[PS4Blog.net Interview] Blowfish Studios On Storm Boy: The Game

by EdEN, Owner

We’re working on a review for Storm Boy: The Game, so I got in touch with Blowfish Studios to talk a bit about the game’s development. Come check it out!

PS4Blog: Welcome to PS4Blog.net! Thank you for taking the time to join us today. Could you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and your work?

Hi! I’m Ellen, the Game Director for Storm Boy, and the Senior Producer and Game Designer for Blowfish Studios.

PS4B: Storm Boy: The Game is out on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. How would you describe to someone who’s never heard about it?

Storm Boy is an interactive retelling of the beloved story of the same name written by an Australian author named Colin Thiele and first published in 1964. Storm Boy is the story of a boy of the same name, who lives in a remote part of South Australia, in the Coorong National Park. He rescues and befriends an orphaned baby Pelican who he names Mr. Percival. The game allows you to play both as Storm Boy and Mr. Percival, to experience the story of their friendship: their highs and lows, both the calm and relaxing moments, as well as some of the more dramatic and tense challenges that they face together.

PS4B: What drew you to working on a retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic in video game form?

I think its such a beautiful story, and retelling it in an interactive format makes it so accessible globally, and to so many age demographics. I think there’s something in there for everyone to relate to, and it was also an opportunity for us here at Blowfish to share part of our own childhood experiences in Australia with everyone. We also know that the book is studied in schools throughout Australia, so making it interactive helps to contextualize the relationship between Storm Boy and Mr. Percival, especially for those who find reading more challenging: it means they can focus on the story, rather than focusing on trying to read. One of the best things to see, as well, is how many international players have had this as their introduction to Colin Thiele and Storm Boy, and have said they are now looking for the original book in their local library, or have ordered the book. It’s been a real honor to offer this introduction to these gorgeous characters and their beautiful story!

PS4B: How long did it take to make the game? Where there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during development?

The full development, from the pitch to release, took just under nine months part-time, as we are all working on multiple projects within the studio. One of the hardest things to do was to make sure that we were able to hit that deadline: it meant that we necessarily had to have a tight scope and stick to it! As can be expected as part of game development, sometimes parts of the game just don’t work, and you need to scrap them; or someone thinks of a better way of doing something, and you have to decide whether you have the time to do it.

Having the game ready and approved across platforms and aiming for a set date was also a big challenge, as the game needs to be stable for each platform and submitted with enough time to resubmit a few times, just in case. We would have loved to make the game bigger, but hopefully, players will enjoy this interactive “short story.”

PS4B: And that’s it for today. Is there something else you’d like to add?

Blowfish Studios has an exciting year lined up, with lots of games of different types that we’re publishing due to come out this year. So even if Storm Boy isn’t your thing, stay tuned for more!

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