jemchicomac is hiring (again)!!!

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Hi all,

yes! jemchicomac is hiring again. Now we are not looking for a skilled developer (we get perhaps the best one in the world  joined to the team!) but we are trying to find somebody in the marketing field, preparing the commercial launch of our long-awaited Crazy Belts.

If you are an Spanish reader and you are interested, you can follow this link or you can read in English directly here:

We are trying to find a marketing professional working as a freelance able to manage and execute all the marketing tasks related to the commercial launch of Crazy Belts. During all these busy months building the game, we have created half-way everything but without very much focus and love as the launch time always seem too far. Now is the time for taking all the exisiting material and the work done so far (newsletter, blog, webpage…) and move it to the next level building a successful launching campaing.

The skills/experience required for the position are:

  • PR & Blogger Outreach. Build a list of bloggers/media to reach, handle relationship and grant enough coverage on the press and blogs on time for the launch
  • Media Buying and management of the (VERY limited) marketing budget
  • Social Media Marketing before the start and some time after the launch, with focus on Twitter and Facebook
  • Search Engine Optimization/ Application Store Optimization
  • Direct Email Marketing if applies
  • Marketing Collateral & Branding management, working directly with the graphic designer providing copywritting and overall strategy on marketing pieces.
  • Campaign Analytics & Insights

We are looking for freelancers and not PR or any kind of agency. There are numerous things to do and deliver but the project is humble hence not big enough for an agency but great for a passionate single freelancer willing to collaborate.

Of course! is a paid position!

Let’s keep in touch if you are interested

jemchicomac is hiring!!!

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Hi all,

if you are interested in participating on Crazy Belts project (see this blog for further information) as a main developer, do not hesitate contacting us.

You can see the job posting in oDesk here, but you can see the transcription here:

Mobile Game Development

Experienced Mobile Game developer for the development and publishing of a mobile game on iOS (iphone, ipad), and Android (Google Play and Amazon Store)

The game is a box2d-based physics casual puzzle/action style

The preferred implementation is Java on top of libgdx library. For the iOS version, libgdx-ios-backend will be used. Developer may know Xamarin.iOS tool for this (previously known as Monotouch)

Candidates with solid knowledge, experience and tools using alternative cross-platform development frameworks (Corona SDK, Unity, Cocos-2d-x) could be also considered.

Despite main game loop has been already developed, the objective is building the full game from the scratch and taking the part already done as a reference. Side things to deliver:

– Visual effects (mostly tweening animations)
– Main menu, screens and overall GUI
– Integration with Flurry Analytics
– Integration with Tap4Tap SDK for Advertising
– Facebook and twitter buttons (follow us/tweet this)
– Internationalization feature
– Testing and binaries preparation for submission to appstores

Everything required is fully documented and as a summary:

– Demo and source code for main game loop is available for reference or using some portions of the code (under developer criteria)

– Art and music are fully developed and available, including screen flows, gestures and overall GUI design

Development methodology will be Agile/SCRUM with weekly/bi-weekly sprints under an agreed product and sprint backlogs

This is a fixed price position that will be limited to 1-1.5 month, though there may be an opportunity for ongoing engagement on further developments on this or future games for the right candidate.

Interested in applying? In your cover letter, please provide a link to a sample of work that shows your game development capabilities, and tell us in 2-3 sentences about your experience with mobile game development

Leaderboards and achievements in Crazy Belts


Leaderboards have lived alongside games since the very beginning, where three-letters described yourself showing off your leadership on top of the billboard to anybody looking to the “high-scores” screen of a coin-op machine. This 80’s image has evolved to online global leaderboards and your chances to show off your abilities have switched from your closest neighbourhood to the whole world. Being an absolute top-five player universally in a blockbuster game as it is a much more remarkable thing than being the smarter guy in town, but the idea remains the same.

Not all games are suited to leaderboards, though. Any game not based on an score, like the adventure genre hardly will make use of them. Imagine a leaderboard on a point-and-click game like Monkey Island. On the other side, shot’em up or some puzzle games are their natural place.

Sometimes the presence of a leaderboard is arguable, like in Angry Birds, the leaderboard is available on iOS via Game Center but not in Android, where there is just nothing, showing that this seems to be half-important to Rovio guys. There are other examples like in Cut the Rope, where the actual score does not make the difference between gamers, as the maximum amount of points you can get is bounded to perfect execution in a given amount of time.


Achievements however are more recent stuff and have evolved from single, private, in-game ones to a public, social, platform-managed elements, first started in 2005 by Xbox360’s Gamescore . There is a debate about if achievements or trophies reinforces the intrinsical motivation of playing a game or are just part of extrinsical kind of things that can hurt a great gameplay. Read this post if you want get deeper into this.

My general conclusion on this topic

The impact in the main game loop may be limited: A segment of your audience will just ignore achievements but others may get extra gratification if you use humour,  fancy visuals and celebrations or if you just provide something valuable to the player. I do not buy into the idea of achievements hurting the intrinsic motivation of your game unless you overwhelm your player with pointless activities and meaningless trophies. Doing things badly may hurt.

Do not miss the opportunity to provide a social feature if you implement achievements: show-off players will be pleased, the rest  will just ignore the opportunity of telling others about their abilities. In summary, you will obtain free marketing impacts in walls and timelimes. Also you can embed a link for direct download of your game, generating free downloads too.

However, designing and implementing online leaderboards and great achievements will consume resources and make your game more complex and expensive. If you need to sacrifice something on your main game loop (levels, features, special effects…) for having these features, just don’t do them. Otherwise, go ahead. A segment of your players will be pleased and will generate valuable buzz on social network, but remember that most of them will ignore all those features.

The Crazy Belts twist on leaderboards and achievements

On Crazy Belts, there is not very much sense for a leaderboard in the story mode. The score, represented by air miles collected when playing, is a virtual currency that can be used to purchase things in the Duty Free, as well as for unlocking the levels. If you just pass the levels as a discrete player, the number of miles obtained will barely allow you to unlock the next level. However, the better you perform the game, the more extra miles you get and the more things you could buy in the Duty Free.

Duty Free goods are rewards for best players, mostly extra multimedia contents and hidden features. These goods do not provide any special ability or in-game enhancement. Also, they can not be obtained with real money via IAP. In that sense, Duty Free contents are equivalent to a regular game achievement. As there is not an economic transaction involved and the content can not be obtained nowhere else, Duty Free items keep it as an intrinsic motivators for the expert/fan gamer.

Social part of the story is also covered. You can tweet or post on your Facebook wall your progress each time you pass a level, unlock a new airport or purchase something in the Duty Free area.

Apart from the story mode, Crazy Belts also has the “infinite mode” where the target changes and consists on handling as many bags as possible without time constraints in a fixed level. The score is the number of successfully handled bags. There is no upper bound on the number of bags that can be handled. The difficulty remains in dispatching bags fast enough o/w you get a screen crowded by dozens of bags. and ultimately failed the play. This creates great opportunities for seasoned players to differentiate to regular ones. In this context a global leaderboard makes a lot of sense and CrazyBelts will implement one on this mode.

If you want to see Crazy Belts in action, watch this video and read this blog post. If you want to keep regularly informed get access to the beta and the game lauch, subscribe to our newsletter in this blog post.

The reality behind bag handling

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Hi all,

I’ve been making some analysis on the reality of bag handling in airports as part as the documentation phase creating the plot and mechanics for Crazy Belts. I’m going to get through my findings. All the info is available on Internet, but I’ve put everything together. Hope you will find this post interesting. This in not the typical developer blog post. No single line of code today, but some funny things to share!!!

How many mishandled bags are in the world?

Accordingly to SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, in 2011 25.8 millions of bags where mishandled. If you are interested on this, there is report containing all the details available here.

If you think this is a very big number, keep in mind that things are going better compared to 2010, where 32.3 millions figure was reached. The good news comes from the actual meaning of “mishandled bag” term, as the most of the bags are just delayed:

Kind of mishandled bags (Source: SITA Baggage report 2012)

The main reason is problems related with transfer between aircrafts of the same or different companies. The funny thing is that this reason is being year by year the most prevalent one, at the same time the other reasons are less and less frequent due to operational enhancements in the processes. Conclusion: take bags with you if you are transferring between aircrafts even from the same company.

Reasons behind bags mishandled (Source: SITA baggage report 2012)
Reasons behind bags mishandled (Source: SITA baggage report 2012)

This piece of info has been used for the world counter of mishandled bags that you can find in the Crazy Belts’ launch page.

Does the “mishandled bags heaven” exists? YES! in Scottsboro, Alabama

Roughly ½ of the lost bags don’t arrive with the passengers. Five days later, 95% of those delayed bags find their way home.  That’s a great track record considering the 100’s of millions of flights and passengers that criss-cross USA and the globe every day.

An intense 3-month search process reunites over half of the remaining bags with the happy passengers.  Claims are paid to the astonishingly small fraction of a percent of owners whose bags are never found.

Only after these exhaustive attempts to reunite the luggage with the owners do the airlines call in the crew from Unclaimed Baggage Center. Unclaimed Baggage Center is under contract with airlines and other transportation companies to purchase the luggage that can’t be traced to the owners. Truckloads of lost luggage are transported to Scottsboro, Alabama, sight unseen.

They carefully unpacks each bag and the items go through a complex sorting process. The clothes headed for the store go to a dry cleaner and laundry facility – the largest commercial dry cleaner in the state of Alabama. Fine jewelry is cleaned and appraised. Meanwhile technicians test all electronic equipment, erasing any personal data. The end of the process is pricing each individual item. You can see a nice video about it here. Worth seeing it as you can get an idea of enormous amount of stuff that finally is sold:

If you liked this, you can see more tv press coverage here.

What actually happens when you check-in?

One video worths more than a million of words (assuming an image worths a thousand words):

On Crazy Belts gameplay, your are going to been able to control some of these actual conveyor belts, contraptions and mechanisms used to successfully route baggage to the right destination on time. Other has been just invented, but what is true is that all the bags animation are physically simulated, and you will need to play against gravity, torques, forces just with one finger!

What happens when things do not go very well

I’ve created a playing list in the jemchicomac’s youtube channel showing the best videos I’ve found on the Internet about actual mishandled bags by land crew on different airports around the world, you can see this playing list directly here:

Final recommendation

Anytime you are in airport, waiting for check-in or boarding, or you are bored in-flight, do not thing if your luggage will safety reach the destination together with you. Just take your smartphone, tablet or computer and play Crazy Belts. Probably will not help putting you outside this 3% of bags that do not arrives to your destination, but, well, you will enjoy for a moment!