> For those who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Maja Maher, and I run a small game studio called Noor Studios (noorstudios.com) with my husband. He is producer, creative director and business consultant, while I take care of game design, modelling and programming.
> Tell us a little about your game:
Our fist production was Pengi and the Polar Pirates, where you play Pengi who saves the penguins from evil polar pirate seals. It is a runner style game, where you can fly with rockets, fight with snowballs and explore penguin villages. While working with the game we learned Emperor Penguins are an endangered species, and decided to donate 50% of our profit to penguin charity. So that means if you play this game you get to save penguins for real too. It is mainly for android, but you can try it free online at kongregate too: http://www.kongregate.com/games/NoorStudios/pengi-and-the-polar-pirates
> How did you come up with the concept of your game?
We wanted to d something simple for our first production, so the choice fell on the runner genre. But we wanted to make it fun too,
so we expanded it with rockets and snowball fights.
One unique trait of the game is that you have to look for the right shop when you run out of supplies,
shops are igloos with small shop-signs outside.
> How many people are involved in the making of your game?
Two, me and my husband.
> What have you done marketing wise?
Not much yet, we are still learning that part. We have mostly gone through twitter and facebook,
and are trying to get some reviews for the game.
What has gone right is we learned a lot. there is so many sides to game development, and so little of it you know up-front.
Now we are much better prepared for future projects. And also, we made a game! =)
What went wrong is mainly we spent too much time on this project. It took us two years, and i would not recommend someone
spend that long on their first game. Secondly we started marketing way too late. You need to think marketing long before your game is even finished.
> What lessons have you learned from developing your game?
Start marketing early, try to make something unique, try to keep it simple (it will get more than complex enough anyway, trust me).
> If you’ve developed games for different platforms, which were your favorites or which platforms would like to develop for next?
I like developing for mobile, it is always there to pick up, and has many nifty sensors to play with. But there is a serious inflation in the mobile market, as any developer could tell you. I mean when $0.99 is considered a steep price for a game then the economy is not healthy for developers, unless you’re Zynga of course. I think we will move to games that will be appealing on pc/mac in the future, but we are not leaving mobile completely.
>What do you feel like the key programming languages to learn are and why?
It’s very good to have a good command of old fashion C i find. As this teaches you concepts of memory management that is useful to know even if you use higher level scripting languages.
And so many languages are based on C, so it’s really helpful.
Start making a game, you will learn as you go no matter how much or little you know from before, so might as well just start. There is a lot of tools and tutorials out there, and a lot of helpful people.
Twitter has a great community over at #gamedev and #indiedev. Also join gamejams! they are great for creativity and motivaation boost .
Thank you so much for your time, Maja! I love that you donate half of your proceeds to help penguins! I’m looking forward to trying it out here in the near future.