Author Archives: Mihai

No more cheating. New rewards and bonuses

Dear friends,

This week I had a fascinating email conversation with Mike, a fan of our puzzle game. The conversation started over a month ago when I received feedback about the game along with a story about how a game bug can be used to solve puzzles faster. The conversation triggered a number of changes in the game, the most important being the recent switch from points to time for competition scoring. However, this week Mike described the bug in great detail and I was able to reproduce the bug as well. The bug affects Jigsaw Puzzle Nature, Jigsaw Puzzle Journey and Jigsaw Puzzle Frenzy. I analysed the scores and I realised many players know about the bug and are solving the puzzles very fast by using it. In Mike’s words, exploiting the bug you can finish the puzzle almost just as fast as you can move the pieces. Once I got over the fact that some players are using tricks instead of skill to climb to the top of the leaderboard, I fixed the bug – the fix was trivial and obvious once I knew when it happens.

Introducing Coins

In the past, playing Puzzle of the Day was rewarded with points. However, playing regular puzzles from your puzzle packs did not contain the same rewards. The points were not used anywhere else in the game. One player could have 10.000 points, another 200.000 points but in reality it did’t matter, as the points were not used for anything.

Starting this week, a new reward system has been added to the game: Coins. Coins are rewards for solving a puzzle, regardless of difficulty, shape or if the puzzle is Puzzle of the Day or from your puzzle packs. The faster you solved the puzzle the more coins you get. The more complicated the puzzle the more coins you get. When you finish a puzzle you will also receive bonus coins using a playing cards draw.

The coins can be converted into crowns in your Game Account page. 50.000 coins can be exchanged for 1 crown. Crowns in turn can be used for unlocking puzzles.

Daily Bonus

The loyalty rewards have been replaced with a Daily Bonus using a playing cards draw. The daily bonus ranges between 5.000 coins and 10.000 coins. The playing cards draw has also been improved to occasionally contain significantly bigger rewards.

Relax Mode

I know the majority of you enjoy the competition, but I also heard that some of you play just to relax. In the past, there was no way around the game competition but starting this week you can. The game settings now contain a switch to turn on Relax Mode. The switch is turned off by default so you have to manually turn it on to try it out. Once turned on the competition scores and leaderboard are removed from the game. If you change your mind you can always turn off Relax Mode.

I’m super excited to release these updates and curious to see how it will change your experience now that cheating is no longer possible, every game is rewarded with coins, and there is a way to use the coins to get new puzzles.

Have a great weekend and have fun solving the puzzles!

Mihai

Competition Changes, Faster loading time, Ambience sounds

Dear friends,
Based on your feedback we made several changes to the games that I want to share with you.

Competition rank based on time

I heard on several occasions from you that the points score system was at times confusing and hard to understand. That is why, starting earlier this week the competition is based only on the time it takes to finish the puzzle. The faster you solve the puzzle the higher you will be placed in the leaderboard.
Q: Have you tried the new competition? What do you think about the new score system?

More details about players

We added the ability to see for how long a player has been playing the game. Move the mouse over a player to reveal more information about them. I already heard great feedback about this small hidden feature which makes me super happy.
Q: What other information would you like to see about other players?

Faster loading time

Following several reports from you we found some performance issue in the game that were fixed. As a result the game starts about 3 seconds faster and it navigates faster between pages.
Our goal is to make the games available to a wide audience without sacrificing features or performance.
All our games support players using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update or later.
That version of Windows was first previewed in April 2017 and since then Microsoft has releases 5 new versions of Windows 10. We know that some of our fans are using the old versions of Windows 10 for various reasons (either they don’t want to update, don’t know how to update, or their computer does not support the latest Windows 10 versions) and that is why all our games support old versions of Windows 10.
Q: What computer are you using? Tell me about your experience playing our games on your PC or laptop.

Monthly game updates

In the past years we released frequent small updates to the games. For example in 2019 we released over 200 updates. This strategy has worked well for us in the past because it allowed us to quickly fix bugs and to respond to user feature requests in a timely manner. However, doing frequent releases consumes time and it often leads to releasing unfinished features and bugs.
To make better use of our time we decided to switch to a monthly release cycle. What this means is that instead of receiving game updates very frequently (sometimes every week or every few days), you will instead get a single update once per month. The monthly release however will contain finished and polished features and less bugs. Thanks to the less frequent releases we have time to test everything well before releasing game updates.

Ambiance sounds

Jigsaw Puzzle Nature now contains a hidden feature that took months to get right. When you play puzzles in Leaves, Forest or Rainforest pack you will get to experience the southing sounds of the forest. The sounds were recorded by my mother that lives in Romania (a small country in Southeastern Europe). She is an avid puzzle player and she was super happy to hear the sounds that she recorded in the game. I hope you will enjoy them too.
Q: What do you think about the new ambiance sounds in Jigsaw Puzzle Nature? What other packs would you like to have ambience sounds?

New puzzles

Inspired by the addictive Tiger King series on Netflix we released Big Cats puzzle pack in Jigsaw Puzzle Nature.
In Jigsaw Puzzle Journey we added Bolivia puzzle pack and in Jigsaw Puzzle Frenzy we added Worldwide Recipes puzzle pack. The packs are available for purchase in the Puzzle Store and included in the Premium subscription.
Q: What other puzzles would you like to play next?

Pause to save

After countless requests we modified the way the games are saved. We know that solving a complex puzzle takes time and that often something else has to be taken care of while solving a puzzle (answering the door, answering a phone call etc.). To save the puzzle you just need to pause it. The game timer will be paused and the game will be saved on the disk. Even if you decide to turn off the computer after you pause the game, the puzzle will be saved and you can continue solving it later.

There are many more small features to talk about, but I’ll stop here for now.
Time for a coffee and a puzzle 🙂

Have a great weekend!
Mihai

Memorial Day 2020 Discounts: All Puzzles are on SALE

The month of May is the National Military Appreciation Month and it culminates today with Memorial Day honouring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S military.

To celebrate, all puzzles are on sale today. Hurry up and get your favourite puzzles at discount prices.

We offer discounts in these games:

Have fun solving the puzzles!

Mihai

Tool for Generating App Store Screenshots

TLDR

I decided to write a Mac app for generating App Store screenshots. Sign up here.

Motivation

Each time you build a game or finish working on a feature you have to go though the tedious task of generating screenshots to promote it. Screenshots are a key ingredient to attracting new users in the App Store. The screenshots need to reflect key features of your app. If you are interested in ASO you should be constantly tweaking your screenshots in order to find the right message to attract new users.

However

Generating screenshots takes a lot of time and the current tools that can help you are expensive. The broad range of devices supported by iOS and iPad OS require repetitive work to get everything right. When Apple changes requirements or introduces new devices, you have to update your existing work flow. If you want to change the CTA on one of your screenshots you need to change it in several places. These are some of the reasons many developers ignore creating great screenshots or updating them regularly.

What I want

I want a simple tool to help me create App Store screenshots. The tool must be able to export all the resolutions supported by the App Store by cropping automatically. I want to be able to make manual adjustments to cropping where needed. I want to be able to add artifacts and text to all screenshots at once. I want to use custom colors to make my screenshots unique.

MVP

  • Export all supported resolutions required by the App Store for iPhone
  • Export all supported resolutions required by the App Store for iPad
  • Manually override cropping where needed
  • Add text
  • Add artifacts
  • Use custom colors
  • Save and load project

Timeline

I plan to build this tool in the next 3 months, starting on March 1st and releasing it on June 1st, just in time for WWDC.

How much will it cost

I want to find the right price for such a tool that will make it affordable to users and sustainable to develop and maintain. The tool will offer some form of free trial or a subset of features for free.
The full version price will match comparable tools, without abusing the usual developer workflow behaviour. I believe most developers update their apps several times per year, which means the tool price will be optimised for long term use.

Goals

  • Using the free version should be smooth without constant push to update to premium
  • Premium should be affordable for long term use
  • Ending a subscription (if I decide to use a subscription model) should be smooth and non destructive, allowing saving / export of existing project, color scheme and artifacts

I want it

If you are interested in this project and want to receive updates and be notified you when the tool is ready, sign up here.

I can’t wait

What key feature am I missing from the MVP list? How much would you pay for the tool? How often would you like to hear about the progress?
Comment bellow and tell a friend about the tool.

Why We Are Starting A Newsletter

When we started working on Frenzy Games, over 6 years ago, Facebook had just crossed the 1 billion users mark. Aside from having a blog, a Facebook Page was at that time a good way to gather a community of people that want to stay up to date with our game. Over time, as we build more games, we added a Facebook page for each of the game.

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Sunday Summary, September 30th 2018

Hello everyone

Here is what happened this week in the Jigsaw Games universe:

1. Jigsaw Puzzle Frenzy new puzzle pack: Autumn

We released a new puzzle pack caled Autumn. Embrace the autumn mood filled with this cozy puzzle pack filled with color, amazing landscapes and motifs.
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