Hello Miguel, and welcome back to our blog! Your latest game Naught 2 has just been released for iOS and Android, congratulations! Apparently, it is a successor to the critically acclaimed Naught that you developed over a year ago. How did you go about making a great game even better?
I think we have managed to keep the style of the original game while improving it in almost every aspect – mainly in the gameplay department, which i find most important. We also paid a lot of attention to the feedback given by the players of the first Naught, as well as our close friends in the ShiVa community.
Because Naught 2 is a single player game, we have improved the story mode dramatically. Personally, I worked on the behavior of the characters in the levels. We wanted to convey a sense of freedom and fluency while moving that makes the player feel good. It was important to us that traversing the level was enjoyable – after all, that is what the player will be doing most of the time. Using ShiVa’s physics engine, we made the character move by getting information from the the environment to adapt his movements based on this data. The enemies use similar scripts. I think we have achieved a more fluent movement that makes the game even more enjoyable than Naught 1. We are very happy with the result.
Miguel, this is not the first conversation we are having. Blue Shadow Games has been consistently making top quality games with ShiVa, we all remember Naught 1 and of course Non Flying Soldiers, which we covered in an extensive case study. What is you recipe for staying relevant in the increasingly crowded indie market, while not compromising on quality and innovative ideas?
These questions are always difficult to answer. Since we started developing games, we have tried many different ways to turn our games into profit, from free-to-play with advertisement to in App Purchases, Lite versions, you name it. But I have realized that the market, mainly the mobile market, changes very quickly – if you base your decisions on data provided by others, you always arrive late. So by the end of last year, I decided to stop paying attention to other people’s market research. We now rely on the quality of our games as the main selling point. Besides, I have to admit that I make games primarily for a passion, and I think that pays off in the long run.
When I look at myself as a user, I do not buy games with iAPs because I feel like not being offered the full experience. When it comes to ads, you have to get millions of downloads to generate a profit, which is difficult even with a free game. We have also worked with several well-known and less known publishers, but in general, they rarely share your vision of your product, they only share the vision of profit.
In one of your latest tweets, you mentioned that you intend to support exotic devices like the GameStick. What is your motivation behind this move, especially at a time where everybody seems to focus on either Android Phones or the iOS App Store?
We always wanted to bring video games to as many people as possible. But I feel the mobile market is becoming overcrowded, which reduces visibility of your game and the chances of profits, so I think now is a good occasion to try new markets on platforms like GameStick or Ouya. We are very interested in the PS Vita, too. We know it is not a very popular platform, but we love it and we think it can do it better. The PS3 is another very important machine for Indie developers, especially now that the big companies are jumping to the next generation. Do not forget that there are around 80 million PS3 consoles in homes already!
Personally, I am very happy with Naught 2 and I would like a lot of people to play it, be it on iOS, Android, PS Vita, the GameStick, or whatever they prefer. Thankfully, ShiVa makes it really easy to take our game from iOS to Android or virtually any other system. Porting is usually not complicated with just little incompatibilities to fix between devices, which is very easy to solve most of the time. This is something I have always found very curious: With ShiVa, the hardest part of launching a game on another platform is dealing with all the administrative tasks like registering in the store and preparing signatures, not porting the game itself. Thank you ShiVaTech Team for your support! I am really looking forward to start a new project with the upcoming Shiva 2.0 and see where I can take it to.
Speaking of exotic devices, the new Sony and Microsoft consoles are going to hit the market later this month. Especially Sony has made a lot of marketing buzz around their indie support on the PS4. All your past games have been developed around handheld devices with touchscreens. Do you see your studio and indies in general refocus their development towards the new platforms, or do you think the “App Gold Rush” is far from over?
I love the PS4. At the studio, we have it reserved since July. I think the indie support by Sony is good for everybody. We would love to launch a game for PS4 and/or Xbox One. Regarding touchscreens, I took my first steps in the development world with a MSX 2 in the 90s. It was hard for me to leave my trusty gamepad, keyboard and mouse for touchscreens and accelerometers. But we as a studio managed to make great games with these controls, then again, we are looking forward to experiment with the gamepads of PS4 and Xbox ONE. There are many more interesting peripherals we can play with in the future, like the Oculus Rift, Steam’s new controller, LeapMotion, and many more.
And finally, where can we get Naught 2, how much does it cost, and are you planning on porting the game to other platforms than mobiles?
Naught 2 is currently available on iOS on the AppStore and will come to Google Play and other Android markets in the next few days. We are working towards a release on GameStick and Ouya this year, and we are already investigating to see it on PS Vita. There is also the possibility of an HD version with more levels and contents for PC, PS3 and other next-gen consoles.
Naught 2 on the Internet: http://www.discovernaught2.com
Naught 2 on iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/naught-2/id708230290
Naught 2 on Google Play: Coming Soon
Thank you very much for the interview! We wish you all the best with Naught 2 as well as your future endeavours!
I don’t want to say bye without thanking the whole ShiVaTech team again for all your support!
Blue Shadow Games is a studio founded in 2010 with the goal of developing entertainment applications and video games that combine the magic of classic games with innovative concepts to provide new gaming experiences. Blue Shadow Games has released several games for mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Bada) and has now embarked on the release of its first video game for PCs and consoles. Based in Granada (Spain), Blue Shadow Games was co-founded by Miguel Diaz and Antonio Martinez. Releases include Naught 2 (2013), Super Bunnies Show (2013), Non Flying Soldiers (2012-13), Naught (2011), BAA! Run (2011), and Crosak (2010).