Episode 18 – Livid Interactive

Livid-Interactive

Melissa Pennock, Jacob Pennock, and Mike Schaiman

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Joining me today are Game Designer / Leader Developer Jacob Pennock, Executive Producer Mike Schaiman, & Art Director Melissa Pennock of Livid Interactive.

We talk diversifying a studio, making money in the middleware marketplace, how to stay afloat as an indie, and how they use Intel’s RealSense technology and Unity to create their gesture based first person combat game, Head of the Order.

In 2010, the husband/wife team of Jacob and Melissa Pennock founded a small studio in North Carolina called Unicorn Forest Games. Unicorn Forest was mainly focused on providing outsourcing services, for games on facebook and mobile devices.

Soon after arriving in California, Jacob was introduced to Mike Schaiman, and joined the team at Helios Interactive. Helios uses a variety of technologies to build interactive experiences for consumers in retail and at large events.

In 2013, Head of the Order, a tech demo,  was entered into Intel’s Perceptual Computing Challenge, and took the first place prize in the games category.

Early in 2014, Helios took notice of the potential of the game, and the saw an opportunity for the company to open a new games division. So Livid Interactive was created, under the wing of its parent company, Helios. Their latest title, Head of the Order, is a magical fantasy game played entirely with gestural spell casts. It’s format is similar to a tournament style fighting game but with magic instead of martial arts.

Episode 14 – Erik Umenhofer, Firebelly Studios

erik umenhofer

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.NET Developer by day, and game dev by night, Bay Area resident Erik Umenhofer has been quietly working on games for several years, from the comfort of his own home. First he started with XNA, before making the transition to Construct 2, and has finally settled on Unity.

Listen in as we talk about the good old days of the Commodore 64, solving problems through technology, and the way Construct 2 handles wrapping games for each platform. Going by the studio name Firebellys, their upcoming release, Temporus, a 2D sci-fi sidescrolling platformer is aiming for a release in 2015.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

 

Episode 13 – Richard Weeks, Total Monkery

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Total Monkery is an independent game development company and family business with a healthy fixation on mockery, puns and primates. Created in 2012 by game development veteran Richard Weeks (LucasArts, Psygnosis), Total Monkery aims not only to produce high-quality products, but also to foster new talents, collaborate with passionate indies and contribute value to the industry we love.

We talk the FM Towns Marty, his experiences at Psygnosis and LucasArts, and the necessary skills for establishing and maintaining a studio of his own. Furthermore, we conclude the discussion with the importance of keeping in touch with your audience during development, either by use of Twitch.TV, blogging, and attending industry events.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 11 – James Parker, Opposable Games

James Parker

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We’re joined this week by James Parker, of Opposable Games. 

Founded out of the UK in 2011, the studio is comprised of veteran console and mobile developers.
Their first iOS release was Clockwork Racers – a throwback to 90s local multiplayer games such as Micro Machines. Their current project, Salvaged, is the culmination of their ambitions in multi-screen game development, and does a phenomenal job of illustrating novel ways of using a second screen. You can find it currently on Kickstarter, too.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 10 – PHL Collective

Collective_Team

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This week I’m joined by seven gentlemen from the PHL Collective. Nick Madonna, Terry dee-fel-ee-cee-an-toe-nee-oh, Ryan Reed, Bren King, Brian Gitlin, Vincent Erhard, John Sepa, all of whom  are based out of Philadelphia.

Their first title, Knight Strike is an old-school arcade style game where you will battle endless hordes of enemies which get harder to beat the further into the game you get. It is also currently available on Steam Greenlight.

Noodle Arm Royale was built in two days as part of a rapid prototype/internal game jam. The game was specifically built to sit in an art gallery space and be the most ridiculous and irreverent installation in the place.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

 

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 09 – Nick Gravelyn, Brushfire Games

Nick Gravelyn

 

Nick Gravelyn has experience making games and apps for Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Windows, and even the Zune HD. He  worked for Microsoft on XNA and Xbox LIVE Indie Games, enabling independent game developers on Xbox 360. He also built technology for interactive television with Microsoft Studios including the interactive 2012 US Election coverage.

Nick now runs his own studio, Brushfire Games, which has recently released their first title, Shipwreck on the PC.

In addition, we also cover indie-friendly tools such as Maya LT, a stripped down version of the 3D modeling tool with an attractive price point for smaller development teams. Nick also covers the process of establishing a small business and some of the related costs associated with it. Unreal Engine 4 was recently released and has a new set of tools and licensing costs, so we discuss that as well, before wrapping up with what makes a platform attractive for indies.
If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 07a – Simon Jackson

Simon Jackson

Due to some recording issues, we’ve re-recorded Simon’s episode, with all new content, and talk of Unity’s new GUI framework, uGUI!

Simon is a long time community developer focusing on all things XNA / Windows Phone / Windows 8 and beyond.

Technical Architect by day in the Healthcare division of a large services company while at night the game developer in him comes out. He’s very active in the MonoGame  community, in addition to Unity. Finally, Simon is a major contributor to the XNAUK user group and website.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 07 – Simon Jackson

Simon Jackson

Simon is a long time community developer focusing on all things XNA / Windows Phone / Windows 8 and beyond.

Technical Architect by day in the Healthcare division of a large services company while at night the game developer in him comes out. He’s very active in the MonoGame  community, in addition to Unity. Finally, Simon is the former admin of the XNAUK group.

If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.

Benjamin Briggs

All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Episode 03 – Alexander Jordan, Apathy Works

Alex-Jordan

On the third episode of the Indie Dev Podcast, I interview Alexander Jordan of Apathy Works. Follow along as he illustrates how he got his start with the first person shooter modding scene in the mid 90s, released his first game Around The World on XBLIG, and followed it up with Cute Things Dying Violently — a premier title in 2011’s Indie Games Summer Rising.

Alex also enlightens us on his experience with writing networking code in Unity, the benefits of prototyping to explore what does / does not work for your games, and  his current Unity project, At the Lytchgate.

Listen to the podcast here

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All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Benjamin Briggs

Episode 01 – Samantha Kalman, Timbre Interactive

Samantha Kalman

On the first episode of the Indie Dev Podcast, I interview Samantha Kalaman of Timbre Interactive. Follow along as she illustrates how she got her start by working with Unity in Denmark, before returning to her hometown of Seattle to take a job at Amazon. All the while she kept her dream project alive, and has finally brought Sentris to Kickstarter.

Listen to the show, right here

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All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs.

Benjamin Briggs