Yuri Sanachev, developer of the hit game Floors, is kind enough to answer a few questions about his development experience. Floors was ranked in the top 9 (and in the top 5 in the UK, RU, AU) of free games on the iTunes app store and developed with Cocos2d-x and SDKBOX.
1. Tell us where you came up with the idea for this game. What were your inspirations?
One evening I was playing a mobile game called Make Them Jump. After some time I was like: “ok, what if there will be only one floor lighted and stickman will run from floor to floor with increasing speed and different obstacles? Sounds cool!”. I didn’t sleep all night until the mockup was done. Then I did the prototype. It was fun and tricky enough to play and I liked it 🙂
2. How long did it take you to create this game?
I did web games previously (flash, html5), so Floors is my first mobile project and I haven’t had any native dev experience before. It took about a week to learn both c++ and cocos2d-x basics and make up core gameplay. After that I spent several months part-time on polishing, gameplay balancing and integrating content (like characters and SDKs) cooperating with Ketchapp.
3. What version of cocos2d-x did you use?
I used v3.4 for Floors as it was the latest version to date.
4. What features did the engine offer you that made development easy? What do you wish the engine did better?
I think the community and a lot of tutorials (especially on YouTube) made a huge boost to start development. Regarding the features, I like that engine is very flexible and developer-friendly. Resources and memory management, particle engine and great Actions model made my life a lot easier.
I would like to suggest proper DragonBones integration and built-in effects, like grayscale or “real” tint (currently we have to write our custom shaders for it).
5. What tools did you use besides the engine?
Adobe Flash for the characters and animation
Adobe Photoshop for the UI and other art
GAF to export animations for cocos2d-x
Zwoptex as a spritesheet editor
Audacity for sound editing
XCode/Eclipse as development IDEs
Genymotion as Android emulator
6. How did you get our game published with KetchApp?
Suggested the game through the contact form on their site, and got answered 🙂
7. What do you think of SDKBOX?
That thing really reduce your SDK integration time and make it super easy, really great initiative. I used SDKBOX IAP from the first builds and it was mostly cool: rapid bug fixes (several days, access to nightly builds) and any of your suggestions and ideas get noticed through the forums. It also features the roadmap so you can keep an eye on the development. I would suggest to keep the docs up-to-dated every release to prevent discrepancy and issues.
8. What are your ideas for services SDKBOX should integrate with in the future?
Google Play Games, iOS Game Center, HeyZap, Share plugin (picture + text).
9. What is your monetization strategy? Did SDKBOX make this attainable?
I haven’t made any specific strategy yet, but you can read/watch the Crossy Road postmortem about that, it influenced Floors a lot. SDKBOX provides a lot of possibilities to use all kinds of ads, but HeyZap makes it way easier. As I already suggested, HeyZap plugin will be a great part of the SDKBOX for sure.
10. What are your suggestions for incorporating ads into games? What ad networks do you like? Can you share any numbers with other developers on what is a successful strategy?
Try to make games with less aggressive and more motivated ad inside. And check out Crossy Road postmortem once again. Floors is my first mobile game and I’m not experienced enough to advice specific ad networks. Unfortunately I’m under NDA as well, so I can’t share any income stats.