Game Development Reference
Design Lessons: Updates to Increase Installs; Extensive
Testing; Discrete Levels; and Leaderboards to Increase
Spider had a very significant update called the Director's Cut that added 10 new levels for a total of 38 (see Fig-
ure 13-5 ) . These new levels patched some holes in the story that players were confused about and contributed
to fun new gameplay.
Figure 13-5: Spider's Director's Cut level.
“The Director's Cut was such a significant update that it attracted new players, more attention, and some
additional press,” says Smith. “The iOS market likes to know that developers are listening to them and keeping
their games updated and fresh. Updates also increase the chances of a promo spot in the App Store and draw
attention from your existing install base.”
NOTE According to Smith, “Some developers go so far as to release a game with only the bare bones that
make it enjoyable, and then update continuously, targeting improvements and extensions to the aspects of
the game that seem to satisfy players the most.”
Casual gamers who were new to some of the deeper features Tiger Style was attempting.
“For both Spider and Mars we did very extensive play-testing before shipping the games,” continues Smith.
“We really refined this process for Mars, having players focus on the iPad in front of them while the rest of
the team was watching on a big screen. Fellow developers often had great insights, but the highest-quality data