Interview with Couchware on Wezzle (and Upcoming Projects)

We recently reviewed Wezzle, a fun match 3 type puzzle game.  The review had a lot of interest so in this interview with Couchware we investigate the people behind the game in much more depth, and chat about their upcoming projects.

- So let’s start off with a bit of background. Can you give us some information about Couchware – who are you guys? How did you get started?

We’re both both lifelong gamers. I work as a freelance programmer making business software and websites. Kevin is the chief technical officer at a software company. Because we both work full-time, we have to do most of our programming in the evening.

Our outfit got started back in 2007. The two of us became friends at grad school and had a shared passion for gaming. One night, after we were done our degrees and were slowly being  absorbed into the “real world” I half-jokingly suggested that we should start an indie games company. Kevin surprised me by saying he honestly thought that we should. A few months  later, we incorporated Couchware Inc. and were working full-time on prototypes of games that would eventually become Wezzle. Then the money ran out and we had to get real jobs.

Wezzle Couchware Interview- What would you say the greatest achievement or moment of success has been so far?

I think there have been two great moments at Couchware so far. The first was when we completed Wezzle. It was our first game and, at points, seemed like it would never get finished.    The second moment was when we got our first “anonymous” sale. By anonymous, I mean someone who wasn’t indirectly related to us. It was a cool feeling to know that a stranger was  enjoying our game.

- Could you tell us a little about life as an indie developer? What does an average day look like?

Our days generally consist of working until around 5-5:30, going home, relaxing, eating dinner, playing some Minecraft and then working on our current Couchware project or other  side projects.

- In an ideal world with unlimited funding, what kind of games would you see Couchware developing?

Kevin and I are both big on RPGs and we routinely talk about making one. We’ve also floated around ideas for some unique decentralized MMO designs. If we had unlimited funding, I  think we’d really like to push the envelope with regards to bring single-player and multi-player games together, i.e. having single-player worlds that can easily be joined together in a decentralized manner to make ad-hoc multi-player worlds. We’d also like to have a lot more original art in our games and play around a lot more with visual styles.

- We really enjoyed reviewing your first release, strategic puzzle game Wezzle, and we think there are a lot of people who would love it if they knew about it! Are there any plans to move it onto a wider distribution network like Steam, or Facebook?

We actually submitted Wezzle to Steam twice but they have indicated to us they have already filled their match-3 allotment (TL;DR: rejected twice). We have considered Facebook and  iPhone versions as well. With respect to a Facebook version, we have developed a JavaScript/CSS version of Wezzle called Webble (http://couchware.ca/webble/) that may ultimately be embedded into a Facebook app one day. As for iPhone, we have begun work on Wezzle Touch, a version of Wezzle optimized for a touch interface.

Wezzle Couchware Interview- Have you got any other projects in the works that you can tell us about?

Other than Wezzle Touch, we are seriously considering making an RPG in the classic Final Fantasy 1-3 style. If there are any pixel artists out there that are looking to work on something  like that, and don’t mind that we have no money, please feel free to contact us at biz@couchware.ca :)

- Is there anything you would like to share with the readers?

Try out Wezzle! We think you’ll be surprised at how addictive and fun it is. For aspiring indie developers, we’d like to encourage you go for it even if you don’t have any experience  developing games. When we started Couchware, we had very little experience. We had to scour the ‘net looking for tutorials and try a whole lot of failed ideas before we got something that we were happy with. The experience of going from nothing, to prototype, to full-out game is an interesting and exciting one.

- Could you give any advice to fans of indie games? What can they do to help companies such as Couchware?

Buy our games and get your friends and family to buy our games :) Also, we always welcome suggestions and feedback.

Thanks,

-Kevin and Cam

the author

A keen gamer since her parents bought her a NES at the age of 7, Zyle’s more recent gaming preference is for RPGs, Turn Based Strategies and Puzzle games. She’s pretty terrible at FPS and RTS but enjoys them all the same, and is currently avoiding MMOs due to a lack of time! Favourite game of all time: Ultima Online.