Gamespace Dev Interview: Zoink Games!

Earlier this month I had the honor of reviewing the Nintendo Switch version of Flipping Death from developers Zoink Games. I am so impressed by them as a Indie innovator that I just had to reach out and get to know them even more! Here’s what they had say:

Who, what, when and where is Zoink Games? Where does the name Zoink come from?

We’re a mad-as-a-hatter growing studio situated in Gothenburg, Sweden. We create games with a lot of color and personality and more often than not crowded with jokes. But we also made a very silent and peacful experience named Fe that we’re super proud of.

The name comes from the world of comics. It’s one of those words used to explain a sound! Our ZEO Klaus Lyngeled used to draw comics and thought the word was really fun, and that’s how we got our name.

Who is the heroic soul taking on this Q&A Quest?

That would be me! Alex, the heroin (as well as PR & Community Manager) of Zoink! I usually hang out on Twitter and get paid for it – for some reason no one questions it.

All jokes aside though – I’m handling all the stuff connected to our fan base. I talk, listen and meet them on lots of different platforms and places in the worlds. It’s awesome, because they are so awesome. I also meddle with the writing of our games from time to time. Zoink Games has incredible art that captivates immediately.

From Fe to Flipping Death and every other title, it’s like someone has personally reached into your dreams and plucked them out to color them in – then popped them into my Switch. Where do such vivid ideas begin and who visually interprets them so masterfully?

Our CEO Klaus  that I mentioned earlier is also the studio’s Creative Lead! If you think about the classic Zoink style you find in for example Flipping Death, he’s the brain behind it all. Now that we’re broadening our horizons and trying on different styles, we have amazing Art Directors and Concept Artists like Andreas Beijer, Olov Redmalm and Stina Rahm who creates amazing things together with the art team.

I love the story telling in Flipping Death, which fantastic writer can we give a shout out for this magic and while we are here – is Penny named after anyone special?

We have had the opportunity to work with Ryan North (writer of Adventure Time, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and more) on both Stick It to The Man and Flipping Death. This guys is simply hilarious, and everything he touches turns to jokes. The story line itself is planned by us at the studio, and then Ryan comes in and put it all together with words and lines.

Actually, not that I know of! Although now that I think about it one of my colleagues has a dog named Penny.

Music, let’s discuss the music of Flipping Death! Pace is so key on Switch and I find the music used in Flipping Death steps so well between each story line presented encouraging me to not skip anything which is a miracle for me. Was it intended and difficult to maintain a sense of whimsy and also doom in Flipping Death?

We always try to work closely with our musicians, and to get music and sound right has been important in all of our projects. This is the first game where we’re not working with Joel Bille, who did the music for Stick It, Zombie Vikings and Fe, so we’re so excited that the result is so amazing this time around as well!

I think the theme of doom can be quite whimsy in a way, but of course it’s always difficult to explain that exact feeling that you’re going for. But the composers did a fantastic job!

I was ready for the point and click game play in Flipping Death but I wasn’t ready for the exploration, my favorite activity in any game. What an amazing surprise! Was the level of detail to living and dead worlds of Flipping Death mechanically (as well as creatively) intended or something that evolved over time?

We decided quite early on that we didn’t want to do the ten-different-levels thing, but instead have the story based in a town that you get to explore more parts of as the story goes. That gave us the opportunity to really take time to make it a living place!

Is there any Easter eggs/tips you would like to share with readers about Flipping Death?

A lot of the portraits in the houses is actually pictures of our fans!

 

Has Nintendo Switch changed/impacted Zoink Games as a studio?

I wouldn’t say it changed us, but we we’re super excited to get to work with it at an early stage! We really enjoy the mobile part of it all, being able to bring it everywhere. We’re playing a lot of co-op stuff at the office! Nintendo has also been great to work with and supported us a lot as a studio, which we are really grateful for.

I have been a fan of yours since Fe released earlier this year. I really need to play all Zoink Games titles especially Stick It To The Man I think but for our readers that might be  new to Indie games like I was only in 2017. What do you consider the main reasons someone might consider playing Flipping Death or any of your titles? Do you have a favorite personally?

I think you should try out Flipping Death because it’s just a flippin’ good time. You can play it very straight forward but also stroll around and do small side missions to learn more about the dead and living of Flatwood Peaks. Although it’s a single player game it’s also really fun to play as a group! Backseat driving is fun in the right setting!

And favorite, yikes, that’s hard! Fe holds a special place in my heart because it was the first time we tried something brand new and outside of our comfort zone. I think it says a lot about our studio and our will to explore new things.

Can you share what Zoink Games is up to next including conferences or events for readers to join you at?

Well, we’re on our way to PAX West as we speak, and we’ll also be showing at EGX Berlin in September. So make sure to stop by and say hi! Other than that we’re hard at work on our new VR title Ghost Giant, so make sure to follow us on social media for all the news on that.

Would you like to share anything else off the cuff about Zoink Games to our readers?

We actually just moved into a new office together with our sister company Image & Form. So now we know all their secrets, like whose desk is the messiest. Contact me for more details.

 

Thanks so much for your time Alex and all the best with PAX West and your VR title Ghost Giant! I look forward to diving into more Zoink Games in the future!

Written by
Tribal by nature. Geek by choice. Origin ID: KelleyPlays

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