2018-12-31 - Tinytouchtales
It’s the last day of 2018 and time for another traditional End of Year post. In comparison to 2017, 2018 was a really quiet year in terms of game releases for me, but as i said in my End of Year 2017 post, 2017 will be hard to top in the coming years for sure. So let’s take a look what 2018 had to offer.
Card Crawl Steam
In February we released a port of our beloved mobile dungeon crawler card game Card Crawl on Steam. I always wanted to try to port one of my games to the Desktop to see if it would be viable for my type of games. The biggest part was the redesign of almost all UI/Screens to fit the wide aspect of desktop monitors. In addition to that we implemented Steams own leaderboard and achievements through Garry Newman’s fantastic Facepunched Steamworks library. It took me around 3 month of work and maybe one additional month of work for Mexer who provided quite a lot new backgrounds and animations.
The release process on Steam itself was easy and i could push a few quick updates after the release as well. The reception of the game was quite good for it being a mobile port (which the steam audience generally hates). As described in my other post, i estimated that the game would need to make around $10000 to be considered worth the effort. Right now it’s sitting at about $4600 after Valves cut. Based on these numbers i would not consider this port as a viable example for my other games and i rather like to focus on mobile for now – which is totally ok for me!
German Game Awards
In April we won the German Games Award for the best mobile game with Card Thief.
This was quite a nice surprise since we were nominated back in 2016 with Card Crawl as well, but could not win. I always considered Card Crawl the more accessible game especially if you consider the Jury of such an award that is not only composed of hardcore gamers. Non the less Card Thief could convince despite it’s complex rules and tricky to learn nuances. Thanks again for the award and the nice evening in Munich with Max and Oliver.
The best mobile game category’s price money is €40000 which will be used to develop a new game within the next 2 years, which we are indeed already doing.
I consider 2018 the year of prototypes. In my limited time, due to my first daughters birth in March, i pushed hard to find the next official game that i could release as Tinytouchtales. As always a lot of my followers know me as the solitaire style card game creator, which i indeed am, but it’s always hard to find new exciting ideas that would work with my established style.
Here’s a quick list of things i worked on (unsuccessfully so far):
1. A Battle Royal solitaire
2. A lane based combat idea, that works with hidden infos on each card
3. A 9 card nano game
4. A base idea of moving cards on 9 stacks that change value based on their stack height
#GameDesign idea: Moving a card onto another stack increases the value of the card by 1 relative to the card it's placed on. If there is no card the value stays the same. #prototype pic.twitter.com/0qLozvFGNp
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) 4. Juni 2018
5. A micro game of ordering cards in 4 rows based on their symbols
#GameDesign idea: Fill all columns with 4 cards. Each card type can only be played into each column once. Consecutive cards can only be played on matching types displayed on the bottom of the card. #prototype pic.twitter.com/sWmKJle9M1
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) 5. Juni 2018
6. A lane based minion thing, don’t even know anymore how this was suppose to work…
7. A hex based hacking solitaire game
8. A base idea of cards in a 3×3 grid that would be influenced by an “outer” modifier that changes each round.
9. Hex Crawl
10. Hack & Swipe
The only prototype that is worth talking about is Hex Crawl. I spent quite some time on this idea (3 month) but ultimately i could not get it to work. The base idea was kind of a mix between an old iOS game Dungeon Solitaire, a Tower Defense game and automated hex based minion combat, all played as a solitaire card game.
The game’s complexity was quite high and i could not make the base game any less complex because then the cool parts of the design would not be notable at all. I showed the game at our local game’s meetup Talk & Play and the inherent flaws of the game were exposed by players all too quick. Normally i would take extra time to adress some of the issues players had with the game but i decided that it would not be worth to pursue the idea any further. I think Hex Crawl’s base idea is good but the way in which the different system interact is just too confusing so far. That’s why i decided it was just not feasible to take it to the next step. I will for sure make another dedicated post about this project soon.
Revenue wise i was quite convinced that 2017 was the absolute peak and that in 2018 without any new games released most of my older games would pan out quite quick. Luckily i was blessed with a lot of really good Apple featurings for Card Thief and Miracle Merchant and a very special feature highlighting my work as a whole.
Wohooo my very own @AppStore feature is live in the UK store right now! – Meet the master of indie card games: How Arnold Rauers invents new ways to play the classics. https://t.co/myCKmecReK@pigsell @ThomasWellmann pic.twitter.com/SYSUrD1AYr
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) 18. September 2018
In addition to that i made the right move of increasing Card Crawl’s price after the Halloween special which brought in some nice extra $s so far. As it seems my games have a very unique niche appeal and that’s why also in 2018 most of my games brought in a hefty profit with minimal effort on my side. I’m very happy that we could find quite a lot of new players that enjoy my solitaire style card games.
Here’s the overall chart for 2018 (curve is revenue). 726000 downloads (paid and free) generated $151000 in revenue. An extra €40000 ($45750) came from the German Games Award and Card Crawl Steam brought in additional $4600.
2018 was a very exciting year for me personally and most of my time was spend with my first daughter Josefine who was born back in March. I managed to create a healthy amount of prototypes that, after a few failures, led me to my next game which Mexer and i are already (secretly) working on and i’m very excited to properly announce it soon. Between that i managed to get in another 600-700h hours of PUBG, special shout out to Firepunched and a few other regular squad mates, with whom i spend many fun evenings on Erangel, Miramar, Sanhok and Vikendi this year. My games continued to generate a healthy amount of revenue and i’m super excited each time to see the wonderful feedback of my players.
— TiNYTOUCHTALES (@tinytouchtales) 19. Dezember 2018
I didn’t have time to write up a proper game of the year list, but be sure to check out See/Saw by Kamibox which was my no. 1 iOS game this year. An amazing platformer with absolutely brilliant level design that made me tear out more than one hair… well done Phillip!
Again, thanks for all your support. I hope we all can make 2019 another awesome year with a lot of games, Games, GAAAMEEESS!!!