Interview: TWISTEX Was Originally Planned To Be A VR Only Game

Featured Image
TWISTEX - via Middle Man Games

TWISTEX is an arcade puzzle game with a twist of unique game modes and VR experience. The game introduces a unique challenge of increasing difficulty as the tower height increases, pushing you to do more than just adjust the blocks with each level. With over 48 levels to play, endless mode, and unique rewards, TWISTEX pushes the classical arcade gaming experience even further. 

The game also aims to enhance the reward system by offering leaderboards to track your performance and stay ahead in the competition. Even better is that you can enjoy the game on both VR and PC to compete against the rising players across the leaderboards. To expand more on the design inspiration and development challenges, we interviewed Kevin Walker, the solo developer of TWISTEX, over an email.

TWISTEX - via Middle Man Games
TWISTEX – via Middle Man Games
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role on TWISTEX

Kevin: My name is Kevin Walker. I’m the solo dev behind Twistex. I started teaching myself how to make games around 10 years ago, and I’ve now released 3 Titles.

I think, for the first time, TWISTEX implements a unique Tetris experience with new game modes. How did this idea originate?

Kevin: The idea came while I was prototyping a totally different kind of game. I was trying to work out something complicated with angles and rotations between 2 VR controllers. While testing, I ended up with a cylinder that would stay between your hands and be an easy way to rotate it.

I quickly had the idea that this could be the playspace for a game, and soon, this became Tetris blocks falling around the edges, so you could rotate with the other hand. It pretty much wrote itself from there.

TWISTEX - via Middle Man Games
TWISTEX – via Middle Man Games
Could you elaborate on the design approach behind the customization option behind the TWISTEX?

Kevin: The customization system went through many changes through development. I got really into color. I had 12 main colors that I was using for blocks, etc., and I wanted to change any aspect of the game to any of those colors and give the user a lot of freedom.

You can even change the material for the blocks and towers to be metallic or glow in the dark, etc.

How did you manage to balance the game mechanics so it offers a fresh experience while still ensuring classic gameplay?

Kevin: I didn’t want to change too many things at once. The cylinder idea and the VR control system were new, different things. So, I tried to keep everything else as simple as possible.

I chose 2 very classic game modes (clear rings/lines or clear groups of the same color) and applied them to the cylindrical grid. That way, people understand what they are doing right away, and the challenge comes from thinking about it in a 3D(ish) way.

TWISTEX - via Middle Man Games
TWISTEX – via Middle Man Games
What motivated the decision to offer both VR and non-VR versions of TWISTEX?

Kevin: I wouldn’t have a non-VR version until I made the spectator view for the PC release. This gives you a copy of the tower close to the camera so people can see what you are doing more easily.

While testing that, I could see it was pretty easy to play on the screen using a stick to rotate and that it wouldn’t be hard to achieve, so I thought it would be rude not to at that point.

The game was recently updated with a Practice Mode. What prompted the implementation of Practice Mode in TWISTEX, and how does it benefit players in refining their skills?

Kevin: After watching some videos people had posted, I could see that often, at first, they were struggling to keep up with the shapes because they were still working out the controls.

So, I added practice mode where the shapes only fall when you hold drop. This lets you get to grips with the controls and also lets you think about shape placement so you can plan the best strategies.

TWISTEX - via Middle Man Games
TWISTEX – via Middle Man Games
How long has the game been under development?

Kevin: It was about 1 year to the first release on Quest, then around 6 months doing updates and releasing on Steam.

How has the reception been to the addition of new features and improvements in TWISTEX, particularly in terms of player feedback or reviews?

Kevin: The reviews have always been really positive. All of the recent improvements have come from player feedback, and that’s an ongoing thing, but all the big issues have been addressed now.

Are there any upcoming updates or features planned for TWISTEX that players can look forward to?

Kevin: I’m working on something new now, but I don’t think I’m done with Twistex. I’d love to add more modes at some point and will continue to support it for a while.

TWISTEX is an arcade casual game, developed and published by Middle Man Games. The game was released on January 11, 2024 for PC. 

Was this helpful? 🕹️

Good job! Please give your positive feedback 😏

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 💡