Battling in the Workplace with ‘Office Master: Backstab’

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Developed by The Little Drummer Boy, Office Master: Backstab is based on the classic whack-a-mole arcade game. The game features stunning graphics and fantastic gameplay for players looking to release pent up frustrations in the virtual world.

Read on to learn why The Little Drummer Boy chose Corona SDK to develop their winning game.

Please tell us about your studio – The Little Drummer Boy.

The Little Drummer Boy is a mobile games and apps studio based in Singapore. We are a full indie company looking for investors *hint hint*. There are currently two of us working full-time, along with three part-time freelancers.

Why did you decide to use Corona SDK to develop Office Master: Backstab, your new hit game?

When we first set up the company, a good development engine was one of our first priorities. We dug around forums, Googled options, and downloaded various engine trial versions to test out, before finally settling on Corona. Corona was the clear winner for several reasons:

  • The language used was the most familiar to us. My co-founder, Steven, and I both came from an ActionScripting background. I also previously dealt with Director/Lingo.
  • Performance wise, Corona SDK stood out. The platform’s memory handling and ability to maintain frame-rates impressed us. This is important, as Office Master: Backstab is really fast-paced, has heavy animations and a huge amount of graphics running on the screen at any given moment.
  • The forums and community were really active, responsive and welcoming. Big shout out to those who shared their knowledge and helped us along the way in the forums.
  • Cross-platform support was huge. When we first started the company, we were interested in developing for multiple platforms. As mobile devices start to diversify in brands/models and types, we needed an engine that could allow us to script once and export for multiple platforms. This saved us production cost and time, while allowing us to reach a wider audience.

What was the inspiration behind the storyline of Office Master: Backstab?

The full story would probably be more suitable for a grandma’s tale (way too long), but let’s just say I am the worst “player” in real-life office politics. My experiences resulted in backstabbing, accusations, MoM (ministry of manpower, not my mom!), lawyers and finally an out-of-court settlement. I was pretty disheartened by the whole situation and hated office politics ever since. That’s when I decided to turn my weakness and bad experience into inspiration! When I proposed the idea to Steven, he loved it, as he and many of our friends had experiences with horrible bosses and colleagues. We realized that office politics is a topic close to everyone’s heart and that people would enjoy a game for venting their work frustrations.

Makes sense! How long did it take to develop the game?

As Office Master: Backstab was our first IP, we hit brick walls during development due to our lack of experience. We had to re-do several key portions of the game and tried to ‘perfect’ every detail. This cost us dearly in regards to timeline and production costs and it took seven months before we were happy enough to ship the product.

Before discovering Corona, what tools did you use for game development?

I mainly dealt with Flash (ActionScript). Prior to that, my experience was in Director/Lingo Scripting. Steven worked with Unreal 2, Unreal 3, Unity, Torque Game Engine, and Flash. We are definitely sticking with Corona for our future games.

How long have you been using Corona SDK and what apps have you built with the platform?

We’ve worked with Corona for a little over a year now and are really happy with it. Other than Office Master: Backstab, we’ve completed two client projects with Corona. One was a mini-game promotion app for a local company and another was an application-based tool for in-house client use.

Based on your experience, how do you feel Corona SDK compares with other platforms on the market?

The platform market is competitive, but Corona definitely stands out as one of the best tools for indie developers for the following reasons:

  • The price is reasonable.
  • Coding is very easy to pick up and learn.
  • Lots of 3rd party tools, which add to the platform’s value.
  • Great support from other partners that help promote and monetize.
  • Corona is at a mature stage. It has integrated everything necessary for developers to make great quality apps and we’re excited for the more advanced and exciting features to come. We feel that the Corona team is at the top of their game.

What’s your next Corona-based project?

The next game IP we are working on is a puzzle game. Players will plant rows of plants in themed gardens and try to match three to earn gold. Think of it as a mix between Plants Vs. Zombies, Triple Town and Bejeweled. The app is still at the prototype stage and we hope to iron out the mechanics by next month.
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