Postmortem: “The Moops – Combos of Joy”
It’s been a month since the game went live on most Flash portals out there and it’s time for a write up about how it was made and how it’s doing.
As I write this the game has had 1.7 million views with an average playtime of 12 minutes, the total income for the free Flash version was 10k (U$), many Chinese portals are enjoying it and some youngsters have said about it: “crap”, “gay”, “it isn’t an RPG” and “I hate you”. But we are happy.
The money generated by the Flash version is not even enough to cover its development but it opened many doors for future expansion of the IP that, we hope, will generate an interesting revenue stream to HeavyBoat’s offshore bank accounts.
So, more about the numbers later, let’s get to the actual postmortem and its traditional right and wrongs.
What went right
1.Prototype and iterate
The first stage of the project revolved around it: have an idea, implement and iterate to refine. We went trough many gameplay modifications using this approach, just think that on the first version of the game you shoot heavy balls that didn’t bounce to have an idea of how clueless we were at the start.
2.React to feedback
From the very start we had friends playing every new version of the game and giving their opinions about everything. The key point here is that we made an effort to analyze the feedback and understand its true meaning before making any design decisions.
3.The search for sound
We made an open contest to find the right sound for the game, we wrote about it here.
What went wrong
1.The later levels
After three months of playing The Moops my skills got far beyond human understanding, and that’s never good when you are the level designer. The later levels are really difficult, very long and to be honest, quite boring. I’ll see it mended in future versions of the game.
At first we didn’t even thought about levels, it was 4 game modes with different goals. We put a lot of work into playing with it and trying combinations, but in the end we went with the classic “Campaign mode”. There was some chaos and going back and forth during this stage of development that should had been resolved much earlier.
There were two moments in which we had to put a pause on The Moops to make some contract work. The production was delayed, but in a way it was for the best. During these times the game continued to evolve in our heads and in the end, it definitely benefited from it.
All in all we completed the game in the expected time and concluded HeavyBoat’s first year with an original game launched, which was one of our goals. It’s opened several doors including the chance of making a 3d version (with many new features), a Facebook app and an iPhone/iPad/Android port. We can’t ask for more from our first original IP. Thanks Moops!
I’ll talk about the business side of it in a later post, including the bidding stage on FGL.
Posted in Post-Mortem