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Tiny Bubbles

Tiny Bubbles is making a big splash

When I first got in touch with Stuart Denman, Co-Founder, Game Design, Code, and Art at Pine Street Codeworks I found out he was super busy and could only answer a few questions. Then he got the flu. I feel kind of bad saying this, but, it worked out well for us because it freed up some time to answer more questions.

If you’ve been following #indiedevs and #indiegames you’ve probably already heard of Tiny Bubbles. It’s already won several awards including Winner of Google Indie Games Festival 2017 and Best Overall Intell Buzz Workshop 2017. Just looking at the screenshots it’s easy to understand why. Tiny Bubbles is a very attractive game with some truly inspired physics. No, really, the inspiration for the physics came from microscopic images of the crystal structure of liquid metal phase transitioning into a solid. Now that’s some next level $h!t.

So what is Tiny bubbles?

“Tiny Bubbles is an award-winning organic puzzle game about playing with clusters of realistic soap bubbles in a microscopic aquatic world. Pop bubbles by matching four or more colors and create cascading chain-reactions. Inflate bubbles with colored smoke to strategically reshape the cluster. Break bubble edges to combine neighbors and mix new colors. Save bubble-bound creatures and fend-off greedy Jelly Crabs.”

Let’s hear what Stu has to say:

How long have you been developing games for?

Since I was about 12 years old, so over 30 years now!

What is an early memory of a game that made you go “Wow, that’s something I’d like to do”?

I loved most of the games by Bullfrog, especially Magic Carpet, which inspired the early tech work I did on games like the Drakan series.

What makes this game different from others?

The soap foam physics is definitely unique, but it also reinvents the kind of gameplay you can do with matching.

What are you building it with and why?

Unity is the engine I’m using, with custom physics code and shaders. I used to design engines and I really like the way Unity is organized for engineers.

What would you say has been the most difficult part of making Tiny Bubbles?

Writing the foam physics simulation was the hardest part. Not just getting something running, but getting it to be stable and predictable.

What part has been the most fun?

Honestly anytime I get to solve difficult problems, I’m usually having fun, especially when I succeed and it all comes together in the end.

Do you use any specific methods to evaluate progress at different stages of development?

Like many games, I keep track of tasks in a Trello board (or similar system). The trick is being disciplined about not adding new tasks.

Do you have any other games in the works?

Nope, just ideas. Shipping Tiny Bubbles takes all my energy right now.

You’re touching on accessibility with your colorblind view. What promted that decision?

My grandfather was a scientist at MIT and his work with soap bubble foams was the inspiration for the game. He was very interested in the structure of things in nature. I think this was partially due to the fact that he was colorblind. So making an authentic colorblind mode (without intrusive icons or patterns) was very important to me.

You’ve received several awards for Tiny Bubbles. Was that something you expected?

Not at all, but I did know that the game was something very different, so I hoped this would improve the chances of being noticed.

You’ve talked about your inspiration for this game before… I’m wondering if you’ve ever seen the crystal structure of precious metal in person?

No, just in photographs that my grandfather took. It’s not particularly easy to see these because the metal has to be molten and then cool to the proper temperature under a microscope so that you can watch the crystal grains form.

I see there will be local 2 player coming in a future update. Any other planned updates at this point?

Nothing has been announced yet at this point.

Is there anything I missed that you’d like us to know?

Yes!  Tiny Bubbles is going to be exhibiting at SXSW Gaming in Austin TX on March 15-17. We’re also looking for beta testers on Steam. Go to our website https://pinestreetcodeworks.com and click SIGN UP!

You can follow Pine Street Codeworks on twitter @pinestcw.

You can also find Stuart Denman there too @studenman.

Please, take the time to follow them on Steam and add them to your wishlist! http://store.steampowered.com/app/705500/Tiny_Bubbles/

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