There are many reasons to play video games, but the most underrated is to relax. Islanders definitely wants you a kickback. Developed by novice studio Grizzly Games, it’s a beautiful, calm little city builder that completely removes all the usual pressures of this genre, including resources, time limits and enemies. You take the time to put down the building and keep playing until you or the game stops.
It’s a fascinating model of the game and I couldn’t wait to grab Grizzly Games and talk about it.There aren’t many games like ISLANDERS and Console Edition I wanted to understand how this little city builder was built on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S.
Can you introduce yourself and your role in ISLANDERS and Console Edition?
Hey, we’re a small indie team of Paul, Friedemann and Jonas. Friedemann made most of the art, Paul was in charge of the UI, and Jonas focused on game design. But it was a very shared collaborative process that came up with the idea and programming work.
How would you describe ISLANDERS to those who haven’t had a chance to play yet?
ISLANDERS: Console Edition is a relaxing minimalist strategy game about building cities on colorful islands.
The goal is to get as many points as possible by optimizing the placement of the building. Some people play the game Tetris “For city builders,” this is probably a fairly fair explanation. All islands in the game are procedurally generated, from lush meadows to arid deserts and snow-covered mountain landscapes.
ISLANDERS works pretty well on PC and Mac. Was it difficult to make the leap to the console? What was the biggest obstacle?
The biggest challenge was switching from mouse to controller input, but after careful tweaking, I think the console version works the same as the PC version. The Coatsink people handled most of the porting work and they did a great job. Everyone who tested the Xbox version so far seemed to really like it, so we couldn’t be happier anymore.
On paper, many ISLANDERS feel that they shouldn’t work, but they do. This is a city builder with only two upgrade options at a time. It’s a game you keep playing, but it doesn’t really serve any purpose beyond your score. How did you know to break the wisdom accepted in this kind of game?
It took only four months to develop the game. Since it started as a college project at the Game School (HTW Berlin ba Game Design), we had to stick to the deadline and provide something playable by the end of the semester. I think this really helped focus on one or two simple game mechanics and bring them as close to perfection as possible.
I wasn’t sure if the gameplay would work when I started, but I could afford to take the risk.
Where did the inspiration for ISLANDERS come from? There may be Tetris there, and do you feel that it is also influenced by board games?
All three of us enjoyed classic city builders like The Settlers and Anno series as kids, but actually adapting such complex games to our daily lives. I couldn’t. So I thought it would be cool to create a game that could build a great city without all the complexity and time constraints associated with larger titles in this genre.
Islanders are very cold. Did you aim for that feeling from the beginning?
Yes. We definitely aimed for that. Our goal was to remove unnecessary layers of stress and complexity from urban builders and open up this genre to new audiences.
Do you think you need more games with the laid-back attitude of ISLANDERS?
Yeah, we want to see it. There are already many games to relax. For example, there are even city builders like Dorfromantik by Toukana’s friends, but you can definitely use more games. The game is a great place to settle down after a stressful day.
But while it’s cold, ISLANDERS can be punished. There aren’t many games that make you fail after two wrong moves. That is another bold decision. How could it be harmonized with relaxed gameplay?
I don’t think the challenge leads to stress. The main source of game stress is normal time pressure, not ISLANDERS. In fact, having fun problems thinking without time pressure is often the reason why this kind of game is so relaxing. It allows you to forget about your real-world struggle and focus on something else.
At the beginning of each new island, there are some situations where two misplaced buildings can absolutely mean the end of your run, but other than that, it’s always a longer decision that leads to its consequences. It is a sequence.
How does ISLANDERS come back for more, without replaying for normal reasons, such as collectibles or story-driven campaigns?
ISLANDERS offers some fun optimization challenges in a cold atmosphere. Most players who visit the game on a regular basis do it to relax after a stressful day.
That said, ISLANDERS is not intended to be played forever. We know that reproducibility is limited, and that’s okay. Even after playing for an hour or two, in our opinion you are still getting a very good value for your money.
Architecture has a timeless quality, as it can be done anytime, anywhere. Was it intentional, or did you create the style based on something specific?
Great observation. I didn’t want to refer to a particular time or culture. Thank you for letting us know that it worked. ;).
Do players get ridiculous scores and watch videos of the tactics they use? Did the player do something you didn’t expect?
Yes, we are watching these videos. The skills of some players were far beyond our imagination, especially when the game was released. At some point I was convinced that the game was over, but some players continued to go back and forth until the game was completely broken and glitches began to occur.
Since we’ve published several balancing patches, those issues are now categorized for the console version, but some players are still ridiculously good. We especially enjoy seeing what people are making in creative mode.
How is it developed for Xbox? Has the release via Game Pass ever been considered?
Development for the Xbox was very cold. We’ve added new gameplay content and basic controller support and passed it to Coatsink to handle the rest. Yes, we have considered most options.
I feel that ISLANDERS is infinitely expandable. We build new things, new eras, and maybe even adopt different IPs (I love the Star Wars / Tatooine version!). Is that what you are thinking?
I agree that there are still many untapped possibilities. It’s not unheard of for IP to be free of new content and additions, but there are no plans at this time.
We know it looks weird from the outside. Would you like to continue working on a successful game? But there is another way to see it. If you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on what you want for years, why do you keep working on it? For us personally, the opportunity to explore what else we can do is a greater opportunity here and will probably return to ISLANDERS at some point in the future.
What’s next for Grizzly Games?
There are no new Grizzly Games projects to announce at this time, but the process of deploying ISLANDERS on the Xbox was really fun, so the next game could appear on the Xbox Series X | S (or whatever the current console generation is). .. By that time).
Finally, which game do you play on a desert island? Of course, suppose you have the ability to play there.
Playing ISLANDERS on a desert island sounds interesting, but I found a loophole in the question and would instead use an online-only multiplayer game.
If you’re crazy about the ideas of ISLANDERS and Console Edition, and really crazy about the possibilities of settling-style games with no pressure, don’t worry. It will be released today on August 26th and you can play it now.Just £ 4.19 from Xbox Store, And you can expect a review right away. As someone who played this on a PC until the fingerprints disappeared, I’m sure this will be something special.
Please drop in the comments and let us know what you think about ISLANDERS: Console Edition.