Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is an independent game developer founded in 2007. Our seventh game, currently in development, is Pig Eat Ball on which we started working in 2013. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Development Year in Review 2015

We can't find out what's wrong or what went well if we don't take time to see what we've done!
With that, let's look at what Mommy's Best Games did in 2015!

We released a new game this year, Finger Derpy. We also re-released 4 of our classic games, as enhanced ports to Steam, and called it the "Mommy's Best Action Pack".


Pig Eat Ball is the main project, but after talking to Nintendo and Sony and wanting to have the game on those platforms, it's clear we can't do it as it stands. The game is written in Java and simply won't run on consoles. I talk to John Meister from nearby game group Super Soul and we start working together. His team starts to port the game to Unity. This will allow us to more easily choose what Pig Eat Ball is available on.

In the meantime I start heavily working on Finger Derpy. Matthew and Andrew continue work on Pig Eat Ball core content. This means Matthew is writing code for new gameplay objects, and Andrew is designing and building new levels.


I focus on Finger Derpy and getting deals with local businesses to support the game. Here in the presskit, you can read more about our integration with Louisville landmarks.


More of the same, development wise.
Plus we show our games at the Louisville Arcade Expo!


Finger Derpy launched April 9th
Released Finger Derpy! First to iOS on the 9th, then to Google Play on the 19th. We held our big "Chomp the BIT" launch party that Friday. We organized the event in which 25 local developers showed off their games at an arcade bar in town.
Apple featured the game in the App Store as a 'Best New Game' which was a big deal and really helped downloads.
Also youtuber 'Cuqquake' featured the game, got plenty of views, and we've gotten a decent number of user reviews saying they saw the game on her channel.


During April and May we showed Finger Derpy at 10 local shows (in 5 weeks). It was exhausting. Between all of them, the Pegasus Preview Parade and the Thunderblast were beneficial in terms of download numbers. I think this was a matter of 'correct engagement' with large crowds that actually were interested in games.
Some of the events we showed the game at just had lots of drunken people. There was high traffic, but low interest/engagement/memory retention. Just because there's lots of people at an event doesn't mean you should show your game there.


Started porting the Mommy's Best Action Pack to Steam. This involved changing the games Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP, Explosionade, and Game Type, and making them great Steam ports. These games were all originally released between 2008 and 2011. They were made in XNA.
This involved adding lots of extra, though small features, which takes time. Some of the games did get new content as well, such as the collectible MBG pies in Weapon of Choice.
Scott Slucher from the U of L area started as a coop student working on the port.


MBG Action Pack porting by Scott and myself.
I also help Andrew and Matthew continue on PEB. We try to limit too much extra additions because John has to constantly port things from the old Java to the new, half-working Unity build.


Much of the same as July.


Shipped the Mommy's Best Action Pack on September 23rd!

For Pig Eat Ball, we're continuing to wait on the Unity build to be finished and usable on our side. Until we can write new code in the actual Unity build and until I can give Andrew the level editor that way, we have to continue with the Java build, which is tough having two versions being developed.


Finger Derpy Thanksgiving update!
Got featured again by Cupquake, definitely helped our player numbers.
Working on Pig Eat Ball gameplay in Java, as the Unity build continues.
Steam Autumn sale for MBG Action Pack.


Finger Derpy Winter update!
Unfortunately no big youtubers covered it, but the numbers were up through Christmas.
Working on Pig Eat Ball gameplay as the Unity build continues.
Steam Holiday sale for MBG Action Pack.


This was our most prolific game year, if you look at straight 'games shipped'--we ported 4 games and released 1 new game. So 5 games were released in this year. But this was our worst year financially.
Serious Sam Double D XXL continues to sell well and supports us, but it's sales are slowly declining.
In years past we were releasing one big game every two years. 2011 was Serious Sam DD to Steam, and 2013 was Serious Sam DD XXL to XBLA and then back to Steam (with lots more content).
2015 should have been Pig Eat Ball, in theory, but it's simply not finished. So instead, we released a free-to-play game, with ad-supported revenue and In-App Purchases, but while it made some money, it has still not covered it's development costs. Then we also released 4 ports of our older games, but they did not sell as well as hoped.


The good news for January is Super Soul finished the Unity port and the game works great! We're working on the game now in Unity and things are moving swiftly.
This is the year for Pig Eat Ball.
Let's make it great, and get it out the door!

1 comment:

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