Noodlecake Studios has developed/produced some of the most popular games ever to be released on mobile platforms such as: Super Stickman Golf, Flappy Golf, Mucho Taco, Bitcoin Billionaire, Zombie Road Trip.. just to name a few. I am super stoked to have Ryan Halowaty from Noodlecake Studios here for a short interview. Let’s get right to the Q&A!
Can you give a brief explanation of the services that Noodlecake Studios offers its partners?
Ryan Holowaty: In short, we are here to help developers of all sizes both make and release the best game possible. Be it an indie that needs help with marketing and the release of their game, or someone who might need assistance with development, gameplay mechanics, porting, design, monetization and more, we are here to fill in all the gaps that someone might have when it comes to launching their game.
The original Noodlecake team seems to be more focused on publishing games than creating them, at least lately. Is anything in the works specifically from the Noodlecake Studios team? If so, please provide some details!
RH: The first party development team is always hard at work on something. Right now we have the team working on some exciting new tech to allow us to better serve our multiplayer games in the future. Since we made a name for ourselves doing multiplayer with the Super Stickman Golf series, we decided to really focus on that as a direction for the first party team. This all takes a lot of time and each game can take months and months, so the publishing team is busy launching games in the meantime.
Are there any games upcoming games that Noodlecake is publishing or creating that you are pretty excited about? Can you provide some details?
RH: I wish I could divulge more information about the games we are making in house, but right now they are a little too early for showcase. On the publishing side however we are very excited about a number of new games. Invert, a beautiful and challenging puzzle game from the Glitchnap team, is the most recent coming out on April 20th (not announced yet but will be this week). After that Flipping Legend, a diagonal lane running/battle game that is hard to describe because it really is its own beast. Its insanely addictive. We also did the port of realMyst to Android a few weeks back and are excited to release the sequel Riven as well. And that is just a couple of the games. Right now we are going to be releasing a new game pretty much every two to three weeks for a bigger part of this year. It is insanity.
Are there any VR games in the works? If so, what can you share about these? What platform(s)?
RH: We have all the VR toys in the office from the Vive to the Rift and DayDreams but have not dedicated much to them in terms of development yet. We have some ideas and prototypes that have been toyed around with but right now we are focused on our multiplayer tech from a first party development standpoint.
I am still trying to figure out why I like Mucho Taco so much (and I’m sure many fans are thinking the same thing haha!). How did that conversation go when you were pitched the idea of “.. it is going to be a game where you make tacos and run taco shops”?
RH: This still might be my favorite pitch we got ever. It was GDC in 2015 and Martin from One Simple Idea went into a ridiculously awesome pitch complete with stickers, taco cut outs and just an unbridled enthusiasm about tacos that needed to be seen to be believed. We knew right away it was something we wanted to be a part of. Even if consumers might think it ridiculous or even insensitive that a bunch of Canadians were releasing a game about tacos with so many Mexican cultural influences.
Noodlecake Studios is known for producing quality games. How does your company keep a check on quality control?
RH: It is an ongoing battle. The simple matter is that many times both internal and even more so on the publishing side, games never see the light of day that are not quite up to par. We have a bunch of first party game ideas that were just missing a little something in terms of being fun and therefore just never made it out. This also happens a lot on the publishing side. No one wants to be turned down but we have to do it every week as many of the games we get pitched are just not quite up to our standards. Developers can pour their hearts and souls into their games and for us to say it isn’t what we are looking for is a hard thing to do.
Once a game developer decides to go with Noodlecake, do they give up the rights to their game? Or does Noodlecake own part of the game? Ultimately, how does Noodlecake benefit from this relationship?
RH: The key to the relationship is that both us and the developer are better off working together than not. If the developer thinks that with our help the game can do better than on its own, then we are happy. Success is different for every developer. Some just want a lot of people to play their games, others want awards, others have financial metrics. We just want to help and do whatever makes sense in each partnership. We never own the IP of the game, instead we just take the rights to sell the game on certain platforms. So the game is and always remains the developer’s.
How involved is Noodlecake in the creating of the games?
RH: We get pitched games at all levels of the development process. From ideas to near completion so we help out where needed. Some games just need marketing while others might need help with the controls or Android or something like localization etc. So it really depends and the nature of our agreements are adjusted to reflect that.
How many game developers/developer teams are you currently partnered with?
RH: A ton! I honestly do not know off the top of my head but the Noodlecake family is big and always growing.
Your website discloses that Noodlecake is open to working with other platforms and that there are projects in the works for Sony (PS4 and Vita). What details can to share about that? How many games? Which inhouse game dev teams are you working with? Anything for the PSVR?
RH: We have the capabilities to release on pretty much any platform out there. The catch is the game needs to make sense for it for us to do it. If it is a simple one touch arcade game, it probably wont make sense to release it on PSVR. So if a developer comes to us with a game they want us to release on Steam and we agree it is great and would work well on Steam, then we will go down that road. As of right now the majority of games we get sent to us are mobile so that is the route we have been going. We do have some games coming though that I cant talk too much about yet that should be hitting some new platforms other than mobile.
What games are you currently playing?
RH: This is the saddest part about working in games. I play so many each day that I hardly have time for them in my personal life. In fact I usually choose not to play them and do other things like play music, build stuff or go biking in my downtime. The only games I really play for pleasure are usually the big tent pole releases. I was really excited to play the new Mass Effect but after seeing how janky the game looks, I might hold off until they patch the game. I’d also love to play the new Zelda but I have yet to even buy a Switch.
For any newer game devs starting out, what advice can you share with them in getting started out?
RH: Ask questions and make stuff. The game development community is a very friendly one that has people of all sorts looking to get their name out there. Say you have the chops to do the development but cant do art or music. Then go online, find some game dev communities and just ask. Odds are there is someone out there who loves to make great art and has no clue how to code. But don’t get mired in your own development and think your first game is going to change the world. Just make something, release it and do it again.
Where can other indie game developers interested in using Noodlecake Studios find out more information?
RH: You can find us online via our website (http://www.noodlecake.com), twitter @Noodlecakegames or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I see all those emails so don’t be afraid to just send us a quick hello with some information about your game and preferably a playable demo. We can take it from there!
Thank you so much for your time Ryan! If anyone has any comments/questions, please add below! Thank you!