開發者聊《暗影格鬥3》的開發和宣傳過程

開發者聊《暗影格鬥3》的開發和宣傳過程

原文作者:Dmitry Terekhin & Nikita Korzhavin 譯者:Megan Shieh

Nekki遊戲公司創始人Dmitry Terekhin和業務發展總監Nikita Korzhavin講述了3D格鬥手遊《暗影格鬥3(Shadow Fight 3)》的關鍵開發階段和發行過程,該作近期剛在2018年的“移動遊戲大獎(Mobile Games Awards)”上獲得了提名。

爲什麼會做《暗影格鬥3》?

《暗影格鬥2》大獲成功,全球下載量突破了2.5億次。在這之後,我們就立即開始尋找下一個項目。當時我們有很多不同的想法,但最終還是決定再做一款《暗影格鬥》系列遊戲,因爲這似乎是最好的選擇。

《暗影格鬥2》已經被許多玩家通關了,而這些玩家正在等待着故事的繼續。而且通過市場觀察我們意識到,手遊的營銷成本越來越高,要重新建立起一個品牌會非常困難。所以我們覺得與其從零開始創建一個品牌,不如再做一款續作,因爲後者的風險會小很多。

認準市場新趨勢,決定做3D

就這樣,我們決定着手製作《暗影格鬥3》。與此同時,我們還注意到了一個新的市場趨勢:隨着移動設備容量的增加,越來越多的新遊戲都是以3D的形式呈現。

這是一件非常好的事情,因爲從我們10多年前進入這個行業開始就一直夢想着有天能做款3D遊戲,而且《暗影格鬥2》和遊戲中格鬥剪影的動畫效果之前都是用3D公式計算的。不過除此之外,我們在3D遊戲製作方面並沒有太多經驗,因此這將會是一個極其艱鉅的挑戰。

當我們推出《暗影格鬥2》的時候,市面上的格鬥手遊還不是很多,有的基本上都是一些舊主機遊戲的移植版。但沒過多久,市場上的競爭就變得越來越激烈,在這期間還出現了不少出色的格鬥遊戲,比如《真人快打X》、《漫威格鬥:冠軍之爭》和《不義聯盟2》。

Shadow Fight(from insidesocialgames.com)

Shadow Fight(from insidesocialgames.com)

這些遊戲的圖像質量都非常高,但大多都修改了傳統格鬥遊戲的操作設置:玩家必須點擊並滑動屏幕。但我們覺得這種操作方式限制了格鬥動作的多樣性,而且也有不是很有趣。對我們而言,“格鬥”意味着玩家可以隨自己的意願自由戰鬥;所以我們保留了傳統的搖桿和按鍵操作。

不過爲了過渡到3D,我們不得不放棄前作所採用的剪影圖像風格。我們很清楚,這種轉變對《暗影格鬥》系列的現有粉絲而言可能會有些突然,他們心中肯定也會產生疑問——沒有了“暗影”的《暗影格鬥》還是《暗影格鬥》嗎?

爲了防止這種尷尬情況的發生,我們研發了一個非常重要的部分:當一個玩家使用“暗影能量”時,戰鬥背景會變得模糊,這時玩家的角色就會變成一個暗影。

開發團隊大幅度擴充

一開始的時候,我們還不需要擔心用戶反饋的事情。當時的首要任務是學習3D動畫方面的專業知識並培養一些這方面的人才。當初在做《暗影格鬥2》的時候,幾乎有一半的開發人員都還是處於邊做邊學的狀態——當時我們開創了一個專門招募年輕人才的項目,所以許多團隊成員的經驗都還不是很足。

幸運的是這個項目做得非常成功,所以當我們開始做《暗影格鬥3》的時候,許多成員都已經累積了經驗,成爲了專業的高技術研發人員。不過隨着《暗影格鬥3》項目的開始,他們也面臨着職業生涯中的下一個挑戰。

一開始在製作《暗影格鬥3》的原型時,製作團隊的人還不是很多。慢慢地,越來越多的人從《暗影格鬥2》項目轉向了這款續作的開發,而且在這期間我們還聘用了一些新的員工。如今《暗影格鬥3》的團隊成員已經超過了70人,這些人被分成了10個小團隊;作爲比較,當初《暗影格鬥2》的項目團隊只有30多個人。

決定採用Scrum

隨着團隊人數的增加,項目的管理方式也發生了變化。爲了更好地分工合作,我們決定採用Scrum式的研發方法(遊戲邦注:Scrum是一種迭代式增量軟件開發過程)。

在此之前我們使用過類似的研發手法,但由於當時知識有限,所以沒辦法做得那麼完善——我們保留了自己理解的部分,不懂的部分被放在了一旁或隨着時間的推移被我們忘掉了。正是因爲如此,所有才會有那麼多人批評Scrum,但我認爲他們只是不懂怎麼用罷了。

這一次我們想要把它做好。首先,我們查閱了相關文獻並找出了其中奧妙、瞭解了某些過程和程序的必要性。接着,我們派了幾位管理層到身處慕尼黑的Scrum創始人之一Jeff Sutherland那裏接受培訓。

這次培訓成爲了整個研發過程的轉折點:工作人員在去慕尼黑的路上還是半信半疑,但回來以後對這一研發方法深信不疑。後來我們又派了幾位工作人員去接受培訓,而且這次我們準備了滿滿一籮筐的問題好讓Jeff爲我們解答。

比如,其中有個關於美術和動畫工作的問題,按照Scrum的方法,我們只需要給每個工種酌情安排一個截止日期就行了。對於有明確要求的技術任務而言,這種做法還是蠻有效的,但是對於像圖像這樣的任務而言,這種做法就不是很現實了,因爲你不能預先知道要多少個步驟(花多長時間)才能把一個圖像做到非常好看。

針對這個問題,Jeff建議我們把它分爲幾個階段。首先創造出符合明確要求的第一張草圖;然後就開始進入調整階段;調整之後又會有新的要求,接着就一直這麼循環做下去,直到圖像達到我們所期望的水平爲止。

爲了使其更好地適應我們的特定需求,隨着時間的推移,我們逐漸修改了Scrum的一些既定概念;因爲Scrum本就允許甚至鼓勵使用者靈活地應用這一概念並根據自身需求適當進行修改。例如,項目中的不同團隊可以嘗試不同的研發方法:

一個團隊整個項目做下來,只有一個Scrum Master(敏捷專家);而另一個團隊則每週更換一位Scrum Master。如此一來,不同團隊間就可以互相分享心得並找出效果最好的方案,然後將它們組合到一起成爲一個完整的研發系統。

最大挑戰:3D製作

在整個項目的研發過程中,最主要的挑戰要屬3D製作。我們需要創造出酷炫的角色、地點、武器、盔甲和特效,同時還得考慮到各種手機設備的性能,並想辦法將這些內容適配到儘可能多的移動設備中。

第一次做的3D圖像其實還有很大的進步空間,我們使出了渾身解數,但做出來的效果仍然有些不盡人意。當時的圖像看起來太過卡通化了,不同勢力(派別)間的區別也不是很大,因此很難一眼區分出角色所屬的勢力。於是我們請教了一些來自團隊外部的專業人士,多虧了他們,我們對很多事情都有了更清晰的理解,圖像內容的工作也因此變得更有條理。

我們定下了3個幫派的人物輪廓、個人色彩和視覺風格,這樣一來人們一眼就能分辨出每個遊戲人物所屬的勢力。規範了幫派色彩和人物定位以後,我們便開始提高圖像質量。經過各種調整,遊戲中的角色不再那麼卡通化,而是越來越偏向寫實風格。

最初我們向玩家承諾2016年秋季將會發布《暗影格鬥3》,但是由於後期改動用了很多時間,所以我們不得不推遲到2017年才發佈遊戲。但做出來的遊戲效果真的很不錯,所以我們認爲爲期一年的等待是值得的。

開場動畫

爲了讓玩家更好地理解三方勢力間的關係以及遊戲中的故事情節,我們決定打造一個電影短片作爲背景介紹。在製作《暗影格鬥2》和《Vector》的時候,我們在這方面就已經累積了一些經驗,不過它們都是2D遊戲;而在製作《暗影格鬥3》的時候,我們需要掌握一些更爲複雜的東西。

儘管3D電影短片的製作既耗時成本又高,但這是我們夢想能夠做到的東西。我們一直都很渴望在這類項目中鍛鍊自己的技術,而《暗影格鬥3》的製作就是實現這個夢想的絕佳機會,因此我們成立了一個規模較小的CG(計算機動畫)部門,想出了一些情節並將它們組成了一個粗略的故事,部門中有幾個專業人員在做全職工作,也有另外一些成員偶爾會幫幫忙,還有其他一些職員有時會通過遠程操作的方式加入CG工作。

故事圍繞着三方勢力的代表:軍團(Legion)、王朝(Dynasty)和密使(Heralds)。他們來到了一個破敗的神廟,企圖佔有廟中神物——暗影球,在爭奪的過程中導致暗影球破裂,暗影能量隨之爆發。接着,這一片段暗示了三個可能發生的結局,不過最終結局還是取決於玩家們在遊玩過程中所做的選擇。

這段視頻的製作並不輕鬆,我們花了大約2年的時間才把它給做了出來。不過最終我們對製作成果感到非常滿意,而且也從中收穫了許多樂趣和寶貴的經驗。我們希望這個過場動畫能夠起到如虎添翼的作用並且可以成爲後期營銷和推廣的素材。

製作這個視頻的另外一個目的是希望能用到由我們內部研發的動畫製作工具“Cascadeur”。《暗影格鬥》和《Vector》系列的所有遊戲都曾使用到這個工具,它幫助我們創造出了許多活靈活現的動畫,所以我們希望在製作《暗影格鬥3》的時候也能用到它。

遊戲動畫始終是我們的強勢,也是遊戲中的主要特色。有了Cascadeur,我們不使用動態捕捉就可以手動製作動畫,而且也能創造出既流暢又自然的移動效果。當然,光有技術是不夠的。更重要的是動畫師們的眼光,爲了能夠製作出動人心絃的格鬥畫面,他們觀看了上百部武打電影並細心鑽研了其中的多個格鬥場景。

發行前的準備工作:營銷推廣

當初發行《暗影格鬥2》時,我們沒有花錢做過廣告,它的成功完全歸功於口碑傳播。我們認爲《暗影格鬥3》也具備同樣的病毒性傳播能力,尤其是考慮到這一品牌在多年來累積起了大量粉絲和人氣。但是市面上的競爭越來越激烈,要想獲得新用戶的注意真的很難,所以我們想說得多做點功課來保證這次發行的成功。

2017年初的時候,我們開始爲《暗影格鬥3》準備各種營銷活動。首先,我們在社交網絡上進行了宣傳。Facebook和VKontakte上的《暗影格鬥》粉絲一共有600多萬人,但我們基本上只用這些社交賬號來宣佈遊戲內活動,還有就是回答粉絲們“什麼時候能發佈《暗影格鬥3》”。

但從2017年初開始,我們會定期在這些社交網站上發佈一些關於新遊戲的信息,比如遊戲人物、武器、盔甲、幫派以及各種格鬥風格,偶爾也會組織競賽。最近我們還開始嘗試遊戲直播,而這些遊戲直播也激起了人們對這款新遊戲的興趣。

在與社區互動的部分,我們決定不另外僱用工作人員,而是先使用項目內部的員工,因爲他們參與了項目的開發並對相關信息瞭如指掌。如此一來,社區粉絲也更能理解我們所要傳達的消息。

除了社交網絡方面的宣傳以外,我們還採用了視頻推廣的方式。遊戲視頻和直播已經成爲了如今最爲強大的遊戲推廣渠道之一,這已經不是什麼祕密了。首先,我們在Youtube上發佈了一段短片,然後推出了完整版的CG和試玩視頻,而正式預告片則留到最後發佈。

CG引起了最高的關注度,目前該視頻已經被觀看了550萬次,而這還只是其中一個頻道的點擊量而已。許多遊戲博主和《暗影格鬥》粉絲都紛紛評論並轉發了這個視頻。從中我們認識到視頻傳播可以帶來驚人的關注度,於是我們開始與影響者合作。此前《暗影格鬥2》的粉絲們在Youtube上創作了大量視頻內容,遊戲視頻的點擊率甚至超過了1000萬次,但當時我們並沒有把Youtube列爲宣傳渠道之一。

2017年夏天,測試發行《暗影格鬥3》之前,我們聯繫了一些Youtube主播並邀請他們優先對遊戲進行評測。儘管沒有提供任何宣傳費,但許多主播(有些甚至有100多萬粉絲)都接受了我們的邀請。而這一切最終也都證明是值得的,《暗影格鬥3》的首個評測視頻點擊率超過了250萬,並且在很長一段時間裏成爲了這位主播發布過的最受歡迎視頻。

整個開發團隊都覺得與影響者合作能夠幫助我們獲得成功,於是我們決定進一步加大合作力度,組建了一個小團隊專門負責Youtube方面的事宜,開發了一個發行前的交流推廣計劃,然後開始定期爲這些主播們提供新內容讓他們進行評價。

此外當我們在準備Gamescom和IgroMir展會時,負責與影響者交接的這個小團隊成爲了一個關鍵環節。這是我們首次參展,而兩次活動我們都與媒體和Youtube主播進行了合作,這些合作伙伴們在許多出版物和視頻中都提到了我們。

展會結束後,我們開始努力製作發行前需要用到的宣傳內容,比如推廣網站。在正式發行前,這個網站就相當於是一張名片,上面有一個宣傳短片和《暗影格鬥3》的正式發行日期。後來我們重新設計了這個網站並添加了許多《暗影格鬥3》的相關內容:視頻、截圖、圖像、動畫GIF和可供媒體直接下載的宣傳資料。

我們希望這些內容能夠幫助遊戲媒體、Youtube主播和博客作者們更好地理解《暗影格鬥3》背後的故事,瞭解不同派系之間的差異以及它們存在的原因,而且影響者們還可以摘取網站上的官方內容來設計他們自己的博客和視頻。此外我們還製作了一個發行預告片,闡述了《暗影格鬥3》的主要特點,這樣一來《暗影格鬥2》的粉絲也可以大概瞭解到兩部作品間的差異。

總結

整個研發項目花了兩年多的時間,除了缺乏經驗之外,還有一點是時間不夠用。這個項目太大了,而且我們對質量的要求也一直在不斷提升。先是延長了開發週期,將發佈日期推遲了一年,後來整個測試發行的過程也不是很順利。

2017年夏天的時候我們在加拿大測試發行了這款遊戲,然後馬上意識到有很多東西都得重新做。但我們還是一直在給玩家推送一些相關信息,不過那時我們已經意識到之前提供給玩家的確切發行日期已經是不可能實現了。

因此我們全力以赴,並宣佈將在2017年11月16日正式發行遊戲。考慮到我們需要重做的東西,其實這個發行日期還是非常緊迫的。舉個例子,就在正式發行前的幾個月,我們幾乎更改了整個用戶界面。

幸運的是,最終我們按時發行了遊戲。遊戲中還是存在一些需要調整的星星點點,但總體而言,我們完成了之前計劃的所有事情。正式發行後,我們每天都在優化遊戲內容,而且差不多每隔兩個月都會發布新的劇情章節和模式。

儘管困難重重,但我們還是成功地交付了這款遊戲,也圓了自己的一個夢。更重要的是,在這個過程中我們也已經成長爲了一個強大的團隊,成員的技術提升到了一個新的水平,內部質量標準也在無形間提升了很多。此外我們還期望能夠進入主機平臺,將《格鬥暗影3》帶到Playstation、Xbox和Switch上,並加入我們夢寐以求的多人對戰模式,甚至嘗試一些電競方面的東西。

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Nekki founder Dmitry Terekhin and director of business development Nikita Korzhavin discuss the key development stages of Shadow Fight 3, a 3D fighting mobile title that went on to receive a nomination at the Mobile Games Awards 2018.

Before starting the project

After the great success of Shadow Fight 2, which racked up more than 250 million installs around the world, we immediately started thinking about a new project.

We had a number of different ideas, for example, to make a nice cyberpunk samurai slasher. But in the end it was clear that a continuation of SF was the best bet.

Players had fought through the second part and they were waiting for the story to be continued. In addition, observing the market we realised that with increasing promotion expenses, brand recognition is one of the most important issues.

Therefore, we felt it was much less risky to release a new sequel compared to creating a new brand from scratch.

Trends

So, we decided to make Shadow Fight 3, and then we saw another trend in the market: with the capacity of devices increasing, more and more games were released in 3D.

This was really good for us, because when we entered the industry more than 10 years ago we were already dreaming about creating 3D games. In addition, SF2 and the fighting silhouettes – all of their animation is already calculated in 3D.

However, apart from that, we did not have a lot of experience in creating 3D games, so we faced a very complex and unpredictable challenge.

When we launched Shadow Fight 2, there weren’t many mobile fighting games yet, and mostly just mobile versions of old console games.

But after that the competition increased dramatically and games such as Mortal Kombat X, Marvel: Contest of Champions and Injustice 2 appeared.

These games set a high standard in graphics, but they maintained the classical control scheme: the player must tap and slide around the screen, but we feel the choice of actions is limited and for us this type of control isn’t too interesting.

For us, fighting means the freedom to fight as you want; so we have kept the classic control of stick and buttons.

But one change was inevitable. For the transition to 3D we had to give up the black silhouettes for the fighters that we had previously used.

We were perfectly aware that this decision might shock the fans of the series and would lead to many questions. Without shadows the game would lose its style, which was its main feature.

To prevent this, we developed the most important part of the game: the so-called “shadow regime”. When a player accumulates energy, the location is obscured, and the character takes the shape of the shadow.

The team

At the beginning of our journey, fan feedback was still far away. We needed to develop expertise in 3D animation and train specialists. When we did Shadow Fight 2, almost half of the staff were trainees – back then we actively developed a program to attract young talent.

And we are happy that it was such a success. By the time we started working on SF3 we had a lot of cool professionals and skilled people. Now they faced the challenge of taking the next step in their careers.

Initially, only a few people worked on the prototype of Shadow Fight 3. Step by step, that number increased as people switched from SF2 and other projects to the game, as well as new staff hires.

Today, the SF3 game project employs more than 70 people, divided into approximately 10 teams. For comparison: Shadow Fight 2 was developed by 30 to 40 people.

A new faith in Scrum

With the growing number of people on the project, the approach of how to manage it also changed. To better cope, we decided to implement the Scrum methodology.

Before, we already thought that we were working by the Scrum method, but actually it was pseudo-Scrum, more of a cargo-cult.

We used those parts of the technique that we understood, and the rest was thrown away or simply died off with time. It’s clear why there is so much criticism about Scrum – they simply “do not know how to cook it”.

This time we wanted to do it right. First, we looked for the right literature and figured out the methodology, understanding why we need certain procedures and rituals. Then we sent several of our managers to Munich for the training with Jeff Sutherland, one of the creators of Scrum.

This was a turning point: The staff went to the training full of skepticism, but upon return began to convert others to a new faith. Later, we sent people to this training again and came prepared with questions for Jeff.

For example, one of the issues was the work on the Scrum process for artists and animators. Scrum advises the scheduling of tasks for each sprint and assessing their timing.

With technical tasks that have formal requirements, everything is clear. But in the case of an image, for example, this is impossible: you cannot predict in advance how many steps it will take to make it look beautiful.

For this particular question, Jeff advised us to break the problem into stages. The first sprint includes the task of creating the first draft of the image for formal requirements. After its completion, the correction phase begins. The requirements for corrections are defined and a new task is set up. This is repeated until the desired level of quality is achieved.

Over time, we modified the Scrum concept by adapting it to suit our specific needs. Scrum allows and even encourages customisation and flexibility.

For example, different teams tried different instruments and different approaches. Some were Scrum hardliners and some were softer. In one team there was a fixed Scrum master while in another the master changed every week.

As a result, the best solutions were exchanged among the teams and became part of the overall system.

Going 3D

During the development process, the main challenge for us was 3D. We needed to create cool characters, locations, weapons, armour and effects, and somehow squeeze it all into a phone while considering a wide range of supported devices. In the end, we think we made it happen.

The first iterations of 3D graphics left much to be desired. We did everything we could but the results were no good; the graphics looked cartoonish and the characters of different factions were difficult to distinguish.

We had to turn to external consultants for help. Thanks to them, we gained a much clearer understanding of a lot of things and as a result we then had a guideline, and with it the work on graphic content got much more organised.

We defined the silhouettes of the characters for each of the three factions, their individual colour scheme and visual style, so that you could clearly tell who was who at first glance.

In addition to standardising the characters and locations, work was underway to improve the graphics.

Gradually we managed to get away from cartoonishness and made the images more realistic. The first models of the characters and locations had to be redeveloped and the artists set up the “cemetery of discarded models” on one of the walls in our office.

We had promised the players to release SF3 in fall 2016, but because of all the changes we were making, we couldn’t meet the timing at all. We had to postpone the launch and eventually the game wasn’t released until one year later. But we believe that the result fully justifies the delay.

Cinematics

To introduce the plot and present the three factions, we decided to make an intro movie for the game. We already had some experience with creating cool intros for Shadow Fight 2 and Vector, but these were two-dimensional games. For SF3, something more sophisticated was needed.

It was of course clear that a full-fledged 3D cinematic piece is a very time-consuming and expensive project, but it was also our dream. We had long wanted to try our skills on such a project and now there was the opportunity. Therefore, we decided to create our own CG department.

We set up a small CG team, came up with a plot for the video and developed a rough storyboard. Several specialists were in the office on a full-time basis and additional staff also worked remotely or on a temporary basis.

The story is built around representatives of the game’s three factions: Legion, Dynasty and Heralds. They come to a destroyed temple to take possession of the artifact – the sphere in which the shadow essence is enclosed. They get into a fight, during which the sphere is broken and the shadow energy bursts out.

The clip then suggests three alternative endings. What exactly will happen depends on the actions of the player thoughout the game, however.

Work on the video was not easy and took us about two years. But in the end we are really happy with the result, we gained invaluable experience from it and had a lot of fun.

We hope that the movie will be a beautiful “peacock tail” for the game and will support the development of marketing and promotional materials.

Animation

One of the goals when creating the video was to use Cascadeur, our in-house developed animation tool.

We used this technology to create realistic animations for all the games in the Shadow Fight and Vector series, and so we wanted to use it for the SF3 animation as well.

Animations have always been our main feature and pride. With Cascadeur, we do animations manually without using motion capture and are still able to create smooth and physically correct movement.

Of course, technology alone is not everything. We think what is most important for animators is what we call the “inner eye”. After watching hundreds of films about martial arts and a lot of fighting scenes, the animator develops an intuition to tell what posture and movement will look spectacular.

Preparing for launch

In early 2017, it was time to think about marketing. When launching Shadow Fight 2 we did not invest in advertising at all, the game simply became popular by word of mouth.

We believed that SF3 had no less potential for going viral, especially as the strength of the brand has grown significantly over the years. However, the competition for the attention of users has multiplied as well so we started to think about what else we could do to make the launch a success.

First, we took up revitalisation of our social networks. The Shadow Fight groups on Facebook and VKontakte had more than six million subscribers, but our activities were basically limited to announcing in-game events and answering the question: “When will you release SF3?”.

From the beginning of 2017, we began to regularly post information about the new game’s characters, weapons, armour, factions and the different fighting styles, as well as organising contests.

Recently, we also started to conduct trial streams and in general they heated the audience’s interest in our new project.

For the interaction with the communities we decided not to hire special staff but to use our own people first, our game designers and script writers. That is, people who participate in the development of the project and who know it inside out. That way we ensured that we were talking to the community in a language they understand.

Millions of views

In addition to our social networking activities, we turned to video content. It’s no secret that reviews and streams are a trend today and one of the most powerful channels for promotion.
First, we posted a short teaser on YouTube, then the full cinematics, thegameplay video and finally the trailer of the game.

The cinematics attracted the most attention. At the time of writing it had been watched 5.5 million times already only on our channel. Bloggers and fans of the game picked up the video to share and review it.

We got the message that there is a great potential in video, so we started working with influencers. For Shadow Fight 2, a huge amount of video content was created on YouTube by fans. There are videos that got more than 10 million views, but we still did not use the platform.

Working with YouTube

At the beginning of the summer before the soft launch of the game we reached out to bloggers and offered them to be the first to review it.

Despite the fact that we did not offer any money, many – even bloggers with over a million followers – agreed to cover it. And it paid off, the first review got more than 2.5 million views and became the most popular video for this particular influencer in a long time.

We all agreed that the experiment of working with influencers was a success and decided to scale up this experience. We assembled a small team to work with YouTube, developed a plan for pre-release communication and began to provide bloggers with new content and builds for review regularly.

Participating in exhibitions

In addition, the team working with influencers became a key link when preparing for Gamescom and the Igromir expo. It was the first time we exhibited at the shows and for both events we worked with the press and YouTubers.

At Gamescom our booth was in the closed business area and we had a lot of successful meetings with partners and the press which got us mentioned in various publications and videos.
Website and press kit

After the exhibitions we began to work hard on the content we wanted to use immediately before the release, such as the promo site. Before the release, it served as a business card site with a clip and the release date of SF3.

We later redesigned it and added more information about the new game: video content, screenshots, images, animated gifs and a press kit – everything is available for download.

We hope that the content will help the press and bloggers better understand the story of Shadow Fight, understand the differences between the factions and why they exist. In addition, influencers can design their material and videos using our official content.

Secondly, we created a launch trailer explaining the main features of the third part. With the trailer, fans of the original game can get a quick overview of all the changes in SF3 compared to SF2.

Finishing line

The development of the project took more than two years. In addition to the lack of experience, the main difficulty for us was the lack of time. The project was too big and our quality requirements were constantly growing.

As a result, we first extended the development period and postponed the release date by one year, and then the soft launch turned out pretty rough.

We soft-launched in Canada in summer 2017 and immediately realised that a lot needed to be redone. But to continue and feed players with tiny bits without giving an exact date was already impossible.

Therefore, we went all in and announced that we would release the game on November 16th 2017, to make it exactly one year. It was very risky considering the changes we implemented. For example, in just a few months we almost completely changed the user interface.

Finally, the release date was met. The game still had a lot of minor faults and edges, but in general we managed to realise almost everything we had planned. After the release, the game has become more and more precise and polished every day. And there will be a new chapter of the plot and new game modes released around every two months.

To sum it up

And so, despite all the difficulties, we have successfully launched our most ambitious project. We invested a lot in it, and, I think it’s not exaggerated to say, were able to create our dream game.

What’s more, we have grown into a strong team, brought our technology to a new level and set a very high quality standard. Now, new perspectives open up in front of us that we have already been dreaming of for a long time: to enter the console market. We plan to bring SF3 to Playstation, Xbox and Switch, add the long-awaited multiplayer fight mode, and even slightly touch upon esports. (Source: pocketgamer.biz