Jumping to New, Pixelated Heights – Super Phantom Cat 2 Interview

Sep 15, 2017

Super Phantom Cat is one of the how new platforming games on mobile, with a sequel releasing this year. We reached out to Veewo Games’ CEO Jason Yeung to learn how things are changing for the sequel, how they keep up with fan demand, and competing in the intense mobile platformer market.

Appolicious: To start, the platforming genre is very competitive on mobile. What is it about the Super Phantom Cat series that you feel sets it apart and brought it so much acclaim?

Jason Yeung: That’s exactly why we were inspired to create Super Phantom Cat: We wanted to compete with the best of the best – and it looks like we’re doing something right! Super Phantom Cat is a creative, innovative series with its own signature theme and style. The game’s variety of characters and story have touched players on an emotional level. And although the basic gameplay mechanics might seem similar to other titles, it has a lot of variety.

APP: What originally inspired Super Phantom Cat?

JY: At Veewo, we collectively draw inspiration from the work of Shigeru Miyamoto – because like most of the gamers in our generation, we grew up playing Super Mario Bros. This is why we tend to favor platformers. Before developing Super Phantom Cat, we published quite a few casual games. They were all pretty successful – generating millions of downloads. But eventually we decided to create a game that could potentially lead to a new “signature brand” and also allow for numerous sequels in the coming years. And we love cats, of course!

APP: What improvements in Super Phantom Cat 2 should fans be keeping an eye out for?

JY: The team has worked hard to create a sequel that delivers an improved user interface and rich backgrounds across a huge variety of chapters and levels. Players can choose from a number of heroes and face even more awesome-looking monsters. We also made sure that the game could be played across multiple devices (especially Apple TV). Overall, we tried to ensure that the game was fun and challenging enough for both first-time and experienced players.

APP: How does your team handle balancing retro-style gameplay with modern audience expectations? You even opted to go for full controls and exploration, rather than a one-button infinite runner – a stark rarity these days on the App Store.

JY: In terms of gameplay, we wanted to bring back the traditional play style of platforming games. We thought that players would love to experience that again. So that’s how the project kicked off. The UI, backgrounds, story, art, and design all contributed to “recreate” that kind of game. Players got to enjoy a “console-like” experience on mobile – with all the associated content and polish. We even made the controls fully customizable based on screen size and personal preference, which is still uncommon in mobile games.

APP: What was it like, returning to working on the next Super Phantom Cat game? Were there any surprising twists and turns in development? Perhaps a Phantom Power that didn’t make the cut?

JY: Actually we’re sad we couldn’t add a few! There was some talk on social media that we were releasing the sequel too soon after the first game – and that we should delay the launch by several months. That’s silly. The team feels that if we can work on new ideas about story and gameplay, then our players deserve to get a new game right away. In contrast, some developers believe in “milking” the user base for years and years. That’s not the Veewo way.

We welcomed the risks and uncertainty inherent to any sequel work. Initially Super Phantom Cat 2 was a rough idea, without much detail. We hit a number of bumps and “dark tunnels” during development – experimenting every step of the way. Eventually, we hit on creative “gold” – which players can now enjoy in-game! The key element was coming up with the basic structure, breaking it into stages, and understanding how we could keep delivering new content with updates.

The latest update – Discorun Levels

The new parkour mode of Super Phantom Cat!

APP: The art style still has that retro charm, but you’ve opted for a far smoother style. What led to this shift in art direction?

JY: We like the art in Veewo’s games to be colorful, clean (almost on the minimalist side) – and always fun! Our goal is to have it complement the game’s UI, backgrounds, and gameplay.

APP: What is your favorite part of Super Phantom Cat 2?

JY: It’s hard to choose one – but my favorite has to be the gameplay. The game can be enjoyed by players of all ages anywhere on the planet. And it’s going to get even better with constant, ongoing updates.

APP: Veewo is based out of Xiamen, China. How is it, working as an indie studio in East Asia?

JY: A lot of people think that Chinese developers have a disadvantage when taking on the global market – perhaps because of language barriers or lack of “Western” content. But we believe that this is changing rapidly. At Veewo, we’re always striving to offer global – and not regional – content. Most of our users are surprised when they realize that we’re Chinese – maybe because we often surpass their expectations! But nothing changes in terms of our vision. We are a diverse company, creative to a fault, and certainly very ambitious.

APP: What advice do you and your team have for other aspiring mobile developers?

JY: Veewo is still a startup. It’s very much an indie dev and can offer some advice to budding developers. First, never try to build “the next big thing” when you’re just starting out. Focus on what you can realistically achieve with a small budget, stick to your deadlines, and get it out there as early as possible to get some feedback. Producing a small number of really well-made games is always your best bet when you’re starting out.

Second, indie teams should also think about how they promote their product in the early stages. We see a lot of small shops just focusing on development, and that’s simply not enough! You need to be thinking about marketing your game while you’re making it.

Last, if you’re an indie developer, you may not necessarily have the financial resources to put toward user acquisition. This is another reason why it’s important to offer a great user experience from the get-go – and it’s why we’re constantly looking to improve our game with the latest tools.

SPC2 Trailer 2!!

3 Days to go as Cat-former hits global Appstore on Aug 17th.

APP: Can you give us a glimpse at what’s in store for Veewo Games now that Super Phantom Cat 2 is out on the prowl? For updates, or maybe even a new project on the way?

JY: Thanks to the first game, we’ve learned that it’s difficult to keep users coming back. At the same time, it’s crucial to do so if you want to survive as an independent developer! That’s one of the reasons why we will keep offering updates every month. By the way, these won’t just be quality-of-life improvements. We’ll be adding new levels, chapters, heroes, monsters, and more to keep our players immersed in the Phantom World.

Players should be on lookout for an upcoming competitive multiplayer mode. Also, a few well-known characters are on their way, too! We have many exciting things in store, but we’ll hold some of our cards close to the vest for now!

For more on Veewo, be sure to check out their games below, and their website here.

Super Phantom Cat 2
Super Phantom Cat 2
Price: Free+
Super Phantom Cat 2
Super Phantom Cat 2
Developer: Veewo Games
Price: Free+
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Elijah Beahm

Elijah is a man who can't stop talking about games, geeky things, and to the chagrin of his colleagues, horrible puns. He's been working as a game journalist for several years now, and in addition to Appolicious, His other work can be found at GameCritics.com, I Need Diverse Games, and The Unabridged Gamer on YouTube. When not reviewing games, you'll probably find him ranting on Twitter, writing, or replaying Dead Space 2 for the zillionth time.

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