On our Patreon Page, we publish Indie Dev Interviews for our Patrons. The last one published is our interview with Dugan Jackson from Tikipod Ltd.
Developers and publishers of Aqua Kitty UDX and Astro Aqua Kitty which James reviewed and gave a score of “I Like It A Lot”. James summed up his review by saying “An excellent blend of space shooter and RPG mechanics mixed together creating an experience that will surely not sour with time”.
Tikipod Ltd is based in the UK and has been an independent games development company since 2009 as well as developing its own titles Tikipod works with other companies and developers on their games.
Aqua Kitty UDX
Can you tell us a little about yourself and Tikipod?
Hello, so I am a videogame developer who has been working in the industry for over 20 years now. Initially, I was working at different games companies creating art and animation. Tikipod Ltd was then set up initially to work with other companies on their projects, and then later we were able to make and publish our own titles.
What’s behind the name of your studio?
Bit of a silly story, so back in the late 90s I was trying to choose a domain name. Tiki.com had been taken already (Tiki Kiwi is the name of the main character in an old game called Newzealand Story), and so had `pod` – so I stuck them together to get tikipod. Then years later I stuck with the name.
How did you start out as a game developer?
At University I studied film and animation, with animation being my key interest at the time. Applying to larger games companies proved difficult as I had no experience, but I managed to get work doing art and animation on some edutainment titles. That experience in turn helped me to improve my portfolio and later get work at a larger games company.
What was the inspiration for developing Aqua Kitty and Astro Aqua Kitty?
For Aqua Kitty, Amiga 16bit art was the main style source, although we didn’t keep to those hardware limits of course. The game design began as a sort of puzzle shooter and changed as it was developed into a more Defender like game. With Astro Aqua Kitty, we wanted to enhance the artwork again to ensure the game wouldn’t be confused with the original. Also, the new game is very different in gameplay terms, so it helps if the art style mirrors that.
What is the biggest challenge in making the game? How did you overcome it?
There were lots of challenges, as always with game development. The PSVita port was certainly trickier than the other platforms as its very different hardware, so the games programmer had done lots of extra work to ensure it ran as well as on more powerful machines.
Would you like to find out more, such as what did early versions of the game or prototypes of the game look like? and What’s your favourite major change or new mechanic in Astro Aqua Kitty?.