Recap after our very first release
We've just made our first production release and I finally found some time to write our first (!??!) blog post. It is somehow defining for our first game, that it is so late, but there are few thoughts about what happened in last year.
Next time we need to start presenting, marketing and talking about our game much sooner. As we are only two guys and do not have neither big budget nor people able to help us (with testing for example), we need to start building community around our next title much sooner. I hope that blog posts will be more frequent and regular then.
But, yeah Build & Defend is our first game and frankly it is not our dream game. We decided for Tower Defense, just because we wanted something relatively simple and with concepts that we already know. You need to start with something small, right? Also, when we done our market research we found out, that vast majority of TD games on mobile platforms has fixed path and fixed tower places. That is not direction we wanted to follow, so we think B&D is different from other games on market right now.
To be honest in most stages of development, I was rather shy and thought, that we do not have anything to present. When I take a look back, after I stepped-in to Indie Game community and first game in Google Play, I think, that we shouldn't have been afraid. There are some screenshots from early game stages:
Although it is more than year since we started learning things we needed to start development, I do not remember any major problem. We were able to create game, that meets our expectations. From coding point of view, there was no problem at all and we were able to solve everything ourselves. At first we got excited about how many things our chosen development studio (Unity) can do, but we ended up developing many custom things (path-finding for example), we even considered not using Unity physics model at all.
Much difficult was to create appealing graphics for our game. That is something you will probably notice on game screenshots. With my limited graphic skills (and Vašek's no graphics skills), after two more or less failed attempts, we decided to get limited help from professional designer. We agreed on basic style and ordered just basic things, which we used to create more assets. I think, that his graphic design improved our game a lot, but there is still room for improvements. And well animations, these are another level totally.
What I see as very interesting is, that we had more or less our game play implemented after half a year and another half year we were dealing with graphics, connection to facebook, leaderborads etc.
We used following tools:
- Development: Unity, Visual Studio
- Source Control: Perforce, Bit Bucket
- Plugins: Android Facebook SDK, Unity IAP, Unity Ads, Unity Reporting
- Server Managed Data: Parse
- Graphics and Video: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD and Adobe Premiere
- Documents: Google Docs and Google Sheets
- Project Management: Trello, Harvest, Slack
- Marketing: AdWords, Facebook, itch.io
Since we tracked our time from very beginning, we can also say how much money (including our time and other expenses) we spent on our little game:
As you can see we used budget around 26 000 USD. It is not small amount and right now we do not expect to make that kind of many with our game. But you know, we are already rich with all that experiences and knowledge Build & Defend brought us.
Our next step is to release game to App Store and make it available for players with iOS. Since there is a huge difference in publishing process between Google Play and App Store, we decided to go with easier one first and do not try to launch on both platforms at same time.
At the end of this blog post I would like to thank our families for their support and patience. Part of time spent on B&D was sacrificed from our time together.