• Have you ever played KulaWorld on the PSX? We were a little more than children back then, but we both remember it as a stunning puzzle game. We’ve started talk about it and quickly got nostalgic: oh, there hasn’t been a game like that in ages!! So… why wouldn’t we made one ourselves?

    That’s how we decided to start our new project: a mobile game inspired to KulaWorld. With a little refresh to the design and some adaptation to the game dynamics to make it more modern, our intention is to give homage to the original game.

    Internal temporary name: kulo - which means absolutely nothing, except that those of you who speak Italian could find it rather funny :P

     

    Very very early development

    We made our last game, Bovine Simulator, with Unreal Engine - and we really loved it - but we always like to try new things, so this time we’re using Unity instead. Up to now it’s going great; we’ve managed to make the ball move with the correct restraints, and we’re experimenting the overthrown around the edges (which is harder than it seems >_<).

    On the design side, we’re taking inspiration from origami and papercraft (have you ever played Kami? Because wow!). There’s still a lot of work to do, but this is how our prototype looks like now:

     

    What now?

    The idea is to keep this blog updated and make a dev journal worth of its name. We’d like to update every friday-or-so, with a summary of what we achieved during the week: development challenges, design headaches, experiments and so on.

    So… see you next week!

    Posted 6 months ago in Development with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Hi everybody, if you’ve already upgraded to iOS10 you might experience some connection issues on Venice Tides and Venice Tides lite. Push notifications are still working though (we’re glad, at least you can still receive warnings about the water level). We know what causes the problem (a function has been deprecated) and we’re already working on it. We hope to be able to release a fix very soon! Thanks for the patience :)

    EDIT: We fixed the issue and the update is now available on the AppStore!
    We're sorry it took a while, but there were many many things changed in the new iOS (and the last time we updated the code was more than 2 years ago), and we had to figure out how to fix everything. Plus, our Macbook battery decided to die, and that certainly didn't help too :P
    The app is fully functional now though, and in a few days we should be able to deliver the update for the Venice tides lite too.

    PS: thanks to everybody who kindly (really!) informed us on the issues, we're impressed and humbly grateful for the feedback :)

    Posted 7 months ago in Venice tides with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • It’s been almost two weeks since Bovine Simulator launch. How are things going? We’re very happy to say it’s really exceeding our expectations :D Here’s the story of the release of our very first game.

    Well… we should start with saying that we had very low expectations. We love Bovine Simulator, and of course we always hope that each app we launch could make us billionairs. But our realistic guess with this game was to get about 10 downloads per day.
    We made zero pre-sale marketing with Bovine, because for us this was an experimental project with the main aim to gain experience in the game market and with Unreal Engine 4. That meant not “wasting” energies in pre-marketing before the game was ready to launch.

    Preparing the launch

    As soon as we were ready to send the game to Apple, we started preparing some promotional materials. We made a landing page here on our websites, created screenshots for the AppStore, plus (and that’s news for us) a trailer to launch on YouTube (which could be super useful to market our game on forums as well).

    While preparing the app on iTunesConnect, we realized we needed more materials. iPhone 6 and 6+ had just been released, and with the new iOS 8 we also had the chance to upload a video app preview on the AppStore (and of course the trailer wasn't ok for Apple's standards). We prepared the missing screenshots (25 images for each language, if you’re localizing your app. Luckly, we only have english and italian :P) and two more videos (one with iPhone 5 dimensions, and another one for iPad), save the project and… waited. Waited for iTunesConnect status to change. And after 10 days, we were ready to launch!

    The day of the release

    We were so excited!!! We prepared a list of (free) forums and websites where to announce Bovine Simulator's release. We prepared three different templates for forums (one specific for toucharcade, one for the Unreal Engine forum, and a generic one for the other forums), plus an e-mail to send to websites for reviews.

    We posted on these forums:

    And we sent requests for a review to these portals:

    Of course, we posted about the release on our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Google+), although at the time we didn’t really have many followers, except our friends :P

    What happened next

    Well, Bovine Simulator surprised us. The gamers community surprised us!

    As soon as the game got released, somebody opened a new thread on the Toucharcade forum about the game (ok, they probably do that for each new game that gets released every day, but we’re still flattered!), and we also got a gameplay video like an hour later.

    We started getting feedback about the game both on Toucharcade and Unreal Engine’s forums. We got mentioned on various websites (gamesinasia.com, comingtouch.com, jeu.info, pixelatedparadise among the others), plus of course all the “automated” entries that replicated our app description on the AppStore(including a page on GameSpot and Metacritic).

    A couple of days after that, we started gaining a lot of new followers on Twitter: we never used Twitter that much before, but we posted something about an issue we were having with iAd, that caught the attention of some other indie dev, and that must have triggered some kind of “chain” of followers ;) We also got a totally unexpected burst of download from Russia on day 5, and still don’t know what happened! Here’s the graph of Bovine Simulator downloads trend:

    What now?

    We think that many people liked Bovina when they first saw it, but the issue with the control system made them gave up about the game. We’re waiting for Apple to approve the patch with the fixed controls, and we’ll try our best to gain people’s (and websites!) attention again with this new update. If we won’t, that’s still OK. We’re already super happy about this released, because it made us feel kind of famous: we got noticed, and people appreciated our work. And that’s way more than we hoped for in the first place.

    And you know what? We’re ready for the next game :D

    Posted 2 years ago in Promotion with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • 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 2 years ago in Prototyping with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Our new game, Bovine SImulator is finally on the AppStore!!

    It's been a a project born from experimenting with UE4. We made a super simple prototype and, just for fun, started to add textures and simple 3D objects. Well, it looked cute! So we decided to publish it :) You can find more information on the Apps section on the website of course, or directly download the game here.

    We are super excited about the release, now let's see what happens ;)

    Posted 2 years ago in Bovine Simulator with 0 comments. Write a comment