As I alluded to in a previous post, Mystery Game No. 1 is no longer a mystery. It is called Twistago and it’s the best thing since… well… the second best thing! I actually pushed the button for global launch almost two weeks ago, but didn’t have time for a proper announcement until now.
I can explain here what the game is about, but instead I’ll just link to the game’s website, which will do a more comprehensive job. TL;DR: board game for Android and iOS, 2-4 players (real or AI), tactical manoeuvering, strategic planning, depth possibly approaching that of chess, but far simpler to learn.
Oh, you want a video instead of words? Sure, have a video:
So, some backstory. Twistago (originally named “Black Hole”) was dreamt up by Miroslav Kolar, a graphic designer from the Czech Republic, who worked on improving and refining the board and rules over the course of years. He tried to get it published as a physical board game and attracted the attention of a major publisher, but it turned out that this would limit his creative freedom too much, so he decided to self-publish as a mobile game. Not being a developer himself, he contacted me, and we’ve been working together since January to make this game a reality.
Getting a quick prototype running was actually really easy, and took me no more than a week. Then came a week or two of work on graphics and UI. From there on, it took two or three months (not entirely full-time, but more than half-time) to get the AI to an acceptable quality. The rest of the time was taken up by several iterations of the in-game tutorial and by various building and publication hassles, mostly on iOS, which besides my lack of experience also turns out to be a surprisingly unfriendly platform to developers. But we’re here now!
I’m really proud of how the game turned out. It looks polished, remains fun to play even for myself after months of development, and the hard AI is better than I am. And now that the curtain has finally been lifted, I will be writing a series of blog posts on how the AI’s brain works. Stay tuned for those!