Happy New Year BioBeasts!
Make any interesting New Year's resolutions? Here at Artix Entertainment, the last year's resolution was to learn new technology and make awesome games! BioBeasts was definitely a part of that company-wide effort. Looking back a year ago, so much has changed and we learned a ton! With the knowledge we have now, we know 2016 will be an awesome year!
December 2015 Dev Recap
Last month was a very interesting time for us. We were hoping to hit the big GO button and launch BioBeasts before the Holiday break. However, there were 2 outstanding issues plaguing us. Upon further investigation, we found Unity had pushed a few critical bugs into the engine in 5.3. These bugs caused animations to flicker on many of our assets and dramatically reduced the game's performance.
We knew we couldn’t launch with BioBeasts in this unstable state, so we waited for Unity to patch the bug. This also meant we couldn’t even push updates to our testers. We did have a plan B to roll back to an earlier version of Unity, but at the cost of many features we wanted from their latest build. Reverting would have resulted in hours of rework and likely increased the chance that the BioBeasts wouldn’t run smoothly on older devices.
Most of the month was spent investigating and researching the Unity bugs. We worked closely with the Unity debug team, providing them reproduction projects to help them recreate and fix the problem. Unity was very helpful and patient with us. Even though these bugs caused an unexpected delay in our pipeline, we did gain more knowledge of how Unity systems work and ultimately ended up with a better game.
Thankfully we didn’t have to revert. On Dec 17th, Unity patched our bugs in version 5.3.1p1. All of our critical issues were fixed and we immediately went to action to push out a build to our beta testers. Android takes approximately 2 hours to update, while iOS can take up to 4 days. iOS closed store submissions for the holidays on Dec 22nd, so there wasn’t enough time for testing. It was at this time we decided to hold off a live launch of BioBeasts until 2016.
AQ3D Kickstarter success
You did it! What an incredible way to start our New Year of adventure together. Including Kickstarter ($368,503) and Paypal ($34,265), our final total is a colossal $402,768. ALSO, you have gotten AdventureQuest 3D greenlit on Steam and unlocked ALL of the posted Stretch Goals! Absolutely amazing! Way to go everyone!
With the AQ3D success, Artix Entertainment will be very busy working on developing for its very new project. What that means for us is we now have company wide support for the launch of BioBeasts!
BioBeasts Final Testing
Today we are rolling out what should be the final build of BioBeasts to our beta testers! This will go live for them this weekend and pending any issues they find, we should be ready to submit to the store! We are in the process of critically testing all the remaining device sizes and watching out for any game flow hang ups.
What is remaining
- Polish Tutorial
- Ensure clarity in every tutorial step ( this is mostly done, there are just some minor tweaks we want to add to the tutorial which we hope will add clarity. )
- Third-Party Integrations
- Test Apple and Google purchase platforms
- Test Ad integration via Unity Ads
- Test Analytics via Unity Analytics
- Finalize Marketing materials
- BioBeasts Video
- Image graphics for Google Play and Apple Store
- Image graphics for AE network
- Launch and play final beta testing build!
- Hit the big red submit button!
Submitting to IOS and Android
Once the testers approve our final build, we will submit BioBeasts to the Google Play store and iOS Apple app store. We expect Android to get approved within 24 hours, however on iOS depending on how many games are in their queue could take up to 2 weeks. Likely it won't take that long but you never know and we could still get rejected. Something as silly as checking a little box in Unity options can reject an application. We will triple check everything hoping that will not be the case with us. Once we have app approval we will announce when BioBeasts will go live to the public!
What Comes Next?
After the launch of BioBeasts, we expect a several content updates to add a few of those “wish list” features and implement the inevitable, but hopefully minimal, bug fixes. We will do everything we can to promote the game via every channel available to us so that will consume much of our time immediately after launch. What happens after that depends greatly on the success of the game. We have plenty of ideas from the testers and in-house to potentially expand the scope and depth of the game if it really takes off.
Once again thank you for joining us along this creative journey! We couldn't have done this with out your support! We plan to always add new and interesting things to read here on our dev blog. Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for latest updates!