It’s been more than a year since Pune studio Dropout Games announced their presence in the gaming scene with its debut game Unwynd. Since, then the studio has been busy with their second game which was in the making since the last seven months.
Blyss the studio’s latest game debuts on the Apple iOS platform today and AnimationXpress.com spoke to Dropout Games, co-founder, Ankush Madad to know more about behind the scenes in the development process of the game and the reason behind the delayed game release.
“Blyss is an ambient ‘procedural’ puzzle experience. Last year, after releasing Unwynd we had developed a prototype called Dotinator and were planning to release the game which would be similar to that of Unwynd. It had level structures, same kind of monetisation but learning from Unwynd we realised that the game in its initial form wouldn’t suffice and appeal to the audience. So we decided to take more time and work on the game further. Instead of having levels, we decided that the game would work wonders with an endless format.
Being a two member team, the problem we faced with Unwynd was that people got exhausted pretty quickly with it and we had to constantly churn out more content. But with an endless format we had to focus less on the content now without it being repetitive. Developing an endless game was something new for us and learning that took up sometime, plus we polished the art with a soothing experience thanks to the new artist on-board Saurabh Bhavsar,” explains Madad.
Blyss is a puzzler where in you have white blocks which look like Mahjong tiles but with a certain number of dots on them. You have to swipe these tiles to remove the dots from them, and each swipe will remove only one dot. But there is a catch you can only swipe in threes and fours and to complete the game all of the squares must be eliminated.
The levels are generated automatically through an algorithm that the studio has developed which has a set criteria such as number of dots, number of blocks you see in each level and how difficult or easy will the level be.
“As you keep progressing, the levels get tougher based on the moves and combos you perform. It is like a procedural and progressive level design that we have implemented. So if you die, the game will again start from an easier level but the good thing is that each time a new level will be generated for you to enjoy,” says Madad.
We turn to the art side of things wherein Madad states, “Before we got an artist on board we tried a similar design we had in Unwynd. We had a very simplistic colour just like we had on Unwynd, however we felt that we were lacking something on the design part. It was like another Unwynd with a different mechanics but similar aesthetics. We had played Threes, Alto’s Adventure and we loved this calming and soothing experience that hit us pretty hard. And we chose to pursue the game in that direction. Meanwhile we got our artist Saurabh Bhavsar onboard from October and he was asked to play these games, get inspired and offer similar kind of experience art wise. We ideated a lot and finally came to the consensus that we could use the similar gameplay but would put different themes which could portray sadness, happiness and other such emotions. We are still working on a few themes which would be out in the next update.”
Unwynd got an Android first release and was later worked upon for the iOS release and the game had a different look altogether. This time the studio has decided to release Blyss on iOS first.
Madad expounds,“If your game is really good then honestly get your game out on Apple and Google Play together or Apple first. Apple does its promotional activities well, especially if you are an indie developer. They have a very simplified reviewing process where in you send in the review and if your game is good they reach out to you. They give you the feedback which helps the game taking it to the next level. This is one of the things that have been missing from Google Play if you go through the direct measure. If you are featured then you can get the same results but Google has its own requirements. When it comes to paid games, audience on iOS accept them easily than their Android counterparts.”
From what we have seen through a preview of the game, Blyss surely is a beautiful game with serene background music and soothing graphical design to look at while you try to eliminate the dots from the blocks. You are constantly on your toes counting the moves before you actually make the first move making the game all the more fascinating.