The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Lodestone

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Jessica Conditt
September 26th, 2011
The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Lodestone
Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We at Joystiq believe no one deserves to starve, and many indie developers are entitled to a fridge full of tasty, fulfilling media coverage, right here. This week, Collin Chandler talks innovation in iOS with Lodestone.

What's your game called, and what's it about?

The game is called Lodestone, which is a naturally occuring magnetic stone. The concept is simple: Stay within range of a magnet, and use the magnets to move around the screen. Touching the left side of the screen pushes you away from the magnets while the right side pulls you towards the magnets. Collect the golden magnets to win the level. There are natural hazards to avoid like rocks and trees, and a pond you can sink into. You also have to make sure you stay in the boundaries of a magnet tower. If you stop moving you're stuck and have to try again.

How did you get started in development?

I always loved games growing up, so it just made sense to me to make them as an adult. I went to Full Sail University for game development. There I learned programming and design, and met my artist in final project. She was there for Game Art.

Why be independent rather than try to work for someone else?

I think in time I'd like to work for a Blizzard or Rockstar, but for now I'm still pretty fresh from college and I want to get some experience on my own. Plus it gives me the opportunity to have full control over my project, which is very nice.

Why did you want to make games?
I feel like I know what I like about games and what I don't. Yet there are still un-fun games coming out all the time. Someone has to make the fun ones. Why not me?

It just seemed to click for me. I feel like I know what I like about games and what I don't. Yet there are still un-fun games coming out all the time. Someone has to make the fun ones. Why not me?

What are you proudest of about Lodestone?

Once people get the hang of the controls they really start to have fun with it. In any game I make fun is my number 1 priority. So to hear people telling me it is fun means I did my job.

Anything you'd do differently?

Better instructions of how to play. I don't know how to politely say, "Stop tilting the device, stupid," or "No, it doesn't follow your finger, idiot." I'm going to work on that and get it out for version 1.1.

What one thing would you tell someone to convince them to get Lodestone?

It's a simple concept, but I've made it difficult. You're likely not going to finish the game in 1 sitting. Plus there will be lots more levels coming.

What's next?

The crystal cave levels are next, which is a whole new theme. Also I'm going to implement game center support for leaderboards and achievements. Later down the road I'm going to allow users to build levels and submit them for everyone to play.

Lodestone is available now on the App Store -- pick it up if you feel especially drawn to it.

If you'd like to have your own shot at converting our readers into fans, email jess [at] joystiq [dawt] com, subject line "The Joystiq Indie Pitch." Still haven't had enough? Check out the Pitch archives.
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