Delivering the goods: Our own MacLaine Russell rolls out mobile video game

Kristin
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“When I have an idea,” Quinlan VFX producer MacLaine Russell says, “I tackle it.”

This seems to be a guiding principle for MacLaine, who, as a grade schooler, put together a list of projects and individual goals he wanted to achieve in his future.

Last week, he was able to cross a pretty big accomplishment off his list.

As of Friday, February 13, MacLaine’s new mobile game, YOFi Delivers – featuring energy-powered robots and secret agents – is now available for purchase on iTunes.

Design and Development

“When I was younger, my neighbor had a television with an old gaming system, and there was a game called Happy Trails,” MacLaine remembers. “I was addicted to it. When I recently started playing games on my phone, I couldn’t find it. So I thought to myself – ‘I bet I can make it.’”

In August 2013, the development began. With the help of some research and how-to articles, he found a free and relatively easy-to-use platform called Unity that allowed him to combine script with 3D aspects.

“I had some familiarity with JavaScript from my development days, and I ran into a team of developers who were trying to break into the app market,” Maclaine says. “We partnered in this game and they assisted on the development side.”

MacLaine believes the software played a big part in the success of the game.

“The community was so helpful,” he says. “If you’re successful with the app, Unity will actually send you a bill for their software. They’re encouraging their users to be successful.”

iTunes also allows Mac to view his metrics. From this past weekend, he already has several downloads from the Asian market – including China, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

Navigating the game: Yofi Delivers

“I was doodling one day, and I drew a robot,” MacLaine notes. “My daughter, three at the time, named him YOFi. I thought it was hilarious that she named him that, and I decided to make him the main character of my game.”

YOFi serves as a secret agent who has to deliver packages from one agent to another. His goal is to make it from point A to point B – and in order to get to his destination, he has to traverse through a maze.

Yofi Delivers Puzzle

“The user’s job is to move blocks and paths around to help Yofi get to his destination,” MacLaine says. “He also runs on limited energy, so the user has a certain amount of time before YOFi will run out of it.”

The goal? Make the delivery, get paid, and use the currency to buy more energy for YOFi.

Moving forward: What’s next?

While the iOS game is now available on iTunes, Mac has already started two other games, with one in an alpha testing phase. He enjoys the hobby, but enjoys the learning experience, too.

“My original intent for this was to develop the game for fun,” he notes. “I wanted to play the game, so I found a way to develop it. But if I can make money from it, why not? It has even helped me learn more about this market. Many people are oblivious when it comes to marketing and advertising for games.”

Although the project was not affiliated with Quinlan, MacLaine believes that having knowledge and experience in this area can help the digital team down the road.

“Moving forward, maybe it would make sense to offer these services,” MacLaine says. “I’ve put quite a bit of research into the advertising and monetization aspect, and I can use this as a case study to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.”

Ready to play? Check out Mac’s game in the iTunes App Store.

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