Hi Andrej, Ski Legends has been available for download for some time now and the numbers suggest that it could be another successful project from the works of PowerPlay Studio (PPS). Could you tell us more about the game from your point of view as the project manager?
Whether this will be a successful project, we will know at the end of the winter season. It will depend very much on the numbers. What I can tell you now, is that Ski Legends is a very important project for PowerPlay Studio, whether it turns out to be profitable or not. We have learned a lot during these two and a half years of development. We can reaffirm the importance of the initial phase of prototyping. It is the first purely mobile game that we have done and also the first time that we have used Unity engine in our studio. We have made a few mistakes during the development and that’s valuable experience for future projects.
PPS is developing sports games and winter sports have been dominating the production in recent years. A skiing game seems like a natural progression or am I wrong?
Yes, we focus mainly on sports games. We have ample experience in this marginal game genre, because we have learned what the sports game players enjoy.
Until recently, PPS has been producing games for multiple platforms - multiplatform games - which you can play on the web, Facebook or mobile. Ski Legends is purely a mobile game. Why have you and the team decided for this platform?
It was a strategic decision that has been our plan for some time. The player base on the web platform is on a decline while the mobile player base keeps growing. There are even new markets opening which haven’t had a high internet coverage and sufficient smartphone penetration before.
Were you not afraid of stepping into waters previously unexplored by PPS?
No, quite the opposite, I have been very much looking forward to this challenge. I have been driven by curiosity throughout the development to see what kind of results we can achieve after launching.
Try to make a rough comparison between the development of Ski Legends and previous projects. What was the biggest challenge during development?
I could say a lot about that. Virtually everything was different. Previous projects were mostly clones. Ski Legends was designed from scratch as a new project. Moreover, the team was assembled mostly from new people since we were developing in Unity. We needed a lot more prototypes than during the development of previous games. I think we even set a new record for soft launches. There were 13 of them and I honestly haven’t heard of any other game that had as many as that. For me, the biggest challenge was to learn to work with very ambitious people and to achieve the highest level of collaboration possible.
The so-called soft launches that you mentioned are, simply put, test releases of the game. What was their purpose and why did you decide to do it this way?
As I have mentioned, we had to prototype an awful lot of things and we were testing our theories together with players. Soft launches are important because we can learn a lot from them. It is important to collect data and to know how to analyze them correctly. Some soft launches have given us worse results than previous ones, so we had to go back a step a few times.
Finally the game has been completed. What do you plan to do next? Will there be Ski Legends 2? :)
Hah, Ski Legends 2? Not any time soon, that’s for sure. We still have a lot of work to do on this one. We want to add freeride as the 5th discipline, where the player will be skiing freely between trees, other skiers, do tricks on rails, jumps etc. We also want to launch short events for players, where they will be able to compete against each other in mini tournaments. And since we are carrying a big technical debt, development of new features takes a long time. And that’s despite the fact that we have already refactored the most important parts of the game. Finally, I would like to thank all our fans that play Ski Legends and give us important feedback on our channels (Discord, Reddit, Facebook and the stores).
Awesome, thanks for your time Andrej. We hope that your team will bring PPS plenty more cool games that will be enjoyed by players from all over the world.