Get the Nut is a cute new puzzle game on the available Andriod devices, where your goal is to reunite an adorable squirrel with his delicious acorn – or to simply get the nut. We set down with game designer Aviv Shechter from Pixibots to discuss his latest game and the future of the studio.
GamersPack: Hello Aviv. “Get the Nut” is one of our top favorite games on the Android . But before we’ll dig into that, tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself and your studio – Pixibots.
Aviv Shechter: I am originally a 3D artist, worked for 9 years in the industry on commercials and TV shows. My last job was the head of rigging department (building complex systems for animation) in a company that tried to produce a high quality 3D animation feature. After it ended I decided to try something by my own, so a friend and I teamed up to create an indie game studio, as I always wanted to make games. I was the game designer and graphic designer and my friend was the developer (writing the code). All business and marketing decisions were made by both of us.
We started small with a silly game project (“Sortdecko”) just to get the hang of it (of course it failed miserably). The next game was “Cryptica” – a very simple, nice looking, unique and very challenging puzzle game that was chosen to be top featured at the Google Play store. “Get the Nut” is our second game that was launched recently to the Play Store and very soon it will be available on the App Store as well.
GPack: And what is “Get the Nut”?
AS: “Get the Nut” is a puzzle game where your goal is to bring the cute squirrel to the acorn. Along the way you will encounter other animals that you’ll need to move around to be able to solve each puzzle. There are 4 different areas (Forest, Snow, Swamp and Wild West) with different animals and mechanics.
GPack: But why a squirrel?
AS: It started up with a bunny and a carrot but very soon it became a squirrel as it fits more wuth the wild environment and is more energetic then a bunny; also the relationship between a squirrel and a nut is stronger than a bunny and a carrot (maybe “Ice Age” was responsible for that).
GPack: Tell us more about the core ideas in “Get the Nut”. What’s there besides rolling around?
AS: The interaction between the characters is what makes the game interesting.
You have the main character Squirrely that wants to get the nut (acorn), there is a mouse that can block or help Squirrely stop where you need him to, but he will eat the acorn if he comes near it. The wild hog will ram Squirrely and the mouse if he comes close and can also eat the acorn. These are just the basic animals and interaction; as you continue you will find wolves, bears, traps, swamps crocodiles and more.
GPack: What makes “Get the Nut” a different puzzle game? What, in your opinion, are its strengths?
AS: Usually puzzle game developers invest more in the game mechanics then in the look and feel of the game, “Get the Nut” is as pretty as it is challenging. I think the game fits almost everyone from small kids to hard core puzzle gamers.
GPack: What are the differences between Easy mode and Hard mode?
AS: Unlike “Cryptica”, “Get the Nut” has a cute design style that appeal to children as well, but the puzzles were too difficult, so we decided to make for each area an Easy mode (for kids and people who puzzles are not their strong side) and Hard mode for everyone that likes a good challenge. There are some tough puzzles in there.
GPack: Walk us through your creative process. How was “Get the Nut” conceived?
AS: It started when I tried to think of another puzzle game to make after “Cryptica”, but this time with characters that people can relate to. So I though “OK let’s make a game with animals”. Initially it started as a game where you had several animals on a board and they could eat one another, every animal could move once and the goal was to keep only one animal at the end. The original name of the game was “Food Chain”.
Having a different animal win in each puzzle was not consistent and we wanted the players to relate to a specific character so we decided to have a squirrel and an acorn. One move per animal made it hard to try stuff without restarting the game every time, 95% of the time was spent on thinking instead of playing. So we had to remove the moves limitations to have a more fluid game, but then the puzzles became extremely easy. So to solve this we just made the animals run until they stumble upon something or interact with another animal. Later it became a roll after a friend suggested it to me.GPack: How are you going to support “Get the Nut” in the future?
GPack: How are you going to support “Get the Nut” in the future?
AS: First of all we respond immediately to every mail sent to the support. We read every review written by the players and we fix any problem and consider any suggestions. We are now in the process of thinking how to improve the game and add more content.
GPack: Tell us a little about your previous projects? What other kinds of games did you work on?
AS: Our previous project was “Cryptica”. It was a game I thought about before I teamed up to found Pixibots. This game is pure and simple: you need to position square stones on matching tiles, the only catch is that you do not move a single stone but move them all together. I was inspired by an old game I loved named “Sokoban”.
“Cryptica” is a very challenging game; you can find yourself trying to solve a puzzle for 20 minutes or more in the expert level. As I mentioned before the game was chosen to be Top Featured on Google Play Store.
Before that I worked in the 3D industry but not on games, only commercials and other major projects.
AS: Now we are planning our next project, we have tones of Ideas but as a small company we need to carefully choose our next step. There’s a good chance it will involve 3D (back to my roots).
GPack: The game is already out on Android devices. Are you planning on releasing it on any other platforms?
AS: A version of the game is waiting at this moment to be approved by Apple and will be available on the App Store very soon now. We are working with Unity so at the second they will release the Windows Phone converter it will be released there as well.
GPack: Thank you very much for your time.
Below you’ll find a short gameplay trailer for Get the Nut, just to give you a little taste of what the game has to offer. If you want to try it out you can download the Lite version from the Google Play store.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.