We caught up with Tom Beardsmore in the week Pinch 2 Special Edition launches for iOS, Android and Blackberry Playbook, to find out all about Coatsink, their philosophy of designing for mobile and about the best maze puzzle game around, Pinch 2 Special Edition.
Tell us a little of Coatsink’s history
It started as just the two of us (myself and Paul Crabb) making a simple iPhone game (the original Pinch) in 2010. By 2011 we’d grown into a 5 person team, and now we’re almost 10. The whole team has one thing in common: we’re passionate geeks committed to creating unique and engaging games.
What games do you guys play when you’re skiving off work?
All kinds of things! Personally speaking (and I probably serve as a decent representative of what everyone else here plays), I’m currently playing Mass Effect 3, Fifa, The Witcher 2, Minecraft and Skyrim. I’ve recently finished Diablo 3 and the latest episode of The Walking Dead and will soon be playing Torchlight 2.
What’s your all time favourite game?
Probably Baldur’s Gate 2.
What do you hope Coatsink can bring to mobile gaming?
Lots of original concepts, visually and technically!
Tell us all about Pinch 2 and where the idea came from
The idea came out of a bunch of discussions Paul and I had about creating an original and platform-appropriate (touch-screen handhelds) puzzle game. We had a load of rather boring and over-complex ideas which eventually became something more playable and pretty.
Getting the difficulty balance right is no easy task. You have optional collectables for those that want an extra challenge. Tell us a bit about the level designs
We believe in designing for as large an audience as possible, especially with mobile games. So the levels and overall game are designed in a way that is relatively easy to get into, but difficult to master. That’s why you’ll find plenty of much more difficult optional objectives in the levels.
The characters are very cute, especially considering their blobby nature. How did you manage to imbue such simple designs with so much personality?
That is down to our wonderful artists here at Coatsink. I’m as amazed as you are at how much character they can bring to the most inanimate of objects!
I’m stuck really early on because I can't bring myself to not collect every single thing! Should I just try to complete levels at first and not worry so much about acing them? Got any tips?
Yeah, if you get stuck early on I’d suggest moving on and coming back later. You should find that as you attune your skills to the game you’ll find such problems become easier. My one tip for the game would be to try to plan ahead.
Pinch 2 is crazy fun and everyone at Thumbstar is really enjoying it. What’s next for Coatsink?
Thanks! Next we have at least one more game with you guys. You should see our endless bouncing game ‘Fatty’ before Christmas on iOS, Android and BB Play. Beyond that, we have three or four more mobile projects in the pipeline for late 2012/early 2013, and one big project scheduled for 2013-2014!