After four months of developing Guns of Boom to publish an alpha version for PC, Game Insight had a revelation. They could take advantage of an existing market opportunity if they built a mobile version of their FPS project for the casual player. Also, thanks to their experience in mobile devices and Unity, they knew they could create a simple mobile experience to reach a wider market. Today, with a million daily active users (DAU), we can say, without a doubt, that they were not wrong.
Guns of Boom got 5 million downloads in two weeks
Guns of Boom was launched in May 2017 and, within two weeks, got five million downloads. All the work that Game Insight did to identify the best audience to target the game would have meant nothing if the market had not been ready for the right type of multiplayer FPS mobile game. And the right game was a high quality one, easy to play anywhere in short sessions.
A version of the look and style in about a month
In 2015, Guns of Boom was a fully playable PC game project with different levels. After doing market and user research, the Game Insight team realized that it had an excellent opportunity if they transformed it into a game for mobile devices.
They believed that if they created a multiplayer first-person shooter that was fast, practical and easy to play, people would love it.
“We have done everything in our power to make the game design as accessible as possible. With features such as automatic targeting, the controls are so simple that anyone can master them in seconds. In addition, you can play from anywhere: in the market queue, on the bus, in bed, lying, sitting or standing. Another detail is that the maps are not so big, so that you turn on the game and live five minutes of unbridled action instantly, “says Anatoly Ropotov, executive director of Game Insight.
Once they decided to take the game to mobile devices, there was no doubt what technology they would use. The studio had extensive experience in creating games for mobile devices with Unity, such as Airport City and X-Mercs , with more than seven years of market success. They knew that they had everything they needed to create a game for quality mobile devices efficiently.
Unity made them save half a year of development
“With Unity, the transition from the console version to the first iteration of appearance and style for mobile devices took just a week. After that, it only took a few months to finish the entire transition from PC to mobile devices with graphics, optimized performance and controls, “says Ropotov.
They used the Unity Asset Store to accelerate the first transition to mobile devices and, since they began adding new content constantly to keep players interested, they continue to use it to obtain prototypes of the new material.
“When you only need models, controllers or similar things, the research team can go to the Asset Store to create the first look and style design, which can save you up to six months of development,” says Ropotov.
Implementation of the latest platform specific technology
Another key factor for Game Insight was the ability to continually update Guns of Boom with the latest features to achieve the best and most innovative user experience possible.
Each new version of smartphones includes a set of platform-specific functions, such as touch response, ARCore, ARKit and 3D Touch, and that makes it a challenge to live up to the latest technology. That is why Game Insight has a consolidated research and development department, with four dedicated technology artists.
“Immediately after Apple or Google announce a new feature, we started researching to see how we can implement it,” says Ropotov. ” Guns of Boom has 12 platform-specific functions only for Apple that we implement quite quickly. In fact, we were among the first in the world to do so. However, if it had not been for Unity’s compatibility with several platforms and their narrow partnerships, it wouldn’t have mattered how fast we worked Unity allows us to keep up to date with the latest mobile device technology.
In order to offer players a great experience, not only do you need to be up to date with the latest features, but also to implement new technologies. For example, Game Insight launched an augmented reality viewer mode immediately after Apple introduced ARKit in September 2017.
Guns of Boom enters the world of eSports
The success of the AR spectator mode showed Game Insight that there was excellent potential in the field of eSports. For almost two years, they were members of Electronic Sports League (ESL), which recently organized a tournament with $ 500,000 in prizes. It opened at the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, with a capacity for 11,400 people, while the ESL season finale, held in November 2018 in Los Angeles, reached a peak of 15,000 simultaneous spectators, which made Guns of Boom the first first-person shooter to enter eSports on such a scale.
Whether players are online or offline, playing for fun or for large sums of money, one thing is clear: Guns of Boom has won the hearts and minds of millions of passionate players around the world and will continue to inspire and growing with them thanks to the leadership of Game Insight and its commitment to innovation with the latest technology.
Game Insight has been using Unity Enterprise Support for three years and, in addition to a direct line between its Unity developers and engineers, they especially appreciate project reviews, which accelerate production.
“Project reviews are very important due to our continuous and urgent updates. Everything we get from them could be done by ourselves, but it would take us much longer. The Unity engineer comes to our office and we review the entire project,” says Ropotov.
“We asked how we can optimize memory, fps and other things that can improve the player experience and device performance. We also ask how we can improve visual effects, shadows, fabric simulation and side effects, any something that makes our players happier. “