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Circuits: The Electricity Puzzle

November 27, 2014 — by Industry Contributions

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Blugri is an indie game studio based in the heart of Europe, Brussels. Tom Janssens, who founded the studio in 2012 shares the story of its latest game Circuits. He started off developing games by coincidence: after the launch of WP8 and following an XNA course he created his first game called Boxes, just for fun. After the first success Tom decided to become a full-time game developer and started establishing the blugri team. Blugri’s mission is to create casual games with an innovative touch, with smart and high-quality graphics and sound, Tom explains. And the most important point for his team is to create games that everyone (including themselves) loves to play! The blugri team has already created the games of Sudoku, Solitaire, Boxes, Jungle Mamba and Air Hockey.

Pipe Mania With A Modern Twist And Electricity

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Own Kingdom: A Game Remake that Built the Team

September 22, 2014 — by Mariia Lototska

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In July 2011, Eldwin Viriya took a leave of his job as a lecturer of basic algorithm and data structure for a semester to take a GRE test for the master’s degree. Having passed it successfully, Eldwin discovered he had a lot of free time. He decided to use this time for self-development and made DragManArds in 1.5 months. This Flash game really sparks the light of game development spirit in its author. Later, his company, Own Games, created DragManArds’ remake Own Kingdom, a fantasy medieval strategy game where you need to protect the kingdom from waves of monsters. He describes it as an experience of tower defense games with a taste of war games.


Get the Taste of Making Games

When I first created DragManArds, I used MochiAds for monetization, since that was the only monetization option that I knew at that time. I didn’t even know about Flash sponsorship back then! The result turned out interesting: I got a lot of feedback from real players in Kongregate, some fan messages and suggestions, and also managed to earn more than 200 USD in the first month (which was cut down to only a quarter in the following month, and to almost nothing for the rest of the month).

It felt amazing to actually experience the thrill of launching a game, but the best part was when DragManArds dragged me into the gaming ecosystem of Indonesia. Groups such as Gamedevid allowed me to get to know game developers of the country, as well as big companies like Blackberry and Nokia.

Own Games Team - left to right - Raynaldo - Jefvin - Eldwin - Okky - Agustian
The current Own Games team: Raynaldo, Jefvin, Eldwin, Okky and Agustian

Remake DragManArds: More Features, Better Graphics

In late 2011, Nokia held a game developer competition for their feature phone platform. I asked Jefvin Viriya, my brother (who was still in high school) to help me make the game in time. Having submitted a mini game named Beyond the Well, we came out as the third winner in the competition, and since then, we continue developing games together under the name of Own Games.

We started attending local gamedev events here in Indonesia, one of which was Game Developer Gathering. After this gathering, Kris Antoni from Toge Productions invited me to a meeting with Mochi Media. I got a chance to show DragManArds to their representative and received good feedback about the game. He said he was interested in being contacted again if there’s any sequel to the DragManArds. This meeting made me believe that my game has a lot of potential within.

The meeting with Mochi Media made me believe my game has a lot of potential.

At that time, working on a new Flash game would have been really hard for us. Firstly, Own Games already had a good amount of players from Nokia Store, and we want to keep them happy with our creations. Moreover, I was also busy with my day job as a lecturer, and my brother got overwhelmed with his high school final exams (not to mention that he didn’t understand ActionScript at all). So we continued our life as usual after that time.

A few months later, Nokia launched Lumia, a Windows Phone smartphone. Until this day, Own Games was focusing on feature phones only. We were working in native J2ME and were not really familiar with modern game engines. Then I noticed that one of my juniors had graduated from the bachelor program, and I invited him to work together in Own Games. The first thing he did in the company was port DragManArds to Lumia. The results turned out great: DragManArds  got a gold medal in the Lumia Apps Olympiad in December 2012.

DragManArds Gold Medal from Lumia Apps Olympiad
DragManArds’ gold medal in Lumia Apps Olympiad in December 2012.

Then I finally decided to quit my job to completely focus on Own Games. On April 1, 2013, Own Games transformed into an official company. Agustian, a 2D artist, also started to help us out. It was really a big move for us: before he joined, we were short on manpower and, what is more, he had a degree in arts and experience in making games. The first objective became clear: remake DragManArds with more features and better graphics.

Learning From Mistakes and Feedback

DragManArds already has a lot of versions: Flash, Windows Phone, Blackberry 10, and even J2ME. Having received a LOT of feedback, we planned a lot of stuff that we wanted to implement in the remake. It turned out to be a lot of tasks. But as Agustian is a talented artist with experience in game industry, I could fully dedicate myself to improving the gameplay and user experience, and our programmer had proven himself successful in making the Windows Phone and Blackberry version of DragManArds, we believed we’ll make it.

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The DragManArds remake, Own Kingdom, needed much more effort than expected.

I was too optimistic back then, and set the deadline to 3-4 months (DragManArds was made in 1.5 month by me alone, right?). But we weren’t able to finish everything in that time. As any new startup, we faced many challenges, both technical and not. I often argued with Agustian about how he used a lot of time to draw some tiny details that cannot even be clearly seen in the final game. Meanwhile, our programmer had to work remotely from another city because his father had a serious illness. In the end, he realized that he didn’t have enough time to develop anything and left Own Games. So we lost our programmer, our art assets production took more time than planned, and my entrepreneur’s soul was still on a very early development stage. I used to get a salary each month, now I had to pay salaries each month – It feels totally hard in the beginning even though you are already aware of the risk.

I used to get a salary each month, now I had to pay salaries each month. Feels hard in the beginning.

A few months after our programmer left the team, we met Ray Naldo, a former junior in the university where I worked. But we didn’t want to give him the pressure of developing a game as big as Own Kingdom for his first time. So we decide to make Eyes on Dragon, a 3D endless runner. During its development, we also got some help on 2D art assets from Okky, Agustian’s junior.

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Eyes On Dragon: project for the new programmer to adapt.

Meanwhile, Jefvin was learning C++ and tried to make Own Kingdom for Windows Phone 8 using Cocos 2dx. The WP8 version eventually became the finalist of the Indonesia Game Show. During our presentation at the competition, the judges called Own Kingdom’s gameplay a unique and promising one, but pointed out that the program was crashing and the buttons weren’t working smoothly. Even though we didn’t win the competition, this encouraged us to go on with Own Kingdom. But, sadly, once again, we had to put development for WP8 on hiatus when we realized that Cocos 2dx for WP8 didn’t support mp3 files.

Back to an Abandoned Game

A few more months had passed. Eyes on Dragon was published. We were happy with what we made, and decided to go on with the development of Own Kingdom. Ray started learning Unity 4.3 for 2D, Agustian and Okky made more art assets for the game, and Jefvin and I kept improving the game design, level design, and also the whole gaming experience.

The second development phase was not easy, but definitely better than the first one. Continuing the game that was once abandoned is for sure not an easy task, since most of the courage is gone. What is more, there were two desires we struggled with: to make the game better but, at the same time, finish it as fast as we could. Yeah, that’s shameful. Nevertheless, coming back to Own Kingdom had positive sides, too: we already knew that the game is worthy and that a lot of people wanted to see it completed. What is more, now we had a bigger team and some experience. Eventually, we managed to finish Own Kingdom in April 2014.

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In April 2014 Own Kindgom was ready.

The development of Own Kingdom is a long journey, and we realize that it has not ended yet. But we are really happy with the growth of each of us. Agustian has started to become more efficient and effective at allocating his energy to finish the work in time. Ray got a lot of experience in making the game using Unity in both 2D and 3D, which opened the possibilities to reach more platforms. I became more familiar with project management, and got a whole new experience in leadership. But the most valuable thing that makes me really grateful is how Own Kingdom turned Own Games into a more solid and powerful team.

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Own Kingdom turned Own Games into a more solid and powerful team.

Own Kingdom is available in Windows Phone Store and Nokia Store (Nokia X only), and has recently been launched on Android.

ContributionsDevelopmentGame DevelopmentIndieOnlinePostmortem

OmNomster: What Works And Doesn’t Work In Shake-Based Mechanics

September 8, 2014 — by Mariia Lototska

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The developer of OmNomster, Olaf Morelewski, is an architect by trade, has worked as an art director making TV commercials, and since 2013, he’s been a game director making mobile games. This might look as if he can’t decide what to do in life, Olaf admits, but then explains: he always wanted to create or invent new things. A choice of the particular creative field wasn’t that important. Now Olaf runs Made It App, a studio based in Warsaw, Poland. “This is what I decided to do since I found that in making games, all creative fields meet together,” the developer says as he shares the story of OmNomster.


Feed OmNomster – The Hungry Monster [Official launch trailer] from Made It App on Vimeo.

A Game To Practice Programming

I decided that I’d try to make games on my own. I don’t mind working in a team, but after several years of doing only that, I wanted to make something by myself. The problem was that I had no programming background at all, so I enrolled for a programming methodology course at Stanford University on iTunesU, and after a month of studying a whole semester of lectures, I decided it was time to start making my first game.

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Practicing programming on Censored Files

As I was a programming noob (I still am BTW), I thought it would be better to start by making a simple text game. That’s how I came up with Censored Files – the game where a player reads crime stories and has to guess the blacked out words. I made the graphics and wrote the code, and my beloved wife wrote the crime stories (OK, so we were a team after all).

Two months later, the game was released on iOS… and didn’t sell at all. As I was doing it mainly to develop my programming skills, I wasn’t disappointed that much.

No Success in AppStore? Enter competitions!

„Fail harder”, says Nike’s headline. And so I got up and started making my second game right away. Still simple, yet more complex than the first one. It was OmNomster – a casual arcade game about a hungry monster who eats trash. I came up with an idea of shake-based mechanics. The player needs to shake the phone to bounce the monster on the walls and feed him trash.

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Shake the phone to feed trash to OmNomster the monster

I did the game design, UI/UX design, game art, and programming, and this time also decided to record all the SFX. So when you hear OmNomster eating trash — it’s me biting a watermelon mixed with me biting cornflakes. The sound of OmNomster hitting the walls is made of nine mixed tracks with different sounds of metal and wood items which I slammed against each other.

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Olaf creating sounds OmNomster makes in the game

Then I composed the music. “Composed” with a small “c” because it’s more of a 30-seconds quirky melody than real music, but anyway, it fits the game style.

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OmNomster eating trash: the sound of developer biting a watermelon + sound of developer chewing cornflakes

In three months after the first pencil sketch, the game was finally ready and the iOS release day was approaching. The Big Day! The game was published as a freemium one, and on the first day, it had 2k downloads, which I considered not a bad number. But since I didn’t invest in any serious marketing (apart from making a professional website, a game video, and emailing reviewer sites), every following day the download number was cut in half. In a few days, it came down to 10 downloads. Watching OmNomster drown in the Apple AppStore was really sad. He was alone and hungry.

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In three months after the first pencil sketch, the game was ready for release on iOS.

Even though the game didn’t do well on the store, I decided to submit it to some indie game competitions that I found on the Internet. The game was chosen for Indie Prize Showcase Amsterdam 2014, but first, I got selected to participate in Chartboost University (CBU) classes in Fall 2013. This was the game changer! In San Francisco, we were consulted by the top professionals from the game industry on how to design and monetize games in a sustainable way.

Through Chartboost, I met some super cool indie game devs from around the world. I remember a day when I heard about the AppCampus funding program from the devs from Wayward (Canada) and Headnought (Finland). It’s Microsoft and Aalto University joint funding for Windows Phone apps. So after I came back from San Francisco, I decided to submit Feed OmNomster – The Hungry Monster (aka OmNomster 2) with exclusive content and new features that we came up with during CBU sessions.

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The improved version of OmNomster got accepted by AppCampus three months after submission, when the developer already thought it didn’t fit.

But I had no answer from AppCampus for several weeks, so I thought that my idea didn’t fit in the program. Though three months later, when I was visiting my newborn son in a hospital, all of a sudden I received an acceptance email! That moment I felt that all my previous work was finally acknowledged, and it gave me hope that what I had been doing for the last year had sense.

Redesigning Controls and Monetization

I started developing new features which I promised to Microsoft right away. The changes were crucial. First of all, to the rather chaotic shaking game mechanics I added a more controllable slow motion mode, where the player can tilt the phone to move OmNomster more accurately. This was due to repeating feedback I got for the first version: shaking is fun, but it’s not skillful. In this new, better version, OmNomster is getting bigger and unlocks new features as the player’s experience grows.

And, finally: OmNomster now has the ability to shoot, and there are five diverse levels instead of just one.

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Now OmNomster can shoot, and there are five different levels instead of just one
Shaking is fun, but it’s not skillful, the players said.

I also redesigned the monetization mechanics. In OmNomster 1, there were several appearance customizations that could be bought, but it didn’t give the player any real benefit. Now the player can buy shields, unlock weapons, and upgrade time warp mode, so everything he/she buys is making the game easier. “Pretty obvious”, many might say. True, but for me, it was a huge progress that I made thanks to the CBU course. Now playing the new game is much more fun.

Feed OmNomster has been exclusively released for the Windows Phone Store, and the first game of OmNomster can be found at Made It App’s website. Meanwhile, Olaf has submitted the game to some more competitions and believes that the furry monster character design gives an opportunity to make physical merchandize toys. But he’s first going to focus on marketing Feed OmNomster in Windows Phone Store properly.

 

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Yatzy Ultimate: A Classic Game With a Trendy Look and Za Za Zu Flavor

July 7, 2014 — by Mariia Lototska

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What started as a small team of six grew to be what Game.IO is today: a serious game development studio with 40 people with a passion and drive to create great games. The team has worked on multiple projects and hopes their new games will surpass the success of their first game: Yatzy UltimateMarija Keleshoska, a marketing specialist for Game.IO, reminisces about building Yatzy Ulitmate.


A Memory From Childhood Leads to Our New Game

It was a usual Monday morning, and we started sharing some interesting moments from our childhood days. Everyone had his own unique story to share, but they all had one thing in common: Yahtzee. We soon realized that we all used to play this game when we were young and no one has played it since. Later on, when we were drafting our product portfolio, it’s funny how Yahtzee was on the top of everyone’s mind. We agreed that’s the game we wanted to start with. Originally, we wanted to call the game Yatzy, but unfortunately, that name was already taken on App Store, so we instead called it Yatzy Ultimate.

To begin, we started was with research and deciding the definition of the game. It gets pretty exciting when you get to know a game better – the history of the game, its mechanics, etc. It’s played in different countries and has its own characteristics. For our version, we decided to keep the basic rules and leave space to add new unique features in the next releases to make the game more attractive. Our main goal was to create a game WE would like to play.

Yatzy Ulitmate
Our main goal was to create a game WE would like to play.

The first version of Yatzy Ultimate included “Quick game”, “Nearby Players” and “Multiplayer”. It was the perfect fit for players of all types: those who would like to play a quick game while taking a break, or play with friends “Pass’n’Play” in Multiplayer mode. The “Nearby Players” exploited the Bluetooth feature of the device for playing with friends or family. Yatzy mainly is a game you would like to play with friends and family, but at the same time, it’s a fun way to pass time when you’re traveling or waiting in line in a coffee shop.

After the launch on the App Store in January 2011, the game started landing on our players’ devices and the first impressions really exceeded our expectations. We had some goals set in terms of number of downloads and revenue, and it was a great feeling to see how the numbers go up. The reviews we got were just more proof that we made the right choice and launched a quality product on the market.

As the game gained more success, our team starting expanding, along with our desire to make the game better. And then Yatzy Ulimate received its first award in 2012: the BestAppEver award in the dice category.

Keep Pace with Industry Trends

When something is good, it means you’re on the right path. But to make something great, it’s not enough just to follow the path. Those turns on the left and right may lead to even greater paths. As the industry was growing and new technologies were introduced, we knew it was time to take a new turn in our journey. We defined two key goals and put all efforts towards their achievement: cross-platform and online gameplay.

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It was time to make the game more social (and keep pace with the latest industry trends).

We already had a stable user base on iOS and Windows Phone, but it was time to make the game more social (and keep pace with the latest industry trends). We needed to allow them to get to know each other and challenge each other to see who has better skills. This was a great challenge for the whole team and included changes in the code and a lot of testing to make sure we got it just right.

For more variety, Game.IO chips were introduced in the game as virtual currency, which can be used to place bets in Bet mode and take high or low stakes in Online mode. This needed thorough analysis for our “numbers wizards” to set the economy of the game. With the introduction of Game.IO accounts and additional login methods like Facebook and Windows Live (for Windows Phone users), we set the grounds for cross-platform gameplay, allowing players to play their favorite game anytime, on any device.

The game went through serious re-engineering, development and testing to add all these bonus features. The team invested a lot of time and worked very hard to make it happen. Testing was crucial as it was a completely new structure of the game and there was no place for bugs.

After much work it was ready! But once it was ready to be introduced on the market, a new challenge was ahead of us: to market it properly and educate the audience.

Players are Not Just Numbers, Each One is Special

We went through a bumpy road in the post-launch period. The online play had certain problems with connection, which most of the time was out of our control. Mainly, when the player would lose connection on his device, the game would pick that information with delay and the player wasn’t aware the he went offline. This was our first challenge, and our priority for our next release. A customer support team is crucial at times like this, and we were lucky to already have that in place.

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In the first release of the new and redesigned Yatzy Ultimate, we had to remove one feature due to certain problems that occurred with that function – playing with nearby friends via Bluetooth.

In the first release of the new and redesigned Yatzy Ultimate, we had to remove one feature due to certain problems that occurred with that function – playing with nearby friends via Bluetooth. Our plan was to get it back in the next release as, based on the analysis of the gameplay statistics, the percentage of the players who used this feature was not significant, and the temporal removal of it wouldn’t affect the game.

We were wrong. It turned out that this small percentage of players consisted of our most loyal players and we failed them. We learned this lesson the hard way: your players are not numbers, each one is special. Sometimes, you can have the best analysis of your target market, but it doesn’t mean you know them. Bringing back this feature was our biggest priority, and our development team worked hard to make it happen as soon as possible.

Finally, after the second release, the shaky and stormy period was behind us. Yatzy Ultimate reached its peak of glory, confirming we were on the right path. We were ready to start the new chapter.

Your Game Needs Some Za Za Zu

One of the most influential parts in mobile game development are the customer reviews. Those few sentences written by the players provide a plethora of ideas for new features and improvements of the existing gameplay. We just love our players’ creativity and their words (good and bad) are often the trigger for our most productive brainstorming sessions.

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“Pretty good. Needs some za za zu”.

At one of our meetings, as we were reading the reviews, one really caught our attention. One player wrote us: “Pretty good. Needs some za za zu”. That’s right, let’s put some “za za zu” in Yatzy Ultimate.

A new challenge was in front of us. We needed to add more challenge, risk, and greater winnings in the gameplay. To do this, we introduced a leveling system and higher stakes in the online gameplay, and later on, a “Play with Buddies” feature. At the same time, we completed our strategy for cross-platform gameplay with the introduction of Yatzy Ultimate on Facebook. Our classic game now got the completely new trendy look and, according to the feedback from our players, Yatzy Ultimate has the “za za zu” flavor in it.

Today, Game.IO has proven itself as a serious player on the market. We’re no longer the newbies and with our experience and lessons learned, we’ve matured. New games and new challenges are ahead of us, and we have the passion and drive to make it happen.

Interested in what Game.IO has in store for their players? Find out by following them on Twitter and Facebook.

 

ContributionsDevelopmentGame DevelopmentIndieOnlinePostmortem

Dark Lands: Making a Game True to Ourselves

April 9, 2014 — by Mariia Lototska

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Mingle Games is an independent game development studio with main focus on mobile gaming. Based in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, the company was founded in 2012 by two experienced game developers Vladislav Spevák and Jiří Formánek, who worked for game companies as Disney Mobiles, Centauri Production, or Lonely Sock. Vladislav shares the story of developing the company’s third game, Dark Lands.


Before Dark Lands, Mingle games released two gamesa physics-based logical-action game called Save The Birds and a hammer tossing game called Dwarven Hammer. While Save The Birds had some success with over 1.7 million downloads, Dwarven Hammer was pure failure. It was our good learning process though, where we put all the lessons and experience into Dark Lands. I am a programmer turned game designer and producer, while Jiri Formanek is still focusing mainly on programming. We hired Pavel Konfrst as artist to be part of a team.

After we failed with Dwarven Hammer (which was simple and quickly made), it was like a cold shower to wake up and stop doing things that we believe might have been popular, and instead focus on something that is a part of us and what we wanted to really play.

Creating Our Own Feel

We are all fans of fantasy as well as dark and horror themes, so we wanted to make something that would have unique look and artistic feeling, while not spending too many resources on complicated art. At the time, I was playing Limbo and was fascinated with the possibility to make a very strong atmosphere with just silhouettes. From that moment, I felt so inspired that I decided to also try to make a silhouette game, but with a different approach than Limbo. We also love Frank Miller as an artist, so we were inspired by his Sin City and 300!

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I felt so inspired that I decided to also try to make a silhouette game, but with a different approach than Limbo.

We started designing the art style and felt it was the way to go. Pavel did a great job bringing all our ideas to life and also putting little details in it that matters. Finally, we believed we had what it takes to be different and still minimalistic with a noir feeling. As a big fan of old games like Another World and the first Prince of Persia, we wanted to make more complex movement so we chose to use skeletal animations instead of sprite, as this allowed us to make way more animations without a great loss of memory.

As I love to play runners, I was playing with an idea to twist the gameplay a little and bring in a fight mode to the game to make it a hack-and-slash runner. I found that games like Punch Quest have a nice fighting model inside, but wanted to make it little more tactical while still using full scale of movement such as slide, jump, double jump, etc. Gameplay was the biggest challenge in the end. We decided to use gestures for running, so a simple swipe up was set for jump and double jump, while swipe down was used to slide, just like in games such as Temple Run. Incorporating a fighting system to this was the most difficult. We tried to use gestures over enemies to slash them (think Fruit Ninja), but that produced chaos in the control and was mixing with other gestures. We even tried virtual buttons for attack and block, but again, it didn’t feel good to mix virtual buttons with gestures. After many fails, testing, and changing of gameplay, we ended up with the simple control we have now: swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide, tap to attack, and two fingers hold to block. It just felt natural, and people we have tested it with finally liked it.

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It just felt natural, and people we have tested it with finally liked it.

Finding Funding

The issue with all development processes is always budget. We wanted to create a high-quality game, but time was ticking, so we could not spend too much time on it. We knew that creating another fast game would just result in failure, and we could expect to close the company right after that. Then came AppCampus, and everything good happened from there.

We applied for funding from the AppCampus program, and we were lucky enough to be selected! This was something that we needed, as we believed we had a great idea in Dark Lands and while we put all our knowledge and skills into its creation, we also knew we needed extra time to make it stand out from the rest. They helped us not only with funding, but also mentoring and education that helped us spend way more time on the game and brought in new ideas. We had to release Dark Lands exclusively for Windows Phone for period of three months, so we focused on this part first.

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We believed we had a great idea in Dark Lands.

Feature Hell and the Release

As we knew from our past projects, it is very easy to slip into feature hell and get killed by it. So we have been very strict with Dark Lands, making only the core gameplay, a limited amount of bosses and enemies, and two worlds. We wanted to release the game to see if our ideas and our game were what people actually wanted. It is always easy to think that your game is great, but the truth is, only the players will decide if the game is good or not. So we took all the necessary features we believed were needed to make the game feel complete and made those as perfect as we could as fast as possible to release it. Quality is always more important than quantity.

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Quality is always more important than quantity.

After a few extra months of development (six months total), we felt we finally had a core game that was ready to release. We self-published on Windows Phone (WP), and we had just a small marketing budget. The game went live on December 12, 2013 just before Slush 2013 in Helsinki. Before release, we were so scared of releasing another failure that we spoke loudly about closing the company after its release. But luckily, the game gained popularity right away. With support from the press as well as promotional help from Nokia and Microsoft we reached over 1,600,000 downloads to the date and became the most successful project of AppCampus. We reached the Top 1 Paid App spot in most of the countries, and also the Top 10 Free spot (we have been setting the game free for promotion). With thanks to all AppCampus team, namely: Paolo Borella, Timo Mustonen (Nokia), Ron Ellington, and rest of their hard working team, we had our breakthrough in mobile gaming.

What’s Next

We’ve been lucky that our game has gained mass popularity in a mostly organic way, so we didn’t have to spend money on promotion. But we released just the core game, and people wanted more. We felt it was time to bring in all the extra features we wanted to do: a level based mode, multiplayer, and new art, enemies, bosses, worlds, etc. Also, we needed to port the game to iOS and Android, so that after the three months WP exclusivity, we can release the game there as well. As the game has had great success on WP, we have had offers from multiple world class publishers for Dark Lands. We chose to go with Bulkypix, as their offer sounded fair, and we’ve known them for a long time. Now we have finished the port, and soon we will bring the game to the iOS, followed by Android, while we carry on updating WP.

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We released just the core game, and people wanted more.

As our company is very young, we learned that only hard work and dedication is the key to success. It is necessary to analyze heavily every step and decision to make things happen. Everything we do, we ask yourself why we want to do it, why it is important, and how that can bring interest to the game. It is also important to try it on other people before it is decided for full development. Prototyping is the key and throw ideas away as soon as they doesn’t look as perfect in reality as they do on paper. Not only have we been learning business by our mistakes and failures, but we are also learning how to be more effective, how to not get overworked, and how to not lose time on things that are not important. All this also comes with a large amount of stress and starting a game company is definitely not for everyone, so I would not recommend it if that person doesn’t feel strong urge to do it and is ready to fail and to learn from failure and keep improving. It is a tough business, but it is a beautiful and worthy effort. We are very proud of Dark Lands and how we were able to cooperate to bring it to success and we are so happy to have positive feedback from players. It is so pleasant to read all the mail fans send us. Having the game rating over 4.6 is fantastic and unexpected. But we are only at the beginning of the journey and many hard obstacles are in front of us. We have won this battle, but the war is not over yet.

Mingle Games is preparing lots of updates to content, gameplay and features to Dark Lands, with the iOS and Android version coming soon. Keep in touch with them on Facebook and Twitter.

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