So, the moment has come — since march, 27 Hyperforma is available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Apple Tv!
It was a long and interesting way, we suggest reading an article about how it was.
When it all started we wanted to create a simple but unusual game in 3 months and see what would come out of it. But we failed. As a result, the development of the first game took us a little more than 2 years and now we are where we are.
When we started creating the game, we read articles and listened to podcasts about the situation in the game industry. And they brought out this thought: “Indie, don’t do it like the others, but do it well:
Everyone does free-to-play — do a paid game.
Everyone does endless levels — place your bet on the story.
And so on. So you will, at least, stand out.”
So we discussed game ideas, took one and created a prototype that looked like this:
After we had a prototype, we made some concepts: of what can be the game and how exactly it will be played. In the end, we stopped at the game about breaking the network with arcade mechanics.
Next, we experienced a little insight that determined the direction of development: our ball is a very small hero, who attacks a very large form. That was inspired by Sprawl Trilogy by William Gibson and Hyperion by Dan Simmons. And our game was quite alike to what’s described in the books!
More inspiration sources:
Books by Peter Watts
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Blame! manga by Tsutomu Nihei
Articles about superintelligence
So it was just a start, but there was a long time ahead.
We are not going to describe all stages of development, false paths, complete redesign of the art and the whole project for optimization. We didn’t have any experience in game development, as well as the final vision of the project. We just moved on, coming up with new features and complicating the game. This is a dangerous path, but very exciting.
At the same time, we continued to work on web projects and design, as we did not have external financing.
So, we added in game:
- The plot, narrating about the adventures of a hacker in cyberspace, where he interacts with huge artificial intellects
- Abilities and power-ups
- Division into chapters, with new mechanics in each of them
- Experience and upgrading abilities
- A lot of references to cyberpunk-works
- Animated 3D character
- Additional cutscenes
- System of achievements
And all this evolved into an interesting experience.
Game Conferences & Feedback
In the summer of 2017, we decided to participate in the White Nights conference in St. Petersburg. And, quite suddenly, we received very positive feedback and were nominated for 3 awards at Indie Game Cup. This was the first public reaction on our game after a year of work. The game attracted by it’s visual style and unusual mechanics. We thought: “Wow, we need to continue our work and accelerate.”
Then we participated in several game conferences and competitions and received a series of awards and nominations:
Indie Prize Grand Prix (GTP Indie Cup 2018)
Best Mobile Game (GTP Indie Cup 2018)
Best Unity Game (Games Gathering 2017)
Best Mobile Game (DevGAMM 2017)
Excellence In Visual Art (DevGAMM 2017)
Best Game Design (White Nights 2017)
We want to express our gratitude to the organizers and participants of these events – thanks to you we received additional motivation to move on!
Before the release we made the game available for pre-order and for some time were on the 1st place in pre-order section in US App Store.
Right after the release we got featured on the App Store in several countries. We received good feedback but some players complained that the game was too difficult. So, now we work on an update with a second (less hardcore) game mode.
Lessons that We Learned:
- It’s good when you know what you are doing. I mean the final vision of your project, because if you don’t know where you’re going, you will go nowhere.
- You must manage your project: use task managers and set clear and reachable goals.
- Test everything before releasing!
- Listen to your players!
- Try to do all aspects of the game as qualitatively as possible.
- The game is a creative product, but it’s also a business. So, you need to take the development process seriously.