Interview with Shibby

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Shibby is an indie game developer from UK. He is currently working in the recruitment industry. Game development is one of his hobbies!

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Updated:July 4th, 2013


Interviewed by: Emily Wong
Developer: Shibby

Android Park: Shibby is an indie game developer from UK. He is currently working in the recruitment industry. Game development is one of his hobbies!  Recently Shibby released his first Android game, Finger Shepherd. Shibby told us that this game actually began life as a PC game concept many years ago. Today let’s get to know this talented team & their story.

Android Park: Would you please introduce yourself to us and our readers?

Shibby: Hello everyone, I’m a 32-year-old web & mobile developer from the UK, currently working in the recruitment industry. My hobbies include photography, astronomy, playing guitar, watching live music, car tinkering and (of course) game development!…

Android Park: How do you start your career in designing or developing mobile game? Is there any interesting story which happened at the beginning of your gaming career

Shibby: My first ever completed game, Finger Shepherd, actually began life as a PC game concept many years ago. Soon after getting my first smartphone, I realised that the game could work well as a touch-screen mobile game and set to work developing it for Android in my spare time. Over that time I have learnt a lot about mobile & OpenGL development, much of which has not actually made it into the game but will certainly be a useful set of skills going forward.

Android Park: How long have you been engaged in gaming industry? Are you enjoying in working in this industry? What makes you most excited in designing or developing a mobile game?

Shibby: Work started on Finger Shepherd more than 2 years ago now. Over that time, I have found the process both challenging and rewarding. The biggest challenge has been finding enough time to move the game forward. For example, a feature that normally would take a single day of full-time development might end up taking me over a week to complete. That can be frustrating. However, when you enjoy what you’re doing this much, it is easy to keep the momentum going and I am pleased to have finally released the game to market!

I’ve recently realised that, even once a game is released, the hard work does not stop. Promoting the game without any funding is a massive challenge given the level of market saturation these days. This challenge is not one that I have succeeded in yet, apparent by the download figures!

Android Park: Since Android and IOS are the two major mobile platforms that people use now, how do you think about the development future for these two platforms?

Shibby: While Android has overtaken iOS in terms of device market share, reports do suggest that overall app usage is still higher on iOS. Whether or not we will see this change in the future is still unknown. What is intersting, however, is that there seems to be a lot more Android-driven game developement (such as myself) than there used to be. Not every game is a port from iPhone any more!

Android Park: Tell us the story about this Android game.  What inspired you to make such an Android game ?

Shibby: Finger Shepherd began life as a mere experiment on the PC. I was interested in 3D graphics and OpenGL programming and a field of “boxes” reacting to mouse input was all that existed of the game for a long time! Several years later, having realised that the model would work quite well as a mobile game, and that the “boxes” acted somewhat like sheep, an idea started to develop. Slowly but surely, the game evolved as I added features and improved the graphics. I drew inspiration from friends, who play-tested the game for me throughout the process, giving me invaluable feedback & ideas.

Android Park: Do you have something special to say to our readers and your future fans ?

Shibby: I have a lot of ideas for new Finger Shepherd levels and minigames, so players should keep checking for updates. I carefully read all feedback, so anyone with suggestions please contact me via the Play Store contact details. If the game is successful I will surely start thinking about the possiblity of a Finger Shepherd 2.

I can also reveal that I have started work on a brand new game, with a subject much closer to my interest in Astronomy. I’m quite excited about this particular idea, and can already see it being the next cause of late nights and early mornings!


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