Mobile Means “Can Move Around”, Right?

One month ago today, we launched World War Mobile. We knew we had lots to learn going in but also brought extensive knowledge of our own. So now that a month has gone by, we want to share where we are at.  Spoilers – we need to do more work.

SHG has always worked with the MVP concept — essentially launching a game with the minimal feature set that can make a game good. From there, we learn and grow. This is best practice for startups.

That means, the game we launched in September, in our opinion, has suffered from split personality.  We found ourselves trying to both test the game and maintain the game at the same time.  Because of this, some of the visual uplift that has always been planned fell by the wayside as we did controlled tests such as the game’s gifting mechanic. In the last week, we’ve tied up some of our biggest stability concerns with logins and game performance but the game flow is still highly accelerated so that mid and late game elements can be tested as well.  

A big thanks goes to our programming team who pumped out updates almost daily with one to two public updates per week. You guys are awesome!

And now we have new pressures on our schedules.  We have started to grow the team again and, Bret Measor, the Product Manager for World War Mobile, is need for a new project in the pipeline.  We knew this a few months ago and, as planned, World War Mobile is now shifting to my responsibility, along with team members.  I have to also thank Bret for the great work he did leading the team.  I saw him keep everyone focused and motivated. He led the team, but it was a team effort — there was never discounting of anyone’s opinions.

This type of handoff shows we are growing as a studio. Less reaction, more planning. And its working. But it does mean a change in how we handle things. We know a lot more than we used to, and due to a month’s learning we know a lot about World War Mobile.

So what’s next?  Well, we want to bring World War Mobile up to its full potential and we want to do it soon.  But the only way to do that, is that the game will have to go offline at the end of this month, until the new year.  The game is not available worldwide right now, we started with a limited region release, and we want to be sure that we put our best foot forward for worldwide release.  Some of the work has already begun, here are a few images of what the units could look like if we pull the game back into the workshop for a little while.

Unit_01 Unit_08

There are also UI changes we would like to make that would break the game for a while as they get implemented plus the game balance is not where it should be, too easy in some places and too hard in others.  Pacing, something I discussed in a previous blog, is all wrong currently.  With the current design, it could never maintain a community like we have created in Star Pirates or Zombie Moon.  Since a strong community has always been a key element of our successful games, addressing this is a must for us.

So, if you are playing the game, please stop into the shoutbox this afternoon, 4PM EST.  The dev team will be hosting a shoutbox party and we’d love to hear your feedback.  And the game will remain accessible until Oct 31st.  Over the next few days, we will also be addressing those players who invested real life cash in the game.  We want to be sure we do right by every last person who paid real money into the game so far.  Many have already received some form of credit in our existing games but we will be sure that no one is forgotten.

Also, watch for more development blogs over the next few months.  We guarantee you that the wait for the next evolution of the game will be well worth it.

[Monday Update] – Here are some screens from the new units in game:

Screenshot_2015-10-26-13-50-15 Screenshot_2015-10-26-13-49-34 Screenshot_2015-10-26-13-48-28 Screenshot_2015-10-26-14-55-46