Filling the cephalopod-less void in everyday life. We talk with the creators of Muddledash
This is the English version of our Q&A. The Russian version can be found here.
When we saw the trailer for Muddledash, we knew right away that we had to try it. We did, and the game wowed us. Great style, quirky visuals and fantastic gameplay made it the party game of the month. We liked it so much, we had to talk with the developers and ask them how did they manage to come up with such an outrageous idea and how did the game perform after the release.
NintendoNews.ru talked with slampunks founders Kieryn King-Lloyd and Niall Tessier-Lavigne.
NN: Good day! We liked your game a lot: it’s accessible, fun, and feels right at home on Nintendo Switch. Do you think the console is just perfect for that kind of games? Can the success of Nintendo force the creators for release even more games with local multiplayer?
Kieryn: The Switch definitely fit our game the best. It has much more of a family friendly vibe and a bit more of a focus on local multiplayer, which made it a goal pretty early on for us. We both like the social aspect of local multiplayer games and for me it also has a lot of nostalgia attached to it, so if the Switch inspires more of that then great!
NN: Making a game with that small a team is an ordeal, but was it worth it in the end? Can you tell us if the game was a commercial success – did it fail short of expectations, or did it in fact surpass them?
Kieryn: 100% worth it. Game dev has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Being able to team up with a good friend and create something that can now be played by people all over the world was a really great experience. The project started off as something that was meant to be finished in 3 months while Niall was in Australia. It ended up blowing out to around 2 years of production time. The fact that it got this far at all is a real surprise, and it was really cool to cross something off my bucket list that I thought I might not get to.
Niall: It wasn’t a commercial success by any stretch, but I’ve been able to meet so many lovely people along the way, and that has shaped things so much for me. The best part of the launch for me was just hearing from a small handful of players’ personal experiences with the game, and that’s where I’ve found myself caring the most.
NN: Without any details, what platform was the most profitable for Muddledash? Do you plan on expending the list of platforms?
So far we’ve had the most sales on the Switch, which was pretty much expected. Muddledash was a lot of fun to make, but for now, more platforms means more stress on us to get things running smoothly across them all. For now we’re enjoying the post-release peace, but maybe someday 🙂
NN: You first started working together in 2016, correct? What platform was your focus then? Do you feel that Nintendo helped you by releasing such an appropriate console?
Kieryn: At the very start the goal was to just get something playable and maybe show it around a few local events. The Switch was announced while we were working on the game and was sort of a “Wouldn’t it be cool if” sort of goal. I personally didn’t think too much about how to get it out there and was more concerned with just getting it done, so I’m super grateful that Niall went to the lengths he did to make it happen.
Niall: Yeah, initially our platform focus was “Whatever the event spaces are using” (namely PC). Getting as many paws as possible on the game that early on really spurred us on to keep up development, but as soon as we knew the Switch could work for us that shaped a lot of our decisions. As a big plus, everybody we dealt with at Nintendo was incredibly helpful along the way.
NN: Okay, let’s get a bit personal. What are your other interests in life? What do you play in your spare time? Favourite console, favourite game?
Kieryn: I’m a landscaper during the day so plants and stones are what I’m around most. I rarely play games, though I recently got some time to play through GNOG by Ko-op Mode which was really pretty and nicely polished.
Niall: I’m similar to Kieryn in that I’m mostly thinking about plants and stones, but I don’t get paid for it. However, I’ve recently been really enjoying playing Reigns: Her Majesty with my partner, plus bits and pieces of Cosmic Top Secret and Don’t Make Love. That plus lots of games-centric reading by the likes of Marijam Didžgalvytė.
NN: You come from Scotland and Australia – that’s… far. Is the distance a problem? Maybe offices are obsolete anyway?
Kieryn: Niall and I met on an animation forum years ago and have been chatting online since. We’ve worked together on a few bits and pieces over the years so we’ve developed a bit of a disjointed workflow that seems to work. Niall came over to Australia and lived with me for a while and we got the foundation for Muddledash done while he was here, so that helped the process a lot.
Niall: That being said, the months where we could jam on ideas together in the same space were the most fun. Even though we were used to communication at a distance, I think we got the most out of the collaborative aspects of design under the same roof (even when I accidentally blew the electricity in Kieryn’s entire house using a UK power adapter).
NN: What inspired you to come up with such an outrageous concept? Any real life stories? Any why octopuses?
Kieryn: The concept was all Niall. Not gonna claim anything there, his mind is wild.
Niall: It helped to fill the cephalopod-less void in my everyday life.
NN: Any plans for the future? Are you thinking about ports, or maybe some other game is already in the works?
Kieryn: I have a few things in the works but nothing serious right now. Give me a yell if you want to help though!
Niall: I’m very much the same! A lot of little sketches, and some ideas bubbling behind the scenes. I’ll post things from time to time on my Twitter if any of them come to fruition!
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