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This was the first game that I released commercially. Five years ago, with two guys from college, we decided to set up an indie company and develop a game, The Adventures of King Croc. It took us about 6 months to complete. I did the coding and level design. Towards the end we had to hurry as we wanted to release it for Christmas 2012, so we had to cut on some features (notably: resolution change, more levels, level editor) so we get it released in time. Ironically, although we did complete it before Christmas, the publishing sites needed time for the vetting process, so it only appeared after the new year.

It didn't sell well (to put it lightly). We sold around a 100 copies, lots of which were probably friends and family. But it also made it to one of those bundle sites (which were a dime a dozen at that time) 2 years later, which was the subject of my first giveaway in these forums:
https://www.gog.com/forum/general_archive/bundle_giveaway_1

But there is another small story here: we had our very own troll. Someone kept following us on our site, social media... etc and kept spamming trollish comments: ranging from telling everybody how terrible our game is to accusations of cheating, stealing and whatnot. But the guy was good: it wasn't just mindless posts a la Tauto or "you must be homo erectus hahaha" style. He'd go to great lengths to create facebook accounts, add photos (which later turned out to be stock photos found through google), biography... etc to make them seem legit and write proper posts from several different accounts that appeared to be genuinely made by different people. At first we thought they were real so replied a few times. When we realized what they were, we just started ignoring them. When they cluttered our facebook page way too much, we just deleted them. Of course that's when a new facebook account appeared of a concerned woman, who stated that although she didn't agree with the "many criticisms" we received, but she really dislikes our cencorship. And pretty soon the list crimes we were accused of grew to include censorship and removal of "free speech" with screenshots of our facebook page before and after those we removed those comments.
The guy would also send us emails mocking us and telling us how clever he was. In a way it was pathetic, in a funny sort of way. We should have felt flattered: his accounts probably made 90% of our followers. But it wasn't pleasant either, and you couldn't do anything about it: you ignore the comments - it looks bad; you start arguing with them - it looks bad; you delete them - it looks very bad.
We didn't figure out who the guy was. The style pointed at a high school teenager. The emails were mostly directed at one of the guys from the team, so it was probably someone who knew him. He said he even had a suspicious of who it was, someone he knew from college, but that was it.

Anyway, that aside it was fun. You know how as a kid you'd be playing Pitfall or River Raid on your Atari 2600, vowing to one day make a video game of your own, and then 20 years later actually releasing something. The feeling is indescribable. Even if it was just an indie title that no one bought.

And development was fun too: staying late, working all weekend (I had a full time job 8 to 5 back then so could only work on the game in spare time), working with beta testers... Our professors from college had us show off our game in their Game Development classes, we'd also visit game jams or other gaming events and had participants play our game and observe and take notes on how they beat each level (and at one time a division by zero error popped up that I overlooked, just when it seemed a zillion people were looking at the screen - that was embarassing).

And the little troll made me learn a lesson: anyone can really accuse anyone on the internet. That's why, when I see internet posts of how some company or individual screwed someone over or this or that happened, I always would want to listen to both sides and give the accused a proper chance to defend themselves. Properly. With an open mind. Regardless of the moral outrage or what they were accused of.
(And this is not saying such accusations are fake, but you shouldn't blindly follow an angry internet mob either. No matter what.)

Now, objectively looking the game probably isn't all that good. Depending on your tastes, you might find it to be anything from terrible to "decent". And it is relatively short.
But I always felt that it didn't get its chance. Some of those puzzles are rather clever. I think it had much more potential. And it definitely is better than a lot of the shovelware appearing on Steam.
So here it is:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/utsz9a9zgizy9qr/King%20Croc%20v1.0.1.0.Installer.zip

EDIT:
It has been reported to me that some antivirus programs have problem with one of the files that is used to display video cutscenes. I can assure you that it is a false positive - the AV heuristics must not like it - plus the publishing indie and bundle sites vetted it. However I can totally understand people not wanting to download these. I have compiled a version of the game without the offending file. The only difference is that cutscene videos in this version will be played in a separate window outside the game.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6epa47hadlr6n66/King.Croc.1.0.0.2.Installer.zip

It's a puzzle platformer, and if you do enjoy this type of game please give it a try. It's not long. And I did like the final boss and ending.
And since I have a spare GOG key of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered from the last GOG sale, I'll give it away to anyone who finishes my game and asks for it.

Small print:
The game is free in the sense you don't pay for it. However, all copyright and intellectual property still belongs to the original owners yadda yadda yadda. You're welcome to distribute it whomever you want, but please don't sell it commercially (hahaha).
Post edited January 03, 2018 by ZFR
Planting the idea of a redux version sold on GOG....


ADD: Thank you!
Post edited December 30, 2017 by Themken
It goes without saying, but I'm sorry the game didn't sell well. :( TBH my time is limited so I'm not really interested in playing, but is there YouTube footage of the game available for viewing?

EDIT: this here? http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-adventures-of-king-croc
Post edited December 30, 2017 by tfishell
oooo I'm going to sell it and make SO MUCH MONEY
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tfishell: It goes without saying, but I'm sorry the game didn't sell well. :( TBH my time is limited so I'm not really interested in playing, but is there YouTube footage of the game available for viewing?

EDIT: this here? http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-adventures-of-king-croc
Yes it is, thanks for the find. I had no idea any materials from back then remained.

EDIT:
Found this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxmhzJSiWq4
There was a longer youtube review back then but it seems to be gone.
Post edited December 30, 2017 by ZFR
Thanks for your generosity and for the story; sad that it didn't work out for you, but I'm afraid the idie market is quite saturated. I'm a bit paranoid about running unknown programs, but I appreciate the thought, and no doubt some people more knowledgeable (or less paranoid) than myself will give it a go. Have a happy new year!
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tfishell: but is there YouTube footage of the game available for viewing?
Found it! Here is a 40 minute review and gameplay of all except the last 3 worlds. According to the description, the author says he finished the remaining worlds in 20 mins, making the whole game an hour long.
"Having finished it in around 20 minutes (after the end of this video), I can't help but feel that what the game DOES have is okay mechanics-wise, but there's just not enough content and there's far too much wasted potential for me to outright recommend it."

WARNING: this video contains spoilers on how to beat the game, if you want to play the game yourself, do not watch it first!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwp6eOOZv_o

Here is also a video on how to beat the tutorial (the only level where you might have difficulty beating is the last one)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20UEVt5Q-Js
I'm sorry, but my Avast antivirus says that video-renderer.dll is infected with Wind32:Malware-gen

Most likely this is a false positive. Avast antivirus seem to be really big on those. (and it appears that "Wind32:Malware-gen" is a fancy, made-up word that anti-virus progs use )

Sorry for spoiling this really nice post.
Post edited December 30, 2017 by KasperHviid
Thank you ZFR for sharing your game and story!
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KasperHviid: I'm sorry, but my Avast antivirus says that video-renderer.dll is infected with Wind32:Malware-gen

Most likely this is a false positive. Avast antivirus seem to be really big on those. (and it appears that "Wind32:Malware-gen" is a fancy, made-up word that anti-virus progs use )

Sorry for spoiling this really nice post.
You are right and it is not just Avast. According to Virustotal 22 out of 66 scanners think this is some trojan variant.

@ZFR: Even if this is most likely a false positive a ratio of 1 out of 3 is not something that should be ignored. Try to get the file whitelisted.
avatar
KasperHviid: I'm sorry, but my Avast antivirus says that video-renderer.dll is infected with Wind32:Malware-gen

Most likely this is a false positive. Avast antivirus seem to be really big on those. (and it appears that "Wind32:Malware-gen" is a fancy, made-up word that anti-virus progs use )

Sorry for spoiling this really nice post.
avatar
Geralt_of_Rivia: You are right and it is not just Avast. According to Virustotal 22 out of 66 scanners think this is some trojan variant.

@ZFR: Even if this is most likely a false positive a ratio of 1 out of 3 is not something that should be ignored. Try to get the file whitelisted.
Shoot! Really sorry about that.

I can assure you that it is a false positive - the AV heuristics must not like it - plus the indie and bundle sites vetted it, however, you're right that it shouldn't be ignored (and I can totally understand people not wanting to download random files from the internet). How do I go about whitelisting it?
Thanks so much for the game and quite an interesting background story to it. Are you still developing or are you considering starting up again?
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Geralt_of_Rivia: You are right and it is not just Avast. According to Virustotal 22 out of 66 scanners think this is some trojan variant.

@ZFR: Even if this is most likely a false positive a ratio of 1 out of 3 is not something that should be ignored. Try to get the file whitelisted.
avatar
ZFR: Shoot! Really sorry about that.

I can assure you that it is a false positive - the AV heuristics must not like it - plus the indie and bundle sites vetted it, however, you're right that it shouldn't be ignored (and I can totally understand people not wanting to download random files from the internet). How do I go about whitelisting it?
Start by going to virustotal and check the file there. It tells you which antivirus solutions flag it as malware. Then you need to contact them one by one. At least I wouldn't know of any better method. It is quite rare actually to have that many false positives.
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ZFR: It didn't sell well (to put it lightly). We sold around a 100 copies, lots of which were probably friends and family.
That has less to do with your developer abilities and more to do with your marketing skills, though admittedly the indie market back then was a lot harder too.

Also, blocking someone on facebook works too. Just report trolls for harassment and let FB/sites know what's going on.
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ZFR: Shoot! Really sorry about that.

I can assure you that it is a false positive - the AV heuristics must not like it - plus the indie and bundle sites vetted it, however, you're right that it shouldn't be ignored (and I can totally understand people not wanting to download random files from the internet). How do I go about whitelisting it?
avatar
Geralt_of_Rivia: Start by going to virustotal and check the file there. It tells you which antivirus solutions flag it as malware. Then you need to contact them one by one. At least I wouldn't know of any better method. It is quite rare actually to have that many false positives.
*Sigh* I really wonder what it is about the file that they don't like. I looked it up and it seems to be "Generic Detection that identifies files with trojan-like characteristics or behavior." It's just used to display cutscene videos.

Anyway, I installed it on my laptop with Avast, and you're right it was reported as suspicious. Avast had a form for reporting false positives, so I filled all the details and sent it. Hopefully it will get resolved.

In the meantime, if someone wants to be safe, I compiled a previous version of the game without the offending file. The only difference between this and the proper one is that cutscene videos will be played in a separate window outside the game, instead of being played in-game.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6epa47hadlr6n66/King.Croc.1.0.0.2.Installer.zip