Interview With Upopa — Creators of Hopeless: The Dark Cave
Hopeless is a brilliant monster-killing game by Upopa. TheAppleGoogle have recently written a review of Hopeless which describes its fabulous, stylish and highly interactive UI and its unique concept of a terrified blob in a dark cave with only a gun and a few friends to help it ward off the monsters. You can read the review here. We asked Gideon Rimmer, Game Designer at Upopa Games, a few questions which we know most people who have played Hopeless would like the answers to.
TheAppleGoogle: Hopeless certainly has a very unique concept. What was the inspiration behind it?
Gideon Rimmer: The concept for Hopeless was first developed during the 2013 Global Game Jam. The theme was the sound of a heart beating. I think the GGJ can provide great inspiration for a new game. We didn’t want to take the theme too literally, so after some thought we came to the idea of someone standing scared and alone in a dark room. I think that this basic concept is what guided us in designing Hopeless, and always keeping in mind that we want the players to have an emotional experience and connect with the game on a very basic level.
TheAppleGoogle: The UI, we believe, is a big reason why the game is so enjoyable. How difficult was it to come up with such a clean and intuitive but also fun interface?
Gideon Rimmer: What guided us was keeping the UI simple and usable, and that the graphics match the overall spirit of the game. I think it wasn’t too difficult because the game itself is so simple to understand and intuitive.
TheAppleGoogle: How long was the journey from conception to completion of Hopeless? What was the biggest obstacle you faced?
Gideon Rimmer: The process from initial concept to a working prototype took two days. All the other stuff is what took us a lot of time: bugs, glitches, making sure the game works and looks good on multiple devices, designing the menus…
TheAppleGoogle: How different was your experience releasing Hopeless to App Store and to Google Play?
Gideon Rimmer: Both Google Play and the Apple App Store are great platforms for mobile games. Of course Apple is more strict, but there isn’t really that much of a difference once your game is approved.
TheAppleGoogle: Are their any future projects Upopa is working on? If so, would you be able to give us a sneak peek?
Gideon Rimmer: Right now most of our time is spent refining and expanding Hopeless, but you can check our website: www.upopa.com and see some of the other projects we’re working on. No release date for any of them yet, though
TheAppleGoogle: Lastly, what advise would you give to budding developers on producing a great App, like Hopeless?
Gideon Rimmer: Make a working prototype as soon as possible. Have some other people try it. We call it “the mom test”: if our moms like it and understand what to do without too much explanation, then we have a good working concept. And know your goals: if your’e a small / indie studio, don’t try to compete with the “Big Companies”. Find a new concept that hasn’t been done before. And above all, make sure people like it and that it’s fun.
Thank you and cheers to all the writers and readers of TheAppleGoogle.