Tag Archive: Interviews

Interviews – Part 2

Part two of our interview series where the Caromble! developers interview each other. This time our interviewee is Thomas Duindam.

Thomas Duindam drinking a beer at a festival

Thomas drinking beer at a festival

Thomas, when will you release Caromble!?

2014-ish. We release the game when we decide it’s finished.

How many times has this question been asked to you?

It’s a logical question to ask. I wonder about it myself. This year we will at least release something! We will open up and allow for early access to our game.

Let’s ask what should have been the first question: Who are you?

I’m one of the developers of Caromble!. I am a software engineer in the medical field by day, and a game developer by night – and most weekends. Sometimes I drink beer at a music festival.

What is your favourite game?

Monkey Island. I enjoy games with a strong narrative and which are able to immerse me into another world. It impresses me more than abstract skill games.

That sounds a bit like the opposite of Caromble!

Yes it does, but I don’t think that’s a problem. Opposed to my previous anwer, I also game to relax instead of desiring to have a new experience in another world. I relax the most with games that have familiar mechanics. It’s like deciding to watch an important art-house movie or a easy to digest blockbuster. When I want to relax I choose the latter. When I want to relax and play a video game, Caromble! will be a very good choice.

That sounds like fun! I want to play Caromble! How would you describe a day in the life of a Caromble! developer?

Wake up. Drink coffee. Commute to this week’s developer studio / kitchen table. Drink some more coffee.

This is followed by:
– 25% coding, mostly fixing bugs.
– 25% discussions about Caromble! At the time mostly about project management.
– 25% lunch.
– Another 25% coding.

Sometimes the Caromble! workday ends here. Other times the day continues with:
– 25% playing games and drinking beer.
– 25% coding, mostly creating bugs.

You mentioned discussing about the game. What was the most difficult decision during this project?

I remember the infamous ‘Feature Creep Dooms Day’. It was a day’s length discussion about the scope of Caromble!. We slaughtered many feature ideas. At the moment I think the scope is still too big. 25% of the current scope would also suffice for a really nice game. Three lessons learned: limit your scope, limit your scope, limit your scope.

Could you name some ‘slaughtered’ ideas?

Portals, which was the hardest to let go off. Switching gravity’s direction. Zombies. Multiplayer.

Sounds like enough ideas for a Caromble! sequel. You are developing Caromble! for quite some time now. What keeps you going?

I like the game so far and I am very curious about what the final version will be like!

What is the element of Caromble! that you are most proud of?

All technical stuff that’s written in Java. A lot of people said it couldn’t been done! But we did!


Interviews – Part 1

Crimson Owl Studios is a very particular studio. In fact, there is no physical studio at all. Every Friday all team members take a day of unpaid leave and gather at their kitchen tables scattered throughout Utrecht and Amsterdam.

We have talked about all aspects of the development of Caromble! on this blog, but we never had the team talk for themselves.

The coming weeks we’ll have a series of short interviews on this blog where all team members will be given a chance to talk about game development, Caromble! and how the last couple of years have been.

Raymond's table

Developing Caromble! at Raymond’s table. Left to right: Peter, Pascal, Raymond (interviewee), Thomas D (interviewer).

So let the first interview begin!

Who are you?

Wow, that’s a very philosophical question to begin with! I like philosophy. Of course it’s impossible to describe in a few words who one truly is. But let’s try. I am one of the creators of Caromble!. My name is Raymond Bijl and I like video games.

What is your favorite game?

It’s hard to name only one game. I can really immerse myself in a fantasy themed game with a good story. In that genre Baldur’s Gate is one of the best. Next to these comprehensive role-playing games I can truly enjoy arcade or puzzle games created by fellow indie developers. From a game design perspective I can wonder at the elegance of these apparently simple games and then think ‘I would have loved to have made that one!’. World of Goo is a great example of this.

Let’s talk about work. What are the consequences of splitting your time 80 / 20 between a regular paid job and creating Caromble!?

For a lot of game studios there is no guarantee for success and no room for failures. For me, a regular job means guaranteed income and that’s a certainty I really appreciate. Especially when I notice that I have all kinds of financial responsibilities every month. Anyhow, it means that creating Caromble! goes a lot slower in comparison to the development speed we would have if we were a full time game studio. When we say we are working on this game for four years, we mean one day a week for four years, and those days go by fast.

How about the people around you. Do they see you as somebody with two jobs?

Most see the ‘creating games’ part as one of my hobbies, but maybe that’s because how I first approached it myself. My personal goal was to learn to create games by creating games, but not necessarily in a professional way. However, the things that I do, I want to do them well. And I soon realized I could not approach this project as a hobby. Creating a good game means you’ll have to work hard and do that professionally. Of course, we are also friends, so we have fun and drink beers, but most of the time we just work hard. Creating games is not always as romantic as I would like to think it is!

Keeping it romantic. What is the element of Caromble! that you are most proud of?

I would not name one element, but the whole game. I think it’s really nice to see all the pieces fall together and to realize that we are creating a full-blown game that looks, sounds and feels like one of the real games I have always wondered at how they were created.

A very open and last question. What if?

I would really like to see Caromble! succeed and I believe it has the ingredients to do so! I think Caromble! will breathe new life in the brick-breaking genre. This genre is based on a simple concept – keep the ball in play and break stuff – but it has always proven to be fun and addictive. I hope that other players will enjoy Caromble! as much as I do!


Interview with the Crimson Owl Team

The interview with our team is finally online! Check it out if you haven’t already:
gamekings_logo(It’s in Dutch)

Interview on True PC Gaming

Pascal gave an interview to Adam Ames of the truepcgaming.com – and covered quite a few areas, including his view on Downloadable Content and the current DRM struggles in the industry.
Our marketing efforts are taking us some time … lot’s to learn, but it’s nice to see them bearing fruits.

Ardor3D interview

The makers of the Ardor3D engine have put an interview with our team on their website. It’s about how their engine works for us, about the art style and some more. Thank’s guys!

We also have been visiting an event by the Dutch Game Association about funding, to get some feedback about the business side and maybe some contacts for publishing plans. It was encouraging to hear that there is good potential and helpful to learn about the next steps to go. We got a lot of work ahead of us.

Indigo Interview

Here is team-mate Thomas giving an interview about Caromble (in Dutch). There is also a video about the event and the Dutch Game Garden in general. With some interesting interview tidbits.