Poly Vita Developer Interview

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  • March 21, 2023
Poly Vita Developer Interview

It was great hearing from Alejandro Zielinsky about the reasons behind the development of Poly Vita.

Tell us about your solo dev journey

My journey as a solo game developer began after I completed a rigorous 3-year program in game development in Toronto, Canada. For my final project, I created a game called Poly Vita, which received high praise from my instructors and peers. Encouraged by this positive feedback, I decided to continue developing the game after graduation, working on it during my free time over the next few years.

During this time, I spent countless hours iterating through different core mechanics and experimenting with various art styles. I would often give up on the project for many months at a time due to the arduous development process and feeling that I could never see the finish line. I somehow managed to persistently come back to the project however, and see it to completion. I was driven by a desire to release a full game that I was the sole creator of, including design, music production, sound design, programming etc.

Tell us a little bit about the story behind your game?

The game is about Maya, a girl stranded inside her dreams in search of lost fragments of her soul. The story is a reflection of my own journey towards healing from my experiences of anxiety and dissociation. In each level you must collect all of Maya’s soul fragments in order to complete the puzzle. The goal of the game is to help Maya restore her soul and allow her to finally awaken from her dream. I wanted to create a game that is a meditative, relaxing puzzle experience that could ease feelings of anxiety. I hope the story can resonate with some players with similar experiences of anxiety.

What inspired you to make your game?

I was inspired to get into game development because of Monument Valley. I loved my experience playing that game so much that it became the main inspiration for Poly Vita. I also took some inspiration from the Square-Enix Go games as well as an old board game named Labyrinth. My initial pitch for Poly Vita was Monument Valley meets Labyrinth.

What challenges did you face when you first started?

I was mainly challenged by a lack of constraints. It’s very daunting to embark on making your own video game. The empty Unity scene is quite an intimidating blank canvas, especially when you’re working by yourself and don’t have any other team members to constrain your ideas in some way. I would find myself committing to some version of the core mechanics of the game and then pivoting in a totally different direction. This would happen countless times before settling on what is now the core mechanic of the game.

I also had such high standards for the aesthetic of the game, yet I wasn’t a 3d or visual artist. That desire for my game to look really good + my perfectionism was really challenging to deal with. There were so many challenges I faced, that it’s difficult to list them all here.

What would you do differently if you could go back and do it again?

Oh so much. Top items on that list would have to be, start marketing waaay earlier in development. Poly Vita was a finished game before I started marketing it. I know, huge mistake. It’s been excruciatingly difficult to spread awareness of my game / gain any traction on social media. Another thing I would do differently is going with a completely different art style. I did not expect to receive so much criticism for having my game resemble Monument Valley. It’s been pretty disheartening as some people can’t seem to get past that and dismiss the entire game I poured so much of my time and effort into.

Is your game single / multi-player or both?

Poly Vita is a single player game.

Is your game free, a one off cost, monthly payment or micro or crypto transactions?

Poly Vita is a one off cost with no in app purchases of any kind.

Is there an age restriction?

Nope, anyone can play the game.

When did your game launch?

My game launched on Steam March 1st 2023! The game has been out on iOS and Android since early 2021.

What platforms did you focus on first and why?

I focused on mobile platforms first, specifically iOS. Poly Vita was designed as a mobile experience, and I’m an iOS developer so that is why I focused on iOS.

Do you have a Demo?

Not at the moment.

What Platforms has your game launched on?

Steam, iOS and Android. The Steam version has some extra features that the mobile versions don’t have, as well as achievements.

What other games are you working on right now?

I have a bunch of different ideas I would like to get to, however, I’m in need of a long break after having just released the Steam port of Poly Vita.

All of my game ideas seem to be puzzle games which I’ve learned the hard way is not the best genre of game to launch on Steam. However, driven by a passion to create the games I envision, I’ll most likely develop them anyway.

The one I’m excited to get started on is a unique chess variant.

IGD: Thanks Alejandro, for your time in answering these quesions.  We look forward to hearing more about the games you develop in the future.

Not Reviewed
Poly Vita is a thought-provoking isometric puzzle game with turn-based elements, that takes you on a journey through various worlds. The game is about a lost wanderer named Maya, who has been stuck inside her dreams for a long time in search of the missing fragments of her soul. Throughout the game, you will help Maya restore the pieces of her soul, allowing her to finally awaken. If you love challenging puzzle games then Poly Vita is a game for you! At the same time, the games relaxing atmosphere with no timers means you can take your time to solve each puzzle.
Release Date: 2021
Platform: Android , iOS , PC
Developed by: Alejandro Zielinsky
Published by: Alejandro Zielinsky
Stores: Steam