Chartboost University Alum Launches Game - Wreckman: Rise of a Hero
May 30, 2014
Wreckman: Rise of a Hero, is the first release from the Big Ball Studio since their team attended the inaugural session of Chartboost University (CBU) as part of Immersive Interactive. At graduation the Immersive team noted that the lessons on backend structure, player evolution, and monetization were the most important and effective new practices they learned.
With the release of Wreckman in the iTunes Store, we thought it would be a great time to catch up with Rub?n Soriano, CEO of the Big Ball Studio, congratulate him, and of course see how the learnings he gathered at CBU helped develop the final game.
Congratulations on your release! Tell us about your game?
Rub?n: WreckMan: Rise of a Hero is a humoristic adventure game starring the unlikely hero Cornelius W. Pennignton the 3rd, known as ?WreckMan? to his friends. A natural born loser, WreckMan, is chosen by the gods to rescue the world from a horrible fate by commanding a giant magical wrecking ball. To his aid comes a powerful warrior, Armin, who will stay with WreckMan throughout his epic quest.
The game has several mechanics, many power-ups, customization, upgradable skills and a lot of crazy stuff. I bet players will enjoy it!
How did attending CBU prior to releasing WreckMan help you with the final product?
Rub?n: CBU gave us a lot of information about making the game profitable with effective monetization. We already had the game itself done, but we needed to know more about the industry. Attending was great timing for us - it was at the exact stage of development where we were going to define the in-game pricing and structure.
Which CBU sessions applied directly to your work and the problems you were trying to solve?
Rub?n: I specifically remember the ones that focused on game design, virtual currencies, and relationship with publishers.
- Level Design by Matt Coombe (Get Set Games)
- Virtual Economy by David Hom (Chartboost)
- Publisher Experience by Unni Narayanan (Twyngo), Wesley Bao (Coconut Island Studios), and Mark Cooke (Shiny Shoes)
By that time we had already defined the whole game's walkthrough, its gameplay and features, etc. What we didn?t know anything about was player retention, user acquisition, or monetization, so CBU was really useful. We were in talks with several publishers at the time, and the sessions helped us to negotiate from a position of knowledge.
Did any of the speakers change your development or business plans?
Rub?n: I remember the Virtual Economy Tuning session with David Hom. He helped us to see what we did well and where we could improve monetization. After the session it was easier to see what the best next steps to take were.
What new business insights were you able to put to use after attending CBU?
Rub?n: Integrating in-app purchases and a virtual currency. That was something we were evaluating, but after CBU, it was very clear to us that we should do it.
What parts of WreckMan do players see that were directly influenced by your CBU experience?
Rub?n: Everything related to virtual currency and in-app purchases (upgrades, player customization, items and power-ups). There were also some issues related to usability like using the "two finger swipe" as well as device tilt that were inspired by CBU.
Overall, was attending CBU a benefit to you for WreckMan?
Rub?n: Absolutely. Not only for WreckMan, but also to the company and myself.
Would you recommend CBU to friends in the development community?
Rub?n: Sure, it?s a great experience, you get to work directly with other teams like you and share a lot of knowledge. It?s a great opportunity to learn a lot from key members of the industry.
What?s next? How will you move forward and continue to apply the lessons from both WreckMan and Chartboost University?
Rub?n: For our next projects, we will be able to utilize these insights at the beginning of the design process. This will contribute to a better final product not only for our business, but for our players!
Where can I get WreckMan?
Rub?n: It's on the Apple App Store (and soon on Google Play)
Everyone at Chartboost would like to congratulate Rub?n and the Big Ball Studio team on their release. We?re having a great time playing WreckMan and are pleased that participation in Chartboost University contributed to your successful launch!
CBU is an immersive boot camp that educates and inspires mobile game developers from around the world to build great games. Charboost?s mission is to empower game developer success in freemium economies, and CBU?s goal is to help them gain the knowledge and make industry connections, to support their vision of making games while creating sustainable businesses. To learn more, visit the CBU website today and be sure to check back for updates on timing of open applications for Chartboost University 2015.
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