Gaming Cypher had the pleasure of interviewing with Kniffel – Dice Duel developer Eugen Barteska of b-interkative.
1. How did you come up with the idea of Kniffel – Dice Duel?
Kniffel is a well known brand, German equivalent of Yahtzee. I was (and still am!) playing Kniffel my entire life; bringing it to mobile simply felt ‘natural’. That’s why we’ve licensed the game from Schmidt Spiele in the same year that b-interaktive was founded.
2. I’ve played Yahtzy many times – how can I expect Dice Duel to be different, or are they exactly the same?
They both follow the exact same core rules since the physical tabletop game concept was invented almost 80 years ago. Both the beauty and originality lie a little deeper. You can play Dice Duel with family and friends via various social media or against already huge community we build up prior the global launch. You can play anytime, anywhere and you always have your game with you. There’s also quite a few game modes that you can choose between. In ‘Random Opponent’ you make your move within seconds and wait for the other Player to answer. You can also play a ‘Quick game’ where an entire session from start to finish takes only a couple of minutes. Then there’s our titular Dice Duel mode where the Players bet Diamonds (in-game currency) and battle for the entire pool. For a turn based game it can get quite dynamic and thrilling.
3. What were your biggest design challenges of the game?
The biggest challenge was to evoke the same feeling as the original tabletop game. We didn’t want to create an application with tables and buttons that you ‘check in’ one after another. This is exactly why we’ve put so much attention to the seemingly unimportant details like cups that you have to shake, putting aside thrown dice that you want to keep. Even the Score List screen imitates the piece of paper and pencil that always accompanies a tabletop match of Yahtzee and Kniffel.
4. Did the Beta in Germany go as well as expected? What were the most common user comments about the game?
The Beta went much better than expected. On average, our Players are spending more than an hour playing Dice Duel everyday. Both the amount of sessions and retention parameters are extremely high. We’ve managed to gather a huge user base and got a lot of valuable comments and feedback that we could take into consideration while preparing the final version of the game. Thanks to our fans we’ve managed to integrate features we would never have come up with like the support for left/right-handed people.
5. Is the game available worldwide and is it out of Beta phase?
We’ve just crossed over 800.000 Downloads on iOS and Android and see over one million game sessions per day so we’ve decided that it’s high time to release Dice Duel worldwide. It’s been translated into 10 languages and is now available in all regions and majority of stores.
6. Last, but not least, if you could be any video game character ever created, who would you be?
I’m an 80’s kid who’s grown up with Commodore C64 as my first computer to play and code on. In case of reincarnation as a video game character I’d go for Mario’s greener brother, Luigi. 🙂
We would like to thank Eugen for taking the time to interview with us. If you’d like to check out Kniffel – Dice Duel, you can download it for free right here for iOS and Android devices.