Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perhaps the World's Worst Kept Secret



The paperwork has been signed and I can finally talk publicly about something that I've been hinting about for months: I'm bringing to the iPhone!

Last year, as you may recall, I did an unauthorized implementation of Mü for the Zune. That was something that I did mostly for my own amusement but seeing as the Zune has virtually no third-party application market to speak of, I never bothered to take it any farther. Well, this summer my wife and I both bought iPhones and naturally that changed things.

Late in August I sent Frank Nestel email asking him if he'd be interested in seeing his game available on the iPhone and his response was swift and encouraging. The following months were spent rewriting the game almost from scratch and ironing out the details of a licensing agreement with Frank. If you like card games, I think you're going to love what we've done. Let me tell you about it.



That's the screen you see when you start Mü for the first time. After a few brief screens designed to get you oriented with the bare essentials, you're taken to a menu where you can start the game. From that point on, whenever you start the game you're taken right back to where you were the last time you played. Saving is automatic so you never need to worry about losing progress.

The game supports 4, 5 or 6 player games against several independently configurable computer opponents. There are three bidding aggression settings and five skill settings to choose from. The game also supports linked play over Bluetooth for up to six human players! What's more, the computer plays even better than it did on the Zune. I promise you that winning will be a satisfying feeling.

Here's a screen shot of a game in progress:


The first thing you might notice is that the iPhone's screen is bigger. A lot bigger. The result is a much richer user interface. The touch screen works wonderfully. To play a card, you tap or slide your finger over the card you want, bringing it to the front of your hand, and then you tap on that little round arrow icon above it to confirm your selection. That extra step avoids accidental card play and it works very well.

The game supports the iPhone's accelerometer. Tilt the phone on its left side and you can browse both sides of the summary card from the original game: the one with the bidding and scoring charts. Tilt the phone on its right side and you get a score sheet for the current game that looks like this:

Other features include detailed statistics tracking, Shake-A-Hint™, auto-play, and full in-game documentation. I expect the game to be available in both German and English and I'm also considering other languages if I can find volunteers willing to provide help with translation. (Send me email or post a comment below if you're a native speaker of a language other than English or German and you're interested in helping out. Sorry, but I can't afford to offer payment other than a pre-release copy of the game.)

The game is in final beta testing and it should be ready for release soon. I won't set a formal release date yet other than to say "I'll release it when it's ready" but it shouldn't be too much longer now.

The one thing that I'm still undecided on is the price point. Do I price it very low in the hopes of attracting people who are unfamiliar with the game or do I price it a little higher on the assumption that most people who are likely to pick it up will already be familiar with the card game and therefore be willing to pay a little more? I have my own strong opinions on that but I'm interested in hearing yours. What do you think? How much would you be willing to pay? Please post your opinions in the comments below.

12 Comments:

At 8:58 PM, November 23, 2009, Blogger peilei said...

$3.99 or $4.99 - you have an established product.

 
At 6:21 AM, November 24, 2009, Blogger hallehannah said...

I've been really interested in Mu for a while but I rarely have 4+ people together to play games. This is perfect for me.

 
At 10:03 AM, November 24, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free or 99 cents max (free it will be a better marketing option).

Let me explain.

If you need four players (99 cents times 4 = 4 dollars) and you need to know how to play the game and own an Iphone, the margen get smaller, as an IPhone owner, if my friends doesn't have the game because is too expensive, I wouldn't buy it either.

A cheap product will give you the advantage of better market for introducing new games or fixes, and then when you have a goog community, you can start making money in different products.

Just think about it:
1.- BSW have toons of games for free online, the community is really big, would it be the same is you have to pay? I don't think so.
2.- A real Mu card game is 8 to 10 dollars, and you can play up to 8 players, do you really think people will pay 4 dollars?

As an Iphone owner, I only have free apps, won't pay for a Mu in the Iphone since I can get toons of free games.

Just my opinion.

Thanks!

 
At 11:32 AM, November 24, 2009, Blogger mr said...

Sounds good I'd say $1.99 would be a good price point with perhaps $0.99 intro price to generate interest.

Those with same iphones on one account can put it on multiple idevices but if you want to have your friends and say hey's let's play this game it's hard to get both of them pony up $3 to buy it especially if they've never played it before.

How long are the rules? Bgg is down currently and I thought I owned this game but perhaps not maybe I got confused with Meuter. If rules aren't too long I might be able to get it translated into Japanese. (wife native) translated PuzzleManiak in Japanese and others.

Also started upcoming thread for Mu on toucharcade.
-mrbass

 
At 11:36 AM, November 24, 2009, Blogger Steve said...

mr: if your wife's interested, have her send me email and we can get the ball rolling.

 
At 11:39 AM, November 24, 2009, Blogger Steve said...

BTW: email is steve-at-housefullofgames-dot-com

 
At 9:46 AM, December 16, 2009, Blogger Solamar said...

Is it out yet? What would I search for in the store? I do not see anything on Mu or Mü.

 
At 10:16 AM, December 16, 2009, Blogger Steve said...

It's still in beta for at least a couple more weeks. I'll post an update when I submit to Apple and another when it goes live.
If you like, you can also periodically check http://mu.housefullofgames.com for updates.

 
At 5:22 AM, January 03, 2010, Blogger Hans van der Drift said...

Happy New Year.....

Did you get Mu out of Beta Yet?

How much longer to the app store submission?

Are you also working on a Tichu App?

Hans

 
At 9:06 AM, January 03, 2010, Blogger Steve said...

We're in the final throes of beta now. Shouldn't be much longer before I submit.

I am not working on Tichu. Perhaps some day but right now all my effort is on Mu.

 
At 12:58 PM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another vote for Tichu

 
At 1:01 PM, July 22, 2010, Blogger Steve said...

Read the rest of the blog. Tichu is coming!

 

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