Can’t believe it’s been over one year since we started seriously developing WarClicks! Since then we’ve done ton of updates that changed and expanded the game massively, learned so much about the genre and all the possibilities it offers, and watching it expand via so many cool features added in the game.
In fact your contribution and feedback has been a huge help in not just helping us keep the game alive, but also discussions are one of the major driving forces that kept us rethinking things, what we were doing wrong and what we can and should improve. Instead of writing huge incremental walls of text, we’ll try to keep it to some of our most useful lessons that can stay in points (most are aimed at fellow developers, some are just more general):
1.) If you’re making a multiplayer/competitive game – make sure you know how to prevent exploits. It takes time (more than you’ll think at first) and can be costly. Painful lesson, especially for a first game.
2.) Squash as many bugs as you can. Not all users have bug spray and are scared off. Easy to lose players, hard to gain.
3.) Don’t hardcode – anything if you can prevent it. Use constants. If you don’t have a final game state, make sure to dynamically calculate things/progress. It’s easier than it sounds, often even much faster to code in the first place.
4.) If it’s not just a test/hobby project, graphics and UI DO matter. Yes, mechanics and progression are the key here, but even some time put into making things look decent and presentable/not overwhelming for new users, is extremely important. Some simple tutorial is often a must.
5.) Clicking as a “mechanic” is in most cases a bad idea. As are energy systems. Incrementals can really integrate so many mechanics, so have a think if there’s something better you can use… Unless you have a good reason to keep it in and feel it fits the game theme/style/gameplay. But limit it.
6.) Listen to your players’, but don’t let them command and lead what you do if you believe in what you’re doing and have (good) reasons for it.
7.) Balance. Progression. Very important to test, plan, and have easy ways to adjust it.
8.) Canvas. CSS transforms. Self-correcting intervals/requestAnimationFrame. “cache” things in variables that are constantly recalculated. A few hours of reading/learning about best (and simple) practices for optimization will save you ton of hours & future hassle.
9.) Be careful with IAPs – easy to break the game, even with good intentions. Really, really consider how and what you should monetize.
10.) If you plan to make money from your game, marketing and monetization plans are important. Don’t rely on luck. Especially if it’s a standalone web game. Probably better to start off with publishers if you have no idea/team to help.
So yeah. After all this time we are still working on the game and are in the midst of finishing the biggest update to date that takes from the above, and shapes the game to be much more fun and engaging to play – finally all the things/mistakes will connect and hopefully give you a better idea why we keep on going and stick to some things that to date felt “wrong”. Here are some of the main changes/additions (Can’t share too much details yet though, confidential stuff still (until it leaks!) :=( ) :
– A complete rework of current graphics and UI
– Finally an actual in-depth Connection between idle and active worlds will be added -> units trained in BootCamp become your actual army in WarZone. Not currency, but units. It’s a war game – we’ve always wanted to add strategic elements of using/losing units vs. progression
– “Second prestige” in BootCamp – Not completely straightforward as it affects/connects with several other points in here…
– Simulation of PvP battles – huh? Wait and see!
– Various new types of upgrades added to WarZone. What will you upgrade – support, clicking or PvP?
– Boss Fights in WarZone with a special twist! <– “How are you going to ‘farm’ if we’re keeping limited fuel/clicking?” – Tons of things connect to make this interesting and viable!
– We’re keeping clicking in WarZone and fuel. Why? One of the reasons is since it’s “multiplayer” there have to be some limits. More importantly, we and our core players really feel some of it belongs in here! Boom, chaos and destruction must stay! Especially with this update we’ll improve things with it significantly. Along with the “main scoring system” will be much more interesting now.
We don’t have a final ETA just yet, but it should be released within max 1.5 months. We’re really excited about this one, as it will finally show many of the things we had in mind, and just overall make the game that more fun! Thanks to everyone who’s supported us so far, you helped us a ton in many ways!