We had the opportunity to sit down with Associate Producer Jonathan Cuff of IUGO Mobile Entertainment and ask a few questions about their new top-selling game; The Walking Dead: Road to Survival. Check out the interview below for some great insights into all of the aspects of production, including our musical contributions, and how it all came together to create a hit game topping the charts in the iOS store:
What are some noteworthy features of the gameplay, design, art and audio that you think have contributed to the top-selling success of The Walking Dead: Road to Survival game?
JC: An area that we have consistently received positive feedback on since the early Beta days is our character art. Charlie Adlard has done such a fantastic job creating amazing art for the comic series and our artists at IUGO have been able to reference his characters and redraw them in a style that is appealing for our mobile game audience. To this day I still look forward to our art reviews to see how some of my favourite characters like Jesus Monroe, Michonne, Glenn, Rick, and Tyreese have been adapted to our art style and The Walking Dead: Road to Survival universe.
What do you think differentiates your game from others in its class?
JC: One of my favourite aspects of The Walking Dead universe is that as time progresses humans become a much greater threat than the walkers. We’ve been able to capture this in Road to Survival by offering both walker and human combat. There may be a situation, for example, where you fight through wave after wave of walkers only to find that it was just a clever diversion by bandits to raid your camp.
We were also fortunate to partner with writers Jay Bonansinga, who teamed up with Robert Kirkman on the Governor novels, as well as Mike McCarthy from Skybound to craft a compelling story worthy of the Walking Dead brand. Rick and his crew are faced with so many difficult decisions in the series that are rarely black and white and this is something we wanted to capture in our branching narrative system. Our mantra since day one has been that “Choices Matter” and we think that players will be much more engaged in the story if they are able to take control over their path even if it leads to some unforeseen consequences.
Together with Scopely, we’ve created the first truly live The Walking Dead experience, where gamers will be treated to content updates on an ongoing basis. We already have a pipeline of updates planned to provide our players with regular updates for years to come.
What role do you think audio plays in contributing to, and enhancing, the overall gameplay experience?
JC: Our game has quite a varied mix between tense epic boss fights and walker battles to reconstructing your town or having philosophical discussions about life in the post apocalyptic world. We therefore required a soundtrack that could be equally varied and help set the tone for our players in each of these scenes while not being a distraction.
How did your team enjoy working with Somatone on the audio for this game?
JC: We have worked with Somatone on a number of projects over the past few years and have been able to maintain a positive working relationship over the course of that time. Music is something that almost everyone has a very strong opinion about and Ben (Brown) and Ollie (Glatzer) were really great at taking the feedback from our publishers at Scopely and Skybound as well as IUGO and turning around revisions in very short order. I am quite happy with the end result and I often find myself whistling the soundtrack during the course of my day (much to the chagrin of some of my colleagues).
Anything else you’d like to share about this outstanding project, and what’s next on the horizon?
JC: Our global launch on August 27th was a very exciting time for all of us and we were ecstatic to see our hard work come through to fruition with a #1 App Store ranking in the US and many other countries around the world as well as very positive reviews from players. One of the primary criteria of success for IUGO is that we make games that we would want to play ourselves and I’m happy to say that I still play daily even after all this time.
The global launch was an important milestone for us but we are just getting started and are regularly releasing new iconic characters, exciting new features, and are continuing the story of the Road to Survival. Stay tuned as we have a few surprises in store for the rest of 2015!
To learn more about The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, please check out the official uncut trailer with some CLASSIC Frost poetry, and follow #RoadtoSurvival, as well as IUGO on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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