spearfishing game ios, spearfishing,
iPhone game, iPad game, iPod game,
action game, mobile game, freediving,
underwater, new game, App Store,
iTunes, shark, fish, Carlos Suarez,
independent game developer
Lessons from The Land of the Mouse, Part I  
October 10, 2014

Everybody’s got an opinion about Disney World: either you think it’s an amazing entertainment
venue or a blight upon the Earth. Whether you love or hate Disney, there’s no denying that it
offers indie developers some valuable lessons, as I learned recently from my first trip to the
Land of the Mouse. Today I want to talk about what Disney World teaches us about the player
experience.

The first thing I noticed at our Disney resort was how user-friendly everything is. They give you
a bracelet that not only unlocks your room but also functions as a payment system so you and
your kids don’t have to carry cash or credit cards.
They have an app that lets you make dinner
reservations and schedule time on your favorite rides so you aren’t stuck in lines all day. They
give you rain ponchos and paper fans as the weather dictates. My wife especially appreciated
the large number of stalls in the women’s restrooms, which were spotless.

Air-conditioned buses take you wherever you want to go on the property, for free. On one trip
from Epcot back to our resort, my wife and I were the only ones on the bus. We figured the
driver would wait until she had a few more passengers, but no… she drove the two of us all the
way back to our resort like we owned the place. Speaking of the resort, the grounds were
beautiful, well-lit, safe, and the amenities were easily accessible.

We truly did not expect to enjoy Disney World as much as we did. In fact, I was looking for
reasons NOT to like it, but honestly I didn’t find many.

Just as Disney faces stiff competition for the almighty entertainment dollar, so does your game.
If you hope to stand out, you have to
be like Disney and exceed your customers’ expectations.
No shortcuts allowed. Whenever you’re trying to decide whether or not to include a cool
feature in your game, do it… even if you have to release the game first and do an update
later. I’ve updated my iOS game,
Freediving Hunter, six times since I released it in April 2014,
and I’m working on another update now. This current update is so extreme that I could
probably release it as a new stand-alone game and charge players accordingly. But I value my
current players too much to make them buy another game. I want to surprise and delight them,
so I’m going to behave like Disney by giving them a remarkable experience and an unexpected
entertainment value.

Hey, if it worked for The Mouse, it'll probably work for you and me!