App Spotlight: Vex Blocks

App Spotlight: Vex Blocks

Posted in Mobile App Spotlight on July 15, 2014

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We had a chance to speak to Kyle Kulyk of Vex Blocks

1.  What was your main objective or motivation for creating the Vex Blocks mobile app?

We saw a lot of 2d puzzle games on the market that we felt weren't taking advantage of the increasing power of mobile devices.  We wanted to create a familiar feeling, 2d style puzzle game but utilize the touch screen and device rotation to a fuller extent than what we saw on the marketplace while adding 3d and depth to the visuals.  And for good measure we wanted to blow things up and play around with the physics a bit.

2.  If you could describe the Vex Blocks app in ONE word, what would it be and why?

Electrifying.  Right from the start, we wanted to contrast the electric neon glow of a Tron-inspired landscape with the chaotic dance of a bound chain of lighting to create what we feel is a very unique, visual pairing.

3.  What is the coolest or most innovative feature of Vex Blocks?

We were quite proud of the ability for our users to challenge their friends cross platform.  You could send out and complete a challenge request regardless of if you were using and iPad and they were using their Android device.  

4.  Could you share a challenging factor of the development or marketing process?

As indie developers, our marketing budget was, and still is, restricted to say the least.  With all the cost of development and marketing coming out of our own pockets, we found it a struggle to be noticed in increasingly crowded marketplaces and we were all but ignored by app reviewers.  The majority wanted some form of payment to even look at our game.  Thankfully we were able to team up with two company's who offered "Free App of the Day" promotions and through these promos we were able to get Vex Blocks into the hands of more gamers.

5.  Any unexpected surprises post-release of the Vex Blocks app?

We're always surprised by where our games catch on.  For Vex Blocks, a large chunk of our downloads came from Spanish speaking countries despite only being available in English.  

6.  Which platform holds a larger user base: Android or iOS?

It was fairly evenly split with Android taking a slight advantage.  About 60/40.

7.  What is your favorite mobile app to date and which have inspired you?

I've got to say, I'm a sucker for Angry Birds: Star Wars.  I've always been a fan of how they took their main, gameplay mechanics but were still able to mix them up enough to remain fresh while making good use of the Star Wars license.  It's also fun to find a game that I can share with my 4 year old son.

8.  What features do you hope to roll out to the Vex Blocks app in the future?

Out of the feedback we received after the launch, a number of people expressed their disappointment at what was seen as a steep learning curve for the game.  While some gamers found it rewarding to be thrown right into the mix to learn the ropes, we feel this may have scared off more casual gamers.  For the sequel, Vex Puzzles, we structured our tutorial to ease gamers more into the game mechanics and give plenty of opportunity for practice.  We'd like to retroactively apply our new Tutorial system to the original Vex Blocks to see if we can't widen the game's appeal.  On top of those changes, we've had some express interest in a stress-free, zen mode which we're looking into.