TwoDots

A beautiful new puzzle game for iOS from the makers of Dots

#5 Product of the WeekMay 29, 2014
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Steve Sadin
Steve SadinHunter@stevesadin · Head of Product, Playdots
@_Hanks_ thanks! "1) When do you guys start "incorporating" (wrong word here, but hopefully you get it) music and sound into the product development cycle? " We are fortunate enough to have a great relationship with the incredibly talented Ross Wariner and Cody Uhler at Upright T Rex Music http://uprighttrexmusic.com/ Ross and Cody did the connection sound effects for Dots: A Game About Connecting, so we already had a bit of a foundation to work on for TwoDots & we brought them in pretty early to take a look at what we were working on, and start thinking about the project. However, they didn't really get to work on the music and sound until about 3 months into the project. We needed to solidify the story arc, finalize our concepts for the different worlds, and define exactly which sound effects we would need before they could get to work. They busted their asses off on the project, and were actually able to do all of the music and sound in about a month. "2) Could you share a bit of the in-app purchase "gating" strategy you guys undertook to balance product stickiness / maximum user engagement / generating revenue? Why 20 minutes, why $.99 for XYZ, etc. " The 20 minute refresh limit for lives was implemented primarily to prevent players from bingeing on content. We also tested 15 minute, and 30 minute refresh timers - but we found that 15 minutes was a bit too short (we didn't want players to have multiple full play sessions in a single hour) and 30 minutes was a bit too long (we wanted players to be able to play a quick game or two during what would otherwise be idle time such as when you're in-between activities like watching an episode of TV, while you're waiting to check out at the supermarket, etc.). As for pricing - we actually tested a (relatively) complicated virtual currency system which allowed players to buy bundles of virtual currency, which they could then use to purchase additional lives, and powerups... but we found that it just introduced unnecessary friction that completely took players out of the play experience (if you need to spend 45 seconds, and click on 5 different things before you get to add 5 additional moves to your game you're going to have a very disrupted experience). In the end, we decided to just make everything as straightforward as possible. We are charging the minimum amount that Apple will allow us to charge for In-App Purchases, and each purchase gets you one thing. No bundles, no price tiers, just easy ways to purchase things that will allow you to continue playing in exactly the way that you want.
Radoslav StankovPro@rstankov · Tech @ Product Hunt
Really great game. I finished all 235 level and I can't wait for the rest :)
Christian Calderon
Christian CalderonMaker@caldie · Super Happy Fun Time
@rstankov good to hear Radoslav, thank you for the kind words =)
Steve Sadin
Steve SadinHunter@stevesadin · Head of Product, Playdots
Hi everyone! I'm the head of product at PlayDots, and I'll be around all day to listen to feedback & talk about TwoDots, game design, our design process, or whatever (FWIW: I think that coffee, comic books, and basketball are also very good topics). PlayDots is a visual design focused studio that aims to make games that are fun, beautiful, and different. A few months ago, the co-founders of the company Paul Murphy, and Patrick Moberg decided to split off half of our (then quite small team) from our first title Dots: A Game About Connecting, with the assignment of building a new game. When the lead designer of TwoDots David Hohusen put together a prototype for a puzzle game that used the classic Dots connection mechanics, as well as a bunch of new features (which we originally referred to as "SuperDots") - the team unanimously decided to continue working on that idea. The result so far? TwoDots - a puzzle game that we plan on supporting for years to come.
Daniel Hanks
Daniel Hanks@_hanks_ · Some guy
@stevesadin - congrats to you and team on this release...sure it will be successful. Gave it a 5-minute try this morning - loved what I saw/did. FWIW, I think you guys are one of the gold standards for onboarding/tutorial experiences in mobile. Two questions top-of-mind: 1) When do you guys start "incorporating" (wrong word here, but hopefully you get it) music and sound into the product development cycle? 2) Could you share a bit of the in-app purchase "gating" strategy you guys undertook to balance product stickiness / maximum user engagement / generating revenue? Why 20 minutes, why $.99 for XYZ, etc. Thanks!
Daniel Hanks
Daniel Hanks@_hanks_ · Some guy
@stevesadin - got it! Thanks for the detail!