KEYBOL GAMES made waves a few months ago when it bagged the Director’s Choice Award at Indie Prize San Francisco 2013 for Pretentious Game, a funny take on love, loss, and the labels often thrown at contemporary indie platformers. Read on and get to know Bari Silvestre, the man behind it all.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOU/YOUR TEAM?
I am an indie game developer since 2008. I have worked and collaborated with artists here and abroad to make flash games. I also do solo games most of the time.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM?
Keybol is the tagalog slang for Cable. Back then when I was an OFW in South Korea, my hobby and sideline was to compile all online live streaming Filipino channels and I made keybolchannel.com. After I started learning how to make games, I submitted my first game to a blog using my Google Account as Keybol still and I stuck with it till now.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE YOUR FIRST GAME?
It’s an obscure one screen room escape game. First time I learned how to code in my entire life. Go look it up, it’s Kowloon’s Room Escape.
HOW MANY GAMES HAVE YOU LAUNCHED?
Probably about 50 now.
Keybol’s Pretentious Game, Casual Connect San Francisco 2013
STARTING A PROJECT IS, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, EASIER THAN COMPLETING IT. SO HOW DO YOU GUYS DO IT?
Sometimes I put projects on hold, I don’t want to be bored or feel forced to work on a project. It will show in the game and it will feel uninspired.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEW DEVELOPERS?
Time is the key. Don’t overspend in time when you make games. Do a quick prototype, see if it’s fun then try to finish it as fast as you can. Come up of ways to automate the process. Be sure to check the market for what works and what doesn’t.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCEPT FOR ‘PRETENTIOUS GAME’?
Pretentious Game is a Ludum Dare entry. It’s an online global game jam. I made the game to mock another art game which was popular at that time.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO DEVELOP THE GAME?
The jam is actually 48 hours but I had to attend a personal event. When I came back I noticed I only have a few time left before the deadline. It took me 4 hours in all.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR GAME IS WORTH PLAYING AND WHO WILL YOU RECOMMEND IT TO?
The game has been viral and it struck many in their heart. It also was featured in Casual Connect Seattle 2012 and San Francisco 2013. I was there this year and it won Director’s Choice and was also nominated in Best in Storytelling.
DO YOU CONSIDER RELEASING THE GAME ON OTHER PLATFORMS IN THE FUTURE?
I have released games in mobile last year and I am releasing mobile games this year. Pretentious Game mobile is still on hold by the publisher so I made a little app for Magic players like me. Please do check it out: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.mtgmagicquiz
USUALLY HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO DESIGN A GAME FROM START TO FINISH?
I’ve made games from 4 hours to 2 weeks. As I have said, I don’t spend much time in creating my games. A reason why I can do that is because I have a bunch of engines I can pull out anytime to make any game I want.
CAN YOU TELL US ONE THING ABOUT THE GAME THAT NOBODY KNOWS, WELL, UNTIL NOW?
I made the game on Newgrounds called Bus Hostage by Policeman. Do you remember that incident in Manila?
ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?
Watch out for Pretentious Game and please like the FB page. https://www.facebook.com/pretentiousgame
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And that’s it from Keybol Games and Bari Silvestre! He’s got more games available via Keybol’s website at http://www.keybolgames.com/ See you next time!
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