In 2013, Danish studio Exploding Cow chose to release their puzzle game Blendimals in the Nordic region – in part to prove that they were actually able to get a title published on iOS App Store. Now Dennis Nielsen and his business partner Jacob Sloth Laursen have re-made and re-launched Blendimals for the world.
“Soft-launching Blendimals (in the Nordic region) was one of the best decisions we made,” says Exploding Cow creative director Dennis Nielsen. “Getting our “almost-done” game out on the App Store in 2013 gave us a great sense of relief and accomplishment after 2.5 years of “no-budget” development. Most importantly, it gave us the chance to test our game in a “safe environment” before its “real” release.”
“Our original plan was to make 20 more levels, and then we would be all set for the international release,” adds Nielsen. “But then we started to actually listen to our users and take a proper look at the numbers we got from our analytics data.”
To the relief of the Exploding Cow team, everyone loved the concept and puzzles in Blendimals – but it turned out that very few users actually completed the game. Most players didn’t get past the first ten levels, with complaints aimed at the game’s controls and bland graphics.
“Being so close to our goal it was a very tough call to make, but eventually we decided to stop rushing things and instead do what needed to be done in order to make Blendimals live-up to its true potential,” says Nielsen. “This decision lead to another 18 months of hard work.”
Exploding Cow began by getting rid of the virtual buttons in Blendimals and shifted to gesture-based controls, making the game more intuitive and fun to play. After that, every level in the game was rebuilt with a focus on the core gameplay, discarding all elements that weren’t essential to the puzzles.
“We learned the simple fact that the more stuff we threw away, the better the experience,” admits Nielsen.
Lastly, the team went back and optimised all of the game’s textures, made all-new props and backgrounds to make Blendimals look more appealing, and added cut-scenes to provide “a sense of adventure” that the original version lacked.
“Now that we’ve finally released Blendimals worldwide, users are mostly complaining about the fact that there are not enough levels – which from our perspective is a very positive sign,” concludes Dennis Nielsen. “There’s no way to tell how our game would have fared if we had just went with our original plan, but in the end it feels good to have made that extra effort – and we now have a product that we are extremely proud of.”
Check out the worldwide release trailer:
Blendimals can be downloaded from App Store here.
About Exploding Cow
Danish games studio Exploding Cow was founded by Dennis Nielsen and Jacob Sloth Laursen in the fall of 2013, after working together during their studies to create a small browser game version of their game Blendimals. Both of them are “old-school” gamers with a strong belief that a truly great game should have quality and depth and, if possible, an insane amount of Easter eggs.
Learn more about the studio at exploding-cow.com.