Announcing: Unwell Mel

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by John Cutter, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. John Cutter

    John Cutter New Member

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    I'm pleased to announce the release of "Unwell Mel"! The game is currently number 5 in the Big Fish Top Ten list. You can check it out here:

    http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/4677/unwell-mel/index.html

    I came up with the original design for this title after Rhonda Conley, the Game Community Art Director at Big Fish, saw some microbe Plushies and thought they were really cute. A "Medical Match 3" sounded kind of fun so I threw together a design document.

    Programmer Molly Jameson, fresh out of Digipen, spent weeks analyzing other matching games, even recording videos so she could step through the gameplay frame by frame. She did an awesome job programming the game and we launched the Community version last year. Unwell Mel has been a Top 5 game on the site ever since.

    Jake Birkett and I worked together on Fairway Solitaire (another game that originated on the Game Community) and we decided to follow up that effort with the downloadable version of Unwell Mel. We collaborated on some design changes and Jake worked his voodoo magic to really make the gameplay shine. Rhonda Conley updated some of her original art and worked with contract artist Roberto Sanchez on all the visuals. Another contract artist, John Michaud, helped us make the game's fun intro sequence.

    Yes, it's YAMTG ("yet another Match 3 game"), but we tried to add some fun new elements. (Animated "bugs" for example, and some cool medical-themed powerups.) Players seem to enjoy some of the funny disease names, too. I'm actually pretty surprised that they called these out because I think, in general, players ignore stuff like that. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Acute Purse Fever
    Halotosis
    Inlaw Ulceritis
    Bengay Fever
    Finger Flatulence (as in: "come here and pull my finger")
    Eyephelia Pain
    Luck B. Malady (Sinatra fans will get this one)

    Anyway, check out Unwell Mel on Big Fish if you get a chance.
     
  2. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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    Yeah, I've been playing the game since it came out. I knew 'Grey Alien' (AKA: Jake) had worked on it and I was really blown away by Fairway Solitaire.

    The game has a TON of character which provides a great hook to get you into the game, and solid game play to keep you there. I often find myself chuckling at the maladies that are presented, and I really enjoy the different challenges offered by the game.

    It isn't just match-to-fill-the-meter-bar, but it has some interesting goals and pieces that require different strategies.

    Oh yeah, SUPER-POLISHED. Definitely worth the download and it's a steal at the game club price.
     
  3. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Thanks James! Better late than never eh?

    I also like: Traumatic Wedgiosis (makes me lol every time) and Lunchinatus Elevatus.
     
  4. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    As I already said to Jake, the game is well executed, but the theme makes it unplayable to me... I just feel sick the moment I look at Mel :D I am surprise so many people play it, not to mention buy it. Maybe I just don't have that "Dr. House" elements in me ;)

    cheers
    Roman
     
  5. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm not sure I want to know the answer to this.

    What is "bengay fever"?
     
  6. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    @Roman: Mel used to look even grosser, he had a hairy tongue for a start. Also some of the loading screen mockups looked like they were from a horror game, lol. The first batch of in-game backgrounds were too realistic, they looked like close up of innards and slabs of meat, so I got them changed to brighter cartoony ones which seem to work well.

    I don't know what Bengay Fever is either! It's these darn North Americans, they speak a whole different language practically ;-)
     
  7. Ryan Clark

    Indie Author

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    Bengay Fever = Dengue Fever. (It rhymes.) Bengay is this stuff.


    I don't think I understand "Lunchinatus Elevatus"... I get all the others I've seen, though! I liked them, and the game, very much :)
     
  8. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    "Lunchinatus Elevatus" just means the lunch you ate comes up i.e. barfing :)
     
  9. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Eek. Bengay is a brand name?? Isn't that slightly.... iffy, from a legal point?

    [edit] Yes, its iffy. Pfizer Inc have sued and won over misuse of its mark before. You should probably change it quickly.
     
    #9 Desktop Gaming, Feb 26, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  10. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    I'd love to try this out. Will there be a Mac version?
     
  11. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    So perhaps you release this "zombie version" as an add-on later? ;)

    Congraz on the release. The game seems to be selling well. Good job on that!
     
  12. Executrix

    Executrix New Member

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    That's a great idea! Do what PopCap did with Peggle and release a really over the top version on Steam.
     
  13. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    @Desktop Gaming: Checking with legal, it may be OK because it's satire. There will be an upgrade coming out soon anyway when Blitz fix that OpenAL bug I posted about.

    @GolfHacker: You bet, soon as I can get an old PPC Mac in Vancouver in order to make a Universal Binary. So within a couple of weeks, keep an eye out for it. I'll resurrect this thread when it's out.

    @GameProducer: Well it worked for Peggle. So maybe we need to start Mel of well and you do horrible experiments on him to turn him into a zombie so he gets grosser as the game progresses? You need to fill him up with gunk and bugs, so a reverse of the current game. Really though I'm kidding because Peggle was arcade-like enough for Steam players, but match-3 is not really unless turned into an RPG like Puzzle Quest.
     
  14. joshuadallman

    Original Member

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    Nice work, great to see local efforts from IndieGamer forum regulars.

    As an aside, for weeks I thought the name of this game was "Unwell Me!" which I kept struggling to understand -- why would you want to be made sick? Funny.
     
  15. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Cool! I have a friend who had trouble getting a PPC Mac, and he ended up testing the PPC half of his game on his Intel Mac through Rosetta. You might consider looking into Rosetta. Could be a cheaper alternative. Regardless, I have a PPC Mac, so if you need someone to test the game later, let me know. I'll be happy to help.
     
  16. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    @Troy: BlitzMax, unfortunately doesn't work under Rosetta. You need to own a PPC Mac to make PPC version of your BMX game.
     
  17. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    @joshuadallman: In addition to your aside about Unwell Me! I have some interesting info. This last year has been my worst year for health ever, lots of things went wrong and I wonder if it's because every day I was booting up a game called Unwell Mel and seeing a sick guy. Seriously. So my next game will be called Super Rich and Healthy Jake :-D

    @Golfhacker: Thanks for the offer of help but I know it'll work OK on PPCs I just need to compile it on one.
     
  18. Midnight Synergy

    Indie Author

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    Hi Jake,
    very nice game - you did an outstanding job with all the little "extra" effects, it gives the game a nice polish.

    Hmm.. that didn't work for me. I made a game with lush beach and jungle environments, and I'm still stuck in praerie snow. So much for "The Secret". :D
     
  19. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Hahaha! Yeah, good thing in my case - otherwise, I'd be playing with dolls and having all kinds of "issues". :D
     
  20. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Ah I know where you went wrong, you only "thought" about the beech, you didn't "feel" it ;-) You have to feel it to make it happen (then do a lot of hard work :))

    So up to no.3 at BFG today, this is pleasing.
     

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