It's okay if you don't remember the first Flipper. The fun little puzzle platformer by indie developer Goodbye Galaxy Games was released last year for DSiWare, a platform many gamers have ignored in the past due to the borderline-unusable DSi Shop. Now that most DSiWare titles are available through the 3DS eShop, though, Flipper should be high on the list of downloadable games to catch up on, because Goodbye Galaxy Games is hard at work on a creative, ambitious sequel. I caught up with creator Hugo Smits to talk about the promising Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish.
Hit the break for the full interview!
GayGamer: How did the idea for Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish come about?
Hugo Smits: A lot of people really seemed to like Flipper in Flipper 1. So I wanted him to be the star in the next game. This was a pretty hard task, since he was a goldfish and couldn't really do anything. That's why I gave him the robot suit. Now I can basically make him do whatever I want!
GG: Tell us about the game. What's the premise of the game? Is it a similar design to your first DSiWare game, Flipper?
HS: It's a totally different game; instead of a puzzle-adventure game, it more like a platform-WarioWare kind of game. You control the game by only one button. In each room/level Flush will have a different action (example, push the button to make him jump, in the next room push the button to make him shoot).
It's up to the player to quickly figure out how to use the action to get Flush safely across the room.
GG: How was the reaction to your first DSiWare title, Flipper?
HS: Very good, I'm really happy with all the reviews and praise it got. It even won the Dutch Game Award for 'Best Handheld game 2010'. So I don't think I could have asked for more!
HS: There are so many little things that you need to deal with yourself when coding for consoles. It really a lot of different from PC coding where you have a OS and APIs taking care of most basic things.
GG: As an independent developer, what challenges have you come across in developing for DSiWare?
Things that take maybe one line of code on the PC can be very tedious on the DS.
Want to put "Hello World" on your DS screen ? Go and write a font loader, than write some code that translates your text-string into corresponding positions.
You know how the DS goes into sleep mode when you close the lit ? That's something you have to program! I always assumed the OS would do that for you, didn't know it until one time I closed the lit and the music for Flipper kept playing!
It's not like any of those problems are super hard to overcome or to deal with. But if you add all those little things up, it can really increase your dev cycle in a tedious way.
GG: What's next for Goodbye Galaxy Games? Any chance of a 3DS title somewhere down the line?
HS: I have some stuff in the works, and I also have plans for the 3DS. But for now, for this year, it's still very much about the DS. All the big publishers moved on to the 3DS, but for many little publishers the risk involved with 3DS games and development is too big. So they rather choose stick with DS development until the 3DS market proves itself. And this leads to some interesting deals for me as a developer.
For more information on Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish, check out Hugo Smits's dev blog.