TJD3 Kickstarter and cast

Though Chapter Two of TJD got glowing reviews, it has been difficult to truly reach out with it to media and players. Maybe because people have a hard time dedicating themselves to a game when they know the series is incomplete, or maybe simply because our PR effort on the chapter two launch was lacking. We did pretty good financially the first year or so after release, but since, revenue has been dwindling and now it’s pretty clear that without seeking additional funding, we won’t be able to make the final episode nearly as grand as we had wanted. Hence, kickstarter!

That’s right, we will be running a Kickstarter campaign for the third and final chapter of the Journey Down trilogy! We plan on launching the campaign during October, and promise you to fill it with tons of juicy behind-the-scenes updates and other similar treats that we have gathered along the development of the trilogy so far. There will be loads of previously unreleased footage from our various escapades such as goofing around at various expos, media trolling and other adventuresome shenanigans we’ve taken on under our wonderful years as SkyGoblins. We’ve been running the company for over 10 years so it’s quite the treasure trove of things that we look forward to sharing with you!

goblinsTheo, Mathias and Henrik at Gamescom 2015

So, we just got back from an awesome couple of days at gamescom where we’ve started spreading the word about the coming kickstarter as well as showing off some new pics from TJD3. What we’ve got to show off so far are mostly character portraits but come the actual campaign, there will be a lot more delicious eyecandy from TJD3 to feast your brains on!

The story, script and puzzle design for the final chapter is pretty much all in place, all we need to do now is secure funding for the last part of actual production. The end is nigh, and bombastic! So, keep your eyes peeled for more info as the Kickstarter campaign closes in!

For now, we will leave you with some highlights from the TJD3 cast:

Click the image to download a zip file containing all character portraits in their original resolution.




Game Developers Lounge

Photo 18-05-15 19 12 50

So finally Game Developers Lounge is over with. It was awesome, but man did all the preparations distract me. And I didn’t really do anything(!?). My biggest achievement was convincing EA Ghost to pay for all the beer. This, I am monumentally proud of, however. Huge thanks to everyone who helped organize the event and to everyone who contributed in whatever way. Extra big up to all you awesome folks who demoed your games at GDL, that’s what it’s all about! :)

Certainly feels like the event was a massive success, so I’m confident we’ll be pulling something similar off again.

Now onward forward with TJD3! 😀

Monitoring and tracking


Disclaimer: This is going to be a nerdy rant so unless you’re into iOS development and/or server maintenance, feel free to ignore :)

Last week I discovered that one of our web services had gone down. It was not a critical incident, but I realized (something I’d known for long but kept ignoring) that now that we work 100% on TJD3, we tend to pay very little attention to the well-being of chapters 1 and 2. So in an effort to monitor the health of our existing apps and services, I set out to automate a couple of things.

Uptime Robot

First off, I set up an Uptime Robot account and configured a simple keyword monitor that makes 5 min periodic checks to the web service that broke down the other day. If my service breaks down again (or gives a weird response), Uptime Robot will notify us instantly on email and on Slack.


The other web service we have is used to store tokens for iOS push notifications. Whenever someone gets a “TJD would like to send you notifications”-popup and accepts, a token is stored on our server so that we can send that user a push notification later. This is really important to us, because it’s pretty much the only way we can contact existing iOS customers to let them know the next chapter is out.

So to make sure the subscriptions are working properly, I asked veteran SkyGoblin Markus to setup a little cron job to deliver daily subscription stats directly to Slack. Now, if the subscription stats stop or stagnate, we’ll know something’s wrong.

What’s this Slack then? It’s a super nifty tool for team communication and I love it with all my heart.

Then I went on to set up a Crittercism account and integrated their SDK (one line of code) with our iOS apps. Crittercism offers a pretty smart way to automate symbolication for crash reports using post-build events in xCode. Now we can properly monitor and investigate iOS crashes during beta and production. (iTunes Connect already supports some crash reporting but it’s very limited.)


Last, I finally got off my ass and setup a proper bug tracker! Up until now I have collected bug reports for TJD in scattered email conversations, twitter messages, paper notes and excel documents. Mostly, issue tracking has been kept in my own head and lord knows that’s not a safe way to store business critical data. With multiple versions of multiple products on multiple platforms, that simply isn’t sustainable.


After reading up and trying out a couple of trackers I decided to go for Lean Testing, mostly because it is.. well, lean. You create an account, set up a project and invite testers – then anyone can read, create and comment on bug reports for that project.

Some people prefer more enterprise-like solutions like Jira (and I’m sure it’s awesome for larger teams) but that’s way more bulky than what I need. Rule of thumb: if your support & maintenance systems require support & maintenance, you may be wasting time.

On a final note, each of these monitoring services are super easy to setup, a matter of minutes literally. And they’re all free (for my purposes anyhow, costs may vary). What took me a few days was to read up and decide which services to use. Got a better suggestion? Please write a comment and let me know!