Andreas Illiger: “Tiny Wings success was scary.”

Andreas Illiger, an author of the famous iOS game Tiny Wings, is so far the best example of indie developer success. Players flooded with bloody shooters found his beautiful game not only entertaining and addictive, but also tender, optimistic and soul pleasing. “The first month was really scary,” Andreas comments on what was happening after Tiny Wings had hit the first spot in the US App Store. An avalanche of interest was so unpleasant that Andreas decided to disappear from the public and get back to his passion: creating games. More then a year later after Tiny Wings’ release, Andreas is close to finishing his next title. We are very pleased he agreed to record our short informal interview after A MAZE Awards in Berlin held on April 27.

 Tiny Wings

Hi Andreas, what are you working on these days?

I am finishing a new game right now so it is pretty stressful. I am have been on it for the last ten months and it should be done in less then three weeks. It is hard, because I am still one man band.

Can you tell us little bit more about the new title?

It will be for the iOS platform again, that’s an obvious thing. Otherwise it’s a big secret, I am not telling anything to anyone 🙂

What was happening after your big success with Tiny Wings?

It was really hard life when Tiny Wings become such a success last year. You have no clue what success means before it happens to you. Suddenly the whole world went to my room and everybody wanted something: to buy me, to buy the license, sell merchandising stuff, make cinema movie. It was totally crazy. I am a quiet guy and I like my quiet life. For me personally, nothing changed. I still live in a small flat, I don’t have a car because I don’t have a driving license, I haven’t bought anything except of a new computer. So I am still the guy I was before Tiny Wings and I just want to make cool games, that’s my passion.

Tell us the story behind the making of Tiny Wings. Did you have anything particular in mind when you started the development?

The main idea was to make a game about the dream of flying. When I was a child I dreamed about flying. I crafted planes, jumped from the roof of our house with my aircraft. The funny thing is that I am afraid of heights so I don’t fly even nowadays. I also wanted to fill the game with positive emotions. There are many destructive and negative games so I wanted to figure out if it is possible to make a game which makes you feel happy. That was the great aspect of the success, I think. I received a lot of feedback from people who said the game touched them. My passion is also making music so I was curious if I can touch people with any game, the same way I do with music.

Has the first idea of Tiny Wings changed over the time of development?

I was thinking about what game I could make for a 1,5 year old. I played many different versions in my mind before starting the real work so there were only small changes eventually over 7 months of development.

Can you tell us more about your background? You are great designer, musician and coder. Where are the origins of your renaissance personality?

I studied graphic design. Music is my big passion, as a child I played a piano. I have been learning programming the whole youth because I have had really bad school experience. Computers, programming and making games was my therapy. I also do animation film and I would like to do more music… It is difficult to get focused when you have so many interests. That’s the reason why I create games. They are complex and I can merge all my skills.

Andreas thanks a lot for the interview, it was a pleasure to meet you in person. Good luck with your new game, enjoy making your further games and have fun. 


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