FNintendo was delighted to interview David Márquez of CoderChild. This independent studio is behind some titles for the DSiWare service and was responsible for developing Cubit The Hardcore Platformer, which was recently released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
During our interview, we got to know the studio better and learned about its projects and plans for the near future.
FNintendo: Since our readers are not very familiar with CoderChild, our first question is about your studio. Could you tell us about your background?
CoderChild: Sure! My name is David Márquez and I'm the man behind CoderChild Studio.
CoderChild started in early 2011, just after I left Ubisoft. I was working on Ubisoft since 1999, first as programmer and later as lead programmer. After 11 years I decided it was the right moment to go further, and start my own company.
CoderChild first game was Bugs'N'Balls which was released for the Nintendo DSi and was published by EnjoyUp Games. After publishing 3,2,1...WordsUp! then we started developing the DressToPlay series for the Nintendo 3DS. The last step has been the development of Cubit which is the first title to be selfpublished by CoderChild, so from now on all 3DS titles we do will be self published.
FN: How did you come up with the concept behind Cubit The Hardcore Platformer Robot? Did it get any influence from a specific game?
CC: The main idea behind Cubit was doing a game as hard as I could with a control as simple as only using one button.
I realized, this is the concept behind The Impossible Game but I wasn't comfortable with the idea of doing a clone of that game, so I started experimenting and doing some tests.
I introduced the level design built around the music on the mix. The idea of a videogame where the music is very tied to the gameplay, is something I've been dealing since many time ago, and Cubit is the first game to include such feature (although I'm sure I will go deeper in future projects).
To increase the difference between both games I introduced more variety of elements in the level design. Every new level features at least an unique type of platform, besides new obstacles or enemies.
On the other hand I've been always fascinated with the non linear level progress in the old Sega's OutRun game. I've always said: When I grow up I wanna make a game with such feature!
And then I did Cubit :D
FN: Why have you been focusing your efforts on Nintendo handhelds?
CC: That's a good question. Along my career I've only developed a few titles for the PCs, having been all the rest for consoles. I feel very comfortable developing games for game consoles which is something not all developers say. Joining this together with the opportunity the guys from EnjoyUp lend me to develop titles for the DSi, was the reason why I started doing games for this platform. Then it came the 3DS.
For me, the 3DS is a great console and a great platform to develop, so after I released some titles for the DSi I put all my efforts and investment on it. But this doesn't mean PSP Vita is less interesting or the PS4, the XBox One or even the Ouya! I would love to release my games in as many platforms as it would be possible if I had the required resources.
FN: Which of your projects was most enjoyable to develop and could you tell us why?
CC: I love all of them! Seriously every game has it's own charm, it's own uniqueness in terms of development.
For instance, Bugs'N'Balls was the first title CoderChild developed, this is where everything began, and marked the way I work right now. It was a small project, but it took some months to be developed and I remember working with the artists side by side like a team. It was very funny and exciting moment.
Then it came 3,2,1...WordsUp! A game that I developed for the PC some years before, but never released until the we did a version targeting the DS...
If I had to choose from the 6 games I released, I'll probably get both Cubit and Dress To Play: Cute Witches!
Both games were heavily developed on the summer holidays. My family and I were on the mountain and while they were enjoying the nature I was developing both games alone.
Cute Witches was also special because it was developed like a charm. The artist did a wonderful job, and the musician composed two beautiful themes. I thought the game's main theme was so marvelous, that I decided to contact a friend of mine to include her voice and sing on it. I think the result is one of the most beautiful music themes I've heard on a video game.
FN: After insects, robots and witches, what can we expect from you in the future?
CC: Another good question. I really don't know. I would love to have the resources to develop a game calm and slowly, without pressures. In that case I would probably develop a heavy action game with good story behind, strong character personalities, and mixing several gameplays... this is something I've been wanting to do for several years. If this is not feasible, then I'll probably put all my efforts on offering small sized but fun and price competitive experiences like Cubit The Hardcore Platformer Robot.
FN: Do you have any plans to expand your studio by hiring more staff and develop games for other platforms?
CC: This is something I would love to do. I have really good memories about working hard with the team before a deadline, and I miss working with people, really. I tried this in the past several times, but this requires being economically really well established. Hiring people in Spain is something really expensive, and for small studios like CoderChild is not easy to afford. The best bet is or working with partners or with freelances, but hiring is really difficult.
About developing the games for other platforms It would be awesome! The game engine support several platforms and the games are fully developed on PCs, so this would be the easiest platform to bring the games on. On the other hand, during the submission process of Cubit I started porting the engine to Android. Having a working version of Cubit on Android is something that would not take too much time. The biggest problem I face is having to deal with the publishing in all the platforms is too much work for only a person.
I would like to thank you for your interview and letting me share my experiences with your audience.