Publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment and original developers Shiny Shoe entrusted Secret 6 with the goal of developing a fantastic version of Monster Train for iOS devices that has near-feature parity with the PC version. Monster Train is an award-winning turn-based roguelike deck-building game with multiplayer and endless replayability.
The biggest challenge was incorporating the game screens on mobile. UI directly ported from a PC game doesn't always translate well. Given the limited screen space we have to work with, larger isn't always the solution. The game also supports fast modes of play that require snappy feedback. These were the key considerations for the UX design team even before the project officially started. A lot of research and planning was done, where the meticulousness and efficiency of the designers came in to ensure we understood the why and how of our approach. Then came production, where our UX mindset of being player-centric led us to set the guiding pillars in our design: readability, and responsiveness, which includes intuitive touch controls.
Porting to the iOS platform posed unique engineering challenges to make sure the game runs well without compromising visual and audio quality. Monster Train, being originally on the PC and later on consoles, has high texture resolution meant for monitors and TVs. The Secret 6’s engineering team was able to code in asset compression that reduced the size of the textures while retaining visual fidelity. This resulted in a smaller app size and the game taking up less memory during runtime.
As part of a holistic approach to development, our QA team, Aphondo, were particular in listening to the existing Monster Train community’s sentiments and in considering the usability of similar mobile titles, planning test cases and performing rigorous tests.
The port has been one hell of a train ride.
Good Shepherd Entertainment and Shiny Shoe believed in the team’s expertise in Unity development and mobile porting experience, plus a strong grasp of the game to deliver on the fantastic mobile port of Monster Train.
The team is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have closely worked with them on this!