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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Interview with games2be the team behind Facebook game "Spoing"

I did a quick interview with Gerhard Oester, one half of the Swiss indie game developers "games2be", who recently released the Facebook game "Spoing".

Why are you launching your first game on Facebook?
We had a very small start-up with just the two of us, and very little financial backing. We both worked for Gameforge on Browsergames and we have a profound knowledge in this field. When we founded games2be this summer we first started to create Spoing for the iPhone because the concept of Spoing is a perfect fit for the iPhone. But then we decided to focus on Facebook first, because we don`t have enough money for a big iPhone release campaign.  We hope to get a solid user-base in Facebook before we release Spoing on the iPhone later on this year.

How big is the team?
Spoing is a two man show. My partner is doing the programming and engine-part while I focus on game design, level design, and artwork. The only thing we didn`t make by ourselves was the music. A friend of mine did an excellent job of this in close cooperation with us.

Where did the game idea for "Spoing" come from?
It was just an idea I had 3 years ago during my time as a game design student at the Zurich University of the Arts. Back then, I had my first contact with programming by learning Action-Script for Flash. I just wondered if it would be possible to simulate slingshot-type behaviour and started in my spare time on a prototype. It took me quite some time because I was new to programming, but in the end the prototype turned out to be funny. The ideas of interactive music and the possibilities to create your own slingshots when playing came later but added much to the game.

What special advantages / challenges are there when creating games specifically for Facebook?
Well, on Facebook a big challenge is the back end with scalable server-architecture. On the other hand you have the possibility of implementing all the social features Facebook offers like the posts, invite friends and gifts. These features are very cool, since you can compare your results with your friends, and we think this is much better than the global high scores used in most "non-social" browser games. 

Is your next game in development already?
No, first we want Spoing to be completely finished. We still have a lot of features we want to implement, and then we will bring Spoing to the iPhone/iPod.  But we have about 30 good concepts for new games ready on my desktop ; ) So we will certainly create more games in the future.

Thanks  Gerhard for doing the interview, and we look forward to seeing what other games come from your desktop! :-D

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