This post is long overdue, but it’s finally here! So what’s the verdict?
All of the goals I set for the games failed miserably, the games got played nowhere near the amount of times I had expected and earned nowhere near what I expected. So what went wrong? The short answer is a lot of things, I failed to polish the games, I failed to make the core mechanics fun, I failed at following all the advice that I’ve blogged about in the past, but before I get into too much detail let’s start off this post with some numbers…
CPMStar Earnings: $60
NG Score: 3.81
Kong Score: 2.71
CPMStar Earnings: $20
NG Score: 3.57
Kong Score: 2.79
CPMStar Earnings: $1
NG Score: 3.07
Kong Score: 2.32
Now for the long answer on what went wrong.
One of the biggest problems in this game is the User Interface. It’s absolutely awful and doesn’t fit together well at all. Even though the background art is nice it appears as if stuff was just thrown on top of it with no rhyme or reason. This made me come to realization that just because someone is a good artist does NOT make them a good game artist. If your artist doesn’t understand basic game design the game will not turn out well no matter how fun the underlying concept is. This issue plagued all three of the games, but it definitely hit the hardest in this one.
At the base this game actually had some potential with its core concept, but the further I got into it the more I lost sight of the my first vision. Originally the game was meant to be a mix between winterbells and endless migration, but got morphed into just another lame distance game as I went. The game also lacked a lot of polish I gave my normal games, but that was not the main reason for its downfall. It was doomed the second I received the art. (Again I would like to clarify that the artist is amazing, but just didn’t understand the difference between game art and regular art which is completely my fault).
This was the only game which didn’t end up as a complete failure. The one redeeming quality is that the game does contain a fair amount of polish, but you can still feel the disjoint between the art and the code. The failing point of this game was not the lack of connection but rather the fact that the the core concept just wasn’t fun. I tried introducing a unique mechanic of having the enemies move based on where they were shot and bounce of walls, but it simply didn’t work for this type of game.
The game also feels very flat and seems to be missing real content. Despite the fact that I introduce a new type of enemy almost every wave it feels like there is no variation in the gameplay. The main strategy for the whole game is to stay at the bottom of the screen and move back and forth as fast as possible. Variety doesn’t mean having a lot of different types of enemies, it doesn’t mean having a lot upgrades, it means the player has to do something noticeably different every so often to get pass a challenge.
Save The Egg
This game was amazing when I made it and is still amazing in my eyes. It deserved to perform MUCH better than it did. The biggest shortcoming on this game was the amount of polish, had I made everything fit together a little better it probably would’ve done better. The game isn’t really targeted towards the NG and Kong market either which didn’t help as far as getting the game distributed. It probably would’ve performed better if played by more casual gamers on sites such as Mindjolt. It might make for a good iOS port too if I could think of a good control scheme. I really don’t have anything else to say about this game.
So what’s next?
For the sake of redemption I intend of continuing this experiment with another one week sprint of game making in the near future. I really do believe I am capable of getting the kind of results I had originally expected. After this experiment had ended I created a game called Castle Guardian which earned several thousand dollars, caused Agitated Ferret to make some real money, received millions of plays, and was legitimately fun. I did most of the development in about 2 days worth of work.
I’ve been focused on a lot of other projects recently which doesn’t really give me too much time to continue this. Unless you’re interested in following my other endeavorer I’ll be stopping “The Experiment” after my next one week sprint. You may have also noticed that I didn’t mention the website that I advertised with these games, but that’s due to my lack of data on the subject. I messed up while implementing tracking, but the money I made from that was pretty small.
Since the whole artist thing seems to have finally blown over I’ll probably return to blogging on a much more regular basis. Writing these things help me realize my mistakes and learn from them. Hopefully they’ll help you to not make the same mistakes I have.