For this final episode of the first season of the Playdate Podcast, Christa wanted to do something a little different. So she asked the Playdate team and the Season One developers one question: “What do you love about video games?”
Panic wants everyone to make games for Playdate, and creating better, more empathic stories—while diversifying the games industry—is key to the mission of narrative development company Sweet Baby Inc. So Panic and Sweet Baby, along with Strange Scaffold, teamed up to pair industry veterans with first-time developers from diverse backgrounds to create and ship two Playdate games in just six months. Hear how the mentors and mentees approached these projects, and then download and play Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!! for free, via Catalog for Playdate!
Everything is a remix, but how do you ensure you’re paying homage to the things you love, rather than just rehashing them? Designer/Developer Shaun Inman and Composer/Sound Designer Matthew Grimm talk about drawing inspiration while creating something new and original, with their Link’s Awakening-inspired game, Ratcheteer——which won “Game of the Year” in the 2022 Playdate Community Awards!
How would Panic approach making a game store? Designer Neven Mrgan, Playdate Developer Relations Head Arisa Sudangnoi, and Panic Co-Founder Steven Frank talk about creating a curated selection of games where it’s fun to browse and to buy! Plus: hear from some of the developers whose games are part of Catalog’s debut!
Not a lot of people know that Panic made video games in the late '70s! Cabel Sasser fills us in on b360’s decades-long history, designer Neven Mrgan remains committed to the bit as he talks about his contributions to the Playdate version of the game, and Dan Messing reveals what he learned from developing b360 simultaneously with the Playdate SDK. Plus: Panic’s own Jesus Diaz and Aaron Bell talk about their musical and sound design collaboration.
Creator TPMCO shares his game development philosophy and insights gleaned over decades of working on MSX systems. Inspired by side- and vertical-scrolling shooters, plus the rebounding block destruction of “Breakout,” Battleship Godios is an action game requiring skill and precision, with all-new twists on some arcade classics.
What if the in-world fire prevention mascot from Firewatch had his own licensed platformer back in the late '80s or early '90s? And what if in making that concept game, developer Nels Anderson and artist Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou actually re-skinned an older Japanese game—that had already been half re-skinned as a game about fire prevention!—that Nels had found on some random internet ROM forum? It’s the story of Forrest Byrnes: Up In Smoke!
Since there’s no new episode of the Playdate Podcast this week, we thought you’d enjoy this episode of the Panic Podcast, which is all about Australian indie game developers House House, Untitled Goose Game, and what any of this had to do with a little company known for making Mac and iOS software in Portland, OR.
In this week’s special format episode of the Playdate Podcast, Nick Suttner joins Christa Mrgan as host, while the two teams behind Season 1, Week 9 get together over zoom to ask each other about their games! Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, and Ryan Splendorr weigh in on who they think the player in Inventory Hero really is, while Panic’s Steven Frank, Neven Mrgan, and James Moore ask about Spellcorked’s development, game design, and incredible animation.
Chuck Jordan felt his “Advance Wars”-inspired tactics game was missing something—then he remembered the joy of “Pokémon Snap.” Find out how the adventure game veteran ended up mixing turn-based tactics with cryptid group photography in “Sasquatchers” for Playdate.
Game Designer Zach Gage on his love of editing existing games——where he plays with expectations within a well-established rule set——and how making a few small tweaks to the cellphone classic “Snake” led to surprising gameplay in his game “Snak” for Playdate. Plus: Panic Designer Neven Mrgan talks about the inspirations behind the art he created for both the in-game graphics and the launcher card, an homage to over-the-top game box art of the '80s and '90s.
Whether it’s composing music for your game or designing your own sound effects, challenging yourself to expand your game dev toolset can lead to unexpectedly satisfying results! This week, Chris Makris, creator of Saturday Edition, and Greg Maletic, Playdate Project Manager and developer of Star Sled, interview each other about their Season 1, Week 8 games in this special format episode of the Playdate Podcast!
Designer, developer, composer, and newly-minted foley expert Dave Hoffman on how they made a tongue-in-cheek game about golfing and corporate culture—two topics they confess to know nothing about! Putt your way to the top of the tower and become Chief Executive Golfer, in Executive Golf DX!
How Dadako founder Hawken King fused his interests in role-playing games and chess into a minimalist, atmospheric puzzle game, with help from artist Dan Clarke and musician-turned-sound designer Justin DiCenzo. As the sole surviving pawn from an outmoded chess program, trapped in an ominous machine, can you use an old rule set in new ways to stave off the oblivion of being overwritten?
Host Christa Mrgan answers listener questions from Twitter, Reddit, and the Playdate Squad Discord. Did Panic ever consider a left-handed model for Playdate? What games or apps surprised us by doing something we didn’t think was possible? And what’s up with Bluetooth? Listen now to find out!
Mo Fikree—designer, developer, and CEO of Vertex Pop—talks about why he loves arcade-style games, and the ups and downs of creating the “Asteroids” homage “Hyper Meteor”, including one of the hardest parts of programming: naming things!
With Zipper for Playdate, game designer, developer, and philosopher Bennett Foddy wanted to share his love of the particular style of isometric tactics games he grew up playing on the ZX Spectrum–games that may be unfamiliar to people from the United States. Drawing on the influences of Akira Kurosawa, the anime and manga series “Bleach”, and the British game “Last Ninja 2,” Zipper is a beautifully-crafted homage to classic samurai films and 8-bit black and white games.
Writer and game designer Duncan Fyfe tells the story of Demon Quest ’85—from the small but mighty team, to an ill-advised management system for branching narrative paths, and how they ended up eschewing Playdate’s crank in favor of a visual novel that pits the likes of the Marquis Shax of Hell against Beth from your high school Physics class.
When custom-hardware game maker Gregory Kogos tried to copy his award-winning circular puzzle platformer RotoRing directly to the Playdate, it didn’t quite pan out. Find out how he persevered to turn the game’s core concepts into the delightfully addictive spin-off, Omaze!
What does it mean to remember? As Samantha Kalman, Carol Mertz, Rachelle Viola, and Everest Pipkin created their innovative Playdate game blending procedural narrative and a musical memory puzzle, their ideas of memories evolved, along with their understanding of how most people hear, recognize, and recall music. What memories might be restored to the ECM1010 smart speaker devices when you play as a technician tasked with repairing them? And how does Playdate remember where you left off when you leave a game?
A small team from game development and publishing company Serenity Forge started out with a great idea for a Playdate-specific game, but soon realized its characters were kind of… boring. One arctic facelift and a lot of QA and play-testing later, and Flipper Lifter was a fun and fast-paced penguin-moving game (with a few key voiceover cameos and a great soundtrack)!
How narrative development company Sweet Baby branched out from client work to create their first in-house game: the quirky marble labyrinth/narrative adventure, Lost Your Marbles! Kim Belair and David Bedard discuss Sweet Baby’s mission to help marginalized people bring their talents to the games industry, and the team’s next projects for Playdate! Plus: Will Herring’s approach to creating characters, one-bit art, and sprites, and Neha Patel talks sound design and composing a hum-able soundtrack.
Game-jamming friends Nic Magnier and Arthur Hamer were so captivated by the announcement of Playdate that Nic built his own device (using parts found online and an old NES controller) and Arthur scrapped his fish processing plant designs for an adorable dog and an e-commerce warehouse. Here’s how the duo created their narrative match three puzzle game, Pick Pack Pup, featuring music by Logan Gabriel!
Interdisciplinary artist, designer, technologist, and DJ May-Li Khoe teamed up with friend and independent researcher Andy Matuschak to make what they thought would be a fun project on a short timeline. While Playdate’s schedule extended a bit, and then a bit more, the pair had a great time creating a whimsical music and dance maker that is a joy to use. Lay down your drum and bass tracks, add a melody, and tell your pizza to twerk with this sparkly composer that’s full of fun details!
How Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi teamed up with animator Ryan Mohler, sound designer Matthew Grimm, and developer Shaun Inman to create “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure,” the very first game ever developed for Playdate by someone outside of Panic, the company that makes the device. Keita’s seemingly simple idea led to deep gameplay, but was, at times, a challenge for the team to crank out!
When designer-turned-developer Diego Garcia first came up with the idea for Casual Birder, he never expected to fall in love with birdwatching himself. Here’s how he overcame some technical challenges (plus a bit of imposter syndrome!) and joined forces with composer and sound designer Max Coburn to create a Playdate game that’s funny, relaxing, and a good reminder that it’s ok to be into things without learning absolutely everything about them first.
How Chuhai Labs got their hands on a Playdate, their epic Pitch Jam, and how the team came together to create a zen-like homage to a classic. This episode contains spiders, and mild spoilers for Whitewater Wipeout.
How an offhand idea to mark the 15th anniversary of a software company launched a decade-long saga of twists, turns, and mini-boss battles that led to a handheld gaming console as surprising and unique as its creators. It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this adorable yellow box, and let’s get crankin’… on the story of Playdate.