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ChubbyPixel

Thank you from Chubby Pixel

By | Announce | No Comments

Thank you

 

Hello my friend,

We would like to take a moment to thank every single gamer that helped us during our first years of game development.
Game development is really a tough job, but thanks to you and all our fans, we were able to continue to immerse ourselves in the development of our ideas and experimentation.

In particular we would like to thank Valve and all the Steam community supporting us:

Nerdando

Review Experts

Mamilos Club

Opium Pulses

Videogiochi.com

And many more, thank you again!
We will continue to make games all thanks to you and to your amazing support.

Game Development for us started back in 2011 and since then we developed a lot of complete games and were even able to experiment with this incredible medium.
Here you can check all the games we were able to publish until now:

http://store.steampowered.com/search/?publisher=Chubby%20Pixel

 

What has been done

Our first game was first published back in 2013 on Desura and Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/299460/Woodle_Tree_Adventures/

At first it was just an hobby for us and we weren’t even thinking about making this our full time job.
After a few years thanks to the success of this game we understood that this was becoming something special that people appreciated.

This lead to us with game experimentation: we were able to test new ideas both on Steam and Web brower games websites like Kongregate and Newgrounds.

Some of these experiments can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/400250/Heaven_Island__VR_MMO/
This was less successful than our first game, but we were able to understand what Steam gamers were searching for and that some of them had interest in our gaming experiments.

Thanks to the success of our first title we decided to develop the sequel Woodle Tree 2 (released in 2016).

Even in this new title we tried to experiment with gameplay mechanics and interactions:
we included an open world mechanic, one of the first of its kind for a platformer game.
Another interesting thing we wanted to include are special moves thanks to the only weapon the protagonist has (a leaf).

Here the link to Woodle Tree 2: Worlds
http://store.steampowered.com/app/495350/Woodle_Tree_2_Worlds/

 

Our last but not least game is Suicide Guy (released in 2017).
With this title the intention was to create almost a new genre in the gaming field starting from the first person puzzle games like Portal.

This game had an amazing impact on the Steam community and on youtubers with millions of players all around the globe.

The game can be downloaded here:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/303610/Suicide_Guy/

 

 

 

The Next Steps

Thanks to our community we are able to continue our work, our main objective is still to create unique games that can open the eyes of its players.

We’re currently working on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One converting our first game Woodle Tree Adventures and later even our other games, but don’t worry since Steam is still our main development platform.

Stay tuned to see when these games are going to be released in the next months!

 

A brand new game is in development too, still unannounced. We’ll share the details with you soon!

 

 

Thank you again for the support you’ve shown to us :)
Chubby Pixel

Suicide Guy – development blog

By | Games | No Comments

Hello my friend!
in this section I’ll start describing the development process of our latest game “Suicide Guy”, Now available on Steamstore.steampowered.com/app/303610/Suicide_Guy/
and soon on Console!

Here the 9 fundamental steps we used to create this new game!

 

1) CONCEPT

The first concept we had for the game was back in 2011.

At first we were trying to find an original concept for our next game:
that’s when we had in mind the idea that the player had to kill himself in order to surpass every level.

Since the concept and the action in the game has a really strong impact on the player’s reaction, we decided to make the game in first person.
For the first alpha version we had in mind a total of 3 levels that would help the gamer to understand the mechanics, controls (how to activate an object etc.) during the whole game.

The gameplay can be considered as a parody of the most classic videogames in which you have to find a way to save the life of your character, while here you have to find a way to kill him.

 

 

 

 

2) ALPHA VERION

We first developed an alpha version of the game (back in 2011) with 3 levels using Unity3D, you can play the browser demo here.

As you can see it was at an early stage compared to the final version, but the main ideas was there.
The browser version has been played a total of 100.000+ times during the first years.

 

 

 

3) GAME AND LEVEL DESIGN

We started the design of the levels first on paper and then modeling them in Maya.
As game engine we used Unity3D: it is a really suitable engine, except for the fact that it’s pretty difficult to optimize the levels to run at a smooth 60 frames per second as target.

The optimization took a while in certain levels where there is a high amount of details and objects.
The use of lods, compressed textures and new optimization techniques has been a must.

 

 

4) STORY DESIGN

Since the main concept to pass the levels is to kill yourself, we wanted to create a motivation to it.
Why would the character need to kill himself in everylevel to go to the next level?

That’s when we developed the idea of dreams inside of dreams, inspired by the movie “Inception”.

We first made the storyboard to make the story understandable by everyone, then used the cinematics to make a tangible story.
The character had to be characterized since it’s one of the few beings in the game, that’s when we had the idea to characterize him during the levels, thanks to the objects he imagines in his dreams, derived directly from his experiences in the real life.

 

 

 

 

5) PROJECT MANAGEMENT

 

We used Trello as project management tool and Source Tree as repository for the assets.
It’s perfect for organizing the workflow when you have a team of 3 or more people. In our case we were in 6 as you can see in the image below and we divided the work like this:

  • Fabio Ferrara (Game and concept development, Gameplay programming, 3D modeling, Soundtracks and Sound effects)
  • Yan Dawid (Camera programmer and Gameplay)
  • Giulia Airoldi (Concept art and texturing)
  • Fabio Masnari (Tester)
  • Andrea Masnari (Soundtrack composer and Sound Effects design)
  • Selcuk Yagci (Character modeler)

We’ll soon share the trello link when the game is finished.

 

 

 


6) 3D MODELING

We used Maya for modeling the environments, items and the characters, While Photoshop for texturing.

For skinning, rigging and animation we used the animation system integrated in Maya as well as lots of animation references from cartoons such as Looney Tunes, Adventures Time, Studio Ghibli movies and many more.

We used lots of references too found on Pinterest, Instagram and Google images in order to create the best looking levels in terms of colors and forms.

 

 

 

 

7) SOUND DESIGN

Cubase was the main software we used for composing the Sountracks and Audacity for the sound effects as well as a large variety of sound libraries.
We designed the levels so that the soundtrack is alwasy diegetic in the sense that it’s inside the narrative context of the action: It’s aways played by a radio that can be turned off and even used to pass certain kind of levels.

 

 

 

8) LEVEL CREATION

For the level creation, Unity3D has been really useful.
We created the design on paper and then the main structure of the level was modeled in Maya in a single .fbx file. All the elements and details were separate meshes and prefabs.

For the iteractive items, we set the positions in maya with red cubes, and then positioning the prefabs in Unity 3D.
We think this is the best and fastest possibile way to create the levels especially if you want to make future modifics during the development.

 

 

 

9) MARKETING (Before release)

We started marketing the game immediately after the first Alpha was made, with constant updates of images, gifs, soundtracks etc. on our social pages:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Steam groups

…and sending updates through our Mailing list (with over 100.000 e-mails)

 

This blog post was useful too in order to create awareness regarding the development of the game.

 

In May we published the first teaser of the game (2 months before the actual release), here you can take a look:

His helped a lot to create awareness before the actual release of the game.

 

 

10) MARKETING (After release)

The day we published the game (on 14th of July 2017) we immediately started to create advertising, here the steps we took in order to improve the sellings:

 

The first days of release went smoothly with thousands of copies sold in the first week and a lot of youtubers playing the game:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=suicide+guy

 

 

After the first days a lot of youtuber videos of the game went viral with over 1 million views, here some examples:

 

This helped the visibility of the game A LOT and infact Big youtuber starts started to playing it, even making more than just one video of it (Jacksepticeye and JuegaGerman) with over 3 million views:

 

In the end after the first month, this helped the game to sell over 10k copies, and millions gamers aware of the existence of the game.
The great thing for us is that the game is still selling constantly even after the first few days (with a 20% discount), while generally the sales drop after the first discount.

I would say that for us the youtubers views count was the determining factor that helped the game to be featured on the front Steam page in the most popular games


The first reviews from press started to came out after the first week of release (we sended press copy AFTER the game was out, but probably we should have sent them 1 week before) here some few:

GameNews+ Score: 7.4

Suicide Guy Review

 

SerialGamer Score: 7.0

Suicide Guy – Beer not included – Recensione

 

 

 

Woodle Tree 2: Worlds – Development post

By | Games | No Comments

Hello my friends!

in this new post I would like to talk about the development of “Woodle Tree 2: Worlds” (now available on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/495350/)

The 8 fundamental steps we used to create this new game!

1) CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT (SKETCHES)

We started developing the story and the characters with storyboards and concept art to give us a general understanding of the mood of the world we were going to build, here some few examples below:

12699183_10208533164908240_1205083462_o

12952847_10209080935402160_617162933_o

foto (3)

mostrino_ali (1)

w

We then started to think about the gameplay and inteactions with the environment, always with the help of drawings and sketches:

Thanks to this we were able to see the camera behaviour, the characters movements and all the gameplay basic elements of the final game.

photo

2) PROJECT MANAGEMENT (TRELLO)

We used Trello for this and all our other games.
It’s perfect for organizing the workflow when you have a team of 3 or more people. In our case we were in 6 as you can see in the image below and we divided the work like this:

  • Fabio Ferrara (Game and concept development, Gameplay programming, 3D modeling, Soundtracks and Sound effects)
  • Yan Dawid (Camera programmer and Gameplay)
  • Giulia Airoldi (Concept art)
  • Andrea Masnari (Soundtrack composer)
  • Lorenzo Franciosi (3D Characters modeler)
  • Fabio Masnari (Tester)

Since the project is now over, we would like to share with you the entire Trello card, I think could be useful for the new developers!
https://trello.com/b/wvuQUKLt/woodle-tree-adventures-2-worlds

Trello

3) PROJECT REPOSITORY (SOURCE TREE)

We then created the repository for the game files
Using SourceTree (SourceTree) with Git is the perfect combination for keep all the project on a server, in order to be able to go back to a previous version of your game (in case you brake something :D)
There are a lot of other solutions here like Github and Perforce (used at Ubisoft studios), but I think for smaller projects SourceTree is the best choice.

SourceTree

4) DEVELOPMENT (UNITY3D)

We then are finally be able to start the development!
The main engine we use for game development is Unity 3D and obviously we used it even for this new project.
I personally would suggest you to develop your games with the engine you used the most. This way you’ll be able to extrapolate the maximum from it and develop the best possibile game.

Unity3DDevelopment

For the 3D environments modeling we used Maya and blender, while for texturing we used Photoshop and Illustrator.

WoodleTree2

For the soundtracks we used a keyboard with Cubase with lots of sound libraries (VST virtual instruments) and for the sound effects Audacity and a recorder.

5) TESTING

We asked our family and friends to try out our game (with a total of 10 testers).
We started testing right after the Alpha version of the game was completed, it’s very useful to find out if the concept and mechanics are understandable and clear to everyone.

I would suggest to ask casual players for first and then hardcore gamers, this way you’ll hear both sides.

Testing has to be done even after the game is finished (you’ll never really complete your game since every game is improvable!).

Screenshot10

6) EARLY ACCESS RELEASE

The early access of the game was released on 27 of July 2016 and sold over 3000 copies during the first month.
It gained a lot of attention since it was even featured on the Steam home page.

The reviews were good with 140 reviews in the first month with 93% of positive reviews.

EarlyAccess

WoodleTreeHomePage

7) FULL RELEASE

The Game has been fully release on Steam on the 16th of september with over 1000 players playing at the same time!

Check out the trailer from the full release!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBSgMcnrk0k

in the first week it sold 2000 copies (added to the 3000 from the early access release) for a total of 5000 copies in a month!

The first week went pretty well even considered that we weren’t featured in the most popular releases.
During this week the game had a 25% discount, this improved a lot the selling power of the game.

In the fisrt week has been featured both on the big slider in the home page and among the most popular games.
This improved significantly the impressions and number of clicks on the game page.

woodlehomepage

woodlescreen

8) MARKETING

A great resource for our marketing strategies is Pixelprospector, used by a lot of developers to find tips about game development and marketing.

In particular here the Big list of videogames postmortems, a great resurce to understand development and marketing of the most famous indie games
and the Big list of game dev marketing were you can find videos and articles, super useful if you’re a beginner marketing manager.

We started writing to all the videogame web journal we knew (even the smallest ones) in order to get attention.
After that we could start sending promo codes to youtubers.

This is the mailing list we used so far, I’m sure it will be useful for a lot of developers, Check it out here.

and the Big Youtubers mailing list.

 

pixelprospector

 

 

 

9) CONCLUSIONS

Use these steps if you just started to develop your first games, since you’ll probably find your own way to manage the development and marketing of your game.
I decided to write this post mortem since if I had all these suggestions the first time I developed a game, I would have spared a lot of time!

Steam is surely a great platform where to publish your game, but I would suggest to publish yours on all the platforms you can (expecially PS4 and Xbox One).

Thanks for the attention! :)

 

MailWoodle3

 

Woodle Tree Adventures 2: Worlds! – Update #1

By | Announce, Games | No Comments

Hello My friends!
Here a new update for our next game in development!

 

Following the suggestions in This Topic, here are the first list of feature present in the sequel of Woodle Tree:

  • Open World Platforming
  • Massive Multiplayer Online
  • Local Co-Op up to 4 players
  • Camera movements and controls improved
  • More enemies
  • A Whole new story based on the prequel

 

 

And here are the first Work in Progress :)
WoodleTree2

WoodleTree3

12699183_10208533164908240_1205083462_o

 

12675208_10208523167298306_1249798173_o

 

 

Woodle Tree – 45.000 copies sold in one year!, thank you so much :)

By | Announce, Games | No Comments

Hello my friends,
We’re happy to announce that today that Woodle has reached a total of 45.000 copies sold on Steam!

Thank you so much for this incredible number. Thanks your support, I and my friends will be able to continue to develop and publish new games.

Here a taste of our next games in development:

 

Screenshot 2015-02-23 20.19.06

 

 

Screenshot 2015-08-03 09.48.30

The Way of Life
This exploration game has 3 main characters: a business man, an old man and a child. They find themselves on a road which is apparently the same, but changes upon their perception of reality.

 

with love,
Chubby Pixel team