Interview with Futureplay, the developers of Craft Away!
As usual, we were not hired or paid to feature this game. If it’s bad, we’ll tell you it’s bad.
Do you love playing a good clicker game? Much as some people hate this category of gaming with a passion(!), it is hard to deny just how addictive a good clicker game can be, …especially when it is constantly with you on your smartphone…
Today we would like to share our interview with the Futureplay Team, the developers of Craft Away. If you haven’t read our review yet, you can do so here!
Before we start we’d like to thank the Futureplay Team for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks Guys!
…and without further ado, our interview begins…
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Craft Away!, could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio and what drew you into Game Development?
We founded Futureplay in 2015 with a handful of industry veterans. We’d all been in senior positions in large companies and wanted to do something for ourselves without the constraints and hierarchies of larger organizations. Today we’re a family of 20 developers and each of us owns a part of the company. Everyone here is equal. The first three idle games in our ‘Away Trilogy’ (Farm Away, Build Away and Craft Away) have been a great way to get started as an independent self-supporting games studio and we’re now able to work on some more complex games including a MOCCA (Multiplayer Online Casual Competitive Arena). Watch this space!
(Edamame) We will for sure…! 😉
First question. What was the core idea (or inspiration) that sparked the development of Craft Away?
When founding the company we tested a few game mechanics out and found idle ‘clicker’ style games to be a great fit for us to start out as a young company. They’re deceptively simple and elegant games that we could build while on a smaller budget to find our footing as a company. In 2015 idle mechanics were limited to a very core set of themes so we decided to reinvent them and bring them to a new audience. Farm Away introduced these mechanics to those who like farming games, and Build Away to city builders. Right from the beginning, however, we had always been fans of Minecraft and wanted to bring idle mechanics to that audience. In early 2017 we finally started production of Craft Away and realized this dream, bringing a distillation of our learnings from our previous two games into the mix to make something we’re incredibly proud of.
What were the hardest problems you faced during the different development stages of Craft Away?
Game development is full of challenges. One of the hardest with Craft Away was finding a way to approach a game for Minecraft fans while doing something of our own. We wanted to capture the joy of collecting resources and using them to craft your own creations. There are, however, a lot of Minecraft copycat games out there that borrow too heavily from the Minecraft universe and we wanted to create something that would stand alone in its own right. Further, we had to be really disciplined about how to strip down such a game to its essence so that it would work as a mobile-first idle game. There were a lot of tough decisions, but we’re really happy with the result which is a really unique title that has received a lot of praise from fans and influencers.
For our nerdy Developer Fans, what programming language and or software did you use when developing Craft Away? And was it a good decision?
We use the Unity engine to develop our games for which the primary programming language is C#. Any language has its pitfalls, and we’ve used an extension to Unity called UniRX that allows us to develop in C# using the reactive programming paradigm. Unity has been a great choice for us as an indie studio as it handles a lot of the technicalities of self-publishing to iOS and Android such as IAPs, rewarded video ads, and cross-platform support.
What advice would you give to a new player trying Craft Away! for the first time?
The beginning of the game is easy going and the best thing to do is develop a good swiping technique! Upgrading your characters and idle profits also help a lot with resource collecting when you’re not swiping. As you progress the most important thing is to carefully optimise your upgrades from companions, gear, hero and shop items. Mix-matching your stats is essential to progressing efficiently in the late game.
Where do you get your inspiration or ideas from?
Everywhere. Mobile games, console games, music, movies, literature, friends and the world around us. We have a ‘game ideas’ channel in Slack which is constantly alive with conversation. The most difficult thing in games is choosing which of these ideas to turn into new games and updates.
A few words to Craft Away! fans on Edamame Reviews. Any new games in the near future? What can we look forward to next?
Along with regular updates for Farm Away, Build Away and Craft Away we’ve got two big releases coming up we’re really excited about. First, an Augmented Reality (AR) level editor for Craft Away, which will let you build and share your own creations in AR. Second is the imminent release of our next title “Star Away” in early 2018, in which players will live an alternative life as a celebrity live streamer. Great things coming soon!
Lastly a few words on how you feel about Edamame Reviews and our service.
The site is awesome. It’s really difficult to find independent unbiased reviews of games these days which makes it hard to find the true gems when 500 new games are submitted to the App Store every day. We love your style!
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