One of our top players, Fillyshy Pie, who is currently at rank 2 on the game’s leaderboard, took the time to answer an interview about the game!
There it is, and again, thanks Filly!
Teddy: Could you start with a little introduction about yourself? What do you do? Where do you live? Any activities / sports / passions that you would like to share?
Fillyshy: Well, I’m a bit strange, and my weirdness is best explained gradually, so I’ll try to do that throughout this interview. I’m in high school right now, but plan on going to Missouri S&T after I graduate, and want to major in computer hardware engineering. I live in Illinois, and take it from me: Don’t visit here! There’s nothing but cornfields as far as the eye can see! The biggest attraction is the road! I never was too big on sports, but I enjoy gaming.
Teddy: How did you originally find out about “This Mountain Goes Down”?
Fillyshy: I originally found out about it when I was looking for an app about either mining or trying to find a good incremental game; or maybe it was both at once? I guess I’m not sure because in the end, I found a game that is both of these things. After looking at the screenshots and reading the description, I decided I’d like to give it a try. I think I may have been a bit reserved due to the price, but in the end, I’m very glad I purchased This Mountain Goes Down.
T: If you could pick the 3 best qualities of the game, what would they be?
F: If I had to pick the three best things about this game, they’d all be rated as about the same for me, since they’re so close. I really love the fact that this game has secrets that reinforce visiting earlier areas. This is a great mechanic, as it balances short-vs-long term benefits, be it hunting a secret in a low-experience area or mining away in a high-experience area whose secrets you’ve already uncovered. I also really like the way that not only does the upgrade pricing increase incrementally, but some of the upgrades’ effects increase incrementally, as well. This is a great mechanic, as it nearly eliminates the plateau of ‘effect vs cost’ most incremental games eventually reach. It’s almost like the price per point of power added to your pickaxe remains constant; you are just required to buy more at a time. I also really appreciate the fact that this game doesn’t have micro transactions, or in-app purchases. When games have these, and especially if that game is an incremental game (if any incremental games do, that is), then the game becomes less about skill and more about how much you’re willing to pay to get to the top of the leaderboards. This Mountain Goes Down, without these, remains a game solely based on skill, not wealth.
T: If you could pick the 3 top weaknesses of the game, what would they be?
F: In all honesty, I think there were only three things that weren’t as good as they could have been. Again, they’re all rated so closely, that I can’t rank them. One of these things is the fact that if you mine idly for too long, clicking on another menu can cause the game to freeze and/or crash. This once required me to uninstall the app, and then reinstall it. That’s only happened once, though, if I am correct, so it may have been an isolated event. Also, you can’t listen to other music while playing the game. While I really like the in-game music, some people may want to listen to their own music, and I feel that sometimes, I would, as well (though I’d probably end up listening to the in-game music, anyways, since I really like it). Furthermore, while I didn’t mind THAT much about it, this game has a very sharp difficulty curve at the beginning. I will admit; it’s pretty steep, but I felt that this really gave players who overcame it a sense of triumph. I guess not too many players made it to that point, because this game gets a lot of flak for its difficulty.
T: How hard was it to reach the rank 2 in the leaderboard? Any tips / tricks to share with other players?
F: Getting from rank three to rank two was pretty difficult. I purchased This Mountain Goes Down a little less than a year ago, but there was a period of a few months where I had the game deleted because I was losing a lot of sleep by playing it. Whenever I reinstalled it, it said that my ranked experience was still a little less than one quintillion- and gaining experience didn’t increase that number until my experience on that playthrough surpassed my old best-playthrough experience, or my ‘ranked-playthrough experience’, as it will be called from here on out, which refers to the experience seen on the leaderboard. It was hard not knowing how much experience I had earned in total, especially when you have to hit that big of a number to see it going up again. But even once I got there, –skyehigh–, the player who was second place at the time, had fifteen quintillion, eight hundred trillion experience- about sixteen times what I had! By this point, the game became less difficult and more about patience. With it being an incremental game, I was able to reach rank two on this playthrough after only two months, but you have to remember, I know how to unlock the last upgrade within twenty- four hours of starting a new game, and can get to the last area after only a week of playing (or maybe two, it’s been awhile now). My advice to anyone starting the game would be to just keep pushing through! It doesn’t just get easier. It starts easy, gets hard, gets easier again, gets harder, gets way easier, gets way, WAY harder- and then starts getting progressively easier. This game has its peaks and valleys- like a mountain. Also- Teddy’s going to kill me for telling all of you this- but before you start mining, go into the game’s options and RESET THE GAME FIVE TIMES! I speak from experience when I say that you will regret it if you don’t.
T: Are you planning on getting to rank 1?
F: This is something I’ve actually thought about a lot. The thing is, if I reach rank one- that’s it. I’ll have completely beaten the game. I’ve found every achievement, so the game would become a number-cruncher. -[alecks86]- is currently in first place, and I’m less than five hundred trillion experience behind him. What if his game crashed and required reinstallation, and he too had to re-earn all of his experience before his ranked experience would go up again? If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t really be in first place, regardless of what the game said. Not only that, but he’s had that score for a few months, if not more than a year. That score is what encouraged me to persevere and keep trying to raise my own score. I think what I’ll do is wait until a few days before the sequel comes out, and then I will rise to rank one, since it would only take about half an hour to get five hundred trillion experience at this point.
T: How long have you been playing in total?
F: Well, I think I purchased this game on March 9th of 2015, since that’s when I got the achievement ‘Tourist’, which I’m fairly confident I would have been able to do on my first day of playing the game. Again, though, there was a period of about six months, I think, where I didn’t have This Mountain Goes Down installed on any device. I’ve been playing on my current playthrough for about two months now, as I started it on Christmas Eve.
T: Did you think the price for “This Mountain Goes Down” was fair? Too low? Too expensive? Why?
F: I think the price of five dollars for This Mountain Goes Down is more than fair FOR ME, as I really enjoy playing the game. No triple-A title has done what this five-dollar app has, and those games are absurdly expensive. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea to spend that much on an app, and that’s really up to them. I will say, though, that if you like mining and incremental games, then this is definitely the app for you.
T: If you could add one thing to the sequel to the game, what would it be?
F: I think a donation button that didn’t influence anyone’s game- that is to say, gave them no bonuses- would be great, because it’d really give people a chance to show just how much they care about This Mountain Goes Down. Furthermore, there could be goals as a community, such as ‘when ‘X’ dollars have been donated, we will start working on another update’ and the like. It’d also give me a chance to thank you with more than words for making such a great game. To me, if it meant I’d be able to truly show my appreciation for something that somebody made, I’d be more than happy to donate towards the furtherance of the game.
T: Are you planning on getting the sequel?
F: Teddy, I’ll be the FIRST one to get the sequel. I’m eagerly awaiting updates about its progress.
T: What are the 3 games that you think are the most similar to “This Mountain Goes Down”?
F: The three games that I feel are the most similar to it are, in order: Must-a-Mine, a game I haven’t actually played, but based on screenshots and the description, feel is very similar in playstyle to This Mountain Goes Down; The Candy Box (one and two), by Aniwey, because of their incremental style (even though the learning curves on these games are WAAAY steeper than This Mountain Goes Down; it’s just a shorter game); and- please don’t kill me, Teddy- Cookie Clicker, by Orteil, because, well, it’s the most viral incremental game, and also where my quest for good incremental games began. Props for the roots!
T: What other games are you playing at the moment?
F: Over the past few days, I’ve began playing the apps in the ‘A Dark Room’ series, by Amirali Rajan, and yes- I beat the first without building tents and the second after refusing food. I play speed Runners a lot with my boyfriend in Brazil, and play Dying Light with my other best friend, who also forces me to play Life is Strange and is trying desperately to get me to buy Fallout 4- a game that I know if I buy, I’ll get so hooked on, I’ll never stop playing.
T: What are you top 3 games, ever? (No, you don’t have to say “This Mountain Goes Down” ;))
F: My three favorite games are, in order: This Mountain Goes Down, for all the reasons stated here; Zelda: The Twilight Princess, because I’m left-handed and love The Legend of Zelda games (left-handed is important, because in the Wii version of the game, you are also left- handed, so it was very immersive for me); and Dying Light, because of its ability to merge the ‘swarm of weak zombies’ and ‘too strong to fight, use stealth’ genres of zombie games.
T: Where and when do you most often play games?
F: I play games on the bus (the school bus… don’t hate!), on long car rides, and at school, perhaps despite my best interests, but my favorite place to play games is in my room, preferably at night. I think it’s just the fact that it’s so quiet and relaxing… and then I call my friends on Skype and we play games together, as tense as can be, waking everyone up with our yells of victory and cries/sobs of defeat!
T: What’s your favorite platform to play games? PC? Console? Mobile?
F: I built my computer, and that’s definitely my favorite platform to game on, since I built a very high-quality PC (My 3DMark score went off the graph), and I’m very proud that I was able to do that. I also appreciate the fact that an iPod is basically a smaller computer, but it has something called a ‘load time’ that happens in between things you do that my computer no longer seems to have. Really, with me, it’s my computer and my iPod when it comes to playing games.
T: Did you introduce some friends to the game? What did they think about it?
F: Well, I tried to, but unfortunately, they saw how crazy I am about the game, and got scared off! I feel that since I’ll have a bit of a head’s up for This Mountain Goes Down’s sequel, I may be able to get them interested before I start going nuts about how much I love the game, as I’m sure I will. Honestly, this interview may help with that, as I’m not sure if many other people know that you’re developing a sequel yet… by the way, everyone, This Mountain Goes Down IS GOING TO HAVE A SEQUEL!!! (I’m sorry, Teddy!)
T: I know you have been playing “This Mountain Goes Down” recently, so what keeps you coming to the game after such a long time?
F: Well, in short, achievements. The longer story is that I’ve never really been the best at anything I’ve done before. Good, sure, maybe even great, but never the best. This Mountain Goes Down is a game that I’m pretty good at (Or we all are really bad at, and I’m the second least bad at it), and it really opened a door for me. It helped me to realize that it is possible to be the best at something, if you really want to be. I know that sounds really cheesy, but hey- when I first began playing, I assumed the top scores were hackers, as seems to be the case with a few games whose top three players’ scores combined are equal to every other players’ scores combined. But I really didn’t. In fact, on this playthrough (the one with the experience you see on the leaderboard), I made a point of it not to even adjust the clock on my iPod, as doing so later on gives you an extra microsecond of production (it’s faster to just click, as I can only mine one resource block while the app is backgrounding). If I can do this, then what’s stopping you? I encourage someone to beat my score, because they’ll give me a reason to keep playing.
T: Any last word before we close the interview?
F: Yes, actually. Teddy, you’ve really broken down the wall between customer and creator. You’ve helped me with my questions about This Mountain Goes Down, both big and small, both common knowledge and ultimate secrets. If you get anything out of this interview, anything at all, then let me speak as truly as I can, and as openly and honestly as possible. Let it be from these last two words: Thank you.