The process of creating a game is difficult, long, and often stressful, but it's one that can reap many rewards alongside actually seeing your ideas come to life.
No matter the size of the game or how long it ultimately takes to make, each new title involves a lot of hard work, tough decisions, and a little bit of luck before it even gets out the door and onto devices. And in the current mobile games market, that's only the first step to making the title succeed.
To highlight all of the extensive work that often goes on unseen in the background, PocketGamer.biz is reaching out to developers to learn more about the general rigmarole of releasing a video game, with our 'Making Of' series.
This week we spoke with Bossa Studios regarding the development and launch of Hogwash and why the studio felt Apple Arcade was the right place to release the title.
PocketGamer.biz: Can you start off by telling us about Hogwash?
Bossa Studios: Hogwash is a three versus one multiplayer game about a farmhand struggling to control three rowdy pigs that want to spread muck all over the farm. It's a family-friendly experience that's designed to be easy to pick up but full of opportunities for strategic mayhem.
Hogwash took seven months to develop with a development team of around 20 people.Bossa Studios
Where did the initial idea for the game come from?
Hogwash came from a Bossa Studios game jam, which is the cornerstone of our creative process. Their purpose is to generate new ideas that can form the seeds and foundation for further development.
Generally, we set aside two days a month for jamming. Members of the studio, from designers and programmers to finance and marketing, gather into teams by sharing ideas around and working towards making playable game experiences, all based on an agreed theme for that month. This is how games like Surgeon Simulator, I Am Bread, and Hogwash were born.
How long did development take, and how many people worked on the game?
Hogwash took seven months to develop, with a development team of around 20 people.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome during development?
Creating a new multiplayer IP with original gameplay was always going to be a challenge. Launching the game on four platforms in 17 languages within seven months was an even bigger one!
We had to have a laser focus on creating compelling multiplayer gameplay that featured a high level of visual quality. That meant being very strict with our scope which is difficult when you're a studio with such a propensity for wild creativity.
At what stage in development did you feel you had a game that you were happy with?
We had a prototype which had come out of a game jam prior to full production which validated the basics of the theme and the gameplay loop, so we already had an exciting core to hang the game on. However, it took almost all of the development process to bring all together and get it refined into a game we were happy with.
Bossa Studios has a history of being one of the first studios to develop on new platforms or invest in new initiativesBossa Studios
How did the deal come about to work with Apple and more specifically Apple Arcade?
Apple reached out to us with early details of Apple Arcade and we showed them Hogwash, which was still in its jam state at the time, but the fun gameplay and cute pigs were compelling enough even at that very early stage to be given the go-ahead.
How happy are you with the game's launch so far?
We are very happy with the game's launch on Apple Arcade. Hogwash has found a promising home among the other great titles on there.
What can you tell us about your future mobile projects?
We've got nothing specific we can reveal right now, but we are always experimenting within our monthly game jams. These result in a huge output of exciting concepts, some of which would absolutely find a home on mobile platforms.
Bossa Studios has a history of being one of the first studios to develop on new platforms or invest in new initiatives, such as virtual reality, smartwatches, Apple Arcade and more. We aim to continue that going forward.
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