One of the advantages of being a small indie developer is having the freedom to set up shop wherever you want. The coastal city of Wollongong is hardly known for its indie games scene, but the area actually plays home to the four-man team of Convict Interactive. While the studio was officially founded in February this year, the team first came together back in 2008 to enter the 48 Hour Global Game Jam in Brisbane. After losing the 2008 contest, the team returned in 2009 to the 48 Hour Global Game Jam and won, creating a casual jumping game called High Hopes.
With a trophy in hand, the team members returned to university and finished off their degrees in computer science and then officially founded Convict Interactive. The studio's first game--Convict Minigames--was released in September this year, and it was a compilation of five minigames (including High Hopes). With its first title out the door, Convict Games has now set its sights on releasing a 2D platformer called Triangle Man for the PC. Convict Games' chief marketing officer Rebecca Fernandez took a few minutes out of her day to catch up with GameSpot AU and participate in this week's Aussie Indie Insights.
Founded: February 2011
Team Members: four full-time members, two part-time members, and a few contractors
Current Projects: Triangle Man
If you had to talk to someone about your game who has never heard of it before, how would you describe it in one paragraph?
Triangle Man is a 2D punishment platformer with puzzle elements. The main character is a cute and very happy triangle that needs to collect all of the coins on each level and make it to the exit door without being touched by enemies or obstacles. If the character is touched by enemies or malicious obstacles (for example, spikes or lava) the level is reset, and the player must start the level over. Players must activate switches within levels to open and close gates and bridges in order to create a path to coins and the exit door.
What challenges did you face while developing the game?
The biggest challenge for us has been the business-admin side of things. There is a lot involved in starting a company, and we had little experience in that area. We've received a lot of help and advice from businesses and learning institutions here in Wollongong and also the Australian games industry; these people have been invaluable!
Bite-sized games are a great way for developers to experiment and try something new. Describe to us something that's unique to your game?
Most of the levels will involve you controlling more than one character simultaneously. So every touch you make on the controller (or keyboard) will move both sprites onscreen. This means that you have to split your focus and try to keep all the triangles alive.