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Eliss Infinity came out of a one-man, at-home 'game jam'
Recently released for iOS, Eliss Infinity is an updated edition of one of the first breakout hits from Apple's App Store. Developer Steph Thirion shares why he came back to the game.
Released at the forefront of 2009's mobile game wave, Eliss is a title near and dear to many, including its developer, Steph Thirion. One of the first hit games on iOS, Eliss has returned with a new and polished update, Eliss Infinity, which introduces a new endless mode and has been optimized for the iPad. "I wanted to make an endless mode for Eliss basically from the start," Thirion tells Gamasutra. "I actually started development on a chaining mechanic prototype soon after the game's release. It showed a lot of promise, but it wasn't quite clicking. I chose to change my focus for a bit." Thirion paused work on continuing Eliss to develop Faraway, which received a nomination for Best Mobile Game at the Independent Games Festival in 2012. While Faraway has not yet been released, Thirion says he was satisfied with its development at that point to shift his focus back to Eliss -- and in particular, emphasizing Eliss Infinity's performance on iPad. "The game was perfect for the iPad, even though it was developed before the device came out," Thirion says enthusiastically. "When it was, I knew immediately that Eliss was meant for the iPad, but I had trouble justifying the update if I wasn't also improving the game in some way. And so it ended up being a larger overhaul." Most of the game's overhauls were completed within a day, under an intense development schedule Thirion likens to a game jam. "I had all these friends who were coming back from these jams telling me about what great things they had managed to make; how the process was very inspiring to them," says Thirion. "So I said 'okay, I'll just give myself one day.' I will commit to this and do it. It became like a game jam at home."