We had one main goal for our new project: Turn the “minigame” Cannon Land into something bigger and better where we could apply everything we learned from our last experience to create a more solid and competitive game following the casual / arcade essence of its predecessor.
The first important decision we made was choosing the game category. Even though we started with a classic arcade approach, we wanted a game suited for the whole family. One that parents, children, or even grandparents could somehow be identified with. That’s how we came up with the idea for the main core of the game: The Family.
In Cannon Land Family everything revolves around families. Pet Bullets, the main characters of the game, are now part of their own original families, proposing to the user the challenge of collecting them and complete all the family sets.
Our second biggest goal was to focus on user retention. As the first Cannon Land was very successful in terms of downloads and media repercussion – being featured by Apple and Google- we noticed that the lack of depth in the game generated a low user retention.
After we reviewed it, we realized that even though the Endless Mode from the first game worked good, it would be nice to mix it with challenges proposed by the game. That’s how we came up with the idea of introducing a Challenge Mode.
In the Challenge Mode players have to advance through different themed Islands where they can get rewards, new Pets and items (in this case, cannons) when completing the proposed challenges.
In this game mode, users have certain goals. These increase their difficulty over time, offering longer playing sessions and making the players be more involved in the game. This translates in a better retention rate.
> First Challenge Mode Concept Design
Thanks to user feedback gathered during the release of our first game, it became clear to us that the characters were the most important area of the game and the one that deserved our attention. That’s why we decided to focus the monetization of our game – mainly – in the collection of Pet Bullets.
>Cannon Land Family main character’s family set design
We introduced the Lottery, a space where the user have the chance to obtain ALL the game’s Pets if they are lucky. With 100 coins, the player is able to turn on the lottery machine where the Pet Bullets Balls are and to receive one Pet every turn. On the other hand, players can watch a Video in order to get the extra coins needed to use the Lottery machine.
>Lottery machine earlier design
Additionally, we have created two categories for Pets, the “Regular” ones, simple pets with no extra features other than their design, and the “Rare” ones, special pets – harder to obtain – that allow an additional Free Continue within the game.
>First Concept of the Lottery Screen
Another key point in the development of the Pet collection, was the introduction of cameos in our game. Pet Bullets no longer refer only to “cute” animals, but now also pay tribute to iconic characters from Pop Culture, Cartoon and Video Games.
>”Galaxy Wars” Family
Last but not least, we wanted to adapt the game to the latest technology on the market. Bearing in mind that our product was to be distributed by the two main stores – Apple and Google – we decided to focus on generating content that fit devices using any of the two platforms.
A clear example of this was the “3D Touch Super Shot“: a special shot that can only be activated with the latest iPhone’s technology, but we adapted it to other devices that can not use this technology. That way we are able to satisfy the latest technological trends, without forgetting about users with older smartphones.
>Concept Design of the 3D Touch Super Shot
The result has been a completely new game, redesigned almost from scratch, which aims to preserve the essence of the first Cannon Land and enhance it, turning it into a much funnier experience. Because, after all, that is what video games are all about, having fun.
I hope you enjoy Cannon Land Family like we have enjoyed making it 🙂
>> Written by Sergio Castaño on December 20, 2016