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Another Case Solved
post mortem
Another Case Solved
Detective puzzle game set in the interesting
times of the Sugar Prohibition.
Another Case Solved
• Game: story-driven, puzzle, F2P
• Development: AT Games
• iOS: Chillingo
• Android: Noddlecake
• Win...
Core Gameplay
Big Cycle: strategic, I-must-go-back factor
• story progress,
• office and character development.
Small Cycle...
Big Cycle
• Major Cases:
storytelling,
earning stars and cash.
• Your Office:
investment,
spending cash.
• Your Character:
...
Small Cycle
• Newspaper Cases:
easy, repeatable, grinding
in-game currency.
• Tools: useable, buy
them with in-game
curren...
Scope of the Game
• Release Day: 3 chapters = 50 Major Cases
• Full Story: 5 chapters = 90 Major Cases
• About 200 newspap...
Rules of Investigation
• Connect Puzzles:
to solve a case gather clues,
different for every witness.
• Long Chains:
get bo...
Advanced Investigation
• Hard Evidence
• Candy Truck
• Bonus Candies
• Bonus Cash!
• Challenges
Other Mini-Games
Major Cases = Puzzles + 3 Extra Stages
collected evidences help in solving extra stages.
Witnesses
Inspired by
„Guess Who”.
Find the person,
who matches all
criteria.
Number of
questions depends
on photos
collec...
Crime Scene
Hot or Cold,
limited no. moves.
Find the ”hottest”
item.
Max. ”hotness”
shown depends on
Fingerptints
collecte...
City Search
Find the place that
matches all hints.
Some icons are
hidden.
Number of hints
depends on Maps
collected.
Failed Investigation
• Failed puzzles
= failed case.
• Failed extra stages
= less stars.
Monetization
• Candies
premium currency.
• Detective $
grind currency.
Spending Candies
• Unlocking Major Cases,
• Faster delivery of furniture
and newspapers,
• Extra moves,
• Character custom...
Earning Candies
• Bonus candies, candy truck,
• Long chains of Coin puzzles,
• Daily bonus,
• Candies hidden in extra stag...
Production
From Puzzle Craft to Another Case Solved
Starting Point
• Something from Puzzle Craft,
• Something new,
• F2P design,
• Known risk:
less casual, more text-heavy.
Production Screenshots
Puzzle
Craft
Another Case Solved
Team and Methodology
• Code: 3,Art: 3, Design: 2, QA: 1.
• Instant prototyping, iterative development,
working game with p...
Time Frame
• Start: October 2012
• Release: 20 March 2014
• At the same time:
to Jan. 2013 still working on Puzzle Craft,
...
Production Cycle
• 2 months - preproduction,
• 9 months - production,
• 3 months - pre-release & polish.
Technology
• Cocos2dx
• Tiled
• Superanim
• EziSocial framework
• External configuration
files
What went OK?
• A game bigger and more complicated than
Puzzle Craft, in the same time.
• Merging puzzles with new mini-ga...
Character Creation
This also went ok!
What went not so OK?
• Testing balance: difficulty peaks, unplanned
frustration, exploits.
• Secret cases too secret.
• Pol...
Story vs. Gameplay
In a case, when we are
looking for Lucy...
... we can ask Lucy for
help.
Awkward.
Curious Case Studies
• Slotmachine
• Lipsync
• Guess Who
dilemmas
A cautionary tale
about Bostimore.
Sweet City
Good Practices
• Separating balance from code:
config i localization in .xml and .csv files.
• Game state re-created on load...
Reception
• 2 mln downloads (first week: 1 mln)
• Average AppStore rating: 4,5 stars
• Metacritics: 67 „because IAPs”
• 100...
Mr. or Ms. Detective?
• Different clothes
& face elements.
• Dialog
modifications.
• Separate
personal plots.
54%
46%
Let’s Talk Business
• F2P was a good decision
• Ads well implemented
• Better than Puzzle Craft
• Break even after 2 month...
Let’s Talk Business
Downloads
Let’s Talk Business
Top Grossing
Plans
• Support planned from the beginning
• update: 1.1 ready
• update: 1.2 in development
• next updates subject to dema...
Big Fish
• Release v.1.1
• Many aspect ratios
• Scroll bars
• Mouse-friendly
Another Case Solved
Play it on your
favourite device.
Join Our Team!
• Programmers
• Graphics
• Designers
We are looking for:
Contact us: job@atgames.pl
Appendix: Iterations
From first concepts to the final game.
Puzzles
Puzzles
randomly
flipped
Tools/
Skills
Puzzles
Case
description
„Adventure”
Puzzles
Upper
menu bar
Board: 6x7
Puzzles
Puzzles
to collect
Tools and skills
Puzzles
Tabs
Moves
left
Puzzles
Bonus
candy tasks
Puzzles
Next
tasks
Puzzles
Final
tabs
Story Bar
Puzzles
to collect
”Something
nice”
Final game:
”sth. nice”
shows puzzles
to collect
Story Bar
Bonus candy
Next
tasks
Final game
Hard Evidence
Concepts
Final game
City Search
City Search
City Search
City Search
City Search
”Fog of war”
City Search
City Search
City Search
City Search
Breakthrough:
only blocks
with icons
are hidden.
City Search
Interface
Side
tabs
Interface
Toggle button
Interface
Swipe
Interface
Upper
tabs
Interface
Final game:
swipe
& buttons
Newspapers
First try:
recommenda
-tions
Final game: solved
newspaper cases
Office
Phone in Dialogs
Detectives’ Club
Balancing Bonuses
Theory
Balancing Bonuses
In practice
Balancing Bonuses
Problem solved:
bonuses add, not multiply
KeyVisual
• Inspiration
• Main Menu
• Promo
• Trailer
Game Icon
Game Icon
That’s all folks
ag@atgames.pl
'Another Case Solved' post-mortem
'Another Case Solved' post-mortem
'Another Case Solved' post-mortem
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'Another Case Solved' post-mortem

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Looking back at the production process of 'Another Case Solved' - a story-driven puzzle F2P game by ATGames. Slides from a speech on Digital Dragons 2014

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'Another Case Solved' post-mortem

  1. 1. Another Case Solved post mortem
  2. 2. Another Case Solved Detective puzzle game set in the interesting times of the Sugar Prohibition.
  3. 3. Another Case Solved • Game: story-driven, puzzle, F2P • Development: AT Games • iOS: Chillingo • Android: Noddlecake • Windows 8,Windows Phone 8: Syzygy
  4. 4. Core Gameplay Big Cycle: strategic, I-must-go-back factor • story progress, • office and character development. Small Cycle: tactical, I-cant-put-down factor • earning in-game currency, • unlocking story progress.
  5. 5. Big Cycle • Major Cases: storytelling, earning stars and cash. • Your Office: investment, spending cash. • Your Character: unlocking skills, spending stars.
  6. 6. Small Cycle • Newspaper Cases: easy, repeatable, grinding in-game currency. • Tools: useable, buy them with in-game currency. • Story Progress: unlock Major Cases with newspapers.
  7. 7. Scope of the Game • Release Day: 3 chapters = 50 Major Cases • Full Story: 5 chapters = 90 Major Cases • About 200 newspaper cases. • Release Day: at least 30 hrs of gameplay.
  8. 8. Rules of Investigation • Connect Puzzles: to solve a case gather clues, different for every witness. • Long Chains: get bonus puzzles, use them to max. the case. • Limitations: number of moves, target numbers for puzzles.
  9. 9. Advanced Investigation • Hard Evidence • Candy Truck • Bonus Candies • Bonus Cash! • Challenges
  10. 10. Other Mini-Games Major Cases = Puzzles + 3 Extra Stages collected evidences help in solving extra stages.
  11. 11. Witnesses Inspired by „Guess Who”. Find the person, who matches all criteria. Number of questions depends on photos collected.
  12. 12. Crime Scene Hot or Cold, limited no. moves. Find the ”hottest” item. Max. ”hotness” shown depends on Fingerptints collected.
  13. 13. City Search Find the place that matches all hints. Some icons are hidden. Number of hints depends on Maps collected.
  14. 14. Failed Investigation • Failed puzzles = failed case. • Failed extra stages = less stars.
  15. 15. Monetization • Candies premium currency. • Detective $ grind currency.
  16. 16. Spending Candies • Unlocking Major Cases, • Faster delivery of furniture and newspapers, • Extra moves, • Character customization, decorations, • Premium tools, skills upgrade.
  17. 17. Earning Candies • Bonus candies, candy truck, • Long chains of Coin puzzles, • Daily bonus, • Candies hidden in extra stages, • Challenges, achievements, • Ads.
  18. 18. Production From Puzzle Craft to Another Case Solved
  19. 19. Starting Point • Something from Puzzle Craft, • Something new, • F2P design, • Known risk: less casual, more text-heavy.
  20. 20. Production Screenshots Puzzle Craft Another Case Solved
  21. 21. Team and Methodology • Code: 3,Art: 3, Design: 2, QA: 1. • Instant prototyping, iterative development, working game with placeholders, improving-as-you-go.
  22. 22. Time Frame • Start: October 2012 • Release: 20 March 2014 • At the same time: to Jan. 2013 still working on Puzzle Craft, from Nov. 2013 a new project.
  23. 23. Production Cycle • 2 months - preproduction, • 9 months - production, • 3 months - pre-release & polish.
  24. 24. Technology • Cocos2dx • Tiled • Superanim • EziSocial framework • External configuration files
  25. 25. What went OK? • A game bigger and more complicated than Puzzle Craft, in the same time. • Merging puzzles with new mini-games. • Updateable and portable. • Lessons learned from Puzzle Craft. • How ads were implemented.
  26. 26. Character Creation This also went ok!
  27. 27. What went not so OK? • Testing balance: difficulty peaks, unplanned frustration, exploits. • Secret cases too secret. • Polish localization. • Facebook integration. • Interface sometimes a bit clumsy.
  28. 28. Story vs. Gameplay In a case, when we are looking for Lucy... ... we can ask Lucy for help. Awkward.
  29. 29. Curious Case Studies • Slotmachine • Lipsync • Guess Who dilemmas
  30. 30. A cautionary tale about Bostimore. Sweet City
  31. 31. Good Practices • Separating balance from code: config i localization in .xml and .csv files. • Game state re-created on load, no hard saving. • Analyzing data and feedback.
  32. 32. Reception • 2 mln downloads (first week: 1 mln) • Average AppStore rating: 4,5 stars • Metacritics: 67 „because IAPs” • 100K likes on Facebook Our very first fan-art!
  33. 33. Mr. or Ms. Detective? • Different clothes & face elements. • Dialog modifications. • Separate personal plots. 54% 46%
  34. 34. Let’s Talk Business • F2P was a good decision • Ads well implemented • Better than Puzzle Craft • Break even after 2 months • Flurry is ok. Player has control over if and when to see ads.
  35. 35. Let’s Talk Business Downloads
  36. 36. Let’s Talk Business Top Grossing
  37. 37. Plans • Support planned from the beginning • update: 1.1 ready • update: 1.2 in development • next updates subject to demand
  38. 38. Big Fish • Release v.1.1 • Many aspect ratios • Scroll bars • Mouse-friendly
  39. 39. Another Case Solved Play it on your favourite device.
  40. 40. Join Our Team! • Programmers • Graphics • Designers We are looking for: Contact us: job@atgames.pl
  41. 41. Appendix: Iterations From first concepts to the final game.
  42. 42. Puzzles Puzzles randomly flipped Tools/ Skills
  43. 43. Puzzles Case description „Adventure”
  44. 44. Puzzles Upper menu bar Board: 6x7
  45. 45. Puzzles Puzzles to collect Tools and skills
  46. 46. Puzzles Tabs Moves left
  47. 47. Puzzles Bonus candy tasks
  48. 48. Puzzles Next tasks
  49. 49. Puzzles Final tabs
  50. 50. Story Bar Puzzles to collect ”Something nice” Final game: ”sth. nice” shows puzzles to collect
  51. 51. Story Bar Bonus candy Next tasks Final game
  52. 52. Hard Evidence Concepts Final game
  53. 53. City Search
  54. 54. City Search
  55. 55. City Search
  56. 56. City Search
  57. 57. City Search ”Fog of war”
  58. 58. City Search
  59. 59. City Search
  60. 60. City Search
  61. 61. City Search Breakthrough: only blocks with icons are hidden.
  62. 62. City Search
  63. 63. Interface Side tabs
  64. 64. Interface Toggle button
  65. 65. Interface Swipe
  66. 66. Interface Upper tabs
  67. 67. Interface Final game: swipe & buttons
  68. 68. Newspapers First try: recommenda -tions Final game: solved newspaper cases
  69. 69. Office
  70. 70. Phone in Dialogs
  71. 71. Detectives’ Club
  72. 72. Balancing Bonuses Theory
  73. 73. Balancing Bonuses In practice
  74. 74. Balancing Bonuses Problem solved: bonuses add, not multiply
  75. 75. KeyVisual • Inspiration • Main Menu • Promo • Trailer
  76. 76. Game Icon
  77. 77. Game Icon
  78. 78. That’s all folks ag@atgames.pl

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