On The Level Game Studios Blog

A Game Studio’s Growing Pains – by Jamie Daruwala - June 23, 2014

Our postmortem on ‘The Curse of Nordic Cove’ was well documented by the On The Level Game Studios team on a Gamasutra website blog and on our website in the News section. The ideas kept coming and we tried to implement many things we thought would make the game better, and we listened to outside input. We made additions and changes which ultimately caused us to rush parts of the game in order to finish on time. Technically, we were not experienced enough to do some of the things we tried to do, and that was plainly seen in our reviews. Lesson learned. But, we should not discount what the team got right.  Most reviews praised the company for creativity and effort on a first indie game. As we moved into the next phase with the second game, ‘Boo Bunny Plague’, we tried to simplify some of the gameplay and focus on our perceived strengths: concept creativity, art style, and in-house music.

When we were at a PAX conference, many people including the folks from the Nintendo booth were impressed with the early alpha demo of ‘Boo Bunny Plague’ that Rikki, Lead Artist and Director, had been working on. What was a side project for Rikki turned into the main focus for our second release. The first game was completed by the team in just under two years.  We are trying to get Boo Bunny Plague done with the full team in a year and three months, and our experience, plus process improvements and tough decisions to cut where needed, will hopefully take the company to another level.  Most game devs will tell you that this does not come without pain.  Trying to do things faster, while maintaining or improving quality, is a tough balancing act.