09-19-2014 04:31 PM
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  1. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    My team and I released our first game, Gun Frenzy, to the Windows Store a few days ago and we're working now on porting to Windows Phone. I thought it would be good to post up a developer blog post just to show progress on the port and get feedback from the community.

    For those not familiar with Gun Frenzy, it is a top-down action shooter involving two lovely ladies trapped in a demonic prison. Here is a screen shot for you to understand the kind of game it is:

    screenshot_06142014_204721.jpg

    Over the weekend, I did a direct port over to Windows Phone and the results were surprisingly good. I thought that it would be too slow to play and unresponsive but it appears I underestimated the graphical power of my Lumia 920 as it was surprisingly smooth. The game did heat up but not nearly as many games I've played. Still, I'm sure there is room for improvement so I'm going to work on the optimization steps. My dream would be to have it work on a 512Mb device but I suspect that may not be achievable ... but I'll try my best. A 920 or anything newer should be no problem though.

    So on the to do list:

    1 - Add Touch Screen Controls
    2 - Tweak the UI to accommodate touch controls (make sure that UI elements aren't covered up by where the player would typically put his or her fingers)
    3 - Mobile optimization (reduce draw calls and further compress textures for you techie types)
    4 - Tweak gameplay to make it play nicely on a touch screen. I find touch screens harder to use than a mouse or keyboard so the difficulty of the game should probably be toned down.
    5 - Adjust in-game ads to work with Windows Phone ad providers rather than Windows Store .... also switch to interstitial ads rather than in-game ads.
    6 - Test, test and more testing....

    So to start things off ... a question to the community. I'd like to test out various monetization methods for Gun Frenzy. The Windows Store version is a free download with ad support and a couple of optional in-app purchases. I'm not a fan of "Pay to Win" / Freemium garbage so I'm never going to go that route where players have to buy in-app purchases just to clear a level. However, I'd like to try a paid game with a trial. Would it be okay to have the Windows Phone version of Gun Frenzy be a $1 or $2 game download with a 1-day trial and no in-game ads? I could put the existing in-app purchase items as game unlocks that you get after you complete certain achievements or number of levels or something ... or just leave them as in-app purchases as they really are just nice-to-haves instead of requirements. Ideally, if I do have a in-app purchases in the Windows Phone version, I would want anyone that's purchased them on the Windows Store to not have to pay twice and I believe that's possible. Okay, sorry for the long post ... upcoming posts will be shorter and sweeter.
    06-23-2014 06:45 AM
  2. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Hi guys,

    Quick update ... I've got the touch controls I worked on over the weekend built to my 920. Here is a very quick video I took this morning:

    Apologies for the poor recording .... I was recording with one hand and interacting with the phone with the other. The colours are also completely off on my Lumia because the screen broke a while ago and since then, the colours are inaccurate unless viewed from the right angle. I'll be ordering a new 1520 this month. :)

    However, what I'm hoping to show is that the game runs smoothly and touch screen controls do work well. Animation is smooth without any noticeable hiccups so far. Controls are also smooth and responsive once you get used to it. Though you definitely need both fingers ... I couldn't do much with just one hand. :)
    06-23-2014 07:17 AM
  3. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    06-23-2014 07:18 AM
  4. Mohamed Ashid's Avatar
    When is it coming to WP????
    WaveLightGames likes this.
    06-23-2014 08:18 AM
  5. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Thanks for your interest. I expect to have it submitted for certification before the end of the week. Microsoft usually take a couple days to certify so hopefully next week?
    06-23-2014 08:20 AM
  6. Mohamed Ashid's Avatar
    Thanks for the info,
    Paid/free????
    WaveLightGames likes this.
    06-23-2014 09:27 AM
  7. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Most likely free with ads. In-app purchases that allow for removal of ads and allow for purchase of upgrade options (new guns, clothing ,etc.). That's how the W8 store version currently works and I'm going to try and figure out how to make it a universal app.
    06-23-2014 10:33 AM
  8. Muessig's Avatar
    This looks really good. I'd like to see it startup a touch quicker, but I can forgive a slower startup for what looks like quite smooth gameplay. Let us know if you need any beta testers
    06-23-2014 12:05 PM
  9. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Cool ... thanks. I would be happy to do that but I'd have to figure out how to distribute the code or app. Does anyone know the best way to do that?

    Quick update: I've got the touch controls working the well. I've also re-arranged the GUI to move the lifebar to the top right so the player's thumbs won't cover up the life bar. Also updated the tutorial level to explain how to use the dual-stick touch controls.
    06-23-2014 01:25 PM
  10. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    By the way, the screen with the company logo can just be clicked through by touching the screen ... I just didn't do it. There is still some loading time ... but it's only 3 seconds on a Lumia 920 so I think it's not too bad.
    06-23-2014 01:26 PM
  11. Mohamed Ashid's Avatar
    Hey, I wanted to know whether the game would have 512 Mb ram support?
    06-23-2014 08:54 PM
  12. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Not sure to be honest. I suspect it won't work on 512 Mb but I won't know for sure until I get a device to test it. I don't actually have one at the moment.
    06-23-2014 09:04 PM
  13. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Daily update:

    Performance:
    I've added an ultra low texture option in the options screen so as to improve chances of working on 512 MB devices. I'm also going to add the option to disable particles like fog / dust / fire so as to hopefully further improve performance on lower-end hardware. Still not sure if it'll be enough but I think that's the most can be done.

    Touch Controls:
    Added much better looking dual stick controls and a nice roll / reload button on screen. Got rid of the duplicate pause button. Touch controls looking complete!

    Gameplay Tweaks:
    Made the first 5 levels easier to ease players into the game. I think the learning curve is a bit too high so this help.

    Questions to the community (especially to those that have played) ... I have the option of adding the ability to run and shoot at the same time. However, the running animation I have available only works for running forward. It looks odd when the player is running sideways (strafing) or running backwards. Therefore, should I keep it how it is at the moment or should I allow running but live with a funny looking animation? I kind of like having to stop to shoot as it makes it more challenging and a bit like a survival horror movie ... whereas being able to strafe and run / shoot makes it seem less intense in a way. However, I would welcome feedback. I'll post up a link to the Windows Store game for those that haven't played. I would really like some feedback on how I can improve it for Mobile.
    06-24-2014 08:03 AM
  14. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    06-24-2014 08:04 AM
  15. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Also, I'm going to try and further improve performance with a 3rd party tool called Mesh Baker. It should hopefully improve performance significantly.
    06-24-2014 08:14 AM
  16. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Quick update, guys .... I've submitted the Windows Phone port to Microsoft for feedback! If all things are good ... it should be in the store soon.
    06-24-2014 03:04 PM
  17. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    Another update:

    - Adjusted difficulty of early levels to more gently ease the player into the game.
    - Further optimization for mobile (removed normal maps on most enemies as they cost a lot performance-wise but the graphical benefits aren't noticeable on a small screen)
    - Removed unusable graphics settings (HDR, Bloom) from graphics options as these won't work on mobile anyway.
    - Added an ultra low res option for textures that will hopefully allow for playability on 512 Mb devices ... but no guarantees.

    Working on micro transaction system that will allow for the player to buy consumable power ups in the game to make levels easier. Also have identified a few more bugs and optimization options that I'll implement before submission.
    06-27-2014 09:40 AM
  18. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    This looks really good. I'd like to see it startup a touch quicker, but I can forgive a slower startup for what looks like quite smooth gameplay. Let us know if you need any beta testers
    Regardind beta testers ... I'm still unclear on how to share the game with them so they can test it. Can this be done before launching the game on the store somehow?
    06-27-2014 09:41 AM
  19. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    BIG UPDATE - Gun Frenzy was submitted to the Windows Store today!!!! Wish us luck in the certification process .... if all goes well, you'll be able to download and play it soon on your Windows Phone!
    dKp1977, Jonathanmr7 and 1ronside like this.
    06-28-2014 10:20 PM
  20. dKp1977's Avatar
    BIG UPDATE - Gun Frenzy was submitted to the Windows Store today!!!! Wish us luck in the certification process .... if all goes well, you'll be able to download and play it soon on your Windows Phone!
    Awesome. :D Thank you very much. That was a quickly done port, I'm impressed. :)
    WaveLightGames likes this.
    06-29-2014 10:52 AM
  21. WaveLightGames's Avatar
    No problem. Hopefully should be out there soon.

    I have an important question for the community. The monetization model I chose initially doesn't seem to be working. I provided the game entirely free but with a couple of in-app purchases for some extra weapons and a permanent power boost as well as removing ads. However, very few people out of the total downloads are making in-app purchases so I think I need to make those more appealing. Secondly, ad revenue has been absolutely abysmal .... so far, less than a $1 from ads. I suspect that having a large game be ad-supported isn't the right approach.

    So how do you guys feel about some other options?

    1 - Have the first 7 levels free and then have an in-app purchase to unlock the remaining 21 levels?
    2 - Add consumable in-app purchases to give a one off boost in power / toughness for 1 level and offer 5 to 10 of these as an in-app purchase?

    Please let me know your thoughts. Gun Frenzy is largely a way to test the waters regarding monetization. I'm okay to not make much money on it but I would like to understand and develop the appropriate monetization model for similar, large 3D games.
    06-30-2014 09:03 AM
  22. dKp1977's Avatar
    06-30-2014 01:09 PM
  23. Maritox Cacici's Avatar
    No problem. Hopefully should be out there soon.


    So how do you guys feel about some other options?

    1 - Have the first 7 levels free and then have an in-app purchase to unlock the remaining 21 levels?
    2 - Add consumable in-app purchases to give a one off boost in power / toughness for 1 level and offer 5 to 10 of these as an in-app purchase?
    I would go for the 2nd option
    06-30-2014 01:23 PM
  24. dKp1977's Avatar
    I would go for the 2nd option

    Same here. I wouldn't only offer temporary boosts though. I imagine offering special weapons and equipment as IAPs.

    //Edit

    I've spent a couple of minutes with the game now. I think you can safely increase the number of enemies, as it's perfectly fluent on my Lumia 1520 on highest settings. The only thing that is stuttering every once in a while is the background music.
    I'd much prefer a dedicated reload button over the combined evade/reload one though. I don't wanna perform a roll evertime I simply want to reload my weapon. :)

    But allow me one question.. Why would you call one of the protagonists after a porn actress? Oo
    Last edited by dKp1977; 06-30-2014 at 02:24 PM.
    WaveLightGames likes this.
    06-30-2014 01:31 PM
  25. Mohamed Ashid's Avatar
    I love the game, from the logo to the gameplay!
    Thanks for the 512 Mb ram support!!
    06-30-2014 05:41 PM
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