This story is as old as video games themselves: two guys who just graduated from university dream of making their games. How friends’ dreams come true and how not to give up. Let’s hear the story of these lovely guys.
Kan Akar and Kagan Orun grew up playing games from an early age, and they had a common dream to develop their games. However, except for some game jams, they had little or no experience in game development.
Before we started, we had so many crazy ideas for PC games, and as a designer, I was always impressed by the simplicity of mobile games. The similarities between the first arcade games and hyper-casual games are apparent, and this has been reflected in our approach to development. Arcade games are where we started, and we try to show respect for them in our games.Kan Akar
Introducing Regular Duck
After years of dreaming, early 2021 finally gave Akar and Orun the chance to realize their dream and found their hyper-casual studio, Regular Duck.
Among their first ideas was developing a game based on the popular vehicle switching mechanic, which allows players to select different vehicles depending on the challenges in the level. Thinking outside the box, Akar discovered an excellent idea that never realized before:
After exploring several options, I decided that using vehicle shifting mechanics could be fun. I presented this concept to the team, and everyone loved the idea. This is how Plug Head was born.Kan Akar
The Regular Duck team jumped right into the project and started prototyping and testing various controls. After a month of bold changes and hard work, they finally felt confident enough to approach the publisher with their idea.
Plug Head’s early test results looked promising, but Regular Duck found it extremely difficult to maintain a quality connection with its publisher. Things got worse when the publisher finally rejected their game.
It was terrible for us. The initial ad-free results were great, but the publisher wanted us to implement monetization early on. After the results came, they did not meet their standards. In fact, for the first monetization test, we thought the results were encouraging. We were unhappy with the overall collaboration and wanted to cut ties with the publisher entirely.Kan Akar
The team’s dreams were shattered. But, by chance, the publishing company Sunday appeared on the horizon. After seeing some prototypes, the publishing group immediately saw the potential of Regular Duck and turned to them for a partnership.
At first, we had our doubts, as Sunday is a relatively new publisher. However, they warmly welcomed us, and we immediately had many meetings until we developed a sustainable system and professional connections. After a while, we realized that Sunday was the right publisher for us. We saw how they work, and we shared their interest and commitment.Kan Akar
The Sunday team went straight to work. After analyzing the gameplay and performance of Plug Head, they suggested some crucial changes to improve player retention and interaction.
We were determined to make Plug Head a hit, and we felt the same determination from the publisher. Seeing their dedication to their cause further increased our motivation. Their trust in our team has given us total confidence in their decisions and recommendations for the future.Kan Akar
A sharp increase
After two weeks of iteration, Regular Duck saw dramatic improvements in CPI that increased the first-day retention from 33% to 45%.
They have carefully analyzed the data and the game. We even did a playtest with a select group. I felt like we were finally doing design research the way it should be. In addition to gameplay improvements, Sunday has created dozens of platform-specific promotional videos. They even contributed to the game itself by making skins and tracks for the in-game store.Kan Akar
After all these positive changes and support, the publisher proposed to publish Plug Head. Regular Duck happily accepted the offer, which led to a successful launch and top positions in the app store charts.
The Head of the publishing house, Balaji Tangaraj Vijayan, said:
The energy, creativity and passion that the Regular Duck team brings have been fantastic from the start. It is advantageous when in such cooperation, all the inner knowledge that they share is used. We hope to build a sustainable future for Regular Duck to develop other games.Balaji Tangaraj Vijayan
Plug Head achieved profitability eight weeks after its global release.