Angry Elja

Posted on 20-06-2017

Join Angry Elja in an attempt to clear out his mine in this unique arcade maze game! Pick up your pickaxe and dig through the tunnels further into the depth of this mine solving tons of puzzles along the way. Collect gold and earn achievements in every mine but be careful for falling rocks, nasty enemies and don’t run out of mining energy!

A short while after I graduated my study at the University of the Arts Utrecht I got contacted asking if I was available to do some freelance work for the puzzle game Angry Elja which was in development. The team consisted of an artist and two developers, who were struggling with completing the game before their deadline. Since I enjoy programming/designing puzzle games and was curious about publishing a mobile game I joined the project, where I spent six months under a contract working on it. Angry Elja was released on Google Play Store, iOS App Store and itch.io.

Outline a path, which will prompt Elja to follow it

Outline a path, which will prompt Elja to follow it

My job started off with fixing bugs and cleaning up unimplemented features, but within a few weeks it accompanied design as well. The game had design choices which didn’t align with the core concept, which resulted in frustrating aspects. Because of this the artist and I set up meetings where we proposed alternate choices, and I made quick implementations of these features to back up our arguments. During the project I worked close with the artist, helping each other implementing our craft and brainstorming about design.

The mine is a crowded place

The mine is a crowded place

After launch my time was mainly spent pushing hot fixes and implementing features the player base wanted. Since the sales weren’t as expected I was asked to do online marketing as well. This included creating social media presence, writing a presskit() and contacting publishers. A month, accompanied with the time spent on programming, sadly proved to be too little to get substantial results.

Angry Elja has 45 levels

Angry Elja has 45 levels

It was an educational experience to join a team where the game was halfway through development. My work was very diverse, which I appreciated when the pressure wasn’t too high. I learned a lot about publishing games to the app store, implementing hot fixes and processing player feedback. Discussing game design forced me to look at the ‘why’ and ‘how’, and how to properly back up my arguments.