Acquired as part of King's purchase of US developer Z2Live, Paradise Bay is the social gaming behemoth's latest release.
The Farmville-esque resource management romp tasks you with rebuilding a tropical island -requiring you to trade, grow crops, mine for ore, fish, cook and all manner of other tasks.
We caught up with Clint Tasker, the lead designer on Paradise Bay working out of King’s Seattle studio, to find out more about the making of process.
PocketGamer.biz: Why did you decide to make a strategy game?
Clint Tasker: We announced that in addition to casual games, we were also looking to expand our portfolio to include strategy games and a variety of genres.
We’re very excited about the launch of Paradise Bay because it allows players to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery as they build their very own tropical island.
When it was decided to add a new game to King’s portfolio, what was your starting inspiration in terms of matching the other games’ successes?
Casual games such as the Candy Crush franchise and Farm Heroes Saga still remain a core part of our offering but we also want to be able to offer a broad portfolio of games.
As with all our games, Paradise Bay is engaging and fun to play. It’s designed for casual gameplay so that people can jump onto their devices when they have a few moments spare and want to be entertained.
Why a tropical paradise? Did you look at Minion’s Paradise for any inspiration?
No we didn’t. We based the game on a tropical island because one of the things that almost everyone loves is a holiday and we wanted to give players the same type of experience.
Paradise Bay is somewhere that players can escape to for a short while with beautiful graphics and well thought out features including sand, palm trees and greenery.
King games are known for their addictive gameplay – how did you go about ensuring players stay hooked in Paradise Bay?
We always try to make games that people love to play and that are fun – the same applies to Paradise Bay.
The game is an immersive experience that has been designed for people to play when they have a few moments to spare. There is a real depth and range in the game, offering people a unique player experience.
This is one of the first King games that allows in-depth customization. How important is this?
Allowing the player to customize and make the island their own is extremely important.
We want the player to be able to express themselves through their island, and intend to make this a more important feature in the near future.
We want the player to be able to express themselves through their island.Clint Tasker
What were the main development tools you used?
The majority of our tools are proprietary. We’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years developing our own engine that can render games beautifully and also maintain great performance. Paradise Bay is an excellent example of what it can do.
We have done a lot to develop our characters in Paradise Bay. The player can build a relationship with each one for rewards as well as get an insight into their background.
Near the end of development, we took a lot of time and care to make sure our characters were a very special part of the game. We think players will really grow to love them.
How did you go about crafting the game’s visual aesthetics and sound?
Our artists are very talented and have made a beautiful world in Paradise Bay. The audio and visuals in any game serve two purposes.
One is to make the game attractive and inviting, and the other is to help the player understand what is going on.
It was a challenge, but we believe we have struck the right balance - Paradise Bay is a beautiful, lush island, as well as an easy to understand and get to grips with game.
What were the main challenges you encountered during development, and how did you overcome them?
Finding the right motivation for the player was tricky. In these types of resource management games, often the main motivation is to level up and play the game with new resources available.
However, we wanted to expand on this and develop something new for the player to aspire to.
We introduced a feature called the World Map, which is full of surprises. At level 17 the player can unlock this map and from then on, they can discover new islands. This really keeps players motivated to see what the next island is all about.