Woodle Tree 2: Worlds – Development blog

By | game development, Game Marketing, Games | No Comments

Hello my friends!

in this new post I would like to talk about the development of “Woodle Tree 2: Worlds” (now available on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/495350/)

The 8 fundamental steps we used to create this new game!

1) CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT (SKETCHES)

We started developing the story and the characters with storyboards and concept art to give us a general understanding of the mood of the world we were going to build, here some few examples below:




 

2) PROJECT MANAGEMENT (TRELLO)

We used Trello for this and all our other games.
It’s perfect for organizing the workflow when you have a team of 3 or more people. In our case we were in 6 as you can see in the image below and we divided the work like this:

  • Fabio Ferrara (Game and concept development, Gameplay programming, 3D modeling, Soundtracks and Sound effects)
  • Yan Dawid (Camera programmer and Gameplay)
  • Giulia Airoldi (Concept art)
  • Andrea Masnari (Soundtrack composer)
  • Lorenzo Franciosi (3D Characters modeler)
  • Fabio Masnari (Tester)

Since the project is now over, we would like to share with you the entire Trello card, I think could be useful for the new developers!
https://trello.com/b/wvuQUKLt/woodle-tree-adventures-2-worlds

 

3) PROJECT REPOSITORY (SOURCE TREE)

We then created the repository for the game files
Using SourceTree (SourceTree) with Git is the perfect combination for keep all the project on a server, in order to be able to go back to a previous version of your game (in case you brake something :D)

There are a lot of other solutions here like Github and Perforce (used at Ubisoft studios), but I think for smaller projects SourceTree is the best choice.

 

4) DEVELOPMENT (UNITY3D)

We then are finally be able to start the development!
The main engine we use for game development is Unity 3D and obviously we used it even for this new project.
I personally would suggest you to develop your games with the engine you used the most. This way you’ll be able to extrapolate the maximum from it and develop the best possibile game.

Unity3DDevelopment

For the 3D environments modeling we used Maya and blender, while for texturing we used Photoshop and Illustrator.

WoodleTree2

For the soundtracks we used a keyboard with Cubase with lots of sound libraries (VST virtual instruments) and for the sound effects Audacity and a recorder.

 

5) TESTING

We asked our family and friends to try out our game (with a total of 10 testers).
We started testing right after the Alpha version of the game was completed, it’s very useful to find out if the concept and mechanics are understandable and clear to everyone.

I would suggest to ask casual players for first and then hardcore gamers, this way you’ll hear both sides.

Testing has to be done even after the game is finished (you’ll never really complete your game since every game is improvable!).

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6) EARLY ACCESS RELEASE

The early access of the game was released on 27 of July 2016 and sold over 5000 copies during the first month.
It gained a lot of attention since it was even featured on the Steam home page.

The reviews were good with 140 reviews in the first month with 93% of positive reviews.

 WoodleTreeHomePage

7) FULL RELEASE

The Game has been fully release on Steam on the 16th of september with over 1000 players playing at the same time!

Check out the trailer from the full release!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBSgMcnrk0k

 

in the first week it sold 2000 copies (added to the 3000 from the early access release) for a total of 5000 copies in a month!

The first week went pretty well even considered that we weren’t featured in the most popular releases.
During this week the game had a 25% discount, this improved a lot the selling power of the game.

In the fisrt week has been featured both on the big slider in the home page and among the most popular games.
This improved significantly the impressions and number of clicks on the game page.

woodlehomepage

 

8) MARKETING

A great resource for our marketing strategies is Pixelprospector, used by a lot of developers to find tips about game development and marketing.

In particular here the Big list of videogames postmortems, a great resurce to understand development and marketing of the most famous indie games
and the Big list of game dev marketing were you can find videos and articles, super useful if you’re a beginner marketing manager.

We started writing to all the videogame web journal we knew (even the smallest ones) in order to get attention.
After that we could start sending promo codes to youtubers.

This is the mailing list we used so far, I’m sure it will be useful for a lot of developers, Check it out here.

and the Big Youtubers mailing list.

 

pixelprospector

 

 

9) CONCLUSIONS

Use these steps if you just started to develop your first games, since you’ll probably find your own way to manage the development and marketing of your game.
I decided to write this post mortem since if I had all these suggestions the first time I developed a game, I would have spared a lot of time!

Steam is surely a great platform where to publish your game, but I would suggest to publish yours on all the platforms you can (expecially PS4 and Xbox One).

Thanks for the attention! 🙂

 

MailWoodle3

 

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Taiwan (Taipei) Videogame Show!

By | Event | 1,028 Comments

Hello my friends!

We’re super exited to tell you that we’ve been to the Taipei Videogame Show in Taiwan!
It’s one of the biggest events in Taiwant with more than 30.000 gamers present.

It has been a great opportunity to make them try out our new games and to find a lot of publishers interested in our games,
soon we’ll let you know the updates!

Here some pics!

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ParadiseIsland22

Paradise Island VR MMO – New Steam game

By | game development, Game Marketing, Games | 969 Comments

Hello my friends!

Here I would like to talk about our new release Paradise Island VR MMO and the development process as well as the feedback from the community.
Link to the game: Paradise Island

ParadiseIsland22  Screenshot1

We started the develpoment of the game thinking about Virtual Reality and trying to create a game that would fit well for the upcoming Oculus Rift and Steam Vive.
Since it’s really difficult to create an action game for the oculus because of the problems regarding motion sickness, we wanted to develop a calm and relaxing game.

 

We started to study the most relaxing environments and to do this we read
Origins of Architectural Pleasure taking inspiration from the Renzo Piano’s designs too.

 

OriginsOfArchitectural

 

The main statement of the book is that the human being chooses the most confortable places based on his primitive instincts (survival, procreation and safety)
It’s a really interesting book that I suggest you to read, here some of the concepts we took as guidelines for the envinronments:

  • One thing that we really need and we have always needed, is a place that protects us. We need a place that protects us from the outside dangers: Cold, Rain, Snow, Sun and even animals expecially when we are vulnerables for example during mating. Our search for intimacy is the key for building a confortable environment.

  • It’s obvious that we like to have natural archetypes or simulation of it. But not all the natural settings are places of tranquility reassuring: natural denses settings creates often create anxiety in the observer and there is a real terror in the thought to be lefts in an open space in the African savannah since it was our first home as humans.

  • The pleasure of order and complexity are innate, so much that it is hard to see how it could be otherwise.

  • Order and complexity are not simply useful, they are necessary: Order without complexity is monotonous.

  • Complexity without order is not satisfactory, it’s difficult to organize.

  • The Falling Water designed by Lloyd Wright presents these features. The house is in a large amount of vegetation and stones arranged like a cave that anchor the house to the hill , giving everyone a haven of security and peace.

  • Emphasize the importance of light and darkness is the most difficult part of the considerations on the architecture. Determine some of the most deep comfort emotions and interest in the setting. The contrast of the amount of light has been a key element in the architecture of spaces for several millennia. We evaluate the darkness of concelment also. this is the place where we sleep, procreate, meditate and we restore by injuries and diseases.

  • Prospectus, Shelter, Eticement and Danger are essential features for a place to live in, and belong to the priciples of architecture.

  • It is in danger or pleasure or both into the hidden. Explore could reveal the presence or absence of a place to live, food, water and even the danger of other creatures. The chances of survival are improved if we are driven to get this knowledge in relative safety.

  • Appleton defines three different groups of Dangers: accidents , disability or deficiency. The defense by the latter intensifies the value of the refuge.
    
    
  • Darkness keeps the information while the light gives it. In the churches, the light is only enough to suggest that there are other information nearby. exploration always leads discovery of new parts of environment.
  • Adding a river is key to survive: you can drink fresh water at frequent intervals, and provides fishes to eat. this is essential for life.
  • Large Windows give the possibility to better spot the outside and the dangers.
  • Psychology studies have found out that people working in places with no windows, have mental and psychological disorders.
  • Blue and Green color are seen as restful since were present in our old houses. 
  • Red color attracts attention from the animals.
  • One of the functions of the arts, including architecture, is to provide sensory experience not parallel to the complexity of nature.
  • There’s a Darwinian argument regarding the creation and performance of music: the listening pleasure that we feel and the pleasure that he feels in composing it, are visions of a universal pleasure. 
  • We take pleasure in discovering new different types of materials in our collections, things related to primordial experiences but somehow new.

 

These principles really helped us a lot in order to have a guideline to follow for the development of the environments.

 

 

We decided to implement even an online feature so that every player would be able see the other players in the form of souls and be able to interact with them.
It really help us a lot to understand even what were the most interesting environments for the gamers and where they used to gather.

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With a total of 20.000 copies sold on Steam of this first game in VR, we concluded that Virtaul Reality combined with confortable environments and Massive Multiplayer Online features, are a new beginning for the gaming community!

We’re now expanding the game based on the feedback from the community as well as a new mode dedicated for the Steam Vive VR, so stay tuned for new updates!