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Anyone has experience on removing a feature in update?

03-03-2010, 09:53 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
Send a message via Skype™ to ylyu5
Anyone has experience on removing a feature in update?

Normally, an update should enchance existing feature and maybe adding some more features.
What if changing the core system of the game, which make some existing featues becoming unnecessary?

This is the case happening in our game. Our game (Uggy) was released over a month, with poor sales. We studied and compare with with other successful games and concludes some deficiencies from our game. Some deficiencies is related to the core system of the game. Changing the core system may change the game experiene of players, and also may cause some of the features to become unnecessary.

While facing the choices
"change core gameplay and remove unnecessary feature" VS "ignore the deficiency"
what will u choose?
03-03-2010, 10:04 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 241
Send a message via MSN to tukun
Quote:
Originally Posted by ylyu5 View Post
Normally, an update should enchance existing feature and maybe adding some more features.
What if changing the core system of the game, which make some existing featues becoming unnecessary?

This is the case happening in our game. Our game (Uggy) was released over a month, with poor sales. We studied and compare with with other successful games and concludes some deficiencies from our game. Some deficiencies is related to the core system of the game. Changing the core system may change the game experiene of players, and also may cause some of the features to become unnecessary.

While facing the choices
"change core gameplay and remove unnecessary feature" VS "ignore the deficiency"
what will u choose?

I'd make a new game, change the name, tweak artstyle

03-03-2010, 10:23 PM
#3
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
Send a message via Skype™ to ylyu5
Yup we had also think about this way. But just feeling that we give up the baby too fast. To be responsible to customers who bought the game and also be responsible to the game, we do not want to give it up so fast. We would like to try our best to push the game before declaring its death.
03-03-2010, 10:30 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,151
Quote:
Originally Posted by ylyu5 View Post
Yup we had also think about this way. But just feeling that we give up the baby too fast. To be responsible to customers who bought the game and also be responsible to the game, we do not want to give it up so fast. We would like to try our best to push the game before declaring its death.
Yeah, but being responsible to customers also means not taking away something they already paid for. Think how you'd feel if next time you ran Software Update on your Mac, it uninstalled iTunes. Pretty mad, right?

I agree that if you're changing core gameplay, either make it a new game, or add a new gameplay mode to the old game.
03-03-2010, 11:06 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
Send a message via Skype™ to ylyu5
Oh you reminded me...we haven't considered about this before...
Adding a new game mode should be a good solution to our situation.

Actually those updates for the deficiencies are suitable only for this game. I would consider that making a new game is just an excuse to give up the current one and start another project. Yet the default design has space to improve, we wish every released game under our name would be a best version that we can do on it without any regret. That's why we want to do everything we can before declaring to give it up
03-04-2010, 12:56 AM
#6
We haven't removed any features in Minigore but we've changed plenty of features. For example we changed "Kid Gore" DLC character completely and as long as it improves upon the earlier feature I don't think many people are gonna complain. (in general it's a good idea to listen to what your players want changed so you don't mess up with wrong features)

KingHunt - The Next Generation Slicing Game Lead designer
Bike Baron artist & co-creator
Minigore artist & co-creator
Ice Rage artist & co-creator
Death Rally game designer
03-04-2010, 01:28 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
Send a message via Skype™ to ylyu5
Hi I am a great fans of Minigore!

To be more specific, one of the deficiencies of our game is our scoring system. Current version of the game calculate score simply with distance travelled, and the speed of the game gradually increase as the score increase. We found that the system has misled players to focus on travelling downwards, players would easily feel boring after few minutes of gameplay. We are planning to change the score criteria, which might change the focus of the gameplay. Just imagine changing the goal of classic Mario game from "reach the end of the level" to "collect all coins in the level". If I am going to split the 2 focus into 2 gameplay mode, do you think it is suitable solution?
03-04-2010, 04:02 AM
#8
Making it possible to select game modes could work.

The biggest negative side that I see with menus is that the more menus you have the longer it takes to start up the game.

It could hurt casual pick up & play games like Canabalt to have too many menus. Imagine handing it to non-gamer and first they have to select player character, then which level they want to play, which control method... Canabalt starts when you press "play".
I've shown Canabalt to lots of friends and almost everyone can get it to work immediately - 5 minutes later they want to buy it for themselves!

For less casual game like dual-stick shooters additional menus won't be a big problem because people who play them are more experienced players - Heck, they probably wouldn't mind creating their custom character before starting a game!
When I show Minigore to non-gamers sometimes they get lost in the menus and if they make it to the game they die in 15 seconds anyway haha

We added additional simple "touch to go" controls with autofiring to the latest development version, interesting to see if it helps with casual appeal. So far everyone I've handed the game has been able to play it for extended periods of time with the new controls.


Speaking of scoring criteria: we've changed scoring system several times. There's different leaderboards for each episode.
One example: At one point people used exploit where they killed only small amount of furries at a time, keeping majority of the group as non-flaming furries - they got to insane scores because they could outrun the non-flaming group. So we added day/night cycle which makes every furry flaming during night. The latest addition is Predator Furry which should add lots of chaos to the 20 000+ score gameplay.

Whatever you do don't change the genre. If I buy action game I want it to stay action game


Great to hear you've been enjoying Minigore!

Cheers,
Timo

KingHunt - The Next Generation Slicing Game Lead designer
Bike Baron artist & co-creator
Minigore artist & co-creator
Ice Rage artist & co-creator
Death Rally game designer
03-04-2010, 05:25 AM
#9
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 91
Send a message via Skype™ to ylyu5
Yes you are right, a simple and easy flow is a one of the criteria for games targeting casual players. But as the game extends it is always difficult to keep the simplicity in the earliest version.

For the control, actually I had studied the tutorial of Minigore long ago. I think it is a very clever design. You suppose players had read the tutorials when they put their fingers on the correct position of the stick and close the tutorials automatically. This flow does not add an extra touch to close the tutorial and start the game. When both of their finger are stand-by on the dual-stick they should be ready to play. That's a clever approach

So Minigore is using eposide to separate different scoring system. Is it true that if players upgrade their game to latest version, they changed the scoring system and cannot go back to previous one? Are there any player complaints about this?
03-04-2010, 06:09 AM
#10
Something like Canabalt could probably boot straight into the game, we might do that with Unmarked. (it's a project of myself and Bryan Mitchell)


I'm the kinda player who skips all tutorials and then goes around wandering aimlessly for 2 hours

The tutorial design stems from that mindset. I first drew this joke image of my nightmare tutorial:


After that I started thinking if it would be possible to do a tutorial that I wouldn't skip myself. I must have sat in front of the computer for an hour just staring at the screen until this idea flashed in my head:


It's correct that you can't get the earlier version back. (unless players make backup) So far there's been very few complaints about the leaderboards.

Certainly nothing compared to when we had cheaters hacking the save game. That caused many angry players and several top players stopped playing the game because it wasn't fair.

KingHunt - The Next Generation Slicing Game Lead designer
Bike Baron artist & co-creator
Minigore artist & co-creator
Ice Rage artist & co-creator
Death Rally game designer