Short Circuit was an XBox 360 puzzle games based on the popular handheld game produced by Tiger Electronics. In Short Circuit, you would be faced with a grid of lights ranging from 3×3 to 10×10. The objective was to turn all the lights off by clicking on a light one at a time. Each time you clicked on a light, it would toggle the lights above, below, left, and right of it. Short Circuit introduced a new type of light called the three-stage light that operated similar to a stop light.
Get Short Circuit on XBox360 here.
Get Short Circuit for Android here.
Early last year Microsoft sent an email to registered developers letting them know that XBox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) was going to be shutting down. That meant that anyone who had purchased the XBox 360 version, would no longer be able to play the game they purchased. At that time I decided to change the Android version to being completely free with no advertisements. That was kind of my way of giving the game back to the people who had purchased the game on the XBox 360.
Later this year, the XBLIG will be permanently shut down, and all access to the game will cease. In light of this, I have decided to release all the source code to both the XBox 360 version, and the Android version to the public. You can find the source code on GitHub using the following two links:
For a long time I have been hinting at the possibility that Short Circuit may be coming to the Android platform. Today, I am proud to officially announce that the game is now in the final stages of play testing.
The game will be released as two separate apps, the full game, and a demo. You will be able to download the ad free demo and explore 20 classic levels, and 20 advanced levels.
Once you’ve played the demo, you will be able purchase the full game from the Google Play Store. The full game will get you 35 classic levels, 35 advanced levels, and a new Infinite game mode. In the infinite game mode you can set the size of the grid, and the minimum moves, and play a never ending array of levels based upon your selections.
I plan on releasing both the full version and the demo on Monday, June 15th.
Following hot on the heels of my release of Droplets, I expect to be finally releasing Short Circuit for the Android soon. I don’t plan on using advertisements to support Short Circuit, instead I plan on selling the full game for no more than $1.00 USD. Since I know that people aren’t as likely to spend their hard earned money on a game that they haven’t gotten to try, I am also planning on releasing a demo that will give players access to a small selection of levels for each static game mode.
There will be two static game modes, classic and advanced, and they have the same levels that were present on the xbox. That means that up to this point the android version is a direct port of the xbox version, with only a few changes to make it compatible with the android device. But I won’t be stopping there. I have one more game mode that I want to add to the game, that will be called “Continuous”.
When you select the continuous game mode, you will first be brought to a settings screen where you can specify your desired PAR, grid size, and other options. Then when you click “Begin” the game will use the settings you chose to randomly generate game levels for you, and as you beat each level it will generate another one using the settings you specified. You will also be able to specify that certain settings be progressive. Settings that you indicate are progressive will start at the level you specified, and will slowly raise up towards the maximum value every few levels to increase the difficulty as you progress. This mode is not currently complete and will not be included in the initial release. Continuous mode will not be included in the demo, even once it is completed, making this a paid only feature.
For now, however, I have to figure out how I want to release the demo/full games. I currently have two options. First, I could release the game as an unlock-able demo. That means that the game will have one in-app-purchase option for unlocking the full game. The second option is to release the demo separately from the full game.
Both options have their own drawbacks. For instance, there appears to be a slight social stigma attached to using In-App-Purchases(IAP) which could cause many people to not even try the demo. At the same time some may get annoyed when they try a demo then have to download the full game separately. Using the IAP option could allow the user’s progress in the demo to carry over to the full game, but doing the seperate release option could give the game a little more visibility in an already overpopulated marketplace.
All that said, I would like for you to give me your opinion on the matter. As a consumer, would you prefer if I released the game as one executable with IAP to unlock the full game, or would you prefer that I released the demo seperate from the full game, thus eliminating the IAP all together? Please respond using the poll on the front page.
The Xbox 360 version of Short Circuit never sold enough to actually generate any type of income. Microsoft’s policies state that they won’t pay out until the game grosses over $200. Unfortunately Short Circuit only ever grossed about $60. Since that is the only game that I have or will ever publish on the Xbox 360, that means that I have not gotten paid for my effort in producing the game. While the game is still available on the Xbox for now, I will be contacting Microsoft to have the game removed from the Xbox 360 marketplace. I am going to wait a while before I contact them, to provide you a chance to purchase the game for yourself. Once I contact Microsoft, the game will be taken down and will never be published on the Xbox 360 ever again. This does not spell the end for Short Circuit however, as I do intent to recode the game for the mobile market with new features included.
The update that I had sent to peer review has been pulled back for having too many unresolved issues. I sought to solve some of the previous controller issues and ended up create bigger problems that could lock up a system. For various reasons, I’ve decided to set Short Circuit aside for a while to focus more on school, family, and Rogue Dungeons, though mostly on school and family. This will give me the time I need to really think about what I’m going to do with Short Circuit.
Not to long ago I sent a new Xbox update to peer review. This update fixes a few minor issues that were pointed out to me, as well as redesigned the demo to show that there are in fact more than 12 levels in the whole game. Mostly though, this update only affects the demo and not so much the full game. This brings me to part two of this post, “Future Plans.” For a while now I’ve been considering redeveloping Short Circuit for the PC market via Steam. As time goes by, and I see the Xbox sales stats dropping lower and lower, I’ve begun to pretty much give up hope on the Xbox version. As it stands, by Microsoft’s policy I have to sell enough games to earn at least $100.00 after Microsoft takes thier 30% cut before Microsoft will pay me for the games that I’ve sold. To this point, I’ve only sold 33 copies of Short Circuit. Now, the data that I base my sales figures only only covers 32 days since the game was published, but it already tells me a lot. First, most of my sales occurred within the first 7 days, then dropped off slowly after that. Secondly, the rate of sales has been steadily dropping as time goes by. Looking at the raw sales data, I don’t really see my future sales being very good on the Xbox. While I didn’t expect Short Circuit to be a block busting game, I did expect it to have a slightly better reception than it has been receiving. It’s been extremely difficult to get anyone to review the game, and to this date, I can only find reviews from a total of three separate people. I already highlighted the first review in an earlier post. The second review that I found was by Sard on XblaRatings.com: “A very simple game of clearing each level of lighted tiles. There are many levels to clear and the advanced levels add different colored lights. The music at the main menu gets a bit annoying but levels out once you choose a board. If you like simple logic games this is a perfect game for you. I enjoyed playing it for a short time and would prefer this type of game on a phone for those long wait times at the doctor office or other places. At only $1 though it is well done for what it is.” His review got me thinking, and I think that I agree with him that the Android and iPhone market are probably the best venues for this game. Unfortunately, I don’t yet know anything about developing for those devices. The third and final review was by IndieGamerChick on her blog site: “This is Short Circuit for XBLIG by developer Jason Yarber. Jason’s a cool dude, but his game is so fucking boring. I’ve always been bored silly by Lights Out, since the moment Santa Claus put one in my stocking when I was ten years old. And this version doesn’t look paticularly engaging. It has that lazy XBLIG font that makes me break out into hives. Now, I can either spend hours trying to be snarky over this, or I can spend them fighting monsters and harvesting rare ore. Hmmmm.. sorry Jason. For what it’s worth, your game isn’t total shit or anything, but I can play Lights Out for free at any number of sites. I can also take a handful of sleeping pills and feel the same stimuli.” When I first read this, I was honestly upset. I felt like she was punching me in the face with a horrible review, but then I got to thinking about exactly what she said. She made it clear throughout her brief review that Short Circuit wasn’t her type of game. That being the case, I can understand why she would feel negatively about the game. Sure, I think she could have been a little more tactfull about it and not put the game in a negative light just because it’s not her type of game, but she was honest about what she thought about the game, and even pointed out some things that could be changed. Clearly, there are people who like the game, and there are people who don’t like it. I don’t expect everyone to like it, but this all points out to me the fact that the Xbox may not be the right market for this particular type of game. I say all that to get to this point. For various reasons, Short Circuit is going to take a back seat for a while. I suppose you could say the game is being shelved for future re-release. I’m leaving the Xbox version where it is for now. As my Xbox Indie license begins to expire, I’ll re-review the game’s sales data to determine if I’m going to leave the game on the Xbox Marketplace. If the sales continue in their current trend, then I’d have to say that there’s a large chance that I’ll be pulling the game off the Xbox Marketplace by the end of this year. Right now, I’m stepping away from Short Circuit as I begin working on Rogue Dungeons, and based on the sales data for Short Circuit, Rogue Dungeons will be a PC game.
After several hours of work over the last weekend, I have created solution videos for every level in Short Circuit. The videos are extremely short, so there shouldn’t be any problems viewing them on any type of internet connection. Anyways, without further ado, here’s the links to the You-Tube playlists where you can watch the videos. Classic Level Solutions: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLe09qC8IrkKF_dVsQ_1KAKET0qzSgQw3M Advanced Level Solutions: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLe09qC8IrkKEPPL3u8AJu0gZyNBj8w-mg
Yes, folks, an update has been sent for peer review. If you’ve already purchased the game then you won’t notice many changes at all. The vast majority of the changes in this release are dealing with the demo version. I felt the demo version wasn’t a very good representative of the whole game because it gave demo players no idea how many levels there really was. Now, the demo will show all 70 levels, but only 12 will be availabe in the demo. Also, I’ve changed it so that both the full version and the demo version will use the same save file. What this means for you is that the levels you beat in the demo will be marked as completed in the full version when you upgrade. As for those 26 of you who already own the full version, the only change you will notice is a verbiage change in the options menu. What I used to call as “Auto-Repeat Delay” is now called “Controller Sensitivity” to make it more user friendly.
I realize that some people who have purchased Short Circuit may be having difficulty with some of the levels. I knew I had to find some way of showing players how to beat some of the levels, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to do it. During development I wrote down the solutions to each level, but most people probably wouldn’t understand if I just released my notes. After pondering over this problem for a while, I finally found a solution. Today I ordered a Roxio HD Video Capture device that I can use to record gameplay videos from my Xbox. The idea is that I’ll make one video for top row of levels, then an additional short video for every other level that shows the shortest possible solution to the level. When I start making an publishing the videos, I’ll provide a link to them here in this news feed. At this point I expect to be publishing the videos on YouTube.