Anthony Valterra Feed

New Release! 'Ava's Manor: A Solitaire Story' for Uken Games and Mighty Kingdom

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By Anthony Valterra

New Brunette Games client Uken Games, in partnership with Mighty Kingdom, recently released Ava's Manor: A Solitaire Story, to great success in the app stores. Ava's Manor is a decorating game, but instead of a match-3 or collapse puzzle, it's powered by a TriPeaks solitaire game mechanic. A terrific cast of characters and an engaging storyline make this a winner and shows that there is more flexibility in the narrative puzzle genre than you might think. Brunette Games was brought in to consult on the storyline and characters as well as write narrative ad content and provide VO. We're all very proud of the game's performance already. 

While Dexter, Amanda, and I handled the bulk of the consulting work, with Andy delivering on the VO, it's no coincidence that both title character Ava and BG founder Lisa Brunette are mystery novelists.

Here's the official app store description - be sure to check it out!

Description

Romance? Decorating? Solitaire? YES! Get ready for all of this and more in Ava’s Manor! Renovate and decorate the Manor and gardens while discovering mysterious clues, unwind and relax with solitaire and dabble in a romantic love story all in this FREE solitaire game!

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Help Ava save her Great Uncle’s Manor by renovating and restoring it to its former glory. Brush off your interior design skills as you choose how to decorate the house and gardens, making into your own masterpiece! Play Tripeaks Solitaire and unlock epic boosters to blast through those puzzling levels! Stimulate your mind and train your brain with these unique solitaire card puzzles and express your inner creativity at the same time with DIY renovation and decor! Now you can work both your left brain and your right at the same time all while unwinding to relax!

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Discover hidden treasures, collect clues and uncover secrets as you restore exciting new rooms in the Manor! Experience the mystery and romance as the story plot twists keep you guessing at every turn! Sit back and relax with this Solitaire puzzle game and start the renovation makeover of your dreams!

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Features:

RENOVATE, expand & decorate your Manor with tons of decor and furniture to choose from! Personalize your style!

RELAX with calming Tripeaks Solitaire and solve addicting levels with your card skills! Conquer unique levels and unlock powerful boosters along the way!

ROMANCE is in the air as Ava encounters new love interests while struggling to move on from an ex back home. What’s a story without a little romance?!

MYSTERY awaits you as you unlock the secrets of Ava’s Manor and uncover her family's story. Not even this mystery writer can anticipate these plot twists!

DISCOVER clues to the story and the strange disappearance of Ava's Uncle Marvin.

FRIENDS new and old are ready to help you and Ava restore the Manor, including your sassy BFF, Serena and trusty canine companion, Marlowe!

STORY seems to be Ava’s forte as an accomplished mystery novelist, but will inspiration strike as she finds herself in a mystery of her own?

Ava's Manor_Ava the Writer

Solve relaxing TriPeaks Solitaire puzzles and show off your interior design skills by furnishing and decorating the Manor Gardens, Foyer, Bedrooms, Library and more! Thousands of design options and styles give you the freedom to explore your creativity!

Ava’s Manor will be updated with more solitaire puzzles to solve, more ways to decorate and more romantic story chapters regularly! Stay tuned for updates and let us know your feedback!

What are you waiting for? Come join Ava and friends on this exciting story, unleash your creativity, and start your home makeover now!

Enjoying Ava’s Manor? Learn more about the game!
Facebook: facebook.com/AvasManor


Narrative, from the Beginning

By Anthony Valterra

The question of whether to design a game and then fit a narrative into it, or to have a narrative and design the game to fit is probably as old as chess. There are numerous examples of success in both categories. And there are plenty of successful games with little or no narrative. I guess a narrative with no game would be a story, but  that is another blog post entirely.

But in the current genre of casual iOS games, the value of narrative is beginning to be understood. The huge success of Matchington Mansion and Lily’s Garden, in particular, has caught the attention of many a developer.

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But there is a secret to both of these games: The narrative design was brought in early. No, it wasn’t the case that the narrative designers were brought in first. But in both cases, they were brought in early enough that art assets and game play could be adjusted to the narrative. Those cute little pillows in the Match-3 of Matchington Mansion? They were suggested by the narrative design. Lily’s tragic story in the first narrative cut scene? Created by the narrative designer.

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A lot of terrific synergies can occur if narrative is brought in as early as possible. Narrative can be incorporated into tutorials and game mechanics. Game art assets can reflect or support the narrative. Tying the narrative closely to the game makes the user experience seamless and encourages engagement. This has been shown again and again in A:B testing and in focus groups.

The worst situation in game development is taking a nearly complete game out to A:B testing and hearing from representative consumers that the story is not engaging, or that they find the story boring, or even worse: offensive or problematic. Then narrative expert or consultants are called in to salvage a game. But in these cases it is almost always true that the budget has been spent and there is no money to revise, alter or add assets, change code or alter UI. In the very worst cases some narrative or text is part of the graphic art and cannot be altered, either. Now the narrative designers must try to revise and improve the story by only changing the text. This is an extremely difficult proposition.

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If you bring in expert narrative early, you might avoid becoming the next Internet meme!

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New Release in Games: Matchington Mansion!

New Release: 'Lily's Garden' for Tactile Entertainment

The Brunette Games Writers' Room


New Release! 'Vineyard Valley' for Jam City

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Brunette Games is pleased to announce the release of Jam City's Vineyard Valley. Vineyard Valley is a collapse, color blast game with a renovation storyline set in a winery. With this title, the Jam City team pushed the innovation curve with a slightly more adult setting than is customary in the genre. The game is rendered in 3D, and the art and design are beautiful. To capture the look and flavor of a winery, Jam City consulted with Genevieve Gorder, celebrity interior designer and Emmy-nominated television personality (Netflix’s Stay Here, Bravo’s Best Room Wins, and TLC’s Trading Spaces). Gorder designed the furniture and interiors featured in Vineyard Valley and will even appear in the game.

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A new client for Brunette Games, Jam City brought in our team just before launch as consultants to see what more could be done with the game before release. We've continued to consult on the title as well as work with Jam City on other, unannounced projects.

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In Vineyard Valley, you earn stars by beating puzzles, and you can use those earned stars to renovate and run a small winery, all while navigating the relationships of a cast of colorful characters and dealing with the pitfalls of running a business. The characters are quirky and fun, the rooms are lovely, and the decorative choices are modern and tasteful. The winery itself is enormous, with a lot of room for renovation, stories, and adventures.

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Here is the official description:

Design & renovate the vineyard resort of your dreams! Express your home design creativity by playing exciting puzzles in this FREE color blast matching game. 

Uncover the secrets & mysteries of Vineyard Valley with a lovable cast of unpredictable characters.  Complete puzzle quests and grow your business from catering to restaurant to acclaimed destination resort!

Bring your home designs to life as you transform the rundown vineyard to a vibrant resort. Flex your interior design muscles by customizing the kitchen, dining room, entrance, guest rooms, garden and more. Embark on a brand new adventure puzzle game and uncover the mystery of The Tangled Vines.

Blast cubes through hundreds of challenging collapse puzzles, create powerful combos and let the renovation fun begin! 

Game features:

  • RENOVATE, design and restore your very own vineyard resort
  • DISCOVER the quirky cast of characters and enjoy their stories and secrets 
  • MATCH and blast cubes to solve hundreds of addictive matching puzzles
  • DECORATE the resort to increase your Prestige level and unlock awesome rewards
  • JOIN social clubs to connect to earn free lives, extra coins, and special perks

Are you ready for dream designs, mystery, and drama? Get immersed in fun gameplay and the personal stories of your new friends while you design and renovate the vineyard resort in this new home decorating game.

Download Vineyard Valley and start designing now!