The anniversary celebrations continue, and today we have three people from the team that have been with Zooba from the beginning/ early stages, that will be providing some amazing insight! This includes everything from how the game was created, milestones, and highlights Zooba has experienced leading up to it’s second anniversary!
Now, let’s take a look below!
Please introduce yourselves!
Julia: Hi! I am Julia Bax and I am one of the creators and current art director of Zooba!
Wesley: Hey everyone! I’m Wesley and I’m the lead gameplay engineer of Zooba!
Ferri: I’m Ferri, and I’m a Communications Manager and Team Lead here at Wildlife. Most of you probably know me from our ZooTalk and Zoobacast.
How did Zooba first get created?
Julia: It was a group of 4 people originally. We wanted to experiment with the battle royale gameplay, but using the controllers that we saw in some Asian mobile games – where you hold your phone as if it was a console controller with dual analog sticks! So we did a quick prototype in an internal game jam and everyone in the company was hooked! After that it officially became a new game project!
Wesley: Zooba was created in a hackathon inside a small group of people. Before it, some people spent some time developing an efficient Multiplayer Online Battle Arena engine to empower teams to use it and develop their ideas around it. Quickly, the project became a prototype and then the amazing game we have today.
Ferri: It was an idea pitched by some folks during one of our famous Hackathons, and the idea was so good that it became an actual project. It went from a prototype to the awesome game you all get to play today!
When did you begin to realise how much potential Zooba had?
Julia: To me it was when we made the first internal championship. The whole company went crazy and played for HOURS and HOURS on that weekend. I knew then that it was an incredibly engaging mechanic!
Wesley: I think it was after the global launch. I realized that we had a bunch of charismatic animal characters in our hands with an unique style.
Ferri: It was around the time we released our first new character, Buck. Players were so excited to play with a new character, and they couldn’t wait to know more about his skills and playstyle. Right then, I knew that Zooba would be a game that players would love.
What is one milestone you were super happy to reach with Zooba?
Julia: I think it was our first anniversary. It was great seeing the game release new characters, grow in audience, and celebrate this moment with our players.
Wesley: From the technical side of the project, it was the new progression of the characters along with a lot of new skins and primal instinct powers.
Ferri: Oof, that’s a tough question! Haha. We’ve reached so many remarkable milestones, but one that stood out to me was when we hit 100K subscribers on YouTube and received the silver award button. That was proof of how strong our community was and how far we could get!
Can you tell us a funny story about something that may have happened unexpectedly during the launch? Or if not the launch in general!
Julia: Funny story (not launch related). At some point in our development we had a boomerang as a weapon! It was very OP and annoying to play against, LOL! Not surprisingly, it is no longer in the game 😀
Wesley: Well, when talking about funny stories from the technical perspective, it’s difficult to not talk about funny bugs, right? So, when we released Earl, the crab, we had a situation where two crabs were able to put characters inside the fountains. We used to say that the characters were in the swimming pool of the arena.
Ferri: It wasn’t during the launch, but something funny happened when we were about to launch Lizzy. We were planning on doing this cool campaign to tease her, but we accidentally included her emotes in an update, and all players got to see her before we could even start the campaign. Luckily Lizzy is one of the most adorable and beloved characters we have, so it was all good!
What is your favorite thing about Zooba?
Julia: Creating new characters. Every single time we start to brainstorm a new one it instantly becomes my new favorite!!! The animal kingdom is such a vast place, with so much inspiration… making Zooba about animals was the best decision EVER!
Wesley: With no doubt, the characters and their personalities. Each of one is so unique since the ideation!
Ferri: I’d say the characters and universe we created. When you play Zooba, you’re not only concerned about winning but also having fun with your favorite characters. We have so many unique and fantastic characters that it never gets boring. On top of that, Zooba is a great place to start new friendships and have a lot of fun!
How do you plan on making Zooba a game that will mark a generation?
Julia: We still have a long way to go in terms of cool content for the game. I have a list of things I want us to make, and I can tell you, it’s LONG! Game development is a very unpredictable industry though, and things sometimes are harder to do than they initially seem. But we are working hard to bring you guys better content every day!
Wesley: We are always aiming to deepen the gameplay possibilities by having more characters and more playstyles or game modes. This is the way we want to engage people to continue playing Zooba and to discover it for the first time.
Ferri: I believe that the way to do it is to keep releasing exciting and engaging content. We must not settle for what the game is right now but keep reaching for what it can be. It’s also crucial to listen to our players and ensure we’re delivering a game they’re happy with.
Do you have any old videos or images from the original concept of Zooba?
Julia: YES, let me look for it!
Wesley: Better to ask people from product or art!
Ferri: I believe Julia is the best person here to share old footage and images of the original Zooba, haha. Things were A LOT different back then!
What is your favourite part about working on the Zooba team?
Julia: Everyone is so nice and talented! It is a cliche saying that your colleagues are family, but in Zooba’s case I actually feel that way 🙂
Wesley: The creativity of the people inside the team!
Ferri: The passion of the entire team for the product we’re working with. Everyone is doing their best because we genuinely care about Zooba and its future. I know that things look bleak sometimes, and we make mistakes, but rest assured, we’re trying to create a fantastic experience for everyone.
Do you have any teasers you would like to provide the community?
Julia: Oooh! Let me say here that some animals that are very requested by the community are currently here, living in my computer desktop… soon to be living in your phones!!!
Wesley: More engaging characters and a lot of bugfixes haha. I promise.
Ferri: The Magical Update will be here very soon, and I can guarantee that you are all going to love what we have in store! Some of the characters we all love are about to become even more fabulous!
And that’s it Zoobsters! Thank you for taking the time to learn more from our team and hearing their insight on Zooba celebrating it’s second birthday this year! We couldn’t have done it without all of our AMAZING fans out there, and we wanted to thank everyone that is here to celebrate! Check out our Facebook Group and Discord Server to join the discussion with our community of players and to stay updated!
See you at the Zoo!