Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
to trademark the game, and an animated short that accompanies the game (which turned out to be the biggest
expense).
As you might have noticed, this is quite a different budget from Tiger Style's first two games, which cost
$15,000 and $38,000 to develop, and were also very innovative in their own right. Much of the expense making
Hatch had to do with working on and ending up with an over-abundance of good ideas. At the same time, he
found value in starting with a hundred cool ideas, and winnowing them down to a handful that made sense and
worked well together. Only by coming up with so many great ideas is it possible to stumble on the handful that
will truly be magical. “It's important to have all the options and explore the entire space,” as he puts it now.
However, Ryu learned, “you need to edit it well in your head and have an idea how these [features] work to-
gether.”
Among the casualties of this editing process is the “gamification” aspect of having the fugu teach the player
about life choices, which in the end, detracted from the game's development. Still, Ryu adds, “Even if we're not
trying to consciously improve people's behaviors, the DNA of incorporating [the game] into people's life is still
there.”
The result of Ryu's efforts, in any case, should be evident in the App Store, shortly after this topic reaches
print. Download Hatch and see how well he's managed to match his ideas and design aspirations to the end
product available there.
Summary
Here are the key points we covered in this chapter:
Tiger Style operates like a film production company, with the founders financing themselves on revenue
from their previous games, and contractors paid through royalties and advances on royalties for the next
game.
Media coverage and Apple promotion are significant ways to increase sales.
Trailers depicting gameplay are important for game promotion, especially with paid download apps.
To increase installs, make frequent (and substantial) new content updates.
To increase engagement, add leaderboards and achievement systems.
When working with a remote team, convey the design concept through art, writing, and other assets, and
delegate specific solutions to individual team members.
Consider leveraging the potential of Kickstarter apart from fundraising, as a platform for promotion and
community building.
Develop a monetization plan that's natural to the game.
During the game-testing process, consider first showing the title to fellow designers, implementing their
feedback, and then testing it with non-developers.
Remove abstraction from the game's user interface, so it feels as organic as possible to the iOS.
It is sometimes true that only by coming up with a lot of great ideas—most of which will ultimately be
discarded—is it possible to stumble on the handful that are truly magical.
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