Welcome to Show and Tell, a regular feature where we speak to indie developers about what they’re working on, what they’ve finished, and what they’re releasing. Today we talk to Ben Kosmina, the director of Green Stripe Snake. You may recognise Ben’s name from the work he’s done on Jolly Rover and the upcoming MacGuffin’s Curse, or from our story about Brawsome. So, let’s pass this over to him!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio?
Sure! I’m Ben Kosmina, director of Green Stripe Snake. I’ve been working in the games industry for 10 years and my most recent projects have been MacGuffin’s Curse (see below!), a point-and-click adventure game featuring a doggy pirate cast called Jolly Rover, and before that, an on-rails shooter with water pistols set in a theme park called Pirate Blast. Unfortunately, that one only got a small release in the US, meaning I don’t have my own copy! Boo.
Although GSS only popped up mid-last year, I’ve been informally working as my own company for some time now. I specialise in design and writing for other companies, and I’ve established a working relationship with Brawsome. We seem to work well together as we’re both enthusiastic about story-based games and trying to make people laugh. That’s the goal, anyway.
What game are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working with Brawsome (two of us, hard at work all year!) on wrapping up MacGuffin’s Curse. It’s a top-down puzzle game, similar in style to the dungeons in Zelda: Link to the Past. However! There are a couple of major differences:
1) You can turn into a hulking werewolf with super-cool sideburns.
2) It’s got elements of classic adventure games, such as inventory, amusing dialogue with an eclectic cast, and branching conversations.
The PC/Mac build of the game is ready for press to look at, and we’ve caught a few more minor bugs that we managed to squash. So now it’s mainly getting in touch with press and asking them if they would like to check the game out. And THEN, it’s a matter of getting the iPad version of the game optimised and using its features, so that iPad users can enjoy it as much as their PC and Mac friends.
Where and when can we play?
This date is super important, so if Kotaku has the technology to use the “blink” tag here, that would be awesome:
April 19th, 2012!
(Dear readers, if it isn’t blinking, please open and close your eyes rapidly for a similar effect.)
As for WHERE?! Well, due to the wonder of the Internet — everywhere! It will be available on Steam for PC and Mac on this date, featuring such novelties including Steam Cloud, Achievements, and Controller Support (yes, even on the Mac!). If all goes to plan, it should also be releasing on the Mac App Store and the iPad on this date — however, unlike Steam, those releases are subject to change.
What’s next for your studio — any big plans?
I’d like to say “a rest!”, but ha ha ha, that’s a funny joke. Once MacGuffin is out, that’s when all the work STARTS. We’ll need to keep promotion going, support it, and so on. But now that we have the MacGuffin engine built in Unity, we’ll be able to produce something new more easily without having to start from scratch, so that’s nice.
I’m also talking to a couple of other studios about other projects, but unfortunately they’re too early to mention anything — it probably wouldn’t be very exciting for your readers at this stage anyway, though! “So, maybe we could make a game… about… stuff…” “Sounds intriguing! Tell me more!” (It’s a thrilling life.)
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
When applying for a job, look for a person’s name on the website and use that. Getting emails with “Dear [company name]” when your name is on the about page suggests that the applicant does not have much attention to detail.
Play Earthbound and Mother 3. That’s just general advice for anyone, really.
I’d recommend joining the IGDA, too. [Editor’s note: each state has their own Independent Game Developer’s Association, so try searching for “IGDA + the name of your capital city to see if there is one near where you live — the IGDA is The Place To Be!]. Useful connection to have, that lot. Also, I had ribs at the last Christmas barbecue, so that’s another selling point right there.
Are you an indie developer with a cool project to show off? Whether you’re only a few weeks into the project or you’re close to releasing your game, let us know about it! Email us with the subject line “SHOW AND TELL”.