At Full Sync Gaming we strive to bring our readers nothing but original, high-quality content. We don’t like to be one of those sites that just splurge out copied and pasted press releases, we want to bring you fresh and exclusive material. That’s why I’m happy to introduce our second exclusive interview this week, done with the team over at Tembo Entertainment. So grab your popcorn cause this is a real humdinger…
Hi guys, let’s start by introducing the Tembo Team to our readers; tell us a little about yourself and how you came to work in Game Development.
Everyone’s dream is to find pleasure in what he/she is doing for a living. Game Development is a work of passion, a medium through which you can entertain millions of people. From the beginning, our vision was to entertain people. As you can see we have added it to our company title ‘Tembo Entertainment’. We thought a game would be the perfect tool to entertain people so ended up developing them!
And what is it that motivates you all to produce games, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Unlike movies, a game is a form of digital media that gives you both entertainment and keeps you occupied with interactive tests within a certain set of rules. For many years now games have been used for understanding human behaviour; how the human brain evolves with a game is one of our sources of inspiration. Others are new games and their mechanics; we also like, sci-fi movies etc.
Moving on, how about you give us a little history lesson on Tembo Entertainment? Where did the company name come from, what was the first game you made, how would you describe your development style?
Actually, we teamed up 3 years back. We participated in an app building competition, where we designed an elephant and tried to give it a cute name. We searched the web and found that ‘Tembo’ is a translation of elephant in the African-Swahili language. We loved that name very much. Later when we started this company, we thought why not name it after that and use it to focus our vision which is to grow big. Here you go, ‘Tembo Entertainment’, small yet large!”
The very first game we developed was ‘Hue Run’, an extremely fast colour running game, from which we got really great feedback. It took us almost a month and a half to develop it. As an indie casual game developer, we should not spend that much of time for developing a simple game and now we have reduced our development time. We first create an idea or model and improve the idea, then draw a rough sketch, make a prototype and play ourselves to see if it really worth developing. If we like it, we immediately jump into development. Now the entire process takes around 15 days. However, we are planning something big in next year.
Now we’ve got the introductions out of the way let’s talk about your new game recently released on iOS and Android, Danger Bounce. What kind of game is it?
Danger Bounce is an action avoidance game, where you play as a ninja who jumps and hops through a world of pillars.
The game design reminds me slightly of Thomas Was Alone, mainly down to the simplistic styling and the use of characters who are shapes. It’s also got some similarities to the big hit Flappy Bird; did these games have any influence on your development of Danger Bounce?
Thomas Was Alone is a perfect example of using minimalistic graphics with a cool storyline. It won several prizes. We really enjoyed playing it. We also love minimalistic graphics and we tried to incorporate it into our game. And of course Thomas Was Alone is a source of inspiration for many indie game developers including us.
Coming up with an entirely new idea/ideas is really hard nowadays. You have to model and improve existing games and their mechanics. This games closely resembles Flappy Bird, that’s true, but not entirely. We modelled and improved on it but our actual inspiration was Ketchapp’s Amazing Thief.
Both games’ mechanics and goals are simple like Danger Bounce. However, instead of following the existing traditional look of these games, we chose a new gameplay of bouncing. We have also added a ninja theme to it. All of these certainly create a new gaming experience.
Although the mechanics are pretty simple which helps make the game easy to play, how difficult is it to develop a Casual Game such as this? Is it a long drawn out process, or is it as simple to make the game as it is to pick up a phone and play it?
You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. It took us only 3 days to develop the game! However, it took us almost a month to polish it and make it ready for releasing. We tried to make the game small in size without compromising quality so that people can download it super fast and engage really quick. From our feedback, we were quite successful at this.
You probably find many bugs along the way when making any game, but what was the biggest obstacle you had to get around when making Danger Bounce?
With this kind of game, we have to ensure that it looks like that the pillars are generating randomly and also that it does not give any impossible condition. We spent a lot of time to ensure that.
If you had to give our readers one reason to go and try Danger Bounce, what would it be?
If you are a fan of hard and addictive games, Danger Bounce is specially created for you.
Leaving Danger Bounce aside for a moment, why not tell us a little about your other games.
We have currently four games published Hue Run, Clone Rush, Danger Bounce and Wire Switch. We have another 5 games in our timeline that will come really soon. We are trying to polish them and bring the best experience for the users.
And if you had to pick a favourite out of them all, whether it be a game to play or the game you’re most proud of, what would you choose?
That’s a hard and tricky question to answer. Every new game we develop is much more improved than the previous. However, I would pick Hue Run and Danger Bounce as our favourite from our currently published games. As the question is to pick a single one, we would pick Danger Bounce. However, Color Avoid which will be released soon is the one that we are most proud of.
How, in such a competitive market for Casual Games, do you distinguish your titles from others? Is it difficult when so many developers just essentially copy and paste the code from one game so they can make a quick bit of money?
Tembo’s focus is to bring a new and fresh gameplay experience to its users and fans. Copy& paste is a common thing in any industry. As a unique developer, you should learn to ignore them. If you keep doing cool things, people will notice you and they will talk about you. There is no doubt.
Do you have any other projects you’re currently working on, maybe new games planned for the future? Or are you just planning to focus all your efforts keeping Danger Bounce updated?
Every game we develop, we try to update on a regular basis. It’s important. Without this, your users and fans will be disappointed. However, not giving them new ones is also bad. We are working around the clock to do so. As mentioned before we four games in hand soon to be five with Color Switch being published really soon. Then we are planning something real big for the next year.
Moving away from your games and into a more general area of questioning; what advice would you offer to those people who would love to create their own indie games but don’t have the courage or maybe self-belief to do it?
We here follow a really cool book named ‘The Art of Game Design’ by Jesse Schell. In this book, the Author mentions several times about one thing, say it very loud and clear, in voice, in your mind – “I am a game designer”. Do it several times. Believe it and you can do it! So many people are doing it and loving it. Why not you! And you will see you are indeed a game designer in no time. Fear not. Nothing comes out of fear. If you don’t try, others will.
What development software and computing language would you suggest beginners use if they are wanting to make their own games?
If you are new and don’t know how to code, Buildbox is the perfect tool to begin. If you can code and are passionate, use Unity. It’s by far the best in the industry in our opinion.
How has the development of Social Media and other platforms like Kickstarter helped Indie Developers like Tembo Entertainment?
We had great help from Social Media. Really, nowadays an indie developer grows based on it. We got many reviews and retweets from several review sites and a good following of twitter users. It really helped us to increase our downloads and also keep us motivated.
And finally, before we part ways, a little question just for fun. Would you rather be a duck sized horse, or a horse sized duck?
We want to be a horse sized duck. LOL
There you have it, the guys at Tembo Entertainment would like to be a horse sized duck, don’t ever tell us we don’t bring you important breaking news. But really, we’d love to thank the guys over at Tembo Entertainment for taking part, and if you’re interested in learning more about them and their games, carry on reading below for a short bio and links to their website and social media pages.
Tembo Entertainment is an Indie Game Development Company located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tembo’s games bring in the fresh feel in the wave of casual everyday game playing. Their talented creative team looks into user’s choices carefully catering games into a new versatile dimension. Tembo’s intention is to keep its users entertained with every game they publish for all major platforms.