Ragdoll Killa! - Coming Soon

Discussion in 'Pre-Orders, Soft Launches, and Upcoming iOS Games' started by BoiledGoose, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    #1 BoiledGoose, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
    UPDATE 06/30/09 - Ragdoll Killa has been rejected. See post below.
    UPDATE 07/13/09 - Changed the guy to an alien, changed the title to "Evil Alien Ragdoll," removed the red blood, and toned down several things. Got rejected again for the same reasons as the first.
    UPDATE 12/07/09 - Got a call from an Apple rep who suggested I remove some of the more human-like sound effects. After making the edits and resubmitting, Evil Alien Ragdoll finally got approved.


    Ragdoll Killa! has been submitted and is currently in review.

    The app stars "Captain Ragdoll," who has stumbled into the back alley of a weapons testing facility. At your disposal are spikes, anvils, grenades, TNT and bombs. Bouncy balls are thrown in for fun (releasing toxic gas if you can find a way to pop them), and pressing the water button turns on rain, which causes a flood, which... well, you know.

    Stats are saved for each death type, and the app respects your iPod music, so you can listen to whatever music you prefer to do your killin' to. :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I know there are already several other ragdoll apps in the store, but I thought I could have some fun with my own take on the genre. Version 1.0 falls into the 'entertainment' category, though I'm considering adding mini-games in future updates.

    Ragdoll Killa! will sell for $.99. I'll post a video and some promo codes when the game is released.

    Ideas and feedback based on the above screenshots is very welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. xVietx

    xVietx Well-Known Member

    Jun 9, 2009
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    Seems fun. I've played a ragdoll game online before. It was a flash game. It looks like a great start and Ill check it out as soon as it's released.

    The graphics could use a bit touching up though. Wow. A lot of ways to inflict torture on the ragdoll huh? Hahaha. Looks pretty interesting now. For $.99, I'll definitely try it out. It might even blow my mind away. :)
     
  3. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Poor ragdoll :) But hey, they bounce back easily, right? Looks pretty cool.
     
  4. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    UPDATE - Ragdoll Killa! has been rejected from the App Store. I mentioned this in a developer thread regarding acceptance times, but I thought it would be good to mention in the "official" announcement thread as well.

    The reason for rejection was Section 3.3.12, the response for apps with "content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

    I've received a lot of feedback from other developers, and it appears the app is just too graphic for the particular person who reviewed it. I'm going to rework the app, hopefully in a way that doesn't kill the essence of what makes the original version fun.

    It's not the end of the world, but it's very frustrating.

    :(
     
  5. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Sorry to hear about the rejection. It always cracks me up when a company like Apple thinks they can "reasonably judge" what I find objectionable, especially given some of the stuff they have allowed through. I hope you're not going to have to change the game too much in order to appease them. I was really looking forward to this.
     
  6. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    Thanks a bunch for the support. A lot of the feedback I got from other devs was to remove the blood, but that kills a lot of the "charm," if there is such a thing with this type of app (what would Zombieville be like without the head splats - OK, still pretty fun - but you see where I'm going with this).

    It looks like my best bet is to turn the ragdoll into an alien, change the blood to green and rename the app. It's Mortal Kombat a la SNES all over again... :mad:

    Overall, I just want to get v1.0 out there so I can get cracking on updates, minigames, etc. Changing him to an alien won't alter most of the ideas I have, but now I'm glad I didn't spend a lot of time working on those things while waiting for acceptance, since it has to go through the whole review process again as a new app...

    Good news is my next app is totally non-violent!
     
  7. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    So not to go off-topic here, but since you brought it up, how far along are you on your next project?
     
  8. Stroffolino

    Stroffolino Well-Known Member
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    Apr 28, 2009
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    Rejection on vague, arbitrary grounds really sucks. I've heard of folk getting an update rejected, when the grounds of the complaint had nothing to do with the update, but centered on content that had already been accepted and available in the app store for months!

    More to the point, there are a ton of super violent games that have already been approved. Your game has a cartoony look to it, and I wouldn't have expected it to get rejected judging from thost screenshots.

    On a holding your breath note, I had been expecting Sniper vs. Pirates to get rejected - you get extra points for groin shots and decapitations. I must have lucked out.

    You may want to consider renaming your app slightly - I suspect that the word "Killa" in the title didn't make you friends with whoever reviewed it.

    Phil
     
  9. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    @PointOfLight - Thanks for asking!

    Pretty close to submitting Alpha Runner v1.0. I had some corrupt file issues and had to rebuild some things, and my graphics card went on my main dev machine, which is always fun.

    I was originally planning to release the game with 8 levels from the start, but after a few setbacks I decided to make the first level longer and release it as a single scored "run" and add new tracks just as fast as I can get them up. This will also allow me to adjust future levels based on feedback from the first, and allow me to put extra time into updates for Ragdoll.

    The game will be free, so I'm hoping people will think of it as a Lite version that gets better with age. ;) I've noticed that App Store expectations are WAY different than they were a few months ago, even for free apps. So we'll see how this approach works out. The main thing I think is to get some version of it out there, and then update like crazy.
     
  10. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    It's funny because everyone one I showed it to, including my mom who's an Episcopal reverend, had OMG reactions at first, but thought it was funny in a Looney Tunes kind of way. The blood is over the top enough to be ridiculous and you earn "Stats" for each type of kill. Keep in mind the little guy doesn't fight back, but he does cry for help, and that makes it even worse.

    STILL - All that said, it is intentionally cartoony, and I honestly did not think it would be rejected (though clearly I was naive). I looked at the sheer number of "serious" violent apps in the store and thought a cartoony approach would be just fine.

    They did include screenshots of objectionable examples in the email. One shows him bleeding from the head after getting hit with an Anvil. One shows the kill screen for "Death by Bomb" (each kill has a different kill screen and this one has lots of blood), and one shows him just sitting on the ground in a damaged state (there are multiple levels of texture swapping depending on how damaged he is).

    Strangely, they didn't mention the drowning death, which is the only thing in the app that I thought could possibly send up a flag.
     
  11. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    REJECTED AGAIN!

    On July 3rd I submitted a new version, retitled Evil Alien Ragdoll. I removed almost all of the blood and changed the remaining blood to green. I retextured the ragdoll into an alien and made a few other changes to tone down the violence.

    You can view screenshots of the new version here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheezorg/tags/evilalienragdoll/

    Today I received another rejection email citing inappropriate violent content.

    My next step will probably be to:
    - Remove all death stats.
    - Remove remaining green blood.
    - Remove all voice clips.
    - Remove the ability to actually kill him.
    - Tone down the gradual texture damage.
    - Remove the water or figure out a way to keep it without drowning him.
    - Remove the damage and drowning meters.

    I wish I knew which part of the app they find offensive...
     
  12. MyLilPWNY

    MyLilPWNY Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2009
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    just saw this and it looks really cool that sucks that it was rejected
     
  13. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Unless I can get a specific reply from Apple, I'm guessing the only way to get this in is to neuter it to nothingness.
     
  14. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    I hate to say this, because I'd like to see this game come out, but is it worth it if you have to strip away most of what it was? "Inappropriate violent content" is stupid. When is violence appropriate? Guess you just need to show some hands manipulating the creature and then come up with some ludicrous backstory as to how the aliens are trying to take over the planet and you must single handedly thwart them through any means necessary. Maybe that will make all the violence appropriate :D
     
  15. MyLilPWNY

    MyLilPWNY Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2009
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    cant you just increase the rating??
     
  16. Boardumb

    Boardumb Administrator
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    The first version of this game looked amazingly awesome. The alien version didn't look too bad, but it def lost some of its original appeal. Now, TBQH I don't think I'll have any interest in a completely neutered version. Maybe I'm wrong and it will still be a blast, but I can't help but feel disappointed knowing what it could have been. I know its not your fault at all, its stupid Apples inconsistent and confusing review process. I don't really see how this game is any worse than Amateur Surgeon, which also asks if you're old enough when you purchase it. They can't do something similar with your app? Anyway, good luck, sucks about the rejections. I still look forward to checking out whatever form of this game that gets released, as well as your other projects.
     
  17. Devilishly Good

    Devilishly Good Well-Known Member

    May 1, 2009
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    :confused:

    i really don't understand at all...we already have games in the app store that allow us kill other people, animals, stick figures, etc and there are plenty of apps with blood spraying everywhere

    apple really needs to give you something more specific versus their generalized statement there

    definitely don't see why this and hoodoo voodoo are having so much trouble
     
  18. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    Good points, and along the lines of what I'm thinking myself.

    My original goal was to do my own take on the ragdoll genre, which is that the guy actually takes damage and over time you can actually "kill" him. The damage meter, different "Death by" scenes and Kill Stats are the first things I outlined when deciding if it was worth it to bring another ragdoll app to the market. Other things, like turning on the rain, creates a flood, and an air meter appears on the screen. After he runs out of air you get a stat for "Death by Drowning" and he floats in the water while Moonlight Sonata plays on repeat. Finish him with TNT and a fire blazes until you refresh. Stuff like that.

    I have a feeling the ability to kill him IS the reason for rejection. So unless Apple responds with specific reasons (I've asked), my next step will probably be to remove the kill scenes, damage meter and death stats and make it impossible to actually kill him. I'll set it up so that it takes a MUCH longer time to cause physical damage, and my guess is that no reviewer will test it long enough to ever reach its most damaged state (which IMO is very tame compared to the previous bloody version).

    Another goal is to add mini-games in updates, a la Mr. Smith. If I do have to rip out the entire soul of the app to get it approved, one idea I have is to make version 1.0 free and ad-supported, then after it gets updated with mini-games, remove the ads and change the price to $.99. For early adopters it will be like a Lite version that gets freely upgraded to a full version - which is something I don't think I've seen before in the App Store. (Thoughts on this are welcome! - I've seen in other posts it's a bad idea to make something free and then paid, but I don't know why that is) This is just an idea I'm playing with, and will be based on how much I have to neuter it to get approved.

    AFAIK, you can't rate something over 12+ without getting automatically rejected, even though Apple offers a 17+ rating option. I don't know how other apps are rated 17+, so maybe I missed something. I told Apple I would be glad to change the rating to 17+ if it meant the app could stay as-is.

    I mentioned this in an email to Apple and asked for specifics on what to remove, but from reading other developer's stories I don't expect an answer. The problem is that we can only use existing approved apps to measure what the acceptable standards are. I really thought that changing the ragdoll to an alien would be an acceptable fix.
     
  19. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    I think the main problem people have with the "free to paid" model is that the people who now have to pay for it feel cheated because other people got it for free. Basically the exact same argument as "paid to free". In other words, you won't win no matter what you do. Personally, I say you release it in whatever manner you like. The people that are interested will get it, and those that aren't won't. The people that are borderline will either be swayed by user opinion or eventually not care any more. I'm sure this is highly oversimplified, but it's the way things seem to work based on TA member grumblings, anyway.
     
  20. BoiledGoose

    BoiledGoose Well-Known Member

    Gotcha, no way to win love with a price change without losing love at the same time. :rolleyes:

    Btw, I took another look at the ratings system and I was wrong.

    In the Ratings tab for your game, if you max out 3 or more of the the options to Frequent/Intense, your game will get a 17+ rating.

    However, changing "Prolonged Graphic or Sadistic Realisitc Violence" to anything other than "None" will get you an automatic rejection. This is where I got confused.

    For this submission I maxed out "Cartoon Violence" and "Realistic Violence" to get a 12+ rating. The only other thing I could check that makes sense with this app is "Horror/Fear Themes." Maxing out that one would earn it a 17+. I would still need to submit a new version of the app to get reviewed again.
     

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