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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny – Development (2/3)

Hello! here’s the second part of the development blog for our latest game: Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny

If you miss the first article, you can check it here

Here’s what we have so far. Two bunnies flying through space in a carrot rocket visiting planets searching for their lost comrades.

Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny

Monetization

Such an evil word. But with an honest and good meaning. To help us to make a living making games and focus all our efforts to make better games each time.

As a mobile game, we have certain options to monetize and we evaluate each one of them:

1. Paid game: Is simple, but this is such a small game that we think that nobody is going to pay for it. Sad, but true ūüôĀ

2. Microtransactions: We could add a store section and sell some content on it, but again, the game is so short that maybe nobody is going to buy anything.

3. Ads: This is maybe the best, because people are going to play it several times in short amount of time.

Well, the best alternative was the ads, but we also add one microtransaction: ‘eliminate ads’. That may allow us to gain a few extra bucks.

The next thing to check was the type of the ad. We have the banner type in the bottom or in the top. The interstitial (a big image that covers the screen from time to time) and the video ad. Before anything i want to add that almost all of them interfere with the flow of the game. The most important thing is to deliver a great experience to the player. We can’t predict the image that is going to be shown. Taking all of that in consideration, we decided to add a button at the end of each play that allows the player to revive, just one time, but this works as an sponsored revive, were the player has to see a interstitial ad and it gets revived.

In this way, if the player does not want to see ads, just has to press the re-play button and start over. The ads will never interfere with the experience in that way.

Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny

Testing

It’s time to make a few test with people we know in order to check that everything is going as we expect. This are the results ūüôā

+ The graphic style was well received, but it was boring for them at times. Too cold say someone.
+ Too difficult was the other big critic. They want to go further and they couldn’t. This cause frustration on some of them. (But too easy can cause boredom)- They play around 3 minutes and then give back the device. This is a bad sign. The game is not engaging.
+ Nobody press the revive button. They didn’t even ask for what it do ūüôĀ

This give us very good data about what we should change and improve. Let’s start working!

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We start adding detail and movement to the game. We add shooting stars, meteor rocks, rotation to the planets and color to the stars. Also work better in the atmosphere of each planet and work on the gravity.

The next thing was to work on the planets, and make all a little more detailed.
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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny
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After changing the background and adding more detailed and color, the graphics were better and the game looks much more ‘alive’.

The next issue was to fix the difficulty. We change the gravity of the planets in order to attract the rocket. Also, we put a ‘force indicator’ to help the player to visualize the power given to the rocket and calculate their trajectory. Also, we add a little tutorial image, showing how to play the game and improve the final screen adding some light the the revive button.¬† With all of this, the game become more easy, but only the testing will show us if we do a good job.

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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny
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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny
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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny
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In the next and final article we’ll look deeper into our testers minds and prepare the launch! there’s a few things to have in mind like promotion, keywords, facebook page, product page, press releases and more. Stay tuned!

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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny – Dev(1/3)

Prologue

It has been some time since we start a development blog about one of our games, but is important for us to share the information about the good, the bad and the ugly of game development and check it out from time to time in order to determine what went wrong or how to replicate success. For the fans is fun to know how their favorite game is coming along and give their opinion to create a better game for all of us. Ok, with all that said, the bottom line is to get you entertained and encourage your participation into this articles in order to create a game that you’d always want it to play. So, let’s start!

This game start as a 2 days game jam. The idea come from my girlfriend, Chriss Vasquez and with the help from Gonzalo Mu√Īoz in character design and animation we start the development. I was the programmer, game designer, GUI, music and sound effects guy.

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The main idea was to have a bunny on top of a carrot rocket jumping from planet to planet rescuing his friends. Pretty simple and fast forward to complete in two days. The first prototype prove to be quite fun and it looks like this.

Not very impressive? well, you’re right. Every prototype has to answer a question and the question here was: is the mechanic fun enough? the answer was yes, so, we continue.
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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny

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[one_third_last]The next one was made to test some graphic proposals. Gonzalo started to send really good material and as you can see, with just a little graphic design, the game was started to take shape.
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The upper number is the number of planets visited and the bottom one is the number of friends saved. This last one is accumulative and it doesn’t reset on every play.

Who would play it?

But here we start to wonder something very important… who will play this game? The graphics and gameplay has to appeal to some defined target group. Until now, we were focus on make the game and didn’t think about that at all. Should it be for children under 10 years old? for moms? for hardcore gamers between 24 and 30 years old?

After a lot of discussion we started to look into our own game and established that the gameplay is short and funny, easy to pick it up and play for a few minutes and come back anytime. With that information, we established that the players should have little time and the game was meant to kill some time waiting for the bus or waiting in a line to get a coffee. The age was defined, we were pointing to young professionals or students between 20 and 24 years old.

Sex, sex, sex

The next question was to establish if the game were suitable for male, female or both. Little bunnies are something better suitable for girls, but one may say that doing that we are closing a door for a big market and that’s right. We decided to focus on the female market but making the graphics to appeal both genders. And so, here’s the next steps on that:

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In here we have to take a big decision, Gonzalo’s design include things like buildings and mountains on the planets, but the new style was conflicting with them, so we have to take them out ūüôĀ
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Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny Come Home, Space Carrot Bunny

[/two_third_last]At the end it was better, but with better planning, this would have been avoided.

Well, the game is taking shape at last, but there’s a lot of work still needed. In the next article we’ll dig into monetization, should we sell it? put ads on it? how many and where? is the graphic style filling the expectations? what do testers has to say? well, all and much more in the next one.

Remember, the idea is for you to participate, make questions and please share! Thanks for reading!

Click here to check the next article

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Nemoris Game Jam #2

The next article is about the project development of Totem Little Raider, developed in the Nemoris Game Jam #2 and you can now play it on Wooglie and Kongregate. It will soon be available for Android and iOS.

A couple of weeks ago i started the second version of Nemoris Game Jam. This time the goal was to use augmented reality to create a small game on a 72-hour period and get it ready for launch in the stores of Android and iOS. This objective had 2 utilities: First, launch a game, has been some time since our last game launch and add to our portfolio a game which  contains augmented reality.

In the previous edition i was alone in this event / personal challenge and supported by Victor Velasquez, a great friend and Nemoris Games’ marketing director who would be responsible for posting pictures and progress in our social networks. For this edition we add Diego Iturriaga, 3D modeler, animator and graphic designer from AppArte, he will support all the graphics that we may need.

Thus being 17:00 hrs on Thursday May 1, it has began.

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The first few hours went by quickly and we design a very simple and fun game, a character running on 3D platforms that have to get something. We don’t want that the game depends solely on augmented reality, but it serves as a standard game itself so we design ittaking that into account. The first test of augmented reality worked well, I have much experience in this area, so it was not unknown territory. The database design, PHP interactions with objects in the game and scripts that control their behaviours and the design for the game to get scenes from database to save memory and allow a quick update was also planned in the day 1. With all this on paper and having completed the respective tests the prototype was ready and running the first day. That was awesome!

 

The second day began with the search for the perfect graphic style. Based on the response we got from users in social networks, we select the graphic style for the game and the main character.

  
While the design was defined, I began to do performance testing on Android and iOS, there were many problems that I encountered, because as the scene was formed by many blocks, each with its own collider and a number of vertices, memory and CPU gets overloaded with information and the game ran at 10 FPS on average, which is unacceptable. After applying some optimization techniques to the models and apply the Combine Meshes Utility from Unity, performance improved a lot and was between 30-60 FPS. Much better ūüėÄ
Next task was to start creating dynamic objects that we would see in the game. Some switch, thorns and platforms. Here we had a problem because we plan a number of objects and behaviors, but it turned out to give us very little room to give to the game a sufficient feeling that something new in each level. So I had to add new switches, range of platforms, mobile spines, blocks that appear and disappear and leave everything built for possible new future additions.
Friday afternoon came and I managed to have a functional demo, it looks quite well and worked well too, but the control was highlighted as the worst. Some of my friends / testers could barely control the character and ended up hating the game. This control was like this: when you press up on the joystick, the character walked forward, independent of the orientation of the camera. Something like Resident Evil 3. My girlfriend suggested me that if the control dependent on the angle that the camera it gets to be more intuitive and when i try it, it was perfect ūüėÄ
  
Day 3 has began and i have to prepare the other screens, the title, scene selection and how these scenes interact with the database. The original design looked ugly, but it was because there’s no¬† final design implemented yet.
  
After the graphic was starting to get here, the game start to look better
  

Upon completion of the screens came the turn to do the scenes. This is a task that is generally regarded as simple, but there is much work and observation behind the creation of each stage, teach without being obvious, reward and encourage the user to keep playing and be challenging at the same time. The penultimate day was ended and yet this task and icon design and logo for the game was still on the to do list. But fatigue kept me for continue at 4AM so i decided to sleep about 5 hours to reach our goal the last day.

The last day began and was a key element to be determined … The name!¬† With Victor we investigate the matter, gathering the best possible combination of words that tells users what is the game about and also that is engaging and fun. After a few hours, we got it: Little Raider Totem

After that, I started doing the scenes. It took a little longer than expected , but I managed to have 10 of them on the map to start. The ideal is to deliver 100 scenes and so much fun to users. While i was building, we discussed on the icon of the game. Diego gave us several options :

Using our social networks, the most voted icon was the last one. After refining and some work, this is the result:
The journey doesn’t end here. At the next day we decided to launch it first at web and that desition change a lot of things, but i’ll talk about it in a next article. Thanks for reading!
Finally, this video was recorded in the hour 75 and it shows you the end result:

Play it on:

Wooglie and Kongregate

VGChile – Chilean Association of Video Game Developers

We’re proud to announce that we had become a part of VGChile, VideoGamesChile is the¬†Chilean Association of Video Game Developers and it represent the IGDA (International Games Developers Association) in Chile. VGChile gathers the best companies and talent in Chile and his mision is:
– Promote the chilean video games industry.
– Gather all the companies in the industry.
– Represent all the companies to the government, institution, forums and public oppinion.
– Promote the videogames.
– Attack the piracy in videogames.
– Ensure the quality and ethics in the industry.
– Promote the innovation, investigation and development.
– Search for investment and incentives for the companies.
– Offer services and benefits for their associates.

Global Game Jam Valdivia 2014

Last weekend we held the first Global Game Jam 2014 Valdivia. The event was not exempt small problems, but we solve each one as soon as they were finded. We are very proud to say it was all a success. We met very motivated and talented people, every game was awesome even though most of the jammers had no knowledge of game development or even programming. This is definitely the first of many more to come.

You can check the games right here


What’s the GGJ?

Innovation – Experimentation – Collaboration

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event (game creation)¬†taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today‚Äôs heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games ‚Äď it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games,¬†while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds¬†of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of¬†game development and creativity.

The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. In January 2013, we had 309 location in 63 countries create over 3000 games in one weekend! GGJ 2014 is January 24-26 at a location near you… if not you can make one of your own. The jam is known for helping foster new friendships, increase confidence and opportunities within the community. The jam is always an intellectual challenge. People are invited to explore new technology tools, trying on new roles in development and testing their skills to do something that requires them to design, develop create, test and make a new game in the time span of 48 hours.

Source: GGJ Website

100 Young Leaders Award

We’re proud to announce that our CEO & Founder, Ricardo Concha, was awarded with this prestigeous chilean award that recognize the innovation and entrepeneurship of our company and team.

We met a lot of interesting people, all of them ready to change our country and make a positive change on each area. We also want to thank to the El Mercurio and the Adolfo Ib√°√Īez University for this award that give us the strenght to keep going and fighting to make our dreams come true.

This is the official description of the award and event:

“As every year, the University Adolfo Ib√°√Īez and Revista del S√°bado de El Mercurio published a special edition dedicated to the 100 young leaders Chileans.

In each version, young people around the country and the most varied realities had realized stories of people who have dared to exercise leadership and make a difference. Each name is a result of a rigorous selection process, and has focuses on men and women under 35 years, from various fields of action, and how they’re changing their environment.

This year, the goal of this award is to commend young people who stood out this year in all areas of politics, art, economics, health, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Source: Universidad Adolfo Iba√Īez

Presidenciales 2013 Chile – El Juego

For Chile Only,

Vivimos días intensos, hasta caóticos.
Que aquel hizo esto, que aquella hizo lo otro, que muchos a√ļn no sabemos por qui√©n votar para ser nuestr@ President@.
Decisi√≥n importante que definir√° el destino de nuestro Chile por los pr√≥ximos a√Īos, que muchos proyectan sea el per√≠odo que nos acerque al desarrollo. Pero nos preguntamos: ¬Ņy las propuestas?. Entre tanta discusi√≥n por “otros” temas y una franja electoral donde no nos queda realmente claro el contenido de los mensajes, abriendo la puerta a la subjetiva interpretaci√≥n personal, en Nemoris Games pensamos en darles una mano y desarrollamos el peque√Īo pero muy entretenido:

PRESIDENCIALES 2013, el juego.

Ha sido una experiencia interesante. Enfocarnos en lo contingente y con contenido, no sólo entretener sino que además informar. Claro, de forma diferente, pero es información al final, divertida y al alcance de todos.
El proyecto se desarrollo en un par de días y nos pone muy contentos apoyar este importante hito cívico desde nuestra especial forma de ver la vida: los videojuegos, nuestra pasión.
¬ŅDe que se trata?. Deja que tu candidato favorito te cuente sus propuestas y golpea al resto, veamos a quien apoyas en secreto.
Hey! y si no te gustan los pol√≠ticos: GOLP√ČALOS A TODOS!
Es terapéutico.

¡Qué disfruten!

 

 

Magnitud 9

A big success was the First Scientific Videogames Lab, in which Nemoris Games was pleased to participate last weekend. The event was held at the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda between 15 and March 17 this year. They were more than 50 hours of continuous creation and game programming, together with scientists from different areas, six games were the result of this hard work.
The teams worked on three major themes: “Renewable Energy”, which presented the games “Solar Race” and “Clay Bot”. Earthquakes and Volcanoes, which were “Magnitude 9” and “Tu_Tsunami” and extremophiles that showed the products “Small Extreme” and “Frost Extem√õfilo” These three topics are framed in the Chile: Natural Laboratory for the EXPLORE program CONICYT for this 2013.
The games will be shown at international fairs and the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda, from April to late June 2013 and the content will be soon on the website of the activity, so that everyone can access.
Referencia: http://www.conicyt.cl/explora/2013/03/20/finaliza-primer-laboratorio-de-videojuegos-cientificos-en-chile/

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