|The KoDP box
Thanks in part to strong sales in Finland, we made a second printing. Our records aren’t as clear as they might be, so I don’t know when we shipped the last box (probably 2006). I do know it was to Finland.
Since some of my earliest ideas for a saga-style game had been intended for the Apple Newton, I was excited when the iPhone SDK finally came out. But since I knew King of Dragon Pass was a big project, my first iPhone game was Jigami (which I’d originally created for Newton).
|Preliminary UI design
Coding of the app began 29 Dec 2009. The development diary shows a 5 month gap with no progress. Partly this was because I took time to do a much shorter project (DiceBook), but also I think I must have been unsure how the game would be received. But the diary notes favorable reaction from people I showed the game to, so I resolved to finish it.
Once I was pretty confident that the game would work and I’d be able to do it, I went public (August 2010). That’s when this blog began.
Unlike the original, the iOS version was a part time project (and essentially just one person), and thus the time scale was stretched out. For example, the game first hit alpha (feature complete, but buggy) in April 2011, and beta (known bugs fixed) in May. But polish and fixing bugs (including ones uncovered by iOS 5) took until August.
We submitted the game, and it was approved on 1 September. We sent out the news, and released the game on 7 September. Depending on how you count, it had been over 15 years in the making!
And it’s not done yet. The iPad hadn’t been released when we began the iPhone version, but we’re in the middle of doing a Universal build to take advantage of its larger screen.
Taking a different approach to looking back, in four months we’ve sold about twice as many copies from the App Store as we did boxes (over maybe six years). The game isn’t a smash hit (although it’s hit the top of the Role Playing Game category in both Finland and Denmark), but it’s apparently in the top 10% in terms of revenue according to Owen Goss’s survey.
|Version 1.0.4 ratings
I’m also very pleased that we were able to make the game accessible to blind players.
So that’s a look at the game so far. I may take another look back, in the form of a post mortem report (writing up lessons learned). But I’m also starting to think about what might come next (after the iPad UI is done).