Coming from Seb Liese of Sumo Digital...
“It’s been really hard to innovate because of the hardware that’s been in place. When you realistically break it down, how many buttons are there on a controller?
At the beginning (of Snake Pass) we had all these plans for big open world levels and powerups you could collect, but we decided to distill it down to what was unique, and that was the snake movement. We challenged you to reprogram your gaming brain and almost learn new motor controls, which is a big ask all on its own.
We always knew that the controls were going to be a hurdle, they were going to be weird, but that was a good thing, because it’s completely new. A big part of the industry sticks to doing what’s safe, doing what will sell. It’s up to the indie developers to try something new, even though it won’t pay off most of the time.”
Coming from Greg Wohlwend, TumbleSeed dev
“Games like Snake Pass and TumbleSeed might have been received differently 5 years ago. I think there were more people then who were open and more patient to indie games, smaller games, and weirder games.
It’s extremely difficult (TumbleSeed) because of the control scheme, because it’s very new to people. It’s an alien way to control a video game. We tried all sort of things, touch screens, analog buttons, and tilting controls, but nothing worked as well as plain old up/down digital controls. We never thought the controls were a huge risk, we thought it was a huge asset to the game, but people didn’t get it, and then the difficult nature of the game really pushed people away. If it’s new, it’ll be a new taste, and you’ll have a visceral reaction to it. A lot of people bounce off.“