Keeping deep focus on creating a faster game play on the mobile platform, Hashstash Studios has created their latest two player game titled ‘Circulets’ all gearing to hit the Indian gaming sphere in April this year.
An independent studio based out of New Delhi, Hashstash was jumpstarted in 2012 by Kinshuk Sunil, Yadu Rajiv and Mayank Saini. Coming from varied technology backgrounds, the areas which impress the founders of this studio are video games, open web and human interactions and they bring together a combination of these expertises into the making of their games at the studio.
The first game of Hashstash Studios was an adventure mobile game titled ‘Zap the Knight’ and a demo version of this game is currently available on the Google Play Store for Android.
Speaking to AnimationXpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala about Hashstash Studios and the idea behind Circulets, Kinshuk Sunil, Founder, Hashstash Studios, says, “Circulets is our newest offering made with a lot of love and collaboration. In the past, we have worked on some mobile games and applications for partners and also have been busy working on a mobile game ‘Zap the Knight’ that is expected to soon hits the markets.
Kinshuk asserts, “We have been working on some services projects making casual mobile games and web apps for some clients. Also we have dabbled with desktop gaming and have a brand new 2D game engine attaining maturity soon. Along with the engine, we are also working on a web-based, cross platform analytics engine for video games and web apps.”
Coming to a broader view on Circulets, it is a 2 player game that allows the players to play on the same device and is an open ended game that uses the act of collecting tiny colored circles and scoring points.
“More than winning, the game is about the interactions these two players can have with each other and the moments they can share together, which is why we call the game as ‘the game for families, friends and parties’. If you look at it philosophically the game is an economics problem, where two agents are competing over a period of time for limited resources, which involves certain tradeoffs for the parties involved. They can go all out competitive in the given scenario or they can collaborate. It is completely up to them and their existing relationships.” Adds, Kinshuk
The motivating aspect behind Circulets was a competition titled ‘One Game a Month’ jam ‘in which the creators participated and developed a simple game that advanced into the final game play of Circulets. The creators believe that Circulets is an intuitive game that can appeal to human psychology and build on intuitive HCI.
Sharing more on the time taken to complete the game and the initial responses on the game, Kinshuk says, “We actively developed the game in 3 weeks and we had in our hands a prototype, which we started showing to people. When we saw that people responded well to the game and a lot of positive feedback was forthcoming, we decided to release the game on the marketplaces.
“Right now, we are almost done with all functionality within the game and are actively polishing the final product with the end consumer in sight.”
A great idea by the team of Circulets is walking up to strangers and asking them to play the game. By following this strategy, the team believes that they will able to take the game to a winning and rewarding level!
Shares more,” More than pitching the game to them, we usually show the game to them and challenge them to a round of the game.”
Also, the game is being developed using a vast amount of programming as the game possess a minimal count from the designing angle. The Art and design aesthetics of the game is being handled by Yadu with Mayank handling the cross-platform nature of the game and porting the game to the different platforms.
According to Kinshuk, to give creative add ons the Circulets, the team is continuously experimenting and researching on how casual games are captured and rated in the gaming market place. For creative research on the game, the team has studied varied play test observations and human-computer interactions. The look and feel of Circulets is a blend of typography, primitive shapes and simple, vivid colors.
Talking more on the Pre-production phase for Circulets, he informs, “The pre-production was usually cooking up mockups of the UI and basic pen-paper simulation of various types of circulets and their possible interactions. This soon gave way to a functional prototype that has been under incremental iterations since then.
“Once we had a playable prototype, we started sharing builds with friends and confidants. Taking feedback from them and observing a lot of random strangers play the game, we went on revising the game (we dropped out almost all the varieties of circulets in process, focusing on the base circulets and the human interactions).All of this happened between Feb 6 and 23. On Feb 24, we announced the game to the world.”
A few games which were the inspiration behind Circulets were Olo and Shot Shot Shoot. Also, the toughest part in developing the game, according to the team was designing its two-player interactions and to fill to fill the game with a huge variety of bonus circulets that have all sorts of visual and game play effects.
The team feels that there is immense potential in the mobile gaming market of India and two player games are rare on this platform.
Highlights more,” We think that the portal and ubiquitous nature of the mobile makes it a great tool for engaging with people. In addition to this emphasis on the human players, we think the minimalist and simple design of the game sets it apart from other games on the platform.”
“We hope that Circulets will help the Indian gaming industry find more affection and respect from the global industry and help in creating better prospects for the other game developers out here. We also hope to set the bar a bit higher for our fellow game developers to aspire for and excel beyond in the forthcoming games from the country.” Concludes, Kinshuk.
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