As a testament to how far mobile video games have come, Kingdom Rush launched back in 2011 as a PC browser-based game. After becoming a hit franchise with Kingdom Rush Frontiers across Steam and mobile devices, developer Ironhide Game Studio has created a prequel with Kingdom Rush Origins. The franchise is known for blending tower defense and role-playing gameplay. Game designer and co-founder of Ironhide Alvaro Azofra talks about the new game in this exclusive interview.
What were your goals heading into this sequel?
Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers have become very popular games and the community keeps asking for more content. Kingdom Rush Origins gives us the opportunity to make the franchise stronger, of course, but also build upon the world of Kingdom Rush by expanding the story and try new game play ideas and concepts that we couldn't add on the other games.
On the other hand, the team at Ironhide has grown so much since the first Kingdom Rush. It’s very different to start working in a small team of 3 to 8 than when you are part of a family of 18. You can do a lot more and a lot better but the developing process is quite different. It was a learning process for everyone in the team and it was a great experience.
What’s the storyline in this mobile game world?
Kingdom Rush Origins takes place years before the events of the first Kingdom Rush game. This time you defend the ancient elven lands from an all-out attack, while fighting a greater evil and learning the story that led to the creation of the gem of power.
What impact has fan feedback had on this sequel?
Our fans are our most valued source of information and we are always looking for their feedback to improve on what they liked and either fix or drop what they didn't like. Also, we are very aware of their suggestions and try to implement them in the game while at the same time add some surprises in the mix.
Can you talk about the gaming experience and how it utilizes tablets like Nvidia Shield Tablet and smartphone functionality?
Although Kingdom Rush Origins is a 2D game, it can be pretty intensive on mobile devices and tablets. For this version we added different profiles, so more powerful devices will enjoy improved game effects while low end devices sacrifice a bit of the eye candy in favor of smoother game play. Users of the Nvidia Shield Tablet should have a top performance and enjoy the game in all its beauty and glory.
What does your game brings new to the franchise?
We are improving every aspect of the game, from the art to the game mechanics. Although we prefer not to change the core game play, we greatly improved the stage specials, tower abilities, enemy powers, heroes and in-game upgrades. The highlight here is that every hero unlocks a unique third player spell, and that really changes the approach on how you play each stage.
What excites you about what you can accomplish in mobile gaming today?
There are so many things to be excited about. On one hand, the diversity provided by mobile gaming allows us to make the games we love. There’s also the fact that there are so many players that can now access our games and enjoy them, giving us instant feedback. All of this contributes to the creation of better, funnier games. It’s a great time to be a game developer.
How do you feel you're pushing things forward with this game?
A bigger team allowed us to really push the envelope in terms of art, level design and balance. This is our most complex, fast-paced, ambitious game to date, and we really devoted ourselves to make it as amazing as it could be. Sometimes going forward means to make a leap of faith, and sometimes it means to stay on course and keep building upon your previous work. We took the second alternative and let me tell you, we couldn't be happier with the results.
How do you see Android TV opening up new opportunities for game developers?
It is still too early to know. There could be a lot of potential, but we'll have to wait and see.
John Gaudiosi posted a new article, Kingdom Rush Origins Blends Tower Defense With Role-Playing
Oooh is this out? That's cool. Does anyone know if it lets you save mid-level (on Android)? Some of the later levels in the previous one would take longer than my commute and it was infuriating to get 90% through a level on the way in to work and then 90% through it again on the way home!
Don't know but I hope they stopped blocking music from other programs. I played the heck out of the first one because I could listen to my own tunes.
Is there a separate app for iPad, or is it all in one?