After our review of PlayDetective: HeartBreakers we thought it would be great to see exactly what Kayo Games was all about by talking with the folks that made it. Kayo Games is special because it’s a true independent developer working on their first title and it’s natural to have a curiosity about ‘how the magic happens.’
If you’re striving to be an indy developer I suggest you take a bit of their advice as they’ve breached many boundaries (including the ocean) in order to complete the title. Gaming isn’t just a kids dream anymore.
CGC: What does Kayo Games mean? Is there any significance to the name?
Kayo is our last name.
CGC: How many people work at Kayo Games?
Tom and Sila Kayo.
CGC: What inspired you to create a Detective style game over a standard match-three, card, or a time management style title?
We wanted to do something new. And we were inspired by a popular TV show.
CGC: How many developers worked on the game and did you have any art/music department?
My brother is the only developer/programmer. We contracted two people for Art and Music, and I wrote the stories and the plots, designed the levels and oversaw the production.
CGC: How many hours did the development take from planning to completion?
I’d say an average of 6 to 20 hours a week depending on what needed to be done. But the whole development process took two years.
CGC: What was the most challenging aspect of the project?
My brother and I both have full time jobs, families and limited resources. He lives in Europe and I live in Arizona. There is a time difference of 10-hours between us. All that combined with other factors made it a little though.
CGC: Did you do all your testing internally or have any external game testers?
We test internally.
CGC: Are you planning to follow up PlayDetective Heart Breakers with a similar styled title or go a different direction?
Yes we have many ideas, and we are eventually planning on trying something else.
CGC: You mentioned, on www.playdetective.com, that you’ll be working on expansion packs, any estimation on a release date?
Hopefully by the holidays.
CGC: Do you have any plans to have competitive “online play” using online score boards or build a larger community around your games?
Not as of now.
CGC: You’re platform targets are fairly broad, any chance you’ll work on a Virtual Console game for the Wii with their new libraries or XNA on Microsoft’s Xbox 360?
It will depend on the success of the initial platforms.
CGC: PlayDetective: Heart Breakers would make an excellent PSP or DS game, have you considered that direction?
We are currently focusing on delivering a good product for PC, MAC and mobile platforms. After that why not?
CGC: Did you decide to go down the avenue of casual games because of the simplicity in development and cost, or are you ramping up for a boom in the casual game industry?
My brother has been making games for fun since he was a young teenager. As a student, he made a game (KatDoom) that did fairly well. That plus a potential boom in the industry and, as you mentioned the low development cost prompted us to go down the avenue.
CGC: What will expand the casual game industry to the next level? Online game portals, sheer number of games, the low-cost or the growing difference between a casual game and a typical multi-million dollar console game (i.e. Halo 3)?
Innovative games, better Art/music quality, in my opinion.
CGC: Does the internet and it’s ability to work around traditional publishers make it easier to create your own game? Have you tried going through traditional publishers for your PlayDetective: Heartbreakers?
The internet definitely made things easier. Our goal was to sell the game from our sites.
What is your opinion on mobile gaming? Where do you see it going now that everyone seems to have a mobile phone and smart phone costs are coming down on some brands?
In my opinion, mobile gaming is the next niche of opportunities for independent developers. There is an undeniable potential growth there. That’s the reason why PlayDetective: Heartbreakers was developed in a way that we could publish on various platforms, including the major mobile platforms.
CGC: What games inspired you to get into the independent game development scene?
My brother and I are avid players. As I said before, he used to create games for fun. Me, I was more business oriented and one day we just felt that we had what it took to get in the scene.
CGC: Given you’ve done what many independent game developers have the hardest time with, completion, is there any advice you could give to inspiring developers?
Have fun doing what you do, work as hard as you can, don’t expect to make millions of dollars after your first title, accept criticism with an open mind and consider the whole experience as a learning process that will enable you to do better next time. Again, have fun doing it and don’t ever give up!