PGF isn’t just about the games being developed by local indie developers but games development in Perth as a whole. That includes stuff like Squish ‘N’ Squash, a game developed for a uni project by a team of Murdoch University students. Education in games development is an integral part of improving the local industry, so even small titles like this are an important part of the festival. Squish ‘N’ Squash was a rough but surprisingly ensnaring game, especially if you enjoy short, arcade-like multiplayer games that force you against the other players. I had some questions for producer Jade Yates to learn more about working on a game as a school project and what her future plans are.
How would you describe Squish ’N’ Squash?
A multi-player frogger style game where death comes from falling platforms or your fellow frogs.
Creating the game was a part of your curriculum, is that right? What was involved in that?
Yes, it was. We started out by all having to come up with a game idea. From there, we voted, and the top two ideas in our class were chosen. After that, we decided which of those two games we wanted to work on. And after having chosen which game, we then sat down as a group and decided who had what skills and who would be put in the different roles. From there we got to work building the game.
Had anyone in your group made a game before this project, and how did that experience, or lack thereof, affect the project?
None of us had made an entire game before, though most of us had worked on a level of a game or a mod for a game prior to this. In that way, we were lucky as it gave us enough of an idea as to what needed to be done and how quickly in order to get it completed on time.
Did the frogs or the gameplay come first?
Frogs definitely came first, though we had a basic idea of the gameplay from the start as well. Due to time and coding constraints, the gameplay got changed and simplified a bit.
Was the game always intended to be small?
It was always intended to be small but not as simple as it ended up. Again, that had a lot to do with time and coding capabilities.
Did scope creep ever occur, and how was that curbed?
No, I don’t think we ever experienced scope creep as such, which I think is due to us having such big ideas to start with. If anything, we had to downsize our plans, and every time we had ideas to add something or make a change we came back almost immediately to the decision to finish what we had first, then if we have time add to it.
What did you think of PGF and how did it feel showing your game off to the public?
PGF was an experience unlike any other. I’ve been to conventions before but to be at one as an exhibitor was a first and just mind-blowing. I felt really proud of myself and my team for what we had accomplished and really happy every time someone played and enjoyed our game.
Did you receive any helpful feedback?
Yeah, we got heaps of feedback on things we could add or fix and what platform people thought it should be put on.
Now that you’ve shown the game, what’s the plan from here? Will it ever be more than a uni project?
Our intention is to keep going with it and to see if we can make it into something bigger and better and something that we can sell.
Do you have any idea of what you’ll do once you leave uni and enter the industry?
For me, I intend for the most part to be a contractor who works on whatever interests me or does art commissions. For the rest of my team, they all have varying dreams of companies they’d like to be a part of or projects they’d like to work on.
If you’d like to follow the development of Squish ’N’ Squash, you can up to date via team’s Tumblr page here.