Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Latest news from Mika Mobile

Since it's been quite a while, I figured I'd spend a little time talking about how things are going and what we've been up to with Battleheart's pseudo-sequel.

In general, Mika Mobile is doing well.  We relocated our home and business recently, which was a pretty big distraction, but we're getting back into our comfort zone again.  We recently released iPhone 5 resolution updates for our two most popular games (ZV2 and Battleheart) and Apple gave both games some nice featuring back in October as a result, which is always welcome and helps invigorate downloads.  It amazes us how people are still discovering/downloading our games, often years after their initial release, and it definitely helps keep our spirits up between releases.  In fact, as of this posting ZV2 is back in the top 100 apps again in the US, which is just crazy.

Battleheart "2" is our most ambitious project by a long shot, so its development has naturally been taking longer than any of our previous games.  We've been on it close to a year now more or less, and it's definitely starting to feel like forever since we released something!  Much like Battleheart before it, this is a big project, so we knew there would be a pretty large gap between releases this time - some of you might recall that OMG Pirates! and Battleheart were separated by more than a year too.  There's still plenty left to do, but I'm very confident in where it's going.

Due to the fact that our games are frequent targets of cloning, I'm still not prepared to give a lot of fine detail about the design, and how it differs from the original Battleheart, but I can share a couple things.  As I mentioned in a prior blog, we're trying to focus more on exploration, rather than the game simply being a series of static arenas.  Towards this end, we decided early on to build the game in 3D, with more of an isometric camera perspective (Think Diablo, any RTS, or old Zelda games), and make this our first game which uses 3D polygonal art/animation so that we can have great variety in characters/animation without having to make a trillion sprites.  This doesn't mean our art style has been abandoned - in fact, we've reproduced all of the baddies from Battleheart in glorious 3d and their charming designs made the transition nicely.  The aesthetic is definitely different, but I think it's still quite appealing.

Another thing we're pretty stoked about is the new class system.  I think one of the things that gave Battleheart a lot of replayability was the potential to try different classes, see what their spells/abilities were like and play with different party combinations.  This time around, we wanted to allow more customization beyond simply picking between two mutually exclusive skills here and there.  The current design (always subject to change, but its working so far) is to allow you to kinda create your own classes by drawing from a pool of active and passive skills that are designed to complement each other.  There will be some requirements/restrictions for this or that, but there's a lot of potential for mixing and matching, ensuring that almost no two players will build their kit exactly the same (hopefully).  Hypothetically, you could have a wizard who swings a claymore, or a rogue who can whip out a bow to do some ranged attacks when foes are out of dagger range.

Hopefully we'll be able to share more with you guys soon.  In the mean time, enjoy the holidays!