Working on Monster Garden, a monster love-filled garden-growing adventure.

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I love playing games, and have spent many late nights- and even entire days- playing them, but now that I'm trying to start a game development studio and make them full-time, I probably shouldn't sit around playing games too much any more.

I often can't resist, however, and end up squeezing in some time to play games here and there (sometimes for a few hours too long), jokingly calling it "research" to write it off or explain it away to others.

A lot of it really is just for fun and stress relief, but I think some parts are useful to me as a game developer, and it's not too far off the mark to call it "research."

Take Harvest Moon: Animal Parade for the Wii. I played this for the first few months of Cafe Murder development, right after our Kickstarter project (I'm the artist and designer for Cafe Murder, just so you know).

Now, I love Harvest Moon games, and this one was a real delight to play. Eventually (after way too many hours) I did start to grow bored with some of the flaws and never actually finished, but you can see HM:Animal Parade's direct influence on Cafe Murder.

For example, it was a joy in HM: Animal Parade to try to find villagers' favorite gifts, and then to see the hearts explode out of their head upon reception. I had that in mind when I created the heart burst animation in Cafe Murder when you serve a customer a perfect sandwich, and the Customer Feedback screen was also inspired by the heart ratings menu in HM: Animal Parade.

Other games I've been playing, like Skyrim, don't have any clear connection to Cafe Murder. But, they've given me plenty of ideas for future games, and I think it's helpful to play currently popular games to get a sense of what's "out there" right now.

So, to all you indie game devs out there- don't feel bad about taking off a few hours for good old fashioned research! It might just pay off with a creative breakthrough.

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Beaver Toad Software

Beaver Toad Software

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A developer of simple yet engaging, quirky yet inviting, one-of-a-kind games for mobile devices and beyond. We make games you can love.

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Latest tweets from @cafe_murder

RT @undefdev: Today I had to destroy a wall painting I made 5 years ago, that later inspired me to make quadrant.

Mar 17 2018

RT @rayporreca: I spoke with @williamzwood about turning monsters into friends in his new game, @_monstergarden. It's cool as hell

Feb 8 2018

RT @_monstergarden: Wanna flirt with this Booty Biker Boy? Then you're in luck - Monster Garden comes out this Thursday on Steam and it…

Feb 3 2018

RT @_monstergarden: I posted the Monster Garden meme to Imgur for good measure: #monsterlove

Feb 1 2018

RT @_monstergarden: Having way too much fun trying to make a promo image of MG and then getting wildly out of hand. #indiedev

Jan 31 2018

RT @_monstergarden: 10 DAYS till you can meet Roofy, the excitable monster with a limited attention span. #MGmonsters No. 6 of 15…

Jan 29 2018

RT @_monstergarden: Making one last appeal to @ManlyBadassHero to DM me his email so I can present the warm, colorful & sometimes spook…

Jan 23 2018

RT @_Teejay5: hey @GordonRamsay idk if u like video games but i think you should check out this one in particular that im making…

Sep 18 2017

RT @gamasutra: Blog: Analyzing the strengths of Japanese games:

May 17 2017

RT @oniongames: oh I must go back to soup pot.

Jan 16 2017

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