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ChubbyPixel

Woodle Tree 2: Development Blog

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Hel­lo!
In this post I would like to talk to you about our next project in devel­op­ment for
Nin­ten­do Switch and PlaySta­tion 4 “Woo­dle Tree 2: Deluxe”.

Pro­vi­so­ry logo

This is actu­al­ly a remake of a game released in 2016 on Steam called “Woo­dle Tree 2: Worlds” (link)

The game was pret­ty suc­cess­ful at his time with over 20.000 copies sold, but we were not able to include all the con­cepts and mechan­ics we want­ed due to time and bud­get lim­it.

Woo­dle Tree 2: Deluxe first screen­shot!


Thanks to the great suc­cess of oth­er games we’ve release in last years (like Sui­cide Guy and more) we now have the bud­get to be able to cre­ate even a greater title!

We start­ed the devel­op­ment of this new ver­sion in June 2018, try­ing to adapt the whole game to Nin­ten­do Switch.
Since it’s an open world plat­former, the effort has been huge con­sid­er­ing the lim­it­ed hard­ware and the fact that our tar­get was to achieve 60 fps.

Here a glimps of the map of the whole game, com­pre­hend­ing over 9 lev­els + new dif­fer­ent plat­form­ing areas:

Con­cept of the World map in Woo­dle Tree 2: Deluxe

The remake we’re try­ing to achieve will com­pre­hend a total redesign with new lev­els, char­ac­ters, new cutscenes, improved game mechan­ics and much more.

We real­ly hope you’ll appre­ci­ate the effort!

We’ve already start­ed to adver­tise the game with a huge feed­back from fans https://www.reddit.com/r/nintendo/comments/aftp39/our_new_game_woodle_2_coming_to_nintendo_switch/

This is very use­ful since we’re still gath­er­ing feed­back from play­ers, and the game is far from fin­ished.


The game will be released in 2019, I’ll soon update this post inform­ing you on all the new things we’re adding to the game!

New Intro menu

Here mean­while some cool con­cepts from new char­ac­ters and items!

Agile Game Development process for Indies

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Hel­lo my friend!
In this post I would like to talk about the game devel­op­ment process we’ve acu­tal­ly used dur­ing the last years for our games.

To start by, I would sug­gest you to read even the “Agile Game Devel­op­ment with Scrum” book by Clin­ton Kei­th:
Ama­zon link

The process we’re acu­tal­ly using is very sim­i­lar even if it’s applied to a much small­er scale stu­dio (of 5 peo­ple instead of 200).


What is Agile?

Agile is an approach for devel­op­ing prod­ucts using short and fast iter­a­tions.

The ideas is to make small fea­tures for the cur­rent project in small peri­ods of time. In this way the results of each iter­a­tion are used to adjust the project plan: each iter­a­tion is like a short project in itself.


What is SCRUM?

SCURM is an iter­a­tive and incre­men­tal Agile process that pro­duces demon­stra­ble work­ing soft­ware every few days: for exam­ple a build of the project that can actu­al­ly be test­ed.


How Agile can be used for Indie Games?

I think Agile can be real­ly use­ful for indie game stu­dios if used wise­ly:
Since the ini­tial con­cept of a game does nev­er per­fect­ly reflect how the final game will be, I think a Water­fall Devel­op­ment process is use­less in most cas­es.

We usu­al­ly start with the Con­cept of the game and then start the Pre­pro­duc­tion and Pro­to­typ­ing process for test­ing the main mechan­ics of the game.


While we’re still in the Pro­duc­tion process, the Con­cept and Design core of the game can still be mod­i­fied depend­ing on the feed­backs of our testers that are test­ing the first pro­to­types.
If some­thing is not work­ing well in a game mechan­ic, we’re still able to mod­i­fy it with­out great effort from the Pro­gram­mers.

This is just an exam­ple, but this process can be used to every phase of the devel­op­ment: for exam­ple while the Sound Design­er is mak­ing the sound effects of a char­ac­ter and the Ani­ma­tor is mak­ing the ani­ma­tions for it, the Game Design­er can test both and give feed­back on how well the sound effects are linked to the ani­ma­tions.

Per­son­al­ly I think that Con­cept and Design can be mod­i­fied through the entire devel­op­ment process of a game (even in the final Post Pro­duc­tion stages) if this does not change too much the Dead­line Release.



Extended Agile

I think Agile can be even extend­ed while work­ing on mul­ti­ple projects at the same time.
We usu­al­ly devel­op 2 or 3 games at the same time and Agile is real­ly use­ful since some of the ideas, con­cepts and mechan­ics could pop up in the devel­op­ment of a game and can be used even on oth­er projects.

This process can even be use­ful to avoid Depen­den­cies of mem­bers of the team: for exam­ple if a pro­gram­mer is wait­ing for the ani­ma­tions of the main char­ac­ter in order to fin­ish the code for the run mechan­ic, he can mean­while work on oth­er mechan­ics or on anoth­er project.

It’s impor­tant to have a cohe­sive team, since the poten­tial sav­ings in cost for team is lost when time and effort is wast­ed through iter­a­tion delays and depen­den­cies between team mem­bers.



Final Considerations


One of the most inter­est­ing phras­es from the Agile Game Devel­op­ment book refer­ring to the best team Clin­ton worked with is:

“Much of the chem­istry of that team is a mys­tery to me. There doesn’t seem to be a for­mu­la for how such teams can be cre­at­ed, but I’ve found that it’s quite easy to pre­vent such teams from form­ing” - Clin­ton Kei­th

Agile and Scrum are sure­ly some of the things that real­ly can help these kinds of team to form since it allows all the mem­bers of the team to com­mu­ni­cate and have a larg­er view on the project.



Useful Resources:


https://marionettestudio.com/agile-game-development-quick-overview/

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RobGalanakis/20140219/211185/Agile_Game_Development_is_Hard.php

https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1013175/Agile-Methodology-in-Game-Development

http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/


Suicide Guy — Post Mortem (1 Year later)

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Hel­lo my friend!
We would like to share with you what went right and wrong after our lat­est release Sui­cide Guy in this post mortem, 1 year after its release on Steam  

store.steampowered.com/app/303610/Suicide_Guy/

 

- SALES

The game dur­ing its first year sold almost 30.000 copies on Steam only (Price 4.99 €)

With a rat­ing of 85/100 on Steam

Here a Pie chart of the sales:

 

 

- MARKETING

The mar­ket­ing we’ve made is still con­stant, send­ing con­stant updates to the gamers to keep high the inter­est for the game.

The main web­sites where we mar­ket the game were:

1) Face­book

2) Insta­gram

3) Key­mail­er

4) Twit­ter

5) Youtube

6) Newslet­ter Emails

7) Steam (groups, pages etc)

8) Google Ad Words

9) Linkedin

10) Red­dit

 

- CONSOLE RELEASES

The game has been launched even on con­soles (PS4 and Nin­ten­do Switch) sev­er­al months after the Steam release:

PS4: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP2659-CUSA11105_00-0000000000000000

Nin­ten­do Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/suicide-guy-switch

 

With over 10.000 copies sold on each, but at a high­er price (7.99€)

Meta­crit­ic score on PS4: 70/100

Meta­crit­ic score on Nin­ten­do Switch: 55/100

http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/suicide%20guy/results

 

The rat­ing was low­er on Nin­ten­do Switch main­ly due to per­for­mance issues and long load­ing times

 

 

- UPDATES AND NEW CHAPTER RELEASE

Sui­cide Guy has been in con­stant devel­op­ment with new Updates, bug fix­es and new con­tent

And since the game sold well, we’ve decid­ed to release a new chap­ter of the game called Sleepin’ Deeply on Steam (Soon on Con­sole):

https://store.steampowered.com/app/860860/Suicide_Guy_Sleepin_Deeply/

 

Which sold over 2.000 copies in the first month.

 

 

- CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE UPDATES

In the end the game release and feed­back from the pub­lic were great and it helped us to con­tin­ue the devel­op­ment of the game.
We’re actu­al­ly work­ing on the Xbox One release and the new chap­ter con­sole release.

Since the game went well we’re actu­al­ly think­ing of new lev­els and chap­ters that we would like to release in the future, so expect new con­tent com­ing soon!

 

Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply — New chapter now available!

By | Announce, Games | No Comments

Hel­lo my friends!

I’m glad to announce that the new chap­ter of our game is now avail­able on Steam!

Check it out:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/860860/Suicide_Guy_Sleepin_Deeply/

In this new chap­ter of “Sui­cide Guy” you’ll be chal­lenged with even more insane puz­zles, gen­er­at­ed by the sur­re­al dreams of the Guy. You’ll encounter the weird­est of the liv­ing beings as you go deep­er and deep­er into his sub­con­scious. This time to wake him up you’ll need all your skills.

70 On Metacritic from Suicide Guy! (PS4 edition)

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Hel­lo my friends!

I’m proud to announce that our first PlaySta­tion 4 game “Sui­cide Guy” has now reached a score of 70 on Meta­crit­ic:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-4/suicide-guy

I think this is an out­stand­ing result for us that can help us to con­tin­ue to make new games in the future.

From the bot­tom of our hearts, Thank you for the sup­port dur­ing these years! <3

Suicide Guy now available on PlayStation 4!

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Hel­lo my friends!

I’m glad to announce that our lat­est game “Sui­cide Guy” is now avial­able for PlaySta­tion 4!
You can dowload it in the PSN Store at: https://store.playstation.com/it-it/product/EP2659-CUSA11105_00-0000000000000000

This is our first game licenced by Sony, and this was a real hon­or for us.
I’ll soon write a thor­ough top­ic about the devel­op­ment on this fan­tas­tic con­sole!

Here the trail­er of the game mean­while:

Woodle Tree Adventures “Deluxe” — Available for Nintendo Switch!

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Hel­lo my friends!

I’m glad to announce that our first game “Woo­dle Tree Adven­tures” is now avial­able for Nin­ten­do Switch!
You can dowload it in the Nin­ten­do eShop at: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/woodle-tree-adventures-switch

 

This is our first game licenced by Nin­ten­do, and this was a real hon­or for us.
I’ll soon write a thor­ough top­ic about the devel­op­ment on this fan­tas­tic con­sole!

Here the trail­er of the game mean­while:

 

Thank you from Chubby Pixel

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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

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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