A sit down with Graham and Russ of Circix

After the release of Circix in March, we decided to have a chat with the developers, Russ and Graham. For those of you who don’t know, Circix is a puzzle game which is loosely inspired by the game Flow for iOS and Android. Circix, however, differs from Flow as instead of connecting pipes from A to B you will find yourself connecting circuit chips to a number of other chips, but this is better explained by the video above. So, with out further ado, along with the interview.

How did you guys come up with the concept of Circix?

Russ: Me and Graham are colleagues at our job and in last September, we decided to write a game together.  We were both quite keen on writing a puzzle game because puzzle games can be simpler; that coupled with the fact we felt that the most successful mobile games were puzzle-based or had a puzzle element in there.

Graham is actually a big Nintendo fan, specifically Professor Layton series, there is a mini game quite similar to Flow in a Professor Layton game. Graham was inspired from what he played in Layton and felt that it was something we could do. I was blown away by how easy it was to pick up and how hard it could get, kind of like Sudoku. It is initially easy to pick up but then you can get into more complex scenarios.

Circix is quite a unique name, is there a story behind that?

Russ: Well the title ‘circuits’ was quite popular on all of the stores, so we decided that we could take a gamble and make a name which sounded like ‘circuits’ but had a more unique feel to it, so that is where Circix was born.

How long did the game take to make and how did you divide the work up?

Russ: It was September where we actually started development so we were looking at six months or so in total. Graham wanted to write the Windows phone version and I tackled iOS and Android because I had a little more experience in that field. We finished most of it in February so we then had a private beta from January to February to iron out any bugs, and those changes were fairly easy to implement because a lot of the source code was shared, so that helped.  

Was there anything in the design process or with the game overall that you were particularly proud of?

Graham: We have been very proud of the simple and crisp graphics; it was one of the main points in the brief we had for ourselves at the start. In general though, the way that the gameplay turned out exceeded our expectations. We started by drawing mock-levels on pieces of paper, handing them to each other to try to solve. Once we had the game working, we had the ability to swipe between chips to make the links. Together with the chips changing colour as the level was gradually completed, it was more satisfying to play than we could have imagined.

Do you have anything else planned for the future?

Russ: At the moment we are still looking at Circix and are looking to add some new features. We want to add a new timed feature similar to Flow where you have to solve puzzles in, say, three minutes. We originally wanted to put that in but due to time constraints we couldn’t. As for beyond that, I am always looking at different projects; I’ve worked on different games before and I would definitely want to work on more in the future.

So, what are your backgrounds in gaming?

Graham: This is my first published game, I have tinkered with a couple of ideas over the years, but the first time I have taken the plunge.

Russ: This is my 3rd published game. The previous two are made by a partnership company KPM Software, where I am one of three partners.
The most recent game is called Floobz and it is a more involved puzzle/strategy game inspired by classics such as Lemmings. We keep meaning to go back to it and give it a polish – but it’s difficult to justify any further work when it never really got the recognition I think it deserved.
Bungee Ninja was the first game we released for iOS and Android and it a simple endless runner game. It was quick to make, instantly easy to play but is ultimately lacking in re-playability. That does not stop us being very proud of it though – it was our first game after all!
Is there anything else you guys wanted to add? 
Graham: We have come to realise how much hard work is required post-release. We knew that we couldn’t sit back and expect the downloads to just happen, but the amount of support the games have needed and the amount of marketing undertaken has been a real eye-opener. Holding full-time jobs and families whilst putting in the effort has been a trial at times.
Graham and Russ: We would like to thank all the people who have downloaded the game so far, and our friends and families for the wonderful support. We also encourage anyone who wishes to do so, to get in touch with us on Twitter or our website, to suggest new features or just for a general chit-chat!
You can pick up Circix on iOS, Android and Windows Phone for free and if you want more circuitry puzzle action, there are level packs which you can purchase via in-app purchases.