Ben Meredith at Indie Haven has reviewed Rising Empires Premium and gives a respectable score of 7 out of the maximum 10. It’s a good review. Ben likes the deep and detailed mechanics as well as it being a true 4X game for mobiles. Check it out at Indie Haven!
Johan and I are busy with preparing the next update, version 1.5, of Rising Empires. Like the ‘Rivers and roads’ update the changes in this update will have a profound impact on the game play. Among the usual bug fixes and small enhancements we will add two new features to the game:
- Line of sight – At the moment your armies and settlements can see through the solid rock in the Netherworld and the high mountains on the Surface. No more. This change will especially have a big impact on the Netherworld where it will be much tougher to scout and see the movements of other empires. Also, your towns and cities will only be able to collect food from sectors within line of sight. Again this will have a big impact in the Netherworld but food output from individual sectors will be increased to compensate.
- An empty treasury – At the moment your empire can field massive armies even when you have an empty or negative treasury. No more. For each turn your empire has a negative amount of gold, soldiers will desert and buildings will be demolished. This will go on until your empire has started to fill up its coffins again.
Rising Empires and Rising Empires Premium have had a very good period since the publishing of Most Hardcore issue 2. More than 2500 new players of the free version and lots of people have bought the premium version. We’re not making a fortune but at least we’re not losing money any more…
The last few days Rising Empires has been mentioned on two sites. First it was recommended by a forum member on the Grogheads forum and secondly it reached the number 5 position in the Android Quality Index top 10 list for February. Good news all around.
The new issue of Most Hardcore, the digital magazine published by Hardcore Droid, features a four page exclusive review of Rising Empires as well as a four page strategy guide. Both articles are written by long time gamer John Markley. In the review John highlights many of the new features of version 1.2 like road building, new graphics for terrain improvements and interface improvements. These are new additions to the game since he wrote the review for Hardcore Droid. John seems to like us and we definitely like John.
The review and the strategy guide are great articles and we especially enjoyed reading the guide. Playing your own game is one thing but reading how other players master the game is a thrilling experience. At least until you realize they play better than yourself…
Most Hardcore is only for subscribing member of Hardcore Droid (only $9.99 a year) but they offer a discount of 20% (discount code: A9DA19247A) for a few weeks. Subscribe now and read their excellent strategy guide!
Yesterday we received our 200th rating at Google Play for Rising Empires and our 40th rating for Rising Empires Premium. We’re happy that both were fivers and Rising Empires now have a rating of 3.9 and Rising Empires Premium 4.2. Thanks to all of you that have rated Rising Empires!
Rising Empires and Rising Empires Premium have now been updated to version 1.4.
Recent changes text:
This update adds new game settings map size and quickstart. It also fixes some of the known bugs and crashes in the game.
+ New game settings: map size and quickstart. Map size can be set to small, standard and epic. Quickstart changes whether all empires start with an additional town. These settings can only be changed in the premium version. In the free version map size is set to small and quickstart is disabled.
+ Doubled the population in the quickstart extra town.
+ Added checks when giving the build watchtower and settle orders that it is actually possible for the army to do them.
+ It is no longer possible to add a build project to a settlement that the empire can’t afford.
+ Fixed transfer bug which made it possible to have more than 20 companies in an army.
+ Fixed some known crashes and bugs.
My name is Peter Norberg and I represent a smallish indie studio called Hellhound Interactive. Since ‘nobody’ had ever heard about us, we decided to buy some reviews upon launching our new app at Google Play. You know, to get the ball rolling, since it’s very hard to get the big websites to review your game when you’re unknown.
Anyway, I thought I would review the sites that charge for reviews… For fun. And also to let you know what you get for your hard-earned cash.
As a starting point we used this list of sites. We took a closer look and contacted a selected number to see if they were alive. No way that we would pay money to a site if they couldn’t even answer an email, we figured. Upon ordering the review we sent each site a review copy of the game as well as a media kit with prepared screenshots. We also specified a date when the review should be published.
We have used the following categories when scoring the sites.
- Correct app (0-3 points) – You might think this is a no-brainer, with us sending them a review copy of the game. But no, this proved to be quite tough for a few sites.
- Screenshot quality (0-2 points) – The same goes here. With us sending them a media kit and a review copy some sites still managed to take screenshots from the wrong version of the game.
- Service mindedness (0-2 points) – Did they answer emails? Some gave us the silent treatment as soon as they had published the review and refused to make corrections.
- Review quality (0-2 points) – Was the text well-written? Did they describe the correct game?
- Good score (0-1 point) – When you pay lots and lots of dollars for a review you expect a good review, don’t you? A score of 4/5 or higher equals one point.
The maximum score is 10 points and among the reviewed sites we rewarded two with the maximum score. Below are the sites we contacted and an account of our experience with them.
Alpha digits (3/10)
Whatever you do, never ever send a single dollar to Alpha digits! The review they made was a write-up based on the description of the game at Google Play. It was plainly obvious that they didn’t even play the game and the text they came up with instead described another type of game. At first we even suspected that they had Google-translated the review from another language! When we contacted them they responded in an aggressive manner and after that all our emails receive the silence treatment. Extremely poor service!
- Correct app: 0/3
- Screenshot quality: 2/2
- Service mindedness: 0/2
- Review quality: 0/2
- Good score: 1/1
I’ve been asked to clarify how reinforcing armies work. The below is an extract from the rulebook:
Armies with companies that have less than full strength, i.e. 500 soldiers (Krant 1.000 soldiers) can be reinforced in settlements that have a population of the same race as the companies needing new recruits. Scout companies have a full strength of 50 soldiers. Similar to when constructing new companies a settlement must have at least 2.000 civilians of the correct race in the settlement (Krant 3.000 civilians).
Reinforcing a company can take several turns depending on the barracks/construction value of the settlement. For each barracks and recruit point one hit point can be reinforced each turn (excl. stables). Example, a capital with the first type of barracks building can reinforce 150 hit points each turn (a regular human soldier has 2 hit points).
The cost of recruiting one soldier is higher than when the company was first constructed. Each soldier cost 6 times their normal wages (instead of 3 times their normal wages when built originally).
If the army moves while reinforcing its ranks the reinforcement will be stopped. If the empire treasury would run out during reinforcement no more recruits will be added to the companies until more funds are available (the order will not be cancelled and they will continue automatically when funds are available). If the army is involved in combat during the turn it won’t be able to recruit any new soldiers that turn but the order will not be cancelled.
Rising Empires and Rising Empires Premium have now been updated to version 1.3.
Recent changes text:
This update fixes many of the known bugs and crashes. It also adds an option to preload all graphics, improving performance but also taking up more memory. We recommend only enabling this option on newer mobile devices.
+ Added option to preload graphics, improving performance but also taking up more memory. We recommend only enabling this option on newer mobile devices.
+ Fixed many known crashes and bugs.
.. did someone call us on a website. I kind of like it…
A new year has started and we have big hopes that this year will be even better than 2013. Last year saw us running a large open beta of Rising Empires before we launched it September 21st. After a couple of smaller updates we did a major update in the middle of December. New and improved graphics as well as new features like road building made this into a much more enjoyable experience for our players. Our work to get Rising Empires reviewed also paid off around this time. Rising Empires scored 4 or higher on multiple review sites with the highest scores at Hardcore Droid (4.8/5) and The Smartphone App Review (96%/100%). We’re overjoyed by this! The reviews, combined with our Christmas sale, gave us a record sale of 32 copies of Rising Empires Premium in a single day. We don’t sell thousands of copies but we sell a couple each day.
Without going into details of our plans for 2014 I thought I would let you all know that we’re working on a new update for Rising Empires. This is not a feature update like the update in December where we added lots of new content and graphics. The purpose of the coming update will be to fix bugs and errors in the code.
We’ve especially had some problems with Rising Empires using to much memory which causes crashes on some phones. Johan is currently re-doing the code that draws the map and when he gets it sorted we hope that the memory usage will decrease quite a bit. But we’re also trying to fix some errors in the behavior of the AI and all the bugs that have arisen since we launched version 1.2. We’ll publish the update as soon as we’re satisfied with the functionality of the new map.
We would also like to say thank you to all players that have rated the app on Google Play. At the time of writing Rising Empires have a rating of 3.98/5 (143 ratings) and Rising Empires Premium 4.36/5 (25 ratings). If you like Rising Empires please rate us on Google Play!
I wish you all a great 2014. Game on!
Peter & Johan
the Hellhounds of Sweden
Please help us get nominated in the Best Brain and Puzzle Game award this year! Click on the button below to nominate Rising Empires Premium:
Nominate Rising Empires Premium for Best Brain and Puzzle Game
Hardcore Droid runs a series of articles about indie game developers and what influenced them into taking the path they’ve done. In the third installment we’re a number of game developers that “Discuss the Media that Taught Them How to Take the Road Less Traveled“. I’m the one in the upper right corner…
In the article I explain how the works of Steven Erikson and Kerberos Productions has influenced Johan and me when designing and working with Rising Empires. We’re honoured to be one of the game devs invited!