When you look at it, making a puzzle game that is simple enough to appeal to the masses is not easy. "Puzzles" are by their nature challenging and, as we all know by now, players tend to avoid games that are too hard in hyper-casual. So, designing a game that isn't too difficult but at the same time makes the player feel smart; now that was a real challenge.
The theme of your game idea is important. While it may seem like it is just about the audiovisual elements of the game, the truth is, it’s much more than that. Your theme also defines your core game mechanics. In our case, we knew that we wanted to make a drawing-type puzzle because we were already aware that users like them. Then we added the sports element and voila: draw your football players’ path across the field, block your opponents, and Touchdrawn! Not only the two concepts fused so well but also, we had a game concept that was potentially appealing to both puzzle players and sports enthusiasts.
Optimizing the difficulty was a huge work. Since the beginning, hundreds of levels were designed and tested. According to results we changed, swapped places or downright scraped nearly each and every level to make them perfect and find that “sweet spot” that makes the players want to keep playing more.
People seek a sense of progression in their lives. They all want to be better than yesterday. The same idea goes for the hyper-casual gamers: if you want to retain your users, the time they spend on playing should be paid back in a sense of accomplishment. Fortunately, this wasn’t too hard to implement in Touchdrawn. If you are a sports fan, you know that earning a trophy is usually the most desirable achievement. Thus, we decided to give players a cup after every set of levels just like championships. Whether it’s costumes, victory dances, backgrounds, or in this case cups, these refining touches make a tremendous difference in how the game gets perceived by the players without affecting the game mechanics.
If you want to exercise your mind with a puzzle game and not get bored at the same time, Touchdrawn might be your next favorite.