From David O’Reilly’s Everything to Michael Frei’s Kids, it’s always exciting to hear news of short filmmakers entering the gaming arena and the latest creator to turn his hand to something more interactive is previous S/W pick Florian Grolig (In the Distance), with his clever take on the ‘Match 3’ game High Rise.
Having already created two mobile games (Sisyphos & Space Noon), with frequent collaborator Ole Breulmann, the pair set out to make a game with cubes and commercial potential. “I immediately had the idea for the simplified city visual”, Grolig explains as we discuss the release of his game. “That was around 2015 when games with cubes just started to be a thing. We then tested the idea with Duplo and Matthias Tietze built a unity prototype, with the hope of raising some funding. We didn’t get any”.
After taking a break from the idea, Grolig continued with commercial work and also created the short animation Friends, before returning to the concept and creating a simpler version, again with the help of Tietze. With a background in 3D animation, making the transition to gaming wasn’t a difficult process for Grolig, though he admits the biggest challenging was ensuring the interaction “feels good”.
Having recently become a father and with Friends currently doing the festival rounds, Grolig is now working on a “very short” film that he hopes to put straight online and will also co-produce Dina Velikvskaya’s (Kukuschka) new film.
He also hopes to make some improvements to High Rise and aims to release two updates later in the year – depending on how well received the game is. “So far, we’ve get very positive feedback but downloads are low”, Grolig explains. “Discovery for indie mobile games is a tough issue”.