With Nonstop Knight nominated for the People’s Choice Award at the 13th International Mobile Gaming Awards (HINT: please vote, winner announced in 1 week!), it’s fair to say that our favourite dungeon-brawling buddy has come a long way over the past 12 months.
To chat about the amount of stuff that’s happened since the days of the game being announced as “Project Nonstop”, we caught up with Mika Kuusisto, Kopla Games CEO.
As it turns out, Kopla’s original mission to bring mobile action RPGs to everyone remains as strong as ever.
So….a lot’s happened in 1 year, no?
Absolutely! Kopla Games has just turned 2 years old, we’ve doubled the size of our team and Nonstop Knight has been out since June last year. Everything has moved at light speed since we first went public with the game (in February 2016), at the time titled “ Project Nonstop”.
How relevant remains Kopla’s original mission statement of bringing action RPGs to everyone?
It’s remains our main mission – there’s still much work to be done! The original message from last February, namely in bringing action RPGs to the mainstream, very much holds true and remains firmly in our minds. With Nonstop Knight, we’ve achieved a lot in introducing many newcomers to the action RPG genre. But we’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of fulfilling this mission.
Needless to say, the success of Nonstop Knight has totally exceeded our expectations. The game has been a hugely positive learning for us – it’s only strengthened our understanding of the action RPG genre and how to make an even greater impact with future releases.
Considering the Kopla philosophy of brute forcing luck with skillful iteration, which in-game features couldn’t you have imagined 1 year ago?
Well, the pets system was somewhat of a lucky accident in that we were testing out the dragon pet in soft launch, exploring whether giving the knight a trusty sidekick would make the game more fun. It turned out to be one of the game’s most popular features! We’ve since rolled out a whole array of other pet buddies and even got our amazing community to help design the latest sidekick, the Owlet.
What we did envisage, and it was something we’d been considering since late 2015 (!!), was the introduction of a multiplayer element in the game. This was no accident – the Boss Hunt feature had been on our minds for a long time and we’d seen many fans asking for something like this to be implemented. As an event where players form teams and get rewarded by hitting shared milestones, we had to ensure that Boss Hunts complemented the core game in the right way. We had a couple weeks of iterative fine-tuning to get the feature spot-on before going live. And as it turned out, we found the right balance and Boss Hunts garnered a lot of love from the community.
What key moments would you list to summarise the past year?
Aside from the obvious of the Nonstop Knight hard launch, joining the flaregames family was a massive moment for Kopla and a big thing for me personally as an entrepreneur. For the team, being acquired by flare means that we can focus better on creating world-class mobile games and apply all our energies into development. Secondly, the move to the new office in central Tampere was a key moment, as it meant us leaving the “garage phase” where all five of us were working out of a 13 square metre office. Since then, Kopla is now fully staffed at 11 people, we’ve moved to a really neat office with a sauna (because Finland!) and we’re already working on the next game. What that looks like we’ll have more to reveal later, but the passion for bringing action RPGs to everyone remains strong!
And I can’t forget this key moment – Nonstop Knight beer for our summer party!