A Puzzling Present Is Out!

A Puzzling Present is finally out! The festive platformer I’ve been working on this month is now available on Android, Windows, Mac and Linux, and it’s completely free! Click the present to go to the download page.

The banner above and our present logo were both done for us by Harriet Jones,
and the game features some great Christmas music by Kevin Macleod

Today I’m going to be watching over the release, talking to a few journalists, and working on an optimised Android version that irons out a few bumps here or there. You can email me (support@gamesbyangelina.org) if you want to ask anything or report a problem. Below is a few words about the project – I’m really excited to have it released!

For the last few months I’ve been working on a new system for ANGELINA that lets it discover game mechanics and design levels for them. It’s very experimental at the moment but I wanted to get some results out so that people could see what we’d been working on! A Puzzling Present includes three game mechanics discovered by ANGELINA, and thirty levels to play with them on. You can also help us out by answering some simple questions about the levels after you’ve played them (optional, of course!)

It’s only a little game, but hopefully it’ll entertain you (or your kids!) for a little while this Christmas season. In 2013 I’m hoping I can expand the ideas behind this and produce games on a larger scale as well. However, I’m glad I could get this out in time for Christmas, no matter how small it was!

If all goes to plan, I’ll be releasing a small content update around Christmas Day time. I’ll post on the site if/when that happens! You can also keep up to date by following @PuzzlingPresent on Twitter.

Developing the game was a lot more tiring than I expected it to be, so my thanks go to everyone who helped create the game, including Azalea Raad, Harriet Jones, Kevin Macleod, Andrew Cook, Sam Geen, Charlie Croft, Simon Colton, Jeremy Gow, Joe Martin, Craig Lager, Andrew Bryant our testers Craig Mackie, Shot Iris, Guilherme Töws, David McClure, Mike Prescott, Kamil Czajko, the many journalists who offered advice and showed interest, and the worst part of making any list – the many names I missed out. I have a whole boatload of people to thank in general, actually, but there’s just enough time for that in another post before the end of the year, so I do apologise if your name isn’t there for now.

I’m going to write a long post sometime next week reflecting on making A Puzzling Present. The game’s caught between two different aims – on the one hand, I wanted to release something fun, and playable. On the other hand, I want to get data back, I want to confirm hypotheses, and so A Puzzling Present hasn’t been designed in the way I might have were I just making a game. I hope everyone gets something out of it though.

If you’d like to know more, ask questions, point out problems, or just say hi – I love talking to people. Please email me – mike@gamesbyangelina.org.

I’ll post again on the site before the big day, but after weeks of development and exhaustion, now seems like a very appropriate time to say: have a very Merry Christmas, and thank you for visiting the site!

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