Game Design Game Development Geek / Technical

Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – Published! What’s Next?

Last week, I reported that I had submitted the Toy Factory Fixer builds to the app stores and was waiting for them to finish reviewing the games.

Within days, the game was approved by both, and so I published it to the world!

If you missed the announcement, you can read it and find links to the free game at

Sprint 53: Release criteria

Planned and Incomplete:

  • Create a strategy guide
  • Update Toy Factory Fixer web pages

When the game was approved by both the App Store and Google Play, I sent an email to my GBGames Curiosities subscribers first.

I then spent time updating my web pages that mention the game so that they no longer said “Coming soon” and had links to the app stores.

I also thought it would be good if the game’s main page mentioned the features and benefits of the game.

What I still need to do is create a new animated GIF. The one that is up is a bit outdated, as it features the third worker before I finalized how they functioned in the game, plus it has old art. I did not spend any time on making a replacement, though.

I announced the game primarily on social media, and one person already signed up for the newsletter, so that’s a good sign.

I had a lot of friends share it, too, which was nice of them, but I got to hear some amazing feedback from someone in the IGDA Des Moines chapter who loved the game.

The main thing I wanted to do was create a free Toy Factory Fixer Player’s Guide as a gift for signing up for the GBGames Curiosities newsletter.

My plan is for all of my Freshly Squeezed games to have a free strategy guide as a giveaway.

Aside from writing the announcements and making changes to my website, I spent almost no time on the planned work, partly because we’re heading into the holidays and I still have shopping to do, but also partly because after a year of development, I could use a small break.

I have read about how a lot of game developers don’t realize that a lot of work comes post-release, but as I didn’t have an audience I was hyping up, it has been a relatively quiet release, and I’m taking advantage of it.

What’s Next?

For the remainder of the year, I need to make some time to just be introspective and plan for 2022.

I like to write up post-mortems for my projects, and so after I finish writing the player’s guide and also see how the game’s metrics look in terms of downloads and how it impacted my newsletter subscriptions, a project post-mortem will be coming soon. In fact, I offered to present at the IGDA Des Moines chapter’s February meeting.

I’d like to create desktop ports of Toy Factory Fixer, so I’ll need to research the latest in terms of how to create a Windows and Mac release, especially since both of those platforms have some kind of signing requirements. I already develop on a Linux-based system, but I haven’t published anything for it in about a decade that wasn’t a Ludum Dare game, so I could probably stand to figure out if I need to do anything different. Perhaps I’ll use to distribute the games.

Speaking of Ludum Dare, I want to make sure I participate in Ludum Dare 50 in April. It will be the 20th anniversary, and I do not want to miss it.

I also have Toytles: Leaf Raking, and I should continue to create updates for it and port it to desktops as well.

As for my the next Freshly Squeezed project? I have some ideas.

I want to explore what persistence allows. Basically, if you can save progress, what does that open up in terms of possibilities? Toytles: Leaf Raking allows you to save your game, and yet I never implemented a way to save progress in Toy Factory Fixer even though it would have been nice to see how you rated on any given level and work shift. Perhaps a virtual pet kind of game would be a natural fit.

I just saw the movie Encanto, and it was gorgeous. A lot of the special effects looked like procedural animation. Basically, having a single flower pop up out of the ground is neat, but having thousands pop up one after another looks amazing. I am reminded of someone comparing the visuals of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with some contemporary Playstation game, saying that while the Playstation game was big on massive spectacle, the Zelda game did a lot with a little, making the opening scene seem magical with subtle floating particles that chased each other like tiny fairies. One Ludum Dare game I never finished was about being a soldier who was sent to go find a giant, attract its attention, and then see if you could lead it back to trample the enemy’s base. I might tinker with the premise to see if there is a non-violent version I could explore, but I wondered if it would look great if the ground shook in ripples from the giant’s footsteps, and that your character could get tripped by those ripples.

In 2013, I worked on One Game a Month, and I have a lot of Ludum Dare and MiniLD projects. Many of those projects could be remade as Freshly Squeezed games.

And I could explore concepts such as randomness.

Of course, I definitely want to see if I can make a game much more quickly than one game per year.

But for now, I’m going to try to make time to play games and enjoy the holidays with friends and family, even if most of it will be virtual. Again.

Thanks for reading! And happy holidays to you and yours.

Want to learn when I release updates to Toytles: Leaf Raking, Toy Factory Fixer, or about future Freshly Squeezed games I am creating? Sign up for the GBGames Curiosities newsletter, and get the 24-page, full color PDF of the Toytles: Leaf Raking Player’s Guide for free, and eventually the Toy Factory Fixer Player’s Guide as well!