Friday, October 24, 2008

Podcast Interview: Developer of Cinnamon Beats, IGF Finalist...

Jani, from Secret Exit, talks about developing the innovative audio/physics game...Cinnamon Beats

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Check out a video of the game here...

Take care,

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Podcast Interview: Developer of OokiBloks, IGF Finalist 2008

Brian and Matt talk about making OokiBloks.

You can download the podcast here...

Show Notes:
Description of the game

First came up with the core-mechanic...after finding the basic mechanic of moving blocks...and then had to find a theme around it...knew people liked monkeys so themed it with monkeys.

Developed the game for 2 years and it wasn't working out. Showed the game in a forum and Matt found it...and started helping...they scrapped the old game and focused on making a solid game.

It was coincidence that Matt found the Brian rarely shows off artwork of a game before release.

Did remote development.

Once met together, took about 1 year to develop. Most play-testing done in the IGF...really useful feedback.

Will release a PC version done...and may do a console version of self-publish online.

It is challenging to find someone to help you is challenging to find someone that knows what they are doing and can help.

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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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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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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Podcast Interview: Dream Chronicles Developer...

Miguel, from Kat Games, talks about developing adventure games for the casual games 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:
Founder of Kat Games ( and developer of Dream Chronicles 1 & 2

Made an adventure game in the casual games genre

Played adventure games in the 90s...those were more challenging.

Had to find a way to make a new adventure game that is simple enough for the
casual gaming audience

Went through PlayFirst

Before they pitched the game, had a prototype done in Director

Challenge was how to make an adventure game that was easy to start and fun enough to keep people

People compare hidden objects with adventure games.

Design Suggestions:
Make sure there is little text
Make sure there is eye and ear candy
Have an uplifting experience from the first click

Had extensive play testing when developing the game

Avoided text by making every level self contained

Had to make sure the story elements were split properly to appeal to Casual Game audience...

Playfirst helped them get solid Audio

The studio is based in Spain...and PlayFirst is in San some challenges in working
with PlayFirst.

How PlayFirst helped the game:
a) Offered Professional Usability Testing

Did user testing through game

Benefits of going through a publisher vs. self-publishing...
Did self-publish previous games. But this case, the project was more expensive, so risk was higher.

Hopes that current adventure games will expand the adventure game market for casual game players

Feels adventure games are more gratifying than hidden object games. With adventure games, there is more of a hook.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

IGF Finalist Interview: Iron Dukes

Another quick interview from GDC of the developers of Iron Dukes

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Simple Flash RPG...won
Best Browser Game award
Star Control 2
Paper Prototyping
First tested out paper prototypes on self
Casual RPG
Try to be able to level up in 10-15 minutes
Idea is to have players have quick success and quick action
If you die, that's is still persistent

Did some rough prototypes in Flash
Worked on converting in-browser game...into .exe version

Current goal is to finish up Iron Dukes and get out to market...

Looking to do online and multiplayer capabilities of flash

Advice for other indies...
Start small
Smaller design is much more effective
Start small and continually expand from there
Can give players something loose and allow folks to create their own story :)

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IGF Finalist interview: Tale of Tales'

Another quick interview from GDC 2008...

The developers of Tale of Tales talk about their game...

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Based on the Fairy Tale of Little Red Riding Hood...
But altered and a little darker.

Have an MMO called the "Endless Forest"

This is a "Short Horror Game"

Making a rich environment and dropping the player inside it...and not force-feeding the story

First two games made were very light.

No games out there to satisfy emotions they they made this game to fulfill desire to
see games that cover emotions not yet expressed in other games.

Big challenges to game....decide on what to do and what to outsource to others.

Looking for folks that they don't have to manage.

IGF useful for play testing a game

Things they will change baed on feedback at IGF...
Find better ways to communicate thing without text

Next Steps:
Improve the game

About to release another game. A small experimental game...called "The Graveyard"

Nuances of these types of games...
It isn't a casual game, but do value casual gameplay
Casual Gameplay with Mature Content
Have fun ways to convey gruesome things without violence
It's more about a psychological story that is in your play with interactivity to inspire the
player's imagination

It's important that a work of art is about the leave things open enough to interpret things for
their own lives.

Wants to take interactivity to enhance that

Suggestions for indies...
1) Make what you want to make
2) Make what's inside you
3) A game is a conversation...try things out

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IGF Finalist Interview: Fez

Another quick interview from GDC interview with Some of Fez's Developers

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Fez is a multi-dimensional platformer...
IGF Finalist

Won award for "Excellence in Visual Art"

Visual Arts inspired by Spirited Away

The top challenges while developing the game...
a) Optimization issues...ways to optimization of pixel rendering
b) Getting it done even while doing the project on the side

Expect to release the final version within a year.

Suggestions for indie game developers out there...
a) Make it...find the right people and get it done
b) Show it to as many people as you can, listen to them and act accordingly :)

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Podcast Interview: Josh from the MIT Gambit Game Lab...

Another quick interview from GDC 2008...

Josh, a student at the MIT Gambit Game Lab...talks about creating experimental games.

Specifically, he talks about developing a Facebook game...

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
0:00 - 5:00
Josh from Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab
An experimental gameplay lab
Focuses on interesting games that couldn't exist in the market yet
Created a Facebook game
Has a resource management game
Having an ant colony and resource management
Did a paper prototyping

Design Process principles is...
"Fail Early, Fail Often"

Started with paper prototyping early on.

Wrestled with whether should have public or private information.

Tested people in the lab, classmates, etc.

Do a search for "Eat Wars"

5:00 - 10:00
Issues with designing for Facebook...
There are people with varying levels of commitment
Have to design for people and their friends

Need to design for multiple play styles

Have room now for players that are more aggressive and cooperative

Looking for ways for players to be more social

Get more points for convincing players to bring friends in

Accomodating people's natural habits on Facebook

In the future...
May work on other game platforms
Looking into Flickr Games
Opportunities for different types of games is very exciting

Sychronous vs. Asychronous gaming...
Need to have a balance between letting folks advance and letting people grief their friends at 3 AM in the morning

Systems where you can plan ahead and moves at one time and it acts that way later on in the game

10:00 - 11:30
Favorite Game on Facebook...
Parking Wars

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Podcast Interview: PMOG Founder

Here's a quick interview that happened at GDC 2008...

Justin, from GameLayers and the founder of the Passively Multiplayer Online Game ( talks about developing and designing the unique game...

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
Passively Multiplayer Game
Installed as a Firefox Toolbar
Started as an experiment

Builds a player profile based on your surfing/browsing habits

Game Designer Victoria...innovated and created something where folks can leave traps and other
suprises on websites for other players in the system

Wanted to build a game that used everyday actions to play the game

Wanted people to just play as they went about their lives

Having a toolbar in Firefox was a huge breakthrough for the game bacause it allowed for a passive
playing experience

5:00 - 9:00
Interesting Game Mechanics

Players can create missions in the game and allow other folks to play these missions...and so it allows
folks to learn topics by following a mission

There are hundreds and hundreds of missions played

People can lay traps as they create missions. So people use these missions to prank each other.

Two or three surprises as they developed the learning how communities taking place

There is a huge potential for games that are integrated in everyday life.

Your everyday actions help to create new ways to interact and engage with them.

Hopes that games are made open so games can communicate with each other.

Envisions that there is a meta game that works with all games

Take care,

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