Archive | February, 2010

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Indie Interview: Trenches

Posted on 01 February 2010 by Todd

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We are excited to have interviewed Michael Taylor, the creator of Trenches. We did not have time to interview all of his team members, but we think you will enjoy what Michael has to say.

Company: Thunder Game Works
Games: Trenches

Q: How long have you been developing for the iPhone/iPod touch? What did you do before you started developing for the iPhone/iPod touch?
We’re fairly new on the iPhone front.  Thunder Game Works was incorporated in August of 2009.  That said, everyone on the team is an industry expert in their own discipline, so we’ve brought all of that experience to bear for Trenches.

Q: How long did it take you to develop Trenches and how many people were involved?
The Trenches team was fairly large and incorporated developers, artists, musicians and marketing folks.  Quite a daunting under-taking for an indie developer, trust me.  The bulk of the team was made up of about five people, but the entire team was closer to a dozen.  It was a real challenge, but one of the things that I endeavored to do was find the best freelance talent available … and I think I’ve done that.

If I can speak for members of the team, I think the thing that attracted them to the project was my commitment to really allow them to push the boundaries.  All too often talented people get stuck working on projects that are completely penned in.  With Trenches, the whole design was just let the talent folks go and see what they came back with.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Trenches?
Trenches seemed to be the next natural step in a progression of games currently on the AppStore.  Trenches incorporates line-drawing, side-scrolling and Castle Defense.  We just wanted to kick it up a notch.

We wanted to create a side-scrolling attrition-style combat game … games like Knight’s Onrush, Cartoon Wars and XenoWars.  Players (like us) love the castle defense style games.  It seemed like a natural fit.

We also love the cartoony graphics of games like Minigore and Fieldrunners.

They’ve got great graphics.  We wanted to deliver on this, but also add in multiple sequences … to keep Trenches gameplay fresh and visually interesting.

Q: What inspires you? And is it different for each game?
That’s a tough question … you know, I love playing tough, in-depth, thinking games … then … I really love just blowing stuff up.  (As you can tell from using artillery on Zombies in Trenches)  I think the inspiration comes from the entire team throwing out ideas and building on each others ideas.  It’s a really cool environment.

Q: Can you describe your development process?
Most of the people on our core team are very seasoned software people.  We stick to a very regimented software process that, while boring, tends to deliver fun games … since there’s much fewer bugs.

Q: What does the creative process look like during the initial stages?
Ah, yes … the creative process is the most fun.  Generally, we sit around and chat about game ideas that we think would be fun … just blue-sky, crazy stuff … to get our minds really stretched.  Some of the best ideas come out of those meetings.  Once the concept is roughed out, then we sic our artist on character creation.  That’s when is gets real fun!  The crazy stuff he sends back is the best.

Being an indie developer, we answer only to our players.  It’s really cool.

It really cuts through all the stuff that doesn’t matter and down to what does.  Do the players like the game?

The other great thing about being an indie developer is that half through building Trenches, we had a great idea to take Trenches a completely different direction.  This new direction was going to make the game a lot more fun.  So, we just went for it.  We didn’t have to ask permission, we just figured that the players would like the new direction more so … it was a done deal for us.

Am I even answer your question anymore?  Sorry to get us off track there.

Q: Did you do any pre-marketing before Trenches was released?
We did actually … we did a lot.  It wasn’t, though, just pre-release marketing … it’s constant.  We communicate with Trenches players daily and yes, we actually do read every email and every forum posting.  We love to hear what the players are saying … they give us the best ideas.

Q: What are you working on now?
Well, we’ve got a bunch of new things.  I’ve literally got twelve months of game development on my whiteboard.  Unfortunately, all of it is too speculative to let out … because some of the ideas are terrible … <grin> … and some are good.  We’re trying to figure which is which.

Q: Any plans for updates to Trenches?
Absolutely!  We’re completely committed to making Trenches the very best it can be.  We’ve got new Skirmish battle types coming; like King of the Trench and Capture the Flag.  Those are going to be a whole mess of fun when we release Trenches multiplayer.  We think Trenches is pretty fun right now … but it’ll go to a whole new level with multiplayer.  I can’t wait to get beaten to a pulp! (It always happens) <grin>

Q: What was your most frustrating task while developing Trenches?
That’s a good question … I can’t really think of a frustrating part of developing Trenches.  I guess I never really had a moment to think … let alone get frustrating. <grin>

Q: What have you found to be the most successful way to market Trenches?
We’re still discovering that … if you’ve got any ideas, we’re all ears.
Marketing iPhone apps is a part Voodoo, part hard work and late nights.
During the initial rollout of Trenches, we were working 16 hour days …
just communicating with reviewers, players and anyone that would listen.
Now, it’s like we’re part-time … we’re only working 10 hours a day. <grin>

Q: How much does user feedback affect your planning of updates and also future projects?
We live and breath on user feedback.  It’s one of the reason we really wanted to develop on the iPhone platform.  Developers have the luxury to get so close to the players.  We’re talking directly with players daily.  The early players, especially, have actually affected the direction of the game and the unit balancing in Trenches.  When I said that we read everything, I mean EVERYTHING … and we take it all to heart.

Q: Do you write games for yourself or for others? And why?
We’re all so focused on playing multiplayer games … we really only build games for the AppStore.  Maybe it’s because there’s no time let in the day.
Meh, in either case … the desire is to draw Trenches (and our other titles) to multiplayer.  The desire is to make all the Thunder Game Works titles standard with multiplayer.

Q: To what do you attribute to Trenches success? Did you expect this level of success?
Well, we thought Trenches would do well, but it’s done better than we expected thus far.  Time will tell though, as we have a very long view for Trenches and the other titles in our development pipeline.  As for what we did “right”, boy … that’s a tough one.  I can’t think of a single thing that we really “hit out of the park”, if anything … it was just everyone on the team bringing their A game.  We all worked really hard to bring the best game we thought possible.

Q: How close was the end product to your initial conceptualization?
Wow … it was actually quite a ways off.  The original concept for Trenches was pretty low … certainly compared to what Trenches is today … and will be in a handful of weeks.  It was kind of funny … once a build was ready and we’d play around with it … we all just started in with “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if …”  Yeah … Trenches took a little longer than we’d planned. <wink>

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated? What tips do you have for people with AADD like me?
You know, I would just encourage anyone to just build it and put it out there.  The players are pretty vocal and they’ll tell you what they liked and what they didn’t.  Games can’t be a ship it and forget it deal.  You’ve got to be committed to long-term support and enhancements.  I mean … look at Pocket God.  Good grief … they’re the poster child for on-going support.

Q: If you were stuck on an island with a laptop and no internet access what apps would you have loaded?
Ack!  Would I have solar power to recharge the battery?  <grin>  I think my greatest video game addiction has got to be Left4Dead.  Now, maybe you can see why there’s zombies in Trenches.  Once the batteries on the laptop died, I’d likely drop into a deep psychosis and start recruiting the native island animals as Rochelle, Ellis and Nick … I always play Coach.  Don’t ask me why … I don’t know … it just works out that way.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
If I could communicate one thing to your readers, it’s our freakish commitment to supporting Trenches and making it the best value on the AppStore.  We’ve got a long list of improvements to Trenches.  Once that list is complete, we’re confident that the loyal players of Trenches will have a new list for us.

We want to thank Michael for his time!

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Indie Interview: MiniSquadron

Posted on 01 February 2010 by Todd

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If you have not already played MiniSquadron, then you should stop reading and go get the game now! We recently had the privilege of interviewing Tak Fung.

Company: Studio FungFung
Games: MiniSquadron

Q: How long have you been developing for the iPhone/iPod touch? What did you do before you started developing for the iPhone/iPod touch?
I have been developing for the iPhone/iPod touch for the last 6 months. Prior to that I was a graphics coder for various big companies including Lionhead/Microsoft and Sony, and I also did a little bit of contracting in the Post Production companies in London.

Q: How long did it take you to develop MiniSquadron and how many people were involved?
MiniSquadron took 4 months to develop. I was the only full time person on the project – but I had a very good part time artist called Dave Ferner who did all the art. I also made use of a couple of people for testing/balancing, including a few I met through TouchArcade.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for MiniSquadron?
MiniSquadron came out of an attempt to “re-imagine” an old Amiga Freeware game called BIPS in four weeks as a little “my first iPhone Game” – which snowballed into a giant 4 month project! There was, however, a very clear idea of what the game must be like, which was a fun and simple shooting game, with LOTS of planes, much like Pokemon has lots of critters which you have to collect. The game was developed with this in mind as the “Must Have” feature distinguishing it from being simply a very fun shooting game (which in itself was a challenge to do).

Q: What inspired you for MiniSquadron from initial concept to formalized game?
For MiniSquadron I was particularly drawn to the idea of BIP/Jetstrike remade for the iPhone, the idea of addictive “collecting things”
like Pokemon, and art-wise I was feeling towards lots of small iconic cute planes, much like the little characters prevalent in some of the famous “Pixel Art” pieces that were being done by various people such as eBoy, Paul Robertson and the guys at MechaFetus!

Q: What inspires you? And is it different for each game?
My inspiration comes from everywhere, they include games that I have played in the past, especially Amiga/SNES/Megadrive games (the 16-bit era you could say!). Music videos, random art, popular themes, adverts, addictive mechanics that I come across in random games on the internet be it Flash, Facebook or whatever. Experiences in life that feel good – I am a visually motivated person so pretty things usually inspire me! Usually it is very different for all games – one of the positives of working for yourself is that you get a lot more variety in what I can do instead of the same ideas for 5 or 6 years.

Q: What have you found most difficult about being an indie developer?
One of the things is advertising and PR, The world is a big place and no matter how good you think you are, that doesn’t magically make people know who you are or even if you exist. And unless you are literally making games for fun or for yourself, then you’re going to have to tell people about it – and that’s quite hard for an indie to do since most indies are developers. That is, they are usually creators, and advertising is another thing they need to learn.

And from that, the second thing is hard cold money. I do not live in a vacuum, and I need to eat and stay sheltered. It is by far the hardest thing I’ve done, but it is also by far the fairest way I’ve made a living so far. There is no denying that I earned every penny that I got, even though it may not have been as much as I could have got working for a big company.

Q: Can you describe your development process?
Fast iteration and artist driven – supported by technical excellence. What that means is – the art dictates what the game looks like, and hence what technology is required, as opposed to the other way around. I obviously have a big say in the art direction as well (just because I code doesn’t mean I have no artistic talent! Don’t put me in a box etc). The game is then coded and iterated again and again until its fun or I run out of time and money! Technical excellence just makes all of the above a lot more painless.

Q: What does the creative process look like during the initial stages?
An unholy mess. Anything goes, lots of blue sky thinking and mood boards and excited talk! Some pre-visualisation movies might be made and videos are watched. The funnest part of the game making process!

Q: Did you do any pre-marketing before MiniSquadron was released?
I released a YouTube video and used that as a linchpin to drive a pre-marketing “campaign”. The video was sent to TouchArcade which was then picked up and from there, I just rode the wave and made most of it up as I went along!

Q: What are you working on now?
I am currently working on 3 things. Number one priority is my new game, which for now is named FvD. This is a big departure from MiniSquadron and is a totally different type of game. It is designed specifically for the iPhone audience and with a very distinctive art style – very excited to reveal this soon! I am also making “MiniSquadron Extended”, which is MiniSquadron with another whole load of levels and planes. It is another App, priced the same as MiniSquadron – and the reason I didn’t do DLC was that I did not have time to properly code the DLC part, and charging per level/per plane would be more expensive than just packaging the whole lot together for one price. Number 3 is secret. HA!

Q: Any plans for updates to MiniSquadron?
No plans to update MiniSquadron in any major fashion, but look forward to MiniSquadron Extended!

Q: What was your most frustrating task while developing MiniSquadron?
Part time artist. Getting really good people is almost impossible and I was lucky enough that Dave Ferner agreed to help at all.

Q: What have you found to be the most successful way to market MiniSquadron?
I really don’t know to be honest. I would say making a Quality Product and using word of mouth – but looking at the Top 25 charts that is patently not true – so I don’t know.

Q: How much does user feedback affect your planning of updates and also future projects?
A little – you can usually see many of the ideas yourself before the game is even released. It’s nice to take constructive feedback but one has be careful with user feedback – I invite you to look at any comments page on any YouTube video for a sample of what you’d have to expect :o)

Q: Do you write games for yourself or for others? And why?
I write games when I have a good idea for a game – and I don’t really think who its for unfortunately! Games are simply one way of getting my ideas out to the public – I don’t like to restrict myself to that but that is what I am best trained to do.

Q: What process do you go through to overcome coder’s block or even a creative block?
I don’t understand what coder’s block is – most problems in code are not new and the answer exists in the world (i.e. Google) somewhere so I never worry about that. If it doesn’t and it is a truly new problem (and I have been close to these problems when working on more complicated lighting for XBox360/PS3) then you really should think twice before tackling them! Overcoming creative blocks is harder – I tend to talk to friends, find interesting things to see and do in life. Ultimately – hunger overcomes all and it’s surprising how good one’s problem solving becomes once you realise you don’t have money to eat!

Q: Since its release what you do differently looking back?
MiniSquadron was a very well executed project. The only regret was not getting it done quicker.

Q: What was the development atmosphere like? What kind of music did you listen to?
I usually listen to BBC Radio One. I enjoy my Eminem now and then too. I’m a pop tart so I enjoy whatever silly tune happens to be in the charts for the moment!

Q: What was a must have during the development process of MiniSquadron?
Source Control. That’s very boring isn’t it? How about good sitting position? The internet? Friends you can talk to. Indie development is extremely lonely at times – be careful!

Q: What games influenced you in your decision to make MiniSquadron?
BIPS/Jetstrike for the Amiga. Pokemon.

Q: To what do you attribute to MiniSquadron success? Did you expect this level of success?
Quality, Polish, actually fun! Although these things *can* give you success, it is not the *only* thing to do so. The success was fairly surprising as I had no idea what to expect really!

Q: How close was the end product to your initial conceptualization?
It was not far off – with the exception of scope. The original scope was MUCH larger, but would have taken 2 years to make!

Q: Before the release of MiniSquadron were there any huge last minute changes?
Not that I can think of. We took out the Hitler Heads and the Obama Lasers.

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated? What tips do you have for people with AADD like me?
Look for inspring stories and examples of real people who have achieved what you have in mind. Work hard and improve on your own skills – and then believe in your own abilities. Be truthful about yourself and what you can do – and believe you can always get better. Michael Jackson said it best – it’s all about the Man In The Mirror! And then when you’re ready, quit your job, lose that pay check that pops through your door every month, imagine social security doesn’t exist and go hungry a bit. Once it becomes do or die, well, you do. Or you die (well, get a job again)!

Q: How much did the art drive the game? The vision of what it was to look like how much of that was the driving force?
I am most experienced as a graphics coder, so I am very visually driven anyway, with a good grasp of techniques and what looks pleasing (for me) at least. So in that respect – it was probably the easiest thing to get right with my artist as it is something I am used to getting great results in.

Q: What tools of the trade are a must have for you when it comes to programming, art and music?
Programming: XCode for MacOSX. VisualStudio for Windows.
Art: Photoshop or GIMP for 2D. Maya/Max/SoftImage for 3D.
Music: A human being who knows music ;o)

Q: If you were stuck on an island with a laptop and no internet access what apps would you have loaded?
My new game FvD!
Layers – for drawing.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Thanks for the support I’ve had so far! It’s been great and I hope to keep making great games! Woo!

We want to thank Tak for his time and of course for MiniSquadron!

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Indie Interview: Compression

Posted on 01 February 2010 by Todd

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Today we have an interview with Craig Kemper of Little White Bear Studios.

Company: Little White Bear Studios
Games: Compression

Q: How long have you been developing for the iPhone/iPod touch? What did you do before you started developing for the iPhone/iPod touch?
I, along with the help of my wife Lindi, have been working on iPhone games for about two years now.  Before that, I had been working as a programmer for an educational software company.

Q: How long did it take you to develop Compression and how many people were involved?
Compression took about 2-3 months to finish.  Lindi and I designed the game together, and I did all the coding, art, and animation.  Atomicon (www.atomicon.net) did all the music and sound.  My family tested/refined the game, with additional help coming from a few key beta testers.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Compression?
We were actually going to make an entirely different game.  We had mostly planned it out in a single weekend.  Unfortunately, the very next day, a preview came out for the game Unify, which was extremely close to the same concept we came up with.  So we trashed that idea, and started fresh.

We knew we wanted to create a game that had the same addiction level as Tetris, yet not be Tetris.  So we analyzed what made Tetris so appealing, and slowly started molding a game that could compete.  Some people have assumed we based the game on Dr. Mario, due to the common goal of removing pre-existing pieces on the screen.  But in reality, we started from the other side of the block dropping genre.

Q: What inspired you for Compression from initial concept to formalized game?
Well, Tetris was an obvious inspiration.  But also, the music of Nine Inch Nails played a huge part in designing the look and feel of the game.  We didn’t want to create yet another bright and shiny block dropping game.  There were a ton of those already.  We wanted something that felt, dark, moody, and dangerous.  NIN fit that mood nicely, and one of their songs was actually the temp track in the game for a very long time.

Q: What inspires you? And is it different for each game?
It is different for each game, but we do like to try and pick a mood for the game as quickly as possible.  If you have an emotional direction to go in, your design molds itself to fit.  So yeah, the mood, over anything else, inspires us.

Q: What have you found most difficult about being an indie developer?
Wearing all the hats is very time consuming, which is why even the simplest game can take months for a small team.  There’s planning, design, coding, art, coordinating with outside resources, tech support, testing, and marketing.  Marketing is the most difficult one of all, as this is a fairly young, but fast moving, market.  What worked a month ago, may not work today.

Q: Can you describe your development process?
Generally, we start any project by brainstorming ideas.  Ideas can come from anywhere, and they don’t have to even be related to video games.  Sometimes we just start with a mood, or a theme, and design a game around it.  The emotional connection that the player has to a game is very important to us, so it tends to be the driving force behind most of our decisions.

Once we pick a concept, we start focussing on what would make it a fun, yet challenging, game.  We use a lot of paper, writing lists, goals, and designing prototype layouts of our ideas.  The end result usually winds up as a loose design document to guide us during development.

I then start thinking about the design in terms of code, to see if it’s something that can be created in a modular way, which can save a lot of time when you’re having to iterate over various portions of the game.  Next, I start coding the framework of the game, making things very general, so certain things can be pulled and replaced easily.  This may be a little different than what other developers do, but I like to have a basic sandbox to play in first, instead of making a prototype, throwing it all away, and then making another one.  I spend a little more time up front, so we can play multiple prototypes per day, by just mixing and matching modular bits of code.  This also allows us to use the same framework for future games.  Our most popular games, TanZen and Zentomino, are based on the same code framework.  And Compression’s framework can also be used in another game.

Once we have a prototype we’re happy with, we test it completely, and I fix any bugs.  Then we take one of two paths.  If Lindi is doing the art, she begins making art samples, while I flesh out various portions of the game.  If I’m doing the art, I place very ugly temporary art in the game, so I’m motivated to finish the coding, and move on to creating the art.  The art process is also very fluid, and we generally spend an equal amount of time iterating over artwork, as we do for actual gameplay.

With the gameplay complete, and with enough art in it to convey the general mood, we give it to a few people to play, to get some feedback.  We make adjustments, and eventually we come to a game everyone seems to like.  During this, we also send a build to our sound/music guy at Atomicon, so he can play the game, get a feel for the mood, and work it into his schedule.

While the music is being made, we’re putting final fit and finish on the game, and looking for last minute bugs.  Once the music is complete, we submit the game to Apple.

Q: What does the creative process look like during the initial stages?
It’s a lot of talking, drawing, and hand waving.  Very rarely does it ever involve a computer.

Q: Did you do any pre-marketing before Compression was released?
Well, we intended to have a 15 day pre-launch blitz, where we’d give away preview copies of the game, and really talk it up to players and review sites.  Unfortunately, Apple had other plans.  We submitted the game the day before the developer portion of the App Store was to close for a week for Christmas break.  Normally, submissions take about 15 days to approve.  We submitted right before the break, thinking that we’d be near the front of the line when they opened up again a week later.  However, Apple approved Compression in about a day, along with tons of other apps.  Unfortunately, everyone that got approved before the break did not appear on the New Release lists until a week later, which meant very little initial sales, and trashed most of our marketing plans.  So live and learn.  Never submit right before Christmas!

Q: What are you working on now?
We just started working on a new game.  We started with mood on this one.  We’re thinking it might be a comedy.  We have an initial design worked out, but we’re still working out the details before I start working on the framework.

Q: Any plans for updates to Compression?
Compression had its first update recently, where we added a few informative stats in various places in the game, as well as the newest version of OpenFeint.  Future updates will really depend on how successful Compression is.

Q: What was your most frustrating task while developing Compression?
The art was very difficult.  I am not an artist, but I do dabble in Photoshop a lot.  I had to learn quite a few new techniques to create Compression.  The art took longer to create than the actual game.  But, I now have skills I didn’t have before, which will help on future games, so the time was well spent.

Q: What have you found to be the most successful way to market Compression?
Word of mouth, mostly.  Twitter, gaming forums, etc. are all good places to get people interested.  If gamers are talking about it, reviewers will notice, and possibly Apple as well.  Another good method is to advertize inside your other games.  Anything that will let your fanbase know you have something new helps a lot.

Q: How much does user feedback affect your planning of updates and also future projects?
Quite a bit.  There’s always going to be various requests, some good, some bad.  Some are really good, but much too expensive to implement.  We look at the volume of the requests, and mix it with how feasible it is to do from a business standpoint.  But obviously, if there are bugs, we like to get those fixed quickly.

Q: Do you write games for yourself or for others? And why?
We write games we want to play.  If we don’t, it’s not very much fun at all, and becomes more of a chore.  If we don’t believe in the game, why should anyone else?

Q: What process do you go through to overcome coder’s block or even a creative block?
For code, I try to come at the problem from a different direction.  A lot of times that involves writing down the problem in words, instead of code.  If I can solve the solution with words, I usually discover a very simple way to do it in code.  For creative blocks, we generally move on to a different portion of the game, and eventually the solution comes to us as a natural offshoot from the other thing we were working on.  Sometimes the answer to a problem comes from defining everything around it.

Q: Since its release what you do differently looking back?
We would have waited until after the Christmas break to submit the game.  We also probably would’ve started the buzz when the art was complete, rather than when the audio was complete.

Q: What was the development atmosphere like? What kind of music did you listen to?
Nine Inch Nails was pumping through my headphones for the latter half of it.  We develop in our house, with three kids, and a very large dog.  I would have to say the development atmosphere was noisy and chaotic!

Q: What was a must have during the development process of Compression?
Lots of NIN.  And lemonade. :)

Q: What games influenced you in your decision to make Compression?
Tetris was a big influence.  And also Unify.  If Unify hadn’t existed, we would’ve made that game.

Q: To what do you attribute to Compression success? Did you expect this level of success?
Well, Compression has gotten a few nice pro reviews and comments from players and fellow developers.  For many players, it has become fairly addictive.  I wouldn’t say Compression has been a huge success yet, compared to our other games, but we have faith it will eventually find its audience.

Q: How close was the end product to your initial conceptualization?
Compression was more an evolution of ideas, so I can’t really define the initial concept for the gameplay.  We wanted something fast, dangerous, and addictive.  I think we accomplished that.  The mood of the game was something I’d wanted to do in a game for a long time, and it turned out better than I’d ever hoped it could.

Q: Before the release of Compression were there any huge last minute changes?
Nope, nothing huge.  The last few weeks of the project were mostly spent doing art tweaks, performance improvements, and defining the look of the pieces.

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated? What tips do you have for people with AADD like me?
Don’t make the scope of your project too big.  Try to define a game you can complete in two months.  You’ll probably spill over into three months, but design it for two.  If you’ve never made a game before, keep it very very simple, or you’re going to give up.  Our first, and still most successful game, is mainly just moving seven shapes around on the screen.  Take a simple concept, and execute it well.

Q: How much did the art drive the game? The vision of what it was to look like how much of that was the driving force?
The art for this game mostly came after the game was complete.  Part way through the coding we decided to go in a dark direction with the art.  I had wanted to do a steampunk/industrial theme in a game for awhile, and with all of the moving parts, Compression seemed like a good candidate for it.

Q: What tools of the trade are a must have for you when it comes to programming, art and music?
We use Xcode and Photoshop.  Some of our games use hand painted artwork, so a decent scanner is always helpful.  Sometimes we use Audacity to tweak sound effects, to help communicate our ideas with Atomicon.  Pencil and paper are very useful at the beginning.

Q: If you were stuck on an island with a laptop and no internet access what apps would you have loaded?
Oooh, that’s tough.  Most everything on my computer uses the internet.  I’d probably have to say some sort of game like Civilization, where I could spend days playing it at a time, yet never get the same game twice.  Second app would be some sort of survial guide.  And I’d need a photo viewing app so I could view pictures of my family.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Being an indie developer is the best job in the world.  You control your destiny.  It can be very stressful, but incredibly rewarding!

We want to thank Craig for his time and can’t wait to see what comes next from Little White Bear Studios!

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Compression

Posted on 01 February 2010 by Todd

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Little White Bear Studios
App Store: Compression $0.99 | Lite

Compression by Little White Bear Studios is an incredibly addictive and fun match three type game. The goal is to match a minimum of three blocks of the same color. You progress to new levels by removing all of the hollow blocks on the screen. This might seem like an easy task, but the side walls and floor compress as you play the game! Needless to say, you have to stay focused to keep up with both the walls compressing and the blocks dropping before they very quickly become overwhelming.

The main menu is one of the nicest looking menus of any iPhone game I have played. The music and mood are very well balanced and really help to make you feel the pressure to beat a level as fast as you can before you run out of room. Leadersboards and achievements are available using OpenFeint, which are completely transparent unless you access your stats from the main menu (no popup notifications).

I would highly recommend this game to anyone that enjoys a good puzzler. Compression has unlimited levels and the achievements offer you very challenging goals to achieve. Well worth the price!

[youtube jCwePeG2pp0]

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