Welcome to Show And Tell, a regular feature where we speak to local developers about what they're working on. Today we have Lewis Mitchell, a developer who worked at Blue Tongue before the studio's closure. SmallGreenHill is one of many examples that a set-back in the games industry will not stop passionate devs from bouncing back and making games.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your studio? Hi, I'm Lewis Mitchell, a one-man operation working under the studio name of SmallGreenHill. I used to work for Blue Tongue as a Lead Artist before it closed last year, and prior to that I worked for a few years with a studio in England. As a one-man team I pretty much do all the art, code and design for the games, although I sometimes work with ex-colleagues when I need something a bit more specialised, or when I simply don't have enough time to do something myself.
What game are you working on at the moment?
Yesterday, I released my first game for the iPad, Ball on a Wall. It's a new take on a platform game, where you control the path of a ball by turning a grid of blocks on or off. As you progress, the game introduces new hazards and perils, like teleporters and turrets. I think it's a fairly unique concept, which was conceived from thinking about new game ideas that would take advantage of the big touch screen on a tablet. It looks simple, but it actually requires quite a bit of concentration to play — and there is an advanced difficulty mode that makes it really hard.
Where and when can we play?
It's available to play on iPad now, through the App Store right here. (Or just search for Ball on a Wall).
What’s next for your studio — any big plans?
I was lucky enough to secure some funding from FilmVic to produce my next game. It's still fairly early days so I don't want to talk about it too much, but it's progressing nicely and will hopefully be ready for release in a few months.
Any words of advice for those who want to get into the games industry?
It can be a tough business to break into, especially in Australia at the moment. I think you need to work incredibly hard to get your skills to a professional level. At Blue Tongue we always wanted to see folios from graduates/juniors that looked like they were producing work at a standard that could just be slotted straight into whatever we were doing. If you're struggling to find work at an existing studio, there isn't any reason why you can't just start making games by yourself or with a couple of like-minded friends... or be prepared to move overseas for a stint. (That's what I did to get my break into games). Perseverance is key.
Ball on Wall is available on iPad right now. You can show your support for the local game development scene by buying it here.
Are you an indie developer or a student with a cool project to show off? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email with the subject like "SHOW AND TELL" and let us know what you're working on!