Supersolid's Adventure Town and betting on Windows Phone 8

Supersolid is a mobile games studio based in London, UK, comprising of highly experienced mobile and social games veterans with backgrounds in EA, Playfish, Glu and Macrospace. Their first game, Super Penguins, is now available on Android, iOS, Kindle and Kakao. Its second game, Adventure Town launched globally in November 2013.

We caught up with Ed Chin, co-founder at Supersolid, to find out what his experience of developing for Windows Phone was like, as well as how Adventure Town has performed so far.

How long have you been building games and how did you get started?

Supersolid started in 2012 with its first game, Super Penguins. We spent 2013 adding extra content to Super Penguins (which was more popular than we had anticipated!) and developing our latest game, Adventure Town. All of us at Supersolid had made games together before at Playfish. After Electronic Arts acquired Playfish, we decided to start something new, which would give us the opportunity to work in smaller teams again and focus on mobile/tablet platforms.

What languages and frameworks did you use and why?

We decided to build our games using Unity – primarily because it gives us greater flexibility in deciding which platform to publish on.

Is the app on other platforms, if so which and why did you bet on Windows Phone?

Adventure Town is available on Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android. We decided to bet on Windows Phone because we saw that the potential audience was too significant to ignore. A lot of developers aren’t there yet, so we decided to make an early move. We only launched a month ago, but looking at the results so far – there are certainly no regrets.

What was the biggest challenge building the app?

There were lots of challenges in building Adventure Town – it’s a relatively large project, and we’re still a very small team. A big challenge was designing the game to always feel fresh and exciting (over the period of a year or even longer), while controlling the volume of content we had to create. In the end, we still ended up creating LOTS of content!

Who else is on the Supersolid team?

There are 6 of us: aside from me, Tommy Chuang and Steven Shipton (coding ninjas), Michelle Chuang and Marby Kwong (artists) and Kenneth Fejer (designer and 3D art).

What have you done to promote the app specifically?

We were able to promote Adventure Town through our community – we built a strong community from our first game – for example, Supersolid has over 340 thousand fans on Facebook. Also, we found it helps to be localised – we did 13 languages (maybe a few too many?!). We use Windows features like Live Tiles, which helps lots with player retention.

Did you do anything specifically to encourage feedback from users?

We’ve asked players to give us feedback through reviews in the game itself. If you download it and play through the first few levels, you’ll see the message.

What do you do with the information from users?

We try to build a community for our users – we have over 70k fans on our Adventure Town Facebook page, over 340k fans on our Supersolid Facebook page, and a forum where our players can chat, exchange stories and tips, report any issues etc. We also use these community platforms to tell players about any new updates coming up, offer free gifts (through voucher codes) etc.

What are your plans for the future?

In the immediate future, we’ll primarily be spending more time on Adventure Town. We’ve had some great feedback on it so far, so we want to keep improving the game for our players. We also have a new title coming soon, so we’re doing some extra polish on that now. Through 2014, we’ll keep working on improving existing games, while looking to bring out an exciting new game every now and then. There’s quite a lot to do (especially as the number of games we have increases) – which is why we’re looking to grow our team.

From the team at Microsoft UK Developers.

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