“We wanted to give players enough control to move quickly, but leave some wonkiness for some challenge and humor.”

ONE OF THE FUNNIEST GAMES OF THE YEAR was recently lucky enough to chat with the team behind the hilarious game “Totally Reliable Delivery Service“, which as you might expect is a game about terrible delivery drivers. As the game makers state on their website “safe deliveries are rewarded, but mayhem is highly encouraged”. Without further adieu, let’s watch the trailer for the game before we dive into the interview.

First, thanks for joining us today guys. Totally Reliable Delivery Service is laugh-out-loud hilarious. There are others online saying it is simply the funniest game of the year so far, and others engaging in “let’s play” videos on YouTube who have their audience in stitches. This gameplay video in particular had me on the floor laughing. Let’s jump into the interview by having you introduce the game to us, and maybe tell us a little bit about where the idea for the game came from? Did you guys have your packages stolen or damaged? Is this a revenge game?

Thanks for having us! We’ve always loved playing multiplayer games with physics and messing around with them in weird ways until we cry laughing. We wanted to create our own physics sandbox, which has proven to be a challenge for our team of five people. The project started as “Welcome Home Dad” and the theme was wobbly characters, that we called dads, completing nonsensical challenges. After signing a contract with our publisher tinyBuild, we brainstormed themes for a while and came up with the delivery service idea. Most importantly, we came up with the acronym TRDS! The combination of wobbly physics and timed deliveries proved to cause hilarious (and sometimes frustrating) scenarios.

How long did the game take to develop? How many people were on your team? What did a typical day working on the game look like?

We’ve been working on the game for a year and a half, but the current TRDS version has been in progress since January. Five people are on our team, all working in the same office. We mostly use Trello to keep track of tasks, but we’re constantly talking through ideas and tasks in person. The typical work day is usually highly collaborative, but we have days where we’re focused on our own tasks.

How did you learn how to make video games? Did you take game development courses or are you self taught?

Our concept artist worked in QA and took courses for concept art, but the rest of us are self taught programmers, level designers, and 3D modelers.

Give us a little bit more background about We’re Five Games. Where you would like to see We’re Five Games in the next 5 years?

We started out as a team of two and have been a team of five since January. Our name comes from how we have a five year old’s sense of humor. In the next five years, we would like to continue developing games that reflect our five year old sense of humor.

Your studio has been around since 2012. First of all… Congrats. Can you help emerging game developers with dreams of starting their own indie game studios, by giving them the advice that you would have given a 2012 version of yourself today?

There are so many free or cheap assets and resources that are available now, it’s unbelievable. Dive into those and take your time to learn what kind of games you want to make. It seems one of the biggest mistakes people who want to get into developing games trying to come up with a game that has a massive scope. Especially if you’re just learning, you need to start small and really learn how all the mechanics, visuals, and UI work before trying to cobble something together that’s your “dream game”. Try to learn those things by making something you enjoy. To be honest though if me from the future told myself that, I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway… I guess that’s how you learn the hard way.

Haha. Very true! I’m assuming you’re using Unity to develop your games. Why is Unity your weapon of choice over other game engines on the market today?

Back when we first started working on games, it was the most approachable engine to us, given our lack of experience. We’ve continued to use it because it has a lot of great features to make development fast. There’s tons of features in the engine, and endless resources in the documentation, forums, and 3rd party content available on the Asset Store. We’re not against other engines of course, but we don’t have any plans switching any time soon.

Who are some other Unity developers (or indie game studios that use Unity) that you draw inspiration from? Essentially, who are other in the indie game niche who you believe are pushing the limits of what it means to be a successful indie game maker?

Josh Presseisen of Crescent Moon Games. We started working together because he contacted us to help develop a game after purchasing one of our Unity Store Assets. Since then, we’ve worked with him on a few games. All of his games have solid retro gameplay, great visuals, and incredible music.

Totally Reliable Delivery Service is getting some amazing game press. Tell us a little bit more about your approach to video game marketing. What strategies are working well for you guys and which platforms or strategies have turned out to be surprisingly “meh”?

We don’t have a lot of experience or success in marketing ourselves, so it’s nice to have tinyBuild as our publisher for TRDS. We made a small portion of the map and deliveries playable for beta. This strategy has proven successful because players are having a lot of fun in such a small area and are excited to see what the rest of the game has to offer. It’s exciting and overwhelming to see so many people uploading videos and streaming gameplay.

Part of the reason you guys are getting such great game press is due to the unpredictable ragdoll physics of your game. It leaves your players pleasantly surprised. How much early testing did you do to make sure the awkwardness of the game would resonate with players? What did that iteration process looks like?

It took us a few months to get our ragdoll physics to a playable state and we’ve been consistently tweaking it since then. We wanted to give players enough control to move quickly, but leave some wonkiness for some challenge and humor. Lots of suggestions and bug fixes have led to funny interactions. For example, we didn’t want to implement a combat system into the game, but wanted some type of mechanic for players to use against other players when being perpetually grabbed. That led to the idea to use a fart as a defense mechanism. A perfect mechanic for a game called TRDS.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. I know I speak on behalf of our indie game dev audience when I say thank you for sharing your insights and tips with us. To our audience, if you’d like to get a copy of Totally Reliable Delivery Service you can do so here

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