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PlayStation Mobile Developer Interview: rymdkapsel

Posted by on May 7th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Tags: ,

Space is the place for this crew of explorers in the newest games coming to PlayStation Mobile, rymdkapsel. While trying to build a bigger and bigger space station with randomized pieces, you will also need to be on the look out for enemy waves and will have to research mysterious monoliths. Having played the game for a week or so I can report this part building game, part tower defense is one to look out for.

I had the chance to chat a bit with the game’s creator Martin Jonasson (aka @grapefrukt) before launch… get it, launch. So check out this brand new trailer and enjoy our interview.

Q: First off what can you let us know about yourself?

I got into making games “properly” around 2006 or so, just in time to join the Experimental Gameplay Project. The most famous game spawned from that is probably World of Goo, which I didn’t have anything to do with, but it was a very fertile ground for inspiration! It’s also where I met my friend and collaborator Petri, who is the man behind Crayon Physics.

Our most well known game together is the, still unreleased, Jesus vs. Dinosaurs. It’s a game about building cars. The past few years I’ve been interested in exploring a very reductionist way of making games, seeing how much I can take away while still keeping the core of the gameplay intact. I made a one button dungeon crawler called Glorg something like two years ago, which pokes a bit of fun at the “challenge” of games like Diablo and Torchlight but is also a fun game in it’s own right.

Q: For someone that was only see the teaser trailer, how would you describe rymdkapsel?

I’ve come to describe it as a strategy game without all the fiddly bits. You’re building a space station by placing corridors and connecting rooms. You have little minions that run around to do your bidding, but you can only indirectly control them. This puts the focus more on building the best possible base for your minions and planning your expansion into space to make their job easier.

Q: Was the game born out of a game jam or was it an idea you were working with for some time?

I guess I had my own little jam in a sense. I started working on it right after GDC last year, I was doing something else at the time and figured I’d take a weeks break from that to try out this idea I had about building a space station. What came out of it was really neat, so that week turned into two weeks, three weeks, a month and so on.

Q: You have worked on much of the game by yourself, has that been hard?

I’ve done everything except music and sounds myself. Which is nice in a way, I can set my schedule as I please and I don’t have to spend very long discussing any changes I want to make. Those reasons are also the drawbacks of doing it yourself.

Q: I am glad you brought up the music, I really love it. How did that collaboration come about?

Niklas, the musician and I went to the same school a bunch of years ago. So we know each other from there, he also happens to live two blocks from me, so it was all very practical. We also share a passion for this very type of music, I didn’t have to give him much instruction at all and he just nailed it perfectly.

Q: There are some monoliths in the game world, can you explain what those do?

The monoliths contains “secrets left behind by a previous presence”, you can set your minions to research these and eventually unlock various upgrades to your station.

Q: Do you have any tips for beginners?

I’d recommend not expanding too agressively in the beginning, you can make do on a small crew for a good while. It’s also a good idea to go for the monoliths early on, the enemy waves will keep on getting stronger and you will need those upgrades to stay ahead.

Editor’s note: This is actually a really interesting part of the game. You really have to balance how fast you are expanding your base with how bad you need these upgrades. They add things from slowing down the time between enemy waves to making your units move faster. It can be a real “gamechanger” if you get these early, but then you are going to be exposed to enemies because you haven’t built your base up.

Q: What has it been like working with Sony?

Everyone I’ve worked with has been great. But, you can also tell that Sony is a BIG company, so many things take a lot longer than a one-man-band like me would prefer. Either way, I’ve enjoyed working with them and would do it again.

Q: Anything you would like to see added to PlayStation Mobile, other than them adding Sweden as a country for publishing?

Yeah, [adding Sweden] would be nice. But, I guess I would like for them to just keep evolving the platform. I keep drawing parallels to the app stores early days, some stuff was a bit wonky and it’s a lot like that with PSM today, but it is getting better with every update.

Q: Anything else you would like to let our readers know?

I suppose i should say something insightful! Remember, corridors are the backbone of any good space station!

rymdkapsel will be available on PlayStation Mobile later today for $4.99. Listen to the latest episode of our podcast to hear some impressions of it.