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Interview: Lupodium, discusses its must-play, hypnotic, isometric puzzler, Vectronom

Interview: Lupodium, discusses its must-play, hypnotic, isometric puzzler, Vectronom
| Vectronom

Rhythm-based puzzler Vectronom initially released for iOS and Android last year, following a string of critical acclaim and awards during its development, including winning the “Best In Play” award at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and “Best Game” at the Indie Arena Booth at Gamescom 2018.

The core gameplay of Vectronom involves navigating a little bouncy cube in time with the beat across increasingly difficult levels. The layout of each level will adapt according to the beat so having great timing, as well as a decent pair of headphones, is crucial to have success.

Vectronom's combination of hypnotic gameplay and captivating beats make it undoubtedly one of the most stylish isometric puzzlers we’ve had the pleasure of playing in recent years, so we caught up with the games developer, Lupodium, to discuss its journey so far.

What do you think Vectronom offers that you can’t get from any other title on the app stores?

Vectronom delivers a unique perspective on the rhythm game genre. The gameplay is so closely tied to the music that players essentially dance through the spatial representation of a given song. The game is tough but forgiving in a way that lets players always stay in the flow while trying to beat the challenging rhythm puzzles. Also the local multiplayer for up to 4 players (via separate controllers) is a lot of fun!

What challenges did you face during development, and how did you overcome them?

Vectronom was not our first game project, but the first we developed commercially. We hardly knew how to do certain tasks needed to ship a game or especially how long those would actually take. So naturally we had to cut a lot of things we initially planned during development. At some point Vectronom was supposed to include a story with NPC cubes and dialogue but we ultimately decided against any of that because we had our hands full already and the game also did not really need those features to work.

How has the fan and critical reception helped shape the game?

We attended a ton of showcases and thus the fans have been in the center of the development, mostly shaping difficulty curves and assuring us that artistic decisions were on point. Some levels were changed or scratched because of not being suited for the flow we wanted to achieve. This workflow came full circle when we released the level editor for the Steam version this year. Now our players are literally shaping the game themselves with their 400+ levels that range from short and sweet, to borderline insane.

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What tips or advice would you give to new players trying Vectronom for the first time?

There are a couple of different ways players approach the rhythmic challenges of Vectronom. Some feel the flow, listen and analyze music and level design before doing their first move. Others don’t think too much and do a better job when just going with their feelings. There are unlimited tries and respawning happens fairly quickly so trial and error is definitely an option as well. I’d recommend any of those strategies.

What do you think new players will enjoy most about the game?

When observing players that never played Vectronom before we always see the exact moment the game clicks. Interestingly, the fact that the game is rhythm based and they have to actually listen to the music, is not immediately obvious to most. We made sure that one can pass the beginning of the game without necessarily following the music. This more often than not causes a visible eureka effect in players. But in the end everyone loves the banger soundtrack!

Lastly, can you let us know if there are any updates/events planned that the fans should look forward to?

We are currently working on another update for the level editor of the Steam version that we’ll launch any day now. Besides that we plan to finally bring the level editor to Switch next year. As for the mobile versions, we are discussing possibilities of having user levels be playable on mobile devices, but there is nothing official to announce at this point.

The first 9 levels of Vectronom are free to play on iOS, and the full game can be enjoyed with a one-time purchase from the App Store and Google Play.