Five Years of Dragon Lords

1,000,000 players
2,500,000 kingdoms
15,000,000 battles
Five years of Dragon Lords.

DragonThe most amazing things in the world are created because at some point in time one person sits down and asks a question “Can I do it?” Dragon Lords history is no different. It all started with an idea of a game unlike any other that existed at the time. This thought transformed into something that brought joy to thousands upon thousands of players across the world. Five years after the release we want to answer another question: “Can we make it better?”

And the answer is: “We sure as hell are going to try!”

The time has come to make a leap and bring all aspects of the game we all love to entirely new level. After long months of secret labor, after thousands of hours of work, we are finally ready to reveal: Dragon Lords 2.

Before we dive into the details, let us state it beyond any doubt, the original version of Dragon Lords will remain online and stay in the App Stores. The sequel will not replace the existing game, it will exist in parallel.

The answer to the question: “Why a new game?” might be obvious to some players, but we would like to share our reasons nonetheless.

Original Dragon Lords was released nearly five years ago, but work on it started close to seven years back. Seven years is a LOT of time when technology is involved. Things changed more than we could imagine, they didn’t move the direction we thought they would all those years ago (we will make a detailed technical post for anyone interested later), so the technology used to build the original client became obsolete at some point in time. In order to make the game competitive with the new titles we had to make an enormous leap, which meant starting everything from scratch.

DL2_006Dragon Lords 2 is created using Unity3D, a game engine with enormous capabilities. Thanks to that engine we were finally able to implement User Interface MUCH more friendly to players. We tried to remove unnecessary taps and typing wherever it was possible. Sliders! Sliders everywhere!

Thanks to the completely rewritten client-server communication the amount of data exchanged was limited by up to 90%, making the game work faster and much more friendly to your data plan.

While this is not the core feature of Dragon Lords, we also took advantage of the great tool which is Unity3D, and implemented some spectacular visual effects, making the game appeal not only to the hard-core strategy fans, hoping to reach out to a vast number of semi-hard-core and casual players. Lack of this in the original game was one of the factors limiting its growth.

This answers the technical part of the “Why?” question. Lets take a look at the gameplay reasons.

As you might be aware, Dragon Lords was our first game, born out of the dream of creating something we would like to play ourselves, however backed by little experience in creating complex worlds of a MMO strategy, a genre which was only being born seven years ago. Only after watching this incredible ecosystem evolve over the years we gained understanding of what problems plague this environment, what lies at their roots and how to design it better.

This knowledge came with an understanding that in order to create a healthy environment we have to start from scratch and change some of the most basic things. Once again, we will make a dedicated blog post describing our analysis of the economy and changes we have planned in the sequel, for now we will list only few of the most critical adjustments.

Our primary goal in designing Dragon Lords 2 mechanics was to make it more fair to all players, both veterans and newbies alike. We wanted to create a much more balanced economy with more focus on war than farming for it. Our secondary goal was to change the gameplay in such a way that it became more enjoyable, less tedious and easier to understand.

DL2_007The most fundamental change affected magic (including scrolls). Rather than keeping the flat bonus system employed in the first game, we have introduced a system calculating the effect based on the spell/scroll power along with the size of the affected kingdom. The same scroll will have a powerful effect on a small kingdom, while if it were cast on a kingdom much bigger, the effect would be close to negligible.

We removed the hidden modifiers, no more diminishing returns, the spell has EXACTLY the effect it says it has. We have removed the limits of number of spells/scrolls one kingdom can have on them, a much more logical limit was introduced: only one effect of the type can exist at any one time. This removes the element of repeatedly casting the same spells, which we have found unnecessary in retrospect.

DL2_002
Initially we have included 27 spells in the game, divided into five Schools of Magic. The number of Schools at your disposal will depend on the race and building upgrades. Your choice of Schools will have a big impact on the way you play the game and should emphasize the role of each kingdom in the alliance.

Another major change you will notice, affected the Champion. We were well aware of the controversy around the way skill points were calculated in the original game and thought very hard on how to avoid it in DL2. We believe we have arrived at a good solution.

Once more we decided to make the game rules as transparent as possible. You will know EXACTLY what bonus your Champion gives, no more guessing and speculating. We also decided to completely change the skills. We left Spirit and Life, however the rest was dropped and replaced with 8 specializations affecting gameplay in different ways. Once more, in the following weeks we will make a dedicated post explaining the details of this part of the gameplay. For now we will leave you with this: the specializations are Governor, Conqueror, Armorer, Banker, Sage, Archmage, Channeler and Spy.

Each rank of the specialization adds a bonus, for instance, each rank of Banker specialization will increase the output of your kingdom’s merchants by 1%. For the sake of clarity we decided to keep the bonus constant, however in order to prevent too high stacking, the price of unlocking next rank will keep increasing.
DL2_005
Another topic which deserves its own blog post is the change we introduced to battle and war. Static battle summary was replaced by a “dynamic”, turn-based battle, where each unit performs attacks calculated using its stats (attack/defense/initiative). Units are no longer divided into four categories (useless/attack/defense/summoned). In Dragon Lords 2 each unit will have its role, each will have a special ability (or abilities!) making it stronger against some foes (for example Human Swordsman will receive +2 attack against Orc units). Each will be vulnerable to some sort of spell (Plague will do away with soldiers, Banish with demons etc.) and… just wait for the dedicated post! 😉

War, war supposedly never changes, but it WILL change in Dragon Lords 2. This was one of the topics that gave us the most trouble in the original game, so making it right in the sequel was our critical goal. The solution we came up with, strongly inspired by certain other games, is rather simple.

There will be two types of war, one will be free of declaration limits for any two alliances which want to test their strength. This will be a war on which both sides will agree on, the purpose being simply having fun. There will be little cost involved and no gain other than pride from the victory.

DL2_004The other type of war will be “ranked” and here opponents will be chosen by the server. Each time you want to declare a ranked war you will see a list of alliances from which you will pick one. This alliance will not be able to surrender, however the leader will be able to adjust the start of the war up to 6 hours earlier or later, to make it more convenient for the defending side.

While it will still be possible for two alliances to “work” with each other in what’s currently being described as a “fake war”, the server will make sure no two groups of kingdoms fight too often, giving everyone a chance to have a fair go at combat. How exactly this will work, we will describe in another post and of course adjust the algorithms as required.

This is not the only change affecting how wars are going to be waged, however, once more, you will have to wait a little bit for a dedicated post.

This is all the information we can share about the gameplay today. We do promise to deliver more in the days and weeks to come. You will also get an opportunity to see it on your own, because first phase of testing will start in just one week! Alpha Test will tell us if there are critical problems we will have to fix before Open Beta can begin. Keep an eye out, we will be announcing how to get a chance at participating in the Alpha soon!

Open Beta will revive Uroboros, for it will last approximately 3 months, in which we will evaluate which of our ideas were good and which still need more work. We will be fixing bugs, adding features, content and putting final polish. Players most active in helping us improve the game in this pre-release phase will be rewarded with items which they will be able to claim on the first realm we launch after the release. This part of the preparations should start shortly after Alpha’s end.

DL2_003Thanks to the advantages of making the game using Unity, we are going to release the Beta client for Android devices along with the native versions for PC and Mac.

Finally, there is one important thing we have to mention. Because the mobile market went through enormous changes in those five years, independent developers have to be extremely lucky to achieve success with their product, even if it is absolutely amazing. That’s why we decided to seek help of publisher when releasing Dragon Lords 2. Final agreement is still being worked on, however we can already confirm this: the new game will exist outside the BlueComet platform. For more than one legal reason it can’t be tied in any way to existing structure.

We still have a good couple of months of work before the game is ready to be released and in this time we would love to get as much feedback as possible. That’s why we have decided to launch a discussion board on our website. There we will provide more information on the progress of testing, existing features, answer questions and discuss ideas on how things could be made better. We invite you to join the community: MDS Forum .

 

The Gates Are Open!

Celestial GateFinally, after a long wait, the testing of the Celestial Gate is complete, and the new feature is at last live on all realms. The stakes have been raised higher than ever, and while the challenge may be difficult to overcome, the rewards should be more than worth it!

First of all, we wish to thank all of you who have participated in the open testing – thanks to your assistance we have eliminated multiple bugs and glitches we would not have been able to find on our own. We hope the launch of the Gate goes smoothly, but of course – if you run into any problems with the new mechanics, please let us know via a support request!

For those of you who have not been following our previous announcements, the Celestial Gate is the next tier alliance structure. While it’s far more challenging to complete than the Nether Portal, it also provides greater rewards. We have updated the Help files with a new section, describing the Gate, and other team objectives in greater detail – don’t be afraid to ask if you require more information though. 

Along with the Gate, we have also released several smaller updates:
– land purchasing is now capped to 8,000 acres on normal and 10,000 acres on hardcore realms
– Unconditional Surrender now has a 14 day cooldown
– Largest kingdoms can now trade in some of their land in exchange for champion skill points
– Completing the Phoenix Gate now grants a significant amount of champion experience
– Multiple quality of life UI improvements

The next item on our agenda is going to be an update to the Valor system – we are going to introduce all new individual team and Valor rewards, and realm challengers and champions will be able to take advantage of notable discounts in the valor store. You can look forward to that, and more (another boss in Zone 5?) in the upcoming weeks and months. 

In the meantime – let the race to the Lightbringer title begin, we are very excited to see who will emerge victorious.

A tribute to Terry Pratchett

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Last month the world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. Even if the name of Sir Terry Pratchett doesn’t ring any bells, if you played our games, you are likely to be familiar with at least some of his quotes.

“Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.”

Pratchett’s amazing skill with words and unique ability to describe things in a completely different way everyone else seems to see them, made his books wildly successful across the world. If you want to read more about Pratchett, read the story CNN posted: Author Terry Pratchett dies If you want to understand his influence on millions of minds, read this web-comic strip: xkcd

Mysterious NoteI have been following Terry’s books since I first put my hands on Discworld, a parody of classic Fantasy world, where absurd was even more abundant than magic. Over the years, reading and re-reading his books I started gathering my favorite quotes. I often came back to them when the mood was down or when I wanted to chuckle. One day, after Dragon Lords were released, I thought that I should share those little sparks of laughter and wisdom, with people who might also enjoy them. Dragon Lords players seemed a perfect match, obviously fans of the genre, they often responded well to fun easter-eggs which we planted inside the game. That is how “exploration notes” were born.

Today, in tribute to Sir Terry’s talent, we are letting You share his legacy with your friends. Starting today you can share the exploration notes on Facebook (please make sure you have the latest version of the game client). Enjoy them, have a laugh, ponder the wisdom of Pratchett’s words and let your friends enjoy them as well. Additionally – you can share the note as an alternative method of claiming the daily Facebook coin (instead of the regular post).

 

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Our collection of quotes includes reflections on life:

Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like “What is my purpose in life?” very quickly lacked both.

women:

Some women are beautiful in the way a forest fire is beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.

observations of social nature:

If a man has lots of money he’s not mad, just eccentric.

motivating remarks:

When You’re Up to Your Ass in Alligators, Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life.

and tons upon tons of good advices:

Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.

Pets are always a great help in times of stress. And in times of starvation too, o’course.

Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.

 

This is our way of saying “Thank you Sir Terry!”

AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER” “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.” “The End.”

 

Nether Portal 2.0

celestial gate closedWhen Dragon Lords gameplay were designed we wanted to center it around Alliance construction of the Portal / Stargate. This was destined to be grandest achievement, the final frontier. That’s why for a long, long time we focused our attention on adding additional content to the game, leaving the end game in the same shape.

After observing the evolution over the period of close to four years we finally changed our minds. Dragon Lords is no longer the game it was three years ago, it’s played differently, players expect different challenges, the world has changed. And so should Dragon Lords.

The change we are currently preparing is going to re-shape the end-game. Nether Portal will no longer be the biggest achievement in the game, though it will remain in its current form. On top of the Portal we are going to add a bigger challenge, something we believe will provide more excitement than current Portal constructions. This new challenge is Celestial Gate and we are finally ready to reveal more details about it.

Our first concern in creating the new piece of the mechanic was to make it “new” rather than simply copying existing solutions with higher requirements. That is why Celestial Gate is going to employ a number of brand new measures making the construction more challenging and participation in the event more engaging.

The biggest difference between Nether Portal and Celestial Gate is going to be the fact that only one active construction of the Gate will be allowed at one time. There will be no queue of simultaneous constructions, if your alliance wants to build the Gate, it will have to stop the alliance currently constructing theirs. This is going to be accomplished by dropping the alliance under the land requirement OR by crushing them in war to the point where it ends automatically due to 25% rule. Keep in mind that the war which runs its entire course will NOT pause the gate even if building alliance loses it, winning by Victory Point count is simply not going to be enough.

Test realm

Testing of the mechanic is under way.

Additionally we are going to introduce another major change, which we hope will bring out some of the players out of retirement and will make Celestial Gate construction even more challenging. We are going to implement land purchase lock on all realms, however since it is only intended for the Gate, we will set it to individual kingdom land requirement, 8,000 acres on regular realms and 10,000 acres for HardCore. Above this threshold land will have to be conquered rather than bought.

We realize thcelestial gatee consequences of introducing such change will affect all players in multiple ways, but we also feel that it will bring more life to all realms, breaking the current cycle of farm and construction, making war both necessary and desirable, rather than something to be avoided – without it you will not be able to meet the land requirements for the Gate (unless you are already there – in that case, congratulations!).

Finally, Celestial Gate is going to utilize the statistic we introduced some time ago: War Effort. Alliance wanting to start the construction will have to prove their worth by going through battle. Unlocking the construction for the first time will consume 1 point of War Effort for each acre of the alliance land. Completing the Gate will increase the requirement for a period of time, the price will go down with time though.

War Effort will be consumed proportionately to land, however members who have gathered excess points will be able to use them to cover players who have not earned their share yet. Additionally, only members being part of the alliance during the activation of the construction will be eligible for the rewards.

Archangel

The ArchAngel Unit

Of course, where there are requirements, there also have to be rewards, and there are plenty. Starting with a large sum of Coins, completing the Gate will also reward you with new units: one Archangel, an immortal unit similar to the Dragon Slayers and a group of Seraphs – celestial beings more powerful than the red dragons. Completing the gate will also provide a permanent boost to your champion’s statistics, as well as a new title. Finally – the first team to complete the Celestial Gate on every realm will also earn an unique avatar. More rewards may still be in the works – we want to make sure that the effort will be worthwhile!

One question on everyone’s mind is most likely “when will this be rolled out?” We don’t have a definite answer yet. Initially we wanted to open the Gates by the end of February, however as we went through implementation a number of issues and problems with the mechanic were spotted, which forced us to go back and redesign a few things. We want the new gameplay to be free of the loopholes, which could be exploited and make the game less fun for everyone, that would be the opposite effect of what we’re trying to accomplish. We also wanted to give players some time to digest all the changes and adequately prepare for the day of the release (we’re expecting many alliances to make the effort to grab that “First Celestial Gate” achievement). At this stage we are aiming at the end of April and we promise to give you two weeks heads up before the day of the release.

Player vs Player (PvP) Events

Golden Dragon Trophy

Heroes of Deneos Golden Dragon Trophy

All our games revolve around PvP, it’s their primary reason for being, the core of the gameplay. We made sure to add PvE elements, challenges which can be completed without facing other players, however the main goal of all our games is to prove yourself against other people. That’s why we put such emphasis on PvP in all forms and that is why we organize events to fuel the competitive spirit.

September is going to see three of such events: Second Season of the PvP Ladder in Heroes of Deneos, First Season of the Champion’s League in Dragon Lords / Xeno Wars and finally the XV Dragon Lords Tournament.

Heroes of Deneos has recently seen the finish of the first season of Ranked Player vs Player matches. Winners in 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 Team categories received various rewards, along with the new Golden Dragon Trophy Avatar, which will be passed from winner to winner with each passing season. We have also introduced a new feature in Heroes ranking, the Hall of Fame (in short HoF), which from now on will hold a permanent record of all Ladder winners.

Tournament Avatar Red

Dragon Lords Tournament Avatar Red

First Season of Champion’s League, which started on the 1st of September utilizes the new combat mechanic. Dragon Lords and Xeno Wars champions are using their newly acquired skills in the Arena, earning points and winning treasures. Each month top fighters in the League will be rewarded with special favors, from coins and avatars to brand new perks, which we are still working on!

This new gameplay is particularly groundbreaking for our games, because the League allows players to enter combat cross-realm, facing opponents from a different world than the one they currently play on. Making the League global within a game we increased the number of players on the same level allowing the match-making mechanic to pick opponents better.

Dragon Lords Tournament is the first PvP event we came up with. Lasting full week, from Sunday to Sunday, Tournament takes place on a special, fresh realm operating under altered rules. Skipping the initial phase of R&D, all kingdoms taking part in the Tournament start with a large number of turns and resources, allowing them to start warring within 24 hours from the start of the event.

Tournament Avatar Blue

Dragon Lords Tournament Avatar Blue

What makes the Tournament so interesting is set of additional rules: land lock at 1000 acres, allowing further growth only through war and lifted declaration limit, forcing alliances to wage wars on multiple fronts at the same time. Anyone who went through this gauntlet of war can vouch that it’s an exciting experience.

Tournaments have a long tradition in Dragon Lords and Xeno Wars. This will be 15th edition of the epic struggle, so to celebrate it, we are refreshing the Tournament Avatar, bringing you two variations of this token of achievement, in to color themes red&gold and blue&silver. We hope you like them!

This is what we have prepared for you this September. We are still working on adding new and exciting ways to improve the games, so keep an eye out for new updates!

Summer Update for Dragon Lords and Xeno Wars

Xeno Wars boss: Xenomorph

Xeno boss

It has now been two weeks since the implementation of the latest update to Dragon Lords and Xeno Wars. First of all, we want to thank you all for the feedback we have received – we are extremely happy to admit, that the overwhelming majority of it was very positive, and the data we have collected from the game seems to confirm that. The new features have become instantly popular – Nidhogg and Xenomorph have already been defeated over a thousand times, and the number of duels between players is simply astonishing.

Of course, as with any new feature, it will still require some tuning and tweaking. We have underestimated the players slightly it would seem, as the demon fight appears to be not quite as challenging as we had intended it to be – some of you have managed to defeat the mighty demon within just a few minutes! The demon has begged and pleaded with us – and we’re afraid that we will have to make the fight somewhat tougher.

We have also noticed some players are concerned with the number of relics which can be obtained by defeating the demon, we are considering shifting the balance slightly towards the other reward categories. The overall value of loot should not change, however we want to prevent the devaluation of drakonian relics – this would have a negative impact on many aspects of the game, primarily its economy.

This Sunday will see the launch of our next, month-long event, the first Season of the ranked duel ladder. This should shorten the waiting time for ranked PvP, as well as allow for much more precise matchmaking. One of the main issues in the early weeks of the dueling system was the matchmaking mechanic, which quite commonly resulted in unbalanced fights, favouring the higher level champion.

The introduction of cross-realm duels should alleviate this problem, and hopefully eliminate it completely. Ranked duels will also provide champions with experience – after all, practice is the best of all instructors, and what better way to practice, than by facing off against your peers?

Dragon Lords Arena

Dragon Lords Arena

The only realm which will be excluded from the PvP matchmaking will be Uroboros, due to its unique nature – we will think of something for that realm’s next cycle though, so that players focusing mainly on competing there do not feel left out.

Another adjustment which will be made due to the cross-realm system is the necessity of increasing the spirit cost of ranked duels on Hardcore realms from 5 to 8, to compensate for their faster spirit regeneration.

The top competitors in the ranked duel season will receive valuable rewards at the end of September, ranging from relics and potions, to avatars, titles and epic units.

We are also happy to announce that the next Tournament will begin in two weeks, on Sunday, September 14th. This edition will bring some changes to the reward system – we will be adding an all new VERY epic unit, the immortal Colossus, to the reward pool – the top contenders will have the opportunity to add some of those majestic, godlike beings to their armies for the period of three months.

We will also introduce a new version of the Tournament Trophy avatar, as well as the traditional custom avatars for the winners. This edition will also see a new set of rules when it comes to calculating valor points, linked with land size, as the previous one clearly indicated that an adjustment is required.

We know some of you will be disappointed that the Tournament is held in Dragon Lords again, but we believe that it’s the only way to provide a healthy and exciting competition at the moment. Xeno Wars is not forgotten though, any content and change being prepared right now will find its way to both games.

As for gameplay changes we are currently working on, and that you can expect to see next – some of them, perhaps all, will hit the realms in September:
– a new Unconditional Surrender system – surrendering in this manner will not only be more costly, but also profitable for the opposition
– a new war chest calculation system, which should make wars a much more profitable endeavor
– the long awaited new rewards to be purchased for valor, including boosts to the productivity of your merchants and builders.

After a busy and eventful summer, we are not planning to slow down – you can expect much more to happen in the upcoming months!

Becoming a Game Developer

MDS-logo4It seems that our three-year milestone is a good moment to reflect on the whole being-a-game-developer adventure, and since the question about making games pops up frequently, I (Admin) thought I’d share a little bit of history of Mighty Dragon Studios.

Our first game, Dragon Lords, started about five years ago, as one man’s hobby. iPhone was still a relatively new thing on the market and the selection of games was very limited. I was looking for something more engaging than Mafia Wars and couldn’t find anything worth my time. Having a programming background I decided to check how much effort it would require to shift a browser game (which I thought I could make) to the mobile platform. Initial research indicated that it wouldn’t be that much work, so I decided to go for it, not knowing then how wrong I was…

mapNot having any experience with actual game development (though hundreds upon hundreds of hours spent playing on various machines, starting with Atari 65XE, made me an expert I thought) I hit a number of problems and changed the concept of the game entirely at least three times (at some point it even included a map!). I was also entering uncharted territory, at that time there were no complex MMO’s for mobile phones that I could draw experience from. Instead I gathered concepts from the games I used to play in the past (some people noticed that Dragon Lords were heavily influenced by an old browser game called Red Dragon) and converted the gameplay to a more dynamic, mobile environment.

Another big obstacle that had to be overcome was creating good artwork. Not having any idea on how to go about finding a good artist, it was pure blind luck that I stumbled upon Adam Bray, who not only agreed to create the cover image for the game, but got so excited about the project, that he offered lots of advice and guidance in the area of general design, on top of charging absolute minimum for his work. Without him Dragon Lords would not become the game it turned out to be.

Gold mineAdam agreed to supply the key game artwork: cover image and race portraits. Those, while being the most important pieces, were just a drop in the sea of artwork that had to be created. Finding a good designer for User Interface layout and illustrator for icons of buildings, discoveries, spells and military units turned out to be incredibly difficult. I used two sites to look for artists: Freelancer.com and Elance.com .

There were a few setbacks, where I started working with artists and they either disappeared, or the quality of their work dropped significantly after creating a few pieces. The breakthrough came when the cover was completed and I finally found a designer who made the Dragon Lords User Interface. It became obvious that the icon artwork I gathered did not fit the style or reach the level of quality set by UI and cover images (you can see those not used images beside this text).

panther rider 2 clrAt this point in time a decision had to be made on how this project would proceed. In order to finish it, keeping the artwork consistent, on par with Adam’s work, everything else had to be scrapped – a lot of artwork which was already paid for. It all had to be replaced with high quality icons created by a professional. It also meant that this project would cross the line of being a hobby to becoming an investment. Creating the artwork meant dipping heavily into the savings.

After discussing this issue with my wife we decided to take the risk. With Adam’s guidance I did not split the job into small chunks, but rather created a large project with a high payment, which was bound to attract some of the professional artists. This is how I found ZTRUX, the man responsible for the majority of MDS artwork from that point on.

Somewhere along the way I joined forces with my brother (whom some of you might recognize from his rare public appearances as Land of Disturbed). By the time the project had grown from iOS to iOS-and-Android game it was obvious that it’s impossible for one person to carry all the weight. It was difficult even for the two of us, since we were still working full time at our “day jobs” in different IT companies. There were times when only the passion for what we were working on kept us coming back to keyboard.

When August 2011 came and the list of features waiting to be implemented was not getting any shorter we decided to finish what only required cosmetic changes and to start adding the new content after the release. On 17.08.2011 Dragon Lords went live.

Dragon Lords promoReleasing the game introduced us to a new problem, which is a major headache for most of the developers: user discovery. Publishing an app on mobile market, doesn’t matter whether it’s iOS, Android, Amazon or Windows Phone, gives you an initial boost in downloads, after which you fall into a vicious circle. In order to show up in user searches your app/game has to be popular. In order to be popular, people have to download it, in order to do that they have to FIND it first.

Only now, looking back at those first months, we are able to appreciate how lucky we were that the game took off the way it did. Two years after the decision to make an iOS game the App Store was a different place entirely. Competition was fierce and the store was already besieged by spam apps and cheap knock-offs. Getting noticed in the crowd started to become a big problem.

At the moment of release Dragon Lords still had one big advantage over vast majority of the games. It offered a complex gameplay and level of teamwork not encountered anywhere else in mobile games. That, combined with the fact that initially we ranked high on a popular keyword “dragon” and quickly received a lot of very good reviews allowed us to gain a fair number of players in those initial months.

Dragon Lords on Free App MagicHaving no experience in marketing (and I mean ZERO experience, we both have come from IT background, without any exposure to advertising whatsoever) we made some of the same mistakes most developers share. We focused on contacting reviewers and posting on various forums, an extremely time consuming and very ineffective approach. In our exploration of various app promotion methods, we stumbled upon the at the time popular “Free App a Day” services. We purchased campaigns with a few of the companies and hit one, which brought Dragon Lords to the top charts across Europe. We did not have the same success in the US, but it was enough to push us across the line dividing hobbyists and developers.

With Dragon Lords engaging thousands of players daily we had a steady revenue stream and enough work to keep us so busy that we had to quit our day jobs to keep up with the paperwork, maintenance, bug fixing, balancing, preparing new content and running support. We have officially become Mighty Dragon Studios.

Since then we hired people to work full time on support, coding and marketing. We released two more games and published multiple updates to Dragon Lords. The hard work paid off. We earn our living doing what we love, so we owe a big thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen!

Dragon Lords Turns Three! Happy Birthday!

Another year has passed, and the time has come to celebrate the third anniversary of Dragon Lords ! This time we have prepared quite a three day long event, with something new each day, culminating on Sunday, when the actual Anniversary day comes.

We are kicking off with the brand new website (if you are reading this, it means you have found it!) and something entirely new, which we have never done before: a trailer for our first game, Dragon Lords . We hope those two will serve to attract new players and perhaps bring back some of the old timers!

Still, this is just a small preview of the things to come. The three day event we have just started will feature some of our staple features – this time you’re welcome to explore the Core again, and to partake in Gondor’s Gift, both of which will be enabled at 8PM GMT. Additional details and features will be released throughout the weekend, so stay tuned, and enjoy the celebrations, as we welcome the beginning of our fourth year online!

If you did not have a chance yet to explore the realm of Dragon Lords we invite you to do so and join the birthday celebration with our loyal community of players:

App Store Download!

Download Dragon Lords on the App Store!

Play store download!

Download Dragon Lords on Google Play Store!

 

Like & join our community on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/DragonLordsMobile/

Enter the realm…! We will see you there!

Mighty Dragon Studios.

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Third Anniversary Celebration

The time has come and very, very soon our beloved Dragon Lords will turn three years old. To celebrate that special milestone we are working hard on a massive content update for your own enjoyment. Kick off the celebrations with us this weekend (15/08-17/08) with the game update, new website, social media expansion and a bright future ahead of our little studio as we are striving for the best… for you! I hope you are as excited as we are as these are just few things we are working on for you:

  • Player versus Player and Player versus Environment revolution!
  • Zone 5 with the first Demon ready to be released!
  • New military unit available upon defeating the Demon!
  • Special Gondor’s Gift offer!

Meanwhile we hope you will enjoy this little promo video celebrating Dragon Lords anniversary.

If you did not have a chance yet to explore the realm of Dragon Lords we invite you to do so and join the birthday celebration with our loyal community of players:

App Store Download!

Download Dragon Lords on the App Store!

Play store download!

Download Dragon Lords on Google Play Store!

 

Like & join our community on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/DragonLordsMobile/

Enter the realm…! We will see you there!

Mighty Dragon Studios.

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