Hello, and welcome to Between 2 Taps, Tap for Tap’s Indie Dev interview series. In this episode we are chatting with Asinine Games developer Brian Dutton.
Before starting Asinine Games, Brian was a sound designer and worked on many games including Spec Ops: The Line,Kingdom Under Fire II, and Eve Online.
His passion for gaming can only be rivaled by his passion for good beer and bad movies.
Brian’s with us to discuss his hit game Puzzledrome, currently available in the App Store.
Puzzledrome is a palindrome building puzzler that swaps out letters for puzzle pieces in ways that will have you cursing hectagons like you never thought possible.
The design is clean and alluring and the mechanics are simple yet infuriating. Perfectionists, OCD sufferers and sudoku lovers rejoice, this beautiful torture was made especially for you!
Tune in below as Brian discusses other ways he likes to torture people and some lessons about making games that he has learned along the way.
So when did you first discover you had OCD?
"I actually don’t have OCD myself, but I enjoy messing with people who do. Rearranging someone's alphabetized DVD collection, making all the pictures on the wall slightly askew, that sort of thing.
"And making games like Puzzledrome where everything has to be perfectly symmetrical."
Is your spirit animal Sheldon Cooper?
"Ha! That guy is a tool. My spirit animal is John Oliver riding a unicorn with a kegerator strapped to his back."
Have you ever worn an outfit that doesn't match?
"I pretty much wear the same thing every day. So yes, every single day."
You call yourself the Weird Al of gaming. Does this mean you are just going to spoof everyone else’s good ideas or are you actually going to come up with something original?
"I’ve never had an original idea in my life, so why start now?
"I don’t think that I’d call myself the Weird Al of gaming, but when I started out that was sort of what I was aiming for.
"I have a book with about 20 parody game designs, but to do them right will be time consuming and somewhat costly, so I had to hold off on games like Moat Simulator at the moment."
What is the funniest thing you have heard someone say / swear / curse while playing?
""Did you make this? What the hell is wrong with you?" Which to me was a great compliment.
"There was also a lady who told her friend to "stop mansplaining" how to solve the puzzle."
What's something you didn't know was important for developing a game, but now you do?
"You should have some sort of skill, like coding ability, or artistic talent. Any sort of relevant skill really, that would have been helpful when I started."
What advice would you give to aspiring developers?
"You’ll only get better by making games, so make some simple games and don’t worry if they are bad.
"Just set the bar low and make something. The experience will help you eventually make a good game. I’m on bad game number 7 so I should have something pretty solid out by 2017."
Puzzledrome is available for the Apple Watch, what was the biggest challenge or difference developing an app for the watch vs a phone or tablet?
"Apple Watch is awesome, but it is somewhat limited in what it can do.
"I had to change the way pieces swap to work with the Watch (capital W), so you need to select a piece and then select the one you are swapping with rather than just dragging to swap like on the other devices."
What song do you listen to when you want to get in the zone?
"The theme song from Caillou. But if I’m coding or designing levels, Music For Airports by Brian Eno. Or anything by Cake or Brad Mehldua."
Besides Chris's persistence, what about Tap for Tap appeals to you as a developer?
"The Tap Exchange is what really caught my eye, but the people are awesome and the personal customer service has been amazing.
"Also, Chris is super helpful in recommending shows I haven’t seen."
A big thank you to Brian for participating and you for reading!