Polygoat Indie Dev Interview

Time for a Patron-only interview!

This time our developer interview is with Belgian studio Polygoat, the developer of Stichy in Tooki Trouble which was recently released on the Nintendo Switch.

Stichy in Tooki Trouble is a platformer that takes inspiration from the Donkey Kong Country series of 2D platformers, but if you were ever put off by the difficulty curve of that series this may be a platformer worth checking out. James reviewed the game on LadiesGamers.com and concluded that is is a solid game, ideal for platform fans looking for a more manageable experience. (Find our review here) Time to have a chat with Frederik, the founder of Polygoat!

Belgian Studio Polygoat

Can you tell us about Polygoat?

Polygoat is a small indie gamestudio based in Belgium.

We’re mostly into colorful and imaginative games, and we try to put this into our own projects as well as our client work. So we also do work-for-hire projects, making game-related, AR and VR applications. One day we hope to get by with our own games.

What’s behind the name of your studio?

Poly comes from polygon (the building block of every 3d object), and goat because goats are cool 🙂 We wanted to have a logo with an animal in it, so actually the idea for the logo came first.

A Casual Platforming Experience

What inspired Stitchy in Tooki Trouble?

The character Stitchy actually started out as a nameless farmer boy, which was the first model I (founder, Frederik) made while learning 3d modelling. But we wanted to have a more unlikely hero, so the scarecrow wasn’t too far away. Luckily, he has been through various iterations since the concept, by more talented people than me (Ahmed and Robin).

We’ve already seen when reviewing the game that you are going for a more casual platformer. Is there a specific reason for this choice (which we like, by the way)?

As kids we loved playing the old-school platformers such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot. And we noticed a lot of kids these days don’t know the platform genre anymore, especially those gaming on mobile platforms. So we wanted to create an accessible platformer that could introduce those kids to the genre, because we think they are missing out on some great games.

Stichy in Tooki Trouble in Development

What was the biggest challenge in making this game? How did you overcome it?

This was our first commercial game so the entire process was pretty challenging for us, but if we had to pick one right now it would be releasing the game. The amount of work we put into our trailer and promo and making sure everything is planned correctly was unexpected.

LadiesGamers Stitchy

How long did it take to make this game?

Preproduction started way back in 2017. Sounds like a very long time for such a small game, but we did lots of client work in the meantime, and we’ve learned a lot since then. The game itself was made in about one and a half year, with two people working on it.

What did early versions of the game or prototypes of the game look like?

We always create the levels as a whitebox environment, to test the gameplay without wasting time on the graphics, this is the first iteration of a level. In a second iteration we implement some raw graphics, only the base ground was filled in with a basic idea of how the background and vegetation should look.

What part of this game sparks the most joy for you?

It always makes us happy seeing Stitchy moving around the various worlds and interacting with all the different elements of the game, it makes us feel like our idea came to life.

Communication is Key

In what ways do you try to maintain work-life balance at your studio, especially in Covid times?

We have a pretty uncommon 8 to 5 split for our weekdays and on Friday we can leave earlier thanks to this 8 to 5 split so on fridays it would be 8 to 1 and you would have a longer weekend.

We’ve found this to be enjoyable for us over here. And this work schedule hasn’t changed at all thanks to Covid, so in our work life Covid hasn’t really caused a lot of changes.

What advice would you offer aspiring developer working alone or in a tiny team?

Be sure to communicate with the team. Share everything you are doing and want to do (and don’t have to time to do). Otherwise it might be the cause of a lot of frustration in the company.

Future Plans

What kind of cool game(s) would you love to make in the future, or can you tell us a bit about your next project?

We would love to make something Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank like, we love those franchises. And about our next project we might be in the pre production phase of an action adventure game, but who knows ….

What are your favourite recent games, other then, of course, Stitchy in Tooki Trouble?

We really enjoyed Kaze and the Wild Masks and the new Crash game About Time. Other than those we are really looking forward to the new Ratchet and Clank game and Kena a Bridge of Spirits.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with LadiesGamers, Polygoat! We wish you loads of success with Stitchy in Tooki Trouble!

LadiesGamers Stitchy in Tooki Trouble

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