The filmmaking and animating team Jamie Stanton and Liam Tate, otherwise Tea&Cheese, have had a pretty good start to the year with winning the Filmmakers’ Select Award at the Short Com Awards with the pilot for Isaac and Quincy. When making the pilot they were also developing their first game, 8-Bit Waterslide. Now released as an app available via the Apple App Store, we asked T&C some questions about their new venture.
8-Bit Waterslide was possibly the first thing you guys ever sent to me all those years ago when Short Com began. That’s some evolution from being a short animation transforming into a game. How did this come about?
The short version of the story is that we have a friend who now invests in making iOS games. He asked us if we wanted to turn one of our animations into a game and we said “yes”. 8-BIT WATERSLIDE seemed like the obvious choice given that it’s a film that looks like gameplay footage and we went from there. Initially we worked with a big App Dev company but that didn’t really work out so we went in search of “VIDEO GAME US’S” (A weird nerd who makes things by himself or in a duo – in his room – pale skin and beard likely) – And we found him – His name is Nicoll Hunt. Nicoll had recently made an excellent indie game called FIST OF AWESOME and written a great blog charting his progress from idea to mega-sucsess. We got in contact and he agreed to work on the game.
Obviously your animation plays on early gaming nostalgia. Was it ever in the back of your mind when making your various comedy animations they could cross over to becoming games?
Yes definitely! The n00bs series in particular lends itself to cross over as the characters are all from computer games. When we were plotting that as a show we figured out what each of those games would be like and 8-BIT WATERSLIDE is essentially the iOS version of Tipler’s game.
That said – It’s still totally surreal and awesome to see it in real life on the App Store.
How much of a learning process was it for you when making the game? With being filmmakers and animators already, did that ease the transition?
It’s definitely been a very steep curve. We haven’t learnt any coding or anything like that – but we know a lot about the process and how things should be done.
As for the transition – Kind of. There are a lot of similarities – especially as we make comedy and the most important thing about the game is that it’s funny. So in that respect its the same – you just chase laughs. The difference is that we literally knew nothing about how games are made and with our animations we do EVERYTHING ourselves – so it’s been about execution and ultimately trust. And that is why finding Nicoll was such a big deal. He’s not only capable of doing what we ask for – he does it better, and that’s when collaboration actually becomes fun as opposed to nauseating.
The game has been released via Apple around the Globe. Have you noticed an increase in fans or viewers in your films since the release of the game?
A little bit. For now the number of people playing the game is just shy of 15,000 but the rate that people go from the game to our website is about 1% (how often do you check the credits page of an iOS game!?).
We’ve seen a slight bump in twitter and Facebook followers but nothing substantial really.
Are there plans for an Android app release?
Yes we start working on it later this month in fact! I say we: Nicoll will start working on it later this month. It will be available on as many devices as we can afford and also Android TV!
What’s next in line for Tea & Cheese?
Annoying we can’t talk about the coolest stuff but there is an update of the game coming out in the next couple of weeks and our latest short, Isaac and Quincy is playing around the world at various festivals… Oh and it won a most excellent award at Short Com/ GSFF :D
If we can, we’d like to develop another mobile game from our mini-universe of characters, possibly in a Mario Kart style… but we’ll see how stuff plays out.
Any divine wisdom worth sharing?
Just make stuff. Lots of stuff.
You can find out more about the game and how to purchase here.http://www.8bitwaterslide.com/