Episode 29: Colton Onderwater (Super Salmon Migration), Dev work vs life & publisher vertical integration

Colton Onderwater joins us this week to share his brand new game Super Salmon Migration an endless swimmer for iOS and Android
Apr 21, 2016

On this week’s show Colton Onderwater, from Perth’s Bear-Tooth Studios, joins us in the studio and we talk all about his new game Super Salmon Migration, and his previous game Arbalest 3035. We explored the finer points of designing stimulating gameplay for games with simple mechanics, and even simpler user inputs. Colton also shared his personal attitude toward game feel and how the specific design elements work together to form a fun elegant experience. Super Salmon Migration will be out in the first half of 2016, but you can pick up the demo right now on the Google Play store.

 

Video game retailer GameStop, the parent company of Australia’s EB Games, announced this week that they would start publishing games.  Already signed up to the new publishing deal are notable mainstream development studios Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank) and Ready At Dawn (The Order: 1886) will be publishing under the new subsidiary GameTrust. GameStop has been exploring alternative sources of income to compensate for a shrinking retail return, but if once company controls how a game is funded, and how it’s distributed will consumers still get the best deal?

Lastly how does the game development “crunch” really effect the people putting in the many extra hours finishing their game? Are people being fairly compensated for their time, or are they suffering for their art? The founder of WildTangent Inc Alex St. John wrote an article that heavily implied that since making games is “not a job” the developers should not expect to be compensated on the same level as someone in a more traditional occupation, a position that has been strongly criticised. With a maturing industry, and huge companies making the games we love, does gaming employee relations need a rethink to make sure everyone gets a fair deal?

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