Developer Spotlight: The making of Kickerinho, no. 1 sports game in 58 countries


We recently sat down with Mr. Karol Drzymała, head of development in the games division at Tabasco Interactive.  Today we asked him to share his unique publisher perspective on everything from building a great team, to monetizing an app.

Let’s start with some background about Tabasco.

Tabasco Interactive is a game studio known for simple yet deep design.  Two of their highly acclaimed titles include Kickerinho, a simple to play hard to master impossible game about juggling the ball (Created with Unity. Free 2 play) and Star Horizon, a mobile space shooter with stunning visuals (Created with Unity engine. Premium).

From where do you hail and how big is your company/team?

We’re based in Warsaw, Poland. The team is 5 people (excluding management, office staff).

What was your company’s first app and what app are you most proud of?

Our first app was Star Horizon.

We’re proud of Star Horizon and Kickerinho, both for different reasons. Star Horizon received major featuring from Apple and the press praised it for it’s “console-like” graphics. Pushing the visuals to the limits was a big challenge and I think we did a good job.

Kickerinho was a smaller game, but it managed to gain a bigger audience. We’ve been no 1. sports game in 58 countries and the game is pretty damn addicting!

Who uses your app?

Mostly people below 30, football fans.

What is different or unique about your app?

I think that our hallmark is quality. We put a big emphasis on all the small details that when combined together – make a great user experience. In simple words: we try to make games that look darn good and are fun to play! 🙂

How did this app come about?  What triggered/inspired the creation of your app?

After Star Horizon we wanted to make a smaller game, with a simple yet addicting mechanics. We are fans of football, and that was the time when World Cup in Brazil was about to start. That’s why we came with this idea. We wanted to tell the story of a boy from the favela in Rio, who’s dream is to become the next Ronaldinho.

What was your first major challenge and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge in Kickerinho was animations. We didn’t have big experience in that field and the freestyle tricks were pretty difficult to animate. In the end It turned out that our artists are very talented and can quickly adapt to new challenges. The results exceeded our expectations.

How did you go about getting your app discovered by new users?

We don’t have any fancy marketing strategy. Our plan is to make high quality games and hope that they self promote – through the press and app store featuring. So far it worked pretty good.

How does your app generate revenue?

We participate in Leadbolt’s Direct Deals Marketplace.  The majority of our income comes from interstitial ads. There are some in-apps – like the option to remove ads or buy some in game currency (for which you can get new skins).

What trend do you see happening in the mobile app economy that you think will impact mobile app developers?

Whoa, that’s a big question! It’s hard to predict trends in the mobile business. Everything happens so fast, it’s crazy. We try to keep our team small so we’re able to adapt quickly.

If you could offer one piece of advice or life-lesson to developers starting out, what would you tell them?

It’s been said a million times, but we learned it the hard way – so I’ll say it again. Start small – grow big. Small teams and projects are much, much easier to manage. Also – you’ll have dozens of problems and you don’t want communication to be one of them, so keep your team together in the same office, flat, apartment, whatever. Remote work and outsourcing worked pretty terribly for us.

Bonus Question:  Give us an inside peek into what’s next for your company?

You’ll definitively see more updates for Kickerinho – we haven’t said the last word yet! There’s also Star Horizon coming to Steam really soon and we’re working on a new IP – though it’s a bit too early to say more about that.

Ready to try Leadbolt?

MarketingDeveloper Spotlight: The making of Kickerinho, no. 1 sports game in 58 countries