Wool Postmortem published

WaaghMan has just published a Postmortem for Wool. Check it out!


WaaghMan May 13th, 2010 News Comments Off on Wool Postmortem published

Postmortem: Wool

Note: This is a personal post written by me. I’m not talking in the name of the Milkstone Studios team, their opinions about the project could be different.


Wool has been our second project since the birth of Milkstone Studios, and we got the development process, and the engine, much more streamlined. Our hopes about the game were high, but they haven’t been fulfilled (only 750 sales in 4 months).

What went Right

  • Overall polish
    We think Wool is one of the most polished games of the channel. We did extensive betatesting to achieve a fun and challenging gameplay and level designs. We listened from other user’s opinions on the early phases and decided to focus on improving the overall experience instead of adding content “with no soul”.
    An example of this can be found in the sound and music department, with lots of different and well-placed sounds (special mention to the “stampede” sound effect when many sheeps run at once).
  • GUI
    Using what we learned from Little Racers’ GUI system, we redid from scratch the entire GUI system… Twice. It was a high amount of work, but it paid off in the end. The GUI system is very centric on gamepad UI interaction, and the usual structure of a game menu, with a largely customizable visual design.
    All of our later games to date have been using the same GUI without almost any change, so we can say it’s powerful enough for our goals.
  • Level editor
    During Wool development (and other projects that didn’t see the light…yet) we developed a map editor which enabled us to create and edits levels from scratch fairly easily.
    The editor was designed to be very flexible, so it will come handy when developing other 2D games in the future.
  • Paving the way for future games
    Between the release of Little Racers and Wool, most of the time was spent in improving our game engine to easen the task of creating new games, so our future projects wouldn’t take that much to be developed.
    Things such as game menus, loading/saving, game records, etc. can now be reused on our future games with almost no effort, so we should reduce our development time a lot from now on.

What went wrong

  • Product placement
    Since we created a high quality game and released it at a low price, we expected the game to be very successful. What really happened was: By default, not much people like sheep herding games, no matter how polished or fun they are.
    So, despite a rather high trials/sales conversion ratio, the game rapidly dropped of top charts with low sales numbers.
  • Little to no feedback
    Consequence of the first fact, we didn’t get much feedback, good or bad, about the game, which meant that we didn’t even know what the problem was with the game.
  • Graphics
    As in Little Racers, we’ve done our best to compensate our lack of graphic skills, with a fair success. Graphics variety is low, but everything fits and it looks good when in movement (can’t say the same for static screenshots…)

How the game did

  • In sales terms, Wool has been officially a failure. Although ratings and the few comments about the game are positive, it’s a genre which nobody likes.
    We can consider it as a niche game that’s really fun in coop sessions and can give a really fun experience for some hours for just one dollar.

Feel free to comment on the article!

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WaaghMan May 13th, 2010 News 2 Comments

MotorHEAT P2P World rankings issues explained

As many of you already know, the first patch for MotorHEAT came out yesterday. The changes are the ones featured in a previous post, and 3 new achievements (2 of them are secret, go find out!).

Sadly, the P2P World rankings system isn’t working flawlessly yet, but it now works a bit at least. We already have 525 scores synchronized from other users, and the number is increasing at a steady rate.

Once we noticed that they weren’t working allright yet, we kept working on it until we found the issue/s.

So, what is/were wrong with it? Many things:

  • (Already fixed)Clients didn’t wait until all the scores were received before disconnecting. That’s the reason because they worked sometimes, but when they reached a point where data needed more time to be sent (about 200 scores), they just stopped receiving anymore.
  • (Already fixed)If something bad happened while connecting or sending data, the P2P score system would stop working during all the game session (although all the other features of the game would keep working all right).
  • If you don’t have a valid Gold profile signed in on the first controller, the P2P Score system will never be able to find or create sessions. This is not an extremely rare case, specially if you have some music game instruments always connected.
  • (The worst one)If after a search, the game finds more than one active sharing session, it will try to join both at the same time, which causes the P2P Score system to crash and stop working until the next time you run the game.

We’ve already fixed issues 3 and 4, but we won’t be able to submit a new patch until next Monday.

Our apologies about these problems, these two cases are hard to test with a small development team and we didn’t find them until now.

The current version of Wool (which uses the same World Rankings system) is also suffering from the 4 aforemented issues, so maybe we’ll release a patch which fixes them.

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WaaghMan March 9th, 2010 News 1 Comment

It’s a great day to play together!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Why not spend a lovely afternoon playing a coop session of Wool? We’re sure both of you will enjoy it!

We’ve made some wallpapers so you can put some Wool love in your desktop or iPhone:

Wallpaper for 4:3 desktops

Wallpaper for 4:3 desktops

Wallpaper for 16:9 desktops

Wallpaper for 16:9 desktops

Wallpaper for iPhone/iPod

Wallpaper for iPhone/iPod

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WaaghMan February 13th, 2010 News Comments Off on It’s a great day to play together!

Win a copy of Wool by participating on SFX-360 Game Night

The folks at SFX-360 are hosting tomorrow their first Game Night of 2010, featuring the game Left 4 Dead 2.

Just by participating, you can win some prizes, one of theem being a copy of our game Wool!

More details can be found on the official post: http://sfx-360.com/index.php?idGameNight=1

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WaaghMan January 2nd, 2010 News Comments Off on Win a copy of Wool by participating on SFX-360 Game Night

Wool has been updated, contest soon

An update for Wool has been made available. The two main features of this update:

  • P2P High scores (They will be only available if you have a Gold profile and the full version of Wool).
  • Now you don’t have to go back to the stage select screen after completing a level

Due to the P2P high scores feature, your previous high scores will be deleted (but not your progress).

Thanks to the P2P High scores, we can now hold a contest and give prizes. We’ll do it soon, meanwhile you can start training and pushing your scores, as they will be valid once the contest begins.

Remember that P2P scores can only be updated if you play the game at the same time that other people, so don’t worry if you can’t see other people scores yet, we’ll setup a server once the contest begins.

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WaaghMan December 27th, 2009 News 3 Comments

Wool appears in Co-Optimus

Wool has been mentioned in Co-Optimus as a coop Indie game worth checking out. You can check it out at the original article


WaaghMan December 25th, 2009 News Comments Off on Wool appears in Co-Optimus

Wool has been updated

An update for Wool has been made available. It features the following changes:

* Improved a lot UI performance, specially on the level select and high scores section, and when a level is finished
* Some other minor issues fixed

We have other update that will become available later which adds a new feature: Online high scores.

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WaaghMan December 3rd, 2009 News Comments Off on Wool has been updated

Wool reviewed on Resolution Magazine

Resolution Magazine has reviewed Wool. You can check it out at the original article

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WaaghMan December 3rd, 2009 News Comments Off on Wool reviewed on Resolution Magazine

Wool sales numbers: An underwhelming response. Please help!

It’s been almost two weeks since Wool came out, and we’d like to share our sales numbers with you:

* Trials: 6972
* Purchases: 620
* Purchase/Trial Ratio: 8.89 %

Maybe as a first impression they could look good if you’re not into sales numbers for XBLIG, but trust us, they aren’t. Remember Wool is sold at the price of one dollar, so the revenue that we get per copy is very low. We published the game at that price in order to get more people to try the game.

Now that Wool is out of any of the lists on the Xbox dashboard, sales have dropped significantly, being only 12 last day. To tell the truth, Little Racers has sold more units yesterday than Wool, despite it’s been more than 6 months since its appearance.

We’ve tried everything that’s in our hand (and keep trying) to promote the game, with little success. We truly think the game is worth well more than a single dollar.

The game is rated 3.25 stars, a very low value for the quality and fun level we think the game offers for just one dollar. We don’t know the reasons behind this awfully bad results, and that’s why we’re asking you, our fellow users.

Our intention from the beginning was to bring high quality gameplay and fun to the Xbox Live Indie games channel, but it seems we’ve done something terribly wrong. We’re always trying to improve, but we can’t learn from our mistakes if we don’t know what was the mistake.

We’d like everybody that read this and have rated low the game (3 stars or less) to put a comment and tell us why. We need complete sincerity so please be as harsh as you want.

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WaaghMan November 30th, 2009 News 8 Comments