New Projects and Future Work

Hi there!

From now on, I want to write a post every week so I keep you updated about what we are doing and share some thoughts on different things that have happened since the last post I wrote.

I would like to summarize all the significant things that Fiery Squirrel has been through last months, will try to keep the post short and simple. It will basically cover status about each project the Squirrel has been working on and few tips that might help other developers.

Fluff Eaters

So let’s start with Fluff Eaters, game that I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to take a break and stop working on it for a while.

Last year in October, Fiery Squirrel partnered with a new publisher called Apartment 507 to promote and market the game as it was in order to improve sales, downloads, etc. Our agreement basically said that for one year we were going to work together to improve the game and create a better experience for players. We have tried different things with the game and I would like to mention few of them here.


The first big thing we tried was create a Holidays vesion of the game with new content, new levels, new mechanics, etc. You can check the final update here and very likely we will make it available again this year.

As you might notice, the art style is slightly different, Fiery Squirrel is working with Gabriel Uguet, who is a very good illustrator and graphic designer, I’m also working with him in a completely different project that I probably will talk about later. In addition, the theme of the new world was composed by Stefano Merino, original musician of the game.

Holidays Update

With this new update, our players could enjoy new mechanics and also we were able to include new features in the game, a bunch of new players, existent and new players interacting more with the game, etc. In general it was a good experience.

But not everything was easy, we also faced different issues. The cycle of work we had, time constraints and all the work we needed to complete was enough to keep us very busy every day and night for one whole month. From the brainstorming, mechanics design, elements, characters, art, sounds, etc, was a lot of work and the worst part of that, even though we managed to finish everything on time, we didn’t consider that the iOS build was going to have issues when we uploaded to the AppStore, it was seriously something not only unexpected but very weird.

Before uploading the game we tested a lot in different devices, it worked well, we uploaded, Apple said there was an issue with the build, we tested a lot again, didn’t find anything weird, compiled again and upload again and it worked (we still don’t know what happened), the bad part of this was that we missed our deadline (on the marketing and promotion side was very important) but I guess we learned a lot.

Holidays Version Level Design

Try to include everything related from the brainstorming to the release on the market in your schedule, every possible step that you have to take in order to see the game in the market from your device, whatever it is, PC, mobile, the last step always will take a lot of time too and, if (like us) you are small team, it matters.

Pax South 2016

The second big thing I want to talk about is Pax South 2016. We had the opportunity to be at the event this year, it was a very nice experience, we met other developers there ( including Rami Ismail who talked to us about his experience at Pax and other events), were able to test new features, see how a different group of players reacted to the game,  promoted the game with different types of promotional material for the first time, etc.

Promotional Material for Pax South 2016

Fluff Eaters was presented at different events in the past and all of them have been a great and unique experience but Pax South was particularly interesting. The main reason is the type of player that played the game at the event, the core mechanics of Fluff Eaters are based on Jacks, which is a game that a lot of people from the U.S. are familiar with, so many of them understood and seemed to enjoyed it very much. Besides this, the response of people was really amazing, a lot of them downloaded the game and played it.

This is something I’ve said before but going to this type of events is very positive for developers in different ways. You might be interested on a post that Apartment 507 wrote about the details of the event, expenses, promotional material etc, you can read the full article here.


These caps were not part of the promotional material that we gave away but were an amazing present from my brother (also part of the team). Depending on how things go (if people are interested), we might sell them in the future.

I guess I could keep giving details of what we have done with Fluff Eaters so far but I also think I spent a lot talking about this game before. In few months the contract with the publisher will come to an end and we will spend the remaining time to keep testing things and trying to improve as much as we can, if you have specific questions please let us know.



Collow is the second project I want to talk about and I’ll do it in a very short way. This idea started long time ago but has been put on hold some times, however, the project will be released for sure this year, the thing is I haven’t have enough time to finish the code for this. We are also accepting playtesters (this is the next step we are going to take) so you can sign up here if you want.



This is a game made for Venezuela Duel Jam 2015 and was the lastest jam Fiery Squirrel has participated in, you can play it here. I know it’s old information but since didn’t mention it before, I would like to at least show it to you. It started as a very simple idea around the theme and I ended up liking it a lot so it will for sure be fully developed (don’t know when) and released as a mobile game.

Chicks: Very simple game

With this game I wanted to achieve few things:

  • Focus on the aesthetics more than usual: In previous game jams aesthetics were not focal point, Chicks does not have awesome graphics but at least they are better than previous games
  • Simplicity: Easy to understand, easy to grasp, challenging and entertaining
  • Mobile: Something that could become a commercial title for mobile devices
  • Complete: A fully playable game

In the end, the game ranked first in the event and more important than that, the feedback from other developers was really good, comments, advices, etc, which will for sure be a key factor when developing the full game.



The last project I’m going to talk about for now. If you follow us on twitter you probably know what this is about. This is the project currently developed by Fiery Squirrel, it’s a very simple and short idea that emerged from the fact that there is a lack of popular and good games that involve the idea of the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) from Japan, in addition to this, I wanted to start getting involved in the artistic part of the games I make and tried to design something aesthetically appealing.

Testing crows behavior and colors

The game is not ready yet. Despite the fact that the idea is very simple, I haven’t had enough time recently, these last months have been busy, however there is significant progress on it and we will playtest it very soon.

The plan is to complete the first chapter of the game which includes 4 different trees, each tree has 4 levels on it, a bonus level and a boss in the end. Depending on how people react to the game, the response we get after playtest and release, it will be decided whether the rest of the chapters (3 more) will be added or not.

This post is longer than I expected, just wanted to summarize what Fiery Squirrel has been doing since the last post. For all of you that are using OpenFL, I still update the repositories in git, I would like to focus more on the implementation of new things and what is there at the moment, there is a lot of uncommented code that might be helpful for someone so, I’ll try to document it as soon as possible and focus future posts on it.

Please feel free to ask questions, if you are a developer, I can talk more about the design or programming of any project you see here, whatever you are curious about just write it on the comments.


New Projects and Future Work

See you later Bouncy!

Well, June is here and I finally have some time to make a new post.

Mainly I would like to share some final thoughts about Fluff Eaters, including downloads and sales in both platforms iOS and Android, the next project, prototype and future work.

Fluff Eaters

Keeping it simple and short, I will start with Fluff Eaters. We launched the iOS version a couple of weeks ago and we have some results now I would like to share. More from the experience than charts or numbers, I think it will be helpful.


Let’s start with Android to compare. The Android version came in July last year, after presenting on Tokyo Game Show and GamExpo, the game was in development for enough time and was time to be released.

The expectations were not so high, first game we actually release, many things to experience and understand. From the promotion point of view and the overall attention it got, considering Fiery Squirrel is a tiny team, the results were very nice, some of them in Venezuela, and the rest in game review sites around the world. Generally speaking it was a good result.

From the economic point of view, the numbers are very low. For the paid version of the game, there are around 50 downloads, for the free version (which is not available anymore) with ads,  around 500 downloads, the free version generated almost zero profits.

Of course Fluff Eaters was not initially designed to be free, the free version was available for some time to test, basically.


First of all, I understand clearly that if a game is not properly promoted (featured on the App Store, has a good review in a big site, whatever gives it exposure), the game will not sell, Fluff Eaters was not featured on the App Store (at least not yet ;)), didn’t have much attention from the press but a couple of small mentions in Pocket Gamer and TouchArcade made the difference to get some downloads on the release date. Maybe for people used to release a lot of games, that’s a normal thing but since this is the first experience of this type, was quite good for us.

There were a couple of surprises on iOS, first, the game was featured on many Chinese sites, which was completely unexpected. In addition, the game was pirated a lot of times, we know that because we have Apple’s stats and some inner stats we created for ourselves plus the game center which gives us how many people are playing.

All of this translates into more than 350 people playing in less than three weeks, from which around 48 of them were actually bought and given away (promotional codes). I think that considering the game was not actually featured in the App Store, the promotion was not that big, the results are good, at least I’m happy with many people playing.

Thoughts about the results and how could they help?

  • Results from Google Play are clearly different from the ones from the App Store. In less than three weeks downloads in the App Store (for the paid version) were three times the downloads for Google Play
  • The promotion on the Chinese side was a big surprise, if I knew about that before, of course the strategy would have been different
  • Feature is everything in the market? I would say yes, if you wanna have a “successful game” whatever that sells, needs a very good exposure
  • Even though being featured is what brings you “success”, choosing the right strategy is very important. For example, from those 350 downloads, pirated, paid, gifts, whatever, if the game was free, people would be able to download it legally and review it, which I think is important… yes, I didn’t know that you could not review games that you downloaded using promotional codes (makes a lot of sense but didn’t consider it)
  • I personally like games you paid once with no in-app purchases, no ads. Clearly making a game like this now is not so easy to sell, so… different strategies will be tested for the upcoming projects and will share results too


Upcoming Projects

Fluff Eaters is finally done (for a while at least :)), the next project should be Collow which has solid prototype of core mechanics here and you can test it. The plan is to expand it, test different ideas that are on paper yet and see how it goes. The strategy for this will be different, less develop, smaller scale projects and a business model different as well. Please stay tuned if you are interested on how it progresses.



There is a new idea about a very simple game, whose prototype will be probably done in one of the following weekends, once it’s done, it will be shared on twitter or something.

Feel free to ask questions.

See you later Bouncy!

Game Events

There are so many things I should’ve shared since like… 5 months ago, finally I’m able to post something. This time I’ll be focused on the experience at the events I’ve participated so far: IndieCadeTokyo Game ShowGamExpo 2013 and finally Tokyo Indie Fest 2015.

In a previous post I talked about this too but since recently I was at Tokyo Indie Fest, I would like to add more details to the rest of the events as well.

Fluff Eaters running on the Nexus 4
Fluff Eaters running on the Nexus 4




When the Fluff Eaters project started, I really wanted to take it to as far as it could go. The game was sent to IndieCade in 2012 as a very first prototype for PC made in HTML5. It was not intended to PC but thanks to what I explained here, that was the kickstarter to be more focused on game development.

Fluff Eaters was not selected as one of the finalist of the IndieCade but the opportunity to go to the festival, show the game (a mobile version of it) to people, get feedback, discuss about how to make it better and feedback from the judges of the contest was completely worth it.

Showing your game, prototype, proof of concept or whatever you are making or made is completely worth it, there are so many things you can learn from other people. In addition, going to those events is a bridge between you and people who could be interested on your work, you could find investors, publishers, etc, and more than all these things, you are going to have so much fun if you love games as much as I do.

So far I’ve had the chance to go twice to IndieCade, both of them have been amazing experiences, now I have some friends I made when was there and from time to time we chat about new ideas or to get feedback from each others work.


IndieCade Festival Culver City
IndieCade Festival Culver City

Tokyo Game Show


In 2013 there was a huge opportunity to be part of Tokyo Game Show (an event in Chiba, Tokyo) exhibitors as an indie game developer, the show was opening the area for the first time and Fluff Eaters was sent to the show and fortunately was accepted.

Great opportunity to show the last version of the game (which was already on Android) to the public, get feedback from them, see people’s reactions, understand what we were doing wrong at that time and finally meeting other developers.

The experience was truly amazing for so many reasons: at that time, the tutorial of the game was still a very big issue, watching people playing, explaining them how to play and seeing reactions was how the current tutorial was made. Something not so complex, that explained how to play in the easiest way we thought. I guess it’s interesting to mention that the tutorial of Fluff Eaters was the most difficult design part of the whole game.

In addition to the feedback from players, I was able to meet people from big companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, as well as recognized developers such as Nigoro, Q-Games and Nyamyam.

This was my first experience as an exhibitor in a show, of course I learned a lot of things from my mistakes, things I didn’t do and things that could be done better but I guess that this is how it is.

In my short experience, I understand that depending on your goals with these kind of events, you should work towards reach them as well as you can. For example, in this particular case, the tutorial of the game was a fail and I was looking for a better approach to explain how to play, that’s why I focused on it while was showing the game.

It’s important to promote yourself, make people know who you are, to do that you should make business cards because with them people will be able to get in touch with you, will recognize you, your logo, your name or simply because you make good games. In addition, offering business cards usually allows you to get cards from other people which is very important to contact them after the show.

I would recommend to make small things to give away to your players as well, you can think about flyers to promote the game, nice stickers about your characters, whatever that is not so expensive (in my case I didn’t have a lot of money to invest) but establish a connection between you and them. You could give them small prizes if they play a lot or are very interested in the game, it makes the difference.

Last thing I would like to share about the Tokyo Game Show, although it’s not directly related to development, it was very cool, I met the Mega Man‘s creator Kenji Inafune at a private party held by Sony for indies.

Boy playing at the TGS
Boy playing at the TGS

GamExpo 2013


GamExpo is an event that was held in my country (Venezuela) in 2013, to show to the people what we, game developers from the country, were making at the moment.

The experience was similar to the one I had at the Tokyo Game Show, this time with an almost completed version of the game and knowledge from the previous experience helped a lot to have a very nice experience.

I was able to see how people reacted to the game, how they played, how difficult was to understand and the general difficulty curve of the levels made for the show.

It was a great experience overall, I met a lot of developers I didn’t know, played their games (which were awesome) and shared a little bit about what was making, old prototypes, future projects, etc.

Fluff Cookies for the GamExpo
Fluff Cookies for the GamExpo
Bouncy Stickers
Bouncy Stickers

Tokyo Indie Fest


This is an event that was held in Akihabara this year for the first time and was a great opportunity for indies to show their games, promote them, show Japanese people what they were working or what was going to be released at the moment.

Since Fluff Eaters was released for Android in 2014 I wasn’t sure if was going to be selected, because I thought it was mostly directed to new games and unreased games but the release for iOS was coming soon so was a great opportunity to promote it and see how it went.

Luckily Fluff Eaters was selected to be exhibited at the show, both version, the Android version and the one on iOS were both there for people to try. The overall feedback was good.

At this event I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people, from the industry, indie scene, publishers, investors, etc, so if you want to focus completely on game development I guess having contacts and meeting people is a key to progress and get better.

In addition, one of the nice things from this event is that finally Fiery Squirrel was there as Fiery Squirrel. What I mean is, at the GamExpo, Tokyo Game Show and IndieCade Fiery Squirrel was not consolidated yet, the logo, name, website, etc, was not there at all. So it was a great chance to promote the developer’s name as well.

It’s important to make yourself noticed by people, in order to promote what you make, get recognized as whoever or whatever you are is an important step to sell and reach people more effectively.

The both at TIF
The both at TIF
People playing at the TIF
People playing at the TIF

For all of you who met us at any of the events, thanks a lot for your support, developers, publishers, etc. In case you want to know any specific detail about what was mentioned in this post, comment below or send me an e-mail.

Next post will be about the upcoming projects.

Game Events

Happy New Year 2015!

Hi everyone!

I know it’s a bit late to say Happy New Year but I wanted to do it “formally” anyway and keep you posted about the status of my projects and future projects as well.

Summarizing 2014, it was a great year, Collow (as it was created in that time) was released on Google Play and Fluff Eaters was released on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. First time I release games, it was a great experience, I learned a lot and keep learning from it. If there is anything you want to know about details, don’t hesitate to ask.

What’s next?

So this is the status for the current projects, future projects and development posts.

Fluff Eaters

Well, as you probably read on previous posts, there are a lot of things coming up this year. First of all, Fluff Eaters will be released on the App Store, finally I got the licence to start testing the code on the device and it’s surprisingly running very well, of course there a lot of details to take care of and a lot of things to polish before releasing, I would like to do my best and cover as many things as possible to have a change on the market.

Fluff Eaters running on iOS (iPod Touch)

I estimate that the game will be avaiilable beginning-mid February but it totally depends on how soon I will be able to test on different devices such as iPad and iPhone 6, I only have an iPod touch which I think is a good start and the plan is to ask for help and test in all the possible devices before release, if you want to test it on your device please let me know.


I’m not sure if you read the post about Collow but I think that this is going to be a very interesting year for that game. Since I re-designed everything from the beginning, added new ideas for different types of modes and worked a lot on the little features, including a leaderboard and multiplayer modes which I believe will make the difference for the whole experience.

Of course this game will be available for iOS as well and let’s see how it goes. Please don’t expect it before the Fluff Eaters release, I’m gonna work very hard to release everything on time but one by one.

New Modes and design


New boards and difficulties

I haven’t seen much interest on this topic so far but I will keep posting about development using Haxe/OpenFL, once again, if there is anybody interested in any particular topic related to it, let me know.

The plan is to post about things I struggled with while was working on Fluff Eaters (mainly), will try to cover 2D animations and performance first and then see how it goes. Depending on that I will talk about specific systems (general systems) that help you make any kind of 2D game using Haxe and OpenFL.

Future Projects: Zin and Watercolor

As I mentioned before in one of my tweets, Once I’m done with Fluff Eaters and Collow, my next projects as Fiery Squirrel will be Zin and Watercolor. I’m not sure if that will be the final names of those games but for sure the core mechanics of them will prevail. So if you are curious about it and you haven’t play those little games originated in Ludum Dare, you can take a look at them here and here.

I truly believe that these games has great potential and will not only be a game for mobile but Computer and Consoles as well. Now just have to sit, relaxe, add a lot of new stuff and get a new graphic and sound design for both.

Zin, created for Ludum Dare


Watercolor, created for Ludum Dare

I guess this is it for today, a very short post to keep you updated about the plans for this year, as I mentioned before, comments are appreciated.

Programmer art to start 2015 🙂


Have a great 2015!


Happy New Year 2015!

Fluff Eaters: The Journey

As I mentioned in the previous post, I would like to talk about the creation of Fluff Eaters and Collow, my two first released games. I’m going to start with Fluff Eaters this time and, in the next post, something very short about Collow and then will be focused on OpenFL.

Before these two games, I worked in a couple of projects: Kamicats, Lost in Spice that will be added to the section of games soon. These were projects made for Dream Build Play, a contest sponsored by Microsoft to create games in XNA. Illustrations and part of the game design was made by Gabriel Balda. These projects were submitted to Dream Build Play, did not win and were not finished but I learned a lot from them.

KamiCats: DBP 2011
Lost in Spice: for DBP 2010

In addition, I worked on more projects that were not finished, one for a JavaFX contest and a couple of game jams too.

Hourglass: JavaFX Contest 2008
Pandamonium: Game Jam 2011
Caramelo: Ludum Dare 2011

All of them will be added to the games section later, if you have questions about the development of any, please let me know. All of them, except Caramelo, were drawn and animated by Gabriel.

The idea

After working on unfinished projects, in the end of 2011 I had an idea about making a new game, something I wanted to create and complete, promote and sell. Of course the market for mobile games was growing and everybody was making games for it so I decided to think about an interesting idea and give it a try.

Playing some games at that time, I thought that many of them were not intended to the platform they were running on, a lot of those games were just ports made different patforms to mobile, adding controllers to mimic gamepads and somehow (as a player) it didn’t feel “right”, something was missing, so I said: well, let’s think about something I like, that is designed for touchscreen devices.

I searched about traditional games in my country, things that were not tried before, things from my childhood and the idea of Jacks came to my mind. After thinking a lot about a possible gameplay for this, the core mechanics, etc, I started to search on the markets, to see if somebody did something similar before and, surprisingly, I found nothing.



The beginning of the next year I started working on prototypes for Fluff Eaters, the earliest version of the game looked like this:

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I tested a lot of things with it, controllers, feedback, some simple levels, etc.

While I was working on this early prototype, I thought about the narrative and story behind the game as well. Since it’s a casual game, I wanted something simple, made different sketches, tested a lot of things and ended up with this:

Paws City
Early sketch of Paws City
Sand Land
Early sketch of Sand Land

Looks like ugly art but it was very helpful when I discussed about the art with the illustrators.

Pokki 2012 / HTML5

While I was working on these prototypes, a contest to launch a new platform that was based on HTML5 was promoted and with it, my decision to put more efforts on the idea. I decided to participate in this contest for two reasons: one, an “excuse” to work seriously on the game and two, to learn HTML5.

I contacted Tamara Hadeed (Miss Uh!) and Alejandro González (X2terra) to work on the graphics of the game (as freelancer illustrators). In addition, Stefano Merino (@stefmerino) accepted to work on the project as well, and composed original soundtracks for the gameplay, main theme and an additional theme (which will be used in the new mode).

Since the beginning of the project, Gabriel Balda contributed in a lot of aspects of the game, from graphic design decisions (although Tamara and Alejandro made the illustrations and animations, small things had to be fixed as well and of course changes through time, Gabriel helped a lot here), to the website of the game (which was completely designed and coded by him).

Pokki 2012

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Dream Build Play 2012 / XNA

The game did not win the Pokki contest but was very useful to have a solid base on what the gameplay and all its features became later.

In the middle of the same year, Dream Build Play was launched one more time and I thought: well, if the game was really intended to mobiles in the first place, why not creating a Windows Phone Version and let’s try to submit something fot the contest this year.

In fact I made a new version of the game (crazy, I know) but as every other thing that could be called a mistake, for me was… a different way of learning and definetely I learned a lot of things from it.

The reason to not keep working on this version of the game? well, Microsoft decided to change the main language of its new Windows Phone at that time to C++ and, since the game was already written in C#, instead of looking for any way to port it easily to the new platform, I decided to put aside that version and started looking for a good framework to work on Android and iOS, which is the thing that I probaly should have done from the beginning.

It was true learning, I had the opportunity to playtest more and more, having the chance to see my mistakes in design and to think about the future of the game.

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The game kept evolving and with it, more opportunities to show it to people from the industry. In spite of the early version of the game, I decided to send it to IndieCade and had the opportunity to get feedback from people that know a lot about games and got a chance to be part of the festival. This was the beginning of many awesome experiences, from sharing thoughts to other fellow developers, to making important contacts on the industry, including publishers, other developers and media.

In addition, being part of the festival, attending to talks, playing other people’s games, are experiences that definetely help you grow in this field. I recommend it 100% to anybody who is making games, it’s a great experience.

Using feedback from people of the IndieCade, the jurors and other developers, the game changed from what you saw in the previous iteration to the next one, new types of platforms, new elements, puzzles created to give another level of challenge to the game, etc. All these things really enriched the game in many different ways.


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Final Version

The “final” version of the game, as I already mentioned, was made in OpenFL which is a framework that allows you to create games in one language (Haxe) and export it to a variety of platforms, including the ones I was interested in for Fluff Eaters (Android and iOS).

I don’t want to talk about details here since I’m going to explain about the process of development in future posts and will be mainly focused on OpenFL. If you have any particular question regarding this topic, feel free to do it on the comments.

The framework is very good (although sometimes is a headache), its performance (which was one of the things that worried me the most) is good, if you know how things work and what to do to get the best of it, you can get good results.

Paws City
Paws City


Tokyo Game Show 2013 / GamExpo 2013

This is, of course, one of the most interesting things that have happened with the game since its creation, the Tokyo Game Show and GamExpo are two events where the game was presented to the public. A lot of people from different backgrounds, countries, ages, played the game and I had the possibility to see how they reacted to it, emotions, comments, feedback, something that is incredibly good to improve your work.

I wanted to mention this to point out the importance of promoting your game, no matter where, no matter how, it’s not important if the event is not the biggest one in the world, you have to get noticed somehow, see people’s reactions while they play, get them interested about what you are doing and the experience of getting contact with your players.

Besides players, you have a chance to see what others are making, play with their games, talk to them about the development and their experiences, talk about yours, meet publishers, media, people from the industry, etc.

If you have the opportunity, do not hesitate, do it, you will not regret it.

Tokyo Game Show 2013


The game was released in July, this year, you can get it from Google Play, the iOS version is still in development and new features will be added to both version of the game.

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I was not planning to make such a long post but wanted to give you a good introduction to what the story behind the game was.

There are a lot of details that are not covered here, of course, if you have any particular interest on something related to any of the tools used or want me to talk about something specific in future posts, let me know.

Next post will cover very briefly the making of Collow and its future and the first post about OpenFL: basics, probably will be talking about sprites, sounds, etc, if there is anything you want to know, let me know.

Fluff Eaters: The Journey