Welcome to Roguetoad.com!
A big and mighty hello to each and every one of you out there!
I'm Rospo Briccone (Roguetoad27). Indie Game Designer, Graphic Designer, and Author. It's been a long time since I posted a traditional update, but I've got a few things I need to talk about related to Roguetoad Studios and my work. So, let's get straight to it!
Whoops, there goes my Google Play Developer Account
I've had a few run-ins with Google's policy team on Google Play, most notably, when they harassed me last year about an impossible violation that didn't even involve my app in any way. Unfortunately, the publishing of my Kingdom Hearts themes for XPERIA users was the nail in the coffin and they terminated my account in a quick and non-communicative fashion.
I've been a Google fan for well over a decade since I've been using all of their services, but the way that they've handled my account and the unquestionably poor communication has been sorely disappointing. In the end, though the policy rules are clear, it is their inconsistent application that I find quite shameful.
Basically, I looked around the Google Play store and saw tons of apps using Intellectual Properties with little to no respective ownership notices. I put up my Kingdom Hearts themes without issue and included a lengthy warning about how my apps were unofficial and not endorsed in any way by Disney, Square-Enix, or anyone involved. For example:
The Kingdom Hearts Franchise And All Respective Logos, Artwork, And Other Elements Are The Property Of Square-enix And The Walt Disney Company.
Roguetoad Studios Is In No Way Affiliated With Or Endorsed By Square-enix, Disney, Or Any Of Their Subsidiaries, Employees, Or Associates.
These Free, Non-commercial Mobile Device Themes Are In No Way "Official" And Do Not Claim To Be So In Any Manner.
This notice was also visible on my visual materials. See below:
It took a while before I received an app suspension from Google. Then, in a matter of days, it went from "excuse me" to "ACCOUNT TERMINATED". I was barely given an opportunity to de-list my themes. Simply put, my Kingdom Hearts themes were a violation of the Intellectual Property policy, but I did clearly state that I was in no way endorsed by the franchise owners. More importantly, I have to shake my head at the plethora of other apps out there breaking that same policy with 100 times as many downloads as mine.
I'm not going to report them because I think that, as long as they are careful about free-use rationale, they shouldn't be in trouble. I'm just frustrated that I've paid the price of a "crime" that hundreds, if not thousands of developers have committed.
But alas, I don't want to waste my time fighting it. What has happened has happened. So, moving on from the Google aspect of this ordeal...
Where to get my Android Apps now and in the future
Fortunately, upwards of 80 of my apps and themes are available over on APKPure right now. Head on over to see the selection! I'm not sure how long they'll be there but check them out while you can.
Since my apps are no longer available on Google Play, I plan to upload my existing themes and games to a different website and link to them here on Roguetoad.com. I will be simplifying the pages here for better navigation and presentation so that you can easily see all of the XPERIA themes and download them.
Also, any of the themes that were violations on Google Play, specifically my Kingdom Hearts themes, I will also be linking to here. All of my XPERIA themes have been a lot of work and unpaid hours, and with almost 250,000 users across all themes, I don't want them to just disappear. Also, effective immediately, my Premium themes will be available for free here on Roguetoad.com. That does include my massive flag theme set.
Keep an eye out for the new download pages.
The latest info on Niji Stack
Development on my new mobile game, Niji Stack, is going well! I still don't have a release window yet, but the foundation is complete, the gameplay mechanics pretty much done, and what's left is the light story and a truckload of stages.
Niji Stack will revolve around three main modes:
Classic - Stack Niji and build a tower that reaches the goal-line within the time limit. Your tower has to remain stable for ten seconds for you to win. Levels and hazards get progressively difficult.
Combo - Place as many Niji on the stage as possible WITHOUT triggering a combo (the same color touching). When you are ready, set off a combo to accrue as much score as possible and beat the target score. The moment a combo is triggered you can no longer add more Niji and you have to let the chaos take over.
Target - Place the exact amount of Niji on stage as the target count demands. You can never place more Niji than the target count, but you have to dodge hazards and tricky levels to succeed.
As you progress through levels, the difficult gets harder as you go from EASY (*) to EXTREME (****), introducing new hazards such as bouncy tiles, bombs, dud objects, and even mischievous seagulls.
There will also be a few story cut-scenes unlocked by your progress throughout the game, as well as a few other surprises I haven't mentioned yet, including a collectible item that lets you access more fun content.
Here's a clip of COMBO mode in action!
What about Google Play you might be asking?
Don't worry, I have a publisher who will put Niji Stack for me on the Google Play store. But that hurdle shall be cleared when its time nears.
What about the Miraxis trilogy?
My graphic design work (XPERIA themes, match-up wallpapers, etc.) and my video game design work (Niji Stack and other projects) have kept me quite busy, but I want to keep expanding my work and spreading outward.
My 2012 novel release, The Miraxis Index, is just the first volume of a trilogy. Well, I'm happy to finally reveal the title of Volume II of the Miraxis Trilogy: The Miraxis Complex.
The Miraxis Complex takes place right after the end of The Miraxis Index, and will continue the epic story of Sir Dusk, Xathoven, and Kaiyandra in their battle against the Shadowborne, other dark forces, and the inevitability of the world's downfall. That's all the tease you're going to get!
If you haven't yet read The Miraxis Index, please visit MiraxisTrilogy.com to read the full text online for free. I have to renew that domain in May of this year and I'm still unsure as to whether I will keep it up or not.
Other Projects and Prototypes
My main gaming project right now is Niji Stack, but I've been toying with many different prototypes and ideas, so without further comment, here are some teases:
[Unnamed Drafting Simulator that looks like NASCAR]
It started as an experiment but I can see it as a fun mini-game. You have a long straight road, a big field of cars, and you have to use drafting techniques to gain position. Also, crashing is fun.
I made the vehicle templates based on the way that some NASCAR teams present new paint-schemes. If I ever released it, it would have fictional cars, but perhaps some alternative way to insert a cool NASCAR set of cars.
[Niji World - Early Prototype]
Here's a clip of my platformer prototype known as Niji World.
This is a possible future Niji title that would be the origin story for the Niji franchise. A lot of the technical foundation is complete so whenever I return to this project, it will be easy to develop further.
[Visual Novel Engine]
I've been working on a Visual Novel engine that I can use for future works like, possibly, a visual novel adaptation of The Miraxis Index. Above is a clip of it in action, showing Yohane and Riko from Love Live Sunshine, uh... doing their thing.
Look, just watch the show and it will make sense.
Other Gaming Projects
I've got a few other prototypes I'd love to show you but sometimes, it's better to keep gameplay secret. There is one other game idea that I'd like to realize and release perhaps late in 2019, but I'll spill the beans when I get there.
In other words. Secret.
Expanding the Roguetoad27 Brand
This year, I want to spread the love with Roguetoad27 / Roguetoad Studios in more places. I love working on my game projects and graphic design, but a lot of that work is hours and hours of behind-the-scenes testing and production that isn't helping me stay relevant. So, let me discuss some of my upcoming content.
TeePublic (Merchandise based on my logos, projects, and more!)
If you roll over to my TeePublic Store, you'll find cool stuff with my designs. I'll add more as time goes by so bookmark it if you like what you see!
A YouTube Gaming Channel
I have been mulling over and planning the start of a gaming channel on YouTube. It would focus on gameplay clips and the person playing it. And that "person" is not me.
That's all the tease you're going to get about that. But it is something that I'll regularly update with fun new videos and entertainment, all under the Roguetoad Studios banner.
I've been doing all of this free work for so, so long (since 2002 actually). It's about time I try to profit from at least some part of it. I might make a page here on Roguetoad.com where visitors can discuss possible commisions for graphics such as logos, banners, and more. In particular, I'd love to help gamers or developers with their brand image. I'll discuss this more in the future.
Updating the logo... again?
Roguetoad Studios has had a busy logo career, but in 2015, I established the current primarily yellow logo and incorporated the colors into all of my brand imagery.
Well, this week, the colors have been updated and a couple of minor changes applied. Here's a 1:1 comparison.
So as you can see, the new logo has a better contrast and stronger, more vibrant colors. I swapped out the (toilet) brown color with a very specific shade of gray, "#656565", as a ridiculously basic but meaningful tribute to my late father who was born in 1965.
Here's the new official color palette now, as referred to by their completely professional and totally verified names.
Color Palette Names, Because Why Not?
"Velocity Apex Yellow" [#ffc107]
"Maiden Kingdom Pink" [#dc3070]
"Imminent Superstar Blue" [#2ac6da]
"Lord Madvox: Intergalactic Hero and Eternal Space Commander Gray" [#656565]
"Vile Vortex Black" [#000000]
"Arctic Anomaly White" [#FFFFFF]
Additionally, I closed off the gap on the side of the main "eye" shape at the center, to get rid of the sad look and give it a more uplifting and proud upwards shape, carrying the progression of visual assimilation vertically into the heavens so that your eyes sort of flow upwards to the blue skies above when you look at my logo.
Aesthetic genius right there.
Lastly, I changed the font and font-weight of the ROGUETOAD STUDIOS text in the name box below the logo (sometimes to the side). Why did I do that? I don't know, but it looks better now to me.
The end of an era
No eras ending here. But this long update is ending and you can finally stop reading and move on with your life.
Thanks for sticking around and please follow me on Twitter at @Roguetoad27. I follow everyone back (unless you're an extremist of some sort). I love to chat with random devs and gamers so never hesitate to reach out to me, either publicly or through Twitter DMs or my contact page here on Roguetoad.com.
I hope you're all having a lovely 2019 so far, and I hope many wonders await you throughout the rest of the year.
See you again soon!
- AKA Rospo Briccone
- AKA That guy who carries pretty much every team in BLOPS 4 and yes he's cocky about it.
- AKA Rospo Briccone
I'm working on a lot of stuff. I'll be putting my Android APKs elsewhere since I've lost my Google Play Developer account. Niji Stack is set to release this year. I'm writing Volume II of The Miraxis Trilogy. I've updated my logo. I like milk chocolate.