Interview With Kumobius

The soundtrack meshes scarily well with Bean’s environments. How did you happen to select Flashygoodness as your musician, and can fans find the game’s music online?

James really loves finding indie games on the Internet to play, always checking sites devoted to that type of content. So we all played Tower of Heaven, a fantastic and brutal Flash game that Flashygoodness composed music for. After humming his music for long enough we decided to reach out to him and see if he would be interested. We sent prototype artwork and he was up for it!

He spent a good deal of time researching Spanish music to compose the tracks. The first couple worlds are definitely Spanish-themed but we realised that we still wanted to hear more wide ranging, classic videogame music from him. So, for example, the final world feels more like an old Genesis game. Some of the music tracks we recommended he use as inspiration included the Gameboy Ninja Gaiden soundtrack — possibly some of the most epic game music ever!

You can buy the OST for Bean’s Quest from Flashygoodness’ website.

It would be an understatement to say Bean’s Quest has undergone an astounding content transformation since its release! Did you find that your audience grew steadily as you continued pumping in new levels, or did the lion’s share of buyers find the game the first week or month after release? What advice would you have for developers who are deciding whether they should continue supporting a release or move on to a new project?

It’s continued to sell for sure. Apple have been great by keeping us featured in some respected areas like “The Best Games You’ve Never Played.” They clearly think it has more potential reach than it’s gotten so far.

Regarding supporting future releases: if you’ve made promises you should really keep them. We knew that from day one. People have been quite surprised, actually, that we did update Bean’s Quest the way we said we would. I think people saw it as a bit of a sleeper hit when it first launched and didn’t think it would grow. But we proved them wrong.

The best thing you can do is be realistic. Don’t promise people the world if you really can’t deliver; don’t con them. Lots of people hesitated to buy Bean’s Quest initially because they’d been burned by other developers, unfortunately.

And finally, now that Bean’s Quest has received its final update, what’s next for Kumobius? Will your next projects continue exploring the retro platforming theme, or do you have something else in mind entirely?

Well, we recently participated in the 2012 Global Game Jam with two other game developers: an awesome musician named Sean Affleck, and another graphic artist, Matt Scorah.

In 48 hours we built a complete physics puzzle game that’s gotten a bit of attention. We won the local competition here in Melbourne, Australia, which was pretty humbling. The game’s called Omelette Boris and it was inspired by the theme of the Game Jam: the Ouroboros. The game is available for PC and Mac.

So you can see James is still keen on a retro art style. We’re going to prototype more ideas and experiment a bit, but we definitely have one new game in development already. It’s still retro for sure!

Our thanks goes to James, Ivan and Tom for taking the time out to answer our questions, and to Chris Wright at Surprise Attack for facilitating. Don’t forget to check out our “retroview” analysis of Bean’s Quest now that it’s been brought to completion. Keep an eye on Kumobius’ website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page for the latest news out of this great indie studio. Now let’s roll some of that beautiful bean footage!