Choppa postmortemAs it happens 2016 was the year we finally "made it" as game developers and launched our first hit game (Choppa) with over 2 million(!) downloads to date - a number that's hard to comprehend. My last blog entry is dated 31st March 2016 which means it's about three weeks before we launched Choppa on iOS & Android so I had no idea what would happen very soon. Choppa was launched April 21st 2016 during Apple's "Apps for Earth" campaign which we had no knowledge of. We of course immediately thought the game was not going to be featured anywhere because of the prominent earth stuff. Boy were we wrong and we got a "Best new games" feature from Apple in 30 countries, including USA and China. Bigger publishers had been warned about "Apps for Earth" so we got a good slot and for some reason Choppa performed a lot better than the other, more prominently featured free games that week. We got 600 000 downloads and we're #1 iPad Arcade game in many countries, including the US. If I remember correctly we also broke into the top-10 arcade games on iPhone, which is awesome considering the amount of daily downloads you need to get to be there. In a nutshell Choppa was a hit, it made some money, it has had a long lifecycle for such a tiny game (every update we've made except one has been featured in one way or another by Apple). Everything went better than expected.
Other platformsHigh from the success of Choppa we also put the game on Steam Greenlight (and got through!) and we also developed an Apple TV version that has also been very well received by players since it's launch on November, 17th 2016. Steam version is still under construction, mostly because of the big changes we need to consider for not being able to monetize the game with ads and in-app purchases. We want to make a good game, not "just a crappy mobile port".
What next?As Ville has been doing contract work for the last 6 months we've been in a kind of a standstill with creating cool updates and improvements to Choppa and so on. Our next goal is clear though: we want to start working on our next game as soon as possible! As we're completely self-funded we need to consider the time it will take to create it and plan and scope it properly so we don't run out of funds in the middle of development. It's no problem for us to do contract work for a while but we've already witnessed that it's not an optimal solution because it forces one of us to run the company by himself and as the other one doesn't have the energy to work on the game it slows things down so much it's almost a living nightmare. We're also notoriously slow at making games anyway so good planning is key. We hope to be able to shed some light to our future projects soon!
ThanksI also want to take this time to thank everyone in the Finnish indie scene for the overwhelming amount of support, advice and encouragement we've received since we started. We couldn't have done this without you and I'm completely serious. We've learned so much stuff we couldn't have otherwise without your help. We've also met so many cool people from all around the world since we started and we're super thankful for that. We've been very budget conscious before so we've only traveled around Finland but our goal for the next couple of years is to be able to attend conferences outside Finland too and meet with even more cool people. You're all awesome!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Parta Games!
God bless you, Antti Kolehmainen, Co-Founder