Switch Bug Fix, Rule Presets & Events!

Hello internet friends!

This month has been a busy one, and we’ve got an update about the fix we made to Ultimate Chicken Horse on the Nintendo Switch, our new preset save feature, Eve’s time at TwitchCon,  and Rich’s time at MEGA game expo and MIGS conference.

Switch Bug Fix

After a long month of figuring out what was wrong and a slow certification process we finally released our latest patch on Nintendo Switch. This patch fixes the issue people were having where the Switch would crash randomly when returning to the treehouse, and fixes the issue of not being able to unlock new content after the Chimply Amazing update. For the full patch notes, you can go here.

While we were in the certification process for the patch, we’ve been working on new content which we’ll be bringing to the public as soon as possible. We don’t want to talk too much about it yet and we don’t have a date set for the content to launch, but there’s some really cool stuff going on and we’re pretty psyched for it. More on that soon, sorry for the tease!

Presets and Preset Contest

In case you didn’t know, in Ultimate Chicken Horse you can make custom game rules and then save those game rules as presets. Game rules that can be changed include things like:

  • How many points to win the round

  • How much each point type is worth

  • Which blocks are allowed to be used

  • How many pieces are placed per Creative Mode round

  • Whether or not there’s a double party box for two or more players

  • And much more!

You can find more information about the feature on the Presets page, and we’re running a contest to find some of the coolest player-created presets! Details of the contest are also on that page, and it ends on November 30th!

2018-11-20 Presets4.png

Apart from content work for the game, we had a couple of exciting events that we attended! First off, Eve went to TwitchCon in San Jose. Then, Rich attended the Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade (MEGA) and the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS).

Eve’s Thoughts on TwitchCon (written by Eve)

TwitchCon marked the end of a crazy busy October for me, and sunny San Jose was the perfect place to conclude my month of business travels. I kicked off the convention by attending the Developer Day, where I got some valuable knowledge about Twitch Integrations and upcoming features. There’s some ideas I’d like to explore in the future, because I love watching streamers play Ultimate Chicken Horse, and we could make the experience even better for them and their audience!

During the public part of the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the most prolific Ultimate Chicken Horse content creator - also a streamer I’ve been following for years - Ryan “Northernlion” Letourneau. I got to chat briefly with him and his wife Kate “lovelymomo” during his Meet & Greet session, before snapping the obligatory selfie and having him sign a custom-made poster that is now displayed on our office wall.

2018-11-20 Gen FB Ryan Kate.jpg

I spent the rest of that day hanging out Last_Grey_Wolf, HCJustin, unrulybabs, and their friends. We chatted about the industry, Twitch bounties, the indie life, and a lot of other things. The following days were similarly people-focused, including a casual morning meetup with the inimitable Sean “day[9]” Plott and his community of dayknights, who are at the origin of my interest in the games industry. Definitely, TwitchCon was all about the community for me, and about bridging the usual divides to bring everyone together as part of a big, beautiful ecosystem.

Rich’s Thoughts on MEGA and MIGS

A couple of weeks ago was the second time the MEGA event happened. Last year’s event was quite small, but oversold tickets by almost two times the capacity. This year the show got bigger, and attendance was once again higher than expected. We didn’t show anything in a booth, although we did have Ultimate Chicken Horse in the multiplayer zone where a bunch of local multiplayer games were set up. It was super nice to see people (mostly kids) enjoying the multiplayer zone and laughing with each other around our game.

The expo has a lot of the cool Montreal games that we already know well like Boyfriend Dungeon, Blood Roots, Speed Brawl, and more, but it also had some games I hadn’t seen yet. Of those games, the two I really wanted to mention were Zarvot and Somos:

Zarvot is a lovely game where you shoot your way through a wonderfully written story, and somehow manage to get attached to the personality of your cube player and their companion very quickly. I played the single player mode, and the game feel was incredible: the movement, the jumping, the shooting, the dashing, all of it was solid and topped with a good story and great art. I didn’t play the local multiplayer mode, but I’ve heard only good things. Unfortunately it’s only on Switch now, but hopefully it’ll be on Steam at some point as well.

Somos is a trippy mobile (and Steam) game where you defend your circle from incoming shapes and forms. It requires a lot of focus and does a great job of really getting you into that state of flow that few games are able to do. You can check it out on Android or Steam!

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That’s all for today folks, please stay up to date with our social media if you want to stay informed and know what’s going on in the world of Clever Endeavour Games:

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Much Love,
The Clever Endeavour Team <3

Switch Launch & Fall Events

Hello friends!

We’ve got another update to fill you in on what’s happening at Clever Endeavour and with Ultimate Chicken Horse. This fall is proving to be quite eventful, with our Switch launch late last month and a bunch of events.

Switch and the Elusive Switch Crash

The day before the game launched on Switch, we heard a report from a press person about the game crashing when playing in German. We looked into it and found that they were right… in some cases, and in some languages, the game would crash when returning to the Treehouse lobby. Though we had tested previously in lots of different languages, somehow we managed to miss this, and somehow Nintendo also managed to miss it when doing their certification testing. This is pretty surprising, seeing as they were extremely thorough and caught things that we never could have imagined testing for… that said, it slipped through the cracks.

 Awesome art by one of our fans called RunRun

Awesome art by one of our fans called RunRun

We apologize to people who have been inconvenienced by this, and the thought process went sort of like this:

  • Certain languages are causing a crash! Maybe it’s the different characters in the text of different languages

  • More testing happened

  • More feedback from people saying they’re getting crashes in English as well

  • Confirmed that the text was causing the problem, but figured out that it wasn’t language-specific

  • Talked to developer friends who told us about a memory leak in the version of Unity (our game engine) that we used

  • Try to upgrade Unity to 2017 from 5.6

  • Broke a bunch of stuff, needed to fix it, but seemed like it helped with the crashes

  • New problem arose, where audio was choppy and not working well

  • Rebuild our audio engine for Nintendo Switch

  • Try to sync up our versions of Unity, the Nintendo development environment, and our audio engine

  • Test more

  • Test even more

  • Send update to Nintendo

That’s where we’re at now! The updated version is in certification and hopefully it will pass and come out soon, and all of our problems will be solved. Well, most of our problems, and hopefully the crashes, will be solved.

Fan Art Contest

Along with the Switch launch, we ran a fan art contest for Ultimate Chicken Horse! The winners were chosen at random from the group of people who made an effort to make something cool and UCH-inspired. We didn’t choose based on our favourite pieces, because that would be super biased and unfair to people who might be less well-trained artists. Here were our winners! And here are a couple of examples:

2018-10-15 runrun.gif
 
 

GameLoop Montreal

Last weekend, Rich and Kyler participated in an event here in Montreal called GameLoop. The event is based on the idea that sometimes the most important learning at conferences happens outside the conference halls, in more casual conversational format. GameLoop considers itself an “unconference”, with an emphasis on round-table discussions.

2018-08-14 GameLoop.png

One of the coolest things about GameLoop is that the schedule is made on the spot, so you don’t know what you’re going to get when you show up. People pitch ideas for talks / discussions while the organizers write them down on giant post-its, and then everyone votes on the discussions by placing stickers on the post-its of the ones they’re most interested in. Once that’s done, everyone breaks up into the rooms they want to go to in order to attend discussions, and we chat.

I (Rich) always find it to be one of the best events of the year, if not the best, and I learn a ton. This year we sponsored the event and are super glad to be able to do so, and want to continue supporting it as much as we can.

MEGA & Montreal International Game Summit

Another interesting couple of events coming up are the MEGA (Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade) and MIGS (Montreal International Game Summit). The first is an expo where people showcase their games, and is only in its second year of existence. The first year was a huge success, and saw many more exhibitors and fans than expected… this year should be even bigger.

MIGS is more of a typical conference, like a mini-GDC that happens on the east coast. Unfortunately it’s held in November in Montreal which isn’t the warmest time, but people still come in from around the world to attend and speak. This year, Rich will be running a panel called HowStuffWorks: A Deeper Look Into Production Methods at 3 Indie Studios.

The event is usually pretty big, and last year the keynote was a fireside chat style talk given by the developers of the ridiculously popular (and ridiculously good) game Cuphead.

What’s Next?

We’re working on it! We’ll tell you more soon. Cool things are coming. Follow our Twitter for updates!

Ultimate Chicken Horse Launching on SWITCH!

We have news! Mega news. The news you’ve all been waiting for. Chances are that if you were waiting for it, you already know… or if you read the title of this post… but

Ultimate Chicken Horse is coming to Nintendo Switch!

The game launches on September 25th with a massive new Chimply Amazing update, which you can see in the trailer below. If you want to learn more about the details of all of the new stuff in the game, you can check out the Chimply Amazing page.

Pre-purchase of the game for the U.S., Canada and Mexico can be found here, and 10% off until the 25th!

Pre-purchase of the game for Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand can be found here, also 10% off!

Let’s Celebrate!

We’re currently running a giveaway where 5 participants will receive a copy of the game on Switch and a Monkey t-shirt, and another 5 will get a copy of the game on Switch. For a chance to win, post UCH-themed fan art before Sept 24th 3pm EST and tag it with #UCHContest on Twitter or Instagram, or post to our Facebook page with the same hashtag.

 
2018-09-20 shirt.jpg
 

The Journey

Getting Ultimate Chicken Horse onto the Switch and getting this content update out has been a long process with many hurdles in the way. We’ve been working full-time on this since the previous update came out, when the game launched on PS4 and XboxOne in December 2017.

2018-09-18 Monkey Wall.gif

We’ve worked on a lot of things, and a lot of roadblocks came up. Some of them are common to all developers working on porting to a new platform, but some of them were specific to our experience. Being the first Unity game to have cross-play between Switch and PC, we had a number of roadblocks where we needed to wait for support from either Unity or Nintendo, and it wasn’t always straight-forward. Beyond that, we had a ton of optimization to do to make the game run as smoothly on the Switch as it does on PC, and we think we’ve come close to achieving that.

I can personally say (Rich speaking here) that I’m extremely proud of the team for pushing this along and making this amazing update for all platforms while overcoming the hurdles of the porting process. From the programming challenges to the art and user interface discussions, the community building and getting people hyped for the announcement, everyone did a stellar job and I’m really happy to be working with such a strong team.

2018-09-18 Monkey Wall 2.gif

What’s Next?

First, we launch on Switch!!!

 
2018-09-20 Switch.gif
 

Then, next on the list is more content for UCH which we didn’t manage to pack into this update. The timing and the content of the update is still being determined, but we expect the gap between updates to be significantly shorter than the last time (since we don’t have another console to port to).

We also have plans brewing for some new merchandise,we’ll announce that soon. Keep an eye on our Twitter to make sure you get notified when we launch it…

Beyond that, we’re going to start taking some time to learn, to hone our skills, and to develop new ones. This learning period will be somewhat freeform, but we want everyone on the team to take some time to develop as a craftsperson in their field, and we think that some cool ideas could come from it, so it’s really a win-win.

What’s the team most excited about in the new update?

Rich: I’m most excited about the fact that the game is finally on Switch, and that we can move on to a production that is less focused on bug fixing and more focused on new, fun things. If I have to choose one thing specifically from the update though, I’d say the punching block. Being the first user-triggered block gives it a ton of possibilities for cool gameplay.

Ben: Probably the music for the new Mainframe level! Platform jumping, arrow dodging, bomb exploding … pregnant cheering? I’m not sure what the lyrics really are, but it’s a pretty awesome track.

Alex: Now that the Switch version is out we can move on to some new things. That means some fun new stuff for Ultimate Chicken Horse, as well as a completely open future for the company. How cool would it be if we had a completely different game?!

Kyler: My favorite new feature is the Rule Customization. Ultimate Loser is an amazingly fun way to play the game in a new way, where you do better by being last. This makes for all sorts of new interesting strategies and construction options. I expect the community to find other interesting rulesets that we would have never imagined.

Gen: I think that the Nuclear Plant level is one of the greatest things to happen in UCH history - it’s THAT fun. It also has a special place in my heart because I saw it evolve through feedback from our Beta testers and many design discussions among the team. I also spent many hours finding ways to break it while doing QA. Fun times.

Fabio: Fabio was on vacation when we wrote this, but we <3 him anyway, and he made the Monkey character… thanks Fabio! We’re sure that the Monkey is his favorite part of this update.

That’s all for today folks, if you want to keep up to date with Clever Endeavour news, please subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a beat!

Lots of love,
The Clever Endeavour Team 💚