Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Q&A: Mark Foster and David Fenn, Creators of Leaf Me Alone

Leaf blog


When they planted Leaf Me Alone in the Ludum Dare 26 game jam, Mark Foster and David Fenn probably didn’t expect to grow their minimalist game (that jam’s theme) into a sprawling epic.  But they watered this idea seed with, um, brain fertilizer?  Look, we’re out of floral metaphors, so just read this interview the creators of one of the most fantastic, addicting games ever, only on!


Mark Foster: Game Designer, Cake Lover

David Fenn: Composer, Also a Cake Lover


What inspired you to develop Leaf Me Alone?

David: I think we just made what we most wanted to make for the most part, so I’d say the main inspirations were all the games that had brought us the most joy over the years. We naturally focussed on drawing inspiration from where our influences in games overlap, such as Zelda, Fez, Sonic and even a little bit of Journey.

Mark: The wind leaf in Zelda Wind Waker was my main point of inspiration.


What was your process for creating the soundtrack?

David: I like to prioritize establishing a mood through use of melody, and I came up with most of the main tunes for the game very early on, which had an impact on the feel of the game as a whole. Then, as we began to expand the story and world, I further developed the musical material to create a subtle emotional arc. You’ll hear a lot of recurring themes, which are adapted musically to match the atmosphere of each section of the game. You play as a small seed from birth though their lifetime. Most of the inhabitants have left the area after certain events happened, which drove them from their home. Exploring the world you encounter several remaining inhabitants including a mysterious masked character — perhaps they hold some clue to what happened to the others?


What was your favorite part of the game design and creation process?

Mark: Designing the world was a lot of fun and then my favorite part was packing it full of secrets and Easter eggs!

David: I think with this game it would have to be the little touches we added. Leaf Me Alone really gave us an opportunity to focus on the environment, so there are lots of details, especially in terms of art and audio, which really enhance the game and were super-fun to try out. I would list examples but it’s more fun to explore and find out for yourself!


Any games you’re playing right now?

David: I’m currently replaying Final Fantasy IX for the seventh or eighth time while waiting for my PS4!

Mark: I’m currently addicted to Vlambeer’s Nuclear Throne, and I also always seem to end up playing Spelunky most days.


This game started as a small entry in Ludum Dare 26, which had a minimalist theme.  How was developing a full game different from the mini-version for the game jam?

David: Ludum Dare is all about fun, being super-inspired and getting loads of stuff done. For me, the rest of the process was slower and more focused, as a lot of the time was spent polishing and refining material rather than jamming out every idea that came into my head! But the end results are even more rewarding.

Mark: We mainly wanted to expand the story of the world into a fuller thing, and really wanted to make the game deeper by adding a lot of hidden secrets around the place. It was over a longer period of time compared to the jam (one month on this version and three days on the original jam), so we had a lot longer to polish everything and make it all more immersive and interesting, with more areas to explore and powers to acquire.


What’s next?

David: I’m going to continue doing what I love, working on games and making soundtracks!

Mark: I’m currently working on a game called CHROMA, which I’m hoping to release next year.


What do you listen to when you’re working on a game?

Mark: I enjoy the Leaf Me Alone soundtrack and sometimes would listen to it while making the game! Aside from that I tend to listen to faster-paced energetic music to “get into the zone” while programming or doing art.


What’s your favorite kind of leaf?

David: Big ones you can glide with or I’m not interested!

Mark: Probably a leaf from a chestnut tree, reminds me of collecting conkers when I was young!


Cake or pie?

Mark: Cake.

David: CAKE.


Movember Fill in the Blank: If I could be any type of moustache, I would be __________.

David: One that is actually just a part of a big beard.

Mark: An evil villian mustache with twirled ends that I could stroke while I laugh manically.


Play Leaf Me Alone here:

Q&A: Seven2, developers of Expiration Date

Cyog blog

Way back in July, a much simpler time when we all lived in blissful ignorance of what “twerkin’” was, gamers took part in AddictingGames’ first-ever “Create Your Own Game” Game, answering Facebook polls to help shape a game that would actually be created by AddictingGames.  Letting gamers create their own game!? AddictingGames must be a bunch of suckers. WAIT, ADDICTINGGAMES IS US!!

UH OH!  Do we have the game yet?  No?  Another week or so before it’s released?  Uhhhh, dang it.  OK, think, AG, think. Have we shown any concept art yet?  We did?  Crap.  Have we revealed the storyline and title?  We did that, too!?  Geez.  What else can we share before we release the game next week?  Do we have an interview with Seven2, the developers of the game who include creative director Brandon DeLauney, lead designer/animator Justin Baldwin, developers Bradley Baysinger and Keely Honeywell, writer Mark White and designer Zach Grassi?  We do!?  Well, hot dog! What are the odds!?

Here, read this and we’ll get the game to you next week! Promise!


What was your first reaction when you heard what type of game the AG audience picked? 

We laughed, then we panicked. OK, not really. We knew it’d be a challenge to make a game with those parameters, but we also LOVED the challenge of making a game with those parameters. It made us get super-extra creative.

What game ideas were left on the cutting room floor?

At one point, there was a character named Brenda who turned into Bad Brenda and oversaw the post-apocalyptic world’s most popular reality show. But Bad Brenda wanted too much money to appear in the game. She was both bad and rather greedy.

Any must-know tips before playing this game?

Click on everything you can, think outside the box and make sure to take bathroom breaks.

Whose mom was the in-game mom based on?

She was designed to be everyone’s mom and nobody’s mom at the same time. Imagine a normal mom and then make her evil and menacing with a slightly more dated sense of fashion.

Evolution of Your Mom

What was your inspiration for the apocalypse? Does it parallel with other big apocalyptic stories in pop culture?

The game’s apocalypse has some similarities to the ones you’ve seen, but also some cool differences. We were inspired by “The Book of Eli,” “The Road,” “Children of Men,” “Mad Max” and a few ketchup commercials.

Can we expect any Easter eggs in this game?

Does a chicken have lips?

Fill-in & Answer: How much __________ did you drink while making this game?

Water, Diet Coke and badger milk — all in the recommended daily amounts. We can also tell you we’ll definitely be drinking a lot of _________ when the game is completed.



Q&A: Chris Jeffrey, creator of Space is Key


Chris Jeffrey is a UK-based indie game developer who makes ridiculously addicting games (see what we did there?) from painfully simple concepts. His new game, Space is Key Hell, requires you to heap abuse on your spacebar as you use it to drive your hero — a square — through a hellish world populated by deadly … squares.

We assure you, there’s nothing square about this game, which is the latest in Jeffrey’s Space is Key series, available both on browser and iOS. AddictingGames chatted recently with Jeffrey about his inspiration for this fantastically hellish game, what we can expect next and what it’s like to be responsible for sending so many spacebars to Lucifer’s domain.


Chris Jeffrey (artist's rendition)

Chris Jeffrey (artist’s rendition)

How did you come up with the concept for Space is Key?

Space is Key actually came around while I was trying to sleep, somehow. I couldn’t sleep one night and had this little idea of a block moving down a level and jumping over obstacles — really simple stuff. So I just booted the laptop up and threw it together, and it kind of just evolved into how it is now due to my inability to draw at all. I wanted the art to work well but to be something I could actually pull off. The game is inspired by an old Flash game I used to play when I was a kid in school called City Jumper, too! Go play it. It was awesome.


City Jumper

City Jumper



Why did you set this sequel in Hell?

In Space is Key 2, I took the players down to Hell for a few levels and a cup of tea. After I listened to what people thought, it completely made sense that if I was ever going to make another Space is Key that it’d have to be tougher and set in Hell. It’s nice and toasty, though. I mean, at least they don’t have to worry about the cold!


What is the hero’s backstory?  How did he wind up in Hell?

You’re a fierce warrior, hell bent on getting revenge on your evil twin brother who kidnapped your princess and is hiding her in one of his towers….in hell! Nah, not really. You’re a block, jumping over stuff for no reason at all, sadly. But that other story sounded pretty good, so I think we should just pretend that’s the story!

space to jump


How many keyboards did you break while playing this?

I’ve got keyboards on top of keyboards on backorder. Making a version of Space is Key costs so much just in keyboards alone!


What’s your best score?

Oh yeah, are you wanting a competition!? I think I can usually get around the 50 mark. It’s bad compared to some people out there. YES, YOU! You’ve got mad skills.

space is key hell


Do you have any tips for players?

I’ve got three tips I feel I need to share: Concentrate, memorize and pray. That’ll usually help, especially praying!


Are you working on any games now?

I’ve actually got a few things in the pipeline! If you follow my blog or Twitter, I generally throw sneaky pictures around there. I’m working on a puzzle/platformer called “Above Average Guy” and also a brawler set in the mean streets where you’re fighting possessed electronics called There Goes the TV. Oh, I forgot, I’m also working on a game with my good pal Jimp. However, we’re not saying an awful lot on it, but I think there’s a pic on my Twitter, too! @ChrisJeffGames


Fill in the Blank: My personal Hell would be _________.

I was going to say something stupid, but I won’t. I think not being able to express myself through developing games. It’d be hell not making games, I think! Aside from that, eating celery forever would be pure hell! There, I said something stupid too. ;)




Play Chris’ latest game, Space is Key Hell, here:

It’s so much better than eating celery.