‘Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds’ Devs Talk Mobile Gaming, Virtual Reality & The Importance Of Mixing Art With Gameplay

Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds

Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds is a mobile adventure game that combines sound and exploratory gameplay to deliver a unique experience for iOS and Android gamers. Developed by POSSIBLE Games Kft, players progress through Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds as Poco Eco, an adventurer on a quest to restore sound to his tribe.

Influenced by storytelling puzzle games such as Monument Valley, the art direction in Poco Eco – Lost Sounds visual world was designed to complement the dreamy, trippy feel of the musical soundtrack. Partnering with Budapest artist iamyank to produce the soundtrack, it took POSSIBLE Games 11 months of development with a team of 7-13 at any one time to create Poco Eco – Lost Sounds.

It paid off for the twenty person dev team, and Poco Eco – Lost Sounds has won over thirty awards since the game’s 2015 release, including a Cannes Lion, a CLIO Award and a D&AD Award. Poco Eco – Lost Sounds was also a finalist in two categories for the 2015 gaming industry-oriented Unity Awards — Best 3D Visuals and Community Choice.

The development team had a chance to sit down recently with iDigitalTimes and to talk in-depth about developing for mobile games and went into shaping Poco Eco – Lost Sounds.

What makes Adventures of Poco Eco – Lost Sounds different from other mobile games?

From a gamer’s point of view, the main difference with your average mobile game is the very apparent focus on music. It boasts iamyank’s (our partner, an immensely popular underground musician) tracks from his new LP on every level, and as the player progresses the tracks gradually build up from stand-alone loops with each completed challenge. Also, the dreamy, vivid visuals complement the music really well, and all these things together make Poco Eco an interactive music video just as much as a point’n’click adventure game. The game and the LP actually evolved in parallel, and they influenced each other extremely heavily.

Who is POSSIBLE Games?

We are passionate gamers who just happen to develop games as well. But really! We are more and more delving into Augmented and Virtual Reality as well, but our true love still remains gaming.

How important is sound in delivering a rich gaming experience?

In our opinion, sound and music is very underrated in gaming, and this is particularly true on the mobile platform. We are genuinely surprised that this is the case, but at the same time very well know the fact that we took a creative risk by going against the tides and making the music really prevalent in our game. However, many of our reviews and awards confirm that this approach actually works, and this means that it’s worth it to go this way and also verifies our assumption that music is actually underrated among the developers.

Will mobile gaming as a platform ever measure up to the leaves of immersion possible with PC/Console games?

We may be biased here, so we are trying our best to stay objective! For the Y and older generation, the most immersive, real gaming experience will mostly mean PC or console gaming in our opinion; however, younger people currently in their childhood are already treating mobile games with the same level of enthusiasm as they treat games on the more traditional platforms, therefore we think this means that without emotional bias (nostalgia factor, familiarity with a given platform etc.) mobile can deliver the same level of excitement and immersion already, just not for everyone.

On the other hand, the upcoming mobile Virtual Reality platforms (Cardboard, GearVR and many more) provide a new level of immersion; essentially, this is their primary purpose.

How lucrative/satisfying is developing for mobile vs. PC? Do you think the same level of acclaim would be possible on Steam? Why develop for mobile?

Mobile projects have their own difficulties, their own shortcomings but they have a beauty about them as well. The hardest thing to do is to provide the players with an experience that is good (or niche, or different) enough to compete with the multi-million dollar gargantuan mobile super-titles. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a lot of “thrash” titles and the market is hugely over-saturated, so it’s tough to get noticed.

The same statements are true for Steam as well to a smaller extent. Eventually how saturated a market is directly correlated with how easy it is to enter; and the entry level for mobile is at its all-time low. Despite all these facts we love mobile just for these unique challenges and the relatively shorter projects are great for fighting boredom.

How much promise does mobile Virtual Reality platforms hold for mobile gaming?

Frankly, mobile VR gaming still has a long way to go. Since you have to render the game twice (once for each eye), the performance suffers; this implies that the bottleneck for mobile VR right now is mobile hardware performance (but this tends to increase incredibly fast).

What's possible when creating/developing VR-based mobile games that just isn't possible without that immersion factor?

The biggest difference is the relevancy of looking around; imagine flying a spaceship where you actually get to see the cockpit around you. The feeling of huge spaces can also be really striking.

Has POSSIBLE Games tried developing a VR-based mobile game? Are there any pitfalls for developers?

Yes, we are porting some of our games to different VR platforms and we are also developing new ones designed from scratch for a new AR/VR platform. The biggest difficulty is changing our mindset regarding the gameplay and finding a good genre for the fitting platform that has a big enough potential audience to make ends meet with the games financially.

 

While Poco Eco – Lost Sounds won’t be getting a sequel any time soon, there is a follow-up game currently in the works. It is still in the concept phase, and POSSIBLE Games wouldn’t say much about it, but expect it to marry a different form of art than music with gameplay, and be “completely different from Poco Eco [– Lost Sounds].

Available on the iOS App Store and Android Google Play store, Poco Eco – Lost Sounds now costs $0.99 after a recent price drop.

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