Indie Game Developer Interview: Clara Parona (Bad Seed Entertainment)
For this week’s Indie Game Developer Interview, we have Clara Parona, indie game designer for one of the coolest games on the iTunes App Store to feature sheep, Sheep Up! We’ve reviewed the game (here) a couple of weeks back and thought it would be great for her to share some of her thoughts on taking the indie route, so check out the interview below:
Nine Over Ten 9/10: Tell us more about yourselves and how you started developing mobile games?
Clara Parona: I’m an independent interaction and game designer based in Italy. But first of all I’m a player. After my Masters degree in Design, I started working for several interaction design labs – vibrant, multinational and dynamic environments that allowed me to grow my interest in gaming. Finally I joined the Ubisoft team to work on three (now released) game titles as game designer. But I was looking for new creative challenges and something different.
Mobile is playing a much stronger role than consoles and (is) already transforming console games in terms of design and functionality. So after several years sowing in the videogame industry, my partner and I decided to leave the Studios and start an independent game studio to make our own games. In the early 2012 we founded Bad Seed Entertainment, a game development start-up mainly focused on providing mobile entertainment.
9/10: What was the idea behind Sheep Up!?
Clara: Sheep Up! is vertical platformer with an original top-down perspective instead of the usual front view. We wanted to create a game that offered something new and unique. We just changed the perspective on a popular genre like platformer (platforming). It’s stunning how something as simple as a change in perspective could make such a big difference in terms of game experience.
9/10: How has the response been to Sheep Up! on the iTunes App Store and do you have plans to release the game on other platforms?
Clara: To be honest it could be better. We got many downloads in the first weeks and a sharp drop-off lately. It’s hard to stay on top for a long time and so we’re going to change business models for that reason. Firstly we’re working on the “lite” free version of Sheep Up! which will showcase the first 4 levels of this 20 level puzzle/platform game in order to allow the player to evaluate it. We have also planned the next steps and already began porting the game to Android.
9/10: Could you share with us a little on what you’ll be working on next?
Clara: We’re going to handle multiple projects in the next few months: a new mid/long term core project – a new iOS multi-level game – a fast paced iOS mini-game and then Sheep Up! Lite.
9/10: What are your view on iOS games piracy and how has that affected you and your fellow developers?
Clara: Developers, especially the small ones, certainly suffer from piracy. But I believe in creativity as a way of fighting piracy. I think developers need to protect their games and interests by inventing new in-game purchases or creating other freemium models if they can’t disable pirated copies. I can’t imagine anyone taking the time to crack a game that they can have for free.
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