Cut The Rope from ZeptoLab lays down a few simple rules: OmNom wants candy, dangling nearby from a rope. Just cut the tether and send it flying into his mouth. But once you throw in bubbles, barriers, and bellows, things get complicated. We spoke to ZeptoLab CTO Efim Voinov about what made Cut The Rope a top-selling success.
Cut The Rope is the first game in months to take the #1 US App Store spot from Angry Birds and hold it. Was there a lot of celebration when you heard the news?
Efim: From the very early stage of Cut the Rope’s development, we knew we’ve got something worthy, but we haven’t really expected the success of such scale! We were celebrating when the game got to the top 100, we were celebrating when it hit the top 10. When it got to #1, we were already working on the game’s updates.
How did your team come up with the idea for Cut the Rope?
Efim: Zeptolab’s first game Parachute Ninja was initially named Yo-Yo Ninja, and had the main character swinging on the rope.
The control scheme was quite sophisticated, and somewhere in the middle of the game’s development the rope was replaced with the parachute. Parachute Ninja still has many clues of its origins, the main character’s shape being one of them.
It was quite a pity to drop the rope engine the team have worked on for quite a long time, so we started to think about the ways it can be utilized in future projects. After trying several gameplay prototypes, we’ve picked the one that had most the fun, and, to be honest, the gameplay hasn’t really changed much since then.
How do you meet your goals of creating a simple, addictive iPhone game?
First of all, we learn from the best games available on the App Store, trying to analyze the reasons of their success. Also, during the game’s development we ask many of our friends (especially the non-gamer types) to try our game and provide the feedback to us– and it has proved to be an extremely useful practice.
What will the updates for Cut the Rope look like?
We will be adding the new levels on a regular basis, as well as other cool stuff like new OmNom’s animations and sounds.
We are also aware of some bugs that game currently has, and fixing those is the highest priority for us now. Many players have been also asking for the Retina screen support and we will definitely do our best to have it implemented really soon.
Can we expect to see more of OmNom, or maybe some of his friends?
Quite likely, as it seems that this little guy is one of the big reasons of the game’s success! We are not quite sure if those will be sequels or if they will be just the branched-out games that share the theme and the characters, but we will definitely try to expand the world where OmNom lives (which is so far, ironically, just the box).
Did any obstacles not make the cut in Cut the Rope?
We had quite a big pool of ideas for the game’s obstacles and functional elements, and so far just a small portion of those have been implemented in the game. Some just didn’t work well enough, and many more are waiting to be released with the updates.
What is your team working on next?
We will probably spend at least a few coming months working on the updates for Cut the Rope. We have received a tremendous amount of feedback from the players, so now we have everything we need to make the game near-to-perfect. However, we have already got some cool ideas for the future projects and we can’t wait to put our hands on those as well!
With “Cut the Rope” we have raised the level of expectations from our company and we’ll be sure to keep pushing it further up.