In this job interview, we talk to Christian Moss of indie game designers, Mandel Duck, about their upcoming game SaruTobi. This is due for release in mid/late November on iOS devices.
You are Tobi, a monkey living in a jungle. You should swing from your vine, developing up momentum before releasing yourself to fly throughout the retro 8-bit jungle landscape, collecting power-ups to enhance your distance and bitcoin tokens as you careen through the air. The video game has 3 primary objectives – – getting the furthest range, collecting bitcoin tokens to be spent on products, and collecting the letters SARUTOBI to unlock a big coin boost to spend on in-game items.
The gameplay advises me a lot of the Yeti Sports series of video games, and from the videos it looks like an easy, fun game. So I had a chat on Skype with Christian about the game, to discover more about why bitcoin is in the video game in the very first location, and to see what other plans he has, if any, to use bitcoin further in the video game.
Jamie McCormick (JMC): So to begin with, can you tell us a little about SaruTobi? Where does the name originated from?
Christian Moss (CM): I have actually been making games for iOS for the past couple of years; nevertheless they have actually always been quite intricate, extensive games. SaruTobi was an effort to make an extremely simple/addictive game in SWIFT, which I believe is an excellent combination for the mobile platform.
The name SaruTobi is actually Japanese for “Monkey Fly,” and that basically sums up the video game play; you require to swing a monkey on his vine, develop speed, and see how far he can fly through the air.
JMC: Exactly what can SaruTobi finish with the bitcoin he collects in the game? Buy bananas?
CM: At the minute Tobi needs to gather bitcoin to purchase extra power ups such as rockets and spring boots which will certainly push him additionally, but in the future hopefully we can enable the user to make real bitcoin.
JMC: The number of levels does it have?
CM: SaruTobi is an unlimited video game so it only has one level, and the objective of the video game is to swing as far as you can, taking on close friends to beat each other’s optimum distance.
JMC: Exactly what else can you collect? And what are the products in the video game?
CM: The prepare for the minute is to obtain the furthest in the video game. There is a second task, which is to collect the letters SARUTOBI; I got the idea from Donkey Kong Nation. You can collect them over a few gameplay sessions, as they are expanded sequentially throughout the map. Getting them all offers you a significant bonus, which would let you shut off ads, and get enough rockets to last you a while! You can buy packages of coins by means of an in-app purchase, however. For future updates, I ‘d enjoy to attempt and work bitcoin into the game utilizing donations I receive, but as far as gameplay goes, I now desire to get some user feedback and take it from there.
The video game does feature advertisements, which you can disable by making 90 bitcoin. Each token you gather in the video game is worth one bitcoin, so depending upon how great you are, it won’t take you too long to do this. I desire individuals to take pleasure in the video game and not be stuck with ads for life, so I have made it affordable to obtain rid of them in an attainable timeframe.
JMC: Exactly what’s your very own high score? And how did you get it?
CM: My present high score is 3,964 meters. As Tobi flies through the air, you can capture rocket power ups mid-flight, which offer you a huge distance boost. In my case, he swung through the air and I got my angle right, as at the pinnacle he captured a rocket which enhanced him for miles. The positions of the rockets alter arbitrarily, and you cannot see where they are. I am interested to see how far other gamers can prove the limitation to be, especially if they can do the very same with springs or hitting a banana skin on landing.
JMC: Exactly what was the hardest thing to establish into the video game?
CM: The most difficult thing to establish was getting the physics right. The physics of swinging on a rope are quite various to exactly what you ‘d anticipate, so when you’re swinging as Tobi, getting this sensation right spent some time. The first time we modeled a rope properly, but we couldn’t get any momentum up, and if you improved at the wrong time you ‘d lose all your momentum. So we needed to streamline this to get it right.
JMC: Why have you offered Tobi the task of gathering bitcoin rather of something else?
CM: Why not? I prepared to implement an in-game currency when it unexpectedly struck me to utilize bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a stateless currency and for that reason is perfect for international use, I guess you could call it individuals’s currency – – a player in Africa is going to feel just as at home with it as a gamer in America or the UK. Although bitcoin is ending up being more mainstream, the vast bulk of individuals are still extremely not familiar with it. I’m hoping by working bitcoin into popular games, it can help raise public awareness and get individuals to start looking into the crypto currency.
Lastly, making use of bitcoin in your game can open up a variety of features that is presently not possible with conventional payment systems.
JMC: Are gamers able to make purchases in-game with bitcoin, or earn bitcoin from playing it?
CM: This is where we want to go. Presently Apple has been really rigorous with concerns to bitcoin and its use – – particularly, in-app purchases must make use of Apple’s structure so they can get 30 %. However, this does not seem to apply to donations, and hopefully prior to Christmas we will certainly execute some kind of genuine bitcoin transacting with the game. This may permit users to donate bitcoin to be held in the video game address; the finest players might have the ability to get bitcoin as a benefit for getting a highscore, and so on
. JMC: Do you have strategies to additional develop the game?
CM: At the moment the video game just uses bitcoin in name only, and the coins you collect are completely in-game. Nevertheless, we have strategies to permit the user to collect/earn actual bitcoin, which I think is enabled with the use of micro deals, a concept that only bitcoin enables developers to do, i.e., for every coin a user collects he can receive 1 bit to their address.
JMC: Do you have any strategies to release the game on other platforms?
CM: A lot of absolutely. Apple are really strict with bitcoin, and other platforms such as Android are entirely open. However, I am a strong follower that we can not leave iOS users behind. Earlier this year when Apple banned bitcoin wallet apps, our app “Bity” was the only Apple accepted app that allowed bitcoin deals; quickly after its release Apple opened the flood gates, retracting its constraint against such apps. We hope we can do something comparable with SaruTobi.
We are presently seeking additional funding to recruit an Android and HTML 5 developer so we can bring the game to other platforms, and have the wallet 1DUuk9AvMzBbsdazNTQsyVCy1xX2GdnSK4 established for this.
JMC: Your team is spread out across the UK, Australia and Japan; how does that exercise?
CM: One of the advantages with developing 2D physics video games is they do not need a big group; it’s really simple to [establish] the game with a couple of individuals. Currently I carry out the majority of the coding whilst I have a few illustrators in the UK and Japan who I can work with for design.
JMC: Do you have an individual interest in bitcoin?
CM: I have a miner in the corner of my apartment. I started of interest due to the fact that the company I work for made a bitcoin related app. I then bought some bitcoin and utilized this to acquire a miner from Butterfly Labs. It was a 25ghs miner, which I overclocked as much as 30ghs. I bought in December 2013 from stock. It paid for a while, simply about made the bitcoin back I put in. I then pre-ordered a King miner and cloud mining service. These never ever came. Butterfly Labs reimbursed me based on the dollar price, so I really got reimbursed more bitcoin than I initially spent, as the price had actually changed from $ 1000 to $ 400 in between the 2 times.
JMC: What led you to combine your interest in games with your interest in bitcoin?
CM: Bity is still succeeding, and more focuseded on individuals with paper wallets and bitcoin in cold storage. But I cannot contend with huge payment players in the field. Games are how I started with iOS development, and Apple released SWIFT in September, which I had to discover for my task. So I made a few video games, and I wished to make an easy addicting game, and was thinking I might put some sort of coin in there. And if I’m going to use any coin, why not make use of bitcoin.
If the app was popular and people were playing it, they might discover bitcoin as there’s a connected to send to the about bitcoin section on bitcoin.com, to help it enter the mainstream. I’m not sure how Apple will certainly take it, but after the video game is accepted, I’ll see exactly what I can get away with. At the minute in iOS apps, it’s impossible to charge anything less than about a dollar, and Apple takes 30 % of this automatically. However I believed that in SaruTobi, as soon as it’s up and running, I can take donations, and after that in a later upgrade, redistribute them by providing satoshi to do jobs and collecting coins in-game, and it potentially might open up some new features that the games scene hasn’t seen prior to. The entire concept of micropayments and the tipping scene is very intriguing to me.
I discovered with Bity that I did quite well with optional donations. I was amazed by the number of people sent me donations; someone even sent me about $ 2,000 dollars worth of bitcoin out of the blue!
JMC: If somebody desired to put advertisements for bitcoin items in the video game, could they?
CM: We make use of iAds at the moment, however if individuals wished to promote their item in the game, it’s technically possible after conversations with the ideal people! I have actually done it for some of my older apps, and would be happy to do it once more.
JMC: Finally, do you have any messages to Bitcoin Publication readers
It’s slated for release in mid-late November. If you wish to be alerted of the release, you can follow us on facebook.com/mandelduck
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