Recently we looked a look at the new game Blossom Blast Saga from KING, after reviewing; we were offered the chance to interview the Lead Producer Simas Burdrys. We have been working with KING since we started our news section that covers the mobile gaming market.
KING has grown from nothing to a huge SAGA! Owning some of the best, or should I say well known games on the mobile scene, suitable for all ages and all types of gamers from casual and pro. Recently with KING being purchased by Activision, I see new concepts and ideas flowing throw the KING name, Call of Duty SAGA!, Skylanders SAGA, Destiny SAGA, Tony Hawks SAGA, but all jokes aside, honestly KING will always bring their own design and concepts to the mobile market, whatever they end up being.
To get started, please introduce yourself.
Hi – I’m Simas Budrys and I’m the Lead Producer on Blossom Blast Saga!
What made you want to get into the gaming industry? Is it always something you’ve wanted to do because of a game you played growing up, or do you just like working with technology?
I have always been a huge fan of gaming and knew that this was the industry I wanted to get into when I was growing up. Having studied Computer Science at university, I went on to work as a developer for many years before becoming a producer at King.
What I particularly enjoy about King and the gaming industry as a whole is that it’s all about trial and error – you have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. At King, we embrace this notion rather than trying to avoid it.
Please tell us a little bit about KING for our viewers who may not know who you are. What was the motivation behind setting up the company, what sort of games do you focus on making and why?
King Digital Entertainment is a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world and creator of well known franchises including Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and Bubble Witch Saga.
Our focus up until more recently was in making casual games. However, King’s long-term strategy has always been to provide a broad portfolio of games covering a variety of genres. While casual games such as Blossom Blast Saga still remain a core part of our offering, it was announced earlier on in the year that we are also expanding our portfolio to include games in the mid-core and resource management categories. Earlier this year, we launched our first resource-management game, Paradise Bay.
So what’s a typical day in the office like when working for KING?
It’s hard to describe what a ‘typical’ day here looks like because no day is the same as the one before! What struck me the most when I first joined King is the culture and the people here are diverse, open and welcoming. Everyone is friendly and fun while remaining very professional. We take a lot of pride in what we are doing and each of us offer something different and unique, which makes what we do here so great!
Each game studio is broken down into small teams of people made up of developers, designers, artists and producers who all contribute to planning and executing new ideas and features for our games, so communication is key.
Please tell us a little bit about Blossom Blast and the other games KING has created; were there any difficulties you faced during the development, and what’s different between KING games compared to similar games in the same genre?
Blossom Blast Saga is a new challenge that utilises a linking gameplay mechanic, allowing players to grow buds into blossoming flowers and create beautiful chain reactions. We’re very excited to add Blossom Blast Saga to our fast growing portfolio of mobile games and we think that our players will love all the colourful graphics and flowers the game has to offer.
One thing that we really focused on during its development was making the game straight forward to play whilst also maintaining an interesting gameplay mechanic that was both challenging and fun.
Before releasing Blossom Blast Saga worldwide, we tested it on a small number of players and found that the response was really positive. Players loved our beautiful graphics and particularly engaged with the characters in the game. We also believe that the linking gameplay mechanic in Blossom Blast Saga really sets it apart from other games in the same genre.
In one sentence, please sum up why the visitors to IGC should download and play Blossom Blast Saga.
Blossom Blast Saga is an awesome game! It’s very visual and the gameplay mechanics make it relaxing and fun to play. It’s perfect for those moments where you have a couple of minutes free and want to be entertained!
What are the biggest achievements and challenges you’ve had to face as a studio starting up and then creating games that keep to a standard that gamers now expect?
I am based in our Stockholm studio, which is also where Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga were created. Everyone here is so proud and humbled by the popularity and success of the games so far. The teams are continually working hard to develop and build new ideas for the Candy Crush franchise and now also for Blossom Blast Saga.
As with all our games, we have to think about how we make the game fresh and exciting for our players, which can sometimes be quite challenging. We want each game that we create to stand out from the others, so we aim to introduce different game modes and characters into new games as well as launching new feature extensions and live ops in existing ones.
So what’s next for KING? Are you looking to start work on the next title to add to your collection?
We have lots of games in the pipeline in a variety of genres so keep an eye out for our new releases! In terms of Blossom Blast Saga, whenever we launch a new game at King, that’s only the beginning for the team. We’re always looking for ways to develop and release new content for our games.
Now, as Invision Game Community is powered by students and as they’re our target audience, what advice would you give to budding young students wanting to get into the gaming/developer industry?
My advice for budding young students wanting to get into the gaming industry is to have a serious passion for games and an ability to understand them from the players’ perspective.
And one last random question; PIG or BIRD?