Developer Interview: Robot Invader – Rise of the Blobs
App Games – There are a lot of them out there. With new app-games coming out on a regular basis, a lot of them start to all look the same. It’s important to be different. And different is key when it comes to puzzle games and adventure games; so many are just carbon copies of all the rest. Robot Invader understands that, and with their games Rise of the Blobs and Wind-up Knight…well, lets just say users recognize the difference! With 5-10 million installs for Android alone for both of their respective games, people are noticing the stark 3-D difference, the various modes that keep users engaged, design and graphics, as well as all of its content.
App Sammy had a chance to talk with Robot Invader about what inspires their creativity, where they started from, what they have in store for the future of their games, and the possibility of Robot Invader moving to different platforms!
Rise of the Blobs and Wind-up Knight are two great games, but also very different in their own respective genre. Can you talk about how you came up with the game and game-play for Wind-up Knight and Rise of the Blobs?
All of our games have started with concise game idea pitches. Wind-up Knight was simply “a running knight rescues a princess.” Believe it or not, the original idea for Rise of the Blobs was “food stealth game (for example, a muffin trying to escape a bakery).” We start prototyping game ideas and things evolve from there. With Wind-up Knight, even though the game-play went through many variations, the initial vision more or less stayed the same. On Rise of the Blobs, however, the more we prototyped, the further it got away from the original idea. At some point, we realized we were making a puzzle game. Eventually, the game was about “a marshmallow defending himself on a tower being invaded by fruit-hungry blobs.” For both games we spent a significant part of the project in the prototype/concept phase. From beginning to end, the development of Wind-up Knight was just under six months, two of those months in the prototype/concept phase. Rise of the Blobs was a more challenging project for us, taking us somewhere around ten months from start to finish, over three months on prototypes and concepts.
Robot Invader is obsessed with 50’s monster movies come into the creative for both Rise of the Blobs and Wind-up Knight?
If anything it’s in a subconscious way.
Where there any other factors that went into wanting to become app game developers?
We’re all veterans in the video game industry. Back in the day, we all worked together at another studio. We all went to other studios and worked on other projects. Chris became a member of the Android team at Google and, in his spare time, made a game for the platform called Replica Island. By that time, he was itching to make games full-time again, so he contacted me and, a short time later, we founded Robot Invader.
Now, we know that your games are under the developer name Robot Invader. But, we noticed on your website that you have an awesome 50’s retro style monster movie poster with Robot Invader as the title. And it also reads, “Coming to a Touch Screen Near You.” Does this mean that Robot Invader is your next game? If so, when do you anticipate the release or beta-test for Robot Invader?
Our art director, Mike, created that poster in the earliest days of Robot Invader as we were getting the company up and running. It was simply intended as an inspirational piece, something we could put on our website. There are no hints as to what we’re working on currently or in the future. All of the text in the poster is just for flavor and fun, comparable to catchphrases and slogans you’d find in retro monster movie posters.
Besides putting your games on to iOS and Android, have you ever thought about making them available to Social Media like Facebook? Can you talk about some of the positives and negatives to putting a game on social media, and the difficulties that come with doing so?
We’ve thought about it, and we’re not going to rule out the possibility, but it’s not something we have planned at the moment. We’re focused heavily on iOS and Android at the moment. Being a very small company of only a few people, we have to pick and choose our battles wisely. We have experimented with porting Wind-up Knight to other platforms like Amazon and Ouya, but those were lower risk endeavors. Bringing our 3D-engine games over to Facebook is currently outside of our bandwidth.
How many more games do you plan on developing and pushing out before the end of 2013?
That’s a question we can’t really answer at the moment, but we are working on exciting new material. We’ll have more info to share soon.
How many new games do you look to put out in the future?
As many as we can.
Will Robot Invader (the developer) develop more games that are brain and puzzle? Or focus more on action and adventure games?
We try to stay as open as possible to different game ideas and genres, so any type of game from us is possible.
Have you ever thought about branching into trivia and word games? Why or Why not?
We would certainly consider it if the design process takes us down that path and we like the direction it’s going.
After speaking with Robot Invader, it’s clear that they know what they’re doing; they have a lot of ideas and are focused and goal oriented. Robot Invader is on a mission to make good, but different games than what’s expected. And we look forward to playing and reviewing all of their app games!