Especially for our Patrons in Tier 2 and 3 we have made another Indie Dev interview! This time, we couldn’t wait to hear more about Rocket Boy Games, developers of Pedro’s Adventures in Spanish (for which you can find our review here). This is a short version, a sample of the interview. Want to read it all?
Our developer interview is with Andrea and Chaz from Rocket Boy Games. Earlier this month James reviewed Pedro’s Adventures in Spanish and he finished his review by saying this in his conclusion “I think what the developers set out to do here is easily achieved and this title would absolutely be a nice compliment to young folk studying the language in school. Or heck, even adults also trying to test their Spanish skills”.
Of course, LadiesGamers is always about the personal story in any interview, so we asked them how American Andrea ended up in Australia and meeting Chaz. You can read why they chose to make a game for learning Spanish, what the challenges were that they faced. Plus, they have some tips for aspiring developers!
Rocket Boy Games
Rocket Boy Games is an independent games studio based in Canberra, Australia, with a focus on creating fun and engaging video games to help you learn languages. Pedro’s Adventures in Spanish is their first game development.
Can you both tell us a little about yourselves and Rocket Boy Games?
Andrea: I’m originally from Colombia and was working as an adjunct professor at a University there. Two years ago I moved to Australia to work with a research team on a project relating to improving machine learning algorithms. Whilst here I met Chaz and we realized we had a shared interest in language, technology and art. Leading us to pursue some artistic projects together. Initially in photography and film, then eventually we started Rocket Boy Games with the objective of making language learning a more entertaining experience.
Chaz: I’ve been a musician and artist all my life but only really as a hobby. Before starting our game studio my income came from working as an IT systems engineer for about 10 years. I’ve always had an interest in language and travelled a lot but I was never able to become conversational in another language. After I met Andrea she started teaching me some Spanish and we realized that together we had the skills needed to start a game studio. With Andrea as the programmer/translator, and myself as the designer/artist Rocket Boy Games was born.
What’s behind the name of your game studio?
Andrea: There’s a combination of reasons for the name. One was that we were already releasing short films under the film studio “Rocket Boy Cinema” and so this was the logical extension of that.
Chaz: We also had to take into account that many of our players would not be native English speakers so it would’ve been too much to ask non-native speakers to remember a name like “LanguaTainment Studios” for example. Three short words that could be associated with a clear logo seemed like the best option.
How did you both start out as game developers?
Andrea: I was always interested in making games but it never felt like there was a good opportunity to pursue it until we came up with the idea for Pedro’s Adventures in Spanish. This was actually the first game I’ve programmed a game!
Chaz: I made my first game with MS BASIC when I was 12 years old and it was genuinely terrible, haha. In my defence, there were no online dev forums I could access at the time. Like Andrea, it was always something I wanted to pursue but didn’t have the inspiration until now. Fortunately, Andrea is a much more capable programmer than I could’ve been.
Want to read the rest of the interview too? Become a patron in Tier 2 or 3!