Vampire Season Interview With Brainz
Android version due in August, more monster combinations on the way.
At the end of last month, we reviewed 6waves' Vampire Season , a game that blends the real-time strategy genre with tower defense, while placing you in the role of protector of the Prince of Darkness himself, Dracula. We got in touch with Columbian developer Brainz to find out a little more about the development of Vampire Season, upcoming updates for the game, and bringing the title to Android devices.
How long was the game in development for, and what led the team to focus on this idea?
The game was in development for a little more than 12 months. Our head of games was a huge RTS fan, spending countless hours playing Starcraft and Warcraft. When he started playing on his mobile, he was immediately hooked on every tower defense game he could find. But after a while, he felt like the experience was very similar between them, and one day came in and said: Hey, what if we make a Tower Defense that feels a bit more like an RTS? We thought he made sense. And thus, Vampire Season got started.
Was the game always designed for the player to assume the role of the traditional enemy?
Yep, part of the designer's idea was to feel like you were not only experiencing different mechanics, but also a different motive, in a different story world. So we not only made you the bad guy, we also made the whole story a bit silly.
What were the inspirations for the game design and artwork?
For concept, we looked a lot at the classic horror cinema, and also borrowed a bit from funnier movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Leslie Nielsen's Dracula. When we transitioned towards modeling the characters and the environment, we reminisced about games we really liked such as Warcraft 3 and League of Legends. Even politics made its way into the game, as the misspelling of the Nucular Pumpkin reminded us of a former White House occupant.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during development?
We struggled a lot with teaching players our own game mechanics. We didn't want to turn off less experienced users, mostly because we believed that casual gamers deserved a more fulfilling experience, and yet, we wanted to keep the game deep enough so that more core users would find it challenging and fun. It's still a work in progress, and is something we are constantly striving to improve.
Have sales of the game matched your expectations?
We are very excited so far. Today the game climbed to number 2 in Strategy in the US App Store, and we cracked the top 50 overall. We would love to see it remain there, because we really want a lot of people to try our game. We believe that we have an experience that is enjoyable, and would love to be able to continue Dracula's adventures in the future.
Are there any updates planned for the game? If so, can you share any details?
Yep, we are already working on a new build that, amongst other things, will make Survival mode really shine. Every minute, a Survival Roulette will come up, and you will get something that is beneficial or negative, like getting 1000 coins or not being able to use a particular ally. There's over 30 possibilities in the Roulette, so we think users will really enjoy this new challenge. Also, we are making the Friend Rankings a weekly feature, so that everyone gets a shot at beating their friends.
People have really loved monster combinations, and we are already implementing almost half a dozen new ones. For example, what happens when you mix a Mummy and a Ghost? Stay tuned. Gummy. Damn it.
Do you have plans to port the game over to Android?
Definitely! The game will be available on Android around August. We have been working on the port for a while.
What's the team's perception of the two major app store markets when it comes to choosing a launch platform?
We believe each store is very complex, and has a lot of variables when attempting to be successful on them. To be honest, we still haven't figured them out yet. We just have to believe that a good game will find its audience and that quality will win the day. So we are in the end strong believers in taking our creations to as many platforms as possible. We have a great line-up of games coming up this year, and we will follow the same philosophy.