Last year, we set a goal to become one of the best suppliers of high quality gaming supplies for serious gamers, and I believe we have succeeded, but we set our financial goals pretty low. Our first product — DragonSteel Dice — was so well received that our goals were surpassed within a relatively short time. That was mega-awesome, but it forced us to reconsider our strategy.
At first, we were using the company name — Downcast Systems — as the “brand”, but that doesn’t really make sense because Downcast Systems does more than just gaming products, so we created Darksilver Forge as a brand under the Downcast Systems umbrella where we would group all the gaming related merchandise together.
Until we get through our existing inventory, you’ll continue to see www.downcastsystems.com on the bottom of the dice cases, and …
For the first time ever, we’re launching two new products simultaneously: our first physical product, DragonSteel Dice, and a new app for Munchkin players, Kill Meter.
DragonSteel Dice are 7 heavy metal dice in a really cool metal carrying case. We’re really proud of these bad boys, and we think you’ll love them. We’ve got all the ones you need for playing DnD or Pathfinder, including the ubiquitous d20.
Kill Meter is an app designed for folks like us who love the card game Munchkin™ and its many variants. It helps keep track of combat strength during battles.
I think these two new products are great additions to the Downcast Systems lineup, and I can’t wait for you to see what we have in store next…
The wait is finally over. Android users can now enjoy the word game sensation known as The Hangman’s Noose!
Download from Google Play
Over 10,000 puzzles waiting to be solved.
600+ random enemy encounters.
Increasing levels of difficulty.
Lots of fun for everyone!
It’s Hangman with a fantasy twist!
Also, folks, don’t forget about On the Road to Puzzlewood, a new (quite irregular) series about the misadventures of a fire mage and his ward.
An epic fantasy hangman battle awaits in The Hangman’s Noose, available now for iOS. (Android at a later date. For now it’s an iOS exclusive.)
I’m quite happy with The Hangman’s Noose. It looks similar to Puzzlewood Quests, but it’s actually very different:
Just one game type — Hangman — so the gameplay was tweaked for that specifically
No timer, so it’s far more casual
No skills to upgrade
No items to buy
Random heroes with random crimes
Roguelike permadeath — when you die, you gotta start all over
If you want a more in-depth experience and multiple game types, then I recommend Puzzlewood Quests. If you want a simple, nearly endless hangman game, that’s The Hangman’s Noose 100%. 🙂
New paid version of Puzzlewood Quests will replace previous free version.
New version has been retooled so there is no need to buy gold, and all characters & games are unlocked, so there are no In-App Purchases (IAP) and no ads.
I’m changing my strategy regarding Puzzlewood Quests. Originally, I had planned on it being completely free forever, and I would make money off the In-App Purchases of gold, characters, and puzzle packs. After 8 months of trying that, it’s just not providing enough income, so I’m going to have to start charging for the game instead.
The new version has been retooled to be a much more satisfying game experience. There is no IAP. The magical items are much more reasonably priced now, so there is no need to buy gold. All the characters are unlocked, so everyone can enjoy Lilian’s storyline …
Improved Battle Over screen with more detailed stats on player progress.
Rotated out some games from Puzzle Pack #1. Folks who already own Puzzle Pack #1 still have access to all the games.
The price of the Orb of Nope (available in the first shop in the first world for each character) has been drastically reduced.
Bug fix – Android – can now adjust audio volume during a battle.
Added new Settings screen (available from title screen)
Setting – Turn Music On/Off
Setting – Turn Sound Effects On/Off
Increased the amount of XP you get from enemies to reduce the amount of grinding necessary to progress through the game.
Running away now has a 10% XP (toward the next level) penalty.
The “Luck” skill plays a bigger part in how often the enemy does a Surprise Attack.
Added new item: the Wheel of Cheese of Time, which adds a full …
Puzzle Pack #1 is now available. You can purchase this by hitting the Get More Puzzles & Items button on the Area Select screen.
Easy Math (4 x 3)
Word Math (One Plus Two)
Increased Inventory slots from 20 to 36
Added Orb of Nope! which allows you to turn off up to 3 game types you don’t like. It’s available in the first shop in the first world for every character.
Added Elixir of Ad Removal, which removes all ads in the game. You can purchase this by hitting the Get More Puzzles & Items button on the Area Select screen.
Updated the difficulty curve to make the game more forgiving based on player feedback
Made Operations game easier. The “easy” version is much simpler with only two operands like:
4 ( ) 3 = 12
Back in 2011, I wrote a book called How to Find and Land a Microsoft.NET Development Job. Then I created a cross-platform (iOS/Android) companion app to the book called .NET Interview Preparation Flash Cards.
Let’s take a look at the cross-platform mobile app technology that I used in 2011:
Sencha Touch 1.0
In case you missed it, those are both version 1.0.
Over the years, I’ve made a few updates to the flash cards themselves, and while a lot of them are timeless (ie. OOP concepts), many are now now out of date (ie. .NET 4.0), and I’ve been too busy with other things (*cough* Puzzlewood Quests *cough*) to update them.
Last year, someone let me know that the app had stopped working on Android. It turned out to be a problem with PhoneGap. Updating from the version I had to the version I …
I had this idea for a poster of Atari 2600 box art because I think the art style was really cool on some of those games, but I couldn’t find one that was what I wanted. Nothing aggravates me more than searching the Internet and *not* finding something. It’s almost unbelievable these days, so, ignoring the overall nerdiness of this project, I figured I better fill that void.
136 games later…
You can download the 36″x24″ poster from here:
Download the poster
Special thanks to the following sites, where some of the box art came from. I cleaned up some of the boxes in Photoshop as best I could to remove the more noticeable blemishes. I apologize in advance if your favorite game isn’t on the poster. I tried to include all the hits from several top atari 2600 game lists, if I could …
People give Windows a hard time. It has a lot going for it, although “polished UI” has never been a particularly fitting bullet point for the operating system’s apps. I’m not sure why Windows developers have had such a hard time with UI… I thought WPF might change the landscape a bit, but it hasn’t done much. Hopefully the new UI changes in Windows 8 (Metro), in addition to the inclusion of a Windows 8 App Store (finally!), might get some Windows developers to design prettier applications… Time will tell.
I have BreakTime on my Mac, but I’m working on my Windows PC for my day job quite a bit, and I wanted something similar for Windows. I was appalled by the selections.
First, let me show you 3 break timer apps from the Mac App Store:
Now for the Windows contenders…