Flash Game Friday Winner: Hot Tub

The problem is, there is an alien invasion going on. You goal in each level is to evade the aliens coming down in their ships above by climbing down the building and running into the subway where they cannot follow.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, naturally, as you progress through each level the level of difficulty goes up. In their panic, as you get close to people they end up clinging on to you for dear life- so you have to kick them off. You can also collect coins as you descend to buy stuff.

Hot Tub Heist is fun game with a simple mechanic- just go down. The characters and themes make it stand out, with a nice mix of humor and fun gameplay. Congratulations BeefJack Studio!

Get To Know BeefJack Studio

Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?

I’m the Shaun the Producer who is also the Designer on some projects. Roland is our core Designer who is also a party animal on all projects. We have 5 people in the team at the moment with artists and coders filling the other spots. We’re based in lovely London, UK.

How long have you been making games? What did you do before?

We’ve been making flash games for 2 years now, but we’d been working on various game projects before we jumped to flash. Some of our early projects never saw the light of day but it has all been a great learning experience of understanding what elements make a great game.

What was your inspiration for “Hot Tub”?

We got our inspiration from a LittleBigPlanet community level (Bomb Survival). We thought we could do something similar but with an interesting twist.

Any major challenges or hurdles during development?

Our first idea was called bomb survival where you had to drop bombs to lower yourself through the level. It turned out the game was a bit too heavy for flash (used radius and collision which was problematic)so we switched to a tower building to improve performance which was built using square. Sourcing some good background music was tricky as a finishing touch. We wanted to give the game a real 8-bit flavor whilst also making it feel very modern and relevant for today’s gamer tastes.

What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?

We enjoy the flexibility that flash offers us as you can concept games very quickly. This means we can spend time brainstorming trying new and crazy game ideas across a variety of genres. Half of the fun for us is understanding what makes a particular game fun to play and refining it. We are all pretty dedicated gamers at heart, so as long as the game idea has to have enough depth and scope to keep us engaged were happy. For online games, I’m pretty into strategy games, platformers and the odd Arthouse game. In terms of console gaming, Roland is on Dark Souls at the moment and I’ve currently got Skyrim in the Xbox.

How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?

Games can tend to take us around 4-6 months start to finish, sometimes with a lot of testing and re-tweaking along the way. We’ll first discuss ideas, once we have a few good ones, we’ll try to build on that core idea exploring where it could go. Once we’ve all happy on what type of game we’re building and explored possibilities, we’ll create a prototype as quickly as possible to get a feel for the game and check for flaws in design. After that we slowly build each key area of the game focused towards the gameplay. A lot time is spent playing the game, understanding what makes this fun (or what doesn’t) adapting our plan if necessary.

Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?

Hmmm, rock stars maybe not quite yet, but we are all big fans of developers Longanimals and Juicy Beast Studios! On other platforms PixelJunk are pretty impressive they don’t seem to be able to make a bad game right now.

What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?

Creating the crazy ideas, concepts, and prototyping phase. It’s the time when everyone is buzzing with excitement and anticipation. It’s often swiftly followed by the crushing reality of technical limitations, flawed design, blown budgets and lots of problem solving to make things work. Ignorance is bliss though.

Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?

Yes, yes we do. 🙂