So I wanted to share my thoughts and what I've learned from making my first iOS game. I'll touch on the design, gameplay, app development and API scaling issues! So let's start with some pretty pixels.
I wanted to make the game feel simple. The color palette was my first step. Drawing some X's and O's in a PSD on a colored background was my starting point. No app design, just simple shapes and the color picker. I finally settled on brown, yellow and blue as the final scheme. From there I started laying out the user interface usign an amazing and very high tech tool (a whiteboard). After taking some pictures of the flows I opened up photoshop and made a scrapbook PSD where all my ideas and flows would live. From there on I moved to an iPhone 5 sized canvas and started making the interface. The end product was a simple and flat looking game layout with as few options as possible because I truly do believe that simplicity scales.
So a game of tic tac toe is simple. But what if you add real time random opponents to the mix? Or better yet what if you make the game use 4 boards at once. After hours of testing me and my friends found it very addicting! Offering a local game version that you can play with a friend and pass the phone around was also a must. So that was it for the gameplay. Local and real time games with easy and hard levels on both. Easy has one board and hard has 4.
The paid app model is gone. At least that's what the internet told me. So I started thinking about other monetization options. Ads were thrown out quickly because they spoil the user experience IMHO. So adding In App Purchases was the logical strategy. The easy levels on both game types are free. If you want to try playing the hard game with 4 boards it costs 99c. So giving the user an option of seeing how the game works in real time and locally and then offering a more interesting alternative for 99c after they got "hooked" was a good strategy in my mind. I'll report more on the outcome once I see some numbers.
Well the app was submitted to the app store and I'm currently waiting on the App review team for their email. Hoping to get it sometime next week! If it works well on iOS, android will be my next issue.
Check out the landing page and sign up to get notified about the launch.
Would love to hear your feedback or questions!