Grave Danger

Grave Danger Lead Developer Interview

Grave Danger Lead Developer

As you’ve no doubt noticed if you are a frequent visitor of LadiesGamers, the amount of games we review on here is growing fast. This means we get into contact with more game designers too. It’s fun to enter a world where people do work that most of  us would love to do!
Last week, we were lucky to obtain a review code for Grave Danger, the latest game by Spotted Shark Studios. And as the game looks very promising we didn’t waste any time to ensnare Cody Anderson, lead developer of the studio for an interview.

Grave Danger Lead Developer

Grave Danger is an action adventure with an unlikely group of heroes: Dante the cowboy, Elliot the Wizard and Malice the Reaper. Players use their different abilities to solve puzzles and make their way out of trouble. You can play it alone or with friends, for which the Switch is very suitable of course!

Grave Danger Lead Developer

You can find a link to our review for Grave Danger at the end of this interview; for now, let’s see what happened behind the scenes before the game made it to the eShop!

Interview with Lead Developer Cody Anderson – from Spotted Shark Studios

Hi Cody, thank you for agreeing to do this interview here on LadiesGamers. This is actually the first ever developer-interview on the site, so we are pretty excited to have you! Tell me, who  is Cody Anderson, and what’s his role at Spotted Shark Studios?

Hey there, thanks for asking me to do this interview, and I hope you are enjoying Grave Danger. I am the lead developer and COO of Spotted Shark Studio. I started off in a lowly QA position and look at me now! Follow your dreams kids!

You are fortunate to have a career in the video game industry; a job many of us dream of! How were you introduced to video games in the first place?

I was introduced in my childhood while playing the original NES.  I loved Super Mario Bros 3, and that had to be one of my biggest inspirations to become a developer and work in gaming.  I then moved onto a PlayStation and fell in love with Final Fantasy, Mario and Final Fantasy have to be my two favorite franchises now that I think of it.

I checked out the blog on SpottedSharkStudios and I noticed that the studio started out as JB Gaming back in 2014. How did the name change come about?

Our original company name was JB Gaming Studio, then shortly after taking over as COO in early 2018, I made the decision to rebrand to Spotted Shark Studio. I felt this name was a little more fun sounding, which matched my vision for the studio.

The studio started out with two titles for mobile gaming, free to play RPG Beast Bound and Udder Panic in 2015.  What made you decide to leave the mobile gaming market and turn to PC and consoles instead?

We decided to switch to PC and console development because although fun, we felt we could not make the types of games we truly wanted to build on mobile.  Today, the mobile market is flooded with a massive amount of games. Switching to PC and consoles allowed us to make more story and mechanic based games.

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Grave Danger Lead Developer

Grave Danger is a title you have been working on for some time. I noticed that the first version released after a Kickstart campaign on Steam in December 2016. Was it a long leap to go for the console versions as well?

Yes, it was a decent amount of time.  I won’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but the wait was a combination of changing of staff, taking our time to learn more about the console market, and negotiating with a publisher. One of the things I love about this field is I am always learning new things and venturing out. That brings me to another reason it took a while, we were looking into other PC platforms to sell Grave Danger and also prototyping new types of games.

Jonah, one of the writers here on the site, is a huge fan of Lost Vikings, which is why Grave Danger stood out to him. Can you tell me a bit about the inspiration for this game?

The Lost Vikings game was such a fun game back in the day, and we were inspired to capture the original charm which made games like that game so fun by having three characters working together in the game, in addition to adding a more modern action-packed gameplay.  I’m pretty happy with the balance came up with, there are challenging puzzles that make you think and also monsters to smash in a fast-paced way.

You originally aimed for release on the WiiU, now it’s released for the Switch. Did the choice prove to be beneficial to you as a developer and to the game overall?

We felt the Switch was the perfect console for our game, the graphics look incredible on-screen, and the controls work exceptionally well on the Switch. Since the Nintendo Switch is relatively new, there is less competition in the store. We may end up porting to the WiiU as well depending on how the Switch release goes.  

That’s good to know! We are huge fans here on the site of the Switch. What separates the Switch version from the other versions of the game?

The real difference is just how it feels to play Grave Danger on the Switch.  You are up and close to the screen with the controls on each side giving it a very retro feel.  

LadiesGamers has started life as a gaming site for women gamers of all ages. Do you think Grave Danger will appeal to men and women equally?

Yes, I believe Grave Danger will appeal to anyone who likes puzzles and charming/quirky dialogue and graphics.  Women and men both enjoy those things in my experience, along with the feedback we received during testing.

Thank you, Cody, for giving us an insight in developing Grave Danger!

Find out what we thought of the game here: Grave Danger (Switch) Review

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Grave Danger Lead Developer

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