Interview with Norman Rozental the creator of Rise Above

Rise Above is an awesome game, currently featured on the App Stores under “Best New Games”.

Today we’d like to share with you our interview with Norman Rozental the creator of this excellent game.

He shared with us an unseen video of Rise Above still in the making and a little on how he gets his inspiration. If you are interested in becoming a developer this is an interview you really should read.

Before we start I’d like to thank Norman Rozental for participating in this interview, and for spending some of his valuable time in answering our questions. Thank you very much.


Ok first up, why did you decide to make Rise Above?

I think the main inspiration was that I wanted a game where a player was rewarded with more points for taking risks.  And with Rise Above, a player is rewarded with more points the higher they ‘rise up’.

Rise Above was born out of another idea I was playing around with about 2 months ago that wasn’t very exciting.  Instead of dodging walls, you had to match the color of falling balls.  It simply wasn’t exciting enough for me.  With a few minor tweaks of that original idea, the current version of Rise Above was born which I thought was much more exciting to play.

In fact you can see the original version of Rise Above where you match falling balls that nobody has seen before.  

The main reason I wrote the game you could say is that I’m trying to make games full time because I truly love making games.


I see, that is awesome, so what programming language or software did you use when making Rise Above?

I used (and will continue to use) a great development tool kit called Corona SDK ( The coding is done in a language called LUA which is similar to Javascript – a language I’m familiar with.  Photoshop was used for all the graphics in the game and Sublime Text was my text editor. 


Ok here is a mean question. What was the hardest problem you needed to overcome when developing Rise Above?

The hardest problem funnily enough was deciding how difficult to make the game play when the game starts.  I probably spent a full day tweaking how fast the walls came down when the game started and when they started to become closer together!  You see, I had played the game so often that I became an expert at it.  I needed to find the right balance of not too hard and not too easy.  It’s hard when you become an expert at your own game.  There is a danger of making a game too hard for everybody else!

The other biggest problem for me was knowing when to stop coding the game.  Version 1.0 is the hardest version to ever release.  A game is never complete.  You have to decide to stop working on it.


Last question. Where do you get your inspiration or ideas from?

Hmm.  This is a very hard question to answer.  I’m trying to stick to game names that are idioms.  For example, my first three games are called: Suck Eggs!, Go Ballistic and Rise Above.  These are all idioms.  Once I have the idiom and the name doesn’t exist on the App Store I try to think of game play that match the idiom.


A few words to Rise Above fans on Edamame Reviews.

I’ve started on my 4th game and at the moment I think it’s going to involve squares… 🙂

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