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Post mortem of a successful animals game :)

Juan Belon Perez, Blogger

April 22, 2013

3 Min Read

I have finished my experiment with animal games with a good result.

People love the game I made in about two months, based on the version 1.0.0, the reason why I have decided to make the version 2.0 as a total re-vamp of the game was a little girl who sent me draws of the game of her dreams.

It is easy to make games when you know what the people wants. It also makes me happy to know that there are users waiting for a new version, they liked it and they want more!
We can resume  the development process of my last animals game as: hard work with the design and putting a lot of love in the making of.

First of all I have the first version, which was a simple tap & jump game:

This is the chart of two games downloads made the same weekend (less than 32h):


This is only for the BlackBerry AppWorld, thousands of downloads in just one day...amazing for me...but in this the game is free...

After the little girl asked me to improve the game with the ideas of her draws I started to think about all those ideas, and decided to turn the version 1.0 into a tamagotchi game, one in which you have to take care of the horses, ponies and donkies :)

Tame your horse, pony and donkey

So, this was the design of the main GUI then:


 as you can see, the options are just the tamagotchi standard, with the name of the equine and it level...but this was only a temporary design, the final idea was strong, to have 3 slots to choose for each one, 3 animals: horse, pony or donkey, you can give a name to it and take care of the equine...as this game is for children, the animals dont die when you forget them, they just empty their status bars...

Following the wikipedia definition of tamagotchi I implemented a big part of the options of a game  of this kind has in its behaviour, those are:

  • Care 

  • Feed

  • Give water

  • Clean/Cure

  • Run

  • Capture (with 3d rope physics - slow in elder devices)

And I have added the standard of the new games: 

  • Achievements per animal (Trophies)

  • Level

  • Share with social networks and social tools (friendize your horse)

As the gamification rules said, I added people to the game, long and short term goals, experience bars, level progression, constant and clear feedback, and so on...

To connect all these things and maitain the correct flow of the game I designed this:
Flow diagram

And with all the ideas on the table the programming was pretty easy, it was matter of just put in order all these tasks one by one until it was done... The beta testing was hard because of the game was bigger now, in size, memory and process requeriments, but a big number of devices can actually run and play the game, from a S.Galaxy S1 to iPad4 or PlayBook (and BB. Z10 :).

Once the game was finished and launched, the first users started to submit their animals to the Google App I created to share with players around the world, you can download a friend horse and visit it in their stable (home) with yours...well, these are the data right now there is thousands of users playing the game and sharing content:
GAE stats
 So, this was a great idea, I was very grateful not only to count with people saying what game I must do but also with the economic profit of it. And thanks to gamasutra where I first asked first to do or not to do :) 

This is the result : www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxc2cOsR6U4

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