Interview: All About Building A Classic With LEGOⓇ Hill Climb Adventures

By admin May30,2024

LEGOⓇ Hill Climb Adventures has launched on iOS and Android this week, and we were lucky enough to chat to the development team about it.

Fingersoft’s Producer Juho Wallen and Lead Designer Visa Smolander (there they are with their team below!) answered a range of questions about the game’s creation, challenges during development, and plans for the title in the rest of 2024. 

Hello! Can you tell us about the process of developing LEGOⓇ Hill Climb Adventures, and how it came to be?

Hill Climb Racings are cerebral games that are fast and easy to pick up — easy to learn, but hard to master. Tens of millions of players play Hill Climb Racings monthly and that was a great starting point for us and LEGO to start cooperation. 

We wanted to replicate the familiar physics and gameplay of Hill Climb Racing, but introduce the creativity and fun that LEGO products are known for. What if the car could break down into LEGO pieces? What if the player could crash into LEGO-build objects, and build them? These questions resonated with both LEGO and us, and eventually we agreed to build a prototype to test if the “fun” exists. It did, and we are happy and proud to share the game to be played by fans of both LEGO and Hill Climb Racing.

What were the biggest challenges developing the game?

Performance on a wide variety of devices was a big concern for us. From the start, we knew we wanted dynamic gameplay and large, complex levels with a lot going on. Making the game run ultra smooth like any other Hill Climb Racing game provided a significant challenge for us, but we knew it was critical for the gameplay. I think in the end, we managed to really push the envelope on the amount of dynamic objects and scale of the levels while still maintaining smooth gameplay on a range of devices.

Another challenge was narrowing the game down to something really cohesive. There were so many directions to take initially, and so many things we wanted to do, and a lot ended up on the cutting room floor throughout the project. You could say we had too many good ideas to fit into one game.

How did your success with Hill Climb Racing help prepare to develop LEGO Hill Climb Adventures?

Our proactive player base of 50M monthly active users was a huge help in early-stage testing and feedback. We systematically shared game updates with a beta tester group, and they gave us their thoughts, feelings, and bug reports. That was invaluable; without them, the game would not be what it is today. 

Even with a new direction for this game, we wanted to bring the core, the essence of Hill Climb Racing, to this game, and the testers were essential in that process.

Having an existing user base was also handy during the soft launch; we could cross-promote and incentivize our existing players to try out LEGOⓇ Hill Climb Adventures, thus getting more input and performance data.

What did you learn during the game’s beta stage in order to make it the best experience possible for players?

Testing early and often was crucial in finding the right balance of challenge and approachability. The beta stage really helped us tune the difficulty of the game.

Players will always play through the content faster than you anticipate. We knew this from the start, but we were still surprised by how fast the dedicated fans, especially, just fly through all the content. This meant we needed to rethink our content and approach to making it.

Were there any key inspirations – in gaming or elsewhere – when it came to developing the game?

Of course, the previous Hill Climb Racing games were a foundation for us gameplay-wise. We really wanted to keep the core gameplay from them and expand it in a new direction by making it more about the world of Climb Canyon and its cast of characters. 

A big part of our inspiration also comes from console and PC, especially the adventure and Metroidvania genres. We wanted to embrace that kind of exploration feeling you rarely see in mobile games. Existing LEGOⓇ games have also set a very high bar for us on quality and fun gameplay, and we wanted to achieve that with this game as well.

Is there a lot of pressure when developing a game using such an iconic license?

Of course, it sets a high bar for quality for us, but since the start, it has been more of an inspiration rather than any pressure. 

Can you tell us more about how the active and passive gadgets work in the game and what they add to the experience?

Various gadgets activate automatically on special trigger condition, e.g. collected resource (fuel boost) or making a flip (flip boost), or wings that help you reach greater heights when flying through the air.

The active gadgets provide an extra button that lets the player choose when to activate the gadget for various gameplay benefits. For example, the player can use the Dynamite Shooter to open up new paths in The Great Below or the Copter to reach new areas in the Mountains.

How do the in-app purchases work in the game?

Players can purchase different resources to accelerate progression and unlock new vehicles and gadgets faster. We also offer a paid version of the seasonal builder pass for players to unlock even more fantastic rewards for playing the seasons. 

We also have some gameplay content, like expansion packs, available for premium currency that adds all new gameplay content, such as stories, levels, and gadgets, to the game.

Has there been effort made to make this a title suitable for all players and experience levels?

We always aim for our games to be easy to learn and hard to master so that anyone can play them. We want the controls to be simple and satisfying, and mastery to come from using those simple tools to achieve the goals set by the game.

With this title, we took extra care to ensure the game was suitable for all audiences. This also really aligns with both our company values.

Are there any differences between the iOS and Android versions of the game?

There are no functional differences between platforms. We want everyone to have a great experience no matter what platform they are playing on.

What is next for LEGO Hill Climb Adventures, are there any updates or expansions planned in 2024?

Absolutely yes! Along with new seasons every two months, we have a ton of new content already in the works, with new regions, vehicles, gameplay and storylines. The first of these updates will be coming up soon after launch so please look forward to it! 

We also want to follow what we have been doing with our previous titles and keep the game fresh with, constantly evolving the core features and bringing new big features to expand the game even further.

Our thanks to Juho and Visa for their time. You can download LEGO Hill Climb Adventures via Google Play and App Store now.

By admin

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