Already for a long time we write regular when there is a new Bart Bonte game, to find out more about Bart and his game design we proposed to interview him. Bart was so kind to agreed with this in an open interview.
Bart, can you tell us something about yourself?
Sure, I’m living in Belgium, happily married and father of 2 young kids. I’m designing web games and running a games blog. My most popular games to date are probably Duck, and Factory Balls 2.
How did you get into this line of work?
I enjoyed playing room escape games and wanted to have a go at making one myself, The Bonte Room. That’s how I got familiar with Flash (I was programming in Java in my daytime job). I got a lot of appreciation for this first game, even got mentioned in a national printed magazine and I really enjoyed making the game so I kept making games in my spare time. At this moment I’m going to work full time on the games and make a living of it.
Can you tell us more about the development of puzzle games?
Initial ideas for new games can come from everywhere, I can see an interesting image in a magazine, get inspired by a music video, ideas can even get to me in dreams :)
Your design for your games have a contemporary look without almost any instructions.
It’s true that I’m trying to make universal games that can be enjoyed by everyone all over the world, so I’m always trying to have as little instructions as possible, for example my game Me and the key has no instructions at all. Also, I’m trying to work with a limited number of elements for a game and build a complete game around these elements, like in my most recent game Full Moon these elements are a rabbit, an owl and light bulbs.
How long does it take to make a game?
The actual making of a game doesn’t take that much time, if you count it all up it’s probably a couple of days. What takes the most time is writing the game scenario, having enough ideas for enough levels. This work is done with pen and paper, and I’m mostly doing this for a couple of games at a time.
Do you do all the work yourself (design, coding, sounds etc.)
I’m doing everything myself because I enjoy doing all three of them. You could say my games are design driven, I usually start with a bit of design and then add some coding. My older games used to have no music or just a little loop, but in my recent games I started creating longer music pieces. For the music creation I’m using Ableton Live which is really a nice piece of software for music creation.
Are you inspired by design contests like JayIsGames etc..
Oh yes I surely am. I love to do a new game from scratch against a deadline and with a fixed game theme. If it wasn’t for game design competitions I would have probably kept on doing room escape games, but by participating in these competitions I started trying doing other things that I probably would never have done otherwise.
Which of your games are you most proud of?
That would probably be the Factory Balls games. I made a little sandbox of balls turning around in a tumbler and then forced myself to come up with a game idea to be able to use this ball tumbler.
Are you already working on a new puzzle?
I’m always working on multiple projects at the same time. I’m currently working on Factory Balls 3. I’m getting lots of mails all the time from people asking me when the new Factory Balls will be available so I owe it to the fans to make Factory Balls 3 :) I already started this summer, but the Mochiads word competition came along so I had to make a word game for that competition :) Must Pop Words and then after that came JayIsGames CGDC6, the explore theme competition so I really had to come up with a game for that as well :) ‘Full Moon’, so now I can focus again on FB3. Another new project I’m working on is a music based game, something new I have never done before.
Will your games be available for iPhone in the near future?
I would like to have my games on the iPhone, but I guess it would take too much time to completely rewrite them so I’ll wait for the next Flash environment that promises to have an export option for iPhone apps.
Bart, thank you very much for the interview !