MEET THE DEVELOPER
Making a Minit
Quickly discover how this pixel-perfect puzzler was brought to life.
Adventure 60-Seconds at a Time
Players of the adorable lo-fi adventure puzzler Minit have only one real problem: the main character is cursed with a lifespan of just one minute. The upside? The cute creature is revived after every death and keeps any items you collected in your previous 60 seconds.
As players are challenged to speed through the game to lift the curse, we thought it would be fun to let co-creators Kitty Calis and Jan Willem Nijman speedrun our interview with them. Five questions with at most a minute each to answer. Welcome to the fastest interview in the west… Er, the App Store.
Where did the initial idea for Minit come from?
Calis: Well, Minit is an adventure game and I think what’s great about having an adventure is that you have a new experience every time you arrive in a new place. The other inspiration for me is the Adventure Time cartoon, in which main characters Finn and Jake embark on a new adventure in every episode. For me, I wanted to capture that in every round of Minit you play – you embark on a new adventure, see what new things you can discover.
So why 60 seconds?
Nijman: We actually really hate games that feature timers. I always find them very stressful to play! So for us, Minit was a huge challenge to develop, because we were challenging ourselves to transform a feature we generally don’t like into something that really works.
But a minute is actually quite catchy. Almost everyone has an idea of how long that is. And also, it’s short enough so that if you fail to reach your objective, it doesn’t feel like you wasted that much time. But at the same time, it’s actually long enough to get something done, which we didn’t expect at first. It really is enough to contain an entire adventure from start to finish.
What was the starting point for developing this game?
Calis: We started by setting some limits. We decided on the pure black-and-white look of the game, the 60 seconds players would have and so on. We also wanted the game to feel very minimalistic, so players really only have one button to use. And this might make it sound like we didn’t give ourselves a lot of options to work with, but it really made us more creative! Just the design of the main character: it literally consists of one colour, so we had to ask ourselves how to make sure it conveys emotion and how it’s accessible for everyone.
Do you feel the limits you set made for a more interesting game?
Nijman: I think so. It definitely helped set Minit apart from other games. It also really helped our entire team, Dominik [Johann], Jukio [Kallio], Kitty, and myself, to really challenge ourselves and find the limit of our talents. So initially we just thought the 60 second loop would be a cool thing for players, but it turned out to be very challenging for us as well.
You also have to consider we made it so that all the content in the game is unique: you don’t have to do the same puzzles over and over, you don’t have to fight the same enemies all the time… the idea is: this minute represents this specific adventure, the next minute will be a completely new adventure.
What advice would you give players that boot up the game for the first time?
Calis: I think the main piece of advice is to be curious. Go on an adventure, go explore, try out whatever comes to mind. There’s something to find in every screen in the game. It might be something small like an extra animation or a reward or something funny, but these things are literally all over the game.