Posts Tagged ‘Q&A’

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: Jason Whitham, creator of Max Dirt Bike 3

max 1

Jason Whitman has his hands full creating games like Max Dirt Bike 3 and we have our thumbs full playing them. After a four-year delay in the Max Dirt Bike series, Jason’s team decided to get dirty again. As always, it’s a tough set of moto-trials that reminds us Mo’ Tilty Mo’ Problems.

We talked with Jason about why it’s been so long since there’s been a Max Dirt Bike game, what he’s been working on in the meantime and the coolest thing in the world to ramp.


What inspired you to create Max Dirt Bike 3? 

There are so many dirtbike games out that don’t have enough challenge or puzzle elements to them and we wanted to fill that void.  It can get frustrating at times, but you keep coming back for more.


It’s been about four years since Max Dirt Bike 2.  What took you so long!? 

Our team — Brock White, Winston Zhang and myself — has been busy working on Stick Empires, an online RTS game, and Stick War, its offline campaign counterpart.


Where is biker trying to go? And why hasn’t he gotten there yet?

He is trapped in a motorbike matrix dream world.  OK, maybe it’s just a cool-looking place.


What’s the most consecutive backflips you can pull off in one jump?

There is a level with a large catapult where I have seen eight flips. However, landing is another issue.

max 2


Do you have any tips for players?



Are you working on any upcoming games?

Our current project is Stick War 3.


Fill in the Blank: If I could ramp anything, I’d ramp _________.

An elephant!



Play Max Dirt Bike 3 here: