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About the Appsolute Creations Team

Hi everyone!

Thank you for stopping by! We hope that you enjoy your visit to Balloon-Loons.com, the main source of information where you can find the latest news on our newest creation, BALLOON LOONS!

Let me start with a brief introduction of the team. My name is Catalin Radu, and I am the creator of Balloon Loons. The idea came to me in early 2011, when my long time furry friend, a Mini Lop rabbit named “Stupid” passed away. I wanted to pay tribute to my buddy somehow when suddenly it dawned on me. Now I already had inspirations of becoming an app developer for the IOS, with two small apps already in the store (Auto Buddy and Auto Recalls), so I knew where to start. I just didn’t know if I could ever get there! I am not a programmer…I am an artist, so I knew to complete this journey I would need to find my better half. Someone who would inspire me and who would be just as motivated as I was to do something great. Immediately I began to hand sketch my characters. Lucky, was a no brainer. My other life long friend happens to be a Lhasa Apso named Nalla. I took her features and created her cartoon counterpart which came to be known as Lucky because, well let’s face it, in order to be successful in the app store you need to be lucky! And so it began….one by one the characters came to be and soon the level design would follow. I modeled my art after a fond childhood memory I had of receiving the old Nintendo Power magazine with the latest Super Mario Bros map walkthroughs. I remember looking at those magazines and seeing some really beautiful art on the outsides of the in game screenshots. I would think to myself….why can’t the game itself look like THAT? Well needless to say I was 6 and had no clue where video games would be today! For this project, I wanted to recapture that feeling of looking at some really beautiful cartoon art but this time actually see it in action.

But where is my better half? For that I took to the internet and came across a wonderful forum….the Cocos2d forum, and posted some ads. Many responded and some I even tried to work with, yet no one had the motivation to complete the task at hand. I had no money to pay someone and in reality I needed a partner so we can update and create new things on an almost monthly basis, according to my plans. For months and months I continued to draw. First by hand, then into Illustrator, then finally to Photoshop. I created my levels in TileD and my characters in Texture Packer (sprite sheets). Yet my better half was nowhere to be found. At this point 1 year in and 4 failed partnerships later, I began to get discouraged. My music was done, and sound effects ready to go. But no one to put it together.

One day out of the blue I receive an email. Someone by the name of Sufiyan from across the world in Malaysia, had written me saying he had seen my post on the the forum and was totally relating to my pain about not being able to find someone to work with. It turned out he was a programmer with hopes of getting into IOS development but every artist he would try to partner with turned to failiure. It was almost too good to be true! I wrote back and he responded within minutes….and it has been like that ever since! We have not missed one day without chatting. If not about the game, about life in general. From a business partnership we managed to build a solid friendship. And just to think…all thanks to SKYPE! The world suddenly doesn’t seem so large anymore.

So at this point I would like to introduce the second team member of our tiny indie company, Sufiyan Yasa! The brains behind the clockwork. The man who single handedly put the gears of the game into motion. Sufiyan would spend 12 hours a day putting together the pieces of what we knew would be a great game. And on top of it he had a day job! This is a man who doesn’t see coding as a job. To him coding is an artform. So I would like to let him take it from here to tell you all the rest.

OH.. Hi there, I am Sufiyan. That was the sound of me bashing on my keyboard squashing crashing bugs. As Catalin mentioned, coding is an artform to me, like how Kung fu is to the Shaolins, Muay Thai to the Siamese and Silat to the Malaysian. I firmly believe crunching knuckles and working hard is the only way of getting better at something. And coding is not an exemption.
Oh, I am getting side tracked. Back to myself. Despite having a few game titles in the AppStore, being an iOS developer is immensely tough work. Which I understood pretty well. Putting up with long working hours and sacrificing some family time is all that I was ready to cope with. But the biggest factor I failed to deal was the uncertainty of how my app would do in the AppStore. Which is why at ever failed release, my motivation and high spirits took a heavy toll. To the point that I was ready to GIVE UP and that thought kept replaying in my mind everyday.

But, every time that thought came to mind, I countered with the reasons why I kept up so long.
One fine day, while waiting for at the airport for a 3 hour business trip, I decided to do some googling on motivation articles and topics.It has been a habit to read inspiration material to fuel my own motivation. Immediately, Catalin’s post came up at the top of the list and I decided to send him an email. At that time, it never occurred to me that I would need a partner. Due to past failed-burnt partnership, the idea of indulging another partnership was at the back of my mind. By the time I got on the plane, I got a reply back from Catalin. Fast forward 3 hours + hotel check in, Catalin and I were already partners. We were compatible. Both of us shared the same ideals, same situation and the same problem. 3 months has passed since that day, and not a single day has passed where I didnt have fun! We both worked, discussed, and kept each other in high spirits. We worked like ants, knowing what to do when the other isn’t around. Despite the distance and time zone, thankfully, we had Skype and world clocks. Balloon Loons is nearly ready to launch, but for the better or worst, I gained the best partnership ever. So I hope everyone enjoy Balloon Loons as we have enjoyed making it!


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