Interview: Wet Fish’s Ivan Murzak Talks ‘Evil Cogs’

Following a successful release on Android back in 2015, Wet Fish’s Evil Cogs has finally found its way onto iOS. Intrigued by the game’s atmospheric visual style and promise of exploration-based adventuring in a dark fairy tale world, I recently got in touch with developer Ivan Murzak for an in-depth chat. (Please note: this interview was conducted a couple of weeks ago, which is why Evil Cogs is referred to as an upcoming game throughout.)

Thanks so much for joining me for this interview, Ivan. Can I start by asking you to introduce yourself and your company, Wet Fish? 

Hello Ruan, thanks for your time. So, let’s start. I love games, as almost everyone does. But I love them a little bit more; I love to create games. And to create the same feeling of loving games in other people. That’s why I proposed to my friend Sergey that we make games together. We’ve now been developing and testing Evil Cogs on Android for years.

The story of Wet Fish? Well, for now, it’s just a story about Evil Cogs. Because we’ve only developed this one game. We have plans for Evil Cogs 2 and other games in the future, though. Our team is just Sergey and I.

What’s your mission statement as an indie game developer? 

We just want to produce high quality games for people. It’s amazing when somebody plays your game and much more amazing when they say something positive about their experience with it! This feeling forces us to move forward.

Congratulations on the upcoming release of Evil Cogs. It looks amazing! Can you tell me a little more about the game? The story, gameplay, etc?

Thank you! It was difficult, a lot of work was done!

The plot of the game is that the initial balance of light and darkness was broken. The worlds that have recently bloomed are living out the last days, devoured by darkness. In one of such worlds the main character was born. The last light in the universe. His destiny to defeat and dispel the darkness, which covered the universe.

In the game you will play the role of a small creature, consisting entirely of light. You are the last light beam of hope in dying world covered with darkness. Player’s task is to get to the end of the level alive. One of the main features of the game is a huge emphasis on physics. Everything from exploring of location to solution of puzzles is based on physics of the surrounding world.

The main character consists of the dense mass of light. He’s able to move faster and to slow down the time. It helps him to survive in the most difficult situations. It can absorb the light found on previous levels and it improves his skills. The main character is powerless against the world. It forced to act neatly and carefully to stay alive.

How long have you been developing the game? And what are your best and worst memories from your time spent working on it? 

We have been developing Evil Cogs since 2013, but we have had many long pauses in development. Our recalculation says that we spent 2 years in active development. The best moment was when a lot of people gave us super positive feedback about the game. It’s an amazing feeling when you develop something for a long time and then people play it, love it, and share their emotions!

Evil Cogs’s moody black-and-white art style reminds me a lot of LIMBO and BADLAND. Were those games an influence at all?

It would be foolish to deny that a large number of elements were borrowed, but Evil Cogs is not aiming to be a clone — the target is to expand the borders of gaming mechanics in its dark universe. Evil Cogs doesn’t put an emphasis on action. Instead of this, it’s an atmospheric and meditating exploration of a deadly dangerous world combined with plunging into the thick ambience.

Evil Cogs is already available on the Google Play Store. Any particular reason you decided to launch on Android before iOS? And how well received has the game been so far? 

Good question! First of all, I’m an Android software developer in background, so I know all the processes of publishing and developing Android apps/games. Secondly, it’s easier to analyze and update Evil Cogs on the Play Market. Our first version of Evil Cogs was not good enough, so we had many updates with little and super huge changes. The first version of the game doesn’t look very similar to the current.

And the last point, we are an indie team with limited resources. It is more difficult to publish on the App Store.

At the game’s launch on the Play Market (it was April 4th, 2015) we participated in a Games Jam. It was a contest for game developers. A lot of people came to play Evil Cogs. We had 500 – 1500 new users per day as I remember. Audiences were super positive to our game. It inspired us.

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

Dear indies, please test your games on your audience as early as you can, don’t develop your game to 100% completion without testing. Don’t hesitate to share your game ideas before you have a completed game. And don’t be scared of critics, bad feedback or someone stealing your idea. Good luck with your games! 🙂

What’s next for Wet Fish beyond the iOS release of Evil Cogs? Do you guys have any upcoming projects in the works that you can tell me about?

Sure! We have plans for Evil Cogs 2 first of all. But later we want to create many other high quality games for mobile and maybe for PC too, we’ll see.

Thanks for such an interesting chat, Ivan! Best of luck with Evil Cogs on iOS. 

As mentioned above, Evil Cogs is now available on the App Store priced at $1.99. For more information about the game, visit its official site or Facebook page.

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