Candy Crush Soda Saga company King has announced the release of Paradise Bay, its newest free-to-play title on iOS devices, taking players to a tropical island where they’ll collect resources and craft them into more valuable items as they befriend a cast of friendly characters.
Paradise Bay is similar to other resource collection and crafting games, like Zynga’s CastleVille Legends or FarmVille 2: Country Escape, in that players will grow crops, tend trees and more to collect base resources, including cotton, coconuts, bamboo and fish (as examples), which can then be transformed in a variety of crafting buildings, forming more valuable items like cloth or barrels, for instance.
Players begin with a limited number of each crop, and will receive two units for each seed they plant. In this way, even though players must replant some of their product to earn additional crops, they still have leftover crops for crafting.
Players unlock additional crafting recipes, resources and crafting buildings as they level up, and will earn experience points and coins by selling their goods on the trading board. The island’s characters will order specific items, and while players can ignore or ‘recycle’ some requests if they don’t have the required resources at the time, some of these orders must be fulfilled to progress the game’s storyline.
Over time, players can expand their village into the forested areas of the island, unlocking some new features in the process. For instance, early on, players will meet Wesley, a pirate who opens up ‘Weasley’s Exports’ on one of the island’s docks. This building allows gamers to sell some of their excess items to other players. Additional social features allow players to visit their friends’ islands, and complete multiplayer dives to gather rare items.
Gamers have storage limits for base resources and crafted materials, but can expand their storage by collecting key items over time. Treasure chests will periodically appear around the island potentially containing these items, as well as things like experience points, coins and even premium currency. This currency can be used to speed up building timers, crafting recipes and crop or tree growth, as examples.
In addition, players will earn extra rewards as they befriend the island’s characters. That is, the player has a relationship bar for each character, which fills as they complete tasks or trades for the character. Each time the bar fills, players are rewarded with a treasure chest of bonuses.
In an interview, Clint Tasker, lead designer on Paradise Bay at King Seattle Studio, told us more about the game and its development.
SocialTimes: King has had massive success with its puzzle titles. What made now the right time to try something new with Paradise Bay?
Clint Tasker: We recently announced that in addition to casual games, King is also looking to expand its portfolio to include strategy games and a variety of genres. While games such as the Candy Crush franchise and Farm Heroes Saga still remain a core part of our offering, we also want to be able to offer a broader portfolio of games. We’re very excited about the launch of Paradise Bay because it allows players to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery as they build their very own tropical paradise.
ST: Are there plans to allow players to interact with or somehow help out on their friends’ islands, rather than just visit and look around?
CT: Definitely! Paradise Bay offers a really social gameplay experience for players when they’re connected to the game via Facebook.
The Market and World Market both allow players to buy and sell items to other players of the game.
Players can also help their Facebook friends participating in dives for hidden treasure by speeding up their progress and ensuring they receive their rewards more quickly. The more friends you help, the more rewards there are to be had.
ST: Did you beta test the game with players during development? If so, what were some of the responses like?
CT: We tested the game before release and the response was really positive. Players loved our beautiful graphics and really gravitated towards our characters. One thing we focused on during development was making the game as straightforward as possible, but maintaining interesting gameplay. Testing this with players before release was very important.
ST: Players have to level up quite a bit to unlock the World Map and ‘discover other islands.’ Can you explain a bit about what players will do and find once they unlock this feature?
CT: When the player unlocks the World Map, they gain the ability to reach out into the world of Paradise Bay. The player will discover other traders that give them special offers, as well as other interesting islands with some surprises on them. We plan to support this feature in the future with additional islands the player can discover.
CT: When the player restores the Seal House, they will unlock the ability to dive for treasure. These dives appear periodically on the player’s land, at which point they can spend gold to dive for rare items. Diving can take a while, so players can have their friends assist them, reducing the time it takes to gain an item. The more players participating in the dive, the faster it completes.
ST: Is it possible for players to run out of base resources (bamboo or cotton, as examples), if they use them in crafts or sell them on the trading post but have forgotten to plant additional crops first?
CT: Players can buy more crops using soft currency. Some crops take a long time to grow, so players should try and avoid this situation or it will take a while to get up a good supply again.
ST: With a limit on resource storage, timers on crafting and the like, how does the team ensure the game doesn’t become too much about waiting (rather than playing), or too dependent on spending premium currency, as examples?
We believe it is important to include both short and long term motivation in the game for our players. Some orders will be smaller than others, allowing the player to complete them in a short time frame, while others may require additional planning. We also like to provide players additional features, like Treasure Dives, that they can participate in while they are waiting for some of their items to complete.
ST: Anything else you’d like to add?
We’re stoked that everyone is excited for Paradise Bay. We’ve been working on it for some time, and are really excited to share it with the world.