A few days ago Gamereactor.eu published an interview with Sami Koistinen, the Producer of Furmins, covering the development of the game from prototype to release.
Here below you can read the first part of it, detailing some intriguing development decisions.
So Furmins: bit of a departure from the company’s past works?
At first glance it may seem like it, but we have actually worked on quite a variety of game genres during the past 15 years. It is true that we are best known for our action oriented games. However Furmins is by no means our first take on the more casual side of gaming. For example “Golf: Tee It Up!” was released for Xbox 360 in 2008, about a year after Super Stardust HD came out.
How have you found developing for iOS, and touch screen technology?
The touch screen is great for games. It has opened up lots of new possibilities which weren’t possible (or at least fun) on traditional game controllers, mouse and keyboard. Even if you used the touch screen the same way you use a mouse the UI is still faster to use. For example, Furmins was a natural fit for a touch screen because of the level setup phase in the game. It’s just so fast and intuitive to point and drag an object around the screen.
You’d briefly mentioned that the game came from a tech demo you’d been playing with: when did the “eureka!” moment come?
There wasn’t really any single big “eureka!” moment during the development of Furmins but there were lots of smaller ones.
The prototyping started in 2008 when one of our designers, Aki Raula (the lead designer of Outland) thought of a concept in which the player needed to manipulate a system of ropes to get food to these furry creatures. After that one of our programmers came up with an algorithm which could simulate rope physics quite realistically. We started toying with an idea of creating a puzzle game which would revolve around realistic rope physics. It didn’t take long before we had the first prototype up and running.
Do you have to be conscious of multiple iOS and iPhone generation types when developing, or do you work from the latest iOS only?
As we want to support some of the older generation iOS devices, it has been important for us to decide which generations/devices the game must run on and then keep testing the game regularly on them throughout the project. It is way too easy to just ignore the older handsets and assume the game will run perfectly on them. For example iPhone 3GS is quite slow when compared to the iPhone 4S or even 4. If the game is graphics or CPU heavy, you need to compromise on some things to get the game running perfectly on all those handsets.
If you want to check the whole interview, you can find it here.