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Hopply – Interview with Clayburger studio

Interview with developers Matěj and Peter, Indie studio Clayburger. The clay masters focused to prepare fun with smile on player's face while playing their games.

Hopply Official Trailer

We met Clayburger studio at GDS 2015 in Prague. We were really excited about the work these two guys have done, so we decided to make a short interview with them and here it is.

Where did you two meet for the first time and how did it all start? To create a studio, make a game and continue in development…

Peter: We shared a room at the university and many many games of Counter-Strike. But just playing wasn’t enough and so we decided to develop games back then (years ago). Reality was harsh to our first attempts (real-time strategy games) full of naive ambitions of inexperienced students. Actually, it’s only recently, we founded our own studio and finished our first game Hopply.

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What do both of you do? What are your professions?

Matěj: It took me a while to get to game development community: started as physicist in the field of quantum mechanics computations, left post-doc position, went working at bank, founded few small businesses, and eventually stuck in IT. However all those years, I have kept composing, producing, and performing music (in bands, for short movies, and games).

Peter: I’m co-owner of small company, Pematon, that delivers mobile applications to our customers. Most of time I develop highly optimized mobile web pages and Android applications. Game development isn’t currently our main job, but we aim to change it.

You live at different places. How often do you meet each other? 

Peter: Although we live quite close by we meet in our office in Prague just once a week. You know, these days with fast internet connection, and all those cloud services, physical presence is overrated.

How do you work on the game? Who is doing what? 

Matěj: Peter is workaholic and he has done all the coding. Modelling from clay is joined adventure since it’s a lot of fun for both of us. 

Peter: All sounds and music is done by Matej’s mouth. Plus he’s heavy on gameplay feedback. 

Matěj: Tirelessly, we discuss every aspect of our games, we even regularly discuss other games (mobile, PC, console) – what works, what doesn’t, what new games surprised us.

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Are your children working with you? For example making some animals for the Hopply game? 

Matěj: Not yet, however my son (2 y. old) is one of our testing personnel 😉

Are you planning to use Matěj's music? I must mention that he's a musician!

Peter: Of course! Music in Hopply is performed and recorded by him and it fits perfectly. 

Matěj: It took us quite some time to find the correct style and sound that matched with craziness of the graphics and the game itself. If you listen carefully you can recognize old traditional Czech and Slovak melodies.

When I mentioned music, is the frog's sound in Hopply yours? I mean yours personally? It had to be fun to record. 

Matěj: Yup 🙂 I’m proud I could give voice to both bad guys as well. Even recording music was hilarious for us. When recording the title song, I put a lot of water in my mouth on purpose so that when I was singing it would sound like drowning. Funny fact is that I almost did 🙂

Who's was the idea of using modeling clay to present characters? 

Peter: It’s the result of our brainstorming long time ago. None of us is 3D modeller or experienced painter, so we were looking for accessible way, how to create unique, nice looking graphics. We finally ended up with shooting real objects and recalled the legendary game: Neverhood.

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At GDS you let people to do their models of characters in the game. Will they be present in the final released version? 

Matěj: Yes, we are stunned by the talent of guys and gals from GDS. Almost all clay models from there will be in the final game. We plan to implement freemium model based on collecting characters and these models will help us a lot.

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What will be the platform for Hopply? Only iOS or Android as well? 

Peter: Yes, both iOS and Android, and all mobile devices supported by Unity 3D.

What can we expect in the future? There are some rumors about community functions. I'm not sure whether I can say anything 😉

Matěj: We have lots of ideas how to make Hopply more interesting – new playing modes, different worlds and maybe some customizations. But we have to be realistic. All new functions are still heavily discussed. First, we want to release the flawless game.

When can we expect the final release date? Can you reveal at least a month?

Peter: The only date we can say responsibly now is year 2016. We just don’t want to put the game into the stores and wait for a miracle. First we want to be sure that we did maximum for successful launch (e.g. cooperation with good publisher).

You mentioned at GDS that this style of graphics utilizing the clay will be used in your new title, am I right?

Matěj: Yes, definitely. We love it and also have good digitizing process in place to make it as painless as possible. Plus, you know, the studio’s name is CLAY-burger 😉

Can you uncover some of the madness behind the idea of the new prepared game? I must say that I know what it will be about and that the idea behind the main characters is very, very crazy? 

Matěj: I fully understand your excitement, but sorry, not yet.

When can our players expect some beta versions? Will they have the possibility to become beta testers? 

Peter: Game is currently in closed beta version. After full implementation of freemium model we would like to open beta version for our fans. I expect it will be around April 2016.

What do you play at this time? And how much?

Peter: Currently I play Lumino City and Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive. My time spent by playing games is very influenced by projects I am working on. Sometimes I play games two hours a day. Sometimes I’m so inspired and motivated that I just can’t do anything else than working on our own game up to 3 am. 🙂 On mobile phone I play Rop and Crossy Road. 

Matěj: Hide and seek with my son. 

Thank you for short interview,say hello to plasticine!

Thank you for this great interview guys and I hope that the game will be as successful as it looks like! 🙂 You can find more information at their official website.

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