Flop Rocket has undergone a massive face lift and redesign. It was one of our most beloved titles that sprang from the Speedcrafting session we had in the Spring, but it never really took off. Citing confusing controls and a general lack of purpose as the achilles heel of the game, we decided to update its design, art, and content, as well as use it as our pilot for the BscotchID system.
If you've been keeping up on all our business and just want to get to it, hop in the google group, sign up for your BSID, and get the new version of Flop Rocket to test. During the Early Access period we'll be giving away free Butter Ups (see below) by weighted lottery, so GET IN THERE!
There is now an actual point to all those explosions. You are part of an underdog space agency whose launchpad is, unfortunately, in the center of a massive cave system. Your goal is to get to space, which lies 5 kilometers away. You'll meet Will and Brad when you start a game, and hopefully shed a tear when they find success.
Design and Content
- Controls have been reimagined to ease beginners into the game. Players start with a much more intuitive hold-to-turn mechanism. Expert players can swap this control scheme for the previous, extremely accurate slide-wheel control, which also features a new UI element to ease piloting.
- Upgraded Environments are now present throughout the cave. We added a cool, parallax-scrolling background, gave you a (non-functional) Vehicle Assembly Building, and heightened the game's contrast so you can see your impending doom much better.
- Armor plates now protect your ship from instantly exploding on contact with anything. You can upgrade your Flop Rocket to hold a max of 9 armor plates, which protect you from your own piloting skills (or lack thereof).
- The Duck Cannon is a new, permanent weapon attachment for your rocket. It auto-fires and auto-aims at space ducks and blasts them out of the sky, and they explode in a shower of coins!
- Missions are now generated once you've achieved at least one good flight in the cave. These missions are randomly generated, based on your skill, and reward you with Juice.
- Consumables can now be purchased with Juice earned by completing missions. These consumables include an escape pod, worm food (actually explosives), additional armor plates, and the BOOM BOOM, a railgun for your rocket.
- Powerups can be found throughout the cave, including wormholes, bazookas, force fields, and fuel converters that cause you to consume no fuel for a short time!
- Research tracks have been expanded, from 4 tracks with 4 upgrades each, to 12 tracks with 8 upgrades each.
- The in-game store has been removed.
This last point brings us full circle, to the article Adam wrote (and the fantastic response it generated) on why free-to-play sucks for us, and for you, and for everyone who likes playing and making games.
We're experimenting with a new payment model, one that gets back to where we originally wanted to take the studio. We call it Free-to-Try, and our ability to pull it off has everything to do with the new BscotchID system and the evolution of our thought regarding mobile monetization practices and the Free-to-Play experience we've had. And now that we have the fledgling BscotchID system, we think we can finally pull it off! So before we dig into Free-to-Try, let's hit on the new BscotchID!
What is BscotchID?
We've long wanted a channel to keep our fans engaged in what's up with us, as well as the rest of the community, and to reward them for being super fans. But that level of involvement between us and our players requires a lot of web-savvy, and the one missing element here to make that happen has always been a technical and man-hour capacity limitation from Seth and me. With just the two of us, there's no way we could take the time off of making games to make a big, robust web system like this. That's where Adam, our oldest brother, comes in. The BSID system is very much his first debut for Butterscotch.
Here's what we've got bundled into the BscotchID system so far, accessible within each game it's integrated into:
- Lander - The lander page has all of the up to date information on our studio happenings, the forum, twit feeds, and the latest blog post. You can now access everything Butterscotch related from within our games. BOOM. WELCOME TO THE BSCOTCH COMMUNITY.
- Friends - You can friend others with BscotchIDs and see what they're playing. We'll also be tapping into friend lists for some fun game features. For example, in Flop Rocket, you can see your friends' crashed rockets in your cave (marking their best distances).
- Messaging- Send your friends messages about their lack of skills!
- Perks - Cross-game rewards, based on accomplishing sweet achievements. Do something impressive in one game, get something awesome in another. These range from the cosmetic, like new Bingo skins in Quadropus Rampage and new BscotchID avatars, to the useful, like a Flop Rocket 'Jectile in Towelfight or the appearance of a lucky coin in Roid Rage.
- Cloud Saving - we'll sync your data on our servers, so you can even play on your friends' device and just pick up where you left off, or bounce between your phone and tablet, or whatever you like!
The top three items are available to anyone with a username. The last two (highlighted in gold) become accessible to paying players on a per-game basis. So, what does it mean to be a paying player? LET'S TAKE A LOOK!
As mentioned above, we're experimenting with a Free-to-Try payment model. It's a bit different than a demo -- in a demo, you tend to get to play up to a certain point, and then your access gets cut off. We're doing things a bit differently.
In our Free-to-Try model, players will be able to play, for free, a horizontal slice of the game. A horizontal slice is a smorgasbord of all the features in the game, but delivered in some limited way. So, if there are, say, 12 upgrade tracks in the new Flop rocket, a free player would be able to completely max out a small portion of those - in this case, 2. In this model, you'll never hit a paywall or have your access to the game cut off. Essentially, you're just playing a tiny version of the game.
Now, when a player decides they like the game, they like our studio, and they want to take the relationship to the next level, they can BUTTER UP. Buttering up is the act of actually paying for a game from within the game - a full unlock of content in that game, plus all the BscotchID-related value for that game (perks and cloud saving). And since we have this potent BscotchID system, we can record on our server that you've made the purchase and ensure that you get full access to the game from that point forward, no matter what device you're on.
So, if you BUTTER UP your Flop Rocket game (for $2.99) not only do you unlock the rest of the game, but you also get cloud saving for that game, can start making progress toward perks (which affect other games), no longer see ads, and you can pick up and resume playing your save, once logged-in, from whatever device you're on at the time.
The BscotchID system and its accompanying perks will be light to start with, but as the model proves itself and we add more games (Roid Rage is next, followed by Towelfight 2 and Quadropus, then Narwhal Online and finally Crashlands) we'll generate more perks, creating a robust, high-value platform that finally lets your mobile device be the bastion of Butterscotch gaming it can be.
We're proud and excited to debut the BSID system, and see where this model takes us. If you've not yet signed up for an ID, get in and grab your username, and if you want to get in on the early access of Flop Rocket and help us make this the best change to mobile it can be, go join the group and get to gaming.
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