Developer Interview: 10 Questions for MediaMachina Studio

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As I said in the interview with András Csikvári, the accumulation of developer couples is truly remarkable – and here’s the next one: Please welcome Kate Dachowska-Lis and her husband Sebastian Lis aka MediaMachina Studio, the creators of Kids Musical Challenge and Merry Colours, on which we’ve reported one day ago.

 

10 Questions for Kate Dachowska-Lis / MediaMachina Studio


1. Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kate Dachowska-Lis. The Mediamachina Studio company which I lead is a small one, presently consists of only two members: me and my husband Sebastian Lis. I’m a graphic designer and Sebastian is a programmer. A few months ago, after a couple of years we had been working separately in our own professions, we decided to join forces to work together and do what we both truly enjoy.

2. What made you want to be a game developer?

From primary school we love playing computer games. Sebastian fell in love with computers and programming after watching the ‘Tron’ movie in 1987 when he was a young child. For my part, despite of current occupation I have a programming experience too, secondary because of my education, primary because of wishing to making games (which was born in primary school times too). But truly I’ve no patience for coding, so I never have done single-handedly something big and complicated at this domain. Mercifully I’ve met Sebastian and my problem got resolved :> In conclusion: firstly-love for the games; secondly-making something work and being interactive is cool!

3. What platforms do you develop games for and why?

Presently we develop for Android and have a few nearly completed PC projects that still wait for their turn, but probably will be also ported for Android. We’re really interested in developing for other platforms (for example iOS) but there is the issue of investment in time and money, therefore it is an idea for the future.

4. What are your experiences in porting games between two platforms?

Nearly none, just issues linked with technical diversity of Android devices.

5. How do you get inspiration for a game?

The main source is our life experience and a wide range of passions. I was always fascinated by many disciplines which turned up in studying a few different faculties, from philology to physics. I got teaching experience too (and really enjoy it!). Sebastian’s hobbies range is more homogeneous but very wide too. All of this things joined together determined our company motto: ‘For Fun & Knowledge’. So the main idea is doing apps for learning or just to broaden the mind. This is our inspiration. Presently we’ve released two apps designed for the youngest, but there are other in development purposed for teens and adults.

6. How long does it take for you to write a game from start to finish?

It depends on many factors including type of the game and amount of the other company duties (external jobs), but usually it’s about 3-4 months.

7. What are the biggest technical challenges when you develop a game?

Technical diversity of the Android devices is the biggest problem. It’s sometimes really frustrating and hard to compass.

8. What do you think the future of gaming will look like?

We think that human-machine communication revolution started by the touch screen and controlling the games by body gestures (Wii, Kinect) will be continued. We are nearly sure that many games are going to be online and social.

9. What is your favourite game at the moment and why?

Unfortunately, because of the big amount of work, we didn’t play much recently. But generally we love so many games that is hard to write about it. On the list there are many old titles like Baldurs Gate, Warcraft, Planescape Tourment, Final Fantasy, Heroes of Might and Magic and all of that 80’s (8 and 16bit) stuff. We mainly enjoy games which give us the opportunity to cooperate by LAN like cRPGs (it was Sacred and Titan Quest lately) and strategy games. If we are talking about new games for Android, Sebastian truly fell in love with Dillo Hills (sweet, calming, beautiful art, very nice music) and me…Stupid Zombies (logical and smashing zombies at once), Squibble (cuteness and controls) and Robotek (turn based gameplay, awesome graphics). PC titles which impress us the most were Plants & Zombies (I know, zombies again, but its really accidental) and the Witcher (of course amplified by love for fantasy and the Witcher Saga).

10. What is your advice for new developers?

We are also newbies in developing for Android, but we think that can give one advice: ‘be patient, very patient’..

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