Check out our review of MouseBot here!
Matt Small: We’ve been doing racing games for almost 10 years at this point, and we wanted a little break. We knew we wanted to stick to our strengths and keep it “vehicle”-based, but we wanted to try our hands at a platformer and so the idea of a robotic mouse grew out of that.
MS: It took a lot of experimentation. Originally we had a lot more controls for the mouse, but we decided it was too complicated for a mobile game so we kept stripping it back until it felt deep enough to be interesting, but simple enough to pick up quickly.
MS: I’m glad you liked it! We wanted to go for something colorful and simple. It was important to keep the shapes and colors distinct so players could really focus on the traps and anticipate the setups. We deliberately kept the backgrounds very simple so the traps would stand out. We also wanted it to be kind of “gorey” with the mouse getting destroyed over and over again, but we also wanted it to feel cute.
MS: There isn’t really a “pay wall” in the free to play version [of MouseBot], but the game does get very hard and you lose a lot of lives. So we just wanted to make the “premium” version less painful and give players infinite chances to play the level over and over again. The premium version also gets rid of ads, because once you pay, why would you want to see ads??
MS: Even though they’re the simplest, the lasers actually went through a lot of iterations. In the beginning they were animated, and they would cycle back and forth across the track. After a while we realized that was just too difficult, and so we switched them over to stationary. The water setups took a lot of fiddling too, we played a lot with the wave animations and the types of traps that would work well in the water.
MS: We’ve been iterating on the engine for a long time, and by this time we have a pretty good idea of what works well with it. We deliberately kept the art style pretty simple with MouseBot because we wanted to keep up a really high framerate, even on older devices. But it’s always difficulty coming up with a good-looking, modern art style that looks great on the newest phones but still runs well on older hardware.
MS: I think we came up with a ton of variety and a lot of content for such a small game. We build this entire level editing system out of reusable parts, and the whole thing snaps together in this really easy way, so we were able to crank out about 75 levels in a very short period of time. And even within that, I think each level maintains its own personality.
MS: Right now we’re hard at work on Beach Buggy Racing 2. We’re going to be announcing more about it soon, so stay tuned!