We catch up with Tom Killen from The Voxel Agents to talk about the studio's most successful title: Train Conductor.
Situated in Melbourne, The Voxel Agents has been busy pumping out a steady stream of iOS games for the past few years. Its most popular game so far has been Train Conductor, a simple puzzle game that has players connecting train tracks together so that their locomotives don't smash into each other. With the Train Conductor sequel about to make its Android debut, Tom Killen was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy Game Connect Asia Pacific schedule to give us a bit of a retrospective look at Train Conductor.
Founded: April, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Team members: Simon Joslin, Matt Clark, Henrik Pettersson, Yangtian Li, and Tom Killen
Current projects: We are just about to let the world know about Train Conductor 2 for Android! Ah…according to an unnamed source, we will soon be announcing that. I can neither confirm nor deny that it will be available in early December.
If you had to talk to someone about your game who has never heard of it before, how would you describe it in one paragraph?
At its core, Train Conductor requires you to connect trains from A to B without any of them crashing. The challenges become more intense as the waves of trains are structured to present puzzle-like challenges that can really test your skills. There are a number of cities in the game, set across America from Miami to Seattle. Each city has unique challenges that pits you against your friends and the world in a race to get the highest scores. It's a great fun game that's perfect to play on your commute to work.
What challenges did you face while developing the game?
While developing Train Conductor 2 for Android, we were expecting the major challenge to be the technical difficulty of porting our technology from iOS, and that certainly wasn't a trivial task, but by far the biggest difficulty we ended up facing was making the Android release significant. We strongly believe that each platform should be properly considered and catered for in a design sense, not just in a technical sense.
We summed up this problem with the projects motto: "Let's show Android some love." That's why we've more than doubled the size of the game for Android. We love the Train Conductor series, and we wanted our Android debut to be something special, so we really overhauled the game for that platform and added a lot more content. Adding all this content took some time, and heaps of hard work, but we're stunned with the results.
Bite-size games are a great way for developers to experiment and try something new. Describe to us something that's unique to your game.
Each level in Train Conductor 2 is a unique challenge. We didn't just repeat the same gameplay in different locations; instead, we strove to ensure that each level was more engaging than the last. There are seven levels in the game, and each is so distinct that we could say there are seven modes of play. With the upcoming Android version, we ensured that it was so much more than a port. It's this attention to detail and that kind of love for our players that really sets us apart as a games company.
Are you an Aussie indie developer working on an upcoming game? If so, drop us a line at email@example.com.
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