Friday, 23 May 2014

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection Postmortem

Well it’s been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure!

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection has been out for a few months now and I think it’s safe to say things are starting to settle down.

The release of SKH-R has been the biggest education in game design and the games industry I could have hoped for; sometimes euphoric, sometime crushingly painful.
So what happened?

The development

Originally SKH-R started out as a 48 hour jam project I started with a new artist acquaintance of mine, Dylan Barry. The idea was to test out some of his art and music on a new project, it started to come together nicely so I decided to stick with it and it just grew and grew.

Overall the project took around 9 months to complete, all work on SKHR was part time; game dev has always been a hobby for me.  Development halted a bit when my son decided to come into the world on the 26thof May last year.

About a month before the end of development I decided to put out a load screenshots, trailers and promo stuff and got a really terrific response. A lot of great feedback on the maths idea, I was also fortunate enough to catch the eye of a fantastic indie publisher called KISS.

SKH-R was being developed solely with Xbox live indie in mind, with a view to convert to the OUYA soon after. However fate had other ideas and about 2 weeks before release I found out that SKH-R would be going on Steam! This was good news, very good news.
However, it wasn't something I was prepared for. Steam’s a scary place!
Looking back now, I think I really nailed the Xblig and OUYA release but fluffed it when it came to Steam.

I was playing with the big boys now and I had no idea what I was doing.
The original PC version was a straight conversion of the XBOX version, I didn’t really think about what the PC users really look for - Different resolutions, trading cards, achievements etc…
(Although it’s getting there now after a few updates, with trading cards being added soon)
The price was (and still is) way off! Although this isn't something I have complete control over I think I should have been more firm over the pricing as ultimately the high price point of $9.99 (£7) hurt reviews.

This stuff seams really obvious to me now but when you’re a part time, lone, hobbyist game developer and you've just been told you’re going to be on Steam, it’s hard to get perspective.
In the end though, it did alright.


So how did it do?  Well… Compared to Minecraft, pretty badly but compared to my other Flump projects amazingly well.

I can’t really go into sales too much but I’m happy to say it’s sold more than all my other games combined … and then some!

A lot of people think that being on steam will make you instantly rich, although I can’t confirm sales, I can confirm this has not been the case for me. It has however allowed me to start working part time. This gives me more time to concentrate on Flump and most importantly more time with my son.

So overall I feel blessed and can’t thank KISS enough for helping me achieve one of my biggest dev dreams!


So what did people think of my little math shooter I hear you ask?
Well, overall the response was fantastic, especially on Xbox and OUYA.
The steam version fared a little worse, which is to be expected given the far higher price point.

Currently the steam user reviews sit at 16 thumbs up and 6 thumbs down. Which to be fair is pretty good for a £7 game made on a budget of £60
So here’s a rundown of the good, bad and average.

The Good:
9/10 “Maths can't be more fun. This is a shooter that also uses maths in a clever way and lets use your brains!”XBLA rankings

A- “Here’s to Super Killer Hornet Resurrection for being one of the titles that keeps XBLIG relevant.” – 30 Plus gamer

8.5/10 “Love the idea to combine a traditional Japanese shmup with small mathematical operations.” – Day of the Ouya

8.5 - “The gameplay is fantastic with its different take on multipliers and is definitely a must try for someone who is interested in a shooter with a difference” - ReviewOUYA

32/40 “Flump Studios made an absolute masterpiece with this game” – Press start to begin

8/10 “I have to highly recommend this game to any indie game lover” - XBLA gamer hub

8/10 “I wouldn't hesitate to recommend picking it up if you're a fan of the genre.” – The games den

8/10 “This is definitely a recommended play and for the price cannot be overlooked.” – Retro game geeks

The true manifestation of the rather brilliant idea conceived in the original game” – the xblig

If you are looking for a quality shmup at an affordable price you CANNOT go wrong with Super Killer Hornet Resurrection” – otaku gaming inferno

This significantly improved sequel sports a $2.99 cost and earns every penny of it. Recommended."

Without mincing words, I had a lot of fun with the game and if you ever enjoyed this genre of gaming then I don’t hesitate to recommend it as well.” -

The average:
7.3   “In the background is a game that implements all the concepts you would expect quite competently and mixing some originality that works and these are the elements for a good indie.” (Translated from Portuguese)  -
6.0 – “An above average game but the maths feels out of place and the $9.99 seem too high” – The overshield

The Bad
4/10 “€ 9 on Steam, really excessive in a market like today ruled by independent product sold at ridiculous prices” (translated from Italian) - spaziogames.
3/10 “We've always got time for eccentric craziness, but Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection doesn't have anywhere near the quality to back up its price point.”Deal Respawn

Sometimes it’s hard not to dwell on the negative comments and missteps that have been made, but overall I would call SKH-R a success.

As I said at the beginning of this postmortem, making and releasing SKH-R has been a massive education, lots of things done right but lots of things done very wrong.

It definitely has its rough edges and is inarguably niche, but it’s a game that I will always be proud of and will always be the game that took me to the next level.

I would like to thank all the people below for their help and support during the making and release of Super Killer Hornet Resurrection.
Dylan Barry – Sprite Artist and musician on SKH-R
Paul Norris
Nick Osborne
Khris Golder
Diego Siqueira
Michael Zack
Steve Redmond
Jeremy Peeples from Hardcore gamer magazine
The sixty fours for letting me use their awesome music
Ollie, Steve, Alex and Everyone at the creative arches in Leamington

Extra huge thanks to Darryl Still and James Deputy from KISS
And of course my beautiful wife Liz and wonderful son Jacob
And of course to anyone who has help support Flump by buying one of my games.


  1. Looking forward to the next game! Love SKH-R one of my favorites on OUYA.

    1. Thanks man, Means a lot.
      Here's a quick glimpse of my next game if you're interested?