We catch up with the creators of Happy Skies from Terrasect Mobile to talk about Live Games built in Unity 3D
Beamable had an opportunity to catch up with John Wisniewski and Donald Schepis of Terrasect on their new education entertainment title Happy Skies and learn how Beamable helped them build their game faster and consider live game functionality right out of the box!
Donald: I met everyone on the team at university. We started by cleaning up game jam (48 hour game challenges where you make a game) games to release them on mobile devices. The first one was a 2D, side-scrolling platformer where you lost sanity instead of lives. As you lost sanity, the environment looked more and more twisted. When John joined the team, he and Jeff really hit it off and went on to form Terrasect.
John: Jeff and I wanted to release games and if you want to make a lot of games mobile is a great place to do it. Right after Flappy Bird went crazy, Jeff and I made My Ninja. We wanted to release a quick mobile game and test out using pixel art. Then we moved on to selling games to businesses.
Donald: We all jumped on to help build consumer loyalty games. Match-three games were the bread and butter for the client projects while we worked on more traditional mobile games on the side.
John: We got tired of losing game jams and it always seemed like multiplayer games won! On the serious side, we love learning and using new tech. Multiplayer was the natural route we went on.
John: SaaS is the first thing that comes to mind. Games like Roblox and Minecraft are kind of there, they give the consumer what is needed to create a game experience. As a dev, I see a kit such as Beamable as a service needed to create our own experience.
Donald: Games-as-Service (GaaS) means we don't have to hit the bullseye on the first shot. We get to see how our players react to what we build and adjust course. And I don't mean refining existing content and systems to maximize the number of people who enjoy it, I mean actually trying different things. One day the industry is going to realize that having a live game doesn't mean it sticks around for a long time. A live game gets to change and morph in substantive and vital ways. That at the end of the life cycle, where we started and where we ended don't look anything alike. And I mean to extreme degrees, as in a game shuttering in a different genre than it released.
John: The idea for Happy Skies came about because we were talking about kids and I saw a paper bag floating in the wind. The core experience is the player controlling the “paper bag” by the wind.
Donald: Then the rest of the team got ahold of the idea and we expanded upon it. We wanted the game to offer an experience that enriched the kids who played it, which is where the world traveling came in. Exposing kids to other cultures and places in the hopes of inspiring interest felt right. While the art style and gameplay are always a great hit with kids, we did have to put the project aside a few years ago. But it's John and I's white whale so we're continuing development to finish the game. A cute white whale.
John: We are currently near completion of Happy Skies and working on the vertical for a Car game. Happy Skies is a kids game that takes players across the world with balloons as their mode of travel. There are dangers to the balloons along the player's path to discover the world. I hope the young players learn something about the world and realize it is awesome to be here.
|Happy Skies Features|
|Player Management - Identity, Login, Data Management, 3rd party ID||Login for player data and management|
|Configuration & Cloud Data Services|
|Events & Tournaments Management||Planned for running holiday and themed events|
|Shopping - Payments, IAP Systems||For selling different skins and levels|
|Inventory & Currency Management||Managing in-game currencies|
|Social systems - Friends, Groups, Guilds, Leaderboards||Using Leaderboards|
|Messaging - Announcements, Chat, Campaigns|
|Offers - Limited Time Offers, segmented offers||Planning to add limited time offers|
|Battlepass - Subscriptions/Reward tables/Daily rewards||Daily Rewards for consistent play|
|C# Microservices - Hosted server logic|
|LiveOps content tools - Yamilton, seamless content promotion, scheduling|
John: The next game is already in the prototyping stage, the car game mentioned above. We will be exploring Social systems - Friends, Groups, Guilds, Leaderboards, Events & Tournaments Management more.
John: The best thing about Beamable is the ease of integration. Besides the features mentioned above, I am hoping Beamable keeps the attitude of quality of life to the developer as a key concern, and our stress levels of creating/maintaining games will continue to drop.
Donald: I agree with John, increasing developer quality of life is a big deal. We put a lot of ourselves into these games and being able to handle large sections of the feature sets without worry lets us put more care into the heart of the game.