Meet the Team

We are a battle-experienced team and we have been working together for 4 years. We are passionate about working on games, apps and all kinds of projects that require design, development or other parts of our creative skillset, always aiming to raise the quality of any project by a level - or ten.

Max

Designer & Developer, Co-Founder

Max has already designed, developed and released his first mobile game before entering university. He specializes in Usability, satisfying interactions, Game Feel, Code Architecture, Real-time Networking and Performance Optimization.

Favorite Games

If you can play it, Max has probably tried it. Max loves brutal difficulty, competition and great story-telling. Currently, he plays Divinity: Original Sin 2, Valorant and has an ongoing Civilization 6 duel against Lissi.

Academics

Max achieved a Master of Science in Computer Science, specializing in Human Computer Interaction, with distinction (1.1). During his studies he received various scholarships for excellent performance.

Lissi

Designer & Developer, Co-Founder

Lissi thrives in developing highly customizable systems, designing & programming websites, scripting workflows, arranging UI Mockups, diving into analytics, designing for User Experience and also analyzing games & apps from a psychological viewpoint.

Favorite Games

Having completed probably over a gazillion matches with the same hero, Lissi has been playing Dota 2 on and off for years and also loves the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series with a passion.

Academics

Lissi achieved a Master of Science in Computer Science, specializing in Algorithms and Theory, with distinction (1.2).

Nauris

Graphic & Animation Artist

Nobody has participated in as many games as Nauris. Having worked on more than 250+ games projects for small and big companies (even Disney!), he’s absolutely blessed with experience. Nauris excels at pumping out and animating amazing graphics in no time. He’s the jack of all graphical trades.

Favorite Games

Since Max talked him into playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there’s no other game that will ever have a bigger place in Nauris' heart. Except the ones he draws & animates for. He’s got a big heart.

Academics

Nauris was once aspiring to become a TV director, before deciding that university sucks and making games is way better. At least one of us has a classical games industry biography.

Joshua

Music & Sound Artist

Joshua is an award-winning composer and sound effects designer. While he’s also incredibly talented in sound design, composing music in all imaginable styles is his true forte. His compositions have been performed internationally by a variety of ensembles.

Favorite Games

Currently there’s nothing better than diving deep into the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and once he’s got enough of discovering this unique world, he builds his own in Minecraft.

Academics

Joshua is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition at the University of South Florida (BM’21). As a student there, he was a recipient of the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award, a prestigious award given to an outstanding undergraduate music majors.

Past Projects

Tower Duel – iOS & Android

Design, Development, Distribution

The Game

Tower Duel is a 1vs1 Tower Defense game for iOS and Android. While building a maze of Towers on their stadium half, players also send Runners to their opponent. Whenever a Runner reaches a player’s End Zone, they lose a health point. The last player standing wins!

Between matches, players build their decks from a selection of 40+ cards with unique effects, which are additionally customizable via an intricate rune-system. This way everybody can come up with their personal battle plan and surprise their opponent with ever new and never seen strategies. Check it out on the App Store or Play Store!

Design & Development

We have designed, developed, released and iterated the game completely as a team under the banner of Forest Ring Games. After the release we kept shipping updates with new content, running Tower Duel as a Game-as-a-Service.

Technology

Tower Duel is based on a variety of intertwined systems, first and foremost a specialized and custom lockstep multiplayer solution. This makes live 1vs1 battles on mobile possible, no matter how bad the connection of players on the go might be.
Additionally it supports customizable bots with a focus on making them behave like a real player. This even goes as far as the bots taking replays of player-matches from similar skill levels as input.

Content Creation

New cards (Towers, Runners & Hacks) can be rapidly prototyped due to an Entity-Component-System. Every team member is able to design, test and balance new cards because of the familiar and intuitive content creation interface that we designed.

Game Design & UX Iteration

Initially we measured a low Day-1 retention, ran detailed analysis and could attribute it to various issues in our tutorial. After resolving those, we conducted UX tests in schools and online to consistently improve the design and verify our changes with the target audience.

After a couple of weeks our Day-1 retention issues were fully resolved and the Day-1 retention skyrocketed to top tier mobile level. This process greatly sharpened our game design and UX skills and will help us to pinpoint and address problems faster or avoid them altogether in any future project we’re tackling.

Knuddels App - iOS

Development, Issue analysis

Knuddels Chat

Knuddels is the biggest German chat with more than one million users. It’s around for 20 years already and offers a variety of functions from classic chat rooms over Tinder-like matchmaking to games. Check it out on the App Store!

Development

Initially Max has been hired to fix various crashes and other issues in the existing Knuddels iOS that was based on Objective-C and Swift. After greatly increasing the stability, Max continued to add several new features into the iOS app and to port features of the Knuddels Android app into the iOS app and later on maintained the Knuddels iOS app for around one year.

Uberachiever

Development

Uberachiever App - iOS

The Uberachiever app was designed to let users set fitness or life goals for themselves and set a timeframe within they want to achieve it. In case they didn’t achieve it, they had to donate a previously set amount of money to a charity of their choice. In either scenario the world would become a slightly better place.

Development

Max developed the first and several further iterations of the Uberachiever iOS app. The functionality was closely ported from the Android app with a focus on a clean, beautiful UI with subtle animations.

3D Puzzle - VR with Razer Hydra

UI/UX Design & Development

3D Puzzle

Max, Lissi and three other team members took part in a challenge of the University of Würzburg to create an easy to interact with 3D Puzzle that supports VR and takes input via a Razer Hydra controller.

Development

The largest hurdle was to make the 3D puzzle visuals quickly readable for the player and to design a way of input that allows for swift and precise interactions. Solving that puzzle should first and foremost feel fun and rewarding. In the end we greatly succeeded by having the easiest to interact with design and also the fastest speed run (see video).

ThinkIn Blocks – iOS, Android, Windows Phone & Web

Development, Porting to Unity

Multi-Platform

After the successful release of the iOS version of ThinkIn Blocks (see further down), Max developed a Unity version of the game for Webfactor Media, the company that acquired ThinkIn Blocks previously.

Further development

Additionally Max also applied various improvements and integrated new graphics (that were provided by the client), better UI and monetization via ads.

Scemory - iOS

Development

The Game

Scemory is an implementation of the classic “Simon” gameplay mechanic as a mobile game. The four differently colored circle segments light up in a random order while also playing a sound. The player has to remember and correctly repeat the sequence via touching the segments.
Additionally, the game had a couple of game modes (e.g. with rotating or randomly switching circle segments) that gave the classic a breath of fresh air.

Development

Scemory was done as a contract job for Webfactor Media, the company that acquired ThinkIn Blocks previously. In this project Max took over the development, the game design and graphics were provided by the client.

The code is based on the original custom game engine for ThinkIn Blocks and since the game isn’t too complex, the development was fast and easy.

ThinkIn Blocks - iOS

Design, Development, Distribution

Game Design

In ThinkIn Blocks players have to solve puzzles similar to classic match-three-games. The twist is that every puzzle is solvable in a certain number of moves and in the end all blocks must be gone. Players can only switch blocks left and right (not up and down).

The game features 14,400 levels with 5 different difficulty levels. All the levels were randomly generated with an algorithm that Max developed for the game. If a level seems unbeatable players can peek and the game will then play back a possible solution.

Development

The game is based on a custom game engine that was programmed specifically for ThinkIn Blocks and the whole game was developed completely within only six weeks.

Acquisition

Originally, Max has designed, developed (including art, music composition and sound effects) and distributed the game himself. Later on the game was acquired by Webfactor Media, a company from Würzburg, and Max did various contract jobs to develop further games for Webfactor and porting ThinkIn Blocks to Unity.

Other Projects

Our Crit Crew team members have also worked on other projects in the past, either unreleased or under NDA. This includes:

  • Jump & Run physics based game with similar mechanics as Tiny Wings
  • Zelda-like RPG
  • Final-fantasy like RPG with a huge hand-drawn map
  • Various music apps & games
    • Midi-Player app for iOS with perfect timing
    • Music instrument apps
    • Music games
  • Graphic design app
  • Various other games