Tell us about Blimbu Games. Who’s the team and what do they do?
Blimbu Games are a team of 6 Game Developers from Grimsby, UK. We’ve been
together for about 3 years now and we’ve had experience making games for
mobile and recently we’ve moved onto console game development. The team is
made up of:
Jake Willey, Managing Director, programming lead and Musician
Daniel Willey, the Co-Managing Director and 3D Lead
Alex Johnson – Art Lead
Dayne Oram – 2D Artist/GUI Programmer
Bob Guest – Musician and Sound Artist
Josh Orr – 3D Artist.
How does a typical day play out for you guys?
Usually we get into the studio and we set ourselves tasks for the day. We
use a system called “Trello”, basically like an online pin-board where we
can post tasks/updates on our development for other team mates to see! From
here we just work work work…with a hint of pratting about here and there
too. We’re game developers after all! How can what we make end up being fun
if we don’t have fun whilst making it?
Up to now, we’ve only really interviewed indie teams that consist of, at
most, 3 people. How does the development process start for you? Is one
employee the ideas guy or do you input altogether at meetings and such?
Usually before starting a new project we’ll get together and sit and discuss
target platforms for development. What are we aiming our game at? Are we
looking at a title for say, the Wii U, or are we looking into one for
Mobile? Then, from here, concepts are proposed to each other after going
away and thinking and we take a vote on which idea sounds the most appealing
to the majority, and then from here we just snowball and mindmap ideas until
we get something planned out that we’re all happy with! The whole process
for us for ironing out a concept can take a good month sometimes!
We noticed that You guys have won an award for your game Caved In! You must
be stoked about that. How does it feel to have your efforts recognised?
Definitely! We won “Best Game” at our site for the Global Game Jam 2015, in
which we had 48 hours to make a game based on the theme “What do we do
now?”. We ran with the idea of having these 4 pirates stuck inside a cave on
a timer that will eventually seal itself should they fail to find their way
out. We all spent ungodly amounts of hours awake that weekend, with what
must have probably only been 6 hours sleep all in. That’s collectively, too.
Does the award add any hidden pressures when looking at future projects? Has
it changed the way that you might attack a new idea?
It definitely adds an aura of expectation from people, I suppose. We were
known among our classmates here at the University where we study for doing
what we do, but winning the award has definitely made us aware that we now
have to live up to the reputation and provide the goods, so to speak! The
fact that Caved In was the first time we’d attempted making a multiplayer
game might mean that we have a bit of a knack for this particular style of
game, and so in future it could be something that we look into more than we
would have done should we not have won this award! We’ve also definitely put
a lot of pressure on ourselves now too – we want to keep up the momentum!
Do you have any advice for aspiring indie devs starting out?
It’s hard, so don’t expect things to happen overnight. It’s taken us 3 years
to even get remotely noticed! Whilst that might seem daunting to a lot of
people wanting to start out with this, don’t let it sway you. It’s one of
those things that if you want it hard enough and you’re passionate enough to
persevere, you’ll soon start to see returns. Also, don’t aim too high with
your first project! I hear a lot of guys I know wanting to do the whole
Indie thing setting their first projects with far too much ambition.
Ambition is great, but you have to remember if you want to make a first
person survival horror game with only 2 guys and no experience, it’s gonna
be bloody hard! Make sure your team know their strengths and weaknesses, and
play to these. You are only as strong as your weakest team member. You could
have the world’s best artist on your team, but with no one to code the game
you’re not going to get very far!
Oh yeah another thing, and I can’t stress this enough, LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE
DOOR. There are too many people who try this Indie scene and they push and
force their ideas onto other people. Everyone has an opinion and everyone’s
opinion matters. Sure, if 5 out of 6 guys like something and 1 doesn’t, the
likelihood is that the development of that particular idea is going to go
ahead, however if that 1 person were to try and contest this to a degree
that it caused tension in the team, this is going to reflect in the quality
of what you are producing. You’re making games, here. Everything you make is
going to reflect your effort and the effort of those you work with, so make
sure everyone feels they have an equal say and what they are
producing/contributing with matters.
Last but not least: HAVE FUN! You are creating games! You could be crafting
entire worlds for people to explore or simple one-tap games for the iPhone,
but either way what you are doing could bring a smile to someone’s face
someday, so try to smile whilst you’re making it, yeah?
A bit of a plug on your behalf now. What would be the best way for people to
contact you and grab your games?
Hey a shameless plug never hurt anybody! You can find our development
updates, team information and game information on our website:
http://www.blimbugames.co.uk/. Alternatively you can follow us on twitter
@OfficialBlimbu or like our Facebook page, simply “Blimbu Games”.
If you have anything else to add or anything you’d like to say, now’s your chance.
We currently have some really exciting stuff in the pipeline for the next
year or so, but unfortunately right now we can’t say anything about it.
Mysterious, I know, however it’s something we hope people will enjoy and
we’ll be announcing stuff later this year! Watch this space!
Thank you for the opportunity for the interview guys! 😀
Thanks to Blimbu Games for letting us interview them.