Interview: Pastille Games’ Jinn Karlsson Talks ‘Bunny Tower’

Pastille Games, the Swedish indie studio behind Bill Ball Boll and RoundPingis, are set to return to the App Store with a new game this week. It’s called Bunny Tower and it looks like a whole heap of adorable fun. To find out more about the game and its creators, I recently caught up with Pastille’s Jinn Karlsson for a chat. It’s an interesting and downright hilarious interview! Check it out below.

Thanks for joining me for this interview, Jinn. It’s so nice to have you! Now let’s get straight to the questions: When was Pastille Games founded, where are you based, and how many people work at the studio?

Thank you so much, it’s my pleasure!

Pastille was founded in 2015 by Johan and Simon, but the idea came long before that. They used to ride the same train to work every day back in 2013. They got to talking with each other about games and how they always wanted to have their own game studio. That led them to start making games together on their free time.

Over time the projects became more and more complex which led them to create Pastille in Lund, Sweden and hire outside help. I joined the company just last year and we are now 7 people in total.

What is Pastille Games’ mission statement as a company?

Our goal is to contribute to a better world by creating fun, colorful games without violence and to donate part of the profit to charity. We believe in social and gender equality and human rights, and want to leave the world in a better shape than when we found it!

While researching this interview, I came across a bunch of pictures of your team members posing with what looks to be a gigantic pink unicorn statue! What’s the story there?

Johan and Simon wanted a studio space rather then an office. Part of it was to put in cool and interesting stuff that has the same feeling. While casually browsing lawn figures (like you do), Johan found a place that sold a huge unicorn! Johan then began asking them question after question about the mane and what everything was made out of — he wanted pictures and had lots of demands. Finally the store manager freaked out and asked him point blank, “What do you want?!” Johan answered that he wanted a cool pink unicorn. The manager told him that they could put in a special order from the factory.

Then one spring afternoon the unicorn arrived by truck wrapped in paper. And yes, it is sturdy enough for a 90+ kilo man to sit on!

You guys are prepping an amazing looking new game called Bunny Tower for release on iOS this week. Please tell me (and my readers) all about it.

Bunny Tower was the brainchild of developer Mattias and designer Fredrik. They got a month to make whatever they wanted as long as it fit into the Pastille brand. Mattias is sort of a cat-lady. He and his girlfriend are very involved with a cat shelter. So they made prototypes with different cat herding games. But every prototype they tried was either to hard or not realistic enough. So sometime during a Tuesday afternoon Fredrik exhaustedly gasped, “It’s too hard herding cats! We should have done something easier like aligning birds or stacking rabbits!” Hearing this Mattias jumped out of his chair and shouted, “LETS STACK BUNNIES, I ALSO LOOOOOVE BUNNIES.” And a few hours later the prototype that later became Bunny Tower was created, tested and deemed feasible.

It is now a super cute and fun game where you stack bunnies all the way up into space to reach the final goal — the realm of the Infinite and Supreme being of Carrots!

How long was the game in development for, and do you have any best or worst memories from your time spent working on it? 

About two to three months in working hours. It was a bit longer in calendar time since we are working on several projects at the same time. The worst memory is definitively working against the physics-engine limitations and improving frame-rate. No wait, the worst memory is when we tried to have the carrot that falls from the sky in Bunny Tower actually topple the tower. One of our beta-testers, a ten year old boy, then started crying because he was not prepared to get all his hard work destroyed. We removed that “feature” ten seconds later…

What’s next for Pastille Games? Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or planning stages that you can tell me about?

Yes we do! We have two games on the way out!

One is called Unicorn and your goal is to transform a normal regular horse into a magical unicorn by throwing a corncob at its head so it looks like a horn! Other animals, such as hencorn, goatcorn and llamacorn can also become beautiful unicorns if you manage to get a perfectly placed cob on their foreheads.

The other one is Curling Kids; it’s one of my favorite games we’ve made. It’s like curling but you aim and throw kids around trying to hit targets, solve puzzles, and overcome obstacles! We are also releasing a zombie-themed level pack. Makes for some really challenging and fun maps!

Do you have any advice for fellow indies who may be trying to break into or succeed in the mobile games industry?

We are still trying to do that ourselves! But the best advice I think we could give is to define success for yourself. Is it earning a lot of money? Is it making a fair game that does not pray on IAP and so called “whale players”? Is it seeing the smile on a person’s face when they find something new in your game? Define it for yourself and do not let anyone else make that decision for you, otherwise you will hunt someone else’s dream instead of your own!

That’s a wrap! Thanks for providing such interesting (and hilarious) answers to all my questions, Jinn. I can’t wait to try Bunny Tower! 🙂

Bunny Tower is set to hit the App Store this Thursday, March 8th. To find out more about the game and the studio behind it, visit Pastille Games’ official site or give them a follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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