August 1, 2015 - Card Crawl
It’s been some time since the last bigger post. Besides the official Card Crawl for Android announcement we also want to give some updates on other things.
Card Crawl for Android
Since the Card Crawl content update we’ve been actively working on the Android version and we’ve finally finished our beta. The Android version will be available on Google Play on the 12th of August.
Since we are using Unity the port to Android was quite painless. We had to adjust some of the code that renders the game and make it more flexible to support a variety of screen sizes. What worked best for us was to use our phone/tablet hybrid resolution and scale it based on the ratio of the device. We designed our assets on a “hybrid” resolution of 1536px width and 2272px height. We then check if the device has a ration of 4:3 or 16:9 and scale the layout to fit by height. This allows for a pretty flexible scaling that can display on small resolutions like 800×480 (downscaled) or large tablet resolutions like 2560×1600 (upscaled) without having black borders or hidden UI.
Another interesting thing was integrating the Android’s device back button to work with the menus, since such a feature is just not present on iOS. Integrating the GooglePlay services was another quit difficult task because some devices had and still have issues with logging in.
For the Android beta we had about 80 testers who gave extremely valuable feedback. A change log of all things fixed while in beta can be seen here. Again a big thanks to all our testers who actually bought the game while in beta, because we forget to add them to the test purchase list.
A benefit of having the same code based for both Android and iOS is that all things fixed on Android will directly be patched on iOS too.
Payment model on Android
For Android we are going to have a different payment model as for the iOS version. Because we (or precisely I) won’t be able to get the game 100% working on all 8000 android device models we decided to make the game free with in App purchase. This does not mean that the Android version will be F2P, but instead the base game will be free and all advanced features will be locked. Quests, Constructed, Daily and 20 of the ability cards won’t be accessible without paying the one time price of $2.99.
This will help to reduce the support amount to a minimum since most of the people will just delete the game incase it won’t work on their device instead of writing angry comments and reducing the rating of the game. A nice side effect of the free model will be the amount of new players Card Crawl will get just because the game will be free.
It’s going to be really interesting to see if this will work out on a financial level since it’s not especially designed to sell like a regular F2P title.
Card Crawl future
Another topic after the Android version comes out will be how we are going to advance with the game. The are several options right now that seem to be viable. Would it be smart to also try to bring the game to Desktop? Maybe. It’s common knowledge that mobile games coming to Desktop (especially Steam) have a hard time because the mobile stigma is still a very strong point to hate a game even if it’s good. On the other hand it’s never bad to be on more platforms because you never know who want’s to buy your game.
Another thing we are also thinking about is to add another mode to Card Crawl. Since a lot of people are complaining about the missing variety of decks we would love to bring a mode in which all rules can be changed. This means that we basically would need a Brawl mode like Hearthstone has where we can change rules, decks and create all sorts of wacky things. Bound to a unique Highscore like the dailys this could be a very interesting addition to the regular game. This kind of feature would need some serious planning and work, because it would change quite some things that are not possible with the game right now. We will decide if it’s worth the effort later so stay tuned!
As much as we love Card Crawl it’s also time to think about the next game. As you might have seen we already posted a rather complete prototype of Alchemist. With Alchemist we tried to stay within the Card Crawl universe (thematically and gameplay wise). It’s quite a big question right now if we make a spiritual successor to Card Crawl and try to cater to an existing fanbase or bring something completely new. Since Alchemist is on hold right now, because we think it hasn’t the same potential that Card Crawl had when it was a prototype, we are looking at other ideas and designs. It’s funny how a certain pressure is building up since Card Crawl was a modest success and there are quite some people waiting to see what we come up with next. If we find something interesting to work on you will read about it here!