Welcome to Show and Tell, a regular feature where we talk to local indie developers about what they're working on and what they've recently released. Today we have Kumobius in the hot seat — not only did these guys win the recent Melbourne Game Jam, they now have a game out on iOS: Bean's Quest! Delicious!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio/team?
There’s three of us: James and Tom are brothers and we met Ivan through a mutual friend.
Ivan has worked in the game industry for a few years as a programmer. He worked on some AAA titles on iPad for EA before going independent. He’s a C++ guru and a Tetris fanatic. He takes care of all the engine code that makes the game play so well.
James has been an artist and illustrator for about 10 years. His work has often incorporated video game elements, often little characters that feel like sprites but are beautifully rendered. He’s always wanted to work on games. James focuses on game design, art and level designs.
Tom’s played with game making tools and mods for quite a while. Experimenting with small games, it’s what made him interested in programming to start with and he pursued it as a career. Now he works on level designs with James, programs the editing tools we use to build the games and handles whatever other administrivia that pops up.
What game are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just released a whole bunch of things actually. The final update to our critically acclaimed iOS game Bean’s Quest just hit the store. It nearly doubles the length of the game.
Bean’s Quest is a very retro platforming game, along the lines of the 16-bit era games like Mario or Sonic. The trick is you’re constantly jumping, the control scheme on iOS allows for a lot of precision in the gameplay and platformer veterans have loved that.
Additionally, we just launched released a desktop version of Bean’s Quest for the Mac App Store. This version of the game allows for more real estate on the screen, especially on big monitors it looks great. Not only that but we’ve released the first world of the game for free on iOS as Bean’s Quest Lite. It should give everyone a taste of what the game is like and hopefully players will fall in love with the story and character.
We’ve also just participated in a 48 hour game jam last weekend. It was our first and it was super fun. Our game won the local Melbourne competition actually, which was humbling. We made a physics platformer called Omelette Boris based on the theme of the Ouroboros.
You can download Omelette Boris for free here, on Mac and PC.
Apart from that we’re experimenting and prototyping for our next game. You’ll hear more about it this year.
Where and when can we play?
The IGDA Melbourne chapter organised the Melbourne Game Jam and are planning on having a slew of games on display at an event later this month, our jamming game: Omelette Boris will be there along with other awesome games made in the 48 hours. Subscribe to the IGDA Melbourne website for information on the event when it happens.
For Bean’s Quest, just hop on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, it’s $2.99 USD and it’s also now available on the Mac App Store for $4.99 USD.
What’s next for your studio/team — any big plans?
We can’t announce anything yet unfortunately. We’re experimenting and prototyping new ideas at the moment. We really enjoyed the experience of the recent global game jam so we’re keen to try out some more small ideas and explore that process further.
Completing Bean’s Quest from start to finish gave us valuable experience and we intend to apply everything we’ve learned to our next project.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
Make games, then make more games. Experience will be one of the biggest factors in gaining employment in the games industry. That doesn’t have to be commercial experience though; use flash, Unity3D or C++, anything that you can show potential employers that you know what you’re doing.
If you’re a programmer, learn C++. Nearly every major game studio will use C++ for their game engine. Try making a simple 3D game in C++ using only OpenGL and GLUT. Even if the game studio you end up working for (or starting yourself) doesn’t use it, the nature of C++ is such that the act of learning will improve your ability in other languages as well.
If you’re interested in starting your own studio, start attending events where game developers speak and give details of their experiences. Attend the IGDA Melbourne chapter’s events especially. There are lots of like-minded people you can meet and lots of support they can provide.
Are you an indie dev with a cool project to show off? Is the game still in development or recently released? We'd love to hear from you! Get in touch with us here with the subject line "SHOW AND TELL".