Brjann SigurgeirssonWhat does an indie team do after its first big hit? We talked to Brjánn Sigurgeirsson, CEO of SteamWorld Dig developer Image & Form, about its new project: SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game set in the world of the breakout mining title. In the game, you’ll assemble a team of robots and take them into spaceship shootouts in a fight for resources and survival.

Snackbar Games: What is it like making a game after making a successful one?

Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: It’s hard. It’s not automatically easy. When we were done with the development of SteamWorld Dig, that was June, like exactly two years ago. It came out in August on the 3DS first. And we didn’t know. I mean, we’d been so engrossed in making the game, so we didn’t know if it was flawed, or decent, or good, or bad, or great? But we knew that we were very tired at that point. So it’s like “okay, everybody, let’s go for vacation,” so everyone went for vacation in July, and we’ll just pick it up in August and see what we do. So the first few days, we were talking about what kind of PR and marketing we were going to make for Dig. It’s coming out in seven days, and we didn’t have a plan for it. READ MORE


Emergents: Genesis is a new deckbuilding game currently finishing up a successful Kickstarter campaign. Designer Anthony Conta took some time out of his schedule to talk to us about the game.

Snackbar Games: To begin, tell us a little about the Emergents Universe.

Anthony Conta: The Emergents Universe is a world where individuals have begun to realize powers that lay dormant within them. As the storyline unfolds, peoples’ powers emerge and they start to become extraordinary. The first emergent, Zeroth, uses his powers to recognize and fend off an alien invasion, with the help of several others he gathers to fight. The others that fight also have powers, and after the battle, the four go on to form a school to teach others These four others — Helios, Moxie, Billy Stopless and The Abyss — were each members of the Genesis Squadron, the first team of Emergents. Thus, we’ve named this game after them: Emergents: Genesis. READ MORE


Laura Kate Dale is a games journalist, co-founder of the website IndieHaven and creator of the upcoming title You Are The Reason. Staff writer Chris Dominowski talked to her about the state of gender diversity in games, how it affects both the fields of games creation and journalism and some games that incorporate gender diversity in thoughtful ways.

Chris Dominowski, Snackbar Games: You have been in games journalism for quite a while, and in that time, you have been pretty prolific in your work. What made you want to get into games journalism, and what inspired you to help start IndieHaven?

Laura Kate Dale: Video games were always something I have had an interest in. At a very young age, I was given a Super NES by my older brother as a birthday present, and there was just something about that as an antisocial child who wasn’t very good with other people. It was a really good place to have adventures and interact with other people — even if they weren’t real. For me, it was just a nice escape, and a way to have some fun even if I wasn’t good with talking with other people. READ MORE


2012’s Dust: An Elysian Tail was a downloadable gem, and a labor of love for its creator, Dean Dodrill. We talked to him about his experiences making the game, thoughts on game design and what he’s working on now.

Snackbar Games: Everyone starts off somewhere. Which games influenced you the most when you first started playing? You have mentioned that Ys Book I & II for the TurboGrafx-CD in particular is your favorite game of all time. What drew you to it?

Dean Dodrill: I’ve been gaming for a long time, ever since we got our first standalone Pong machine. My earliest gaming experiences were on the TI-99 4a computer, but it wasn’t until the NES came along when a video game ignited my sense of wonder. I still remember watching a friend play Super Mario Bros. for the first time, and being blown away by the fact that you could climb into the clouds. READ MORE


WayForward’s Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter campaign comes to a close this week, having already reached its needed total and heading toward stretch goals. We talked to Matt Bozon, series creator and WayForward’s creative director, about the origins of the franchise and where it’s going today.

Snackbar Games: What was the original inspiration behind Shantae? What was the impetus behind the use of Metroidvania mechanics?

Matt Bozon: My wife Erin designed the character – a hair-whipping belly dancing genie – and I created the world around her. At the time (1994), Super Metroid had just appeared on the scene, and the Castlevania series had only Simon’s Quest in terms of an exploration-style approach. So even though many of the mechanics (hair-whipping, sub-items, day and night) were inspired by Castlevania, the feel of the world and the quest were more like Metroid or Zelda: A Link to the Past. This has become more formulaic as of late, but back then there were very few examples of how to make a game like this. We looked at Goonies 2, Rygar and even Gargoyle’s Quest as examples. READ MORE