MEGA MUSEUM (iOS/Google Play)
Mega Museum (Released: 08/2016)
Mega Museum, is an educational and incremental loot based game aimed at families, young children and causal gamer's looking for a challenge. The game can be a casual relaxing experience with simple mechanics, but can be edited and understood to a far more complex management system the more players input into the application itself. The game is developed and published by Merchant Games both on Apples iOS App store and Androids Google Play store, the game initially just launched on the Google Play Store, however at a later date it was released on iOS. The app is frequently updated, and community feedback is often heavily involved as the developers often post on their own Reddit and other related sub reddits to receive feedback.
As of this year (2017) , the developers are working on a big new updated expected to hit in the coming months. The developers also have a spiritual sequel in mind and in the stages of planning, and another game in the pipeline, which is completely different and aimed more at mature audiences.
Game-play and Mechanics
In Mega Museum the player is tasked with running their very own museum, and curating the experience for their pixel visitors. By travelling the world and earning "Permits" the player can then go to different countries and unlock items and artifacts to further their expansion and progress. Many mechanics of the game unlock later as the player progress, adding more depth and systems into the game as the player grows more familiar with the museum and the world. Secrets can be uncovered such as new locations requiring the player to use their imagination and think like "Indiana Jones" to narrow down on how to unlock them. Whilst also learning about real history with a fun twist. The games main mechanic, which the player uses to progress is a feature similar to snap. The player must match symbols of different rarity to obtain said item, with the player using resources earned on each attempt. Initially the player only has few attempts to start with, however over time this is also a feature the player can increase and advance with. The developers used this mechanic since "they loved playing it as a child, and notice it in Mario games, since they both used to be avid Nintendo game boy fans".
The game is developed and published by Merchant Games and independent games studio run by two game designers, one having specialised in coding and the other design. They began working on Mega Museum in 2015, initially having the idea being thrown back and forth in its early stages, it was later prototyped and turned into the product you see today, the reason it ended up as it did was because the developers did not really see anything on the market that blurred the lines between "educational and something that still resembled a true casual loot based game".
Reviews and initial response
Mega Museum initially received positive praise and was featured on Newgrounds.com, as well as on MadeWithUnity, to which Unity praised it as "Adorable and Cute". Since then frequent updates and community feedback have grown the game into new heights. The game currently holds a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 on the google play store with 1,600 reviews, with 1,266 of those reviews being 4 stars or more, 812 of those being 5 stars. (as of 09/05/2017).
- Both the developers of Mega Museum reside in the United Kingdom and also went to university there to learn game design.
- Only two developers have worked on this game, both being the sole coder and sole designer on this product.
- Since the new found developers did not have an initial huge starting budget, they seeked out Reddit to build the product and gain free insight that way to help push the product more and develop it knowing they would be dealing with passionate, and targeted audiences.
- The Starting country China, was used as the tutorial level to display diversity, and also to create awareness, as the developers soon notice you could not promote their game in china via Facebook. They hoped Chinese residents would be more familiar with the app if that country popped up first. As the game is designed around western audiences.
- Some of the starting countries were picked at random using a generator, which then led to the team learning about countries and history they had never even heard of, they have since learned a lot.
- The developers initially got one of the countries origins wrong and had to correct its history, due to a user pointing out the error, it has since been fixed.
- Due to the game engine initially running on a 32 bit set up, the players quickly exceed the games coin limit so the developers had to change the set up for players to exceed it, the developers initial response was pure shock and surprise, as they did not expect players to do it so fast.
- The merchant games logo is a "hooded merchant" as they thought the logo personified a merchant selling his wares, which a game developer/publisher does only mostly today in digital format.
- Both developers are in their early to mid twenties.