Here we are, back with yet another exciting Developer Spotlight! Today we are taking a moment to shine the spotlight on LoFive by Alternate Bit! Before we start we would like to thank Brett for collaborating with us and for taking the time to talk with us about LoFive! 😃
Thanks Brett – Let’s go!
*Some answers have been edited for clarity.
/// Thank you for taking part in our latest Developer Spotlight! Before we start talking about LoFive, could you please start by telling us a little about yourself and why you are making games?
We are Alternate Bit, an indie game operation based in the suburbs of Chicago. Fun fact, we came up with the name of our company by scrambling the letters of our first names, Brett and Natalie! LoFive was the first game we released in the Fall of 2018, inspired by playingwhile listening to Lo-fi.
Gaming has been such a huge part of our lives. Both of us grew up playing games and as adults find it a way to relax and connect with others. We make games because we are both driven creatives with varying backgrounds who have always wanted to collaborate as a couple. Game development fits so well with our talents and we’re eager to share our ideas and creations with the world!
/// Moving on to LoFive, in a nutshell, what is this new game all about?
LoFive is the ultimateand chill experience. The game board is customizable with a large assortment of themes that you unlock as you build up points. Players stack randomly generated tiles onto the grid and must keep the values of all the tiles on the grid below 5 (hence, LoFive).
The game requires a strategy and clever decision making and is very rewarding. If you’re looking for a more challenging experience, you can try out Turbo Mode which is the same game of LoFive but with double points and an intense time limit for placing tiles!
/// Every game has a backstory, and we would love to know the story behind LoFive! Why did you choose to make this game?
We always knew we wanted to venture into game development and decided that the App Store was the best way to get ourselves out there. From there was the question, what game would we make?
The early concept of a grid-basedcame to us while scraping ice off our car (Chicago, right?) as there was a sort of satisfaction in utilizing the heavier blocks of ice on the windshield as a plow through the slushier spots. This led to the original proof of concept of a tile and grid system with an “icy blue” color scheme, which eventually became the default LoFive theme, “July Sky”. The aesthetic and title of the game were also inspired by our obsession with the chill vibes of Lo-fi music.
The core game mechanic went through several phases and after brushing up on game design principles and brainstorming a nice risk vs. reward loop, the stacking mechanic of LoFive was born! From there, we programmed the tiles to be easily color configurable from a code perspective and constructed a system to set the game to virtually any theme we create. We have since added new themes in updates and have had plenty of fun coming up with cool styles to fit any mood or aesthetic.
We released the game in the Fall of 2018 and had a big UI overhaul and gameplay 2.0 update in Fall 2019. We’re looking forward to adding more themes and experiences to LoFive in 2020!
/// Are there any funny or exciting episodes from the development phase of LoFive that you can share with us?
During the course of development, distributing the app to the App Store was the most eventful and exciting part!
We actually had a lot of difficulties getting the game up on the store due to it somehow getting flagged as a gambling app. We finally got the notification that LoFive was ready for sale and seeing a game we had spent so much time working on live on the App Store for download is truly a memory and accomplishment we will never forget.
/// Where from here? Is there anything you would like to add to LoFive in the future, or perhaps even a new game on the horizon?
In 2020 we plan on adding in some cool new themes to LoFive throughout the year. We are also venturing out intogame development and have two projects in our pipeline: Project Swirl and Project Sparkle.
Project Swirl is aaction with a very unique core game mechanic we are eager to show off soon and Project Sparkle is a sandbox .
/// Are there any secret developer tips for playing LoFive you could give our readers?
Stacking really helps! It seems risky at first, but really gives the player a lot more space on the grid. Filling up rows and columns with 3s and 4s before completing them earns you points much faster! Also, if you’re looking for some tips on how to play, there is an interactive tutorial in the settings menu.
/// A question you would like to ask your future self next time we shine the spotlight your way!
Have you published any games on a store beyond the App Store (itch.io, Steam, )?
Thanks again to Brett for participating in our Developer Spotlight, and for taking the time to talk with us about LoFive! We look forward to talking with you again sometime soon! 😃
Get LoFive on App Store