Welcome to Show and Tell, a regular feature where we speak to local indie devs about the projects they’re working on. Today we have David Surman from Pachinko Pictures to talk to us about lollipops.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio?
We’re David Surman and Ian Gouldstone. We run a boutique creative studio here in Melbourne, Australia called Pachinko Pictures.
We were both raised by consoles, and love games to bits as a result. Pretty much all of our work is inspired by them in one way or another. But we also love art, fashion & pop culture so we set up Pachinko Pictures to see how we could bring all those worlds together. We’ve created all sorts of things besides games — animation, photography, music videos. And when the fit is right, we make work for clients and brands, too.
What game are you working on at the moment?
We just finished making our first iOS game, Lol-a-Coaster, with Chupa Chups Australia.
In Lol-a-Coaster, you guide Chupa Chuck, Chupa Chups’ laid-back mascot, around a wacky set of super surreal, mega loopy roller coasters. As you ride around the world collecting Chups, you’ll unlock a variety of weird cars that you can use to build your own coaster. Combine them right and you’ll unlock one of the many Sweet Ride with extra special abilities.
The game is a bit of an homage to the crazy-colourful action games we played as kids on consoles like the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive. Parodius, Pop’n’Twinbee, that sort of thing. We like games that are fast and action-packed, but also a treat for the eyes and ears.
Where and when can we play?
Lol-a-Coaster is available now for iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch on the AppStore. We’re proud to say it’s completely free! By working with Chups we’ve been able to create an experience that is much bigger than your average free game or advergame.
What’s next for your studio — any big plans?
Pachinko Pictures is a multidisciplinary creative studio, so we’ve got lots of different kinds of projects on the horizon. But now that we’ve made our first game, we’ve got the bug and are already working on quite a few new ideas both for clients like Chups and ourselves.
We want to create a new kind of advergame that gives the player a proper game experience and drips with quality. Because audiences spend so much time playing games and socialising online, old school advertisers are curious about how to get into the game space, and are looking for people who know games to show them how. Really interesting things can happen when artists and commercial clients collaborate: think Michel Gondry and Björk, David LaChapelle and Burger King, or Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton. We think games designers can do crazy-wonderful things for brands. Commercial work is a great way for developers to also get access to decent budgets, and also work with interesting constraints.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
Every industry needs passionate people that want to shake things up. Games are no exception. We’ve got the best tools ever to develop and distribute games, so whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced developer — now is the time to take some risks and try new things. We see way too many sequels dominating the mainstream at the moment, most often in a few narrow genres. Worse than that, in the mobile game space you see a lot of cloned games, which is really awful for the developer who has been copied. We think if you’re trying to break in to the industry, or if you’re creating a project in your own time, our message would be to try something bold and original.
You can download and play Lol-a-Coaster for free here.
Are you an indie developer with a cool project to show off? Send us an email with the subject line “SHOW AND TELL” and let us know what you’re working on!