Barking Mouse: A Behind-the-Scenes Look of an Indie Game Studio
Creative inspiration for a project can come from many places whether it be a book, your surrounding environment, or even life experiences. This is exactly how two aspiring indie game developers came up with the concept for their first game.
Jim Fleming and Danielle Swank set out in 2012 to start their own indie studio, Barking Mouse Studio. The duo set up shop in San Francisco and released their first game, Lost Toys, in 2013. Lost Toys is "a mentally-engaging 3D puzzle game of profound beauty, depth and challenge," according to its website. The premise behind the game, is that the player is in a burnt, abandoned room with a toy that's mixed up and worn. Once the player reassembles the toy to its original form, it comes back to life in full color and then advances on to the next level.
Since the release of Lost Toys, the game has received many accolades including "Best Game Design" at the 2013 Tokyo Game Show and "Most Promising" from Casual Connect.
In the documentary, while fighting back tears, Swank explains the emotional process of creating the concept of this game and how it's symbolic of their difficult experiences of moving to a new city, with "no support system" and how everything "seemed broken and messed up."
Fleming describes his passion for creating games on the basis of that it simply makes him happy. "Having a passion toward something or someone is love," Fleming further explains. "Passion is striving to create what you want to create and building what's important to you. And that in itself is the real love."
To learn more about Barking Mouse and the hurdles they overcame when creating Lost Toys, check out the first two videos of Autodesk's four-part series "Sweat, Swearing & Tears: Indie Game Documentary":