Now that Frank the Dillo has been released, it's time to take a look back at what went good and what went wrong with its development.
Let's start by saying that the development of Frank the Dillo began at the end of 2013, and 2 years of development is an enormous time, but, with few exceptions, we worked on it in our spare time.
|So the first question is:|
|why did it take so long, and what can be done in order to deliver the next game in less time?|
When working on a project in the spare time, be prepared to not being able to work on it for months due to external circumstances (for example you get a new job, and you have to move to a different country), and for that there is really nothing you can do about.
Another aspect to take into consideration is that designing levels for this type of game takes a very long time, and this is why we decided to release it with only 8 levels.
The lesson learned here is that good level design takes time. The implication of this lesson is that when considering what kind of game you're going to start making, try to take into consideration how complex is designing levels for that kind of game.
The point I'm trying to make here is that there are certaing game types that require complex level design (like platformers), while there are other game types where there is barely any level design at all (like flappy bird, where the levels can easily be generated automatically).
|Second point:||HTML5 is awesome|
The original idea behind Frank the Dillo was to release it for iPad only.
As I already had prior experience of developing HTML5 games using friGame, the natural choice for developing this game was HTML5.
This choice made it super easy to port it to any mobile phone and tablet running any mobile operating system, including Android and Windows Phone.
|Third point:||Community feedback is invaluable|
By reading the reviews and the user comments, we can know what our gamers like and don't like about our game, and by knowing that, we can make an update that fixes all the parts that our gamers don't like (though knowing that it is impossible to make everyone happy).
The biggest complaint we received about Frank the Dillo is that there are too few levels, and the difficulty ranges from too easy to frustrating.
Oddly enough, these complaints are strictly related to the level design problem described earlier, and by listening to the community, we are now working on a level pack that will be released as a free update.
This level pack is not the only update that we are working on, so stay tuned for more news.