Ho ho ho!
January 2018, me and my 3 friends got together for a Global Game Jam. The goal - learn Unity, try to make something. Made a tiny puzzle game. Fast forward 20 months, the game grew to 97 levels, 5 hours of gameplay. We got a publisher for Switch, we're releasing on Steam ourselves. Failed on Google Play. Featured and Game of The Day on Apple. What a rollercoaster!
Let's talk how we got here!
Learning Unity is a pain. I'm an artist/programmer. I don't care for clean code. I care for results. In 72h during the jam we made a barebones puzzle game. Puzzle games are easiest to make (hint). So we had me as designer, our friend who made pixel art and our 2 programmer friends. Collaborating in Unity is terrible. Knowing what I know now, you shouldn't have more than 2 programmers on a team, simply because communication takes more time than developments at that point. Making interfaces in Unity..... AH.... The jam was a success. But it was a bad game.
Worked for a year to make a game out of it.
We made our first "complete" version in like 10 months. Working after hours. It was okay. 40 levels. 1 hour to finish. Put it on iTunes. Featured. Put it on Google Play. Flopped completely. We've been expanding it over the next 10 months to make a better version of it.
Got contacted by a publisher.
Said they wanted to port it to Switch. Okay. Here's a lesson. Read the contract thoroughly. My friends in the industry learned this the hard way. Make sure there are penalty fees if the publisher is late or doesn't deliver what they promised. Most publishers these days want to scam you. Take a slice of revenue, never invest their money. Don't trust most publishers. Better take a PR guy or an agency, we live in the times when customers decide what's popular not publishers or journalists. You need someone who can do marketing and SEO, who can prepare actual promotional assets. Not just talk about it. Not just promise to hire someone.
After 2 years of hard work, the game is finally finished. The DELUXE edition with more levels and music etc. is coming to STEAM and Switch. Steam releases on November 4th. Switch releases on Christmas.
How much have we earned?
I'll let you know in 2 weeks when I've compiled all the data.
For now, I can tell you that over the year the iOS version sold 25k copies.
Roughly $17k revenue. Divide by 4 people. Kinda bad. But other channels are more interesting!
I'd like to thank you, many people in this community helped me test Mars and provided valuable feedback. You've also played my other games and kept me going through really bad times. Thank you!
Wishlist the game to help us!