Interview with Kira Fu About Roll Turtle

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

I have been a full time indie developer since 2014, before that, I have a web design job. I quit my regular job to create Roll Turtle. At that time my son was born; he gave me the courage and inspiration to create something for him.

Explain the game in one sentence.

Roll Turtle is an easy to play but challenging, action driven puzzle platformer That embarks you on an exciting rolling journey.

What made you excited about this idea?

I saw my baby (at that time less than a year old) start to learn to roll on the floor to move, which gave me an idea to create Roll Turtle. We all know that the action of the turtle is very slow, like a baby, How can the turtle move quickly? The game’s core play came from this, and the game’s story is Daddy Turtle to save the Baby Turtle. This is our image: father and child.

What was your biggest struggle while making this game?

I spent a lot of time and energy to do the game optimization, the game can be fill any proportion of the screen, will not appear black, UI have a different design for tablet and phone so user can easy to operate, Retina high resolution picture. In the project early, iPad Pro has not yet released, but when the game is almost to complete, iPad Pro released, “iPad Pro 12.9” has the highest resolution in all devices(2732 x 2048), in order to meet the this resolution, I re-make all the images in the game to meet the this resolution, if you have iPad Pro 12.9, you can still in such a high resolution still enjoy the beautiful game images and all the details.

I am a designer background, I focus on all the art details, even if it will not be found by the user.

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

Roll Turtle was developed two years to complete, at first I think just need 2 or 3 months, originally style is “endless play” arcade style, but I prefer world and level style with story, soon, I realized that at least needs 1 year, and I started participated in many game exhibitions, such as Tokyo Game Show, this also let the dev progress to stop growing, at the same time, my child also began to affect my work, because he is no longer a baby, he will try to climb my knees, beat my keyboard, that drive me crazy , And finally I gave up the planning time, focused on making the game better, until the Roll Turtle to complete, it has been 2 years.

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

I hope that after the launch Roll Turtle can earn enough to help support the development the next game. This is the hope of most Indie developers : “Use funds from the previous game to support the next game”. I understand that achieving this is out of my control even after doing all that I can do to make Roll Turtle great.
Actually, After the game released, Roll Turtle earn income is not enough to support my life, but it won IMGA China Best QuickPlay Game, and many indie game awards, it was beyond my expectation and imagination, these awards inspired me and let me know there are some people who love this game.
Although things are not as expected, but I believe that God has His plan.

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

Make the minimum viable product (MVP), make game time is short, but higher quality. If marketing is good(earned money), add more content by update.

How many other finished projects do you have?

Currently I have 2 games that are still on the stores. But strictly speaking, in a variety of sense, Roll Turtle is my first full retail release.

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

Seeing from two aspects of material and mental.
Mental: stay true to yourself and always think of how you love the game’s heart.
Material: creative work needs to be carried out in a stable life, make sure you have enough money to live.
Game development process is long and painful, but when the game is done that moment, you will feel everything is worth it.

Lastly, how video games influenced your life? How your life has changed with them?

Like many people, when I was a child, the video game was accompanied by my growth process, in every stage of my life has a different video games, video games can be said to be part of my life.
Since beginning create game, I have many of the different countries of the world friends, I am an introvert person, they gave me a lot of encouragement and love, which makes me very moved.

Roll Turtle on Appstore and Google Play

Roll Turtle: Facebook, Website

Personal: TwitterFacebook

Also published on Medium.

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