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1 Man + 2 keyboards + 3 Years = HedgeHogers

03-16-2016, 04:59 AM
#1
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
1 Man + 2 keyboards + 3 Years = HedgeHogers



Hi gang,

I'm Shane, an indie dev who spent the last 3 years making HedgeHogers. Half way through the second year my first keyboard had a run in with my fist, due to frustration, and smashed in half spraying keys all over my desk. You'll be happy to know my second keyboard is alive and well.

Lacking any experience in how to make a game or any of the required skills, I decided the best thing to do was make it entirely myself. I wanted to share the teaser trailer with you and would love to know what you think.

Here are a few screen shots too:




Thanks,

Shane

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03-22-2016, 10:26 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
A Character Profile

This is one of the character profiles I did for the 3 main HedgeHogers in the game. I love playing Spikey. Firing spikes into hard to reach places is great fun. I'm using the profile videos at the start of each chapter to give the HedgeHogers a bit of personality and showcase their abilities.



03-31-2016, 02:18 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
Beta And Play Testing

I had designed each level to gradually adjust the difficulty with the odd just for fun level here and there. But that was based on my interpretation of how easy or hard or fun a level was. Having friends and family play HedgeHogers and seeing what they really thought about it was both scary and fun. As I watched them play, it was very difficult not to tell them what they should be doing but I kept my mouth shut and tried to learn from what was going on. Most people got stuck on the first slightly tricky level, which was good. However, some people sailed through some harder levels first time, which was not so good. Tweaks were needed to about 60 levels. While play testing is probably always a good idea, it’s especially important when you are one person designing the whole game – you need outside input. Some used their finger, some used their thumb, some turned the sounds off, some bobbed their heads along to the music. One of my favourite quotes so far from a player is:

“My left leg went dead from sitting on the toilet playing HedgeHogers for far too long.”

While I gathered a lot of useful insights into how people interacted and played with HedgeHogers, my most exciting take-away was how much they enjoyed it. Nearly everyone commented that they loved the gorgeous graphics and funny sound effects, which was nice to hear. But every single one of them laughed out loud, punched their fist in the air with satisfaction and would not put the game down when asked to. In one case the iPhone had to be physically removed from the player’s hand as they had to leave!

When I was happy that the game wasn't too easy or too hard and had a good dollop of fun, it was time to see if it would explode under pressure. From the start of the project I’d been a bit obsessed about bugs that might sneak past me and somehow crash people’s devices when they bought the game. I had done all the analysis and profiling I could, but was still worried.

I got HedgeHogers up and running on TestFlight and sent an initial build out to my wonderfully patient testers. The majority of issues identified were from assumptions I had made about how people would play the game. The feedback allowed me to add more polish and to ensure the player did not get confused. The beta testers also found spelling mistakes, which again you can’t see after spending more than 3 years on a project.

Reports from the beta testers after a few weeks indicated that the game was very stable with no slowdowns, jitters or crashes. I want to say a big thank you to all the play testers and beta testers for their hard work and also for the excitement of watching their reactions. I’m delighted the beta testing has not thrown up anything major, but am still nervous about global deployment!
04-06-2016, 02:38 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
Everyone Likes a Bit of Approval


It is three and a half years since I started working on HedgeHogers. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? It did for the first year, after that it was suspiciously like hard work. However, I’m happy as long as I feel I’m making some improvement. There have been long periods which seemed completely devoid of any progress, or at times regression, which really drives me crazy, but today that is not the case!

I am pleased to report two significant milestones ( for me anyway ) in the seemingly endless story of the making of HedgeHogers. After many betas and triple checking everything, I finally clicked the button I’d been staring at for years: “Submit for Review”.

“By the magic of the interweb, HedgeHogers was on its way to Apple so they could pass sentence.
I took the rest of the day off ( it was 9 o’clock at night anyway ) and revelled in the achievement.”


Several days later I woke up, took my iPhone off Airplane Mode and down popped an iTunes Connect message – “Your app status has changed to Pending Developer Release”. YIPPEEEE! I was sure it would get rejected at least once because I forgot something crucial or the code was so old it no longer qualified. The elusive date that people had asked me about and that I had been trying to estimate for years is finally here.

Next Tuesday the 12th April 2016 I will be releasing HedgeHogers into the big wide world.
04-13-2016, 02:02 AM
#5
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
The Time Has Come

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After 3 long years I have just released HedgeHogers on the App Store. If you'd like to check it out you can find it here:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/hedgehogers/id577764411?ls=1&mt=8&at=1001lcka&ct=tou

Thanks for all the feedback and support,

Shane
04-13-2016, 11:07 AM
#6
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: HCMC
Posts: 51
Congras with the release! Gonna check the game now since what you did here is already worth a download with me.
04-13-2016, 01:01 PM
#7
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinhMinh View Post
Congras with the release! Gonna check the game now since what you did here is already worth a download with me.
Thank you! I'm glad you like what you see so far, hope you enjoy the game.