AlienPixel & Their Polandball Trip To SpaceNews
Bucharest, Romania based indie game developers, AlienPixel & their single player expansion of the Polandball universe are the latest in a lineup of new additions to Higher Eclectic Ground’s Indie Game community.
Co-founded by Andrei Jifcovici & Sergiu Craitoiu at a local McDonald’s back in June, 2015 — the team constituent of ex-Electronic Arts Romania employee Andrei Simion, veteran music composer Lex Dumitru and freelancing graphic designer Ingrid Juncanariu, debuted here on the 3rd of February with the trailer that accompanied their game’s Play Store release on the 5th of January from earlier this year.
Based on the Polandball internet meme turned comic series — that constitutes spherical balls representative of the world’s various countries mocking each other’s stereotypes, history & doings in broken English — Polandball: Can Into Space features Poland’s own country ball on its quest to reach the moon, despite the constant mockery of other countries. Players of course, must pilot said quest while in control of a near-defunct rocketship — navigating other countries, mid-air junk, collecting money & parts along the way.
These parts & money come in handy considering that making it to the moon in a single go is impossible; players will run out of fuel, crash & burn several hundreds of times — returning to their little garages to tweak and buy new parts for their rockets each time before trying again. However as Alien Pixel themselves state, not all of the 25, visually intricate country balls are present to harm the player — meaning users will have to learn to use the friendly ones to their advantage. Moreover the customization itself is rather layered, with the rocket comprising of 9 tiers of tech that can be upgraded with several of the available 56 items and ‘attributes.’
Can Into Space was the direct result of an idea to create a Countryball inspired game, as harboured by music composer Dumitru whom Jifcovici had convinced Craitoiu into meeting back in June last year. Before they knew it, a team was being formed — one that went through two different artists until Ingrid Juncanariu came their way and designed the game’s core art style in but a couple of weeks.
It was here however, Craitoiu admits, where the team made their biggest mistake — opting to wait until game completion to market their game, for fear of their Intellectual Property being stolen or criticised before it even came to fruition. This fear carried on well into Ubisoft’s November Game Jam last year, wherein the team kept to themselves to develop on their Can Into Space’s mechanics & art without interacting or marketing it to any of the industry specialists present there.
Craitoiu and the rest of the team’s eyes would open only post stumbling upon a chance article on the internet after the event, one that advised indie developers on marketing their games. It was here that the game started to not only develop for itself a full-fledged website, but merchandise, a social media presence and eventually a video trailer — before debuting on Steam Greenlight along with a Google Play release on the 6th of January this year. Greenlight approval arrived in less than a month. with Craitoui going on to document the team’s experiences with botched marketing for others to learn from via an article on Gamasutra.
Now, post applying for an Apple App Store release last weekend pending approval, the team intend to move into the game’s Steam release phase — in preparation for its Early Access release sometime by the end of February or early March. This Early Access release of course, stems out of the team’s desire to add more to the gameplay in terms of both missions and achievements — the progress of which will be shared by means of screenshots, video snippets and more on the Community here.
Additionally, they will also be on the lookout for both YouTubers & Writers both within and outside the community — in the hopes of them streaming, covering and providing honest feedback on Can Into Space. To follow all of that and learn more about the game’s history, development and features then — be sure to tune in to their newly created Higher Eclectic Space here. Those willing to get in touch with them can do so by dropping them an e-mail or via our member forums, the Bulletin.
Polandball: Can Into Space is now available as a free download on the Android Store. Be sure to give it a whirl and leave the team your thoughts on the game in the comments below.