just how realistic we should be about the frequency of our updates. As you may know, the plan has always been to release a new build every 3 to 4 weeks, get your feedback and then whizz out a new build in another few weeks.

Reality has bitten. We're going to need a little longer.

Before you wail and gnash your teeth we're only talking a bit longer - about 4 to 6 weeks. This should give us enough time to cater for cock-ups and 'unforeseen eventualities' (such as the version with the prototype getting rejected first time out by Apple 'cause it saved videos to the device in a way they didn't expect) and allow us to get even more of your feedback into the game.

So please bear with us for that little bit longer between builds, to balance things out we'll be keeping this blog updated with even more stuff so you don't miss a thing.

Video Profile: Paul Fryer!

I'm just in the process of editing our latest team profile video for the next release of Bar Fight Live. This one is of Kempt animator extraordinaire, Paul Fryer. With an official job title of "fun-gineer", he sits between the Artists and Developers and is responsible for some of the juicy parts of game development: animation, sparks, explosions, sound effects, music and of course skid marks.


This video will be walking through how Fryer crafts and hones the animations for Bar Fight Live, and also some secret recipes he uses to add extra spice to game play.

This video will be available as a piece of featured content, in the next release of the App.

Bar Fight Live Vote #1: The Results Are In!

Today is the biggest day so far in the short but incredible life of Bar Fight Live.



This morning we counted your votes to determine the core direction of the game.



As a reminder, we asked you to vote on what kind of game Bar Fight should be:



  • Touch-based fighting (swipe to attack etc)

  • Turn-based strategy (choose targets, type of attack)

  • Arcade melée combat (Gauntlet-esque)


The results were as follows:




With nearly two-thirds of the vote you have told us to build a touch-based fighting game! There's certainly wisdom in this as we can be sure that Bar Fight is perfectly suited to a mobile device.




If this wasn't the way that you voted don't despair, we're still listening to you. And if you haven't voted yet pleased do! It might sound strange now that voting is closed but we still want your input - every vote, every comment, every email gets taken into account - Bar Fight is your game!

Kempt - Canterbury, Now Open!

As you may know, Kempt took a big step this year, we decided to relocate our business from St Albans to the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent. Well, I'm very pleased to announce that we're here!

Kempt: Canterbury opened its doors officially on the 6th Feb, the phones and interwebs were activated that day, we had all the furniture delivered that week, the office removal was done on the Friday, by 6pm all the computers were up and running and the network was fully operational and the entire workforce was installed at their desks and working by 10am on the Monday the 13th!

So... crazy... in hindsight is was perhaps a bit foolish to try and do it all so quickly and frankly it's a miracle that we pulled it off! I'm hugely grateful for the support of the team and I promise... we definitely won't be doing it again for a while!

Kempt Update - Summer 2010

It's been a very busy start to the year at Kempt so we thought it was time to put together a short update on some of the things that have happening at the Kempt cave: our work, acclaim, news, press, what's coming up and most importantly Martyn's red hot World Cup tip.

Summer of Soccer: In keeping with the growing football fever, the Pepsi Football Hero global activation was launched on
Microsoft featuring 5 brand new Kempt games, currently garnering average dwell times of over 10 minutes each. Check them out on the MSN Football Hero site, on Instant Messenger or the viral versions which are pretty much everywhere online!

Sony Music asked us to help launch the Daisy Dares You single, Number One Enemy – here is the viral game on our portal TinyMania.

Wot No Advertising? Lately we've been lucky enough to be working with Viacom on their Neopets and PetPet park sites. Our latest release is a really cute trading card game. There are 4 others recently launched by us dotted around the sites but for those of you that are too busy to hunt them out you can check out video footage of Potion Panic and the trailer for CardCasters on Metacafe.

And that’s not all! there are also recent activations for other Sony Music artists, a brilliant football/arkanoid mash-up and a wicked urban ‘platformer’ for the Southbank Centre - all to be seen in the portfolio on our site. Plus we’ve picked up some excellent new clients, we can't say who yet but for the time being let's just say we're moving into the movie and retail sectors - All will be revealed shortly!

Awards Recognition We were pleased to be finalists in 2 Revolution Awards categories. Considering the relatively small size of the Freeway Fallguy (Sony Music) execution compared to the competition (Disney, the Sun, AKQA etc) this was a real result. This viral game delivered massive audiences, incredible ROI, 75% of all video views and unprecedented UGC. Impressed? You should be! Check out the case study to find out how we did it.

Press: There have been a number of comments and articles in press like NMA and Contagious of late. This larger article we wrote in Contagious came out a little while ago, but then so did our last newsletter. This article in Cream explains more about the Microsoft Pepsi Football Hero campaign.

MemeCounter: Our tracking tool MemeCounter passed a huge milestone recently, having counted over 2 billion visits since its launch a couple of years ago, and remains very much an industry standard in viral game tracking.

Chris made the final 3 in the British Council’s UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur program – no mean feat...given his age!

The Kempt team has grown – we have a new ueber-brainy developer, a new artist (that’s put the crayons bill up again) and an ex-Microsoft Commercial Director. Check us all out on the header above.

Coming Soon: Apart from some imminent and exciting new campaign launches, Martyn will be speaking at the C21 produced “Propaganda Factory” event in early July – the event title is Building Entertainment Brands in the Digital Age and this is exactly what we’ll be offering our fairly unique perspective on. More info on the event at the organiser’s site.

Anonymous Personal News
One of us got married, one of us fell over in stinking mud in front of everyone else, one of us got a music publishing deal, one of us published some comics, some of us went to LA, one of us went to Alton Towers and sat in the bar the WHOLE TIME, and one of us bottled all the worst rides and we all went to a slightly weird nuclear bunker!!

And Finally... Martyn's World Cup Tip "Currently at 150/1 it’s got to be Nigeria. Because that’s who I have in the office sweepstake!" So there you go.

MemeCounter Powers ViralChart.com

We're very pleased to announce that after many months of discussion the world's most famous viral chart - the aptly-named ViralChart.com has re-launched with an all new Advergames chart driven by data provided by our state of the art tracking system MemeCounter.

We're extremely pleased to be working with ViralChart, and it's very exciting that our MemeCounter customers can have a one-stop service for tracking and promotion through both ViralChart.com and KillerViral.com all in all it's a pretty unbeatable offer!!!

Check it out now at http://www.viralchart.com/ and http://www.memecounter.com/ you won't regret it!

Double honours for Legend of Surf

Hot on the heels of winning a coveted Adobe Site of the Day award we're very pleased to announce that Legend of Surf has been shortlisted in the Social Media: Viral category in the 2008 BIMA awards, whether we pick up a gong on the night or not this means a great deal to us and is a great validation of what has been a remarkably successful campaign.

Let's hope we come back with more than just a hangover from the awards ceremony!