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Interview: Goodbye Galaxy Games on Tappingo 2 Improvements, With Hints at What's Next

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Working on an "FPS with guns and blood"

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)

Blue

46%

Green

29%

Purple

25%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (34)

Vallu

#3

Vallu said:

It would be cool if you would be able to change the background color in the game. Green looks the coolest to me.

ejamer

#4

ejamer said:

I agree with Vallu. It would be nice to be able to change the background color, or maybe have it change dynamically to avoid matching colors used in the puzzle. You know, because you probably don't have enough work to do on the game already.
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Frapp

#5

Frapp said:

I'd also like the option to choose background colours, but purple got my vote above.
Good luck with the launch, Smitsy. I'll be there day one again.

Froggievilleus

#6

Froggievilleus said:

The first game was great. My only complaint is that is was too short. :) This will definitely be a day 1 purchase for me. Keep up the great work Hugo! :)

HugoSmits

#7

HugoSmits said:

@Froggievilleus too short!? how long did it take you to finish all puzzles? on average it took gamers 8 hours! I know full priced retail games that don’t last that long, let alone a $2,99 game!

ejamer

#8

ejamer said:

Eight hours is great value, but it's always "too short" when you are having fun... :)

HugoSmits

#9

HugoSmits said:

@ejamer sure, and I hope everybody will have a great time again with Tappingo 2; but if you expect me to put in more than 8 hours of content for $2,99, you are wrong :P

Nintendojuenger

#10

Nintendojuenger said:

In comparison to fast-paced puzzle games, the challenge of logic puzzle games isn’t the speed, it is the complexity. Tappingo has solid mechanics but it is missing complexity. If I compare the complexity of Tappingo with other logic puzzle games like Illust Logic + Colourful Logic or Pic Pic it needs at best a few minutes to master the difficult levels inset of a half a hour or more… I hope the zoom mode would help to create bigger, especially more complex, puzzles. Tappingo isn’t a full price retail game, so 8 hours are a solid playtime, but it is 100x 5 Minutes inset of a real challenge.
If I look at the three screenshots, I don’t see the different background colours, I see three times an extremely easy to solve logic puzzle. In my opinion the soul of puzzle games are the mechanic and the complexity or speed… not background colours!

sinalefa

#11

sinalefa said:

Hm, I hear that the game did very good but still no mention of the promised David Jason voice work...

Just kidding, I will be getting this one. I agree with having background colors that could be changed. As soon as the masterful Scram Kitty leaves me any spare time, I will finish Tappingo.

torotoid64

#12

torotoid64 said:

Tappingo was great! It is one of those "crap this subway is taking forever let me play some 3DS" kinda of games can't wait to kill more Subway boredom with 2 :D

Victoria

#13

Victoria said:

Oh good! More puzzles. I enjoyed the first one and will get the second one for sure.

Froggievilleus

#14

Froggievilleus said:

@HugoSmits It took me a couple of hours to go through it. I hit a good stride solving the puzzles and was a little sad as soon as the last one was done. It left me wanting more, which is a good thing. :) If the only issue for me is that the game ended then you did fantastic. When I read the other day that #2 was coming out I got super excited. I hope that I didn't offend you by my saying it was too short.

HugoSmits

#15

HugoSmits said:

@Froggievilleus don't worry! I'm not offended.. I know you liked the game and all :) I was just wondering if you thought you felt like you should have gotten more content for the $2,99

@Nintendojuenger it seems there are two groups, one who loves more like the relaxing zen-like puzzles (which Tappingo offers) and the other group who really want their brains to crack on the puzzles!
Tappingo 2 is more of the same. However, I am working on a new puzzle mechanic. I’m not sure If I will put this eventually in Tappingo or make it a game on it’s own. It’s basically like Tappingo but you have prismas on the grid, when hit by colored lines it will mix the colors and spit out a new colored line!

Froggievilleus

#16

Froggievilleus said:

@HugoSmits I felt that I got my money's worth with the game and I love to support independent publishers when they come out with a great product. If you wanted to do a larger amount of puzzles and charge more for that then I would be fine with that as well. :)

Nintendojuenger

#17

Nintendojuenger said:

@HugoSmits Tappingo could be more than a simple time waster! The colour-mixing mechanics sounds interesting and brings a little more complexity to the formula. There is already a nice little colour-mixing match-three puzzler for Nintendo DS (Blend-it/Splash!) out there in Europe.

Tops

#18

Tops said:

I voted blue, but maybe that's just because it contrasted nicely with the colour of the puzzle in the picture.

@HugoSmits Instead of being able to change the background colours maybe they could just be a colour that isn't being used in that particular puzzle? Because the blue is nice but if I'm working on that cute little penguin...

Gen0neD

#20

Gen0neD said:

Cannot wait! Im going to echo what others have said in previous Tappingo articles. This game should have a level editor. User generated content would really give this game some legs and add almost infinite replay value. Minecraft and Pushmo would agree. Basically, i dont want the game to end once i blast through the 100+ puzzles you've got on order. A constant stream of player created content would ensure that i can keep coming back for more. Also, for the eventual Tappingo 3, see if you can make it so you're building puzzles on a 3D plane. It would be cool to spin the puzzle around and solve it in 3 dimensions instead of just a 2D plane. Just a thought... lots of luck on T2!

PS4

#21

PS4 said:

Can I has all 3 color options? Just add an options menu or something ingame.

I plan on picking up both at some point, I suck at remembering to use a sale at my advantage when I have eShop funds. I did pick up Darts Up 3D for $.99 cents though.

bro2dragons

#22

bro2dragons said:

@HugoSmits : Honestly, I love games like Tappingo and I loved Tappingo for its creative puzzles. There are really only two things I want in the sequel (besides new puzzles, of course).
1. The ability to navigate the menu with D-pad and buttons. I do most of my 3DS playing in bed, and using the stylus while laying on your side is difficult. I played the puzzles using buttons, but why can't I also choose the next puzzle using buttons, too?
2. Like Picross does, I want to see the name of the picture pop up after I complete the puzzle. Usually it's easy enough to tell, but there are a few occasions I'll complete a puzzle, it will spin triumphantly around and then I look at it going... o.O ... O.o ... "What is that???" Like in the screenshot posted above. I know it's not completed, but it looks like... maybe a corn stalk? Or a blowtorch? I don't know. It would be great to have just a little "Corn stalk" flash up on the screen after it does its little victory spin.

accc

#24

accc said:

Two requests for your upcoming shooter:
1. Make it run at 60 fps, even in 3D
2. Let us use gyroscopic controls

Frapp

#25

Frapp said:

@sinalefa
Knowing how much of a fee actors of David's standing can charge—though I've yet to work with the great man—I'd rather not see Hugo's profits wiped out through profligacy.
It was a nice dream, but, alas, a dream is all it was. Mind you—who knows, this time next year we could be millionaires! :)

HugoSmits

#27

HugoSmits said:

@sinalefa @Frapp I actually did spend a small fortune David, however upon discovering that my studio was actually my bathroom he walked out.. I vaguely heard him mumble something about ‘standards’

Because I spend a considerable amount of the budget on David, half of the puzzles in Tappingo 2 will not be colored in ;)

iphys

#30

iphys said:

So will there ever be an update for the original Tappingo to add the improvements as well? Not sure whether I'll replay it, but it would be nice if the game isn't forgotten after the 2nd installment comes out, especially for anyone that hasn't played the original yet and ultimately wants to get both.

JaxonH

#32

JaxonH said:

This game actually looks pretty fun. I saw Tappingo in the eShop, but couldn't quite get the jist of how it's played from the video. I saw that you pull lines out, but wasn't sure if there's only one solution, if there's many solutions, or if it's a Minesweeper type deal where every block is assigned a set number it can be pulled out.

I think I'ma buy this new one when it comes out though. The first looked interesting enough that I actually took the time to watch the video on the eShop, With all these improvements in the sequel I see no reason to not give it a try.

sinalefa

#34

sinalefa said:

@JaxonH

If you like puzzle games, give it a go. I was the same when watching videos, but it all clicks when you play it. Plus it is really cheap.

For me it is somewhat like inverted Picross. Instead of removing unwanted blocks to create a figure, you complete the figure by adding blocks on its missing parts, and you do so by pulling lines. The numbers tell you how many blocks that line should extend.

There is a certain order to be followed, as you cannot extend a line over another one. Again, easier to grasp when you actually are solving puzzles.

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