Indie Game Developer Interview: Ondrej Sedlacek (Froggies)

This week’s Indie Game Developer interview features Ondrej Sedlacek, the talented indie game developer behind the cute 2D puzzle game, Froggies for the iPhone (check out our review here):

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

Ondrej Sedlacek (OS): I was born in the Czech Republic, grew up in Australia and now live back in the Czech Republic. I was always intrigued by computers and spent some time programming Windows apps as a hobby in my teens. This naturally led me to study IT at university and eventually to professional work in the IT industry.

I’ve been an IT Consultant for the last 6 years, working mostly on enterprise software in large companies. I have always liked developing software and mingling with the newest technologies and I’ve also always hated having a boss. I saw developing for iOS as an opportunity to do something I enjoy in an newly emerging and fascinating industry while being my own boss.

9/10: What was the idea behind Froggies?

OS: I didn’t want anything too difficult or complex for my first project so I began searching for a simple game that I could innovate and bring something fresh to. I asked my girlfriend if she knew of any simple puzzle games and she happened to show me the classic game: Peg Solitaire.

I immediately liked the simplicity of the game and the complexity of the puzzle but found it too hard, too long and soon quite repetitive. So I began experimenting by creating bite sized pieces of the puzzle. I was soon fascinated by the endless possibilities of puzzles I could create simply by setting the board up in different patterns or changing the behavior of the pieces. I guess thats when I realized I have an original unique game fans of puzzle and logic games could enjoy.

9/10: How has the response been to Froggies on the iTunes App Store? Could you describe the process of marketing your games?

OS: Those who are fans of logical puzzle games that require a good amount of thinking and brain power love it. Then there are players who want to relax and not have to think when playing games and prefer a challenge that is more dexterity, luck or social based. Unfortunately I think the thinker camp is vastly smaller than the relax camp. This means it’s difficult for such a game to become a hit and organically move up the rankings.

I am trying to target the puzzle fans and thinkers but it’s not easy and is something I am still working on to improve. So far marketing has consisted of mobile advertising and working with media, blogs and forums to spread the word. The media reaction has been great with coverage from the main iOS sites like 148apps and apptudes. Offering promo codes for a free-to-play game is a challenge, so we’ve come up with some really innovative competitions set to go live soon.

9/10: Could you share with us a little on what you’ll be working on next? Any plans for releasing games on other platforms?

OS: There’s a pretty big update in the works now and there’s a huge potential for a lot more levels if there’s a demand for it. I hope to make a sequel before leaving the world of Froggies to try something new and I’d also like to see Froggies on Android, Windows Phone and the Mac within a year.

9/10: Any words for aspiring game developers out there?

OS: It’s an exciting and rapidly growing industry that is full of opportunity. I think the key is to give it a go, not give up, persist and continue to learn from mistakes and build on what works, just like in any other venture. It’s definitely not a get rich quick business but can grow to very interesting heights if you stay in the game for the long haul.

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