Saturday, 29 October 2011

Professional Advice: Matt Rix

Following in my series of seeking advice from those in the industry who have achieved success, Matt Rix of Trainyard fame has taken some time out to answer some questions.

Trainyard is an innovative and challenging puzzle mechanic with a smooth difficulty curve. There are a 100 main puzzles and 50 hard bonus puzzles with hundreds of ways to solve each puzzle.

The game has been engineered for low battery usage, developed with a color-blind mode. Includes full retina support and high-res graphics on iPad.

There are parallels with my project in that it took a year to make and was independently developed by Matt himself.

MyGamingProject: What do you foresee being my single biggest challenge?

Matt Rix: "Your biggest challenge is going to be sticking to it and staying motivated. It's easy to be motivated at the start of a project when everything is new and exciting, but later on, when you're dealing with painful bugs and doing marketing and all that, it'll be much harder."

MyGamingProject: What would you have done differently knowing what you know today?

Matt Rix: "I don't really have too many regrets. One thing I would say is "don't promise anything". It's fine for you to have goals and stick to them, but don't promise something to the world at large, or else there will be an even larger cost for switching plans."

MyGamingProject: What game development tools would you recommend?

Matt Rix: "It really depends on what your experience is, and what you want to do. If you're developing iOS games, Cocos2D is fantastic, and so is Unity. When it comes to art, I make most of my assets in Flash, but everyone has their own preferences for that. . A lot of people get caught up in using the "right" tools or methods, but at the end of the day, there are lots of different ways of doing everything, and they will all work. The hard part, as I said earlier, is actually sticking to it. If you do a few hours of work every day, no matter which tools you're using, you will finish your project."

MyGamingProject: How would you recommend marketing a game, techniques, channels, proposed budget etc?

Matt Rix: "This is a tough one. It's worth looking around to get a sense for other people's experiences with marketing, but really, the same thing rarely works twice. The key is to create a compelling marketing story. You need a reason for people to write about your game. It's also really important that your game has "moments of delight". These are the elements that make them say "wow", and these are the elements that make them share your game with their friends."

MyGamingProject: Any additional advice you feel would be of benefit
Matt Rix: "I honestly think that if you actually put this many hours into this, you will end up being successful. As cheesy as it sounds, if you don't give up, you can't fail."

Get Trainyard from iTunes for $0.99/£0.69.


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