Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by David Kalina, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. David Kalina macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2009

    My company's first game for the iPhone and iPod Touch -- Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor -- was released this past Monday.

    Early reviews have been incredibly positive. We were lucky to receive wonderful coverage from the folks at toucharcade.com and offworld.com, and so far our app has an incredible 107 / 107 5-star user ratings in the US App Store.

    Check out our trailer here:


    For more information, and to purchase, follow this link to the AppStore:


    Please check it out and let us know what you think!

    David Kalina
    Tiger Style
  2. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    Wow. 112 reviews and 111 are 5 stars.

    Looks pretty neat.
  3. ziggurat macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008
    Looks pretty sweet :) , will most likely buy it and then leave some feedback
  4. kwjohns macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2007
  5. Fedorov macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2009
    The ratings/reviews and forum comments speak for themselves, I bought it a few days ago and it certainly lives up to what everyone is saying.

    It's very original, great artwork, animation, sound, this will be high up the charts guaranteed.

    One of the best games I've seen in many years.
  6. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Looks good!!! Looks like its worth 2.99 just because of originality. Now if I could just get rid of this damn Arachnophobia, you'd have one more sale.

    Got any silk worms? :D
  7. Khryz macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2007
    Last night when I checked it had 100% 5-star reviews. I've never seen that before. I have it and I started playing it yesterday and it is completely original and really fun. Awesome game.

    I hope the Devs do something like this with other insects/animals/fish next.
  8. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Bought it. Have been playing it for the past hour. My hand hurts.

    It. Is. Fabulous.
  9. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    I got this game and it is fantastic. I can already tell it is among my favorite iPhone games along with Real Racing, Tiger Woods, Peggle, & Space Invaders Infinity Gene.

    If you don't mind me asking, how big is your dev team David? Your end product is amazing and easily competes with offerings from big name developers like EA.
  10. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    Well done!

    I love it. Hoping to see more apps like this in the near future. You have done well David :)
  11. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Just an update. This game is indeed great, but not without its shortcomings.

    1. The game is short. There are a couple of arcade modes, but they feel like afterthoughts. The story mode ends rather abruptly, and quite anti-climactically. Still, for less than the price of a movie, I got over 2-3 hours of solid entertainment.

    2. The game was too easy. Given the basic parameters...you are a spider, you spin webs and catch bugs...there could be endless variations. Instead, we're given pretty much the same level of difficulty (not very) and basically the same method of clearing each level, with a couple of slight variations. I wanted more of a challenge...more puzzle-like ways in which to spin the webs, increasingly difficult/different bugs to catch. World of Goo, which has a similar look, feel, and attitude, is a great example of well thought out and increasingly difficult levels based on the same premise.

    3. The big "mystery" seems non existent. There are hidden secrets, but unless I missed something big, they amount to not much more than nice artwork surrounded by slightly more bugs. There are also lightswitches, handles, knobs, etc. that have interactivity, but ultimately seem to do nothing.

    More levels in future updates would be nice, but only if they bring more to the table than pretty renders to walk around on and the same bugs to eat. We need something we can sink our mandibles into. How about a room with a big crack in the floor that we have to cross? How about a flooded basement with minimal places to web onto, and lots of bugs hovering over the water? How about some tried and true enemies...a bird...a snake...a bug zapper...a pacing night watchman who can step on the spider.

    I could easily see Spider II taking place in the woods...

    Ultimately, while very pretty to look at and satisfying to play, this game reminded me of listening to the home demo tape of a great band...good basic ideas not quite fleshed out, but lots of promise. A playable proof of concept. Looking forward to see what if anything else the devs have up their sleeves for this game.
  12. David Kalina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2009

    Thanks for the thoughtful, critical review.

    A couple of comments:

    1. Regarding difficulty/challenge. We made a lot of intentional design decisions to keep the game accessible and fun and challenging without exploiting player death. We knew that some of these decisions were risky because players expect there to be predators or environmental threats in platformer games. Ultimately, we went this direction because we wanted a mellow, contemplative vibe in our game. And because the Spider is King of his universe, in a sense.

    In my mind, the best way to play the game for challenge is to play for high score. The scoring system promotes a very deliberate style of play whereby you intentionally set up networks of webs to trap as many insects as possible of the highest value possible before chowing down for the big combo, making daring jumps between webs, and calculating risk vs reward when it comes to using and obtaining silk.

    2. Regarding the Secret of Bryce Manor. It's in there. Again, there was an intentional decision to keep the story in the background; it is there for the actively engaged, detail-obsessed player to take note of and decipher, but for many of us (myself included) it is mostly an atmospheric framework.

    Glad you enjoyed the game in spite of its flaws, and I really appreciate the feedback and the smart suggestions.

  13. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Dave, seriously, kudos to you.
    This is one fine app and game and really, out of the tens of thousands available in the app store ranks in my opinion among the top five ever.

    Imaginative and what is striking as 'simplistic play' is complex when what looks at what is all around you.
  14. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007
  15. FearlessFreep macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Northern Virginia, USA
    This is one of the best games in the App Store, period. There are very, very few games that are done this well. I've paid a lot more than this for games that seem half-finished.
  16. magski macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Just finished playing this through the first time and started right again. There's something very compelling about it.

    Couple of things - can you explain the scoring and the screen numbers top left x2 etc. Also is it deliberate to not show the number of bugs at the start of each round and how many are left? Perhaps the info screen or set as an option?

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