If you’re an iOS gamer, chances are you’ve played Cut the Rope (or seen and heard a lot about it at the very least). I know I have personally enjoyed playing Cut the Rope because it’s the type of game that you can play when you just need to kill a few minutes waiting for something (or you can play it for an hour–it’s fun either way). It’s easy enough for a small kid to enjoy while an adult can derive hours of enjoyment from it as well. Not many games can say that. Plus, Om Nom (need I say more?). As a fan of Cut the Rope I naturally wanted to learn more. That’s why I contacted ZeptoLabs’ Semyon Vionov to tell us how this famous game got it’s start in his own words. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see some early Om Nom sketches.
There are just a few noticeable mobile games built around rope physics, and I think that Cut the Rope has succeeded in taking this very simple idea and perfecting it – without making it more complicated. That is what makes the gameplay unique. The only important tip any player needs to know before he (or she) starts to play the game is already written in the title. The rest of the game’s rules pretty much come from people’s instinctive knowledge of how the physical world works around them. Also, the idea of feeding a little cute creature (instead of just delivering some abstract object from point A to point B) created an emotional link between the game and the players, and it helped to make the game successful.
The visual inspiration for Cut the Rope came from wanting to make the game appealing to a wide variety of ages; we wanted it to look cute and casual, but not too childish. One of the main references for the art were the classic animated motion pictures.
As a player, I like the fact that each level requires both puzzle solving and arcade gameplay. It’s nice to exercise both your mind and reflexes.
Although we were lucky to lock-in the core gameplay quite early on, we had different options for the visual theme. Some of the original concepts did differ quite a bit from the way the game actually turned out, visually. One of the ideas was to have a wooden puppet on a stings, and a player would have to cut the stings to set the puppet free. I still think that was a cool and artsy idea, but it probably wouldn’t have equated to the same amount of success as the game had with the help of Om Nom.
I think people would probably be pretty surprised that I got an initial idea for the game while working out in a gym!
While we were in development, we showed the game to as many people as we could – our friends, family members, random people – and it proved to be extremely helpful! I would definitely recommend doing that for any game developer as it’s essential to understand how intuitive, appealing and addictive your game is. That’s something you shouldn’t just trust your gut with.
It’s cool to see how the game has affected the market overall. Sometimes I download some random game from the AppStore and I see some things in it which are clearly inspired by Cut the Rope – and it’s great. Our highest goal is to inspire people! Of course, the market has changed quite a lot since Cut the Rope was released two years ago, but we believe there’s still a space for a cute and addictive snack-like game. Our new game Pudding Monsters which was released Dec 20 is exactly that kind of a treat.