Interview: Creatiulab’s Lukas Bahrle Talks ‘Rhom Bus’

Barcelona-based indie studio Creatiulab’s third game, Rhom Bus, is due to arrive on the App Store soon. With that right around the corner, I figured now would be the perfect time to have a quick chinwag with Lukas Bahrle, one of the studio’s co-founders, about his company, its past successes (Stubies and The Mesh), and — of course — what fans can expect from the soon to be released Rhom BusYou can check out the interview below.

Lukas, it’s a pleasure to have you here for this interview. Let me start off by asking you to tell me a little bit about yourself and the background of Creatiulab, the indie studio where you work. 

Hi, thanks for having me. Creatiulab is a small indie studio of two people. When we started 4 years ago we just wanted to try out how it would be to have an app on the App Store. We didn’t think that it would be this tough and this fun at the same time. 🙂

What is Creatiulab’s main goal as a company?

In Creatiulab our main goal is always to create creative, high quality products. It’s not always easy to come up with something unique, but we try always to create something from scratch and put a lot of love in every single detail.

Creatiulab’s upcoming game, Rhom Bus, looks amazingly polished and fun. Where did the inspiration for it come from and how long has it been in the making?

You won’t believe it, but everything started with an image I saw on Pinterest with a red background. I thought: “I want to do a stylish fun game with a red background.” 🙂

We’ve been working on Rhom Bus for about 16 months. It hasn’t been an easy journey but we are really happy with the result.

Can you briefly describe Rhom Bus and explain how its gameplay works?

In Rhom Bus your main goal is very simple: match equal letters to make stated words. In order to join these letters you can rotate the tiles or rotate the board. As soon as you start playing everything makes much more sense. You can get a first impression watching the trailer.

When will Rhom Bus be available on iOS and how much will it cost?

Rhom Bus will be available on February 23rd as a premium game, $1.99, with no in app purchases and no ads.

To date, all of Creatiulab’s games have been premium/paid. What’s your opinion on the rise of free-to-play gaming, and would you guys ever consider making a F2P title?

As a small studio we think that the premium model is our best option. We have a very limited budget and for free-to-play games you need to invest in user acquisition to compete with the biggest F2P titles. But this might change in the future, maybe we’ll try something different in future games.

The Mesh and Stubies were both featured by Apple as ‘Editor’s Choice’ upon their releases. That must be a wonderful feeling and a great reward for all the hard work you’ve put in during development. Why do you think the App Store editors always seem to respond so positively to your titles?

No doubt that visibility is one of the main issues of the App Store. Dozen of new games get released every week and many of them are awesome. If you have a limited budget as we have, being featured is key so that users can discover your app.

We try always to create unique and very polished products in order to increase our chances to get featured, but you can’t count on it. I’ve seen many very good games that got forgotten and didn’t get the fame they deserved. The app business is very tough and a part of a great game you will need also some luck to succeed.

Given the success you’ve had on the App Store so far, what advice are you able to offer to fellow indie game devs who might be struggling or looking for their first big break?

I always say: have fun doing your job. Try to create something you really love. It doesn’t make sense to create something you are not really convinced of.

You will need to work very hard and polish every single detail, but if you have fun while you are doing it, the journey will be much easier.

What does the future hold for Creatiulab? Do you have any more upcoming projects that you can mention at the moment?

I can’t tell you much, but we have a very interesting and cool project in mind. Hopefully soon I can tell you more about it. 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Lukas. All the best of luck with the launch of Rhom Bus, and I hope we have the chance to chat again soon!

As mentioned above, Rhom Bus will be available on the App Store on February 23rd (next Thursday) priced at $1.99. In the meantime, if you want to get a taste for the kind of fun gaming experiences Creatiulab are all about, I highly recommend you go back and check out Stubies and The Mesh. For more information on all three titles, visit Creatiulab’s official website, or give them a follow on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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