Sexy new blog

August 1, 2008

The Novel Concepts blog (where you are now) has served us well but we felt the Collective deserved it’s own place on the web, so head over to the Casual Collective Blog which we will be using from this point forward to chat about the new site and games!

We have moved over all the old posts & comments and will be adding plenty of new posts… so check it out and update your RSS feeds.


IT’S aLIVE!

December 9, 2007

That’s right folks… It was 145 days ago we wrote our fist ever line of code and over 2,500 man hours of blood, sweat and temper tantrums later… The Collective is LIVE! The site is now free for all to use and register! So head on over to The Casual Collective and get your game on! (after you have read the rest of this blog post of course)

Casual gaming meats social networking, and gets jiggy with it!
We are not just another flash game portal that just lists games that it finds on the web. Read the rest of this entry »


9 days and 6,099 hours later…

October 26, 2007

That’s right, in the last 9 days the members of the Collective have racked up over 6,000 hours of game play, that’s over 254 days of killing creeps, capturing buggles and sinking ships! This does not include the time spent in the game lobby, the new LIVE chat room and surfing the 879 user created groups we now have! Read the rest of this entry »


Blogging milestone #1

August 11, 2007

It was created 2 months and 11 days ago
It has been in the top 100 WordPress blogs for 72 days straight. At it’s peak it had 4,877 hits in a single day.

And today ladies and gentlemen, our blog will get it’s 100,000th hit!

So thanks to all of you for reading!
More Casual Collective news following shortly :o)


Make us a spiffy logo!

July 8, 2007

OK, the Worth1000 contest to design a logo for our new site is up and running! And I guess this is the first time you will have heard that the site will be called the “Casual Collective”. Casual because all the games we make are considered to be “Casual games” for the “Casual gamer” and Collective because of the strong emphasis on friends and groups.

The contest is open for submissions for 6 days from now, after that the logos will the be voted on by the users of Worth1000 and then Paul and I will select a winner soon after to receive the prize of $200*

Just read the client and general rules and if you have an idea why not have a go and then submit it to the contest in the next 6 days. So what are you waiting for? Get going!

* Not only do you get $200 (USD) but you get to make a logo that will be seen by squillions of people, the design of the logo may also shape the design of the whole site! What more incentive do you need?


Week 1 Update

July 8, 2007

We made a good start on the new site this week. I’ve been working on the generic multiplayer lobby and Dave has been creating the account system. Of course, we couldn’t just do any old multiplayer lobby and account system so we threw in a few of our own improvements :o) The lobby widget itself works with the SmartFox comms server which has so far proven to be easy to set up and integrate. As well as handling the lobby the widget will also provide the multiplayer API for any games that are loaded into it. We are aiming to test the multiplayer version of DTD at the end of next week. We have also started to syncronise our vision of how the site is going to function and have worked on filling out the key features. Dave’s experience of building large account driven sites is going to come in very handy!

I have also been working on the ‘Deluxe’ version of DTD which will be in downloadable form only. Flash gains extra performance when run locally so it will allow me take advantage of better graphics and larger maps. It will also contain advanced features such as save/load, tower pre-setup and end of game tower stats.

Dave introduced me to Napster this week and now I am hooked! While I am not a fan of the low quality of MP3 audio, the ability to find pretty much any album you want and play it straight away is very very cool. Oh and I also came up with a new TD concept that will use the DTD engine but will be played in an entirely different way. All you people who wanted to manually target the towers will finally get your wish, kinda ;o)


And so it begins….

July 5, 2007

We started work in earnest on Monday (2nd July) Paul came over to my house and we sat down and started planning out what ‘the site’ will look like and do. We also ordered a new server to run it all on and started the process of creating a completion to design the sites logo on worth1000. We will be sure to post on here and in our forums when the comp is open so those of you who are a bit arty can enter and have a chance of winning the $200 top prize. EDIT: the comp to design a logo will start on the 7th, I will post a link when I have a URL.

I kicked Paul out early as I got a call over the weekend saying my new PC was ready for collection, superb! Bring on Crysis & Alen Wake. On Wednesday Paul came over to mine again, Paul started work on the first of our new games and I laid down the sites database and account creation system. I got all in a twist with Regular Expressions and Paul had a bit of a headache with some game code, but that’s the way it goes some days.

I think it is about time we told you what ‘the site’ will be. You all know it will be a place to host our games but that is only the tip of the iceberg. We want to bring the social side of gaming to the forefront of on-line Flash games with a site that has everything built around groups and friends. When the site is ready we will move Element TD and Desktop TD on to it so they benefit from the new features as well as helping to test it and iron out any kinks. We feel that both our TD’s and flash games in general would be so much better if they were multi player, with this in mind our first new game will be Multi Player Desktop TD! I don’t want to give away any details of MPDTD at this stage other than that it is ‘vs’ not ‘co-op’ play and will be real time multi player using only the Flash plugin, for the rest you can use your imagination :)

I leave you with a screen shot of our servers task manager, we went to town with the specs as we both hate sites that take ages to load and we want to give you the best experience possible. Sweet looking ain’t it ;) That’s 2x Quad Xeons sitting there waiting for you to all come and play!