Article By Andreas 'Interman' Misund
Cuboingo is a game we've covered a lot on Gamer's Hell. So as you probably understand it is an awfully addictive game that we like a lot, but for those who haven't read the review yet, or simply want more, can read what Christian G. Senn had to say in our interview.
Hi, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi Andreas, my name is Christian G. Senn, and I am the producer of Cuboingo and founder of Senntient LLC, located in Los Angeles, California.
Would you briefly describe the gameplay concept of Cuboingo for those who haven't read our review yet?
Imagine a colored three-dimensional cube you must rotate to correctly match colored shapes falling towards it. Each shape can be any color, texture and size, and must be matched with its corresponding spot(s) on the cube to "fill" and light them up. Each side of the cube can have one, four or nine squares in it, changing gameplay from a more fast-paced to a more thought-provoking game. Cuboingo teaches abstract visualization, memory usage & development, hand-eye coordination and color/pattern recognition, making it much more than a fun and addictive game.
Could you elaborate on the history behind this title, who came up with the idea, etc.?
I came up with the idea for Cuboingo several years ago as a solution to a dilemma. The dilemma was to create a game design that my two programmer friends and I could complete together in our spare time. The first design was a huge, evolving online Universe like nothing I'd ever (and still haven't) seen before. They took one look at me and said, "We don't have time to do that." lol - I created four more completely different game designs, each requiring less resources and production time than their predecessors, but each proved to be too ambitious. Cuboingo was the simplest idea I could think of that would still offer a fun and unique gaming experience. After presenting Cuboingo, I said, "if you can't make this, then we can't work together!" lol. Well, we made it ;)
What do you think is the key to Cuboingo being so addictive?
Simplicity. Cuboingo is easy to understand, but difficult to master. People watch the game and say "hey that looks easy, let me try." Then they try it, inspired to complete such a seemingly easy goal. A web video will soon be released at Cuboingo.com showing real-time gameplay and what is possible when an experienced player wields the controls!
Cuboingo uses scripts for each set of levels, could you explain how these work?
I originally requested Game Scripting to allow me more immediate control over the game. Rather than inundating the programmers every five minutes with change requests, then waiting for those changes to be realized, it made sense to provide as much independent control over the game as possible. That way, through the use of a simple text file, I could change just about anything in the game and test it in real-time without requiring the programmer's attention. This production element became an excellent element for the full version of the game, giving players the ability to make their own Cuboingo games using a giant set of Game Script controls. Incidentally, we'll soon be completing an editor that will provide owners of the full version of Cuboingo a graphic interface in which to create, edit, load and save their Game Scripts.
What did you think of this year's E3 expo?
I wish I could have seen more of the expo, actually. In order to promote this independently-created videogame, I spent the majority of my time walking the show room and meeting people. My time was spent doing demonstrations, and discussing Cuboingo in private rooms, hallways, lunch lines and anywhere else to strike up potential business relationships and spread awareness of the game. Though the response was excellent, those thirty-pound bags slung over each shoulder full of Demo CD's, flyers and my lap top sure got heavy!!!
After the release of Cuboingo, what are your future plans? A sequel or add-on, or a completely new game?
My plans for Cuboingo are just beginning. So confident was I in its success years ago, that I filed for a patent to protect its simple, yet powerful concept incorporating much more than what can be seen and played in version 1. I envision an entire family of products stemming from this game. The PC platform represents the diving board into a vast pool of other platforms and possibilities :) lol - I still have the three-dimensional paper shapes I created so many years ago to help me visualize the gameplay possibilities.
How long did the development take? Did anything funny happen during the development?
Development started in 1997, though we spent about 1 year total to finally release it years later. We had official beta testers come on board last year, and wrapped up production to sell Cuboingo in May of this year (2002). I'm sure there were blooper moments, though I can't recall them now. Perhaps after a bowl of Oatmeal to quench my appetite, my memory will return! I do know that I had a blast making the sound effects and music for the game. People tend to laugh when they hear the noises in the game... very silly...
Where do you see Cuboingo in five years?
I'd like to see Cuboingo in every household, room, apartment, mansion, office, shack, cardboard box, hut, igloo, cave and hammock by that time. Yes. :)
Any final comments to the soon-to-be addicts?
I would recommend that anyone interested to visit Cuboingo's homepage at http://www.cuboingo.com and download the 30-day Demo. Anyone who already downloaded version 1.0a, can redownload the new version 1.1x for 30 more days of fun! I'd also suggest people check the Cuboingo Colony community forum at http://www.senntient.com/colony/ for Contest information, new Game Script announcements and inside information from the developers of the game.
Thank you very much for your time!
Thank you, Andreas, for this opportunity!