Famous Indian buildings are made with blocks. To work with them you need attention, quickness and addiction for fun games. Can you deal with such Blocks? Just try! Without your smart moves, blocks will be destroyed, by falling into the abyss of time. Use all of your skills to not let them fall. Become the true Master of Blocks! Warning! Blocks have an ancient force, capable to make you obsessed with them for many hours! Features: - Endless gameplay that is insanely addictive - Simple yet challenging game - Feel the sounds adapting to gameplay - Achievements that won't let your fingers rest - Tap wisely to hit the top among your friends - Did we mention evil Shaman?

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This is a true story about our first and really independent mobile game. Our company has already released several cool projects for mobile platforms, but all that was done in cooperation with different publishers.

When we designed Tap the Blocks the decision was made that big changes were needed. We totally left our comfort zone.

New home — new office

Together with the first steps on the project we were forced to leave our home, native town and office. All that due to the military conflict on the east of Ukraine. It was a hard time for everyone and we had no other choice but to move to different places in the peaceful parts of Ukraine. Game development has been carried then remotely. This remote office thing is our working plan for two years already and we still keep on managing.

New tools

When you are working remotely you need a good pack of instruments to be most effective and communicative, as the main cons in remote office for me is a lack of live work space.

Slack has become a very good replacement for the live communication. It’s free if you don’t need message history or large number of plug-ins.

Finally, we’ve changed our outdated svn for ultra-modern git with the help of GitLab. This service is great for many reasons: it’s simple, stable, made in Ukraine (supporting domestic company) and free for private projects.

Many developers use Jira or YouTrack for project management. We have used them too, but chose Trello for Tap the Blocks. It’s simple, flexible and (you won’t believe) free with several restrictions.

New game engine

It’s very difficult to choose third-party commercial product after 8 years of your own game engine development. Now I’ll tell main “why”:

  • Oh God, we’ve spent so much money on it. How can we just leave it?
  • Third-party commercial engine with closed source code can become our weak spot in front of the game release
  • Necessity to find and hire new specialists
  • And many many others

When we overcame all this matters we chose Unity as a very popular game engine. It was like changing a bike for the rocket. We’ve got a magnificent tool we could only dream about.

But the sweetest thing in Unity is the variety of plug-ins that made development much easier. Here is a short list of our helpers:

  • DoTween Pro — two click scene animation
  • Text Mesh Pro — text work on steroids

  • I2 Localization prepared Tap the Blocks for any language localization just in one day
  • Particle Playground — superstructure over the standard particle system
  • Spriter2Unity — skeleton animation for our evil Shaman

  • SRDebugger should be in every Unity project. Just try it you won’t regret

  • Touch Script — easy work with touch
  • xARM — see your game on all screen resolutions. This plug-in greatly helped us to do the screenshots for different stores

Changing the way of development

It may sound funny, but it’s possible and we encountered this to be most difficult.

Every of eight projects we finished was redone a few times. We were struggling for every pixel until total perfection. It is not so good for business, because another company can make two projects while we are still working on one. They will dismiss small flaws, that aren’t obvious for players.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t force you to make bad. You just need to cut unnecessary and focus on really important things.

Changing the monetization model

That part was changed radically. During years of our work we had worked with Paid or Freemium models, but they don’t seem to survive on mobile platforms.

We had to move forward and change it. We aren’t f2p supporters so we put our sight on Free+ads as the main monetization model for Tap the Blocks.

That’s where Unity came to help again. With its help we were able to connect all services needed to make player happy with very addictive gameplay and we could earn some money.

I will discuss that services in the next part of the article about making Tap the Blocks.

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