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eidolon industries

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james

Tactikon

What

A brief stint playing an old strategy game when I was very young left me with a long-standing desire to make something similar. After a few false starts, it was the release of the Android platform that finally got me on the way to creating my vision of a simple-yet-deep multiplayer strategy game.


Tactikon

Tactikon was released on the early versions of Android. The graphics were (partly intentionally) a bit clunky, but the game still developed a loyal following.

Stats

  • Released: 2008
  • Support ended: 2012 - I switched to working on Tactikon 2
  • Lifetime installs: 36,000
  • Google Play review score: 4.2

What went well

  • The companion website generated global player rankings, and cute animated gifs of all the games currently in progress.
  • Basic game mechanic worked suprisingly well

What went not-so-well

  • Games were slow as the client polled the server for moves
  • Single-player modes and tutorial were always underdeveloped

Tactikon 2

I worked on Tactikon 2 in 2012, completing most of the game in about two months. The aim was to modernise and fix a few of the flaws in the original.

Stats

  • Released: 2012
  • Support ended: 2020 - Taking slightly more time to maintain than I was happy with for diminishing returns. Sunsetted over the course of two years removing IAPs then finally switching off the servers early 2020.
  • Lifetime installs: 50,000
  • Google Play review score: 4.3

What went well

  • Developed a generic game server which could in theory power any turn-based game
  • Loved creating more detailed pixelart and effects
  • Server-verified gameplay eliminated cheating
  • Push-notification based turns meant much quicker gameplay

What went not-so-well

  • A subtle bug in the server caused occasional glitches for the first few years of the game
  • New players often dropped out leading to stalled games

The future?

I still think there’s a market for something like this, but I was never quite able to attact enough players to make it worthwhile. I started on Tactikon 3 a while ago, but honestly the minimum level for any new game in the mobile market these days is so high that I don’t think I’d be able to produce it in a reasonable time. Much higher standards expected in art, sound and a solid gameplay loop. Maybe one day!

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