Show Notes: Set it up and iterated until found the game that worked. Good art helped to make the game feel better to players.
Tested the game with people. Was too complicated, so had to make it simpler.
Also do some playtesting...and publishers help with testing.
Mobile Development Cycle means time is very limited.
Biggest Challenges to Mobile Game Development: 1) Being focused on original IP makes it difficult for publishers and carriers to pick up 2) Handling all the different mobile handsets...making sure the game works on them, etc.
The Future of Mobile Gaming... 3D was hyped, but not seeing it much.
Location based games talked about, but it hasn't happened yet.
Can be successful with 2D games that aren't connected.
Response to the podcast show has been pretty positive. We've been getting a lot more interviews too...and now requires more time to edit.
Right now, we're looking for an intern to help edit some of the podcasts. This is a great way to meet indie game developers...and you'll also be helping the few thousand people that enjoy this show every month.
If you're interested, leave a comment on this blog post with your e-mail address (the comments for this post will not be published, so posting your e-mail address is fine).
0:00 - 5:00 Interesting game where you record a certain action and then it replays in the game. Game based on playing with time...
Prototyped game in flash and kept prototyping to get enough to hold a team down.
Did other prototype other games while doing this one.
Also used paper prototyping.
Focused on System Mechanics...
Did test board game prototypes on a few team members and users...
5:00 - 10:00 The call to recruit more team-members...
Had a recruitment meeting and showed demo to recruit other folks.
Put up a flier all over campus. Put out an e-mail blast...and went to classes, etc.
Thirty people showed up to the meeting...
All of them were pretty much designers. But they were looking for engineers.
Let everyone stay...and the person that kept showing up week after week...those are the ones with the passion.
Found a high schooler to help do the programming.
Visual design of the game is very unique... One of the designers was also an artist
10:00 - 15:00 One challenge was listening to an Engineer professor about using a 3D engine instead of Flash... so tried it for a month, but it wasn't working after a month...so went back to flash...it was hard to change to change back at the time, but it was a good decision.
At University of Southern California, the environment allows for innovation. Design on paper, etc. Even though most folks in the game design program there are not programmers, try to collaborate with engineering school to help with games. 2 things learned from game design school... 1) Prototype 2) Get the game out there
Future plans are to get the game out as a downloadable on one of the console games
Special Thanks to PlayFirst for setting up this interview and a few other upcoming interviews...they provided excellent developers and allowed them to share some really useful information...
Show Notes: 0:00 - 5:00 Chocolatier and Chocolatier 2 They are casual sim games
The best way to bring it to the audience is mostly a question of tuning...it's pretty hard to fail in the game
In Chocolatier 2, had to make it a little more challenging...made the mini-games fro level to level
Ramped up pricing on ingredients as moved through levels
5:00 - 10:00 Worked with PlayFirst...and they helped with the extensive testing of the game to make sure that it was working well. PlayFirst sent it to 100s of beta testers and mined data from that.
Also hired a formal testing company to take care of things.
Chocolatier players are engaged in the story...that was surprising
Started Chocolatier 2 from the story perspective
Allowed for personalization in the game...to allow expression
Development was pretty smooth since had a senior game dev team
The things needed to make a simulation game compelling... They benefitted a lot from their team They did a ton of research ... visited chocolate factories, etc. Simulation tuning still matters in the design space... Changing the price of one ingredient could mess up a series of quests in the game...so requires a lot of attention
Testing a game like this requires a lot...because the game builds on itself and have to play the game from scratch again even if change one variable
10:00 - 15:00 Suggestion for indie game developers... hunger for innovation...there is a lot of cloning...in the Casual Gaming space, if can come up with something new, you can easily prototype it
With prototyping...it should be fun very quickly...if you are prototyping it and it's not fun, then move on...it should be fun in a week otherwise, change gears
If it isn't fun after a week, move on...there hasn't been a case where it didn't work for a week and then all of a sudden working
Have to move back, keep your ego out of it...change and move on if can't find the "fun" quickly...
Benefit of a publisher vs. self-publishing... There are trade-offs Benefit of being with PlayFirst is that they have great relationships with the other portals With a publisher, they can handle the business side so you can focus on making a fun game. PlayFirst can handle the QA/High Score server stuff, etc.
Goal of the studio... Stay small Generate some more intellectual property Let it grow organically