Deborah, from Garage Games, talks about their new tools for game developers
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Interviewer: I’m here at Casual Connect and with me today is a special guest. How about you introduce yourself?
Deborah: Hi, I’m Deborah Marshall with Garage Games. I’m the Torque Product Group Manager.
Interviewer: We talked last time at GDC Austin. What’s new since then?
Deborah: Well, there’s been a lot of things that have happened since last September. We’re a year full circle. Probably the first thing that you would want to know about as a casual developer would be we have a new 2D engine. Torque 2D is right now in alpha stage at our studio. We just announced that we have Real Time networking for 2D games which is very cool. We will soon be announcing a lot of really exciting stuff that has to do with games and a browser and better pushes for casual games in general into more platforms, faster with less code.
Interviewer: So, games and a browser. Is it going to be where people can make something in Torque and it will kind of run like Flash?
Deborah: Right. What we built out already in our 3D version of our engine which is currently in beta and available to anybody who would like to try it out. We built a web plug-in so that you can play games on your site. You can build something in our 3D engine and port it onto your website.
People make trial versions which are pretty cool. Right there in the browser, all they have to do is download a plug-in instead of the whole download version. You can build into that pathway for you to have people buy the whole version of your game which I think is the grand daddy for a lot of developers here.
What we’re doing on the 2D side, we have merged both the 2D and 3D engine back together, and we are able to have cross between the two so we’ll be able to take that same functionality and put it in our 2D engine as well.
Interviewer: You guys released something for the iPhone. What’s that about?
Deborah: Last year at Casual Connect, actually, we announced that we were moving onto the iPhone platform, and we have accomplished that. We have over three or four dozen games made specifically 2D on the iPhone. We’re basically the only people out there who did 2D games on the iPhone.
We also have a 3D version of the game. We have studios like Ruma Arcade and Bioware making games with our engines. It’s super exciting to see just the evolution of games on the handset, both on the 2D and the 3D side.
Interviewer: Can you talk about some of the 2D games and 3D games that have been done on the iPhone that people may have heard of?
Deborah: Oh, yeah.
Interviewer: Garage Games?
Deborah: Sure. Probably the most visible is, if you’re a fan of MassEffect. The MassEffect iPhone game was made on our technology so that was a Bioware deal that we did.
We also have our own licensed IP Marble Blast. So, if you’ve ever played Marble Blast on XBLA or instantaction.com, that has now been ported to the iPhone.
Interviewer: Does it use the Accelerometer then?
Deborah: Yes, it does. So, instead of using controls like you would on a controller or key pad, you tilt the iPhone left, right, backwards and forward to move it, and there’s a jump mechanism. It’s a much more intuitive way to play. It’s actually the way I play it is on the iPhone.
Interviewer: What’s next in store for Garage Games, and how can indie game developers benefit from all the changes that have happened in the past year?
Deborah: What’s next is continually to be on the cutting edge of 2D and 3D and the iPhone. Even though we released these versions of the engines, we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover. There’s a lot of new and exciting technologies that we are building into it, into all of our tech.
On the publishing side of things, the big thing for indies, I think, they should be excited about is self-publishing your own games, not having to worry about making that big deal with a big publisher. The iPhone allows you to do that. The web allows you to do that.
Spend more time worrying about the content of your game rather than: do I know the right people to publish my game? It’s extremely exciting, and I want to see more of that bubble up to the top in a natural way. We don’t want publishers to be the barrier for you guys to make your games.
Interviewer: Are you guys going to do anything for Android or any of the other bubble platforms that are also coming out?
Deborah: All I can say is that we are very interested in it, but I can’t say anything else at this time.
Interviewer: Where can developers find out more information about Garage Games?
Deborah: Just come to our website, garagegames.com, all one word.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.