Posts about Prototyping

  • Bovine Simulator: now with new controls

    We've just sent to Apple the first update for Bovine Simulator: new controls and improved performances (and a review button on the "tap to start" screen).

    We have received a lot of feedback about the control system: people really like the game, the graphics, the concept... but they hate controls. We first got some hints about it on toucharcade forum, and then we started getting 2stars reviews on the AppStore. Everybody wanted something more coherent with the isometric view used in the game. 

    To be completely honest with you... we knew. But we decided to ignore it ù_u Bovine Simulator was born as an experimental game, so we first used the default thumbstick provided by Unreal Engine, and then we never changed it. We get used to that control system, so we could play the game just fine, but every time we gave it to friends to test it, deep inside we hoped that they didn't find it too hard to control.

    Well, we learned our lesson for the future. But we're completely fine with this: we're learning a lot from this experience and, hey, it's our first game, it's OK if it's not perfect. We've also been super lucky, since every review and feedback we got was very constructive and respectful. 

    What we did was listening to people's feedback and suggestions, and came up with a solution: a four button system, with each button as large as 1/4 of the screen. This should make it easy to control Bovina without even look at the screen, but just touching one of the iPhone's corners. The directions to input would now follow exaclty Bovina's direction, as the user would expect.

    We posted these prototypes on toucharcade, hoping to get feedback from "real gamers" who actually played our game, but we didn't get anybody attention. We then tested with friends and relatives, and the response was waaaay more positive than before. We had our new, improved controls :)
    The beta-testing showed us also that people had some difficulties on the iPad, since they tryed to click exactly on the arrow (which is not necessary: the whole area is clickable, but of course they couldn't know :O), which are kind of far to reach with thumbs, when holding the iPad with both hands. That's why we built a different interface for iPad and big screens, with a d-pad in the bottom left of the screen instead of the huge four buttons.

    We're very happy about this improvement, and we hope people will like it too. And, who know, maybe now that it's more usable, we will get some more attention on the game :D

    Posted on Oct 9 2014 - 6:42pm with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Diving Circus - early prototype

    It's finally time to reveal something about our new project.
    The (temporary) name is Diving Circus and it will be a game a high diving game set in a vintage circus! As we said before, there will be a championship, character customization and a lot of achievements and collectibles. The goal is to make a simple, yet fun and well designed game. We hope to achieve that with your help, too!

    We have no experience with games, but from Venice tides we learned that it's super important to have a general idea of the game before worrying about details. We have wireframes and storyboards, but we think it's not interactive enough. That's why we're experimenting this new "strategy": we're developing the game as a rough prototype: no final graphics, no too much details. We're working on the core mechanincs and gameplay, because we want to be sure it's fun to play, and that the general user experience goes smoothly from the start to the end. And, you know what? it's working! Not only we have a better general idea of the whole experience, but it's very good for the team morale, too. We see the game quickly coming to life, and it gives us more confidence to keep working on it.

    Until now, we've developed the game scene, with the whole diving mechanics and championship rankings, and we're quite happy with the results :) The next step is the menu screen, with the customization of the character. We'll keep you updated with the work in progress!
    And, please, don't forget to check our tumblr page to see new screenshots and animations of the game!

    Posted on Nov 10 2013 - 7:10pm with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Hi everybody, we're happy to announce that we've officially started to work on a new project *__* As we always said, it's gonna be a game. A casual game, easy, quick and enjoyable to play, but with some game mechanincs that makes it deeper that it seems, and worth to play and re-play it again. We aim to make it beaufitul and fun, that's all a mobile game really needs, doesn't it?
    This is the third project idea we seriously considered since Venice tides' release, but it's the only one that really convinced and excited us. We already have a pretty clear concept idea, we have wireframes, first hand-drawn sketches and rough prototypes. Wow :O
    Right now we're in an "practical exploring phase", where we're done with the main concept, and we're working on refining the visual style and understanding how it's gonna work from the code point of view (we were in doubt between cocos2D and Unity, but we chose the former since we have more experience with that). Basically, we're giving shape to what we have in our mind, and we're finding the right tools to make it real.
    This time, we would love to use the blog to share all the steps with you guys (but not too much... yes, we're pretty paranoid, and bad things happen, so we'll stay a little bit vague at first), and create a history of how this game was created.

    Posted on Jun 26 2013 - 10:13pm with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • It was a tipical evening, drinking Spritz with friends after work, when, at some point, someone said something like “hey, we should make an ‘acqua alta’ app! Just imagine it: your usual iPhone home screen with water in the background which goes up according to the current tide level!! Wouldn’t that be totally awesome?”. It happened like… more than two years ago.
    Creating Venice Tides hasn’t exactly been a short process. No, it didn’t take two years - we started working at it way long after that evening, with many breaks in between – but still, it took us more than we imagined in the beginning.
    We had zero experience with the iPhone when we started. Ok, we are a programmer and an interaction designer, but this was our first iPhone app, which mean learning objective C, dealing with animated sprites, fighting with Apple’s licences. Still, we’re proud of the results.

    We started brainstorming during coffee breaks at work. We made some wireframes and started some research about how to implement it.
    Looking at the wireframes now… the general interface is still the same but some features got lost, others were born during the process. For example, we thought, at first, that would be absolutely cool to have the water tilting according to iPhone rotation. Something like in iBeer, so that the iPhone could become your little personal acquario.

    (continue...)

    Posted on Feb 17 2013 - 8:30pm with 0 comments. Write a comment