Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rookie Series: Podcast Interview: Bouncy Qubes Developer


We're going to experiment with a few new types of podcasts to see how best to help indie developers. One series will be interviews related to new and interesting game development mediums.

Another series revolves around "Rookie Indie Game Developers"....Indie developers that have released their first game.

Oscar, from, is the first interviewee in this series :)

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Show Notes:
0:00 - 5:00
Introduces self
Oscar from
Talks about getting into games (by first playing them)
Decided to go Online indie game developer so could reach folks directly
Not many publishers in Mexico so it's easier to go Indie
First game is Bouncy Qubes
Did several games before, but did not have any intention of selling them
Took 1.5 years to finish the game
Developers on the team are all in Mexico too
Work with family on the games
Most difficult part of designing the game was dealing with the game mechanics related to changing the color

5:00 - 10:00
Art style was inspired by Nintendo games
Issues with Game Mechanics while designing first game...
Initially had a keyboard and that was very hard for users
Switched to mouse
Issues with developing a game for Vista
Integrated it with the "Game Explorer" in Vista
Security issues with Vista...
Was saving all game data in program files directory, but Vista does not allow that,
So had to save elsewhere on the user's hard drive...saved into the Application Data directory

10:00 - 15:00
Tested game as much as possible so that can have responsive and usable game
Tested on very low end machines
When released game, focused on Marketing
Likes the book "Indie Developer's Guide to Selling Games" by Joseph Lieberman
Sends to several shareware sites to promote games
Right now, focused on porting game system to Mac OS

15:00 - 20:00
Goal is to make innovative, fun, and original games to the casual market
Favorite Games:
Chronic Logic Games
Professor Fizzwizzle Games
Last words for Indie Game Developers
Try out indie game development, it's worth it
Constantly Improve Skills and Do your Best

Take care,

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Podcast Interview: Aquaria Developer and 2007 IGF Grand Prize Winner

Alec, from Bit Blot games and TIGSource Forums, talks about the journey from starting out as an eight-year old kid indie...all the way up to developing the 2007 IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize Winner game...Aquaria

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Here is a short video of Aquaria...

Show notes:
Introduction, from Bit Blot Games
Talks about playing games as a kid
Got a programming book and worked on small games
Biggest game worked on was an RPG that would get restarted every few years
Got into indie scene as a kid. Then did some work for small indie studios
Not-so-great feeling when certain games got cancelled
Worked on a casual game with someone else
Worked on a game with underwater adventure and eventually would be a precursor to Aquaria

5:00 - 10:00
Finished the game and wanted to see how to sell the game. But was not too interested in the marketing aspect.
Was on Big Fish Games.
Feels that marketing flows from a quality game
Started a freeware team in high school
Team management experience in high school.
Vision to start own company and do games
Didn't feel inspired by the quick 2-month game finished
Sat down and came up with changes in development/quality process for future games
Came out with a prototype that was the seed for Aquaria

10:00 - 15:00
Continued working on it after meeting up with a new partner, Derek
Met partner after doing music for a parody game that Derek was working on...
Worked on Aquaria
Had to revise game 3-4 times ... and iterated to get it done
Game was inspired by Action RPG genre
The story was boring when replayed had to redo story
The importance of story to gameplay
The value of story in games...being able to enhance the experience
Graphics changed through the iterations

15:00 - 20:00
Music changed during iterations; had a composer. Then wrote some music by himself...then changed that to be more unique.

Sent to other game developers to get feedback during play-testing phase

Food system added in a later iteration.

The IGF Submission was the one with pure gameplay.

20:00 - 25:00
After played it, felt a little empty.
So added more characters and items.
Cooking system towards the end
Support/side system that gives you power-ups
Pressure of being told to release early
Knew that if released game early, it would be terrible
Last 10% takes longer than 90% of the game
Pressure to get stuff ready was challenging, had to submit to IGF in December 2006...and had to debug some major issues
Had a lot of interest, so making a great was enough marketing to make a game a success

25:00 - 30:00
May do advertising in the future for the game, not sure
Wants to make a special boxed version of the a collector's item
Wants to make a soundtrack CD later on
Have a mac version that is going to come out soon
Subtle hints about the next game
Talks about doing a game that can hit a broader audience
Not necessarily a casual game, but something that is accessible to most folks

30:00 - 35:00
Top 3 lessons from Aquaria
Feels more confident now
Feels more relaxed
Feels better with well with Derek
Thinking about sending prototypes to testers and other game designers more early in the game design process

35:00 - 40:00
How definition has changed from an 8 year old to IGF Grand Prize winner
Since won IGF Grand Prize, more confident about abilities and as references for indies ... enjoys the feedback section there

40:00 - 45:00
Community Projects at
Game competitions at the site too
Talking Online vs. going to GDC
GDC was cool because met folks doing games as a living
Skype every few weeks with various game developers
Favorite Indie Games...
Mr. Robot
Chocolate Castle

Some freeware stuff is nice

45:00 - 50:00
Where he sees the future of Indie game development going
Top 3 lessons learned so far being an indie...
1) Don't give up
2) Work Hard
3) Have fun

Take care,

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stair and Truck Dismount Game Developer Interview...

Jetro, from Skinflake Games, talks about developing the famed Stair Dismount and Truck Dismount games.

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Be sure to add your game blog, game site, or indie game to our Indie Game Dev wiki...

Take care,
Free Kids Games
Coloring Pages

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Podcast Interview: Mike from BlitWise Productions Talks About Game Development

Mike, from Blitwise Productions talks about game development. He talks about some of the games he developed including Pocket Tanks.

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Be sure to add your game blog, game site, or indie game to our Indie Game Dev wiki...

Take care,
Free Kids Games
Coloring Pages

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Caravel Games Interview...

Erik, from Caravel Games, talks about open source game development.

You can download the podcast here...

or listen to it here...

Feel free to send over any comments or feedback on ways to make the show better.

Also...Join the Indie Game Development Network ... there are going to be some interesting and very useful features we're going to be adding soon.

Take care,
Free Kids Games

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

GDC 2007, Indie Game Summit, Notes, Day 2...


Attended a great session by Russell Carroll of He talked about marketing indie games. Here's a summary...
He had 6 points for marketing an indie game....
1) You're throwing money away by not marketing
* Making Marketing Mojo
* Consider the market
* Create a press plan/checklist
A bunch of events to get folks interested in your game
Have releases of previews...because previews always viewed in a positive light
Folks read it in positive light and want it more when it gets released.

If the first press release you send for a game is *after* it is released, then you've done something wrong. You should be sending press releases throughout the development process to help gain exposure and to get the editors use to your name.

As a game magazine editor, he mentioned that the games that stick out are the ones that constantly send press he recognizes the name.

Suggestions for writing a press release:
*Do not hire someone to write a press release
* Write your own press release since you're passionate about what you're doing vs. other writers
*Look at how to communicate

When writing press releases, try to keep it...
simple, memorable, and an unexpected emotion-stirring story

Consider viral marketing as an option, but requires a horse (something that'll spread virally); viral marketing is tricky because for every person that directly hears/plays the game, more than one must hear about it from them.

Find players/users that have the ability to talk about the game.

2) You're throwing money away by...
Using a publisher

You don't need a publisher for digital distribution. In fact, you have more leverage if game sells well on your site first.

If game sells well on your own, portals will approach you

3) You're throwing money away because you're not using a publisher:
Use publishers when they can take you were you can't easily use them to get into retail.

4) You are throwing money away by not abusing the portals
You paid for the advertising already, don't throw it away
If on portals, start taking advantage of fact that on portal.

Consider the idea that every download of your game on a portal is an advertisement
You need traffic, portals have traffic, abuse it.

Steal their traffic...
Give the portal players an incentive to visit your site. Offer other items related to your game that they can't find on
Downloadable levels
Hint Books

Does your game encourage users to seek you out?

5) You're throwing money away by not advertising (don't let other people take your customers)

Targeting ads can help you reach your target market. Advertising without tracking is stupid

Advertising may be scary, but can use money generated afterwards.

6) Throwing money away by being a bonehead
* Don't burn bridges because never know who will help you in the future. Said that he kept things professional and helped him in the end because needed help of that person
in the future.

* Activities that will make you unsuccessful with indiegames....
a) Ranting
b) Raving
c) Ignorning everyone
d) Talking to everyone
e) Blaming
f) Hating
g) Working Alone

Activities that make you a successful company...
a) Team
b) People (be nice to the team)
c) Professional (be professional at all times)

Mentioned checking out

Take care,

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Podcast: NinjaBee Studios Interview...

Steve, from NinjaBee studios, talks about Outpost Kaloki and indie console development.

You can download the podcast here...

Feel free to send over any comments or feedback on ways to make the show better.

Take care,
Free Kids Games

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