To celebrate the release of Phantasmat: Crucible Peak, I sat down with lead designer Vladimir Kozik to talk about how the series got it’s start! We all have a lot of chores to get done this holiday season, but don’t forget to set aside some “me time” so you can try Phantasmat: Crucible Peak!
Please introduce yourself…
Vladimir Kozik, lead game designer for Phantasmat: Crucible Peak.
How did you come up with the Phantasmat game series?
We actually didn’t come up with the original Phantasmat series. We were given the opportunity to continue this very compelling series, and of course, we accepted the challenge! Some of the strongest features of the first Phantasmat were the spooky atmosphere, interesting characters, and sense of tension in the world, which we think we’ve kept very much alive with this sequel.
How long does it take for you to design a game from start to finish?
In general, high quality development takes quite a while. On the one hand we want to give our players a chance to immerse themselves into the amazing world of Phantasmat and experience a new and mysterious story as soon as possible, but on the other hand we want to fill the in-game world with meaning, diversity and beauty. Balancing between our ambitions and possibilities usually takes one year of development. However, we consider the last stage of development to be the reactions and reviews of players, and actually this is the most important stage.
What are the biggest technical challenges when you develop a game?
As always, one of the hardest parts of development comes when we have to balance visual effects and game performance. Fun and enjoyment of the game is our primary goal, and sometimes that means cutting some very nice visual effects to keep the game running smoothly.
What is your favorite game at the moment and why?
I often play the Dark Tales series, but my favorite casual games are the Puppet Show series. I cannot stop playing them and often find inspiration for new ideas. Also, short but bright casual games for the iOS platform are a good example of creating lighthearted excitement.
Any advice for new developers?
Dream and implement. Remember that every new game is just like a new day, a new life, and an different future – it is only up to you to decide what it is going to be. Every game starts with a dream, and the developer’s main goal is its implementation.