Mayhem Intergalactic: Highly Desura-ble

(I know, I know. I kill me.)

I’m proud to announce that Mayhem Intergalactic has been selected as a launch title for Desura, the new digital distribution platform from the brains behind sister sites Mod DB and Indie DB.

The Dingo taking a bite out of the Desura logo

I'm sorry, Desura! You're just so tasty!

If you’re not familiar with Desura, it’s perhaps best described as a cross between Mod DB and Steam. Like Steam, there’s a web store to buy games, and a client to download, update and play them on any Windows PC. However, thanks to its Mod DB heritage, it also comes equipped with all of that site’s functionality. You can write reviews and other articles, rate games, upload screenshots, post comments on just about everything, watch games for updates, and so on. And all that user content is fearlessly visible on the game’s main store page. Holy transparency, Batman!

Perhaps best of all, Desura also boasts a hefty selection of free content, including standalone freeware games and mods for commercial games, with a single click. No more messing around with zip files! While the list of available goodies is limited at launch, they’re promising to add at least one new mod every day so it should fill up pretty quickly.

If any the above tickles your fancy, you can grab the Desura client from here, or read more about it. And of course Mayhem Intergalactic can be purchased from this here fine webpage, starting right now. Not that you need to, because you already bought it, right? Right. Because you’re awesome.

Until next time, space fans!

A hand fan in a nebula.

I can't decide which is worse, the pun or the photoshop.

When Impulse Buys are Good Things (Unlike My Puns)

Buying Mayhem Intergalactic on impulse was always a good idea*. Now, if you like, you can buy Mayhem Intergalactic on impulse on Impulse!

Confused? Allow me to clarify: Mayhem Intergalactic is now available on Impulse, Stardock Corporation’s digital distribution platform. Available for purchase, that is. Hooray!

Dingo hearts Impulse

Get a room, you-- waaaait. This joke seems oddly familiar.

The folks at Stardock Corporation seem like good chaps, despite their ominous-sounding company name (doom doom doom Stardock Corporation doom doom doom), so don’t be afraid to entrust them with the 19.95 intergalactic space dollars needed to make an Impulse purchase of said video game. Go forth and Impulse buy! They probably won’t spend their 30% cut on a nefarious plan to conquer the known universe.

* Especially thanks to Inventive Dingo’s iron-clad, water-tight, 100%-flip-flop-proof 30-Day Money Back Guarantee! (To be clear, the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee only applies to purchases made via this website; it doesn’t apply to purchases made via Impulse or Steam, since I don’t work for either of those fine companies. Impulse’s returns policy is here, and Steam… um… doesn’t do returns. Sadness.)

Bushfire appeal follow-up

Smoke from the Victorian bushfires mixes with clouds over Warrandyte. Photo: Nick Carson.

Smoke from the Victorian bushfires mixes with clouds over Warrandyte. Photo: Nick Carson.

In February I announced I’d be making a donation to the appeal fund set up by the Australian Red Cross to help victims of the bushfires that were ravaging the Australian state of Victoria back then. Specifically, I promised to donate 50% of the proceeds received by yours truly from sales of Mayhem Intergalactic which occurred between Feb 7th and March 14th.

Red Cross receipt for the donation of $1,100.

Red Cross receipt for the donation. Click for larger version.

Due largely to the inevitable lengthy delays involved in getting money from distributors and having it wired internationally, and also to this little thing I’ve got going on called “final year of university” and a lack of fondness for doing complicated accounting (this was harder to sort out than you’d think), I hadn’t done it until today.

Well, now I have (see image). Which means I can reveal how much money we raised:

$1,055.02. That’s one thousand and fifty-five dollars. And 2 cents. In Australian dollars – it’s “only” about $837 USD – but still, a grand is a grand! I’m seriously impressed it got that high. I have the best customers ever. I love you guys.

Unfortunately the bushfire appeal which I was intending to donate it to actually ended before I received the money (doh!), so I rounded up to $1,100 and donated the money to the Australian Red Cross’s “Where It’s Needed – Australia” category, that being the closest available. Mea culpa. I hope nobody is too disappointed with the category switch.

Happy Mayhem raising! Just… don’t do it on Earth.

A moustached alien wearing a monocle and a top hat.

“If you do, my robot protector named Gort will release insectile nanobots to scour all the pathetic life-forms from your puny planet! To, ah… save it from you. Yes.”

P.S. For the record, my stats show that, as expected, sales did not double during Feb 7th-March 14th – they merely continued their steep post-Steam-release decline – meaning that I now have less money than I would have if I hadn’t done this. Which was, of course, the entire point. I did it for its own sake, not as a nefarious capitalist stunt as some people have claimed.

21 Levels of Achievement

The good folks over at Valve have recently created global gameplay stats pages for all Achievement-supporting games, including Mayhem Intergalactic. It makes for some interesting viewing. There’s quite a range of percentages, which speaks well to the achievement design skills of you guys and myself; a mere 0.9% of players have completed Maestro of Multiplayer Mayhem (not surprising), while First Blood is right up at 78.2%.

What does surprise me a little is that the highest percentage isn’t higher – it’s pretty much impossible to play the game at all without triggering at least one achievement. Maybe lots of people are playing in Steam’s offline mode, e.g. as a result of not having an always-on internet connection, so the achievements never trigger?

Whatever the reason, it’s not exclusive to Mayhem Intergalactic. Audiosurf and Valve’s own Left 4 Dead have maximum percentages which are even smaller (77.8% and 74.5% respectively). Interestingly, Braid has one achievement which is right up at 96.6%, and almost half of the people who bought the game managed to finish it (which is pretty good going). Perhaps the people who wanted to play Braid but didn’t have always-on internet connections decided to buy from one of the other online distributors, rather than Steam. It’s worth noting that Audiosurf and L4D are Steam exclusives, and Mayhem Intergalactic is only available on Steam and directly from me. This might support the “offline mode” hypothesis.

Strikingly, less than half of the people who bought Aquaria are recorded as managing to reach the second area (Open Waters). I know the home area is pretty big, but still, this is a bit saddening. Maybe they got bored because the combat wasn’t difficult enough, or because they got bored by the pure exploration part of the game (before you get weapons)? Push on, people! The game gets better (and harder) the further on you go!

(That reminds me – I still haven’t finished Aquaria. I almost beat the final form of the final boss before I got killed – his stomach beam is nasty – and then wasn’t particularly motivated to start the battle all over again. It’s looooong. Must get to that sometime.)

Well, that’s all for this post. Keeping on making Mayhem, folks!

P.S. Despite the recent radio silence, I certainly haven’t forgotten about my bushfire appeal pledge – I’ll post an update on how much we raised as soon as I get time to do the accounting. Stay tuned.

Easy as 1.2.3: Mayhem Intergalactic updated

Version 1.2.3 is now live – get it while it’s hot!

In addition to the amusing version number (well, I’m amused) this update introduces a new feature and fixes a number of bugs and annoyances. It is compatible with savefiles from versions 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 (but not from version 1.2.0 or earlier). Similarly, version 1.2.3 clients can play on version 1.2.2/1.2.1 servers and vice versa, although some features will be unavailable when playing on older servers.

New/changed features

  • Private chat. To send a private chat message to a player called Bob, type /msg bob Hi Bob!. Names can be abbreviated. /whisper or /tell can be used instead of /msg.
  • The message log on the information bar (click the button at the top-left or press Tab) now features improved formatting and scroll buttons.
  • Chat box will now stay open permanently during the multiplayer pre-game settings screen. If it’s empty when the game starts, then it closes itself automatically.
  • Chat messages now have a partially-transparent black background to aid readability.
  • You can now see your own ping.
  • If only AIs are left in a multiplayer game (including if all human players are in disconnected state), end the game.

Bugs fixed

  • Fixed: Rifts sometimes weren’t visible to remote clients.
  • Fixed: Observers were being assigned starting planets on custom maps, and could attempt to send orders to the ships on those planets (without success).
  • Fixed: Players in disconnected state didn’t get sent to newly-connecting observers.
  • Fixed: /ban command was crashing server in presence of non-networked players.
  • Fixed: /kick command could be used on oneself.
  • Fixed: Removed ghostly grey “e” near End Turn button.
  • Fixed: A mistyped console command showed up as chat.
  • Fixed: Some bugs in internationalisation support.
  • Fixed: Invalid map errors no longer crash the game.

Bugs fixed (Steam edition)

  • Fixed: mayhemig.exe would sometimes hang around using 100% of the CPU after game exit.

Steam customers will receive the update automatically. All other customers are encouraged to upgrade for free. The demo has been updated, etc. etc. You get the idea.

This, believe it or not, makes 3 updates in as many weeks, each with a fairly substantial list of changes. I think that’s a record! Getting a surge of newcomers to the game does wonders for my motivation and productivity.

On that note, I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for playing Mayhem Intergalactic, and for all the suggestions that you’ve sent my way in the three weeks (has it really only been that long?) since the game was released on Steam. A game is worthless if it isn’t played, and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of players. You rock.

Good morrow, citizens of Mayhemsville! I have been instructed to congratulate you on the excellence of your stonework! Or... something like that.