16 Jan Where have we been!
Oh how the time flies! So many things have happened last year and we’re so excited for this year. Last year we released Oh My Fat Guy and I worked on a game called Poppy Cat that released in October. Life has kept us on our toes while we continue to inch closer to finishing Sky Pets. It’s been a long time in development we’ll be so relieved and happy when you finally get to play the full release. Did you know we started Sky Pets back in 2012? That feels like forever ago now! But I can tell you that it will be coming super soon!
So what have we been doing? Why didn’t we post? Well during the summer we needed a break from Sky Pets to reinvigorate ourselves. We decided to work on Oh My Fat Guy, which was originally a game that we created for the Global Game Jam, and flesh it out into a full experience. We had a super focused design with a simple mechanic and a platform to distribute on easily so we jumped at the chance. OMFG took about a month of production time and 3 weeks to release to iOS and Android. We also started on a Ouya port which is on hold for now since we couldn’t decide how to monetize it for that platform. We discovered a ton of things from OMFG that you just don’t encounter unless you do a full production cycle with a game. Things like setting up storefronts, proper marketing, responding to feedback, and how to monetize a game for mobile. These lessons we’re taking to Sky Pets and refining our core game to enhance the fun.Between the start of the break and to when we started working on Sky Pets again we took about a 4 month break. Again I’m glad we did, we felt like we were spinning our wheels on things that didn’t add to the experience that we wanted to craft for you. We added many superfluous features that would distract from the core fun. I think I started to do this because I was not confident in the game play and at the time I didn’t know the intended audience this game is for. Crafting a game can be like searching blindly in a cave but you need to create the cave to even find it.When we finally did return to Sky Pets it was with the goal to re-enforce what we thought was most important about the game and remove anything that takes away or distracts from that core. We removed cross-platform multiplayer, saving pets in the cloud, endless mode (though this may return), and set which worlds and the amount of levels we are going to ship with. This helped us focus on what is most important in the game and that is the fun of falling.
After removing features we began to streamline and polish the game. We had to redo one major part of the game in terms of technology. We use Unity 3D for our development even though we are making a 2D game. We started work on Unity version 3.5 which did not natively support 2D sprites so you would have to go to the asset store and purchase a third-party software to do anything 2D. We chose SmoothMoves since it came with a nifty editor and used bone animation. There was one major problem with the asset though, it was very difficult and taxing to the game to support custom pets. We decided to stop using SmoothMoves for the pets when we returned from our break. This meant that I would have to rewrite the entire pet customization and Shandiin would have to redo all the pet animations. Although this resulted in more development time it has been worth it as the game now runs faster, pets switch quicker, and development is easier for us now. I’m still finishing up the character customization but after that there is no more major programming tasks and that means all we need to do is finish levels.
Sky Pets is almost finished and where we go next is making me so excited that I can barely contain it! More news, blogs, and vlogs coming soon! Here’s to an amazing 2015!
Check out Sky Pets on Twitter! We’re doing awesome things there, like giving out cats!