In an effort to promote and explore the wonderful world of Indie game developement, The Community will be providing an Indie spotlight with developers of games we’ve discovered and enjoyed, or even just developers who catch our eye for other reasons. We’ll try to bring you a little insight into the thought process behind truly innovative game design and what different studios have to offer. This week, we kick off the series with Spilt Milk Studios’ Andrew Smith.
Spilt Milk Studios, a charming little indie developer with 2 years of innovation under its belt, started innocently enough when founder and sole member Andrew Smith began to feel less than content with his job working for Proper Games.
“A few changes there sort of conspired to shrink my role over a few months,” Smith said, “I knew that if I was going to carry on learning and growing professionally, I had to break out.”
After conversing with a friend about consulting and contract work, and the prospect of making more money per hour than with Proper, Smith found himself handing in his notice of resignation within the week. 90 pounds later Smith had purchased Apple Developer Status and was well on his way to developing Crunch: The Game and Hard Lines for the iOS.
Smith considers his development style to be iterative in nature, stemming from a single idea and adding or subtracting aspects only after working with a playable model.
“I start with a mechanic or gameplay situation, and I try not to think too far beyond that until I can play it,” Smith said. “Unless you finish it and release it, the ideas aren’t very useful.”
Smith’s ideas can come from anywhere, he says, but recent projects like the co-creation of Hard Lines have come from a desire to reboot classic arcade-style retro games for the iOS, types of games he humbly submits have not been getting realized to their full potential in this relatively new gaming format.
“There are certain key genres and types of games that fit mobiles that haven’t been done very well recently,” Smith said, “Personally, I like the chance to get
back to those classics.”
On the subject of the iOS itself, Smith thinks the role of the mobile in gaming will continue to expand.
“In the future, you’ll see a lot of games that just use the mobile as one of the many screens they’re delivered to,” Smith said, “But I don’t buy into the fact that they’re replacing traditional consoles.”
As for his own personal tastes, Smith’s gaming preferences are guided by convenience.
“I find it fits around my lifestyle. If I’m on the tube in London I might not take out my 3DS, but I’ll pull out my phone and play. If I’m at home I’ll usually just switch on a console.”
Smith’s newest project, Smash The Block, is an homage to classic bat-and-paddle games with a refreshing and colorful art style.
No release date has been given yet, but you can follow Spilt Milk’s progress here with a dev diary including sneak peeks at artwork, status reports and a Q&A video series.