In our travels at PAX East 2017 this year, we had the chance to meet many wonderful developers and gamers within the community we all love. In our journey, we had the pleasure of playing Think of the Children, an Australian indie game being developed by Jammed Up Studios. During our play-through we were able to gain some insight from one of the developers, Adric Polkinghorne.
Think of the Chidlren is a fantastic co-op parenting game that we can’t wait to cover in more depth when we receive our beta keys, but our initial impressions were so good that it led us to interviewing Adric. Below you will find some excerpts from our conversation.
Pass The Controller: What made you get into game development?
Adric Polkinghorne: I got interested in game development when I was 8 years old. Starcraft had just come out and I discovered the level editor. I wasn’t very good at the game, so I made maps that were heavily imbalanced in my favor so I could win. Eventually, people clued on to my schemes but for a time it worked well. This was the start of it all, and I have been in love with game development since.
PTC: Ha, that’s great! So what are some of your gaming influences?
AP: Personally, the aforementioned Starcraft and basically anything that opens with a Blizzard logo. I was also a big Gameboy kid and loved how games would have to rely on their writing when graphics weren’t good enough to fully evoke the scale of the world. Golden Sun, in particular, would have to be one of my biggest inspirations. For Think of the Children I would have to say WarioWare most of all. Not for the gameplay but just the feelings of pure chaos that I got playing it.
PTC: Yeah, Blizzard makes quality, we can’t stop playing a little game called Overwatch and after playing Think of the Children I can definitely understand the WarioWare vibe you’re referring to. So, Think of the Children was developed at a game jam, was this game something brewing in someone’s mind already or how did you guys get to this?
AP: This was our second game jam, and we were hungry for a win. We took a look at what made a good “jam game” and ran with [it]. Aside from that, we had no plans to make a game like Think of the Children. The theme words we had to use were love, power, and surprise. Immediately we were thinking about the love and power of parenting and thought it would be pretty surprising to see your kid get hit by a car.
PTC: Ha, yeah… surprising is one word to describe that. How is the indie game scene in Australia?
AP: Australia took a bit of a hit in the past with many of the large studios shutting their doors. The result was a bunch of incredibly talented developers left to fend for themselves, and I think the quality of the games coming out of Australia can speak of how tenacious these developers are. The support and guidance we have received from the community is fantastic. I get a real sense that no one is competing with each other, rather we all just love gaming and want to see more Australian games. Hard to imagine making games anywhere else.
PTC: Totally understand the passion for being proud of where you come from and wanting to make something great not only for yourself but for the community you’re a part of in Australia. So Think of the Children is going through the final stretch, what’s next for Jammed Up Studios?
AP: Tough to say. A lot of it comes down to how well Think of the Children does. Ultimately, I want to be able to give back to the community that has gotten me where I am. Australia needs more studios and I would love to scale up from our small team to a full studio. There is so much amazing talent coming out of our games courses and the ability to provide opportunities for them would be great.
Needless to say, we are excited to get our hands on the finished product and we will be eagerly anticipating what Adric and the team at Jammed Up Studios have in store for us next.