There is one game amongst the IGF Grand Finalists that is not like the others, that game is Little Inferno, the only one of the titles up for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize: that has been released on a console. It is also the only one that was developed by a corporation, more specifically, Tomorrow Corporation. The indie studio is comprised of Allan Blmoquist, Kyle Gabler and Kyle Gray. I managed to bribe their PR company enough goo balls to pose the team some questions about the game, the Wii U launch and their plans going forward. All of this after the break.
Chris Evans – Little Inferno has been out for a couple of months now, how have things gone since launch?
Kyle Gray – When we first launched Little Inferno, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We knew there’d be a few baffled “Iz ths even a GAAME?” reactions, but we were completely unprepared for all of the personal, touching emails it triggered. We’ve received an alarming number of emails from people saying it helped them get over an old relationship, brought them to tears, or made them examine their life choices. It’s kind of nuts, and not something we were expecting when we first started talking about a satirical fireplace simulator.
Chris – Are there any aspects of the game that you look back on now and would like to change after fan feedback, or do you think it stands strong as it is?
Kyle Gabler – We’ve stressed so much over every tiny detail and sound effect (When the diseased leprechaun is wheezing, is he happy-wheezing or scary-wheezing?), every wording, (should it be a “box” of wine or a “bag” of wine?), every minor piece of art (how high should sugar Plumps’ lips be in her final letter to get the tone we’re going for?), and every intentional misspelling (should there be 6 or 7 m’s in a row when you’re getting hugged?). Even the controversial waiting times for packages are on purpose. (Thematically important, I swear!) I think it’s impossible now for us to stand back and look objectively. But I’m sure we’re not the only ones who feel totally blind to the thing they built!
Chris – Where have you seen more success with Little Inferno, on the Wii U or the PC version?
Kyle Gray – While more people have probably played Little Inferno on the PC (especially when you take piracy into account), Little Inferno has found a warm, cozy home on the Wii U’s Miiverse. It’s something that shouldn’t possibly exist, and probably wouldn’t if it were exposed to the wilds of the internet.
Chris – Talking about the Wii U, Little Inferno was a launch title, how exciting was it to be involved with the launch of a new console?
Kyle Gray – We’ve been big fans of Nintendo since Donkey Kong threw his first barrel, so it was childhood dream-come-true for all three of us to launch on the Wii U.
Chris – How did it come about, did you contact Nintendo about developing the game for it, or did they get in touch with you guys?
Kyle Gabler – We talked with Dan Adelman at Nintendo forever ago about maybe making a game that “looks like a fireplace simulator but that’s actually something more!” and he politely supported us even though I know our idea probably sounded terrible. There’s no possible pitch for this game that can sound exciting without playing with it yourself! But somehow he believed in us.
Chris – Has it been easy to get Little Inferno onto the Wii U e-shop? How does it compare to the original Wii shop?
Kyle Gabler – Everything about the Wii U eShop is easier and better for both developers and players. We’re very happy with it!
Chris – Do you think there are any lessons that Microsoft and Sony can take away from how Nintendo have worked with indie developers on the Wii U?
Kyle Gray – Nintendo has been extremely supportive of indie devs. A lot of that has to do with their terrific staff, Dan & Shannon at Nintendo of America, who have always championed indie game devs like us, the Bit Trip guys, and Nicalis.
Chris – How are things progressing with the Mac and Linux versions of the game? How important do you see these two platforms to the future of PC gaming?
Kyle Gray – We’re planning on releasing Mac first, followed by Linux and will be posting more details on our site as they become available. As a customer it’s always nice to have options, but as a developer it’s somewhat overwhelming. I look forward to the day where we all just upload our consciences to a giant data stream in the sky and everything just works with everything.
Chris – Are there any plans in the works right now for releasing the game on phones or tablets?
Kyle Gray – We actually just launched on the iPad at the end of last month, where it inexplicably shot up to #4 on the appstore! Maybe more devices soon if we can manage it.
Chris – Finally, what can we expect in the future from Tomorrow Corporation?
Dandy Wheeler PR Rep – Our interns Kyle, Kyle, and Allan will be rewarded for their efforts with 20% longer leg chains. Thank you, Reticule!