Interview Swamp Talk Creator, Chris Hancock

We thought that it might be a good idea to let our fans and followers (and new-comers to the game) get some insight into how Swamp Talk came to be and to get to know our founder, Chris, a little better. Below you will find an interview with Chris that answers some of those questions you may have had about Swamp Talk Game! Please read on and enjoy!

1). How did Swamp Talk (and your Swamp Talk team) come to be? How did you get the idea for this kind of game?

Swamp Talk was Tertl’s first foray into iOS. Although we usually focus on math and computing, we wanted to start with a straightforward concept that we knew plays well. Swamp Talk was a concept that I actually dreamed up with my longtime design partner Scot Osterweil more than 15 years ago. It was actually provoked, at the time, by a different new gaming platform–the world wide web! We thought of it as a good casual game with potential for multiplayer play. I made a prototype that played great, but at the time our work went in other directions. Dusting the idea off for iOS, we realized that it’s even better suited for a touch interface. So now is really the right time for this concept.

2). Did you have a particular demographic in mind when you created it?

We always thought of it as a casual game, meant to appeal to a broad range of players, including kids 10 and up, word game enthusiasts, and just about anybody.

 3).  Do you envision Swamp Talk as an educational tool? Or simply a fun word game? Or both?

The fun comes first, but we’ve talked with teachers who see learning value in the game. Swamp Talk gets you thinking in a different way about spelling in patterns in words. We’re open to adding some features to support classroom (e.g. bonus word lists), as long as it stays fun.

 4). Why did you choose iOS over any other platform?

The iOS ecology is a great way to go direct to the customer.

5). Is your company Tertl Studos thinking of developing any other games soon?

Thinking–yes! But we’re not ready to announce anything. Stay tuned!

 6). What advice would you give someone trying to develop their first application?

First, I’d say start with a concept that is really simple. As you get deeper into it, you may well find, as we did with Swamp Talk, that there are lots of subtleties that go into really making the game play right. Second, your user interface needs to be really well thought out and look good. The standards for polish have gone up and up since the app store began. Third, you are unlikely to make money on your first effort. Learn all about app marketing, and plan on making a few before you start to see significant revenue.

7). What is you favorite iphone game that is not your own?

“Tiny Wings”. It is a work of art. The visuals, music and gameplay all work together beautifully.

 8). Why the name Swamp Talk?

It starts with our frog. We felt it was important to have a character taking part in the game action, speaking and celebrating each word that the player plays. The frog needed a place to be, so we put him in a swamp. Some people say the name “swamp talk” sounds like talking dirty. To us, it’s more that the swamp is like a poetry slam scene, where the frogs are laying down their best words to see who’s king of the swamp tonight.

T-shirt Competition!

Hey all. So, left over from our 2-day stint at Tech Jam, are a bunch of Swamp Talk T-shirts (in particular a large number of XL’s–our founder, Chris, seems to think that everyone his his size 🙂 ). We have decided to have weekly competitions for the left over T’s. This week, we are starting with a basic High Score competition. So send us your high scores (and information) and we will send you a T-shirt. Good luck!

D-e-c-e-m-b-e-r Doesn’t Work?!?

While it is still relevant, we would like to give one last shout-out to our Tech Jam high scorers—Michael, Alma, and Kate. Also, we would like to tip our caps to Katie (8 years old) who impressed us all with her skill. Kate, her father Patrick, and her brother spent a lot of time with us at our booth, even coming back day 2 to try and beat their previous high scores. Day 1, Katie blew us away by spelling D-E-C-E-M-B-E-R. We watched as she started to form the word, used her wildcard for the “B”, and then swiped across her 8 letter word. But (oh no!) its not legal to use a proper name! This did not get Katie down, however. She made several big words over the two days and won herself a T-shirt.

High Scorer, Michael. Blurry, alas.

High Scorer, Alma!

Thank you, Tech Jam 2011!

We would like to thank the organizers of the 2011 Vermont Tech Jam last weekend at the old Borders Building in Burlington. We would also like to thank all of the people who spent time with us at our booth playing, commenting on, and even downloading Swamp Talk. It was great hearing all of your feedback about our product and it was exciting to see how many of you really enjoyed the game. Thanks to everyone who participated in our T-shirt competition and congratulations to all of the winners.  We would like to especially acknowledge some of our high scorers for the weekend, particularly Michael who led the pack with a 482!

High Scorer Kate and family came both days to improve their Swamp Talk skillz.