Interview with Ertan Unver about LVL

Who is behind this idea and how you got into game development?

Me, Uğurhan Bilici and Ömer Atmaca were in one of the local jams and the theme was color harmonies. The core idea of LVL was found out by Ömer. We made a prototype in 48 hours than it advanced to the top 10.

Explain the game in one sentence.

LVL is the minimalistic puzzle that blends 3D into 2D with a twist!

What made you excited about this idea?

The idea was successfully proved by the prototype. Feedbacks were very favorable in order to go further and make it completed. In the development process, they were also the primary encouragement to keep us motivated.

How has this game changed from the original plan/vision/design?

Actually, the core idea or mechanic of LVL was always same from start to finish.

What was your biggest struggle while making this game?

Designing both, tutorial steps and level selection screen was our the biggest issue. We did many iterations on the tutorial level to teach what game is and how to play it. Everybody could easily understand those two questions by watching us when we were rotating the puzzles and moving the pieces into their places. After a lot of effort, finally, we achieved the perfection. Beside, Ömer had a mind-blowing idea for level selection system. In fact, we exhibited LVL with that system in Gamescom 2016. Unfortunately, players could not comprehend it and we changed it to a simpler version of it.

How long it took you to build it? Do you think you could have finished it earlier, if so why?

The duration of development took 3 months. After that, we also worked a month on other kinds of tasks such as localization, preparation of store pages and marketing.

What did you hope for after you’ve released the game and what actually happened?

Our hope was being featured on Apple’s App Store. It happened in the launch week of LVL. The good thing is Super Mario Run was also released in that week and LVL was in “New Games We Love” section next to the Super Mario. I think that Super Mario has a very special place in the most of the game developers’ heart. At least, for us, it is.

What lessons you’ve learned for future projects from this game?

To make a good game, you should care about all these three components of the game. Design, implementation, and marketing are inseparable and complementary.

What’s the biggest advice you have for people who want to work in game development?

As a programmer, I recommend that don’t be a lazy person to make prototype and iteration. Prototyping is the only way to find out a good game idea.

LVL on Appstore and Google Play

Square Cube Games: Website, Twitter, Facebook

Ertan Unver: Twitter

Also published on Medium.

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