Just recently we published an interview with Hugo Smits of Goodbye Galaxy Games, discussing the studio's move into self-publishing on the 3DS and exploring the details of the bold 'Gomba' development tool that's in progress. Beyond that, of course, it's a company known for clever, innovative download games on DSiWare, making the move to Nintendo's latest hardware with the recent Tappingo.
Little time is being wasted with its follow-up, Tappingo 2, which is currently targeting a Summer release. We followed up with Smits to learn more about the success of the original and what changes we can expect in the sequel; we also get a surprising insight into a future project, too.
Before we move onto the sequel, were you happy with the reaction to Tappingo, from critics and gamers?
Yeah, very happy. It was really amazing to see all those people playing my game and reading their reactions on Twitter. Some even got their parents to play the game (and they loved it!). That made me feel really good!
Most critics seemed to really like the game, we got a lot of 80% or higher. So that was really rewarding.
What I really didn’t expect was the active community on Miiverse, I really love that place! So many people posting records and funny drawings about Tappingo! Really cool!
While we appreciate you may not be able to give firm figures, has it performed well commercially? How does its performance compare to your DSiWare releases?
It’s doing a little bit less than Flipper did back in the day, of course it outsells most of my recent DSiWare titles (since that market was pretty much dead).
Overall I’m really happy, and I accept that now that I’m building out the Tappingo brand sales will only rise.
Were there any notable differences that stood out to you in the process of releasing a 3DS game, rather than DSiWare?
I try to read everything that was ever said about my games. So I lurk on forums, Twitter and website comments.
Well, it was the first time I made a 3DS game, so naturally lots of things were new in the development process! The biggest thing to stand out is probably the switch to 3D. Since I normally only made 2D games, I was really used to use 2D hardware features of the DS and I stayed far away from the 3D ones.
Now I had to do everything in 3D (even the bottom screen). Everything you see is made out of polygons! So that was a big switch for me!
To start on Tappingo 2, can you give us an overview of the title and any enhancements and changes we can look forward to?
I try to read everything that was ever said about my games. So I lurk on forums, Twitter and website comments. I try to get as much feedback as possible. In the case of Tappingo points for improvement where pretty clear:
Zoom mode is probably the biggest new feature. People thought the tiles on the big grid were too small. So being able to zoom in is a really nice feature to have.
Other than that there are many little ones, like for example if you look at the screenshot you can see all lines now have outlines. This makes a individual line better visible in a group of the same colour and also stand out a bit more against the background colour.
I also put in double tapping to retract a line, so players won’t accidentally retract a line causing a chain reaction.
Danny and me also worked really hard on the user interface, made it more dynamic and animated. And just lots and lots of other little things!
What drove the decision to turn around a sequel so soon after the first title?
Multiple reasons; people seemed really eager for more puzzles. Both on Twitter and Miiverse people were really asking about it a lot.
With Tappingo 1 the budget and timing didn’t allow me to put all features in that I really wanted (like the zoom mode). So I’m really happy that I can go back to Tappingo and revisited those issues and polish the game.
Also, we are building on the foundation of Tappingo 1, which makes development easier. This frees up more time for my work as a publisher. Tappingo 2 will be the first title I self publish, so it’s nice to have the time to be able to focus a bit more on the paperwork now.
Are some of these puzzles from the process of developing the first game, and if so did you ever consider just adding paid-DLC to the original?
No, all puzzles are brand new. Specially made by Danny for Tappingo 2. Because it really bugged me that I couldn’t include all features I wanted, DLC wasn’t really a option. I really want to improve the game as well.
You've said you're self-publishing Tappingo 2, but are you collaborating with CIRCLE Entertainment at all on this release?
Yes, Tappingo 2 will be self published. Although we might collaborate with CIRCLE Entertainment for a Japanese release. Currently CIRCLE and me are hard at work at getting Tappingo 1 to Japan.
I do plan to get the next 3DS game out this year. I cannot really tell too much about it, other than that hardcore gamers will love it. It’s a FPS with guns and blood!
Is there scope to run a promotion to encourage buying both games, such as buy Tappingo 2 and get Tappingo half price? Or will you opt for conventional promotions in the future instead?
Because Tappingo 1 is published by Circle, and Tappingo will be published by myself it will be difficult to arrange a promotion of such sorts (just from a paperwork perspective and getting Nintendo in line for this). So I will probably opt for the conventional promotions.
The sale for Tappingo 1 worked really well though! Sales went up between 600-700% for that complete week! So I was very surprised and happy to see that!
Do you hope to see Tappingo evolve into a continual franchise, rather like the Picross E series?
Yes, I do hope so. Although I don’t expect to release them as fast as I’m doing now. After Tappingo 2 I will continue work on a secret 3DS game, which I hope will be done before Xmas this year!
With this release and Gomba in the works, you clearly also have firm plans for your next 3DS eShop project. Can you tell us what kind of game you're working on?
There are firm plans, but nothing else at the moment. I will pick it up after I finish Tappingo 2. I do plan to get the next 3DS game out this year. I cannot really tell too much about it, other than that hardcore gamers will love it. It’s a FPS with guns and blood!
Finally, do you have a Tappingo 2 'pitch' to share with our readers?
Tappingo 2 will improve many things the community has mentioned about Tappingo 1, and if you are craving for more puzzles, Tappingo 2 will have over 100 fresh new puzzles waiting for you!
Right now we are putting the final touches on the User Interface and I would like to ask the community for some input, below are three screenshots of Tappingo 2. Each with a different background colour. Please vote on your favourite colour!
Thanks for all your support and I hope you are really going to enjoy Tappingo 2!
Which background colour would you like in Tappingo 2? (65 votes)
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