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Developer Confidential: Toy Studio, Part 2

Posted by Blake Grundman on October 3rd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

See Part 1 of our special developer interview with Toy Studio right here.

To understand the roots of "Monster Slider" you must first back track to when the game's design was originally conceived. Community Manager Ryan Olson helped fill in the blanks:
"Rob Lockhart, the game designer, was at a game design conference called Games Learning Society in Madison, Wisconsin. He was thinking of god games like Black and White and The Sims and what would a god game look like in its simplest form. Directly shifting the world to guide a creature to a goal was the result. When Rob got back to the studio, he gathered up some odds and ends in the office to create a paper prototype of his idea. Once some of the gameplay was tweaked, then the game went into full production..."

As great as having a unique idea and vision for a product is, only through iteration and collaboration can these kinds of concepts make the jump from the page to the screen.  This is where prototyping comes into play.  Despite the word "prototype," implying some sort of playable product, different designers choose to present their concepts in different ways.  Each studio is different and apparently Toy Studio is no exception to the rule.
"The original paper prototype we made of some gameplay options was something to experience! Rob, the designer, was acting as the game AI creating puzzles from scraps of paper and moving the monster we had to represent Squishy in front of us. He would bring in people from their desk and sit them down to play out a few games. There was a bowl of jellybeans in the meeting room and then Rob put them on some tiles and we had portals. Just like that. Squishy’s Revenge was just scraps of paper, candy and odds and ends from some board games we have in the office that turned into an original game..." -- Rob Lockhart, Game Designer

And just like that, a game was born.  Shortly thereafter a tight knit collection of three were tasked with bringing a glorified break room mess to life.  With the help of only a single designer, coder and artist, the product leapt for the design document page and into existence.  But not all was well in the world of rotating tiles.

Stay tuned, for tomorrow we finish our epic tale, and learn more about Toy Studio's latest effort, Squishy's Revenge!

This Week at 148Apps, September 26-30

Posted by Chris Kirby on October 1st, 2011

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Blake Grundman offered part one of his developer interview with the folks behind Squishy's Revenge, Toy Studio. Grundman writes, "Despite only having been in existence since September of 2009 the team working behind the scenes at Toy Studio have been hard at work, churning out an impressive thirteen games in that short span. Having successfully released titles on both the Nook Color and Facebook, it seemed like the next logical step was to transition into the iOS space."

Read the rest of part one at 148Apps.com, and keep checking in for parts two and three soon.

Over at 148Apps.biz, founder Jeff Scott reported on Unity's big announcement at Unite11. Scott says, "Shown during the Unite11 keynote, Unity 3.5 includes lots of new, very impressive sounding features like Multi-threaded rendering, Improved occlusion culling, and Radiosity Normal Mapping lightmaps. All in all, about 40 major new features. I’m thinking this will make some developers very happy — and me, as a game player will reap the benefits! For a full list of new features in Unity 3.5, check out the press release."

Read more about the big announcement on 148Apps.biz.

GiggleApps writer Amy Solomon contributed a review of Snap and Share Kids Cam, stating, "I take a lot of photos of my son, who will also now ask me to take a snapshot many times of things he finds amusing, sometimes asking me to email them to family members. This app easily allows a child his age to take and send photos himself, as this app is very simple to use and contains nice spoken prompts explaining each event leading up to the emailing of photos. So easy to use in fact, that I plan to use it myself as this application is surely quicker than taking a picture, finding it on the camera roll, tapping to email, typing the recipient’s email address and tapping again to send the email on its way."

Read the rest of Solomon's review on GiggleApps.

And thus we come to another weekly round-up of 148Apps network goodness. There's so much more to see on the various sites, so check them out for yourself - and don't forget to follow our Twitter and Facebook feeds for daily news updates and contests galore. See you next time.