An interview with Creative Director, Dennis Nielsen.
( Not a bit bovine. )
Wow. It must have been over a year since we last 'spoke'. What has been happening at Exploding Cow? If my memory ( and resources ) serve me correctly, Blendimals was due to release last year. Why the delay?
We are currently starting-up at Exploding Cow with our first commercial release, Blendimals. Learning how the mobile game market works and basically trying to figure out how to make a living, making the games we want to make. There's a ton of possibilities, so we are taking our time to consider different business models, funding and so forth.
It is true that we originally planned to launch Blendimals worldwide in 2014. We had soft-launched the game in Scandinavia during the fall of 2013. That version was somewhat rushed, and even though it was greatly received by its users, also suffered from bland graphics, a few bad design decisions, too not-so-great controls.
Back then, the game used virtual buttons and some levels were just insanely hard. We wanted to make Blendimals a better experience, to make it reach its true potential.
"It's a blast!"
What really triggered Blendimal's big delay, was our decision of making gesture based controls, instead. This influenced many aspects of our core level design. We were forced to rethink and build all levels from the ground up, while enhancing graphics, also tweaking a million other little things.
That took us another 18 months of work, but was well worth it. The new version is a much prettier and more fun experience compared to its predecessor. This also conveys through our user feedback and analytics data.
I downloaded a copy of Blendimals Playable Teaser. 'Lite' versions and free demos used to be commonplace on the App Store, not so much now. Trials are good ideas in my opinion as they give gamers some chance to play before paying. When was that decision made?
Actually, 'Blendimals Lite' has existed since our soft-launch. We pulled it from the App Store during Blendimal's world launch for a number of reasons.
The term 'Lite', also 'Free' was just confusing to us. Users can't tell if it's a gratis demo or free version with ads, and it is not permitted to call your game, said 'demo' on Apple's App Store.
However, it was definitely also a strategic move to see how the premium version would fare on its own.
Then, shortly after our world launch, a new game on Apple's App Store was seen by us, using "Playable Teaser" in their title. We thought 'PT' kind of said it all ( despite its roots in the famous Silent Hills P.T. ) so went with it.
It's somewhat tricky making a free demo. Especially with an 'advanced' casual game like Blendimals that requires some thinking and tutorial-patience, but ultimately it is just one great, honest way of saying,
"We have this great paid game."
"Here's a free sample!'
This little bird tells me there is a side project you are working on?
That's right. I did this little project with some other guys making a conceptual prototype for one mobile game called 'Schoolyard Ninja'.
We combined the best aspects of old school fighting games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, then stuffed them into a quirky cut-out-style school-yard setting with kids fighting each other.
Schoolyard Ninja was great fun to make. Its future is uncertain, but it might hit the App Store some day.
What can we expect next from Exploding Cow?
The Android version of Blendimals is next on our list, while simultaneously working on a huge update with lots of new levels, one brand new theme and new secret animal to blend.
The National Film School of Denmark
"Majorly epic all-round!"
It would be absent minded of me to let you go without asking for an update on that Plantman sequel?
Exploding Cow have loads of ideas in store for the next Plantman, but since we're still this young company, we need to figure out exactly how, also when a production so big as Plantman needs to be.
It's one great, epic story to tell and the game needs to reflect that, both in terms of gameplay, also production value.
I can't say much just yet, other than we really want to explore the Plantman universe further. Andy, S.A.M.M. and Clora will definitely return some day.
Many thanks to Dennis Nielsen for his time. Promising news guys! Please, do check out the download and review links if you have not picked these games up already.