This week I was finalizing the v2.17.0 update for Level Up RPG (based on engine updates from an upcoming Level Up game which I am not yet announcing), and I realized that we are only a few months away now from the six year anniversary of the original v1.0 release of Level Up, which was released on November 11th, 2012.

So Level Up was one of the first games that I ever released, and it was the first game I made that had any semblance of depth or story-line. The game came out just a few months after I had decided to quit my full time job and attempt to make it as a mobile app developer. The income was not too great yet back then, and so things were sort of "do-or-die" at that time. I remember pretty vividly the night that I released the game, going to bed excited, wondering what kind of downloads and reviews it would have the next day. Luckily, even with how basic the game was, people seemed to like it, and Level Up became my first game to break the 10,000 downloads barrier, which at the time was pretty awesome for me.

Here is just a sample of some of the early reviews I was getting:

Amazing ! :D One of the best games I've ever downloaded. Although the graphics are simple and there is a small variety of actions You can perform, the game is extremely addicting. Congratulations to the maker of this app, I'be never imagined, that You can make such a simple game be so much fun ! :D

-Albinninja Kowalski
Google Play
Committed dev is always a good thing Fun game with a great sense of humor and "South Park"-esque graphics. The only two suggestions I have are to work on the responsiveness of the controls (my device farts dust, but it's still sensitive in other apps) and mix up the bad guys a bit. Looking forward to future iterations. Good luck!

-Shari B.
Google Play
This game is super addicting and easy. It's a great rpg game that u level up and buy other items

-Brandy Mihalovich
Amazon
Great Game! I don't know what the other people were saying about how it's a time waster... It's true, but they think of it in the wrong way. I play this game whenever I want to waste some time! (ex. Uploading a vid) It's put together well, pretty good customization, and I think the progressing of your character isn't too hard, but not too easy also.

-Collin
Windows Store
Level Up v1.0
Since it's inception, I have continued to this day to make regular content updates and improvements to the game engine. The game itself has received over 40 updates since it's release, and it continues to grow and improve with each release. And so this week when I was finishing the update for v2.17.0, I looked back through the changelog to consider what Level Up was like back when it first came out.

That first version included 3 zones, 22 items, and 18 enemies, spanned across 420 floors. Today, there are 25 zones, almost 2000 floors, and more enemies and items than I am willing to count at this time. But it's a lot. It includes gameplay mechanics that were nowhere to be found in the initial release, including shopkeepers, teleporting to different areas, stat-modifying items and elixers, enchanted weapons and armor, particle and sound effects, belt inventory, animated enemies, and a whole lot more. In addition, the game now supports an alternate Clicker Mode, an endless procedurally generated gameplay mode, and even TV support on Android TV, Amazon TV, and the Xbox One console.

In addition, Level Up was also my first game where I actually had the sense to separate the game data from the game logic, making it incredibly simple to reuse the engine in other projects. As such, Level Up has spawned several spin-off games, including Deimos, Deimos 2, Ninja Level Up, and Teddy Bear Terror, with two additional projects currently in the works. At the time I was writing Level Up, I had absolutely no idea about all of the utility I would ultimately get out of the simple clicker RPG engine I was building.
Same scene in Level Up v2.17.0


So I got the idea today that I would do something fun, in the spirit of the six year anniversary of the game. I realize that six years is not necessarily a special year by most standards, but six is what we are coming up on, and so six is what I am going to use.

When I was looking back at the release notes, I got the idea to take the original Level Up v1.0 Android .apk file and send it to my Galaxy S 6 device, so that I could play through the game in all of it's original glory. So I sent it over and launched the game. It launches just fine, but for whatever reason, it does not render properly at all on a modern device. It's basically just a black screen with a tiny command bar at the bottom of the screen.

Now, I didn't take the time to dig into the code to see what the issue was, but it gave me an idea for something fun I could add to the six year anniversary of the game. So, coming with the next update to Level Up (it's a bit before the six year mark, but who cares?), there will be a new Easter Egg of sorts, which will become unlocked when you reach one of the endings to the game. A new "Level Up 1.0" option will appear at the bottom of the main title screen, allowing you to play through the original release of the game.

The new classic mode will be exactly like the original release. It will not use the updated engine or game files in any way, just a pure original implementation of the game. The only modifications will be technical in nature, in order to get the game working properly on modern hardware. It will be included in all games which are based on the Level Up Engine, sort of like a fun extra that unlocks once a player beats one of the games. Of course, this Easter Egg will only be available on non-TV devices, as adding it to the Xbox One and Fire TV versions of the game would require quite a few changes to the code.

Anyway, that was my little trip down Level Up memory lane. I expect the new Easter Egg packed engine upgrades to make their way into all Level Up based games over the course of the next couple months, and plan to have them all done by the November 11th anniversary date. Also, there is a brand new Level Up based game arriving within the next few weeks here. Compared to the other Level Up based games, it is very story-based, almost entering into the territory of interactive story based games, where choices that you make and things you say to other characters have an impact on how the game plays out. Note, that this is an entirely new game, and it is not Deimos 3 - High Noon, which I have also begun work on, and plan to release before the end of the year.

So there you have it folks. There is actually some exciting stuff coming in the Level Up universe, so stay tuned! And until then, download the v2.17.0 update to Level Up! It should be making its way to all platforms within the coming days, and features a lot of the new engine upgrades that will be featured in the upcoming Level Up game, due (hopefully) before the end of this month. Enjoy!

Download Level Up