Unleash the Cogs of Villainy! – Evil Cogs Interview with Ivan Murzak

Mar 12, 2018

It’s time to face some Evil Cogs with Ivan Murzak!

Appolicious: To start, what inspired Evil Cogs? It’s like a hybrid of Limbo and Badland, at first glance

Ivan Murzak: There are many different games which we looked [to], but first of all [were] Ori and the Blind Forest, Badland and Limbo. It would be foolish to deny that a large number of elements was really borrowed, but Evil Cogs not aiming to be a clone, the target is to expand the borders of [these gameplay] mechanics in its dark universe. Evil Cogs doesn’t put emphasis on action – instead of this, atmospheric and meditating exploration of deadly dangerous world combined with plunging into the thick ambience.

Appolicious: What would you say are the key principles to educate and immerse the player in a wordless driven, harrowing journey like Evil Cogs?

IM: Evil Cogs has so simple control system, [the] Player just need to avoid dangerous situations. [The] first time when player meets new enemy or dangerous place, he doesn’t know how to go through it. But after one or few more tries it’s easy to understand how to do this. Evil Cogs has many different monsters or danger places, that’s why any player can find many interesting places in the game.

We have accent on a fairy-tale, mystery atmosphere, sounds. Little bit story of the world: Initial balance of light and darkness was broken. The worlds that have recently bloomed are living out the last days, devoured by darkness. In one such world, the main character was born – the last light in the Universe. His destiny [is] to defeat and dispel the darkness, which covers the Universe.

Evil Cogs – official trailer

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/evil-cogs/id1292156349 Google Play Market: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evil.cogs.game Web page: http://evil-cogs.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvilCogs/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EvilCogs Your fantasies come true! Explore that strange, fantastic, mystic world. Soak up the atmosphere of the dark fairy-tale. Little light beam needs your help. So become a light – fight with darkness.

In the game you will play the role of a small creature, consisting entirely of light. You are the last light beam of hope in dying world covered with darkness. Player’s task is to get to the end of the level alive. One of the main features of the game is a huge emphasis on physics. Everything from exploring of location to solution of puzzles is based on physics of surrounding world.

Appolicious: Where traditional consoles opt for 3D whenever possible, mobile has been very friendly to more old-school experiences. What is it about mobile gaming that’s drawn out so many 2D games?

IM: There are many 3D mobile games too, but [the] main reason mobile has more 2D games then other platforms, is because:

  • Better experience with touch control
  • Better experience on small screen
  • Less processor and video chip resources
  • Battery economy
Appolicious: We rarely see a disembodied protagonist outside of Rayman, but you have this flying ball of light with its various details flowing around. How did you go about animating Evil Cogs‘ protagonist?

IM: We create a universe where the balance between Light and Darkness changed, and the universe needs a hero. The hero, our protagonist – he is a beam of light, he consists of the dense mass of light. He has simple animations by [way of] simple body construction. He’s able to move faster and to slow down the time. It helps him to survive in the most difficult situations. It can absorb the light found on previous levels and it improves his skills. The main character is powerless against the world. It forced to act neatly and carefully to stay alive.

Appolicious: What goes into crafting a puzzle sequence in Evil Cogs?

IM: It was easy, our puzzles are physical based, for example player needs to push out some rock for opening a door, or press on physical button. Anyway Evil Cogs is not just a puzzle game. Levels have more fairy-tale format with obstacles which player has to complete. Some of them are puzzles, some of them are for player reaction. Every obstacle and every level we builded unicaly, there a lot of unique places where player need to go through.

Appolicious: How do you handle monetizing an experience like this on mobile?

IM: Evil Cogs has few monetization [systems]. On Android the game is free, but [the player] can receive much more coins by completing level if [they] watch reward video ad afterward.

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Player can unlock Chapter II by coins, coins [can be bought] for in-app purchases. On iOS the same, but the game is premium. We changed price for Chapter II [on iOS]; it’s ten times cheaper, and we removed ads between levels.

Appolicious: On a similar note, how do you keep players coming back for a linear experience?

IM: We reward the player every day by coins, they just need to login [to receive] it. We [also] have small notifications that remind our player about that, the Evil Cogs world needs them back for fighting with darkness few times per week.

Appolicious: One of Evil Cogs unique elements is direct control over power-ups, like the ability to briefly slow time. How do you balance encounters for players so they can make the most of these mechanics without hampering the experience or wasting the abilities?

IM: We’ve tested to ensure every single level can be completed without using boosts at all, but we provide these mechanics for fun, more interesting gameplay, and for easier going through difficult places in game.

Appolicious: Now that you’ve conquered puzzle-platforming, what’s a genre you’d like to tackle next?

IM: We have plans for making Evil Cogs 2, but it’s not  guaranteed for now. Will see in future. *wink*

Evil Cogs
Evil Cogs
Developer: Ivan Murzak
Price: $1.99+
Evil Cogs
Evil Cogs
Developer: Wet Fish
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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