Hey fellow readers! This is the second part of the article “Battle fur Bamboo – why is it?”. You can read part 1 here. This time the topics are the art theme, the input system and the monetization model.
So why is it..
… a jungle themed game?
One of the initial ideas was to bring back the old animal humour from the legendary video games like Worms and Lemmings. I really wanted to have animals as the main characters. We decided to avoid fantasy related content. There are just so many of such games on the market and we felt that fantasy wouldn’t go well with the emotions we wanted our players to feel. We wanted something relaxed, something easy. Something that wouldn’t make anyone intimidated right away. While brainstorming, we had many jungle-ish ideas like cute furry animals, forests, nature… So we decided to go for this natural theme, that would make most of the players feel comfortable and relaxed. So furry/funny animal characters playing across different natural themed maps.
… a double-stick input game?
We did a lot of research on input systems for touchscreens. Double-stick input (we explained it in this article) seemed the most intuitive for our game. We think it creates the best user experience of all the input options we had.
The other valid option for our game was to have one stick for movement, while shooting is done by clicking wherever the target is on the screen. Also movement can be done by clicking the point on map. Some games use this simplified input type, but it has a few disadvantages over the double-stick input.
- You have to click all over your screen, which must be done quickly, because your fingers obscure the visible area in the meantime. And this is not an example of a good user experience.
- It’s not accurate, since your finger tip is quite large compared to a pixel. Or even 1000 pixels. Plus you have to hold the phone (or a tablet!) with one hand, while the other hand tries to shoot the enemy.
It wasn’t much of a choice for us when deciding on the input type. Actually it’s been the first gameplay decision we did. We’re builiding everything else on top of this foundation.
…a free-to-play, not pay-to-win game?
First, what does “free to play” mean? Wikipedia says it “refers to video games which give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying”. On mobile markets that pretty much means that the game falls into “free” category. You do not have to pay anything before you install the game. A nice concept which has become a de facto standard for games coming out in 2015. The statistics say that free games pay (“monetize”) better than paid games.
Cool, but if they make more money, how come they are free? Well, every game has their own ways to bypass the initial payment. The one method that proved to be most profitable is to give players an ability to buy a gameplay advantage. That basically means that you can use real life money to buy a better chance of defeating the other players. Like getting extra potions, abilities, assets that help you win the game. This type of monetization is sometimes called “pay to win“. Studios like Supercell (Clash of Clans) have made billions using the “pay to win” model. Of course it wasn’t a coincidence, their games are carefully built around the monetization model.
Pay-to-win model was something we never liked in Team Red Panda (I mean, who does…). It takes out a lot of fun in competitive games. Especially if the gameplay is not well adapted to the pay-to-win model. The concept of Battle fur Bamboo is not really suitable for pay-to-win anyway. So instead, we went for monetization of the visual assets. That means you can only buy things that will make your character look better. It will not make you stronger or better when playing against other players. Successful multiplayer games like Fun Run on mobile platforms and League of Legends on desktop have used this type of monetization. We believe in having a focus at the best user experience and even monetization must not stand in the way. At least not right in the middle of the way.
Thanks for reading! Comments and questions are more than welcome, use the form below 😉