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Martin

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey guys. Happy new year to everyone. I hope you all had a great Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2016 [smile]

OVERVIEW

So this past few months we've been working on a sandbox level building game called BUILD YOUR WORLD which is on Android at the moment (soon on iOS).

Here's some very rough screenshots:

Screenshot_2015-10-09-22-37-07.png 
Screenshot_2015-11-09-18-46-26.png 
Screenshot_2015-11-09-18-46-42.png 
Screenshot_2015-07-14-16-57-14.png 

Screenshot_2015-10-10-00-32-04.png 
Screenshot_2015-10-09-22-39-03.png 
And here's the link to the google play version:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cobalt.build.your.world.craft

So far it only makes revenue with chartboost ads which appear when the game starts. We are yet to put in-app purchases in the game. But the plan is to add this later once we have polished the main functionality further and gotten some player feedback on what they would like to see in the game.

For us this is the largest project we've worked on so far and it has taken a couple of months of work. The goal with this game was to test out building larger games which will keep the player engaged for longer. Since its a world builder the idea is that players will spend much more time building their levels and sharing with friends.

So far the reviews have been very mixed:

http://www.amazon.com/BUILD-YOUR-WORLD-sandbox-creator/product-reviews/B017BI9SAQ/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.08.49 PM.png 
So there's a lot of work to do. Mainly players just don't know how to play the game yet. It's a little confusing and the controls take some getting used to. We don't have any good tutorial in there and so this is likely causing players to uninstall the game after a couple of minutes.


LONG TERM GOAL

It would be awesome to build up a community around this game in which players build and share levels together. It would be something similar to Super Mario Maker but in 3D. 
I'm very interested to see if this type of game does have bigger user retention and if building a community around it helps to spread the game online because players are more likely to want to share their creations.

It's very different from the games we've done previously since it has user generated content. Also monetising this game better is something we have to tackle, but first we need to make overall experience a lot smoother.


BUILDING AND SHARING LEVELS

The other big feature we recently added is the ability to create levels with a start point, end point, and death zones. So players have to try and reach the end of the levels. We've also added the ability for players to import levels from other users so they can share and experience each others creations. This feature is also something which needs to be polished a lot.

Here's the 1st level I built the other week. The goal is to reach the circular glowing platform at the end without falling on to the red area. Its super basic i know [wink]

(Edit Mode view)
Screenshot_2016-01-08-15-12-05.png 
(Play Mode view)
Screenshot_2016-01-08-15-17-54.png 

TESTING SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK

So here's where we would like to get some testing feedback from the community [smile]

Ive uploaded the level I created above. Here's the link to download the txt file:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6bgd15p4f5cy2ed/Martins%20first%20basic%20level.txt?dl=0


1) Could some of you download the level txt file and try to import it in to your game.

To do this you need to
- Copy the txt file to a folder on your Android device.
- In the game tap the 'Import Level File' button.
- Then choose a save slot when the pop-up appears.
- After this you can tap 'Play' and it will ask you to save to specific slot again.
- Now you can play the level and try to reach the end.

It would be great to know if you guys found this easy to do or too complicated.

2) Try to build a level of your own and paste a link to the txt file here. I will download it and have a play. Please post a screenshot of your level too for others to see.

To find the level on your device you need to save it first to a save slot in the game (for example slot 4). Then find the 'level4.txt' file on your device by going to:

SDCard/Android/data/cobalt.build.your.world.craft/files/level4.txt

When you upload the file you can name it anything you want such as 'My first level.text' and paste the link here.

I know at the moment this is a very long process and it needs to be much much simpler if we want to keep casual users in the game.

But it would be awesome to hear what you guys think; did you found it hard, easy, boring, complicated etc. And also to see some levels that you guys have created. I've not seen anyone else's level yet lol.

I'll likely get a video posted on this game soon too because its a big focus of ours at the moment.


Thanks for all the support and help guys. Catch me here if you have any questions on the Build Your World or its stats.

Happy Developing [smile]
Martin


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guyhazi

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Reply with quote  #2 
when i looked on the screen shots all i thought about is that it would be super cool if you can make some really basic character build with blocks on existing human like stickman template , so the players will create their identity in the game + create some ai "followers" that will follow the players if a certain range has passed and will shoot on the same target as the player shoot, you can later on make huge things with that mechanism like setting "guilds" and more which is more complicated but step at a time and it could be done [smile]
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mzr

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Reply with quote  #3 
I tried the game briefly and I couldn't really make it work. It might have been the fact that I tried adding terrain, but the player either kept falling down into nothingness or got stuck when I started the game. Also - I'd suggest making the starting position bigger, so that you can see it from far away (or give an option to go to the starting position).
Cool idea though.

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mzr

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Reply with quote  #4 
Ok, so like I thought the issue was with the terrain placement. I was able to create something and play it after I figured it out. The gameplay controls feel nice, I like the way you handled looking around the world. Did you use some asset for controlling input/character?
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Jake

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hello Martin,

Just a bird-eye view regarding this game. Steam has quite a few open world / building games on the most played games list. Quickly glancing AppAnnie I get the impression that similar games are not popular on hand-held devices. This has probably lot to do with limited screen space and simplicity of finger tap controls.

Idea is great. Keep investing time on it and after some time it might finally become an overnight sensation - as they say... As it currently stands, it seemed too open ended. Didn't know how should I use it.

Maybe you could consider making it more focused on actual city building. Now SimCity is basically the only building simulation one can find on top 100 lists when looking into app stores. That could be fairly profitable market to tap into as only few games in my search results turned out to be real city simulations. Hugely successful Megapolis for example is just a simple "tap buildings for money and use the money to buy more buildings to place on your land" with excellent graphics and real world buildings.

Then again you have the Minecraft path and you can create an open ended world for builder enthusiasts. Apocalyptic wasteland worlds seem very popular at the moment. There one can modify terrain and build as well as salvage some simple things to make life more secure.

Best regards
Jake 
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hey guys. Thanks for the replies, feedback and insight. Really great to hear what you think.
I'm sorry for the late reply. I just did a response video below.

Happy Developing [smile]
Martin

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mzr

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yeah, it was an issue with terrain placement, like you said. I figured it out once I had a few more minutes for it.
As for buttons - I didn't have any issues with buttons in gameplay mode, but scrolling prefabs didn't work that great in the editor mode.

PS Some enemies would be nice, shouldn't be too hard to add.

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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #8 
regarding the "downloading" of assets - to test if it will be profitable, you can fake it and simply have the in-app purchase, fake loading, and load from resources
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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Martin, I tried to download your level but dropbox said your account was generating too much traffic and I couldn't download it right now. I'll try again later. In the meantime I made my own level. I have to say it's a little bit frustrating on a mobile device. It seems hard to "move to" where you want to be on the map. The controls are not bad, but it's just frustrating on a mobile device. It took me about 30 minutes to make a crude level that would have taken about 3 minutes to make on a computer with a mouse. Here's a link to my level, please let me know what you think of it:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/td1n7hyxic65wt2/level.txt?dl=0

Also it's kind of hard to select object already on the map after you've got a bunch of them. I would suggest another "list" of active objects on the map, that you could select the objects from the "list", that might make it easier.
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #10 
@Mzr - Thanks for the feedback. For game play mode controls I find that sometimes I have to look where my left thumb is on the thumbstick. I think for a game like this which is on mobile it would be better for just classic D-Pad Controls similar to the controls on the mobile version of Minecraft.

For the scrolling down in the prefab menu I think it related to a Unity UI bug. We'll have to look further in to this because I've had problems scrolling on an Galaxy S6.

Yeah, having enemies or turrets or some kind of shoot button in play mode would be cool. It would make the game play a lot more interesting. Also having some assets that look deadly like spikes, saws, bombs etc.

@bestgamestudios - Good idea. I think for the first set of IAP we would just keep it local. Because doing the server functionality for downloading assets would be like a whole new project itself. At the moment we are trying to improve the base building and game play experience, but we don't get that many boot-ups. So far we get about 2 boot-ups for every 1 install according to chartboost. But it could be that some more hardcore building players are staying the game longer.

@XdebugX - Thanks for letting me know about the dropbox problem. I had seen this too recently for some of the other files in there. Let me know if you can download it from this link:

http://www.filedropper.com/martinsfirstbasiclevel

Cool, I had a play of your level [smile] Thanks for sending. It's the first time Ive played a shared level. The jump at the end was pretty close lol.

Screenshot_2016-01-24-16-35-01.png 
Screenshot_2016-01-24-16-52-57.png 
The controls are harder on mobile for sure. We might have the option to do a web build of this game though, or even a standalone version for PC / Mac. It would be a lot easier with keyword and mouse for sure. The big thing I would be thinking about though would be how to get downloads / visitors and also monetisation. I have no experience with IAP or ads for non-mobile games.

Thanks for the selecting feedback too. What device was you playing on, a tablet or mobile?

Thanks guys [smile]
Chat soon
Martin

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #11 
Oh, and I've only just noticed that we can attached files to forum posts. Lol. How did I not know that before [biggrin]
I've attached the level from me and XdebugX here.

FYI, you have to click on 'More Post Options' at the bottom when you are making a new post. And the 'attach file' link will be at the bottom.

Martin

 
Attached Files
txt Martins_first_basic_level.txt (12.47 KB, 7 views)
txt levelfromXdebugX_Jan23rd2016.txt (3.61 KB, 4 views)

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XdebugX

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin
Oh, and I've only just noticed that we can attached files to forum posts. Lol. How did I not know that before [biggrin]
I've attached the level from me and XdebugX here.

FYI, you have to click on 'More Post Options' at the bottom when you are making a new post. And the 'attach file' link will be at the bottom.

Martin


I've tried loading your level but haven't been able to do it yet. I can find it on my phone, but then after I select it, and click import it says: "You first need to save a level! No saved level was found! In the webplayer the level must be in the clipboard." I don't know what to do from here.
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XdebugX

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Reply with quote  #13 
The import is working for me now. I think it might have been the file was getting corrupted or something when I tried downloading it, it's working now after I downloaded it from your first link. So I don't think it was an error in the app, most likely with the download. Your level was pretty cool, reminded me of some of the platforms in Super Mario Brothers hehe. I think it might help the players judge distance and movement if you added a character to the play screen and instead of direct first person view, maybe put the camera behind and above the character slightly. I think this might make it easier and funner to play.
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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #14 
This really needs some server-side thing where people can upload their file and see a list of other user generated content
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EpicStudios

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Reply with quote  #15 
@bestgamestudios this is exactly what a game like this needs to get big
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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicStudios
@bestgamestudios this is exactly what a game like this needs to get big


+1
(Just look at minecraft to imagine how big a simple game can get by adding this feature)
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Jake

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Reply with quote  #17 
I tried to build a Mediterranean villa with this. I started by placing a stone piece on top of the default grass of the starting screen. Then I stretched it to become a foundation for the villa. On the longer side i placed a glass wall, stretched again... on opposite side another stone wall... you guessed stretched. Then the gable ends with wood the other end I cloned. Now... how to make an opening for a door? That was difficult... all I managed was to demolish an existing wall (one single stretched object).
Gable diagonals proved to be difficult as well... I was able to tilt the angle of a roof, but fitting it on top of the walls was impossible. 

Maybe I am missing something, but I would really prefer that stretched objects would then revert back to a group of the smallest single pieces. This would keep the building process very simple - pixel building - in a sense.  
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #18 
@XdebugX - Thanks for the follow up. I also seen this webplayer error message you mentioned. It appears when you go to load a file and cancel it, the go to import a file. We fixed this error in the newest build which is now on google and amazon.
Lol, yeah i had a super mario level in mind when i was creating it, even though its very simple.
3rd person might work better. I think with the types of levels created for this game too the platforms would need to be wider so it not so much of a precision platformer style game.

By the way, I had a play with your level too [smile]

Screenshot_2016-01-27-17-19-10.png 

@bestgamestudios, EpicStudios - Exactly. We really need to get this added at some point if the game is to grow. We're actually working on the same functionality soon in our VR game. I think the online level save / load functionality is quite a big task because we'll need login details, password, file browser, we'll need to decide on how to show the levels in a list (new, best, my levels etc), and also stop players from being able to edit levels which are not theirs. But definitely some online / sharing content functionality is needed for games like this.
I think Robtop games has done very well with Geometry Dash because of their level editor feature, and Super Mario Maker of course.

@Jake - thanks for the feedback. Making very aligned or specific objects is still very difficult for sure. i think it would need more functionality like the stretched objects being cut up in to small objects so they can be deleted. i actually had this functionality in a world building project i was working on a few years ago, it felt easier to create big objects and then chip away at them to create the final object.
If you can, please post a screenshot of the villa. It'll be good to see more of what other users have made.

Thanks for the feedback all [smile]
Chat soon
Martin

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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #19 
Will it be available for IPhone/IPad soon ?
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hey HelloWorld.
Yeah we will be publishing it on iOS too. I think on iPad it will work better because all the controls will be easier to interact with. I will post here when it's available on iOS.

Martin
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hey guys. I've not been on this thread for a few weeks as we've been focusing on some new games. But I'm hoping we'll have time to do another update for this game soon because I still believe it has huge potential if done right.

I saw this comment in one of the reviews about sharing the project source code:

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 4.46.19 PM.png 

This sounds pretty interesting. I would like us to grow this game but how could a collaboration be done in terms of time and money? For example would it be a revenue split if we shared the source code, how would this be protected? What about time commitment, if we give the source code to another developer and did a revenue share how would we know how much time they worked on it?

It sounds cool to collaborate on a big project like this with some other developers but the questions of money, time, and protection of the source code would need to be addressed first.
It'll be great to hear what you guys think [smile]

Chat soon
Martin

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #22 
It's slowly slowing growing [smile] These are the stats of the google play version. i've not done any marketing or extra AB testing for this game in a while. It might be increasing because some of the more advanced players are spending more time in the game and therefore the rank is increasing because of the higher retention maybe. What do you guys think?

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.03.45 PM.png 
Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.07.14 PM.png 

It's still not making any money, but I'm not too concerned about this at the moment because there's plenty of ways to monetize it if there's a strong user base. If it continues to go well then we might include online level saving and loading soon because this is a much needed feature in a game like this.

Martin

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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #23 
Lets make a sub on reddit for this, so people can discuss & share their levels and grow a community [smile]
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #24 
That would be cool [smile] I have no idea about reddit but let me know if you do and I'll definitely subscribe and post levels too.

Martin
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