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Indie Interview: Labyrinth 2

Posted on 25 March 2010 by Todd

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Today we bring you an indie interview with Anders Mårtensson, one of the creator of Labyrinth 2!

Company: Illusion Labs
App Store: Labyrinth 2 $4.99

How long have you been developing for the iPhone/iPod touch? What did you do before you started developing for the iPhone/iPod touch?
For about two years. I used to work at a major mobile phone platform manufacturer before.

How long did it take you to develop Labyrinth 2 and how many people were involved?
About 10 months for 4-6 people.

How did you come up with the idea for Labyrinth 2?
Well, Labyrinth 1 was our first game, and there was so much more we could do with it. We thought we could include obstacles, and also a level sharing system so that people could share their own levels easily with the world. Those ideas ended up in our first sequel, Labyrinth 2.

What inspired you for Labyrinth 2 from initial concept to formalized game?
Pinball games!

What inspires you? And is it different for each game?
Being bored gets us creative, so we leave the office for a while, and since we miss our little computers and get bored, all kinds of ideas keep popping up in your head. Beer helps too.

What have you found most difficult about being an indie developer?
Getting coverage on major non-gaming sites.

Can you describe your development process?
Get an idea. Take a week off the ongoing project. Do a prototype. See if it turns out great. If not, go back to the ongoing project. If yes, go back to the ongoing project and revisit idea later. Repeat.

What does the creative process look like during the initial stages?
Pretty much a one-man-job, and lots of coffee. And having the time of your life.

Did you do any pre-marketing before Labyrinth 2 was released?
Not much, we just released a video on YouTube and emailed a bunch of sites.

What are you working on now?
iPad versions of Labyrinth 2 and Touchgrind.

Any plans for updates to Labyrinth 2?
We have done a few already, but I think/hope we’ll put together some more obstacles and also new themes.

What was your most frustrating task while developing Labyrinth 2?
Getting multiplayer working. Multiplayer is in fact one of the hardest things to implement, I don’t think people realize that.

What have you found to be the most successful way to market Labyrinth 2?
Getting featured by Apple! Especially in their TV commercials.

How much does user feedback affect your planning of updates and also future projects?
A great deal. We usually have beta testing before we release it to get some feedback on how to improve things.

Do you write games for yourself or for others? And why?
Mostly ourselves. No-one likes having someone telling you what to do, and when to do it. We like being our own boss.

What process do you go through to overcome creative block?
Beer. And playing games on Wii and PS3.

What was the development atmosphere like? What kind of music did you listen to?
Pretty relaxed, no hard deadlines. The last month we are all super stressed though. We like listening to “Indie pop rocks” on Soma FM (http://somafm.com/play/indiepop)

What was a must have during the development process of Labyrinth 2?
Fun!

What games influenced you in your decision to make Labyrinth 2?
Labyrinth 1, obviously. And old school pinball games.

How close was the end product to your initial conceptualization?
I’d say pretty close. Some objects didn’t end up in the final game though.

Before the release of Labyrinth 2 were there any huge last minute changes?
Not really.

How did you keep yourself motivated?
The community feedback and all the mails we get from parents etc.

How much did the art drive the game? The vision of what it was to look like how much of that was the driving force?
We did the game first, and art later.

What tools of the trade are a must have for you when it comes to programming, art and music?
A genuine interest, and extremely high standards. Everything can be improved, always. And not to copy from others, let them copy you.

If you were stuck on an island with a laptop and no internet access what apps would you have loaded?
Civilization, it never gets old.

Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Go check out or upcoming iPad games; Labyrinth 2 HD and Touchgrind HD on April 3rd! They are going to be awesome, I can promise you that!

We want to thank Anders for his time and we can’t wait to see Labyrinth 2 HD and Touchgrind HD!

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