By trying to appeal to everyone, Quebec City-based game developer Sarbakan realized mid-development that it was appealing to no one.
Ann Gauthier, executive producer for the Xbox Live Arcade game Lazy Raiders
, told Gamasutra in a new feature postmortem
that initially trying to make the game cross-platform on both WiiWare and XBLA was a mistake.
"The game was initially cross-platform and designed to be first produced as a WiiWare title, graphic-wise the lowest common denominator, before being exported to XBLA," she explained.
"We all know that Wii and Xbox users don't fall in the same target audience bracket, so we set out to make a game that would appeal to everyone," said Gauthier.
"This was a big mistake," she conceded, "as failing to target a niche -- whether wide or specific -- resulted in design hazards that did nothing but dilute the whole game experience."
She added, "Eventually, we abandoned the whole WiiWare angle, instead focusing on Xbox Live Arcade." Sarbakan released the gravity-centric puzzle game on XBLA in February this year.
But after the studio found its footing, development became more focused. "Trying to find ways to make Lazy Raiders
appealing to Wii and Xbox users cost us both time and money, and ended up a complete waste," said Gauthier. "But when we decided to focus on XBLA, things picked up and the project revved into gear, gaining both in depth and polish."
For what went right and what went wrong during the development of Lazy Raiders read the full postmortem
, available now.