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Tap Disc Interview - Part 1

Written by Jazzking2001 - Owner on . Posted in Video Game Interviews

We had the pleasure of getting some questions answered by Stamatis Sarris, the concept and graphics designer, and Ioannis Loukeris, the programmer of Tap Disc.

What inspired you make this game?

Stamatis: The bet was to create a game we would enjoy first of all. The inspiration came from the micro world. The idea was 3 colors representing virus infection levels. At the beginning, on paper, there were no moving discs but static squares close one another that change color (infection status) as time passes.

The concept of color changing during time was just evolved. This would conclude later to a great idea that is the soul of the game: The collector which changes colors gathering discs of the same color at each collision. That is to say our main navigation element! No virtual joysticks or other inaccurate navigation methods.

After some thinking, we changed the concept because the alien discs are more popular than diseases and here we are. All the rest came as evolutionary steps along the way.

While developing the game, what was the hardest issue(s) that you came across?

    Ioannis:

  • Maintaining performance in older devices. This proved to be a real pain as some features had to be dropped in order to maintain playability in 2g, 3g iPhones and 1g iPods. There was quite a bit of juggling needed in order to maintain the required 60fps on all devices but in the end we did it.
  • Keeping up with Apple's emerging iOS features. We began development way before multitasking, retina displays and game center. When we thought we were done we found out that we had to include them too...

    This had a negative impact on development time, but we were lucky as multitasking was easy to implement by back porting it from newer Cocos2d versions (we used 0.93.x for this game). Game center came almost free, courtesy of the latest Open Feint client, though a bit of work was required in the end and we have not added retina display as a conscious choice as this would delay the game and we wouldn't have any time to do all the great stuff we added since 1.0.0

  • Most importantly managing to "educate" the users on how to play. This was by far the greatest challenge which was finally resolved in version 2.2.0 Tap Disc's gameplay is highly innovative and a lot of people had trouble understanding what is going on in the game.