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Dec 8, 2012

Writer Rumble is released! Reviews + Feedback

It's been quite a wonderful week here at FEY. Our little game Writer Rumble has finally hit the App Store! We're exciting that people are getting to play with it, and thankfully reviews from the press have been mostly positive! Here are some of our favorites:

"With an art style that easily won over this English major’s heart and battles that keep you guessing until the end, it’s certainly one of the most action-packed word games you’ll find on your mobile device." -VentureBeat

"The real draw here is the multiplayer, which is devilishly addictive. Matches are quick, which makes Writer Rumble a perfect game to play when you only have a little time to kill." -Twinfinite

"I’ve played it so much that I see grids of letters in my head whenever I close my eyes. True story." -Gamezebo

"The characters that you can choose from have a hand-drawn cartoon-like appearance to them, but they are done incredibly well, and I would consider the unique art style to be one of the main selling points of the game." -AppAdvice

The one piece of coverage that stands out for us comes from our friends at Rev3 Games. In the video below, Max Scoville and Tara Long play a round of Writer Rumble multiplayer, curse words and all. It definitely showcases the frantic nature of the multiplayer really well.

The biggest concern we're hearing from players and press reviews is the inconsistency of online multiplayer. Some people have a flawless online experience, while some are having trouble getting into matches altogether. It's a tough nut to crack, as the majority of the online problems come from latency issues inherent in Game Center's peer-to-peer service. A lot of that is beyond our control, but we are working our butts off to improve online gameplay and matchmaking where we can, with a patch coming shortly. We're also working toward a dedicated server solution that will make the online experience even better.

To answer some other questions: Yes, we are rebalancing some of the characters, and Yes, an Android version is in the works. Our target for Android is early 2013, but obviously we're working on making the iOS experience perfect first. One step at a time, but we will get there.

Thank you all very much for your support. Next up -- new characters!

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Nov 27, 2012

Writer Rumble is coming to the App Store on Nov 29!

Aaaaaaaaand we're back!

There have certainly been some questions raised (and rightfully so) on the status of Word Fighter in our prolonged absence. Our lips have been sealed for quite some time, but I'm happy to announce today that Word Fighter is alive and well, under the new name Writer Rumble!* The game is coming to the App Store on Thursday, November 29 (that's days away!), and we have partnered with GameFly Games to publish it. Writer Rumble will be the first game to be released under the GameFly Games banner, and we could not be more excited.

It has been a long and arduous journey for the Writer Rumble team, and the folks at GameFly have been incredibly supportive in helping us push to release. Much credit goes out to Garnett Lee, Director of Publishing at GameFly Games, who has been with us every step of the way. There are many more people to thank, but the most important thing is that the game is finally HERE and it's coming to the App Store on November 29!

Take a look at the announcement trailer below:

We cannot wait for you to get your hands on it, and more importantly, we want to hear from you! There WILL be more updates and more content (and more characters!), and much of it will be based on YOUR feedback. The best way to do that is by liking the Writer Rumble Facebook Page and posting a message to us. You can also follow Writer Rumble on Twitter for more updates. November 29 is only the beginning. We will make Writer Rumble even better, and the community will play a big part of it.

Thanks!
-Gian

* For those wondering about the title change, the reason for that was simple: there were trademark issues with the original name. Writer Rumble is ours to own from the get go, and we love the new name -- it's like the Royal Rumble of Writers!

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Mar 14, 2012

One Last Push...

So… our next blog post was supposed to be about how we've submitted Word Fighter to the App Store, along with updates on our future plans with the game post-launch. Instead, we have a letter from our co-founder Kris.

It sucks for everyone. No other way to say it.

I do appreciate Kris's transparency and sincerity on the matter. There is nothing I want more than for Word Fighter to be out there for people to enjoy. It breaks my heart that it's not, and I wish there was something I could do to change that. But the code starts and ends with Kris. Word Fighter is his baby, as it is mine. So I'm standing by his side until our baby is ready for the world to see.

I understand if you decide not to follow the game anymore with all of these delays. I'd probably do the same if I was being teased like this for half a year. For that, I am sorry. But we must move on and focus on what's important.

From this point forward, no more updates until the game is done and ready for App Store submission. We are indeed close, and we're going to "heads-down" mode to finish this first release. And to that regard, no more promises on new release dates either. They never did anyone any good, and we obviously weren't good in keeping them. Word Fighter will come out when it is finished.

See you on the other side, friends!

-Gian

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A message from Kris, our Developer & Co-Founder

Hey guys,

This is Kris, the dev for Word Fighter. I usually like to stay behind the scenes and let Gian shine in the spotlight as he does, but in light of recent events, I really felt like I needed to step up and personally let you guys in on what's been happening with the game. So as you know, we made a few promises to you and to ourselves to finally get this game released, but have failed to follow through on those promises. Probably worse is that we've not been keeping you guys in the loop. I'd like to shoulder much of the blame for this, especially for our no-show at GDC this past week. Just to give you a little background, Gian and I have a fairly exclusive share of responsibilities with respect to each other. We are the kings of our own lands you might say, and rely on keeping each other in the loop as to the state of our respective kingdoms. With that said, during the weeks leading up to GDC, we had been working REALLY hard and given the progress that we were making, I personally believed that we were going to be able to deliver a product. I communicated this to Gian, and he in turn communicated it you guys, which was basically the last time you heard from us.

As GDC crept up, and the closer we got to a finished product, the more and more unanticipated issues kept popping up to hinder progress. If you've ever experienced diarrhea while stuck in traffic, you can probably relate. You know for a fact that you're making progress towards the finish line, but at the same time it feels like it's getting further and further after every passing moment. And then I found the "showstopper", and it just hit the fan from there.

From that moment it became clear that it was an underlying architectural issue and that there was no quick-fix for that. In short, multiplayer game logic is easy to implement, difficult to perfect, and the hastened pace really did not help. I'll try to document the issues I ran into later for the devs that might be interested. On top of this, I had already taken a crap on the existing code base from a similarly fast-paced cycle to get a product out for our PAX10 debut. Bad_code + limited_time = timebomb.

And even knowing this going in, my stubborn/cocksure/reckless self still kept believing that it could be done and done "soon". Basically, day after day, I kept telling Gian this as he was at GDC prepping to debut the finished app. My "Give me a few hours" turned into "I'll have it by tonight" which turned into "Maybe tomorrow", until I finally realized that it just wasn't going to happen for GDC. Meanwhile, Gian with apparently unwavering faith in me, kept taking my word for it, which in turn put him in a bind. I was in denial that I had failed, and for this I apologize. Not for the failure, but for the miscommunication to Gian and to you guys. Although the failure was very disappointing, I know that we really tried our absolute best and I can take consolation in that.

Which brings us up to the present... Gian and I are still working really hard to get this game out. We did take a hit and had take a few steps back to address the architectural design issue, but I am now 99.99% confident that the right solution is in place. We still have some tweaking to do, and really one of the hardest things about pouring one's soul into a game like this is finding a place to stop. After putting in so much effort, and being so attached to it, the game can never have too many features or be too perfect. But in the end, we have to realize that it's a just game and what good is a game if it never gets a chance to be played.

Finally, I want to personally acknowledge all you guys that have been amazingly loyal and have been patiently anticipating this game. THANK YOU. You guys have really been one of the driving forces for me, and I'm sure Gian as well, to finish. Knowing that someone out there might still possibly want to play WordFighter even after all the delays helps put to sleep all those doubts as to whether all those sleepless nights, and pulled-out hair were worth it. I hope the sentiment doesn't change once you actually get your hands on the game. It might not be perfect at first, but we will surely be looking to you guys for feedback on ways to improve the game. Meanwhile we will keep you guys better updated on the progress...

-Kris

TL;DR: I royally screwed up, apologize for keeping you guys in the dark, and promise that we are close and REALLY working hard to finish, really.

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Feb 29, 2012

February update: It's almost here!

And we're back! Hope everyone is having a lovely 2012 so far.

We are finishing up our development for the first release of Word Fighter, and we're getting pretty excited about it. While we'll miss our February deadline, we are set up to submit to the App Store within the week! We're looking to make a strong impression with the first release, but we did unfortunately have to cut a few features out of the game for the time being. We didn't want to delay even further than before, so that's just how it goes. BUT, the best part about the App Store is how easily apps can be updated. So right after Word Fighter 1.0 is released, we'll be working to pump out updates as quickly as possible, which includes new characters, new game modes, and improved gameplay. Speaking of new characters, we have some interesting news on that front post-launch. Keep an ear open for it!

In the meantime, I want to show you some of the fantastic settings our artists have created for the fighters to do battle in. Can you figure out which stages belong to which characters?

We must thank you again for your continued patience and support while we work towards finishing our game. Thankfully you don't have to wait much longer! Look out for more updates in the coming week.

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