Recently I had the chance to interview Alex Bortoluzzi, founder and CEO of Xoobis, and ask him a few questions about their upcoming game Zombie Wonderland 2 and find out more info on the original along with a back story as well. Here’s the interview.
Alex: I’m doing great, thanks!
PocketFullOfApps: So, tell us a little about Zombie Wonderland and its upcoming sequel, Zombie Wonderland 2.
Alex: The concept for Zombie Wonderland came to me when Apple released the iPhone in 2007. I couldn’t sleep – I kept thinking of the possibilities of that little machine. The SDK wasn’t even out yet, so it was all a pipe dream. I was working at Treyarch at the time (of Call of Duty fame), and after working on huge projects for so long, I was thinking on how nice it would be to work on smaller, more manageable titles. When the iOS SDK was released, I was suddenly playing cool 3D games on an iPhone (!) That was it for me — I was ready to make my own game. I built ZW in a home office, working with people from all over the world: coders, animators, concept artists, music composers. It was really amazing having to learn so much about so many different things in order to create a game from scratch.
Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time! is the natural sequel to the game. People loved the original ZW but wanted more. More weapons, more zombies, more levels. Ok, here it is! The game looks amazing and the gameplay is INSANE when compared to ZW.
PocketFullOfApps: What do you think makes Zombie Wonderland 2 stand out from other zombie games?
Alex: ZW2:OoT! is completely different than anything on mobile. First, we have the first Zombie Cleaner in all of video game history. Chuck, our main character, is a mix of a bitter old man and a football coach, with a heavy dose of sarcasm and wit. He really enjoys shooting zombies, and hates them all at the same time. And he’s very peculiar in his obsession for keeping clients’ places spotless, even after blasting zombies to smithereens all over the carpet.
Also, the game has 25 zombie types, more than 20 really crazy weapons and the most beautiful 3D levels you can play on a mobile game.
PocketFullOfApps: Why did you choose the name (or how did you come about to choose the name) “Zombie Wonderland”?
Alex: I was flustered because I couldn’t find a name to detach it from the hordes of other zombie games out there. So I was listening to some tunes, and John Mayer came up, singing “Your Body is a Wonderland”, just when I was watching some zombie movie clips to get in the mood. Seeing all those zombies gnawing on body parts, while John was all “Your body is a wooonderlaaand!”… suddenly it all made sense. Hence, Zombie Wonderland was born.
PocketFullOfApps: How long did it take to develop the original Zombie Wonderland and have any ETA on the release of its sequel?
Alex: Zombie Wonderland took around six months of furious development, considering I was mostly working on it by myself with the help of some external contractors. Now on Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time! we have a team of five artists, plus four coders and a couple external contractors as well. But now we are making a much bigger game, with lots more content! The game will be out soon :)
PocketFullOfApps: Where did it all begin with Zombie Wonderland 2 (and its original)? What started it?
Alex: I always thought of ZW as a franchise, more than a one off thing. The story behind it, the universe itself, is pretty rich. I wanted to give it some more time and love, to develop it with care from the very beginning. We can’t wait to see the reaction of mobile gamers when ZW2 comes out. It’s so different than anything out there, so many game genres mashed into one, plus an amazing art style coupled with actually funny storyline and characters. You can tell we’re really proud of the game.
PocketFullOfApps: Do you plan on releasing any enhancements or updates in the future?
Alex: Absolutely! We have left some room specifically for content updates. We have two overworlds that can be populated with more content in the near future. We are planning and working on upcoming content updates right now, in fact.
PocketFullOfApps: Anything else we can expect from you guys in the future? (apps, games, etc..)
Alex: A lot of good stuff. I’m very picky with the games we make. I like games that bring something cool to the table, entertain people with fun stories, with great gameplay and beautiful artwork to boot. I think we delivered that with ZW1, and with ZW2 we are hoping to really impress players once again.
PocketFullOfApps: Do you have any suggestions for aspiring App Store developers?
Alex: Listen to your inner voice, spend the time to give life to your worlds and ideas and be prepared to work really, really hard for several months :)
PocketFullOfApps: Do you have anything you would like to mention before this interview is over?
Alex: It was a pleasure talking about mobile gaming with PocketFullOfApps. We are super-excited with the upcoming release of Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time! and we hope you guys enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed making it. Thanks!
Thanks again to Alex for taking some time out of his day to answer these questions and do an interview with PocketFullOfApps! You can visit Xoobis’ website here for more information.