If you follow this blog regularly you’ve probably noticed that there’s been a kind of blackout period. I hardly posted during the last couple of months. What happened? Lorax Garden is what happened.
In late February I agreed to collaborate with Oceanhouse Media on a game project. They had the Dr. Seuss license and I had the flowers. Perfect match for a Lorax-themed game! And so the Lorax Garden was born.
I was originally hoping to write some entries here on the progress of the game as I worked on it, but I quickly realized that I wouldn’t have any spare time for anything other than the project. We wanted to have the Lorax Garden (and the Lorax book app) on the App Store by Earth Day (April 20th), so that left us with a very aggressive 5-week schedule (and GDC somewhere in the middle!). Fortunately, we managed to hit our deadline, and you can see the results today by yourself by downloading it from the App Store.
It was very interesting starting a totally new project from the existing Flower Garden codebase. I had to add some new flower-tech to make flowers more Seussian (curvy, uneven) and make Truffula Trees. Lorax Garden has a definite game structure and progression, so all the game code was completely new. It even has a flower-growing minigame to earn extra care hearts. All that had to be created by ripping out Flower Garden code and writing new one. It was a pleasure to see how easy it was to reuse all the flower-tech code that was well isolated and tested from the beginning though.
The Lorax Garden is currently featured by Apple on the App Store, and it’s on sale for $0.99 (down from the regular price of $2.99). All of that combined with a strong launch and mentions on USA Today and other media outlets have brought it up to the #39 (edit: #37!) paid app overall in the US App Store charts. A fantastic result, and with any luck it will continue climbing for another day or two.