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How to build games at rapid speed: Q&A with Rappid Studios

ironSource sat down with our mediation partners Nikos Tourlos and Antonis Taglartzis, co-founders of the indie studio Rappid, to learn all about their gamedev journey - from developing games as university students to pursuing game development full-time.

Keep reading for a transcript of the conversation and more of Rappid Studio’s insights on how to build a game at rapid speed - with just two people at the helm.

How did you first get started in gaming?

We started making games for fun 7 years ago as computer science students at the University of Athens, we never imagined we would be successful at it at the time. After about a year of figuring things out, we started working at it on a more serious level and started producing bigger and better games. Ιt took us about 4 years of building up our professional game development experience to come up with Epic Battle Simulator.

What’s your favorite part about developing games?

Antonis: It’s incredible and seems surreal that we are able to apply theoretical knowledge – math, physics, etc. everything we were taught since childhood, comes to life in the games we make. We can see science coming to life through our games. It is extremely rewarding to know that so many people are enjoying our games and are engaged in them as we speak.

Nikos: The most exciting part of developing games, for me, has to be when one of our games goes live and comes to life, as players are engaging with our ideas, our game mechanics, our graphics and we know they are having fun.

Was it easier to build the game or grow the game?

Nikos: We generally build games fast. We pretty much know what we want to make, how to do it, and how to make it profitable. Making the game isn’t the hardest part for us. Growing the game and keeping users engaged with it requires a lot of commitment and hard work.

Antonis: For us it’s easier to make the game. Marketing the game and making it successful is trickier. You can make a great game that can just as easily turn out to be a huge success or flop. We’ve had experience with both outcomes.

How long did it take to build the game from concept to production?

Antonis: Our average time has been 2-3 weeks per game. We are fully dedicated, focused and efficient when making games and we complete each other as a team. Nikos works mornings and I work nights so it’s a 24-hour a day operation. Production moves quickly and that’s why we named our studio Rappid. We like making games fast.

What is the most challenging part about being a game developer?

Nikos: In Greece there is very little in the way of a gaming industry, there are no large gaming companies based here, no gaming hubs and not enough professional expertise at the developer level. It’s difficult finding world-class experienced game developers to work with, in order to create world-class games. We are doing our part, pitching in to help build this up, but it is a slow process.

What inspired your games?

Nikos: We create games we believe the players will enjoy playing, as well as games that we believe are missing from the field. We carry out a lot of market research into what games we should make. There are for example a lot of racing games out there and you might think that another racing game is going to be redundant. This is exactly where opportunities exist, filling the gaps you discover in otherwise saturated genres.

What advice would you give to other indie developers trying to make it?

Antonis: Keep at it and never give up. It might sound cliché but this is exactly what you need to do: make a lot of games and a lot of different kinds of games. Trial and error. Each time you get better, each time you make better games learning from your mistakes. It’s a learning and it’s an iterative process. Sticking with it and being consistent is critical. You can’t do that if you don’t love what you do, so that’s a good starting point.

Nikos: We’ve made more than 60 games. We just kept making games, always keeping ourselves in the discovery process while making them, where we went wrong, how to do it better next time, learning from our mistakes. Learning to make better games through our failures, discovering if it was the concept, the mechanics, or the market. After experiencing more than 60 such iterations we are in a very good position to know what we need to make and we keep making it. So, I would say never stop creating.

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