Here we are, back with another developer interview! This time with XS Software the creator of Lady Popular Fashion Arena. Before we start we’d like to thank the XS Software Team for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks!
/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Lady Popular Fashion Arena! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?
XS Software is the first browser game studio in Bulgaria, starting back in 2005. We have created a dozen browser games over the years, the most popular being KhanWars and Lady Popular, which are still our biggest projects. Only now, they’ve emerged on the mobile app stores and are fully cross-platform.
I’m Radoslav Tenchev, CEO and Game producer, and I’m not a typical gamer as I don’t do it every week. However, when I find a game that just clicks with me, I barely get any sleep. What drew me into the gaming industry is the satisfaction you get when you enable a person to get out of their daily struggle and just kick-back for a few hours – when you see players care for the game and a community form around it.
There’s an amateur football team that’s formed by players of our first ever game, named after it as well, that to this day is still together and on top of all, they’re still playing that game. It’s things like this that make it super-awesome to be part of this industry.
/// Ok, let’s start talking about Lady Popular Fashion Arena. What are the highlights of your latest game?
Lady Popular is, at its core, and RPG game – you have your Lady, you improve her stats, you get cooler items and you compete with other Ladies.
There’s a whole other side to it, though – you have thousands of clothing items, make-up, hairstyles, and unique stuff, that allow you to personalize your character to the smallest detail. Our players really love that.
Another thing they love is the social element of it all – they’re constantly chatting with other Ladies and discussing fashion ideas, likes, and dislikes. It’s really an amazing thing to see.
/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Lady Popular Fashion Arena? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?
Lady Popular has a strange story – before we started developing it, we had only made strategy games and a few casual facebook ones. One of our employees back then suggested making a game that is designed for female players and fashionistas.
We started with the inspiration for creating something exceptional for the “other” half of the gaming community. Ever since the game was first released, (7 years ago now), the inspiration has always been the passion of its players. That’s valid for any game we make – we always strive to create a game that is fun. No one will fall in love with a game that’s not fun.
/// How long was Lady Popular Fashion Arena in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?
The first version of the game took about 7 months. The funny thing is, we never actually stopped developing it. As I’m saying this, we’re on the verge of releasing our latest and biggest update so far.
The funniest moment, I have to say, would be when we introduced different poses for the Lady for the first time. They were only intended to work with certain sets of clothes, however, players wanted to try them out with everything they got, so naturally, our forums and facebook pages started filling up with screenshots of three-legged Ladies. The most interesting moment, for me at least, was October, last year, when we released the mobile version of Lady Popular.
It had a completely different interface and it was an indescribable feeling waiting for the first community feedback. Thank God, they loved it.
/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Lady Popular Fashion Arena? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?
Well in terms of software, we use… It’s really a long list. This is mostly based on our desire to always provide the best for players, so whenever we saw the opportunity we developed our own software.
Plus, back when we started, there weren’t a lot of ready solutions out there. We’re really happy with, though, which is the main reason we were able to make Lady Popular Fashion Arena available on mobile. To the developers, I’d like to say, start by asking the big questions about your game – who’s gonna play, why are they going to come back every day and is it fun to play.
/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?
Well, the game is pretty clear, so I don’t think there is anything players won’t understand. One thing I would like to say however is to always write to us if you have an issue or are feeling unhappy with something.
We take our players’ opinions very seriously and often make changes to the game to accommodate those. Your voice matters!
/// What can we expect to see in Lady Popular Fashion Arena or from XS Software in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?
Well for Lady Popular, we’re going to have the big update I mentioned earlier – it’s going to have some redesigned features for better user experience, entirely new features that will further test the fashion sense of our players and many more small optimizations.
As for XS Software, you can expect a big update on KhanWars as well, which will allow players to compete on a massive scale. Besides that, we have a few concepts in the making and are hoping to start a new development, early next year. We’ll keep you posted on all three.
/// Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to our awesome team of Writers, Developers, and Supporters who keep Edamame Reviews up and running?
Thank you, everybody, for providing a chance to look into the inside makings of games.
Everybody who is making games is making them because they love to play them and it’s awesome that there are places like Edamame Reviews that allow a closer look into that.