Friday, August 29, 2008

Podcast Interview: Producer of Critter Crunch, IGF 2008 Best Mobile Game Winner

Sean, from Capybaragames, talks about developing Critter Crunch for the mobile phone...

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

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.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Podcast Interview: Developer of Audio Surf, IGF 2008 Finalist

Dylan, developer of Audiosurf, talks about developing the game.

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Audio Gameplay...

Process was a lot of experimentation. Messed with the music idea for 8 years.
Did a First Person shooter based on sound

Once the prototype "felt" good, then knew it was the right design.

Had a lot of usability tests to catch a lot of the issues that caused confusion among players.

Once tweaked, sent it off to IGF

Finding out that was nominated was amazing experience

Wanted to make something that was compelling and different.

To start doing something compelling is very hard...but it's easy to do something different.
If you do enough different things, you'll find something compelling.

Used Quest3D as a tool to develop the game, really useuful.

Take care,

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Interesting Alternative Reality Gaming Videos...

Found a nice set of videos on the Alternate Reality Gaming conference, ' can check them out here...

ARGs may be an interesting space for indie game developers.

Take care,

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Podcast Interview: Designer of Synaesthete, IGF Student Game Winner

Joseph, designer of Synaesthete, talks about developing the innovative game for IGF.

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Designer of Synaesthete

Psychedelic Rhythm Shooter

A while back, inspired to make a game that plays like Windows Media Player visualization. Then saw Geometry Wars...

Developed the game while at Digipen

Built the engine and then the game.

Did massive testing to make sure the game was fun.

Twice a week...

At Digipen, high schoolers and middle schoolers came in ... so would use them to see how the game was playing, etc.

Based on the feedback...
One of the advisors suggested that the game needs to aim for the person...
That put the game in a whole new direction

Since became GDC nominee, been getting 2-3 e-mails a day about it.

Focus test is important...must constantly do that

Take care,

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Show Intern Request...


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).

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Podcast Interview: Student Developer from The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

Paul, a University of Southern California Game Design student, talks about developing The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Check out the trailer...

Show Notes...

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 went back to 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

Wants to be a producer.

Take care,

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Podcast Interview: Chocolatier Developer...

Michael, from Big Splash Games, talks about developing a sim game for the casual gaming market...

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

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'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 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 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 the Casual Gaming space, if can come up with something new,
you can easily prototype it

With should be fun very quickly...if you are prototyping it and it's not fun, then move 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


Take care,

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