Each story has a begining and this is Run&Rolls. It all started as a brainstorming session, where ideas were thrown here and there (and everywhere). We wanted something simple, something that we can relate to, something likable. And whats easier than a rolling snowball? ¬†And who doesn’t like snow (hands down summer lovers!! :) )?

The Begining

snowball

The base idea was simple:

You control a snowball on its collision course down a mountain slope. What could be easier? Avoid rocks, collect coins, pick up boosts and get as far as you can. It starts on a hill, gains mommentum, increases speed and grows in size. If it collides with anything a bit of snow is thrown around, the speed and size are decreased untill there is nothing left. Well, that was the “base” idea and thats where project Run&Roll (back then named as project Snowball) was born.

We started simple, each graphical element we needed was “hand” drawn or found online. After a while we added simple animations (e.q. snowballs rolling animation), basic sounds (which we recorded in house… hilarious business) and some special effects (snow falling from the snowball upon collision).

The Merger

It did not take long for us to be noticed, and so in mid June the “merger” happened. We needed more resources (graphics, sounds, UX) and that’s were Primoz & Miha came into play. After a couple of meetings the joint venture was established, roles divided and the project went into the next faze.

First order of business was replacing our snowball with something more relatable, something players can fall in love with (it is hard to love a ice-cold thing like a snowball ain’t it?).
We wanted a character that:

  • has different moving types – walk, run, roll;
  • can “shoot”
  • is cute & lovable
  • can express feelings

So after an afternoon session we found our holly grail. A hedgehog! It can walk, make himself into a ball and roll away, “shoot” needles and is cuddly as hell (be wary of the needles though ;) ).

With that in mind we started scanning the designer webpages for our future accomplice. After countless hours of searching and emailing we found our match – Viktoriya Kovalenko. She created the above images out of the short requirement list that we gave her and we were sold. With a bit of corrections we got our hero and were able to move onto the level design.

snowball
She transformed our specifications (seen on the left) into what our game looks like now (seen on the right). After that, we went into silent mode again. Implementing the designs, creating 3D animations and logic connected with it.
snowball

The GameFounders Era

Mid development we found out about the FIRST game accelerator starting in Europe in the distant land of Estonia. Off course we were thrilled and decided to participate.
The first application deadline was in June, the only problem was, we found out about it a couple of days before the deadline (we DID NOT even have time to implement the new designs!). But we were determined.
We created our team presentation video in an afternoon, recorded a game demo and submitted our application.

As seen, it was not much to go by, but we made it to the last round nonetheless. But we did not loose our hope. We worked harder than ever, implemented the graphics, improved the UX, added professional sounds and started anew.

The second GameFounders application submission date was set to the end of year and we decided that we will be ready for it! We actually decided to visit Tallinn, Estonia and present our team live at a conference there… But then D-day happened.
We got our last interview on the same day that our flight to Tallinn was. We could not change our flights or delay the interview, so the only solution was, to have the Skype call at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice.
We came there a bit earlier, so we could find a calm spot, get the computer up and running and buy our internet voucher. But after a few seconds of our call the connection started to lag, they could not hear us and we could not hear them. We restarted the call three times and at the end switched to a phone call. It was not one of our best presentations, actually it was probably one of the worst ones we ever had :D .
But wait, there is more… Our domain name expired on exactly the same day (and because of a peculiar circumstance was not prolonged automatically). Back then our game checked online for the latest level and downloaded it in the background, before allowing you to play. But because of our expired domain that was not possible, so the evaluators could not play our game!
That is where our Estonia story ended. The universe was telling us GameFounders were not meant for us. And finally we decided to listen …

The Killing of the Horse

After we returned back home, we decided to test what we created so far. We cut some features, implemented the story, added in-game purchases… and submitted
our game.

It did not take us long, to figure out that the game was a bust. Without proper push the downloads were not coming in, so we decided to cut our loses and “Kill the Horse” (as we fondly named the project end).

It was a long and interesting story, we grew a lot (in knowledge and personalities), got to know a lot of cool people and decided that we will try again! But this time with something more thought through.
More on other projects, that we do, can be found
here :) .

We all felt it was a story worth telling and I hope I did not bore you to much with it. Thank you for your persistence and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.