Articles by type: Developer spotlight

Jake Elliott

You won't find any resource-management or mindless slash and dash games in Jake Elliott's portfolio. What you will find are thought-provoking games that encourage you to ponder on the human experience.

There is often no-one more critical of an artist's work than the artist himself. Some have been known to destroy their creations, having spent months - years in some cases - painstakingly creating them, so infuriated were they by some minor imperfection that only they could see. Game developers - being highly creative people too - can also be somewhat self-judgmental on occasions.

Take Jake Elliott, a Chicago-based game developer who has gained a reputation as a creator of arty, thoughtful games. When he completed an underwater exploration game called I Can Hold My Breath Forever, he was so disappointed with what he had made that he came very close to shelving it. "I honestly didn't think anyone would like it, and I almost didn't release it," he says.

Published by Alex Kearns on 14th November 2010
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Con Artist Games

Chris Condon of Con Artist Games has a reputation for developing some of the most polished games on the web. Casual Girl Gamer speaks to him about his gaming philosophy.

You probably will not recognise the name Chris Condon. You may not even have heard of his highly-respected Australia-based games studio Con Artist Games. But, if you have taken more than a passing interest in Flash gaming in recent years, you are bound to have come across some of his games.

For Chris - or Con, as he prefers to be called - is responsible for some of the most popular games on the web. His two most famous games are The Last Stand and Warfare. The Last Stand and its sequel The Last Stand 2 are zombie-themed defend-your-base games, while the Warfare titles (Warfare 1917 and Warfare 1944) are highly-polished war strategy games. Con has also created some lesser-known titles such as action RPG Sin Mark and futuristic survival game Juggerdome.

Published by Alex Kearns on 25th October 2010
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Gregory Weir

By combining great story-telling with imaginative game worlds, Gregory Weir has created some of the most thought-provoking games on the internet.

To say that Gregory Weir thinks outside the box with his game designs is something of an understatement. He was never in the box in the first place. This is a man who draws the inspiration for his games not from what others in the gaming industry are doing but from his own dreams and hyperactive imagination. As a result, Gregory's games are like nothing else you will have seen, and they are all the better for it.

We first came across Gregory when we were undertaking research for our Five games that make you think about life article published around a year ago. One of the games we included in the list was (I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors, a brilliant but disturbing adventure game where you play a scary-looking sea monster. In spite of your terrifying appearance, you start the game as an innocent creature, curious about the world. But your first contacts with humanity threaten to corrupt you. Feeling rejected and persecuted, do you turn bad and use your considerable powers for evil purposes, or do you strive to do good?

Published by Alex Kearns on 11th October 2010
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John Cooney

Armor Games' head of game development John Cooney - or jmtb02, as he is better known - is one of the most prolific and imaginative game developers around.

When John Cooney returns home after a busy day of coding and designing at Armor Games, he immediately checks that the curtains are closed. Once he has ensured there are no gaps through which he might be spied, he allows himself to relax for the first time since he left for the office in the morning. It is hard work maintaining a unified appearance, and he sighs with relief as he separates into his constituent parts.

You see, John is not one man. He is an amalgam of five different people who, somehow, are able to reside in the same physical space at the same time. There's Mark, the code wizard, who can concoct a fancy game engine in the time it takes most of us to pop to the shops and back. Tim is the design genius, effortlessly creating beautifully animated sprites and swanky game environments. Bob is the holistic thinker, dreaming up ever more weird and wonderful ideas for games. Then there's 02, a baby elephant with a propensity for raving who is the primary tester for most of John's games. She ensures that the games are fun to play. And finally, there is John himself, who has the task of assembling this disparate group into a single coherent being.

Published by Alex Kearns on 2nd October 2010
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Evan Miller

In ImmorTall, indie developer Evan Miller created one of the most emotionally moving games to grace the internet. We speak to him about his gaming philosophy and plans for the future.

Regular visitors to this site may have noticed that we have given one game a disproportionate amount of coverage in recent months. We reviewed the game here, we placed the game at the top of our "Games that make you think about life" list here and we reddited about it here. The reason why we have lavished such attention on ImmorTall - an arty side-scroller - is that quite simply we love it. ImmorTall is one of the most emotionally moving games we have ever played. It is up there in the league of gaming tear-jerkers with Jason Rohrer's legendary Passage.

For the game's developer, Evan Miller, the game could have had him crying for entirely different reasons. As he explains later in the article, developing arty games like ImmorTall is a big risk. It can be very difficult to find a sponsor for such games, and he could quite easily have been left out-of-pocket as a result. Thankfuilly, that was not the case - ImmorTall has received widespread acclaim across the internet.

Published by Alex Kearns on 29th July 2010
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Mateusz Skutnik

Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

There are two types of artist. The first sort can spend an age on a work of art, painstakingly, bit by tiny bit, building it up until, finally, often years later, they deem it ready for public consumption. And then there are those rare individuals who are blessed with such an abundance of talent that they can turn around wonderful artworks in the time it takes some of us to read a book.

In the casual gaming world, Mateusz Skutnik is undoubtedly one of the latter. Over the past few years, his output of games has been nothing short of phenomenal. Eight games in his hugely popular Submachine point-and-click series, no less then 12 Ten-Gnomes games (quirky takes on the hidden object genre), two editions of the much-acclaimed Daymare Town series, three Covert Front games, and that's before we even get on to some of his lesser known works, including my personal favourites, the Squirrel games, of which there were more than 25 at last count.

Published by Alex Kearns on 19th November 2009
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Developer spotlights

  • Jake Elliott

    You won't find any resource-management or mindless slash and dash games in Jake Elliott's portfolio. What you will find are thought-provoking games that encourage you to ponder on the human experience.

    Read more
  • Con Artist Games

    Chris Condon of Con Artist Games has a reputation for developing some of the most polished games on the web. Casual Girl Gamer speaks to him about his gaming philosophy.

    Read more
  • Gregory Weir

    By combining great story-telling with imaginative game worlds, Gregory Weir has created some of the most thought-provoking games on the internet.

    Read more
  • John Cooney

    Armor Games' head of game development John Cooney - or jmtb02, as he is better known - is one of the most prolific and imaginative game developers around.

    Read more
  • Evan Miller

    In ImmorTall, indie developer Evan Miller created one of the most emotionally moving games to grace the internet. We speak to him about his gaming philosophy and plans for the future.

    Read more
  • Mateusz Skutnik

    Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

    Read more
> More spotlights