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Thread: Platypus on PSP

  1. #1

    Default Platypus on PSP

    I just played Platypus on the PSP just now, for about 30 seconds. One of my students has a copy and showed it to me before class. It looks pretty good from what I saw; the wide screen does suit it.

    But I also checked the credits. Three pages of them and, you guessed it, no mention of my name anywhere. Despite the fact that I near-single-handedly built the original game and the design and graphics of the PSP version are still recognisedly my work. The PC downloadable version had the Squashy Software splash screen removed, but still listed my name in the credits. The PSP version has no mention of me at all.

    I thought I was through with this game making me feel bad, but to see a whole bunch of people listed in the credits but not me, the actual creator, just feels like a deliberate attempt to hurt me. And it does. Why would they do that? It's not like listing my name in the credits would have cost anybody anything.
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  2. #2


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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Flack View Post
    But I also checked the credits. Three pages of them and, you guessed it, no mention of my name anywhere.
    Welcome to Suck-City. Jamie W was saying something similar the other day about a retail game he basically made 90% of. At least you've learned not to give away what is important to you from now on. Credits are always a touchy subject, when I worked "in the industry" there were credit politics, I appeared in some games for QA (World Snooker Championship 2004) but not others (Toca Race Driver 2 for example) and I wasn't alone, it was the codies policy for newbs, temps, people moving over from projects etc.. a name wouldn't hurt especially as in my case I typically had the majority of the issues found on PR Tracker and worked solid on them.

    As the actual developer, artist and coder (such as you) to be missing from credits isn't right though but I guess that's life (when you sign it away).

  3. #3

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    That sucks. You deserve credit where its due.

    But on the other hand at least you made a great game. We know it, and you know it, so chin up.
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    Did mikes name make the credits by chance?

    (and when cleetus comes out and rocks the house everyone will very clearly identify your distinctive style)
    Dan MacDonald
    a prisoner of the cause

  5. #5

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    Don't worry bout it man. When you finally finish Cletus and get it going on all the portals and stuff, Platypus will be a thing of the past.

    PS. if would quite funny if there was an "easter egg" in Cletus where the ship from Platypus would fly across the sky and you could shoot it down. A sort of kiss off to that company whose name I don't recall (not Retro 64, the one who the game for originally done for)

  6. #6

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    That's utterly horrific. It's nothing at all like a QA guy being left out... it's more like "Firestarter - by Del Rey". Just another example of why to stay out of the corporate nightmare.
    Mike Hommel
    Hamumu Games, Inc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamumu View Post
    It's nothing at all like a QA guy being left out...
    Which is what I said, ie it's "accepted" that QA/lower scale industry workers/newbs/temps etc are often left out of credits due to company policy/office politics whereas being the sole person initially responsible for the design and implementation of the game and it's initial release on another format is not acceptable in my opinion. Hope no-one thought I was saying I was in the same boat, I was just using it for some background comparisions of where the line should be drawn.

    As the actual developer, artist and coder (such as you) to be missing from credits isn't right though.
    Nonetheless, for the PSP port I suppose it's quite legal but it still sucks.

  8. #8


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    Who was the publisher? That's BS.
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  9. #9

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    Mike wasn't listed either, but that's more understandable from a technical point of view as his work on the PC version wouldn't really have carried over to the PSP remake. (And his work on populising the game isn't something you generally get in-game credit for). Whereas the game design, level scripts and of course the graphics are still the same ones I originally made.

    Ironically, the only people who are credited as working on the original version are listed as QA. (George Bray and another person credited with "Additional testing"). Everything else is covered by "Game By Idigicon". All the musical contributers are listed this time around though, which is good.
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  10. #10

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    Man that really sucks. I'd be making contact with the publisher and complain. I dunno if that would help at all, I'm sort of new to all of this

  11. #11

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    Oh, and if you're interested, this was my take on the port itself (having now played it to the end of the second world).

    All in all, it's not too bad. mostly recognisable as my game; the first world is basically the same. There are a few graphical glitches and numerous little details that annoy me; little things that aren't quite right. Some of the enemy ships don't quite move the way they are supposed to; the first boss comes in a little too early and doesn't take damage when it first appears; some of the graphics look a little wonky (the waterfalls, the wheels on the first boss) - stuff like that. The layout of things isn't quite as finely tuned as it used to be; it's a little bit more slapped together. But mostly it's pretty authentic.

    The second world is a bit more of a mixed bag; it's an extra world that wasn't in the original. It's all cobbled together from graphics taken from elsewhere in the game. It looks okay but a little patchy, and not quite as varied as it should be. Also it kind of spoils some of the features of later levels a little bit (by using the assets from them). The good news is that the new ships they've added seem okay - they're all made up of modified versions of graphics from the original game and it works fine. I was impressed with the second boss - it's mostly made up of bits of the third boss in the original game, but it looks all right and has a unique set of attacks that work well. This could have been much worse, so I'm quite relieved about that. The additions don't really stick out which is good.

    The save system seems to be pretty good, and they've incorporated a survival mode too, which is nice. It looks like there's a two player wifi option as well; good-o. I liked the way this was put together.

    And now the bad news; stuff that really bugs me:

    The weapon power seems a bit off. I spent a fair bit of time balancing this so it is very noticeable. The rockets aren't powerful enough, which is a big problem. They are supposed to be your hard-hitting weapon for taking out big stuff quickly; here they seem a bit rubbish and less powerful than the autocannon, which kind of defeats the purpose, a little. A LOT! Also, the beam weapon isn't powerful enough either. This was always a wimpy, defensive weapon, but now it's so wimpy that it is basically impossible to destroy anything but the weakest enemies with it. Not good.

    And that leads me to a further point. In the original, everything was carefully balanced so that you could definitely score 100% on each level. I believe that a lot of this fine balance has been lost here - both in the way the enemies and weapons behave, and also in the arrangement of the new levels. There is a bit at the start of level two where there is simply no way you could kill everything. That was never the case in the original game - I tested it so I know!

    But that doesn't matter much anyway, because the bonus scoring system has been messed up to the point where it makes almost no sense at all. This was also changed in the downloadable PC version, and it has always bugged me because that is really the heart of the game. You are supposed to concentrate on getting 100% of the primary targets to get a high bonus score. Getting a high percentage of small ships as well will net you an even higher score, and getting 100% of everything (which, as I say, used to be possible) will let you rake in a very fat bonus. But the important thing was, if you couldn't take out most or all of the primaries, you wouldn't get dick. They were your mission objective after all. The way it is here though is totally screwed. I got 0% of primaries and 92% of secondaries for an overall success rating of 92% at one point. You should never get a high bonus for missing all the primaries! It means that the subtleties of the game - the high scoring subtleties for the advanced player - are no longer in place. Dammit!

    All in all, I think it's pretty decent. It is still what it was, which is a fast-paced, old-school 80s-style shooter, and it sits quite nicely on the PSP. If you have a PSP and you like shooters, I daresay you'll be wanting this game; I don't know if there are too many better ones available. However, it's only about 50% of what it could have been if I had been even a little bit involved with it, and it's still not as good as the 7-year-old original, when it should have been better. It doesn't take advantage of the PSPs hardware as well as it should (the hardware accelleration could have been used to improve the graphics quite a bit), it really needed some new graphics made by me, and the attention to detail is not quite up to my standards. It was also a chance to improve the gameplay which I think has actually gone down a couple of notches instead. So it's a missed opportunity I think, but fortunately not a complete embarassment for me. If my name had've been on it which it isn't.
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by vjvj View Post
    Who was the publisher? That's BS.
    MumboJumbo.

  13. #13

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    Oh, it should be noted that I've just seen the game itself - I haven't seen the cover; so I don't know if I'm credited on the inlay or not. Hopefully...?
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  14. #14


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    The PC downloadable version had the Squashy Software splash screen removed, but still listed my name in the credits. The PSP version has no mention of me at all.
    The pc downloadable had all splashes removed, not just squashy- and your name was (rightfully) the first thing listed for credits. I was just trying to get the user to the actual game quicker for sales reasons.

    I wonder why you were left out of the PSP credits

  15. #15

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    Can it be they didn't put your name into it because they are afraid you could pose claims for money? Or that you are not happy with the game and ask it to be removed - so they have to take back all cartridges? I think they are better off leaving your name out.
    Karl Hofer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Flack View Post
    I just played Platypus on the PSP just now, for about 30 seconds. One of my students has a copy and showed it to me before class. It looks pretty good from what I saw; the wide screen does suit it.

    But I also checked the credits. Three pages of them and, you guessed it, no mention of my name anywhere. Despite the fact that I near-single-handedly built the original game and the design and graphics of the PSP version are still recognisedly my work. The PC downloadable version had the Squashy Software splash screen removed, but still listed my name in the credits. The PSP version has no mention of me at all.

    I thought I was through with this game making me feel bad, but to see a whole bunch of people listed in the credits but not me, the actual creator, just feels like a deliberate attempt to hurt me. And it does. Why would they do that? It's not like listing my name in the credits would have cost anybody anything.
    DEFINITELY sue them for violation of moral rights. Giving away full author rights anyway still keeps you moral rights, and those say you must be recognized in the art you created.

    SUE these lamers, such things make me angry almost like you.

    Make them retire all copies, fix them, and re-release them. Give'm a lesson, damn!

    [ yeah, I'm having a very bad day, but what I write is still right anyway ]
    Greets,
    Fabio

  17. #17

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    The pc downloadable had all splashes removed, not just squashy- and your name was (rightfully) the first thing listed for credits
    Sorry Mike, I didn't mean to suggest there was any malice on your part here of course.
    Can it be they didn't put your name into it because they are afraid you could pose claims for money? Or that you are not happy with the game and ask it to be removed - so they have to take back all cartridges? I think they are better off leaving your name out.
    Well, if anyone had've spoken to me about it...!

    I don't think I wish to cause any trouble or make a nuisance of myself to MumboJumbo or anyone else. That's not been my attiude in the past and I'm not going to change that. I'm not seeking petty retribution or wanting to cause any headaches for innocent people involved (and I expect MumboJumbo probably don't even have any idea who I am). I'm just... well, a little sad.
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  18. #18



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    Wow, that's very unfortunate...

    Not to pick at an open wound, but this is what happens when you give up all rights to your works. Obviously this doesn't "feel" right, but you were paid for your work. Idigicon didn't steal it from you. I don't know the terms of your contract with them but it seems you were naive or didn't take due diligence upon the signing. Personally if I created over 90% of a game that was of my own game design I wouldn't relinquish all my rights to a publisher unless I got continuous backend royalties from all future revenues. When you sign a deal, the terms should be satisfactory even if the game sells poorly or sells very well.

    I know it still burns, but Idigicon, Retro64, or Mumbo Jumbo aren't the bad guys here. Idigicon is just milking a successful property, which they have the rights to, obtained legally and ethically (unless they put a gun to your head). While it would have been nice if Mumbo Jumbo put your name in the credits for the PSP version, lakibuk makes a good point. Putting your name in the credits might have caused them legal headaches down the line. I still think they should have put you in there under "special thanks" or something but considering credits are often a contentious issue I can see why they may have been overly cautious.

    That said... you gotta be extremely proud to have one of your creations on a mainstream handheld. This isn't like being one of hundred developers on a console game or working on a Barbie game that made it to a handlheld. This is basically your sole creation. Your own game design and graphics that's on a mainstream handheld that didn't get tacked on to a well-known IP . Very few people can say they've done that. So take satisfaction in it even if the PSP version hacked up the game a bit. At the very least, this should give you some motivation to finally finish Cletus...
    Outside the Box Software
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  19. #19

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    OUCH !!!!

    I don't think i've been here long enough to know what exactly went on but reading between the lines it seems you made a costly mistake when you sighned the deal?

    Well done for making a great game, bad luck about the deal you signed.

    I feel for you, i really do.

    Darren.

  20. #20

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    Yeah, I don't really blame anyone but myself for the bad deal I was cut (although it was a long time ago, before I even wrote the game...) and that's partly why I have never tried to make trouble for anyone. But I was still hoping to be at least credited on this. If anyone really did leave my name off in order to avoid any trouble, an email would have sorted it out. I don't want to sue anybody!

    Yes, I do have some bad feelings for Idigicon, but that is just because after finishing Platypus for them they tried to lock me into an even worse deal that would have destroyed my career for good. Apart from that, I got what was agreed upon - although obviously not getting a cut of the money has made it much more difficult to complete a second game, it was totally my fault for undervaluing myself to begin with (and grossly underestimating the time it takes to make a game). I don't dispute that.

    Still, I have plenty of motivation to finish Cletus! Just not a lot of time. It would look great on the PSP though, if I do get a second shot at all this...
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  21. #21

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    First of all, that's pretty bad *** your game made it on a system like that.

    Secondly, yeah it can hurt, but don't sweat your name not being there. I work on AAA games and it's always a new PA putting who put all the credits together. They're usually in crunch mode when making the list of names. It's not like they're maliciously trying to drive a knife into your back by leaving you out - it's probably the fact that they don't realize who even did what or where the game actually spawned from.

    Do you know many people who watch movies and make a shrine for the lead assistant to Mr. Depp? Only teh [sic] psychos. It's usually your friends and family who you're going to show the game to (the people that matter) and you'll be there to tell them how you made it.

    Props to you.

  22. #22

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    !@#$%^& The plight of Platypus continues. Seriously, an on going lesson we can all learn from. I'm assuming you've protected your Cletus assets?

    "...if I do get a second shot at all this......"

    Why not create a demo movie of Cletus, shop it around and see what kind of offers you get? If that game can't make some real money on one of the hand helds...well then there's no hope for any of us old school 2D coders.
    DXGame Engine - High level 2D game engine for use with Visual Basic 6.

  23. #23

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    While iDigiCon acquired the game fair and square (I bet Anthony has read the wording a million times by now), it's both immoral and short-sighted business-wise. Anthony obviously knows how to produce a cash cow and while there are no guarantees in this business, there is a high likelihood he could have created more great games for them, had they gone back over the lopsided deal, done the right thing and shared some upside, letting him work fulltime on his projects and earning loyalty. While publishers have financial responsibility to their shareholders, it's always best to treat developers well (underpromise and over-deliver; it often costs very little to do more than the contract states); you don't want them making the next hits for the competition, and even if they are just starting and their first game or two doesn't sell well, you never know what future hit they will make.

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
    Emmanuel Marty
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  24. #24

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    Anthony, if you want a little brightness in your life..

    I recently got a book about games art. I cant remember the title off hand, but I'll post a link when I get back in the office.

    Well, there is almost an entire section about you and your games!!!

    I was amazed when I saw it, because the book was full of all sorts of bioware and bungie kind of stuff.

    I think it shows a great deal of appreciation for your art aesthetic and is great press for you!
    www.mindflock.com - social AI-based games

  25. #25

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    Yes, it's "The Art Of Game Worlds". Leo (co-author) was very nice. Half the reason I actually have Cletus Clay screenshots up is because I had to prepare some for that book (the game was in fairly early stages back then so I had to quickly polish up some level designs).

    He also sent me a complimentary copy of the book!
    Anthony
    www.squashysoftware.com
    A slave to the ideal

  26. #26

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    If you're not going to approach this business like what it is, a BUSINESS, then this stuff will happen. Want to ensure you are credited in your work and subsequent ports? Put it in the contract.

  27. #27


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    Man, I am really glad George wouldn't return my calls back when I was starting out.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilGames View Post
    If you're not going to approach this business like what it is, a BUSINESS, then this stuff will happen. Want to ensure you are credited in your work and subsequent ports? Put it in the contract.
    That's a little harsh! I suspect inexperience played a big part in what's happened to Anthony and i'm pretty sure it's something that he'll be more careful about in the future. I'm sure it didn't occur to him all those years ago that this would happen with Platypus.

    I've no idea why Anthony wouldn't get a credit. Bit unsporting of the psp publisher/developer in my opinion.

    Still, using this is a good way of generating more Media hype for Cletus Clay.

  29. #29

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    Hit the nail on the head there Emmanuel. Lopsided deals are no good for anyone. Retro64 even got taken out of the picture after they single handedly revived the title. Haven't seen a single other good title since from Idigicon. Karma is a b---. Strive to build postive points, not negative points.
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    Brian Fisher
    ArcadeTown.com

  30. #30

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    This is really sad.
    I don't think you should blame the company who produce the PSP version but rather Idigicon, they must be the ones who failed to mention your contribution in the game.

    Now let's be optimistic. I'm going to throw out one of my useless suggestions and say that you should definitely take contact with MumboJumbo.
    Not to complain or anything but first to tell them that you could really have helped with new original content for their new levels, AND show them that you have Cletus Clay in the works, and possibly more games.
    Because if this game's success is sufficient, they will be looking for something in the same style or possibly a sequel, and you are the one who can provide it. So at least there is some sort of opportunity for you to take advantage of

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