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Ridley’s Games is back, and it’s full of surprises!
From unique and portable Mini Games to stunning Card Games, this season’s designs are more creative than ever. Featuring original gameplay, great stories and epic wins, the team who created world-renowned Avocado Smash has smashed it again with a whole new collection!
Whether you’re a plant-lover, a cat-lover or an expert at social deduction, you’ll definitely find the game for you this season. But where did all the creative ideas come from? We chatted to Ridley’s Games designer, Flo Butler, to find out.
Flo was the lead game designer on cat collecting game Lucky Cat, and she supported the graphic design on the hilarious bad pixel art game, Pixelate.
Hi Flo! Can you tell us how you guys over at Ridley’s keep coming up with ideas for new games, season upon season?!
Hi! Haha, I guess we're just a really creative bunch! We always have tons of ideas for themes or types of games we think would be fun when we brainstorm together.
Sometimes people will bring a whole idea to the table and sometimes it’s just a word or a theme and we build on it (this is what happened with the new social deduction game, Who Let the Dog Out). It’s amazing how much you can come up with when you put your heads together!
We also love to get out and about to the shops and a lot of us play games in our free time. It’s a passion which I think helps to keep ideas coming.
You worked closely with this season's Lucky Cat and Pixelate - how did you guys come up with the concept for those two games in particular?
I think the theme of Lucky Cat came from one of our brainstorms, maybe after a comp shop. I honestly can't remember who specifically said the words 'lucky cat' but we all love it. We really wanted to make a push-your-luck style game and the Lucky Cat theme fit really well.
For Pixelate, Chris, our Senior Product Designer, had an idea about a pixel themed game and that’s where the idea of ‘drawing’ with cubes came from.
Do you remember roughly how many playtests you did for each game?
Ah, there were so many games and so much playtesting! Kat, our Games Developer, did an incredible job of organising playtesting with colleagues around the Wild + Wolf office, and I’d say we did around 10 playtests for Pixelate.
Lucky Cat had a lot more playtests because it evolved so much. We also took it to a school for a day and played around 6 games of it with groups of children, which was great. They absolutely loved it, especially collecting the hashtag and rainbow cats!
Did you come across any road blocks along the way this season? Any major “game changers”?!
Actually yes, Lucky Cat was surprisingly tricky. We really wanted to make a push-your-luck game, so I developed a couple of variations.
The first one didn’t really work which was unfortunate as I had based it on a legend about the origin of the Lucky Cat and it was super thematic. The second variation seemed a bit too complicated during playtesting, but it was a great concept, so I refined the mechanics and rewrote the rules to make it easier to understand.
It was pretty much finished when a colleague from Hong Kong visited the office and played Mah Jong with the team. I didn’t get to play as I was on holiday that week, but the team loved it and it reminded them a bit of Lucky Cat - so they changed it to more of a set collection game, which we know our customers love (like Caffeine Hit, Cocktail Party and House of Plants).
Who do you think will enjoy playing this season's games the most?
I think the great thing about our games is that we make them for everyone.
They are easy enough for kids to pick up and play, as we saw when we play tested at the school. But they’re engaging enough to keep parents interested, too.
They have the humour and the trend elements which keep young adults and teens entertained, and most importantly, they have depth. Even though we can be really trend-led, we don’t follow trends for the sake of it. We always make a great game and put a lot of time and effort into creating it.
All in all, which games are you the most excited about this season?
Everything!! I always find it so hard to choose, every season we say it's the best season yet! If I had to choose, I would say the mini games, particularly Crazy Golf. And also our beautiful new card game, House of Plants. They just look so good and they're so much fun!
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