Just a week into its release, and the iOS title Bucketz, developed by Istanbul-based Picnic Hippo Studios, was appearing in multiple top charts. CEO Dr. E. Bora Uygun tells us that they worked over a year to make the game, and it shows: Thousands of hand-drawn scenes, 1,600 lines of dialogue, Hollywood voice acting, and a score by Rahman Altın.
Bucketz was an instant hit, and all over the news. Our very own Fulya Çimen interviewed Bora Uygun.
How successful do you think mobile game development is in Turkey?
Turkish mobile gaming is in its infancy. A few studios are trying their hand at it, and we follow them eagerly. Still, I am unaware of any serious attempts to make it to the global league. I hope our success with Bucketz will serve as an inspiration to all.
The game is rumored to be the most ambitious project of Turkish involvement. You’re currently somewhat of a national pride in mobile gaming…
First of all, the investors–me and my partner Fırat Kalsın–are Turks. Then, the creator and the managing partner–Bora Kutlu–is Turkish… And a considerable number of the team is made up of Turks. However, foreign involvement is greater.
What was it like, developing Bucketz?
It was truly challenging. We establishe Picnic Hippo Studios in January 2011. We spent 5 months settling on which genre we should invest in. After agreeing that “balance” was the game mechanics of choice, we completed the game in about a year. It was difficult, particularly because it was our first game. With that in mind, and considering it has been only 7 days since the launch, I cannot predict anything definite; but I can tell you that 100% of those who downloaded the game played it.
How many downloads did you score?
It is hard to tell, the reports really lag behind. It exceeded our expectations. That it has been downloaded in over 100 countries should give you an idea. Apple featured us on the front page of the App Store within the very hour of our release, and that accelerated the process in a very unexpected way.
Why only iOS? Any plans for Android?
The team wanted to focus on iOS initially. We agreed. Android development is already underway. Trust me, we’ll have an even stronger launch on Android. We can already foresee it from the current demand.
Are there any other games of equal caliber in development?
The success of Bucketz was a great incentive to concentrate on Bucketz. We’ll be first be working on new versions of Bucketz. We are planning on starting a new game early 2013.