In today's Indie Games Spotlight, we venture down to the trailer park to talk to Trailer Park King
developer Freelance Games.Q: How long have you been developing games?
A: Honestly, it feels like I have been developing games my entire life. It actually started back in the days of the Commodore 64 and I still retain a lot of now useless information about the 64's architecture even today. So hopefully that system will make a comeback someday and I will be able to use some of that knowledge.
In 2010 we decided to focus on the Xbox and released Starchon for Xbox Live Indie Games. The game really didn't do the type of numbers that we were hoping to see but it was pretty clear at that time that this was where we wanted to go. In 2011 we released Trailer Park King and it was one of the 50 most downloaded Xbox Live Indie Games of all time.Q: What events or concepts helped shape the direction of Trailer Park King?
A: Trailer Park King Episode 1 ended as a cliff hanger in a way which made it a bit difficult to write the second story. We decided to utilize the concept of flashbacks where the King was interviewed periodically throughout the game by a reporter and he would kind of fill in the gaps as to what had happened between Episode 1 and Episode 2. I actually think the flashbacks worked out pretty well, but it was definitely a struggle.Q: What was the most significant thing you took away from the development process?
A: I would have to say that we probably under estimated how difficult it would be to do a sequel. There are a lot of moving parts in a game like Trailer Park King with things like the script, the art work, the music, the sound effects, and so on. Looking back, I'd have to say that a sequel has to be so much better than the first game, otherwise it just won't stand out as much. For example, most People consider the first movie to be much better than the second because sequels are usually incremental - so it is rare and difficult to out do what you did in the first movie.Q: Microsoft released the announcement changes to the Xbox Live. Do you feel these changes are moving the service in the right or wrong direction?
A: I'm extremely skeptical when Microsoft makes changes to Xbox Live Indie Games because in the Time that I've been involved with the service it has clearly not been the focus of Microsoft. Their file size changes will probably make it easier for games like Trailer Park King to exist because we can produce more content at the $1.00 price point (80 MSP). At the same time it clearly pushes all developers towards the $1.00 price point.Q: If you could go back in time and change things about the development of Trailer Park King Episode 2, what would you have done differently?
A: I would have to say that with Trailer Park King Episode 2 we intended to continue the story in a fun and interesting way and maybe we didn't do enough to evolve the series. Trailer Park King Episode 2 actually has quite a bit more content but the game can actually be played in about the same amount of time as Trailer Park King Episode 1 because it's a little more sequential.Q: Do you all feel as more frequently comes up, that Indie Games would benefit from a small amount of Gamer Score?
A: I'm probably the wrong person to ask about the Gamer Score because I don't really understand why it's so important to the gaming community. That said, the lack of Gamer Score is clearly a barrier for some gamers.Q: Do you have any future plans for more Indie Games?
A: Yes! You can probably look forward to an announcement from us pretty soon regarding a new point and click adventure game for Xbox Live Indie Games. We are also planning the third title in the Trailer Park King Series later this summer. At the same time, we are working hard to port the Trailer Park King Series over to the iPhone, Android, PC, and Mac. So there are a lot of great things coming up this year. Stay tuned...