Sponsored Feature: Barunson Creative On AquaVillage
Ever wondered what it'd be like to raise your own collection of digital fish?
Probably not, but there's a first time for everything.
AquaVillage, Barunson's latest iOS title, is a leisurely strategic experience with a social twist, allowing players to build up their own underwater kingdom while gradually unlocking an expansive array of fish. We spoke to JongSin Choi, CEO at Barunson Creative, about the social elements of the game.
With over two hundred quests to venture through in the game as one of four main characters, AquaVillage is a large scale adventure - but also a global social gaming experience, supporting seven different languages.
"We combined multiple genres so that players can feel they're enjoying more than one game at the same time" Choi says, telling us his team has dedicated its time to ensuring every aspect of the title is just so.
As far as adding to the game though, why is AquaVillage's underwater setting one of its strong points? Choi tells us that getting the graphics right was a crucial part of the game.
"At the top of the screen you can see a ray of light which was hard to express underwater," he says, "as a mobile social network game, we spent time working on this particular effect to allow players to feel like they're actually in the water with their fish".
With detailed thought given the game's aesthetics, it's only fair to expect that the process of developing AquaVillage was challenging, particularly as the company wanted to include social networking elements which they hadn't actually done before.
"Everything was new and difficult," admits Choi, "AquaVillage is our first social network game, so no one has experience in developing this genre. Getting the fish right was the most difficult part. We went through a hard time thinking of how we could characterise all the various fish. We wanted to give each of them a unique look."
Arguably the most appealing aspect of AquaVillage is its ability to let you connect with friends during your game though, and like with most social networking games this helps players to get the most out of gameplay.
As well as being able to purchase in-game money to progress, having your friends get involved lets you get ahead in a few different ways. You can earn different kinds of jewels, which help you to buy a certain fish or construct a building.
If you're out of energy, you can visit your friend's town to help them out and get extra energy for doing so. You can obtain rare fish that you can't get from single play, by exploring with your friend's fish.
You don't have to play with friends at all, however, as you can simply tap a button to bring up a social board where you can find different random people to play everyday. You can also check your ranking and add more of your friends there.
Choi says development of AquaVillage created a series of challenges, but is happy with how the game has turned out. "We can proudly say that our game AquaVillage is for everyone in every generation," claims Choi, "it's not violent or difficult to use, so anyone can play the game with ease."
As for any updates of the game in the near future, Choi explains that "various content updates will be focused on the Olympics and are scheduled for this July. To celebrate, there will be new buildings, decorations and breeds of fish. It'll be very exciting for both us and AquaVillage players."
AquaVillage will be swimming its way onto other platforms too, with an Android version in the QA stage and a Windows Phone port also a distinct possibility.
AquaVillage is available on the App Store now, and is free to download [iTunes link].