In 2019 I had a client ask if I could make a game for them. I hired a contract programmer to help me -I had worked with them plenty before and got started. I began to work through market research and the game design doc.

I asked my client what type of art styles & genre she liked and worked to create something similar. I focused on the virtual pet market which has been making a slow comeback the last few years.

I wanted to make sure the project would be successful so I did some reach on how well the virtual pet genre was fairing.
I found some promising numbers.

Women play more often then men, cost less to acquire then men, and spend more then men. (link1, link2). Focus should be towards women for more profit, but causal enough men will play as they actually are the best game gossipers and advocates for games. 
Guinea pigs are more popular then hamsters, yet more hamster games are found on mobile. Guinea pigs are most popular in the UK. Basic google analytics was used for that.

I created a fair amount of documentation covering more about SEO, trends in games, most popular virtual pet games, price ranges between pet games (some micro-transactions fared between $0.99-$99), etc and decided it could be a good market. I decided then to assign my contractor some tasks and worked on art as seen below.

A style sheet to show possible game art direction.

I created all the original art in Illustrator & Photoshop. I think it turned out well for my time frame. Now if I were to redo everything I would create everything in Affinity Design and Affinity Photo as that software is faster, more intuitive and far cheaper to use.

A close up of my vector work

I have a lot of experience in Unity and often use Github Desktop. While Unity Collab is an option, I consider it slower for small projects as it often has check check multiple assets as it updates, where as git is much better at handling that. I have used Unity Collab for a few years on different projects and to me it is more limited.

I have the most experience in Unity, and Unity is best for mobile so it all came together.

Old build I created to make sure deployment on both Android & iphone was working. I setup the build process for my programmer since I had more experience.

My client was happy with the work but due to unforeseen circumstances on their end they were unable to continue. Still a fun project and hope to work on it again someday.
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