Interview with IKKI Arts

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IKKI Arts is a four member game development studio from Croatia (Europe), with two brothers on each side.

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Updated:December 24th, 2012


Interviewed by: Emily Wong
Developer: IKKI Arts

Android Park: IKKI Arts is a four member game development studio from Croatia (Europe), with two brothers on each side.  They just released their latest Android game Prince of Balls HD.   Let’s listen to the interesting stories behind the game.

Android Park: Would you please introduce yourself to us and our readers?

IKKI Arts: Hello everyone,  IKKI Arts is a four member game development studio from Croatia (Europe), with two brothers on each side. The elder Ivancek brother, Petar, worked in gaming industry on Serious Sam franchise (PC) and Kaptain Brawe (PC, touch devices) before starting work on Prince. He handles design and art aspect of the game. Hrvoje Komljenovic is 36 years old software architect and programmer. He has been working in the software industry for years, and Prince of Balls is his first game development project. Apart from software development, he is also interested in politics, economy and philosophy. Pavao Ivancek, the youngest brother in the Ivancek family is 30 years old. He is a gamer, enjoys bike riding and table football. He use to work as a web developer but has soon realised that he would enjoy making games more. Zarko, the younger of the Komljenovic brothers, is responsible for implementation of gameplay mechanics, as well as our sound guy.

Android Park: How do you start your career in designing or developing mobile games? Is there an interesting story that happened at the beginning of your gaming career?

IKKI Arts: We are a group of experienced programmers and designers. After participating in the software and gaming industry for years, we acquired the necessary skills and assembled a new studio – IKKI Arts. We found Unity3d an excellent solution for middleware platform due to the fact it supports C# which we have used in our previous projects. Since 3 of us are gamers it felt natural to try and develop a game.

Android Park: How long have you been engaged in the gaming industry? Are you enjoying working in this industry? What makes you most excited about designing or developing a mobile game?

IKKI Arts: Pavao: I have started a few years back. Prince of Balls is the only project worth mentioning, so I could say it’s been a year. I have always had a feeling I could improve the games I play. Now I have the chance. Touch-screen devices brought a completely new input method, allowing us to see existing games from a whole new perspective.

Android Park: Where does your inspiration come from? Or what inspired you the most when developing games?

IKKI Arts:The inspiration comes from a desire to improve existing games and to create something new. Seeing games from a different perspective. Basically taking the good, removing the bad.

Android Park: Have you met any difficulties in developing an Android game? If yes, how did you resolve the problems?

IKKI Arts: No

Android Park: Since Android and IOS are the two major mobile platforms that people use now, how do you think about the development future for these two platforms?

IKKI Arts: We are an OS-agnostic game development studio. Since we use Unity 3D, we can provide games for all popular platforms, including iOS and Android.

Android Park: Do you have development experience on iOS?  What reason makes you consider to develop an Android Game ?

IKKI Arts: The I like to avoid the discussion about the best mobile platform. And because of that game is available for iOS, Android, RIMs Playbook and Bada. And versions for Windows 8 and BB10 OS are also in development.

Android Park: Have you met any problem during porting between IOS & Android or developing Android Game ?   How did you get through it ?

IKKI Arts: No, we use Unity3d. It works flawlessly and handles all platforms perfectly. Thank you, Unity :)

Android Park: Tell us the story about Prince of Balls .  What inspired you to make such a game ?

IKKI Arts: We’ve noticed that there wasn’t an arcade game that used one touch mechanics but still gave you the freedom to move through a world. You either used a virtual joystick or the character moved on its own. We wanted to explore the concept of one touch arcade even further so we stripped arcade mechanics to its bare minimum – a JUMP. We also wanted the simplest possible character to perform the jumps and the obvious choice was a sphere. We gave it some personality in form of a crown, sword and a shield, we built a dynamic world for it to live in, enemies to avoid and a small story to follow. So, after initial months of prototyping the mechanics, Prince of Balls was born.

Android Park: What’s your business mode for Prince of Balls?  Will it be free all the times?

IKKI Arts: At the moment, Prince of Balls for Android is released in a free version featuring one act with ten levels. There will also be a paid version with 50 levels in 5 unique worlds. The final, 6th act will be added shortly after the release of the game.

Android Park: Do you have something special to say to our readers and your future fans ?

IKKI Arts: We really hope the Android gamers will like Prince of Balls as much as we enjoyed creating it. We’ve made sure to provide a challenging experience for all skill levels, no matter if you are a casual or a hard core gamer. Once you start chasing the high-score, you will discover that the underlying concept is very deep and requires very precise jumps and fast decisions. Happy jumping!

Android Park: Anything to supplement ?

IKKI Arts: Prince of Balls started as a puzzle game which was initially built for Unity Web Player. At first, the input method was a scaling arrow above the Prince which determined the angle and power of the jump. It was controlled by the mouse. These gameplay mechanics frustrated the players – they said it was too difficult to aim. Then we added a right click option, which shot a magical ball with a particle trail showing where Prince lands. That didn’t work either. Then we implemented a similar method, but this time we used an arc of dots so players could clearly see where Prince will land after a jump. It was all fun and games until we built it for Android. We discovered that players cannot see the arc because of their finger over the screen. So much effort for a game that cannot be played on a device due to the nature of touch-screens. We came to a halt. And then one night, Pavao has a dream that he plays Prince with one touch mechanics. You simply touch the screen and the position you tap on is the peak of Prince’s jump. A few days later Žarko came up with the algorithm and voila – Prince of Balls for touch-screen devices was born!


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