The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Bam fu

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The Joystiq Indie Pitch Bam fu

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

Bam fu is a two-, three- or four-player game on one device where you tap on pebbles – a fancy word for the buttons in this game – as quickly as you can to make them your color. Other players are trying to do the same and the colors change in a cycle, so the pebbles will definitely not stay on your color for long. The game goes on with you trying to reclaim your pebbles as fast as you can, until all, or almost all, pebbles are your color. That's when you win.

What's the coolest aspect of Bam fu?

We think that the coolest aspect of the game is that you can play it with everyone. Any gender, age or language; literally everyone!

The rules are so simple that it doesn't take more than a second to get them. In fact, we are yet to find a player who doesn't skip the the tutorial. Plenty of thought has gone into small details to keep things simple. For example, we are using the fingers on the hand to count your points, so it's immediately clear that you play to five.

We have also made the game accessible to colorblind players, which was a challenge for a game than distinguishes between players by color. This is why the pebbles were designed to point toward a player's corner.

Where do you picture people playing Bam fu? At parties, in the movie theater, at home...?

Pretty much everywhere, which is one of the coolest things about a game like this.

It might be a bit rude to play it in the movie theater, especially for the people that can't join in. Playing at home with kids is a personal favorite, as it doesn't take them long to match your speed, and at parties Bam fu makes for a nice tool to measure the correlation and potential causality between beer intake and changes in dexterity.

What inspired you to make Bam fu?

After Fingle, we wanted to make a game for more than two players. One questions we were exploring was "What is the maximum amount of players that make for a good game?" We started making lots of quick game prototypes, many feeling much like folk games. Bam fu is the distillation of a couple fun experiences from those prototypes.

The Joystiq Indie Pitch Bam fu

How did Fingle do, sales-wise?

As Fingle being an iPad-only game, it did amazingly well. We recently made a comprehensive article on Fingle's sales and marketing effort that you should definitely read.

Are you on a quest to encourage physical contact among people who play mobile games?

You could absolutely say so. We think that those are the actual social games – maybe we should call them "socially social" games. In pockets, in backpacks; people take their devices everywhere and they are stuffed with sensors, inputs and an ever-increasing amount of calculation power. We think that this is a great opportunity and a fertile ground to create games that truly connect people.

Why "Bam fu?"

It's a wordplay on Kung fu and BAM, the comic sound of a punch. Martial arts had a very strong influence in every corner of the game, as you can see from the trailer.

The Joystiq Indie Pitch Bam fu

Why develop independently, rather than work for an established company?

You mean, why work for less and have way more responsibility?

It is immensely satisfying to have full creative freedom and full strategic freedom. You decide what to do next and how you are going to do it. You also get to put your fingers in all bits of the development process. And when you are finally done, you can enjoy all the fruits of your hard work. This is why I bike to work every morning with a smile on my face.

Do you see yourself as part of a larger indie movement?

We are based in the Dutch Game Garden, a lovely downtown building where more than 30 game companies have offices. Some bigger, some smaller, all friends. They are always the first ones to go to when we need something.

Extending beyond our picket fence, we have have been lucky enough to meet plenty of great, talented people from just about everywhere. If we would try to thank everyone that has helped us and inspired us, we would need one more Joystiq feature just for that. We are also trying to give back as much as possible. We are publishing honest online articles and we are even more open in person.

The Joystiq Indie Pitch Bam fu

Sell Bam fu in one sentence:

Bam fu, the Steven Seagal of games.

What's next?

We are just getting warmed up. We are working on more games that make you sweat, some of them challenging you to leave your comfort zone or to try things that you otherwise wouldn't. There is a lot more to be explored!

Bam fu is available now on iOS devices for $1, and is due out on Android on June 20.

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