Indie mobile games are a huge way for new developers to enter the market and show off their creations. Making an indie mobile game is relatively cheap and easy, which means anyone can do it, even you! Pixelvolt was lucky enough to get a chance to talk with Creative Director of Coatsink Studio, Tom Beardsmore. Coatsink is an up-and-coming Indie mobile game development studio that has two releases in the pipeline for Andriod and iOS devices. The first is Fatty, which follows the tale of huge green blob whose only purpose in life is to eat or he will waste away. Fatty will be available on June 20. Their second release this month is Ajapa, due to hit June 24. Ajapa is the story of a tortoise who has agreed to race across all the great nations solving puzzles and using all his wit to succeed. Pixelvolt will also have reviews for these titles in the coming days.
Pixelvolt: How did you get your start in gaming? And what drove you to make games and become the creative director of Coatsink Software?
Tom: I’ve always loved games, as have all my friends and family. I grew up playing and loving strategy games (like C&C and Starcraft), action/shooters (like MGS and Counter-strike), and RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and FF7. As a result, I’ve followed the industry closely all my life and, despite focusing on creative writing and screenwriting at University, ended up getting a job at Blizzard Entertainment (working on WoW and Starcraft 2 at the time). But I always wanted to do my own thing, and thus formed Coatsink with my long-time gamer buddy Paul. We’ve focused on mobile games so far simply because they’re cheap and (relatively) easy to develop.
Pixelvolt: What did you do at Blizzard while you were an employee there, and what was that like?
Tom: Unfortunately I can’t say any more than I already did! Signed some very strict NDAs. Sorry.
Pixelvolt: You say you are a huge fan of RPGs. Is there one brewing in your mind for a mobile game, or are you going to hold onto it until Coatsink gets a tad bigger?
Tom: Yes, there definitely is, but I think we need more time to develop as a team first. I would prefer to do it for PC primarily too!
Pixelvolt: What was the inspiration for Fatty?
Tom: It was a simple gameplay mechanic that we originally thought up as a potential minigame for another of our games (Superglad – http://coatsink.com/games/superglad). After a meeting with the publisher, Thumbstar, we decided it could make a pretty cool game on it’s own. The name and context was first suggested as a bit of a joke… but it stuck!
Pixelvolt: Do you see the Ouya, or the recently announced MadCatz M.O.J.O., to be game-changers in the console market?
Tom: As hardware gets physically smaller while retaining processing and graphics power, we’re seeing some pretty amazing games on surprisingly small devices. As such, I think these kinds of devices definitely have the potential to get in on the console market. But I don’t they’re game changers. I think some people will always want ‘hardcore’ games, and will stick with hardcore hardware.
Pixelvolt: What’s a normal day at the office at Coatsink Software?
Tom: Late starts, because we’re all up gaming or otherwise geeking till late, but then we work hard for about 10 hours (while taking regular breaks to discuss the latest games or TV shows, of course)! Everyone is involved in development equally and invited to make suggestions on any aspect of any project. A programmer can make design suggestions, for example.
Pixelvolt: What’s next for Coatsink Software? Will you be staying with the mobile market or possibly shooting for PSN/Xbox Live?
Tom: We’re moving onto PC, and (hopefully) PSN and Xbox Live, with Superglad (if people want it) and beyond.
Pixelvolt: With E3 going on right now, any things that you’d like to see announced? Or any dream projects you’ve been hoping to be announced?
Tom: I think this year’s E3 has been excellent, especially compared to the last few years. The PS4 has answered a lot of people’s prayers already. I’d always love to see another great-looking RPG though (another Elder Scrolls perhaps?).
Pixelvolt: And finally, if you were stranded on a deserted island and only could have three games to play until rescued or indefinitely, what games would those be?
Tom: Skyrim, Baldur’s Gate 2 and The Witcher 2. I’m an RPG-lover at heart.