Brighton independent studio Relentless, most famous for conceiving the retail-centric Buzz franchise, has created its first title for the iPhone and iPad.
The game, entitled Quiz Climber, is the first to come from the studio following its new direction as a developer of multiplatform digital titles.
Develop caught up with studio co-founder and executive director Andrew Eades to find out more…
You’ve just announced your debut on iOS. What is the game like?
The game is called Quiz Climber and we’re very happy to have it published by Chillingo. It’s a very simple concept for a social quiz. We had this idea that you could play everybody in the world at a quiz and see how you do. We’ve ranked the questions from easy to hard and you have to answer as many in a row correctly as you can.
Your position is compared to your friends so it gets extremely competitive. We made the first version in a couple of weeks and tested it on a small group of people. We instantly knew that we had a hit and didn’t need to make any major changes.
It was the same feeling that we had when we made the first playable of Buzz. It sounds simple but it’s amazingly addictive. We’ve had it in a closed beta for some time testing out many cool features which we’ll unveil as time goes by.
What motivated you to embrace creating a title for the iOS?
iOS gives us a great platform to work on with a very well understood business model. We love playing games like Words With Friends and Bejewelled Blitz, and considered Quiz Climber as a game that can sit well on iOS with those games.
Do you have any plans to develop more iOS titles?
We are going to concentrate on Quiz Climber and support it for a while. We’ll introduce new features along the way and keep improving it so we have no plans today to make any new games on iOS, but we continue to evaluate iOS and Android as potential platforms for our future games.
From a development perspective, how easy has it been to move to the iOS platform from the existing formats Relentless handles?
We have used Unity for a while as a quick prototyping tool and we chose to use it for Quiz Climber’s development as it gives us the look that we wanted and is well supported on iOS. Using Unity meant it wasn’t as big a step as it could have been. We’re used to making high-end console games so it’s more about keeping the design in line with the platform’s strengths than anything else.
What challenges have you faced in tackling developing for iOS?
The main difficulty is keeping to a 20MB download size. It’s a little bit less than we’re used to having on a Blu-ray disc. Unity has a large footprint and we’ve got thousands of questions as well as the beautiful graphics to cram into a small footprint.
How do you hope to address the tricky issue of discoverability on the iPhone?
The key for us is to not just throw this game out and hope. We’ve learnt a lot from self-publishing Blue Toad and we definitely didn’t think we would have the same reach as we have with our PlayStation fans on iOS.
For that reason we partnered with Chillingo, because they are the experts in publishing the best iPhone games as far as we are concerned.
Does the move to iOS come as part of a plan to work on other platforms new to Relentless? Are there any that stand out?
Our plans are to diversify onto other platforms. We decided that Quiz Climber was best suited to iOS for its first release. We’re looking at other platforms too. We’re very interested in emerging TV platforms and we’re looking into them at the moment.
The point is that we make games that are accessible to more than the hardcore and they like to play on devices that they own without needing to buy an expensive console. We still address console as our games don’t exclude more hardcore gamers and as their pricing becomes more mass market, consoles will naturally become more mass market.