Indie Game Developer Interview: GeoWok with Co-Founder Sheldon Shi

Guess who is sitting on the hot seat this week for our Indie Game Developer interview segment? It’s none other than Dino Catch developers GeoWoks, represented by co-founder Sheldon Shi. Before we started off with the interview, Sheldon did drop off a nugget of information concerning the promotion of indie games.

In order to gain traction, one should focus on free-app-a-day style of promotions. Maybe you guys out there who are aspiring developers should take this tip up, after all, there’s nothing to lose…and everything to gain.

Nine Over Ten 9/10: Tell us more about yourselves and how you started developing mobile games

Sheldon Shi (SS): GeoWok started out in 2010 when I met co-founder Huazhang Shen, a Facebook game developer. We both agreed that mobile internet on smartphones will be prevalent in people’s lives, and we’d better do something about it. So we founded GeoWok to create games and entertainment apps for the iOS platform. We currently have 7 developers and designers.


9/10: What was the idea behind Dino Catch? How did you get onto the idea of converting an interesting Game Theory (Angel problem) into a game?

SS: Dino Catch is based on a pretty well known math problem called Angel Problem. The problem is about how an angel can escape the blockage of a devil on an infinite grid. In each turn the angel can travel N steps (N >=1), and the devil can block any point on the grid. The problem is complicated. So Dino catch condenses it to its simplest form, when N=1 and the grid is a finite board.

Dino Catch is not the first game to do so. There are PC games based on the problem that has been around for a while. But none of them have been fully packaged as a stand-alone, multi-level game. So I decided to do it for  the iOS platform.

9/10: Could you share with us a little on what you’ll be working on next?

SS: We are cranking out multiple iOS apps every month. Not all of them are games but all are entertaining. Entertaining people for 5 minutes at a time, that is our goal. Stay tuned for some really fun apps.

9/10: Last question, what are your views on iOS games piracy and how has that affected you, and your fellow developers?

SS: We focus on grow our user base. I am sure piracy exists and is a problem, but as a small team, we have bigger problems to solve.

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Don’t forget to check out our review of Dino Catch.

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