GameSalad

GameSalad

Gotm 5 May2012

Congratulations to Night of the Firefly, the GameSalad Game of the Month May!

Developed by Brian Cole of 921 Creative Studios, Night of the Firefly is a fun, side scrolling puzzle game. The game features great puzzle-solving game play action along with fun and snappy original graphics.

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In this game, you play as Flint, a spunky firefly. Your girlfriend, Esmeralda has been captured and stuck in a pickle jar by a young boy named Timmy. It is your mission to clear levels by lighting up objects to rescue the sweet Esmeralda. The game features 14 complex levels in two unique locations.

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GameSalad recently sat down with Cole to talk about his background, the development of Night of the Firefly, and how Color Forms played a part in his game development process.

GameSalad: Tell us about your background.

Cole: My background is in graphic design. I've worked in print and web design since 1993, right after graduating from high school. Web design was a budding industry at the time and I created my first web page in Adobe PageMill (anyone remember that?). My passion is making things look good, but I also love to write. I originally thought I would be a journalist, being editor of my high school newspaper for two years, but when we started laying out the pages on Macs, I realized I loved design even more than writing. I've found that being able to write and edit has only helped enhance my design work.

GameSalad: What made you interested in game design?

Cole: This might date me a little, but I remember being obsessed with Super Mario Bros. and Zork (the text-based adventure game) back in the 80s. (Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, anyone?) I attempted using BASIC to make simple games on my family's Commodore 64, then eventually ended up using HyperCard on a Mac to make my own Zork-like games and point-and-click puzzle games. I love the way games make me think and how every new discovery is a surprise. When I was first married, my wife used to watch me play The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and we couldn't believe how big the worlds were. I wondered how they fit that massive game on a tiny GameCube disc. Ultimately, I love to create things, whether it's writing a story, designing a logo, making a poster or website or editing a video, and that creativity has spilled over into game design.

GameSalad: What do you do when you aren't developing games with GameSalad? What do you do for work? Hobbies?

Cole: My first role is web designer for my church. I handle all the identity pieces and logos and help create cool visuals for worship services. I also run my own business, 921Creative Studio, where I design everything from business cards to gigantic billboards to websites for my clients. In my minimal spare time, I hang out with my wife and our two daughters, who are eight and six, and who love video games as much as I do.

GameSalad: How did you discover GameSalad?

Cole: I believe I was surfing a gaming news website that mentioned GameSalad. I clicked over to check it out, downloaded GS Creator, and didn't touch it until inspiration hit a few months later.

GameSalad: Did you have any prior game or coding experience before using GameSalad?

Cole: Being a designer who isn't a programmer, it's very frustrating not being able to turn a game idea in my head into reality. That's why I love GameSalad. When I was younger I bought plenty of books on C++ but couldn't get my head around the abstract concepts. I made several games using HyperCard back when you could only create "stacks" in black & white. When the iPhone hit, I bought a book on iPhone App Development, but it was pretty much useless since I didn't know Objective-C.

GameSalad: What type of games do you like making?

Cole: Night of the Firefly is my very first (finished) mobile game. Had I known how much would be involved in a side scroller puzzle game, I probably would have started simpler. But I'm glad I challenged myself and saw it through because I learned a ton about what makes a successful game and how to use GameSalad in the process. There is nothing like hitting Publish and seeing all your hours of tedious, detailed work be recognized by others.

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GameSalad: Tell us a little bit about your creative process while making Night of the Firefly.

Cole: I took a "Colorforms" approach to designing my game's levels—I printed out the game's background and graphics, cut them out, and rearranged the pieces to plan how the level's puzzles would be work.

Building A Level

GameSalad: That is SO awesome! What inspires your game development?

Cole: Any well-designed games, especially the Super Mario franchise. If you've ever played New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii, or even Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES), you know how satisfying and inspiring a beautiful, flawless game can be. I don't think anyone does gameplay better than Nintendo. Obviously some of the more recent iPhone games are inspiring. Tiny Wings, Ski Safari, and Jetpack Joyride are some of the most playable and re-playable games out there.

GameSalad: Thanks for taking some time to talk with us, Brian. And congrats on Night of the Firefly. It is amazing, fun, and definitely worthy of GameSalad's Game of the Month title. 

Download Night of the Firefly for only 99 cents on the iTunes App Store today!