Congratulations to kinzua, developer of our October GameSalad Game of the Month, Spacetower.
Our October winner is a delightful diversion reminiscent of the classic title Tower Bloxx, with a futuristic theme and a plethora of excellent visual design touches and polish to spare.
GameSalad: Congratulations on winning October's Game of the Month! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background as a developer? Do you have any formal training?
Kinzua: Firstly, I'd like to thank GameSalad team for this awesome tool and choosing Spacetower as October's GOTM. I'd also like to congratulate all the contestants for completing their game and participating in the GOTM.
I belong from an Industrial city of India, Kanpur. I've been born and brought up here. I completed my formal education in Communication Design from NIFT, Mumbai. Education in design opened up newer avenues for me, as I learned Graphic design, Photography and various other disciplines.
Mobile games always fascinated and intrigued me. I decided to be a part of it and evolve further into the discipline of game design. Game development happened to me about 3 years back. I came across GameSalad at that time and chose it for its ease of use and innovative mechanisms. GS teleported me into game making in no time. Since I had no prior experience in Game development, I read through forums and was fortunate to come across some really good people. The community helped me to come up with my first game, Detectif and I've been learning ever since.
GS: How long have you been developing Spacetower? What was your favorite part of the development process?
Kinzua: Spacetower started as an entry to a game jam at GS called VS7. So roughly it was in July 2012 when work began on it. Spacetower could not participate in the contest due to delay in submission. The core mechanic was complete though. I showed it to some of my friends and they loved the project. So I began polishing it further into a complete game.
It was not all fun in the beginning. Various configurations came up. And then play testing and then back to 'New Project'. Once the mechanics were completely finalized, it was fun all over again. I loved doing every little detail for the game. Astronauts flying out, spaceships piling up and shaking, the combo mechanics and the SFX, the engines aligning themselves and near about every logic and pixel that went into Spacetower.
GS: Spacetower's gameplay is reminiscent of Tower Bloxx, while the game's visuals remind me of the classic Commodore 64 game, "Space Taxi". Where did you get the inspiration for the game?
Kinzua: There are strong influences of 'Tower Bloxx', since it also happens to be one of my all time favourites. Though it was not the initial idea. The idea throughout was to recreate the feel of 'lunar lander'. The major emphasis was on how to make an endless 'lunar lander' and depict a scenario of the beginning of human settlement in space.
If 'Lunar Lander' was to come to mobile, the phone/device needed to behave like a joystick. This idea was then married with a 'portrait' gameplay style and everything else followed.
The visuals are largely inspired from Japanese toys. I really like how they behave and interact. A lot of research went into how the whole visual appeal should come up and I am very satisfied with the outcome.
As for the music, I want to thank Hessel Van Hoorn for his music compositions. I believe he's done a brilliant job and i couldn't have asked for anything better.
GS: Your last GS project, Detectif, was a pretty unique and distinctive game. What did you learn from that project that you applied to Spacetower?
Kinzua: Working on your first project makes you learn a lot. Detectif taught me a lot and a few majors.
Firstly, one needs to decide what they want to do and then let everything else flow. The key thing that I learned on the technical front was play testing and iteration. You constantly need to do it, throughout your project.
I experimented with various modes of gameplay before freezing upon the present one. One must dedicate a major part of development on iteration and on 'new user behaviour'.
Plus a lot depends upon the device you use to test your project. Spacetower was tested throughout on an iPhone 3gs and occasionally on the iPad & iPhone5. Testing on low-end devices lets you juice out your resources to the max.
GS: What's your next project?
Kinzua: I'm currently working on a Multiplayer Battle game. It's a very interesting project and is being developed from scratch. With everyone's blessings, it'll be ready soon to entertain all.
We can't wait! Congratulations of the win and we wish you great success!
Spacetower is available now on the iTunes App Store for $0.99!