Episode 27: Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!!

Christa Mrgan: Like tech and film, the games industry is known to be a bit homogenous. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with white, cisgendered men, when they’re overrepresented in a creative field, the industry as a whole suffers. Obviously, all kinds of people play games, and more perspectives from more and different types of people lead to new and better games for different audiences. But, also like tech and film, games can be a hard industry to break into, for anyone, regardless of race, or gender, or any other factor. There are a ton of talented, aspiring developers from all kinds of underrepresented backgrounds, who have the potential to go so far-- but first, they need a shot at making a game.

Welcome to the Playdate Podcast, bringing you stories from game designers, developers, and the team behind Playdate, the little yellow game console with a crank. I’m Christa Mrgan. This week and talking with some of the folks behind Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!!, two free games from Sweet Baby that launched with Catalog for Playdate.

Sweet Baby is the narrative development company that brought us Season One’s “Lost Your Marbles”, the graphic novel / marble labyrinth game, where you help a girl find her lost dog. You can hear more about that game in episode seven!

Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!! Are special because these projects paired game industry veterans with new and emerging developers from marginalized backgrounds, on an impressively tight timeline of just over six months to build and ship each game. But, these weren’t like coding exercises or demo projects. These hands-on learning experiences resulted in real games that are really fun to play.

As ever, a very slight spoiler alert: we talk about the overall gist of each game and a little bit of the play mechanics. We’ll be jumping back and forth between the games and their creators later in the episode. But first, the teams will introduce themselves and tell you a little bit about their games and what development was like. We’ll start with Reel Steal:

Sherveen Uduwana: My name is Sherveen Uduwana, and I’m the game and level designer for Reel Steal.

David Nguyen: My name is David Nguyen and I was the junior programmer.

Louisa Atto: My name is Louisa Atto and I’m a writer for Reel Steal.

Will Herring: I’m Will Herring and I was the art lead.

David Bedard: And My name is David Bedard. I am the producer for Rec Dog and Reel Steel, and I’m also director for Reel Steal.

Sherveen Uduwana: Reel Steal is an art heist game where you play as lovable thieves who use giant fishing rods–

Will Herring: …to steal back priceless works of art that have been hidden away from the world.

Sherveen Uduwana: You’ll use the Playdate’s crank to lower yourselves on this fishing rod, past the vents and security systems of these sprawling mansions, “Mission Impossible”- style. So you can swap out the prized artworks with hastily scrawled forgeries before reeling yourself back up.

David Bedard: Obviously, looking at the Playdate, it has a crank. I think everybody thought about making a fishing game on it.

Mark Lentz: Everybody comes up with fishing!

David Bedard: And we didn’t wanna do a straight-up fishing game. And it felt right to do something that had sort of a heist bend. We made a temp image of Lupin III just holding a fishing rod and it felt really right. The idea of someone from the skylight just grabbing things and absconding with them was really funny to us.

And we also came up with this idea of the calling cards. So when you take an object, you get to leave a calling card which, you know, You don’t really have the right tools to do a good calling card. And we just thought that’d be funny that every time do a heist, you attempt to leave a calling card and it might not always go you plan.

And so these two ideas together mostly took the form of Reel Steal. It is a game that has multiple campaigns that you unlock progressively as you go on. All these campaigns combine to tell an overarching story, which is really cool.

Sherveen Uduwana: It’s both a heist game and a fishing game. Only, you’re fishing for justice.

Developing for new hardware is always very surprising in a fun way. With the Playdate, one of the big surprises was finally trying out the dev kits and realizing how hard it is to crank, and press buttons at the same time because you, you almost need your other hand for stability when you’re cranking.

We really changed the way we were thinking about our controls and designed everything around the assumption that players will stop cranking to press buttons. That design shift, I think made the whole game feel a lot more accessible in general, which was an added win for us.

David Nguyen: The sensation of the crank when you’re reeling up on the whole fishing rod mechanic just feels like the Playdate was made for it. And you can’t really replicate that in, other game formats, if you will, or control schemes.

Will Herring: Definitely. Seeing the crank for the first time, I think Reel Steal was one of the first ideas that the team had come up with when we all first saw the Playdate.

I worked in a one- bit style for Sweet Baby’s last Playdate game, this very fun, wacky, visual novel puzzle game called Lost Your Marbles. So this was my second time working within those confines, which I really enjoyed. And I feel like that I learned so much on the development process of Lost Your Marbles, that I was able to build off of a lot of that for Reel Steal, and that was really satisfying and fun to explore. There’s a lot of creative problem solving that comes with one bit artwork, like in figuring out the depth and the contrast and the uniformity you want. Or like translating high resolution character designs into sprites for the screen.

We were going for a look of a very stylized and character- driven art style with super thick outlines and bold kind of high contrast characters that hopefully all feel a little different and have their own unique personalities and vibes and everything.

Louisa Atto: As a writer, I had a lot of fun working with the writing team on this. The writing process was really open and efficient, but it never really felt like a chore, which was really cool. Truly, we kind of just threw out ideas and we talked through our favorite ones until we could come back with something that was also aligned with design, with sound with the other departments.

It was really cool. I learned actually that writing games is way less solitary than I imagined, but that it also encompasses probably one of my favorite parts of the writing process, which is not just writing, surprisingly, but coming up with ideas. I love just like brainstorming and we did a lot of that on this project.

I think writing as a technical skill is all good, but that can be taught, in my opinion. It’s really a person’s personality and their perspective that comes out in their ideas and in the writing process. And so it was really fun to experiment with that on Reel Steal in particular.

David Nguyen: I have to give a shout out to both the writers, the artists, and also my manager Ayla, who is an amazing lead programmer. There were a few, few hiccups in that, you know, I couldn’t get all the knowledge and a lot of it was kind of like, I don’t wanna say uncharted territory, but especially as at the time, a fourth year university game dev student, it definitely had some issues in I can’t just go to stack overflow for my answers and all that. The documentation was still really well thought out…

I suppose this is more related to just interesting things about the Playdate, but there’s only so many things you can do at once, due to the very tiny hardware, and that caused some very interesting bugs like for example music would just silently fail and you would never have music playing for the rest of the game unless you would say load the music 10 frames in after loading level, which is not something I would account for from my game development experience working on, you know, computers of 3080s, i7s, i9s, that kind of deal.

But yeah, I would say it was a great learning and teaching experience in terms of just actually getting used to game code, but in a very niche setting.

Sherveen Uduwana: I really enjoyed working with the Playdate SDK. You know, a big thanks to that also goes to our amazing programmers, Ayla and David who built a really kick- ass level editor for me and the artists to mess around with while using the Playdate simulator. And this meant we were able to be completely unblocked and build out levels well before we even had access to dev kits.

Once we did get access, the gameplay and the simulator was pretty much a hundred percent the gameplay we got on the actual device, and we were even able to hook up our devices and modify the levels and see how it felt on device immediately, which was really, really fun. And, and a very like, playful way to make games in general, which I really appreciated.

I really wanted to balance making the game challenging while keeping it fun. And, and for me that’s always about choice and opting in, opting out. I think the nature of the Playdate being this small handheld console means we don’t really want players hunched over and, and being incredibly precise with their inputs.

So we’ve designed the levels to have some room to fail forward. And if you care about being really speedy or, or not getting spotted or stealing every last cent from those billionaires, Then there’s some challenge you can opt into, but you also don’t have to do that all at once. So you can play through the levels with different focuses.

David Bedard: Reel Steal was designed as a game that had 25 levels in it. But we wanted it to understand the context in which Playdate players play games, which is some people play some of these games for five minutes and some people want to play all of these games to completion. And so, instead of doing like one campaign that has 25 levels, we made five mini campaigns of five levels each. And these mini campaigns kind of gradually ramp up the difficulty so that you can basically stop where you want to stop. If you get tired of the mechanics, or if you think the game’s getting too challenging, you have seen a complete story from some characters’ perspective in this world. And for completionists, there is of course a story that keeps going throughout all of the five campaigns. But it’s not required to enjoy the game. The game doesn’t stop when you fail.

Sherveen Uduwana: So there’s a number of built in stopping points if, if you’re satisfied with the current gameplay.

But if you’re playing onward with new characters, we, we might give you a little more challenge and, and we’re negotiating that with you as a player.

David Bedard: It’s important for us especially as, as people who are narrative first, to not put blockers in front of the story. And to let people be able to enjoy it, if they want to enjoy it.

Also, it has a really great soundtrack by Jay Squared.

Christa Mrgan: Awesome. We’ll come back to the Reel Steal folks in a bit, but now we’ll hear from the Recommendation Dog!! Team about what making that game was like.

Maxine Sophia Wolff: My name is Maxine Sophia Wolf, and I was a mentee writer on Recommendation Dog!!

Adanna Nedd: Hello, my name is Adanna and I was one of the writers as well.

Julia Minamata: I’m Julia Minamata and I was the Art Director on Recommendation Dog!!

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: And I’m Xalavier Nelson Jr. And I’m the creative director on Recommendation Dog!!

So Recommendation Dog!! Is an action puzzle game about being a small dog with a very big job. You work at this temp agency, putting the right people in the right places to solve folks’ problems. So you are taking the crank and you’re spinning through your rotary organizer-- not gonna use the copyrighted name-- to find the people who will best fulfill the job.

And you do it as much as you can. As new cards come in, as more complicated jobs come in as time seems like an increasing enemy.

Julia Minamata: This is a cute, cute, cute little game about helping people, about connecting a Rolodex of tradespeople to customers who need very specific and offbeat things. An example would be maybe a charismatic and and reliable carpenter for a project or something like that, and the, the player gets to scroll using the crank through this Rolodex of profile cards.

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: The Playdate encourages really playful, inherently kinetic experiences just based off of the way it even looks, the way it’s designed, the way it feels to hold in your hand.

So, thinking about how to use the crank and realizing-- those old movies. Those old movies with the rotary organizers, there’s something a lot more fun about using that than having, you know, the contact list in your phone, led to the snowball of ideas that became Recommendation Dog!! What’s better than Finding an action puzzle experience where you are helping fulfill strange, wacky, and complicated requests.

It’s being a dog while you do it. A tiny little dog. An adorable little dog.

Maxine Sophia Wolff: I would describe the writing process for this game, oddly enough, about half coming up with funny lines, you know, kind of judging through those, and the other half coming up with funny names. And that was definitely my favorite. I, I love coming up with stupid names. It’s great. It’s a, it’s a joy to work on a game that encourages that. The thing I loved most about the game would probably the pixel art that was made for it. I think that our artists really did an amazing job fitting so much into such a small screen.

Julia Minamata: I have worked in on one bit art before and a few projects actually! With Xalavier Nelson Jr., We worked on Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator together, which I did portraits, like trader portraits and organ portraits, and those were beautiful green on black, low resolution pixel art.

And I also worked with him with Strange Scaffold on, on Witch Strandings. I did pixel art sprites for that as well. But the difference with, Playdate, of course, is the size of the screen. It’s 400 by 240. It’s not back lit. And those are things I really wanted to keep in mind when creating art for it.

And, and that was a bit of a challenge because yeah, the screen is a lot smaller than, than what people tend to play, you know, with their, with their PC setup and things like that.

And another aspect of it was because of the size of the screen, there was this idea that I’d hadn’t dealt with before about maybe scrolling to different parts of the screen, using the directional keys to show different aspects of the display for people.

And, and that was another challenge that I had, I had not had before.

There was no specific visual reference that I was thinking of for Recommendation Dog, but I knew, I really wanted to emphasize the contrast between light and dark on the screen. That beautiful, sharp, black and white display. What’s interesting about the Playdate that we don’t see much anymore, this, this was more in the realm of the, you know, liquid crystal displays of the small handheld Tiger games back in the day.

But this idea that the light part of the screens are the blank part of the screens and the light is bouncing off the light part of the screens to create that sense of brightness, which is kind of the opposite of, what backlit screens are like, what our regular computer monitors are, like where the dark parts of the screen are, the parts that are not projecting anything but the, the reversal of that, where the black parts are the parts that are being displayed on the screen.

It was really interesting to try to design for that and think about it, not only technically, but also conceptually-- what I wanted to design in terms of what the game was gonna look like. I knew I really wanted to concentrate on that light and dark contrast.

When you are in the employment office, it is like you’re in a darkened office storefront where you could, you can see the light beaming through the window and when, customers come in, they open the door, they burst through the door, and then they’re a silhoette.

That was actually another thing that really got me thinking about that light and dark display or how we were gonna show the game because we knew that we weren’t gonna do very many assets. We knew we wanted silhouetted characters and the idea that they are kind of vaguer meant that they could be more symbolic and universal of a general group of people, not very specific people.

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: What I love about Recommendation Dog is just how enthusiastic it is about being this focused, weird thing. You’re a little dog and you’re supposed to find the right person for the job, and it makes people happy. You bring happiness through a very roundabout, absurd way, and a lot of my games revolve around absurd, nuanced ways of delivering joy or fear, crippling existential fear.

And I love how Recommendation Dog does both!

I’d say the most surprising thing about Recommendation Dog was that it just worked. From the beginning of development, it kind of just worked, especially with the unique playful power of the Playdate. So really leaning into the things that we found immediately worked and being able to use the entire development cycle mainly for polish and for having the opportunity to flex, our skills on this wonderful, little gentle canvas was a, was a real joy.

We balanced making the game challenging while keeping it fun by iterating on it and talking about it, and being very honest in our feedback and thought processes about what was working, how it was working, and how it wasn’t working. And that ability to have very strict constraints for what a game is and what its development cycle is, while being flexible enough to iterate and find the best version of that game has become my directorial signature.

And is also just more evidence that the Sweet Baby team and the talent that they have, the ability to source seemingly effortlessly is among the most impressive things in game development right now. We just worked on it a lot.

Christa Mrgan: So it can be hard to break into the games industry, especially if you don’t necessarily fit the existing mold. I asked the mentors on these projects held, they got into games themselves.

Julia Minamata: I went to school for art. I have a Bachelor of Applied Arts illustration, and I was a freelance illustrator for 10 years before I realized that I wasn’t making the headway that I’d like to make, so I kind of learned how to make pixel art and slowly started to make my own game.

And from my own game, I started to kind of connect with other people in the games industry. And one of those people was, was Xalavier Nelson Jr. And I got a chance to work with him on, some projects, and then he approached me and asked me if I’d wanna work on something for Playdate. And I said, “oh my goodness, oh my goodness!” So I, yeah, I don’t even know what I said, but I, that was the feeling inside. and it was just, it was, it was wonderful. That’s how I got into making games-- just with my own project. And then from there I got to just work with a bunch of other really cool people on a bunch of cool things.

And I have so much appreciation for Sweet Baby Incorporated for taking this on. Not only this, but other projects as well. There’s this role of being a mentor and allowing other people to become mentors, in turn. When I first met David of Sweet Baby on video call about doing something with him for the Playdate, I was really nervous because they were looking for someone to be an art director and I had never been an art director before and I was very quick to tell David that…

I, I said I’ve never done that before, wondering if that was going to be a problem. And David was amazing. He said, actually that’s kind of perfect for us because, we’re looking for people who can really learn a new role and we can be supportive of that role, and then we can figure this kind of out together.

And I was immediately set at ease with that. And that was super important. That made a huge difference in how I approached the project I got. You find another artist on the project as well. Raphael was, was amazing on it. And that chance, that chance is huge. And I, I know not enough people get that chance. I feel really lucky.

Will Herring: So for me and getting into making games I’ve been an on and off hobbyist game developer since I was a kid. Starting back with like click and play on my old pc. I started making and releasing my own little indie games back at around 2015. And I’ve been super fortunate to get to work on a super cool games of super cool people ever since, and a lot of different capacities from, you know, game jams to commissions, to coming on and working with with teams like this one.

Sherveen Uduwana: So I’ve pretty much always wanted to make games since I was a kid. And I got into it basically from growing up playing a lot of pirated games in Asia. And, and that kind of led me to play a lot of strange non-commercial games that were very fascinating to, to me, as, as a young kid.

David Bedard: I went to university to study marketing because I thought that I liked it and I thought that it could get me into any kind of industry that I liked. I eventually got into games doing marketing. I did like it for a while.

But then I got very disenchanted with it. And around the time that that happened, I met Kim. Kim Belair, who is the CEO of Sweet Baby and she was very gracious in in letting me join the company and helping her work on a ton of different narrative stuff. If you don’t know, Sweet Baby is primarily a narrative consulting company.

We do a lot of story work with a bunch of different clients and studios. But when Panic was developing the Playdate, they graciously asked us if we would like to take on a game project. And we said yes. And we kind of embarked , on this game development journey. And the only way we really succeeded is we built a really solid team of people who knew exactly what they were doing and who really jived well with our vision.

And from that we were able to basically make Lost Your Marbles on time and on budget.

Christa Mrgan: Yeah, their first game was on time and on budget. What!

David Bedard: And We felt like we could take that process and apply it to, new initiatives where we could give the opportunity to an up and coming roster of people to create their their first game. And so that’s, that’s kind of how we got here.

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: I got into games by pretending to be an adult at the age of 12, and I don’t know what it says about video games that that worked, but I’ve been here ever since. First as a games journalist, then as a writer, and then through a series of winding paths including production and biz dev and whatever else to be a studio head, a writer.

A designer and developer, just a whole bunch of hats I get to wear every day collaborating with incredible people like Sweet Baby, and I feel incredibly fortunate.

Christa Mrgan: Yeah, feeling fortunate or lucky to be working in games is definitely a recurring theme I hear from a lot of game developers that I interview. And the source of that "luck" is usually a combination of being talented, being passionate about games, and eventually, someone giving you a shot to collaborate on a game with them. So it really matters that talented, passionate people from all kinds of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, get a shot.

Sherveen Uduwana: You know, there just aren’t enough people making games today outside of the stereotypical white, cis male game dev mold, and, and that’s really bad for people who play games as well as for people who make games.

If you’re someone who enjoys playing games and you’ve ever felt like all the games you’re playing feel kind of the same and, and you feel like there’s a lack of innovation in the space, A more diverse games industry is what solves that problem, and it’s not just about creating space for people who have been historically excluded from games, but letting them thrive once they’re inside the industry.

There are so many amazing and talented creators today who are making beautiful, challenging, innovative work on the fringes of the industry that need access and elevation. And to build off of that, there are people who will be joining the industry in the future that need to see those types of projects and those types of people thriving to be able to build off of their work.

And for folks who are making games, you know, an industry where the most marginalized people are able to succeed and thrive is also one that’s safer for anyone who’s not as marginalized. So to me, as a developer, this is an existential problem and it needs to be addressed. And I’m glad to be able to work with folks who understand that and want to build safer and kinder places to make games.

Will Herring: I feel it’s really important to get a real range of unique voices and perspectives in there. Diverse viewpoints and ideas and creative approaches really expands like any project’s potential. It makes both the work itself and the process of making that work so much richer.

I got to work with the extremely talented and, and wonderful Jenna Yao, who was the art mentee on Reel Steal. And that process of finding the game’s visual style together and seeing Jenna’s approach to that work was so much fun and I’d really love to work like that again.

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: Not only does it result in better ideas, it results in better execution of those ideas. The invisible truths of people’s existences and the perspectives that they bring to the table all add immersion and life to the universes that we’re working together to create.

When you have people in the equation who aren’t just white, cis het males, you end up with incredibly deep experiences just from having the people in the room who are being listened to, with the ability to give life to a setting that can be so much more than it appears on the surface.

Julia Minamata: I think it is so important to broaden the scope and diversity of talent in the games industry and offer opportunities for people as well. The wonderful thing about having people from all kinds of different backgrounds getting to be game developers is there’s this benefit of so many different perspectives, based on, you know, lived experiences and that variety is so important for creativity and so important for not only the creativity from our side, but also for people from all over the place, from all different backgrounds to connect to those games as well.

David Bedard: I feel pretty strongly about this as a cis white male. I, I don’t think that, cis white males in the industry really know how to be a good ally.

I feel like, a lot of what people think about is lots of tweets. I myself am part of a company that, makes most of its work about this specific topic, about making space, about broadening Diversity about trying to see representation as a form of innovation and not as a form of, I don’t know, a checkbox to, to fill, for a game developer.

We know that people from different backgrounds will have different ideas, will bring different things to the table. And we’re trying to make space for them in any way we can, in any kind of project we’re involved in. And I really believe in that. And I think for me specifically, going from, you know, making Lost Your Marbles where we were, I would say a pretty diverse team on that to Okay. Kind of stepping aside and like creating a, a canvas that a team of marginalized first time devs could paint in. And helping steer the ships so that they wouldn’t have to face, I dunno, some of the production issues that you might face on your first game, for example, kind of creating an environment where they could, you know, learn and thrive was very important to me. And I feel really, really proud of these projects for these reasons. And, even like from more industry- Specific lens.

We know that people need credits to get jobs. We know that you can’t really apply to a job as a junior who’s never shipped a game. It’s really, really hard. And we knew that Sweet Baby itself, being a company that works with established studios, giving people the chance to be associated with that would help them hopefully, you know, be able to apply at different places. And, we’ve seen that, like some of the people that we worked with have moved on to, you know, full-time game jobs. And I’m, I’m really proud of that. I’m, to be able to have given people that opportunity and to have made some pretty fun games in the process, too.

Christa Mrgan: Yeah! So what’s it like for some of these mentees having shipped to their first game?

Maxine Sophia Wolff: It’s just really exciting to know that people are gonna play the thing that I worked on. It’s kind of hard to put into words. I’ve written short stories before that people have read, but there’s so much more that goes into creating a game. There’s so many more people, so many more hands. Yeah, it just, it feels really good to be a part of that process.

Adanna Nedd: This was the very first game that I shipped, and it’s really exciting knowing that people are finally able to play it and have just as fun playing it as I did, making it. I really enjoyed this game and I hope everyone playing it enjoys it as well.

David Nguyen: When we wrapped up development, I was definitely just super excited. Like, oh yeah, I have an actual game. Check this out guys. And I would just, I would go around with like my little Playdate, check this out, check this out, check this out. You know, it’s, honestly, it’s, it’s fun too because the Playdate is just a great conversation starter.

You have it in your pocket and you can just whip it out and say, Hey, you wanna try? So I’m super excited about that.

Louisa Atto: This experience really taught me that games, as with any sort of project-based work needs, input and collaboration from all sides. Working towards a common goal with a lot of talented and like-minded individuals was really fun, and it’s awesome to know that this cool experience I had, like my first games writing experience is now going to translate into one of my first shipped titles. So it’s very fun. I think the best way I can describe it honestly is just it’s pretty, it’s pretty crazy. I’ve been playing games almost all my life and to know that my name is about to be in the credits of a game, and especially a game like this that is really accessible and a lot of fun is just beyond awesome. It’s definitely a dream come true for me.

What I loved about working on Reel Steal was that it truly felt like an open, collaborative, sort of anything goes kind of environment. . And by that I mean that we, as writers, we were really, really encouraged to use our imagination, our unique interests and hobbies and all of that in order to kind of come up with these like fun storylines of this fun cast of characters and, and especially all the items that they were gonna be targeting. I think myself and the team put a lot of heart and very, very good puns into it. So I had a really good time. I really, really enjoyed it. I hope that players will have just as much fun with the reel mechanic as I did when I was playing.

David Nguyen: With Reel Steal specifically, I do hope they honestly just really like, just cranking the rod back and forth and just stealing from evil billionaires that deserve to be stolen from, if that makes sense.

And yeah, also just enjoying the many, many puns that our writing team came up with.

Will Herring: I think Reel Steal is super charming and weird and funny, and I think it’s just really got like a lot of personality. And I love these characters very much, and the team that came up with them very much.

Sherveen Uduwana: I love getting to work on games that spark joy. And I think it was very cathartic to work on something where you get to bully some billionaires with nothing more than a fishing rod and a dream. And I hope that comes through when y’all are playing it. It was a joy to work on.

David Bedard: What I love the most about these two games that we made is really that Panic gave us a fantastic opportunity to show one of Sweet Baby’s core values. We know that the industry is really hard to break into, especially for marginalized folks, and people who come from diverse backgrounds.

And we wanted to create two projects where people who hadn’t had the chance to work in games yet, could have an opportunity to see a game development process from start to finish and contribute to it and be mentored throughout it and be able to say at the end. Yeah, I’ve helped ship this game. And be paid for it.

And so the fact that these two games exist and are out now while also having provided 10 or so people, their first gig in the industry I think is really, really cool and I’m really proud of it.

Christa Mrgan: You can download Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!! For free by launching the Catalog app on Playdate. And I hope you have a blast fishing for stolen art and frantically scrolling through contacts to connect the right people with your customers.

You can learn more about the teams, some of the topics they mentioned, and Sweet Baby itself via the links in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll be back soon with more episodes in the Playdate Podcast feed.

The Playdate Podcast was written, produced, and edited by me, Christa Mrgan. Cabel Sasser and Simon Panrucker composed the theme song.

Additional music and sound effects were composed by his Hassan DuRant, Jay Squared, Neha Patel, and Eleanor Hébert, and come from Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!!

Huge thanks to Tim Coulter and Ashur Cabrera for setting up the podcast feed and working on the website, James Moore, for making me an awesome Playdate audio extraction app, and Neven Mrgan, who created the podcast artwork and site design.

Thanks so much to everyone at Sweet Baby, and to everyone on both teams who worked on Reel Steal and Recommendation Dog!!. And, thanks as always to everyone at Panic. Playdate is shipping now and available for pre-order at play.date.

Xalavier Nelson Jr.: My experience working with the Playdate SDK is that I didn’t directly touch it. Other people did, and we did get money for the game, so, it’s my legal obligation to say “Playdate SDK: super cool, world beating technology. I will make every game with the Playdate SDK.” You just, just gotta pay me up front first. It’s just three easy payments in $19.99. Please. No, don’t, don’t cut me off. Don’t–