Rinikulous Games  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Rinikulous Games  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Unlonely Release Date Announced: September 20...ish https://www.gameskinny.com/svgcy/unlonely-release-date-announced-september-20ish https://www.gameskinny.com/svgcy/unlonely-release-date-announced-september-20ish Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:47:58 -0400 Kat De Shields

In a humorous announcement poster shared on Twitter, Rinikulous Games announced the release date of Unlonely -- September 20ish. 

Unlonely is a sequel of sorts to their first game title, Lonely Sun, with a twist. The game is inspired by multiple games journalism outlets (GameSkinny included) and other supporters of the dev studio. In each level, you'll become "gravity's guiding hand" as you lead planet cores across treacherous terrain until they can evolve into the planet they're destined to be. The aesthetic of each level contains design elements based upon the different publications featured in the game. 

Along with our green planet Gami, iFanzine, Snapzilla, IndieHangover, Indie Game Launchpad, Jupiter Hadlye, Mike Brown and Glen Forbes also have levels dedicated to them. 

For more information about Rinikulous Games, visit the development studio's website or follow them on Twitter. In the meantime, you can pick up Lonely Sun for $1.99 or their latest game HYPER BEAM for free from the App Store. 

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Prepare to Become Addicted to iOS Mobile Game Hyper Beam https://www.gameskinny.com/nns8d/prepare-to-become-addicted-to-ios-mobile-game-hyper-beam https://www.gameskinny.com/nns8d/prepare-to-become-addicted-to-ios-mobile-game-hyper-beam Sun, 28 May 2017 10:10:49 -0400 Kat De Shields

Rinikulous Games is back at it again with their latest mobile game for iOS, HYPER BEAM. In this twin-stick arcade shooter, use your thumbs to zap enemies, travel through different sectors, and unlock items along the way. It’s a fast-moving, action-packed game that you’ll have a hard time putting down.

A friendly warning: At first, this game will make your thumbs feel crazy. But trust me, it's totally worth it. 

Iron Man Challenge for Your Thumbs

The twin-stick aspect is a challenging departure from mobile games that glorify use of the index finger or simple thumb swipes. In HYPER BEAM, your thumbs control two players that are joined together by an energy beam capable of destroying incoming enemies. Your weakness is the two end-points (players) of the beam, and you’ll want to make sure that enemy attacks don’t come in contact with them.

Pro tip: If you can floss your teeth using your thumbs, you’ll master the movements required to power through this game.

One hit will deactivate your beam (it reactivates after a few very vulnerable seconds), and two hits will end the game. You can lengthen or shorten the beam as needed, and once charged, you can enter "Hyper Mode." In Hyper Mode, you’ll still need to protect your players from coming in contact with enemies, but the super-powered beam will obliterate anything in its path.

Practice makes perfect, and it definitely takes a little bit of getting used to the twin-stick mechanics. At first, it feels odd to orchestrate the movement of your thumbs to maneuver a beam across the screen, and it's easy to get frustrated. Keep at it. Once you conquer this aspect, see it fast and kill it quick is the key to acing this game. That and not blinking. No, seriously. Blinking can cost you your life. And while you're at it, iPhone banner notifications also need to go.

One of the five Hyper Modes you can unlock in the game.

Getting through a sector without getting hit unlocks a warp zone (save point) and also unlocks different Hyper Modes and color schemes. There are five sectors to get through before you unlock the infinity sector, in which the game becomes endless and moves a lot faster. 

Micro Boss Fights Galore

HYPER BEAM is unique in that there are more than 40 different types of enemies that drift into your sector, and each one has its own unique personality and attack style. You have enemies that track you, rocket launchers, proximity bombs, black holes, stealth gurus, and just overall mean SOBs that you’re better off avoiding. One of the best parts of the game is meeting new enemies and figuring out the trick to defeating them.

The game system keeps individual and comprehensive stats for how long you survived, how many kills you made and what you were killed by. There’s also a library of all the enemies you will encounter in the game along with kill stats.

It's about remembering specific attack patterns
just as much as it's about strategy.

HYPER BEAM is the kind of game you'll keep coming back to -- whether it's to try to beat your last score or getting through a sector without taking any hits. It moves fast enough for pick up and play while waiting in line, but once you gain momentum, you'll want to keep playing. For a mobile title, HYPER BEAM is a challenging and engaging experience that caters to your competitive streak

Soundtrack, SFX and Design Aesthetic

HYPER BEAM’s visual aesthetic doesn’t disappoint. Against a black, space-like background, the enemies are comprised of different variances of complimentary colors that pop. One of the developers, Nik, has a design background, and it shows because Hyper Beam is a beautiful game. Each sector has its own track, and the music blends seamlessly as you travel from sector to sector.

W
hen you enter Hyper Mode, the energy-filled buzzing of the beams infuses you with a sense of power. Before the game was launched, the mini trailers with the sound effects to be included in-game caught my attention. As a complete product, it adds an incredible amount of atmosphere to the game. 

Narrative Generated from Negative Space

Due to my love of stories, I’m constantly searching for the deeper meaning of things. HB made me realize that you don’t need a narrative at all to have a great game. The story is your journey as you play it -- the things you learn, the workarounds you develop, and the adaptations you make along the way to improve your chances of making it to the next sector. Even the enemies have their own personalities. Simplicity doesn’t mean story deprived. You just have to make the connections for yourself instead of having it served nice and neat.

The only tutorial you're gonna get. 

In keeping with Rinikulous’s previous title, Lonely Sun, HYPER BEAM’s meaning and design philosophy is a metaphor for life:

“Aside from its gameplay mechanics, HYPER BEAM could be viewed as yet another metaphor for life -- a simplified version of life’s complicated nature, tribulations, and hurdles. Navigating, dodging, and fighting constant waves of multiple dangers and threats, planning and remembering what you’ve gone through, learning as you go… all these are meant to make you resilient, determined, and patient. The inevitable nature of failure gives you two choices: pick yourself up and try again, protecting the bond, or let the memory of your attempts fade away.”

The Skinny on HYPER BEAM

You’ll like this game if:

  • You like competing against yourself to beat existing stats
  • You enjoy games that allow you to figure things out as you go along
  • Sound effects make you giddy

You may not like this game if:

  • You get frustrated easily
  • You don’t have an appreciation for minimalist design
  • You have stiff (or no) thumbs

TL;DR: If you’re looking for a minimalist mobile game that will exceed your expectations, HYPER BEAM is a twin-stick, arcade game that quickly becomes addicting.

HYPER BEAM is available for download for iOS. The game is free to download, though you’ll have to sit through ads if you exhaust all your plays. For $2.99, you can remove ads from the game and play to your heart’s content. It’s well worth it to improve your trek toward Infinity.

The developer provided a copy of HYPER BEAM for review purposes.

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Interview: Rinikulous Games's Nik Mihaylov Shares Insights and New Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/oyi6y/interview-rinikulous-gamess-nik-mihaylov-shares-insights-and-new-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/oyi6y/interview-rinikulous-gamess-nik-mihaylov-shares-insights-and-new-titles Tue, 16 May 2017 13:28:08 -0400 Jerline Justo

Game developer, director, and artist Nik Mihaylov broke into the game industry with Steven Ritchie to establish an indie game studio called Rinikulous Games. Together, these co-founders explored amazing ideas that would create compelling experiences -- and got their feet wet with their first indie game, Lonely Sun. This mobile platformer caught the attention of reviewers and critics -- including a writer here at GameSkinny, who gave it a stellar nine out of ten.

Now they're looking forward to adding even more games to their portfolio, and I got the chance to talk to Nik Mihaylov about his role as a developer -- as well as the state of development on two of Rinikulous' upcoming titles, Hyper Beam and Unlonely.

The Work of a Game Developer

As a developer, Mihaylov tackles a lot of new ideas and inspirations, especially when designing a new game. When considering a potential idea, he tries to realistically analyze how a game will perform in the indie sphere. Mihaylov asks himself a series of questions that help him consider the gamer’s experience and the game's potential mechanics.

But of course, all that has to start with an idea. When we asked how his idea-generating process usually works, Mihaylov replied:

NM: “That’s a great question. Creative minds tend to get excited quite easily, and keeping your focus on one thing is always a challenge. When you have decided on what the game’s core mechanic or story is, brainstorming ideas to build on top of that can be tricky. You’re constantly going from one idea to another. Personally, I have to stop myself sometimes and focus on one thing at a time.”

During his first foray into development with Lonely Sun, Mihaylov and his team learned everything as they went. He soon realized that making video games had a lot in common with what he does as a Senior Creator over at Critical Mass (a digital design agency).

He tends to a game as though he is solving a puzzle that requires taking each element -- music, SFX, gameplay, and art design -- and combining them into one compelling whole. And in doing so, he often discovers new things about his own creations that he hadn't seen before. When creating Lonely Sun, for example, he only recognized its foundational metaphor -- where living one's life contains various obstacles and struggles just as the game includes them -- while he was evaluating other aspects of the game:

NM: "...while testing the controls (controlling gravity as main mechanic), I further realized that Lonely Sun won’t be an easy game or be to everyone’s taste, and I was totally okay with that. The game’s difficult on purpose. Nothing in life comes easy – if it does, there’s something wrong. Moreover, there are no checkpoints in life, hence none in the game..."

Mihaylov also applies this metaphor to his own work. He tries to tackle each task as a challenge by taking it one step at a time. Whenever he faces an obstacle, he always reminds himself about the big picture and uses that as motivation to push forward on a project. This concept later became a central part of his future works.

Upcoming Mobile Games 

Hyper Beam

After developing Lonely Sun, Ritchie and Mihaylov decided to come to back to an old project called "Quantum". Both creators planned and brainstormed ideas on art concepts and game mechanics, eventually progressing toward smaller details like the enemy behaviors and beam designs -- which is how they settled on Hyper Beam's abstract space setting.

Unlike Lonely Sun, Hyper Beam focuses solely on gameplay with minimalist approach to AI interaction, user experience, and visual effects. The purpose of the game is for the players to discover, develop, and adapt. 

This iOS space game contains two twin stick controls, which players can manipulate around to destroy enemies. The goal is to survive as long as possible through dodging, destroying, and getting hyper. As the player progresses, game increases in difficulty.

NM: "HYPER BEAM's twin-stick controls, the constraints of (limited) screen space, complimentary music and sound effects, minimal art direction, and enemy and beam behaviors all create an unique experience that puts the player in a position to embrace the inevitable nature of survival."

Unlonely

Because of the Lonely Sun's success, Rinikulous Games opted to give it a sequel called Unlonely. Mihaylov wanted to use this project as a show of his gratitude for those who provided so much support for his first game. So he created parts of Unlonely in collaboration with six game review sites who covered his original project --Snappzilla, iFanzine, IndieHangover, Indie Game Launchpad, Orange Bison, and our very own GameSkinny. The game will include planets and levels based on the personality, atmosphere, and brand of each website.

When we asked if there will be any difference between Unlonely and its predecessor Lonely Sun, he replied:

NM: "As of this moment, Unlonely will retain Lonely Sun’s overall low poly art direction, minimal UI and gameplay mechanics (with a few surprises, though), [while] feature brand new music/atmospheric and SFX design to match the overall vibe of each level. [It will] have a more diverse and visually appealing level design and camera movements and be a tiny bit easier in terms of gameplay difficulty than Lonely Sun."

Like any idea-rittled game dev, Mihaylov has lots of other ideas and concepts for new games -- especially some that focus on story-driven gameplay. But for now, he's focusing on Hyper Beam and Unlonely before he starts moving on to other things.

Lessons and Advice For Future Developers

Mihaylov's venture into the gaming industry was met with lots of support and positive feedback, which has left him feeling accomplished and successful.

NM: "To be completely honest, I wouldn’t call myself successful in what people in this industry may call successful. However, I am grateful for the numerous friends I’ve made and positive feedback we’ve received so far – this is success to me."

When we asked Mihaylov for advice he'd like to share with aspiring game developers, he offered a few pointers about how to work well in the gaming industry -- mostly that it requires the persistence to continually reach out to the community and persevere through failed concepts and ideas before giving up on a project.

But most of all, he emphasized the importance of respecting everyone in the industry you share with them -- even if they're critics who disagree with you or what you're doing. Everyone has different preferences, and it's impossible to please them all. But by staying true to himself, Mihaylov has learned to push forward and continue making games like Hyper Beam and Unlonely come to life. 

Mihaylov has a passion for games that makes his work unique and immersive. And his fans can continue to look forward to what he and the whole team at Rinikulous Games is going to bring to the community in the future. 

I would like to thank Nik Mihaylov for taking his time to chat with us. You can keep up with his development progress by following Rinikulous Games on Twitter. If you want to try out the beta version of Hyper Beam, check out their official website for more information.

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Lonely Sun Developer Announces Upcoming Sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/xq9cs/lonely-sun-developer-announces-upcoming-sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/xq9cs/lonely-sun-developer-announces-upcoming-sequel Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:06:24 -0400 Paige McGovern

It's been six months since the challenging mobile game Lonely Sun hit the App Store, and developer Rinikulous Games has just announced its sequel, Unlonely

Lonely Sun is the first game released by Rinikulous Games since its founding in April 2016. In a barren new solar system, the player is responsible for guiding potential planets through all the wonders and dangers of the universe. As the player progresses, planets grow until they are large enough to orbit the sun. To be successful, players must have concentration and a steady hand.

In Unlonely, players will guide planets once more. This time, each planet represents a different website that has supported Rinikulous Games: iFanzine, SnappZilla, Orange Bison, Indie Hangover, Indie Game Launchpad, and ourselves here at GameSkinny.

Unlonely

In their blog post, Rinikulous Games stated:

Unlonely, most importantly, is all about giving back. The game dev-reviewer relationship should be a two-way street. We firmly believe that it is our responsibility as game developers to do whatever we can to give back to this passionate community and always acknowledge the help and support we’ve received and still receive, especially game review sites.

Unlonely may have a beta release as early as July.

While you're waiting for the sequel to launch, read our review for Lonely Sun and head over to the App Store to buy it for just $1.99.

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Interview with Rinikulous Games' Nik Mihaylov https://www.gameskinny.com/96g6l/interview-with-rinikulous-games-nik-mihaylov https://www.gameskinny.com/96g6l/interview-with-rinikulous-games-nik-mihaylov Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:02:28 -0500 chopchamen

Rinikulous games is an indie game studios that has recently created the game Lonely Sun, which was also reviewed on our site. They are also currently working on a new game called Hyper Beam.

Luckily I got the chance to sit down with Nik Mihaylov, co creator of Rinikulous Games to talk about their success on Lonely Sun, as well as talk a little bit about their future projects (including Hyper Beam.) I also asked some questions about how they handle the creative process in making these excellent games.

GameSkinny: Lonely Sun has been received fairly well by critics, what does it feel like to see your work loved so much?

Nik Mihaylov: 

Creative recognition is always an amazing feeling. We started conceptualizing and developing Lonely Sun without any grandiose aspirations (fame, profits...) in mind. My partner and I simply have a passion for creating interactive experiences, and trying out something different was one of the main motivations behind the game. We knew from the beginning that Lonely Sun wouldn't cater to everybody because of its "back story" and difficulty. But that didn't prevent us from doing what we wanted. You have to believe in yourself and keep pushing.

However, given what the game stands for and its gameplay, receiving praise from over 30 review and feature sites (without us being a big name in the industry) is truly unbelievable. We never thought that our little experiment would be so well received considering Lonely Sun is our very first game. That being said, it's a great feeling to know that whatever you're doing is worth it and has a reason to exist.


GS: 
Were there any nightmares during development? If so, how difficult was it to overcome?

NM: 

Once we established the core idea (metaphor for life/cosmic genesis) and overall game mechanic (gravity), there were numerous challenges during development. Remember, everything was new to us and figuring out how to approach certain things and create a workflow that suits our time and needs was key.

Some of the challenges we faced were learning to play nice with Unity; 3D low poly modeling with just the right amount of vertices; establishing the overall art direction and interface for the game; designing each world/planet and figuring out each level's difficulty and "look and feel;" coming up with and playtesting multiple enemy/obstacle behaviors; creating sound atmospheres to match each level's concept. There were a lot of sleepless nights -- nothing new. 

However, the biggest challenge was putting everything together in a way that made sense -- plot and visual/sound design. We had to sacrifice quite a few interaction flows/models/designs along the way but overall I'm quite happy with the outcome as we learned quite a lot in the process. The Internet is a wonderful place --- tutorials, forums...

Is the final product perfect? No.

Is it what I envisioned it? Yes.

Was Lonely Sun a great learning exercise? Absolutely.


GS: 
You guys are also working on another game, Hyper Beam. From what I've seen so far it looks like a lot of fun. How far would you say you are in development? 

NM: Yes, that's correct. Hyper Beam is a twin-stick endless survival game. The game mechanics are done -- currently, we're playtesting the game's difficulty levels. Also, we're implementing interface elements and working on developing all sound effects and music tracks.If all goes well, we could have a beta version ready sometime early next year.


GS: 
Awesome! I can't wait to play it. Do you guys have anything planned for after Hyper Beam?

NM:Quite frankly, we have a few ideas for potential future projects but nothing concrete yet. 


GS:
Are there any tips you can give for creativity? What goes into the creative process for you guys?

NM: Creative ideas can come from anywhere. To me, the creative process or creativity is such a subjective and personal thing. We all have the capacity for that - it's how we apply it. Looking back, I don't really have an established process -- every case is different. However, here's some things that never change no matter what the case or situation is:

  • Be curious
  • Don't be afraid to ask (hard) questions or explore combining seemingly different ideas or concepts
  • Try to keep an open mind
  • Never judge ideas prematurely
  • Surround yourself with like-minded motivated people
  • Write ideas down
  • Don't overthink ideas
  • Don't be swayed by what others may say or think
  • Always be able to answer: What and Why?
  • Make sure you take breaks

For us two, it's always building on top of each other's ideas. It doesn't matter who comes up with the initial concept - it's where we take it and how we develop it.

We can all learn about teamwork from these guys. Just the two, they bring forth amazing products worth time and money. I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for the future!

I would like to thank Nik for his kindness and taking time out of his day to talk with me and answer a few of my questions. You can follow Rinikulous Games on twitter .

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Explore What It Means to Keep Trying in 2D Platformer Lonely Sun https://www.gameskinny.com/zqwam/explore-what-it-means-to-keep-trying-in-2d-platformer-lonely-sun https://www.gameskinny.com/zqwam/explore-what-it-means-to-keep-trying-in-2d-platformer-lonely-sun Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:00:01 -0500 Kat De Shields

Mobile games run the gamut from meaningful works of art to mindless time wasters (I'm looking at you Candy Crush.) Lonely Sun syncs difficult gameplay with a real life lesson to create a mobile gaming experience that entertains and evolves the player. In Rinikulous Games' first mobile title,  you are "gravity's guiding hand," as you work to guide future planets through the perils of space until they are large enough to orbit around a Lonely Sun. You start with the tiny cores of  potential planetary giants to build a solar system piece by piece. 

Gameplay

Let me start by saying, level one of the original release was so hard that the developers released an update to make it easier. This should give you a clue what's in store when you pick up Lonely Sun. It's simple enough to pick up and play, as you use your finger to guide your planet core through various obstacles, but beating the levels is a whole different story. 

There are absolutely no checkpoints. Zero. Nada. You die, you start over from the beginning of the level. There isn't a progress bar either. The only clue you have is a running tally of how many crystals you must collect before you beat the level. When you die, your tiny planet shatters into a million colorful pieces -- kind of like how your heart does when you have 4/5 crystals and die before getting the fifth.

If you're a gamer who enjoys a real challenge, this mobile game will truly test your mettle across its 15 levels. If you easily get frustrated, you might want to spare yourself from rage-quitting and the urge to sling your phone across the room. 

So many expletives...

Lonely Sun definitely requires a sleight of hand that takes some getting used to. The tiniest movements are the difference between success and the death of your fledgling planet. Take your time, resist the urge to rush (or throw your phone against the wall), and you've mastered the first step to successfully completing this game. Eventually, muscle memory kicks in and you'll find the ground you already covered much simpler to navigate. You almost have to adopt a zen state of mind and get into a zone to flow through the levels (and keep your blood pressure low.) The more you try, the better you get, and you're that much closer to beating the game.

If you angle it right, you can push the floating rocks into the red obstacles of death to shield yourself or create fewer points of contact.

Although the game is difficult, there are some allies to help you out if you know how to use them. Crooks and crevices will quickly become your friend (and provide an opportunity to strategize), as will the floating rocks that can serve as an anti-gravity bullet-proof vest for your vulnerable, young planet. (Tip: If you have to pause the game mid run, make sure you situate yourself in a place where you won't roll into your doom once you un-pause it.) However, the main thing that's going to get you through this game is sheer force of will. 

Visual and Audio Aesthetics

Hands down and without question, Lonely Sun is a minimalist-inspired beauty of a game. Each planet has a predominate element attributed to it (water, fire, earth, wind, ice), and this is reflected in the graphics for each level. Polygonal structures that make up the artwork mesh well with the feeling of cold desolation present throughout the game. The color palette is striking and chock-full of complimentary colors that draw the eye. As the cherry on top, the soundtrack adds to the sensation of utter isolation in the deep void of space -- If you're going to repeat a level 80 times, you may as well enjoy looking at it. 

The Deeper Meaning 

So often, knowing the intent of the creator is key in unearthing a new level of enjoyment and appreciation for a work -- whether it's a piece of artwork, a book or a video game. The thing I love the most about indie games (apart from playing the game itself) is exploring the inspiration, themes and deeper meaning contained within the title. Lonely Sun does not disappoint. The game is intended to be a metaphor for life, and it succeeds on every level. 

 According to the developer's website: 

 Overcoming dangers, navigating through strange worlds, remembering what you’ve gone through, learning as you go… all these are meant to make you resilient. The inevitable nature of failure gives you two choices: pick yourself up and try again or let the memory of your existence fade away.

Accomplishing goals takes time. The cosmic powers of planetary genesis that create the vastness and mystery of space follow the same rules: patience. Patience is the key to creating something beautiful, something worth living for.

One thing we keep hearing from players: “No checkpoints?”

Our response: “Does life have checkpoints?”

If you keep the game's message in mind while you go through the levels, whether you successfully collect another crystal or you explode into pieces against an obstacle, your desire to keep trying and see things through to the end will grow. I know it did for me. Once completed, you probably won't pick up the game again, but the message will certainly stay with you. 

The Verdict

This game is well-worth the $2.79 price tag, and guarantees hours of intense, focus-or-die gameplay. When you pair gorgeous game design with a heartfelt message, you get a game that will give you a new perspective on more than a few things. If you're looking for a challenge, look no further than Rinikulous Games' Lonely Sun, now available on the iTunes store

Editor's Note: The developer provided a review key for this game. 

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