its quite a while ago I wrote my last blog post. FlatFatCat was a very intensiv development time over the last 12 weeks. Anyhow FlatFatCat made it to the mobile Stores. Make sure you download your copy for free today!
FlatFatCat Development post mortem
Today I would like to talk a bit about the development process of FlatFatCat. We had a brave goal with developing a casual mobile title within 8 weeks. In the end we didn’t reach that goal of 8 weeks and it took us 12 weeks to finish the game. But I still think its a big success for us and we proved another time that we are able to deliver. I want to share some cool things we learned in the process and some things we could improve with another game title.
What went well this time?
This time we took a more professionell approach and had created a game design document in the beginning with everything covered. So the whole project size and its features where set and everyone in the team had a good overview about the size of the project. Also if there were any questions during the development we a place to look for an answer. Of course sometimes the GDD was outdated or not covering everything in every detail, but it helped us a lot in the process.
Before we started FlatFatCat (Project II) I decided to get more man power, since in every project there are a lot of tasks, which are very time consuming, but not always very complex. So we hired an intern as game designer for this project. This was a real good decision and it worked out very well for us. I could focus on development and my girlfriend was able to focus on the graphic assets. Our intern was able to create all levels with our self written level editor and create the GDD in general.
A much smaller project
With Timbertales I tried to create a really cool game with a lot of content a server infrastructure, multiplayer, singleplayer etc. This took me about a year and I had so much more in my mind I could add. In the end there was a lot missing. This time we set the whole project much smaller and adjust it to our given man power. With this approach we were able to deliver a second game in a much shorter time. I think this is key as indie developer. We don’t have any cash cow project for now, but we want to survive somehow. Since my expertise lies in development I should focus on developing games.
Stayed with libGDX
First I thought to switch from libGDX to UE4 and build FlatFatCat in UE4. Since I am not very experienced with UE4 right now it would have taken much longer to have a releasable version. Another point: FlatFatCat is completely 2D and libGDX with Box2D as physic engine fit much better than a beast like UE4 for this type of game. So I kept libGDX for development and made very good and fast progress!
What could we improve for the future?
Every game needs a community, which will play the game if it is released. I missed out completely during the development to form a community. There was absolutely no time left for community management, but I think it is a very big part in game development. The bigger you could build up a community during development the better the release will be in terms of quality (player feedback) and downloads of course.
Schedule of our next tasks
I am happy with the release of FlatFatCat and I would love to maintain it even more. We have tons of new ideas to improve the game and we are very interested in updating the game with the first player feedback. Nevertheless in the meantime Timbertales got greenlit and I want to integrate the game to steam – for the experience and of course to make the game more visible to a larger audience.
After that one is finished the success or not success of FlatFatCat will decide about the future. Maybe we are able to create a third game or we have to create a third game 🙂
Thanks for reading and I hope you will have a lot of fun while playing FlatFatCat!