July was a month that we focused on events. The month literally started when we were at Gamelab in Barcelona showing the game to other gamedevs, closing some business stuff and learning as much as we can.
Thanks to the feedback we got in Gamelab we fixed lots of bugs, but also we modified the tutorial and lots of levels because we saw some problems while the people played the game. It’s a recurrent topic, but if you’re developing a game, try to go to one of this events at least once, you’ll learn a lot from what they do rather than they say, and you need to be there, it’s not enough to send your friends and followers alphas that they try in their homes.
One item we bring to the exhibitions we go is the cubotrox itself, literally, physically. It’s lighting cube with an Arduino board inside and RGB LEDs that change according to the game’s background, the piece we are playing or the main menu logo colors. This is a great way to call for your attention, it’s what is called a visual hook, and it works great!
Next stop, Gamepolis, in Malaga (Spain)
The first difference with Gamelab is the target, Gamepolis is aimed to the general public and thus, we had lots of people, mainly children, playing the game. At any hour the booth was full of people willing to play, even repeating the same day and day by day.
We know the game is addictive, but looking at the faces of the people stuck in a level and trying it again and again lets you know you’re in the right way.
They were exciting days, but also very tiring, the heat of the summer and the fact it took place in an industrial unit generated a lot of noise that forced the exhibitors to shout all the time, what caused Jose to be hoarse in the worst moment.
On Sunday we won the Gamepolis 2016 Innovation Award and literally Jose was not able to speak a simple “Thanks”, but it was a great moment, a recognition to the hours invested in Cubotrox and we hope it’s a sign of the quality of the product we are creating.
It was great to be again with people we met in Gamelab, including but not limited to the people from Tale Studio (Breaking Fast) or the guys from Catness Games (Hive) that we met literally on every event we’ve gone in the last year. ¡You’re great!
Events aside, we continued working on the game. As said up there, we redesigned lots of the current game levels based on the comments, but also we focused some time in the usability of the game. For example, some of most important UI elements were in the periphery of the screen and they were ignored by the players. Bad thing. We moved the time and movements remaining to a better place… we hope 😉
More levels are being created right now, and the hardest part isn’t creating one but “placing” it in the correct place of the game. The difficulty curve needs to be balanced and we can’t simply add the levels at the end. We need to measure the difficulty of the level as a unit, and then adjust it to be able to find the best moment to be played. It’s not an easy task because we are the worst people to measure the difficulty, and you can’t simply send over and over the game to your friends because they are now expert players. That’s why Focus Groups and other techniques are great to deliver the perfect game.
A focus group consists in a session where you invite people to play your game. You choose them to test something, for example your age target, and thus, you will try to have people from all the possible age ranges. They play the game and answer some questions that will let you know where the game is better suited.
Well, this is it, our July was a crazyness, August will be quieter, but we are not in vacations. We are heading to Gamescom in Cologne. Guten tag my german friends! See you next month.