To foster a launch of Towncraft on iPhone and Macs, Flat Earth Games founders Leigh and Rohan Harris had a discuss with Alex Walker about a new ports and a problems of mobile development.
Mobile developers don’t get adequate regard in Australia, that is unhappy deliberation coding for smartphones and tablets is now one of a fruitful starting drift for indie developers or students looking to make their approach in a industry. Some of Australia’s biggest successes are mobile developers, such as Halfbrick Studios and Firemonkeys.
Still, a hurdles that face developers aren’t mostly oral about. It’s something that Rohan and Leigh Harris, a founders of Flat Earth Games, makers of Towncraft, were happy to speak about when compelling a iPhone and Macintosh recover of their diversion (which we reviewed final year).
I started record by seeking a brothers either a iPhone recover had been in a tube from a start, and if so, what impact that had on a development.
ABC: Did we start formulation a iPhone chronicle of Towncraft from a commencement of development, or was it something we began operative on before a iPad/iOS recover got supposed on a App Store?
Rohan Harris: We had dictated to do an iPhone chronicle originally, along with a iPad version. However, a resources compulsory to do both during once valid to be over us so a doubt was do we desperately try to recover it on both platforms for a strange launch date and risk carrying expelled something that was sub-par, didn’t work right or had some-more bugs? We motionless to recover something that we suspicion was going to be a lot some-more plain than we consider it would have been.
Leigh Harris: We arbitrarily gave ourselves a bit of a deadline with PAX Australia. By signing adult for that, we would be out of slot – a whole garland of income – if we went down, got a counter setup and we didn’t have a diversion that we could be actively selling.
ABC: So since we had to start a growth of a iPhone chronicle later, did we find it formidable in that were certain assumptions in pattern that you’d done for tablets that we had to scrap?
Leigh: We wanted to have a wizz underline when we creatively launched, nonetheless it valid to be a technological burst that we couldn’t utterly get around. The iPhone chronicle nonetheless a wizz duty simply wouldn’t work. You indispensable to wizz out so we could see a whole city for gameplay reasons. The success of a iPad version, however, got us into a position where we were means to successfully representation to Screen Australia for appropriation and we were means to use a [grant money] to sinecure someone who works for an indie called Quest’s End Games. He was like an ex-Team Bondi man and he unequivocally knew his stuff. We got him on a wizz duty and as shortly as that happened, a whole iPhone chronicle fell into place.
Rohan: Most of a things we had in place to creatively support iPhone were still there. But there were still occasional things where we motionless to temporarily postpone a iPhone version. There were a few pattern decisions where we went, “Ah, that’s a bit tricky.” But not many. We’ve attempted not to formula or pattern ourselves into a dilemma with a iPad version. There were wily pieces nonetheless [it's been] comparatively smooth.
ABC: What expectations do we have for a iPhone and Mac releases?
Leigh: It’s tough to say. The success that we had on a iPad chronicle came from a infancy of business being Australian. We didn’t make a good understanding of impact in a rest of a world, so we theory to an border we deliberate that a fanbase competence not be a hugely-universal thing; maybe we’d picked a somewhat too Australian clarity of humour or maybe a locally-developed angle was a lot stronger than we thought. We’re not unequivocally sure.
ABC: So are we awaiting it to play out a same – that many of your support will come from Australia for a Mac and iPhone versions?
Leigh: Not so many this time around, since a initial time we self-published, we did all of a PR and press and all ourselves from here in Sydney. This time, since we have correct funding, we’ve been means to sinecure an group in a States to paint us over there. And we tend to find, or during slightest we’re anticipating that there’s a sputter effect, if we get picked adult sincerely good in a States that will only widespread out to other territories that we didn’t get as clever as a response [the initial time].Places like Europe and so on.
ABC: we wish to ask about a feasibility of a Mac port. Is it some-more or reduction of a plea than building for PC or an Android pier with regards to a volume of sales we consider we competence get?
Rohan: There are a integrate of things there. We’re regulating a framework, Cocos2d-x [a cranky height open source engine], that when we emanate a new iOS plan it indeed is a total iOS and Mac project. So even nonetheless it didn’t accurately work right out of a box… it took a relatively-small volume of time to fundamentally get a desktop chronicle of a iPad build – even if it runs in a window and behaves strangely since it’s awaiting a hold interface – to work.
The other partial was on Mac we can indeed use a full Retina graphics that we can use on a iPad. We’re still removing that all functioning. But a uncanny thing is that a lot of new Macs that are sole have unequivocally high DPI displays, and that’s many reduction common and reduction stereotyped on Windows. We can indeed make a diversion demeanour improved on Mac than on anything else. So even nonetheless a sales are going to be small, since a marketplace invasion is reduction than Windows, it seemed like a good initial step since we can try out a lot of these things and see how good it functions.
ABC: Speaking of complexity, we wrote that Towncraft, as a whole, seemed like an peculiar fit for iOS. It didn’t feel like a inscription game. I’m wondering now that after a game’s been expelled and you’ve worked on these opposite versions and that we have it on Macintosh as well, does a diversion feel like it belongs on a platforms some-more or does it feel like it’s entrance home to a height that it should be on in a initial place, that is a desktop interface?
Rohan: My emanate during a time was that… a many common things on an iPad were tiny small games that had in-app purchases. So doing a some-more critical desktop diversion on this platform, where we were going to assign (for an iPad) a relatively-reasonable amount, seemed like a dangerous risk.
But now, personification both versions – and I’ve been personification a lot some-more of a desktop chronicle since that’s been a one we’ve been doing a many contrast on – we unequivocally adore personification it on desktop. It creates a outrageous difference, carrying a large display: being means to wizz out, generally on a Retina Macbook Pro… it looks gorgeous.
ABC: Are we still carrying opposite opinions when it comes to pricing Towncraft for opposite platforms?
Rohan: One of a things we discussed over a final integrate of months is to do with games pricing and there’s something rather engaging in that opposite platforms have opposite expectations on price. It’s not only that people design to spend three-to-four dollars for a diversion on their phone, some-more for a inscription and some-more again on desktop, nonetheless that if you’re releasing something on Xbox, it’s a large blockbuster event.
No matter what your diversion is, there’s a notice of, “It’s a new game, therefore I’m OK with profitable some-more money,” rather than, “It’s been out for 6 months, we should be removing this for $20 in a discount bin or something.”
Leigh: It strikes me that there’s some-more of a find marketplace going on within iPad and iPhone. People are still happy to learn a diversion that came out years ago and is still during a same cost it was during when it launched. And since there’s so many calm out there on iOS, they’re only unequivocally happy to have found something cool.
Rohan: The approach in that games are built is a bit opposite now anyway. It is now so easy to pull out updates, either it’s on Xbox 360 or either it’s on Steam or something like that. Updates that don’t only repair [bugs] nonetheless embody new calm are roughly a norm. So we are charging a reward volume for Towncraft and we have done a choice not to go a DLC route.
We’re not going to sell add-ons, we’re still producing new calm and we’re not charging for it. So it kind of creates adult for that in that once we have it, it doesn’t matter either we bought it final Jul or now, a diversion you’ve got has some-more content. So a thought that we’d revoke a cost seems a bit weird.
ABC: Over a march of development, have your ambitions as developers turn grander, now that we know what we can achieve, or have they turn some-more realistic?
Leigh: we consider a range of Towncraft on 0 budget, looking back, was some-more than a amiable grade of stupidity on both a parts. It’s not something that I’d in any approach ever regret, nonetheless a outrageous scale of Towncraft is not something that we’re unequivocally penetrating to burst into true again. But we consider partial of that is since we’re now operative full-time for ourselves, as Flat Earth Games. When we started Towncraft, both of us had part-time jobs, we could take as prolonged as we wanted on whatever diversion we wanted and it was fine. This time around we need to be more…
Leigh: Pragmatic. So nonetheless wanting to go into it yet, we are operative on a second and third diversion during a moment, and we’ve taken a lot of measures to make certain we don’t finish adult with something like Towncraft which… would have been around $500,000 if we’d have all indeed been removing paid from a beginning. That’s what it would have cost.
ABC: Could we see that during PAX Australia after this year?
Leigh: We haven’t done a preference about PAX Australia yet. we consider in partial we don’t know if we’ll be on a fork of releasing something, if we’ll have only expelled something or if we’ll be in a early stages of growth yet. We haven’t been means to figure out if we’ll have something to show, so we haven’t done adult a minds.
ABC: Rohan, Leigh, appreciate we for your time.
Towncraft is accessible now from a iOS Store for $6.49 for iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Alex Walker is a unchanging gaming columnist for ABC Tech + Games. You can follow him on Twitter during @thedippaeffect.
Article source: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2014/05/07/3999751.htm