From the patchwork workshop of Louisa Giffard: a collection of characters from Hand Circus’s Rolando 2:
From left to right; the Floating Friend, Lord Derby Disraeli (royal treasurer), the King rolando, Major James Cardigan (royal spiky commando), Turgut Reiss (reformed pirate) and Mr Scruff, the DJ who made the music for the game.
I believe an Etsy outlet is in order. [via Mikko Walamies]
[UPDATE: ngmoco have reversed course on the decision, which, as suspected, was simply intended as a short term experiment:
We did not intend to deprive you of the ability to re-download or update our games. Rather, we had wanted to learn how well Rolando 2 would do at launch without the competition generated by its predecessor. The App Store is an entirely new animal, and we’re always learning what it takes to deliver what you want.
The most interesting development of the past weekend: in a post on the Touch Arcade forums, ngmoco very quietly announced that with the July 1st release of Rolando 2 (that’s this Wednesday), the original Rolando will be wiped from the App Store, as ngmoco recently did, even more quietly, with the original Topple (something I didn’t realize until putting together the top 15 game list).
This has, of course, raised a bit of ire with a few sites who justifiably note that part of the App Store’s appeal (as with any digital distribution outlet) is its never-ending/long-tail shelf life. The flip-side of that coin too, though, is one of the Great Gaming Fears of an All Digital Distribution Future: that with no physical copy to packrat away, once the bit-stream is turned off, so goes all your purchases — that, in whatever long, distant future where Valve’s Steam dies, along with it goes all our copies of Portal.
I suspect the chain of events here is considerably less dire, and I presume ngmoco are using this 3.0/Plus+ launch shift to test a theoretical model for the future: when a sequel is released, the publisher can create artificial scarcity and thus artificial demand to wring one last bump from the App Store’s traditional steadily decreasing downramp of sales.
At that point they launch the new game, which sits undistracted by other search query results, and — just as sales of the sequel start to similarly taper — they relaunch the original in a quasi-Greatest Hits line, now with new Plus+’s social features/achievements, and hope to gain a new bump from fans of the sequel who weren’t around for the first.
It’ll be an interesting development to watch, but, in the meantime, consider this your warning that, yes, you’ve only got a day and a half or two to get on the boat for Rolando, and, as always, it’s recommended that you do.
And one last Rolando 2 update to close out the week, but here, creator Simon Oliver takes us not simply on a tour of its worlds, but rather on how ngmoco’s Xbox Live-ish Plus+ service will be utilized. As it turns out, even a platformer is as ripe for challenges and leaderboards as a competitive FPS or tower defense game.
And: earlier in the week, ngmoco posted this update of one of the game’s most smartly integrated features (from the perspective of the iPhone as a uniquely converged device), in which NinjaTune’s Mr. Scruff — who provided the beats for the original Rolando, as well — here gets his own dedicated character and ‘Music Shack’, which serves not just as a soundtrack jukebox, but which takes you directly to the song’s iTunes entry to purchase with a double-click.
And lastly: the newly unveiled avatar creator might seem a superfluous ‘gimme’ addition to the website, but it again very smartly doubles as an iPhone wallpaper generator, a personalized icon creator for your Plus+ profile, and comes housed in a ‘hot or not’ style open competition for users to vote each up or down (though poor Locke here is currently suffering in the polls underneath snaggletoothed Obama-landos and more than a few disfigured Jackson tributes). Even if its brand of colorful platforming doesn’t quite strike your personal fancy, you have to admit that they’ve got their social engagement down to a science more than nearly everyone in the App Store.
As promised, Hand Circus head Simon Oliver has continued his guided tour through Rolando 2‘s worlds, first stopping at the Savage Island, where he demonstrates both the various fruit and veggie powered new Rolando techniques (including the titular ‘bad reaction’ to in-game chilis), and explains the game’s new ‘golden idol’ mechanic, which lets users skip levels deemed too frustrating to pass normally.
And then, the Temple of Doomishness, in which Oliver demos the fact that Rolando 2 will also be a bit easier on the player by allowing a stun-state versus an instant death when rolling into enemies (with death now following any player hit while stunned), and more action-based sequences with rising lava and Indy-ish rolling boulders as the Rolandos make their way through the temple.
Rolando 2 [ngmoco]
Freshly “unlocked” via the official Rolando 2 site, and the first in a wave of more info coming every two days for the rest of the month (and with only two more slots after that, hopefully meaning the game can’t be more than a few weeks away), ngmoco and Hand Circus have revealed the first direct gameplay video of the iPhone sequel.
In it, you’ll see Hand Circus head Simon Oliver leading you through most of the first level, and showing you some of the additional new techniques we learned back at its WWDC debut: namely, the deeper interplay between is individualized characters, with each given special exploration duties that the other’s can’t achieve (relegated primarily to the spikeys in the first game).
You’ll also notice, and Oliver outright notes, that exploration and collection play a much bigger part of the sequel, and, with its new and more tightly zoomed-in 3D view, the ability to uncover new secret areas plays a much bigger part. Hit the jump for more new screenshots, including more environmental assistance from baby whales.
Rolando 2 [ngmoco]
Following the release of their Star Defense alongside Apple’s WWDC keynote, iPhone publisher Ngmoco recently held a showcase of their upcoming games in the pipeline at the W’s XYZ bar, including Rolando 2, Touch Pets: Dogs, and their still-unnamed touch-and-shoot FPS.
Peering over Simon Oliver of Hand Circus’ shoulder, I watched as he demonstrated some of the newfangled treats coming to the much anticipated Rolando 2. Expanding upon its original cast to include a colorful bunch that range in character and physicality, the game has teamed up with writer Micah Wright (scriptwriter behind the Destroy All Humans series, and, interestingly enough, a handful of episodes of the 90’s Nickelodeon show The Angry Beavers) to bring a more developed narrative with quirkier character personalities.
Oliver simulated how girthier Rolandos will be of great use in some of the new water-oriented puzzles (whereas smaller Rolandos bob helplessly at the water’s surface) and gas-filled Rolandos take to the levels floating instead of rolling for a unique range of physic-based puzzles. New power-up fruits will provide a variety of abilities, and new vehicles like the revenge-fueled “Spikey Death Ball” will allow players to obliterate level enemies when they couldn’t do so before. Aside from the “Boom Finger”, which upon charging allows players to tap-bomb pathway obstructions, it would be a shame to spoil too many of the terrific goodies in Rolando 2, due for a release sometime soon this summer. (more…)
Hand Circus have released the first in a promised series of wallpapers to promote their upcoming iPhone sequel Rolando 2.
With all the game’s characters now revealed we can see that it’ll retain all of its easy vector charm, but there’s something edgier and scrappier about Walamies’ hand-drawn versions that makes them even more appealing.
Just unveiled by ngmoco and developer Hand Circus: the fantastic first trailer for Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, which, from even the too-few seconds of gameplay shown, is delivering on all promises made so far.
Rather than a simple colonial re-skin, Hand Circus’ sequel looks to have significantly revamped the core idea with new rolling attacks (after the utter vulnerability of the Rolandos in the first), flying mechanics, and, most obviously, new literal depth — the playfield now having popped to ‘2.5D’.
- Rolando gets new levels, Rolando 2 gets new home – Offworld
- The stars were bright, Rolando: two iPhone sequels coming June …
- HandCircus preparing more Rolando for the iPhone, Lite version …
- Rolling zen: Anna John's winning Rolando haiku – Offworld
- Touch me I'm slick: ngmoco/Hand Circus's Rolando – Offworld
The results are in and the winner’s been chosen: thanks to everyone who entered our quickie Rolando haiku contest over the weekend, and with the results tallied, game creator Simon Oliver has chosen ‘annakjohns’ entry, which goes a little something like this:
With tiny accessories,
Navigate my heart!
Says Oliver, “It reminds me a little of Father Abraham and the Smurfs with a zen twist!”
Anna — you’ll have your code in short order, and keep watching for more Rolando news sooner than later.
After taking part in Best Buy’s ongoing promotion to give away a copy of Rolando with every iPod Touch or iTunes gift card ordered (which — I’m not ashamed to admit — I finagled solely to own a small piece of physical Rolando art), I’ve officially ended up with an extra code for the game to give away.
After a brief discussion with guest blogger Tiff, we’ve decided to give away the game in the form of a contest, so here’s the rules: at any point over the weekend (let’s say until midnight PST), send a twitter reply to @offworld with a Rolando-based haiku. You’ll have 130 characters to work with, which I think should be enough.
Then, on Monday, Rolando creator Simon Oliver (@handcircus) will pick his favorite from the batch of entries, and vi-ola, the code will be yours.
[Note that, unfortunately, the code will only work for the U.S. iTunes App Store accounts. And, yes, deepest apologies that the @offworld account has devolved to a simple RSS repeater, I’ll be working up some more creative uses in the near future. Follow my standard @brandonnn account for more active Offworld-related activity.]