Hi Everyone -especially our dear intergalactic battle pilots from Pocket Fleet-,
As many of you guys know, we’ve been excited about the prospect of bringing Pocket Fleet to the Ouya for some time now, as we loved the device and thought TV was a great medium for fast-paced multiplayer gaming. Today, we’ve decided to end development for it and switch to GamePop. I know many of you were looking forward to playing the game on Ouya, so I thought I’d explain. The following are a few of the reasons we made this call:
Developing For Ouya Became a lot more work than we anticipated
While it might seem we would only need to map the controls in Pocket Fleet to the Ouya controller (only a few days job), it turned out to be much more than that. The biggest surprise was what they required in terms of new menu design. We assumed the user could move a cursor around to select things on our main menu, but this was not the case. The company was requiring that we redesign the main screen so that people could move around it by highlighting different buttons. This may sound simple but certain circumstances meant that it was anything but. Their ODK was also pretty shoddily thrown together and updates didn’t note what had changed. It began to get very onerous very fast.
Pocket Fleet is a cross-platform game
You can play Pocket Fleet on Android, iOS and any computer with a browser. We are also about to release the game on Samsung with the 100% rev share indie deal we got from them. You can play the game on your PC and keep playing on your mobile device with, battling players from any other platform. The game runs the same way on every platform. This is why we wanted to add support for a TV console to expand our PC-Mobile combo, and were going to do it with Ouya. But the fact is…
We Are a Small Indie Development Team With Limited Bandwidth
We don’t have a separate “Design Group” to rework menus. We focus all of our energy on building the best possible game mechanics and to provide new fancy features to our fans. This has paid off so far, as Pocket Fleet has exceeded our wildest expectations with 7-figure downloads in just a few months and a feature in Google Play. We don’t have time to mess around. If we had a larger team, things might’ve been different.
GamePop Had a Much Simpler Proposition
We still loved the idea of bringing Pocket Fleet to TV. Recently, we were contacted by someone from BlueStack, which was about to launch their GamePop subscription service and console. They asked for no menu changes or controller mappings, there’s no SDK, no nothing. Seriously, it was about the easiest onboarding we’ve ever had to a platform, since they basically use our stock APK.
We Wish It Weren’t This Way
We were (and still are) fans of Ouya and have been rooting for them since the start. We wish them the best. For independent developers however, we just can’t do so much work for such an uncertain benefit (almost forgot, we had to integrate shopping cart IAP stuff also). We’re taking the Occam’s Razor approach and going with GamePop for now. Pocket Fleet looks awesome on their prototype and we can’t wait to bring the finished product to you guys.