This week, we’re checking in with Moving Pieces Interactive – the creators of Dodo Peak! Kyle and Patrick met while taking the Learn Unity in 8 Weeks. After the course, they’ve formed their own studio and developed Dodo Peak where you play as a dodo bird to find and rescue your lost babies from a series of dangerous peaks.
Tell us about Dodo Peak!
Dodo Peak is a modern take on the arcade classics of the 1980s. We love the simple-yet-deep gameplay of things like Q*bert and Frogger and wanted to bring that to a modern audience.
The game challenges the player to collect eggs on a series of increasingly-complicated island peaks. The controls are simple: just up, down, left, right–but what you do with them can make your brain fire on all cylinders.
How big is the current team?
The core team working on Dodo Peak is two full-time developers, but lots of wonderful, talented people are working on it in a part-time context: from marketing to artwork, to design, and so on. Once you start including publishers, there are at least a dozen people who made the game what it is today.
How did Dodo Peak get to be a part of the Apple Arcade launch?
The game was originally toying with a free-to-play model, but we found that wasn’t letting us make the game we really wanted. Someone suggested we look at Apple’s recently announced Arcade program, which seemed like a long shot, but a great fit. We filled in the contact form on the Apple website and the rest just kind of flowed from there.
Can you talk a little bit about the development journey from Apple Arcade to getting the game on Nintendo Switch?
We had always wanted to get the game on a console. Our engine, Unreal, supports just about everything under the sun, but we needed help actually getting Nintendo’s attention. After talking to a variety of publishers, we decided to partner with Screenwave Media for a Switch release. Their expertise was invaluable navigating that platform. While it’s totally possible for indies to self-publish on a platform like the Switch, it’s worth keeping in mind how useful working with an experienced partner can be.
How have you been able to build a community around Dodo Peak?
That’s something we’re always working to expand. Our best successes have come from building a weekly challenge system into the game with unique new levels to keep folks coming back, as well as working within other communities we were already a part of as individuals to showcase the game.
NYC is not really known for its gaming scene. But as you know, the city indeed has a vibrant community of game developers. What are some of your challenges being game devs in NY? Any advice that you may have for other indie devs regarding developing their games & getting to support to launch on different platforms?
Well, one big challenge is The Rent. It can be hard to justify having a company that lives digitally in a town with one of the highest costs of living in America. But the upside is that you get to live in the best city in the world and be surrounded by a carnival of highly-driven artists and creators.
In terms of getting your work out there, our advice is to keep cultivating your skills and make sure you’re enjoying yourself. You don’t have full control over what opportunities come your way, but you do have control over how well you can execute on the ones that do.