Nasa Trained Monkeys Interview: Channeling The Shaman Doctor
South American startup thinks mobile reviews need improvement, looks forward to creating new iOS and Android games.
Unless you live in Argentina, odds are good you've never heard of Nasa Trained Monkeys. Located in Buenos Aires, the team has made a name for itself creating apps for both iOS and Android. Projects include the Android version of On Mag, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for Spanish speakers, Mi Nissan, an app for Nissan customers and Argenprop, a mobile app for one of Argentina's biggest real estate search engines.
Now the group has turned its attention to video games, and just released Shaman Doctor for both iPhone and iPad, a title that challenges players to save patients' lives by going inside their bodies and destroying dangerous cells.
We had the chance to speak to Carlos Sessa, Nasa Trained Monkeys' co-founder, about this new game and his thoughts on the mobile industry.
How many people worked on Shaman Doctor?
â¨The team for this game was composed of a game designer, two artists and one developer.
How did you come up with this crazy concept?
Honestly, it was conceived after a very long night of nonsense chatting. We discussed how it would be interesting to make a game where you would need to mix items to make stuff happen. We wanted to have a Shaman in the game. Shaman Doctor was born.
Why did you choose to release the game for free?
We wanted to try the freemium approach. We would like to analyze how IAP (in-app purchase) works for us.
How difficult is it to gain exposure on the App Store with so much noise on a weekly basis?
It's quite hard, but there are a bunch of reviews sites which are a great asset for developers.
What do you think of the media and its coverage of App Store games? What do they get right and wrong?
Most of the reviews lack information about how the game was done or who did it. It would be nice to see reviews of how the game was created, design decisions, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of great games get lost in oblivion.
What is your background? What games served as the inspiration for Shaman Doctor?
We have been developing iOS and Android apps for some years, and we wanted to start exploring the world of games. Most of us are casual gamers who have been playing iOS and Android games for a long time.
Why not release this game on PlayStation Vita? What advantages do iPhone and iPad have over that platform?
We wanted to try out a game framework for iOS called cocos2d-iphone. Releasing the game for PlayStation Vita would require buying the license which right now we can't afford.
How long did Shaman Doctor take to develop? How much did it cost, and how did the money get dispersed among different components?
From concept to release on the App Store was around three months. To give you an idea about costs, the whole game cost about $25,000.
What does the future hold for Nasa Trained Monkeys? What are you working on?
We are working on our second game. The theme is pirates. We will see how it goes.