Red Sprite Studios: Save Our Village

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Red Sprite Studios is an independent developer that specializes in casual games for mobile platforms. Founded by Australian games veteran John Passfield, the studio used Corona Enterprise to develop their latest title, Save Our Village. 

Please share a bit of background information on Red Sprite Studios.

Red Sprite Studios has been around for a while. We began making casual games for Mac and PC, such as Word Shake, Brainiversity and Brainiversity 2, all puzzle games in the brain training genre. We also own IP to old games that I had made a long, long time ago including Halloween Harry, Zombie Wars, Alien Carnage and Flight of the Amazon Queen, the latter being a point-and-click adventure game that is also available on iOS.

We’ve also released two photo apps, both built with Corona Enterprise, called Silly Snaps and Cheeky Caps. Now we are focused 100% on mobile games and Save Our Village is our first free to play title.

Why did you choose to develop Save Our Village with Corona?

I did a lot of research into the best and fastest way to get a 2D game to market and Corona kept popping up as the best development platform. The Lua language is very similar to ActionScript which I used previously to build Facebook games.

What is the premise of Save Our Village?

In Save Our Village, monsters have ravaged a small village and kidnapped the townsfolk, taking them deep into nearby dungeons. You are tasked with rebuilding the village by hiring a mighty hero, and venturing into dungeons to fight monsters and save the villagers. The game’s theme was inspired by classic movies such as The Three Amigos and A Bug’s Life in which a bunch of misfit heroes are hired to help out the locals, who are under the threat of bad guys.

The game uses a cool slash and block mechanic to fight the monsters, and we have over twenty dungeons to explore that are full lots of great loot to find!

Why did you decide to upgrade to Corona Enterprise?

My publisher, Ludia, required the integration of some 3rd party services including iAds, which aren’t available in the standard version of Corona just yet. Integrating these with the Enterprise edition was a relatively simple process.

What were the benefits of working with a publisher for the launch of the game?

One of the biggest advantages was having an editorial eye on the game to offer feedback and give advice, as well as having a full time QA department to quality assure the game.

Can you please share your experience developing with Corona Enterprise?

It’s been great – though I did struggle getting my head around Xcode and Objective C at first. Until I switched to the Enterprise edition, I had been happily developing with Lua, and found Objective C a bit alien. Luckily, the forums and other online resources helped explain things, and I had some friends who regularly use Xcode help me out. I also bought the book, iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide to further grow my knowledge of the Objective C language.

How does your experience developing with Corona compare to other tools your team has worked with?

We’ve previously worked with ActionScript in Flash making Facebook games and found the switch to Corona very easy. The table structure in Lua was a little bit confusing at first, but once I understood it I embraced it – it’s such a powerful feature of Lua and Corona. The speed at which I can get an idea out of my head and onto a mobile device is staggering. Corona lets you focus 100% on creating games in the fastest possible time.

Would you recommend Corona Enterprise to independent developers that choose to partner with a publisher?

Definitely. Each publisher has their own set of ad providers and analytics people they work with and you will probably need to integrate this via Xcode using the Enterprise edition. It gives you the best of both worlds – the rapid application development environment of Corona – and the exposure to Xcode that let’s you integrate native services like Tapjoy, Chartboost, iAd and more.
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