Inside: Milky Tea Studios
One of our most recent featured indie games Coffin Dodgers is a real treat and perfect to play as a party game with the whole family. We took the time to visit the studio a few weeks back to see where it all happens and get to know some of the great guys working behind the scenes.
A bit of background on the Liverpool-based company ‘Milky Tea Studios’; it was founded by Jonathan Holmes and one other with the focus of bringing together the whole experience of both games development and creativity. They spend their first decade focused on business to business outcomes but now they are shifting to direct to consumers outcomes.
The whole concept of Coffin Dodgers was thought up on a five-day boat trip Jon took with a number of old retirees. It was an amazing experience and made him realise that no matter how old you get we all want to make the most of the life we’ve got.
Inside the Studio
Most people think that making a game would be easy, but it's far from it. Something I know of is the struggles of developing from your drawing, but Unity makes it a struggle to produce UI so a lot of the menus and interfaces on the game were produced by eye rather than the structures they were designed at.
Whilst at the studios we got the chance to see some animation that didn't make it to the game and find out straight from the animator himself just how much time goes into it.
A simple cat wagging it's tail takes an hour or so but some of the animations that the grim reaper demonstrates throughout the game take a full day to create for just a few seconds of animation. Not to mention that none of this includes the time from concept drawing, modelling and finalising the render.
It's amazing to see the playable world as a whole and to learn of little Easter Eggs hidden around the map from previous projects, characters and additional content. Getting a chance to see how the map itself is produced and reused for different levels is also quite interesting too.
It's great to see that all the porting and refinements are done in-house by the same team that produced the initial game that was launched earlier this year on steam, so you can expect the same level of dedication going into its production.
What's good about the setup of the studio is they can get straight hands on with all the development kit just a few steps from their desks and test all new environments and animations in a development build of the game. We can't go into detail of the kit they are using but be assured they are cutting edge.
One of the things that is really great about the team is even though they are hands on with some serious kit and developing with future thinking, they are focused on releasing well-produced projects that are easily accessible for any audience and are not willing to risk that just to incorporate a new piece of kit.
It was also nice to get hands-on with the latest build myself and take the time to challenge Jon, although a pro (he said) I was able to beat him twice :).
The Future of Coffin Dodgers
What's important about Coffin Dodgers is it’s more than just a game; they have thought about all the possible future outcomes and how they can incorporate it all. We’ve also been keeping our lips sealed on this one but today the news has broken, Coffin Dodgers will be coming to Xbox One and PS4!