Playdew on Lost Twins 2 & Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant

Playdew is an indie game studio that is based in Pakistan, which started as a games service provider, creating art, QA and game development service for a bunch of different clients, since 2010. After some time, they switched to creating their own games. In their own words;

“While we were doing that and the company grew, some people thought of developing our own games and over the years, whenever we got time, we made several little games as an experiment. I guess our first ever success was Run sheeda Run, an endless runner game based on the local culture representation. It was well-loved by the people but still we weren’t that sure if we wanted to officially start making games of our own. We definitely wanted to work on our own titles but in terms of taking them forward full time was still a big decision. We just wanted to make good games and show them to the public. So, these few people were doing it and testing the market.  In 2019, our title “Explottens” got selected by Apple arcade which grew our faith in the team. Playdew was officially founded in 2021, when we finally decided that the team is capable of making good games and should be operating separately from the services company. The current team at Playdew consists of less than 10 people. We got the team together to form a well equipped studio with developers, artists, QA and marketers so that they can operate independently and operate separately.”

Currently, one of the games that Playdew is working on is Lost Twins 2, which was selected for the Draknek New Voices Puzzle Grant.

Lost Twins 2 is the sequel to our previous title Lost twins. It is a mix of sliding and interactive puzzle elements to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. It is an immersive puzzle platformer about the journey of lost twins Abi & Ben. They must move across platforms, engage in challenging puzzles, swap tiles to create a path for each other, overcome obstacles and reach the portal to reunite and find their way back home while helping and interacting with friendly strangers along the way.”

Is Lost Twins 2 a strictly 2 player game?

“Contrary to what people think, Lost twins 2 is a single player game with two characters. The player has to swap between the characters to solve puzzles and make path for the other sibling.  As you can observe that both twins are in different places as the level starts and there are parts of the levels where the path is blocked and is only accessible by one of them so the player has to shift between the characters accordingly and manage to bring them together. But that’s not the only part, the twins have to be together at the exit portal with the Fenghuang bird to complete a particular level.”

Taking a classic form of puzzling; sliding puzzles as one main mechanic is interesting! How did you make these puzzles feel unique from each Other?

“For each level, we start with a story in our mind – as in what should be achieved, which puzzle would fit in the environment, how easy would it be to learn a new puzzle element in that particular level  and the overall look. After all that, we make the environment and the puzzle pieces that serve that purpose. We playtest the levels and made changes in them to maintain a fair level of difficulty, discarding some of the harder levels that get very complex and in turn annoy the users instead of challenging them and being a fun time to play.”

“Each level is designed with a lot of thought and creative ideas by the team. The levels do get increasingly difficult as the game progresses further with some easier, breather level in between so the players don’t get overwhelmed with all the puzzles. We divided the game into different zones and decided on the puzzle elements that we wanted to keep in a particular zone. New puzzle elements are introduced throughout the game. Introducing one puzzle at a time so that the players can learn their way through. Later in the zone, we mix multiple elements from the zone making the complex levels offering a variety of different puzzles for the players to solve.”

What are you hoping this funding will allow you to do?

“We are still developing the game so the funding will help us get more resources and finish the game earlier. Currently, we are using some place holder assets which we would like to further improve and present a more polished game with new assets. We plan to include better sounds and visual effects. In general, a lot of improvements here and there.”

Will you use the funding to accelerate development or are there plans to widen your development?

“With the funding, we can indeed look into accelerating the development, maybe even include more content but for now we don’t want to indulge into new stuff and rather first finish the features that was initially planned before planning to widen the scope.”

It is quite neat to see a sequel selected for the grant, and we are looking forward to seeing this game in completion.

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