Woodle Tree 2: Development Blog

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Hello!
In this post I would like to talk to you about our next project in development for
Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 “Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe”.

Provisory logo

This is actually a remake of a game released in 2016 on Steam called “Woodle Tree 2: Worlds” (link)

The game was pretty successful at his time with over 20.000 copies sold, but we were not able to include all the concepts and mechanics we wanted due to time and budget limit.

Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe first screenshot!


Thanks to the great success of other games we’ve release in last years (like Suicide Guy and more) we now have the budget to be able to create even a greater title!

We started the development of this new version in June 2018, trying to adapt the whole game to Nintendo Switch.
Since it’s an open world platformer, the effort has been huge considering the limited hardware and the fact that our target was to achieve 60 fps.

Here a glimps of the map of the whole game, comprehending over 9 levels + new different platforming areas:

Concept of the World map in Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe

The remake we’re trying to achieve will comprehend a total redesign with new levels, characters, new cutscenes, improved game mechanics and much more.

We really hope you’ll appreciate the effort!

We’ve already started to advertise the game with a huge feedback from fans https://www.reddit.com/r/nintendo/comments/aftp39/our_new_game_woodle_2_coming_to_nintendo_switch/

This is very useful since we’re still gathering feedback from players, and the game is far from finished.


The game will be released in 2019, I’ll soon update this post informing you on all the new things we’re adding to the game!

New Intro menu

Here meanwhile some cool concepts from new characters and items!

Agile Game Development process for Indies

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Hello my friend!
In this post I would like to talk about the game development process we’ve acutally used during the last years for our games.

To start by, I would suggest you to read even the “Agile Game Development with Scrum” book by Clinton Keith:
Amazon link

The process we’re acutally using is very similar even if it’s applied to a much smaller scale studio (of 5 people instead of 200).


What is Agile?

Agile is an approach for developing products using short and fast iterations.

The ideas is to make small features for the current project in small periods of time. In this way the results of each iteration are used to adjust the project plan: each iteration is like a short project in itself.


What is SCRUM?

SCURM is an iterative and incremental Agile process that produces demonstrable working software every few days: for example a build of the project that can actually be tested.


How Agile can be used for Indie Games?

I think Agile can be really useful for indie game studios if used wisely:
Since the initial concept of a game does never perfectly reflect how the final game will be, I think a Waterfall Development process is useless in most cases.

We usually start with the Concept of the game and then start the Preproduction and Prototyping process for testing the main mechanics of the game.


While we’re still in the Production process, the Concept and Design core of the game can still be modified depending on the feedbacks of our testers that are testing the first prototypes.
If something is not working well in a game mechanic, we’re still able to modify it without great effort from the Programmers.

This is just an example, but this process can be used to every phase of the development: for example while the Sound Designer is making the sound effects of a character and the Animator is making the animations for it, the Game Designer can test both and give feedback on how well the sound effects are linked to the animations.

Personally I think that Concept and Design can be modified through the entire development process of a game (even in the final Post Production stages) if this does not change too much the Deadline Release.



Extended Agile

I think Agile can be even extended while working on multiple projects at the same time.
We usually develop 2 or 3 games at the same time and Agile is really useful since some of the ideas, concepts and mechanics could pop up in the development of a game and can be used even on other projects.

This process can even be useful to avoid Dependencies of members of the team: for example if a programmer is waiting for the animations of the main character in order to finish the code for the run mechanic, he can meanwhile work on other mechanics or on another project.

It’s important to have a cohesive team, since the potential savings in cost for team is lost when time and effort is wasted through iteration delays and dependencies between team members.



Final Considerations


One of the most interesting phrases from the Agile Game Development book referring to the best team Clinton worked with is:

“Much of the chemistry of that team is a mystery to me. There doesn’t seem to be a formula for how such teams can be created, but I’ve found that it’s quite easy to prevent such teams from forming” – Clinton Keith

Agile and Scrum are surely some of the things that really can help these kinds of team to form since it allows all the members of the team to communicate and have a larger view on the project.



Useful Resources:


https://marionettestudio.com/agile-game-development-quick-overview/

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RobGalanakis/20140219/211185/Agile_Game_Development_is_Hard.php

https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1013175/Agile-Methodology-in-Game-Development

http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/




Suicide Guy – Post Mortem (1 Year later)

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Hello my friend!
We would like to share with you what went right and wrong after our latest release Suicide Guy in this post mortem, 1 year after its release on Steam  

store.steampowered.com/app/303610/Suicide_Guy/

 

– SALES

The game during its first year sold almost 30.000 copies on Steam only (Price 4.99 €)

With a rating of 85/100 on Steam

Here a Pie chart of the sales:

 

 

– MARKETING

The marketing we’ve made is still constant, sending constant updates to the gamers to keep high the interest for the game.

The main websites where we market the game were:

1) Facebook

2) Instagram

3) Keymailer

4) Twitter

5) Youtube

6) Newsletter Emails

7) Steam (groups, pages etc)

8) Google Ad Words

9) Linkedin

10) Reddit

 

– CONSOLE RELEASES

The game has been launched even on consoles (PS4 and Nintendo Switch) several months after the Steam release:

PS4: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP2659-CUSA11105_00-0000000000000000

Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/suicide-guy-switch

 

With over 10.000 copies sold on each, but at a higher price (7.99€)

Metacritic score on PS4: 70/100

Metacritic score on Nintendo Switch: 55/100

http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/suicide%20guy/results

 

The rating was lower on Nintendo Switch mainly due to performance issues and long loading times

 

 

– UPDATES AND NEW CHAPTER RELEASE

Suicide Guy has been in constant development with new Updates, bug fixes and new content

And since the game sold well, we’ve decided to release a new chapter of the game called Sleepin’ Deeply on Steam (Soon on Console):

https://store.steampowered.com/app/860860/Suicide_Guy_Sleepin_Deeply/

 

Which sold over 2.000 copies in the first month.

 

 

– CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE UPDATES

In the end the game release and feedback from the public were great and it helped us to continue the development of the game.
We’re actually working on the Xbox One release and the new chapter console release.

Since the game went well we’re actually thinking of new levels and chapters that we would like to release in the future, so expect new content coming soon!

 

Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply — New chapter now available!

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Hello my friends!

I’m glad to announce that the new chapter of our game is now available on Steam!

Check it out:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/860860/Suicide_Guy_Sleepin_Deeply/

In this new chapter of “Suicide Guy” you’ll be challenged with even more insane puzzles, generated by the surreal dreams of the Guy. You’ll encounter the weirdest of the living beings as you go deeper and deeper into his subconscious. This time to wake him up you’ll need all your skills.