Bouncy Smash Game Development Challenges

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by katastrophic88, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    Hello Everyone!

    Kat here, the Community Manager for Bouncy Smash, and I wanted to share some of the team’s game dev experiences with you all. Developing a game is a bit different for everyone, but there are some things that we all have in common. Something that all game devs worry about at some time or another is how to publish or market a game and how to make it profitable.

    There are so many decisions to make when you’re trying to decide how to make money off a game you are developing:

    What platform? When do you launch? Paid or free? IAPs, Ads, both? Cooldown mechanics? (Not a chance. No mobile game player should ever be forced to pay in order to continue enjoying the game.)

    These are all decisions that needed to be made pretty early on, and the devs didn’t initially think about what the right direction. Instead, they followed their instincts and thought about what they liked about the games they had already played.

    IV Studio decided to launch on iOS even though there are a lot more Android users out there. We found that iOS users tend to spend money on games, and having a profitable game is crucial for getting a title onto other platforms. Launching on iOS would give it the greatest chance at early success.

    Once development neared completion, the team was faced with the “publisher decision.” We did a lot of research and talked to a few publishers. Long story short: Publishers are great if you need a lot of help with things like QA, marketing collateral, PR, and so on. However, we found we could handle almost all of those things in-house (and we had some cash for QA), so giving away 50% of the profits for some cross-game promotion and maybe a little ad spend didn’t seem prudent. It’s important to figure out what works for you based on your budget and your bandwidth.

    It’s important to not that what works for one doesn’t work for all – so ultimately, you have to figure out what works best for you. Game dev is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Hopefully, our experiences can help the next, great game dev out there!

    BouncySmash.png
     
  2. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    Hi there!

    We all know that developing a game takes a lot of heart, energy and time. With the launch of Bouncy Smash earlier this week on iOS and Apple TV, we also wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the steps that got us to this point.

    From changing Bouncy Smash’s game engine two times in a single year to accidentally launching a few months early on the App store, the devs discuss some of the changes, panic attacks and triumphs associated with creating a game and seeing it through to completion.

    “There would be high points and low points, there would be planned launches and subsequently delayed launches. There would be more obstacles that we can number. However, through all the hardship that releasing a game would bring, we now knew Bouncy Smash was no longer a side project — we were going to ship a game.”

    You can read the rest of the “The Story of Bouncy Smash” on Medium:

    https://medium.com/@samuelcowden/the-story-of-bouncy-smash-8a21c5170de6

    We’d love to know if you faced similar (or different!) challenges in creating your game, and we’re happy to offer advice if you have any questions. We wish you the best of luck in your game development journey!
     
  3. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    Kat again,

    We wanted to share some more development challenges with you all in the hopes that they might help other game devs out there. This is IV Studio’s first game, so a lot of this process involved learning as you go – which I’m sure many of you can relate to!

    Throughout the entire process, the biggest hurdle was also the simplest one to fix. Pretty late in the development cycle, everything was running smoothly – and the devs were focusing on relatively small bugs. They pushed a build out with seemingly innocuous changes and bug fixes – when out of nowhere, they got a huge leak in the code. Much to the team’s horror, the longer somebody played the game, the worse the performance got. Over the course of a weekend, the devs spent more than 30 hours trying to figure out what in the world happened. The problem? In Unity, they had absentmindedly clicked the “Render HDR” button thinking it might look cool. They clicked one little radio button, forgot about it for a few days, and then spent 30 hours discovering that they needed to uncheck that option. That’s what it’s like developing your first game (LOL)!

    Other than that, figuring things out from an animation standpoint was interesting. They had to determine out how to apply animation principles for videos (squash and stretch, anticipation and overshoot, acceleration and deceleration, weighting) to make them work in real-time and on a phone. From a traditional viewpoint, you normally aren’t limited by real-time rendering.

    (In addition to Unity, here’s what the team used to create the game: Cinema4D, After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, Zbrush, and FMOD.)

    Frustrations and learning curves aside, the devs have enjoyed the journey and are excited that Bouncy Smash is available on iOS and tvOS. https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1052650381
     
  4. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    I hope everyone had a great weekend!

    We’re a little more than a week past launch and we wanted to share some of our post-launch stories with you in a series of mini vlogs we produced!

    As many of you know, the development journey never ends. In “Very Helpful Feedback,” we share some of the more entertaining reviews we received and how we plan on incorporating community suggestions. One of the more interesting things that’s happened is being featured as a top sticker pack on the iOS App Store. In “Did We Make a Game or a Sticker Pack?” we share our disbelief and amusement when we charted 90th for stickers. In our last vlog “We Got Featured,” we discuss...well...being a featured on Apple’s New Games We Love List!

    We hope you enjoy them, and we would love to hear some of your own stories! If you have any questions, feel free to ask :)

    https://app.frame.io/r/aa363161-092c-4166-921b-9a866bd2129b?f=f250a6c0-30e0-4d82-b0e4-c64ea181c4f2
     
  5. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    Hello everyone!

    The IV Studio team is headed to Boston to attend PAX East, and we have some exciting news to share: Bouncy Smash was selected for the PAX East Indie Showcase! Only four games are selected each year, and we are beyond thrilled to be one of the “best indie games you’ve never heard of available on mobile platforms.”

    You can check out the four finalists (ourselves included) here: http://east.paxsite.com/indie

    If you’re attending PAX East April 5th - 8th, we hope you’ll stop by to say hello!
     

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  6. katastrophic88

    katastrophic88 New Member

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    Hey there!

    The IV Studio team had a blast at PAX East and was super excited to be one of four games featured in the PAX East Indie Showcase. On PAX setup day, they rode down the escalator slack-jawed and eyes wide with anticipation. Austin Harrison, Producer and Lead Tester at IV Studio, can still recall a few faces from the large number of people who stopped by to play Bouncy Smash. There was a mom and son Mario and Luigi duo, a cosplayer wearing creepy contact lenses that made their eyes a wicked color, and a kid no older than 4 that performed better than half the adults who stopped by. But none of these stick out in his mind more than the guy that absolutely wrecked his high score.

    Immediately noticing his skill, Austin told him the PAX high score was 11 million. Reflecting on it now, he wishes he hadn’t encouraged him. Soon, this first-time player was soaring past 11 million and well on his way to third place globally. Austin watched in horror as he passed 20 million – something previously only Eric and Austin (Bouncy Smash’s creators) were able to accomplish. The player ended with a mind boggling 30,771,200 points. No one else at PAX ever got close to half of that score.

    PAX was an amazing time comprised of meeting new people, sharing the game the IV Studio team worked so hard on, and seeing awesome things that other developers had worked incredibly hard on. What took the cake for Austin, however, was the moment his global high score was beaten by a guy on his very first game. It was, quite possibly, one of the coolest things that’s ever happened in the team’s time working on Bouncy Smash.

    If you took the time to check out the IV Studio booth to play Bouncy Smash, thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed your time with the game. For those who attended, we hope you had a great time, too!

    IVStudio_PAXEast6-225x300.jpg IVStudio_PAXEast4-169x300.jpg IVStudio_PAXEast5-300x225.jpg IVStudio_PAXEast7-225x300.jpg
     

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