Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Board

Ben wrote on the Touch Arcade Forums something that I think is worth sharing, and getting it out so it doesn't get buried in a forum post.

Quote:
Just wanted to give a little background on the game... When we set out to make this game, we fully realized that there were a ton of match 3 style apps in the App Store. But, we didn't feel that any of them took it to the next level of fun... Some of the match 3s out there feel more like a chore than a game.

So, Ryan and I each came up with a ton of ideas on what could make such a classic game style (match 3) as fun as possible. We tested out a lot of different game play methods and different power-ups, and ended up getting rid of a lot of our ideas as they didn't add to the fun or strategy. What we ended up with was a bit of Tetris, in that the blocks keep coming at a set interval, mixed with name your favorite match 3 (Bejeweled, Trism, whatever), but with power-ups that actually are useful and make sense. We feel the useful/strategic power-ups (office supplies) are a very unique feature in the match 3 genre - not many have power-ups and those that do seem like they were an afterthought in the development of the game...

We also brainstormed on a lot of theme concepts - Ryan started off with a design concept of the game as if it were played on graphing paper, which got a lot of discussion started, but we went through a few different concepts that were more iPhone-standard design concepts, where the artwork would look great, but wouldn't have done anything to set it apart. Then we hit upon an epiphany based off of Ryan's initial idea and our thinking that there wasn't enough humor found in the App Store. So, we ended up with an "office" theme that we feel (obvious bias) fits well with both the game and the humor element. We took inspiration from some of our favorite movies/shows such as Office Space and The Office as far as the style of humor goes.

We had the game play code and 90% of the graphics finished almost two months ago, and could've submitted to the App Store then, but we just didn't think we had the game balance just right nor the game's polish completely right. Basically, the past couple of months has been spent getting the balance right and really make the theme fit and add the polish to the finished product we wanted. We could've released it a couple of months ago, but it wouldn't have met the goals that we had when we set out to make the game - taking a classic game play genre/style (match 3) to the next level while adding some serious strategy elements and having a solid theme...

We're quite proud of this game and so far the feedback we've gotten has been even more positive than we expected... The best compliment we've received so far is, "Wow! didn't think I could get addicted to a game like this but i keep saying "one more time" i'm having a hard time putting it down - thanks!" The negative comments have been almost exclusively about there not being tons of players in the multiplayer mode, but it did just come out today...

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but just wanted to let everyone know what went into the game and our thought processes and goals. Maybe it sells 10, maybe it sells 1,000,000, who knows?

If you have comments or constructive criticism, please email comments@spigotgames.com and let us know... We're always looking for constructive criticism to make our games even better - we may even make you a beta tester in the future...

Thanks again,
Ben


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