If you like resource management games, you will really enjoy Hotel Baron.
As the game name states, you are a hotel builder. You start by selecting your plot of land to build on (different plots have different characteristics). Once you do that, you have a lump sum of borrowed money that you can use to build out your hotel’s structure, staff, and amenities.
The fun in the game is raking in the cash. When you find the right balance between supply and demand, the cash is plentiful. But things like earthquakes can throw a wrench in the works, so you have to stay alert and respond to customer feedback.
Hotel Baron is a really fun resource management game with a lot of factors that you need to pay attention to, and you are rewarded as your hotel revenue improves and gains in popularity. Congratulations DigiCroc!
Get To Know DigiCroc
Tell me about yourself- how many people are on your team? Where are you based?
My name is Mikko and I run a small flash/mobile game dev studio called DigiCroc, which consists of myself doing various tasks from concept design to marketing, Miikka in pixel graphics design/programming and Neil in graphics design/animation. I’m based in Espoo, Finland, a town that is famous for Nokia and Angry Birds. (and soon Hotel Baron of course
How long have you been making games? What did you do before?
Making, releasing and marketing games has been a great hobby for me for a long time already, started somewhere in the mid-1990′s. Before that… well, I was a kid, didn’t do anything too meaningful.
What was your inspiration for “Hotel Baron”?
I actually made the first design of the concept back in 2005 and some half-working prototype of it, but it never saw the light of day back then. Now obviously the inspiration for this ’2nd coming’ was this original concept, but looking further back, I think it goes back to those old school classic simulation games like some of the sim series and tycoon games, which I enjoyed playing with my friends back in the 386/486 times.
Any major challenges or hurdles during development?
Hotel Baron was a “big” production for us, so naturally there were challenges on the way, but nothing we couldn’t overcome.
What types of games do you like to create the most? What types of games do you like to play the most?
I don’t really have a favorite genre. I try to tackle many types of games and not restrict myself on just those which I may have succeeded with before. I mostly enjoy unique concepts and making something that hasn’t been done by anyone else like that before.
As for playing games, I don’t really have the time nowadays, unfortunately. I play mostly small casual games every now and then, as well as Kinect on the Xbox. But those crazily massive never-ending Civilization sessions of my youth are quite far in the past…
How long is your game creation cycle? What is your process?
I’m aiming for 2-3 month (=part time) cycle from design to release, so we’re talking about relatively simple and small games here. Hotel Baron, on the other hand, was perhaps quadrupled in time, but anyway. The process is rather flexible, starting from the concept, initial design and prototyping and from there to graphics production, etc, etc, testing and release. I like to emphasize the importance of post-release activities like marketing in general or publishing deals to ensure that the game attracts the largest possible audience.
Are there any game developers that you admire or consider “rock stars”?
Rock stars and game developers are two different animals… but there are so many skilled people and have been in the past, I don’t even know where to start…so I won’t.
What is it about making a new game that you enjoy most?
To get it finished. To turn the question other way around; I absolutely hate to abandon any (half-serious) project. The releasing and marketing part is obviously the most rewarding part of game making. When you have the final game in your hands which you know is fun and has that uniqueness in it, but which the larger audience is yet to see and play, I think it’s just a superb feeling to let the world know about it.
Do you have any hot projects you’re working on right now?
Sure, we’re working on a couple of very promising games which will be available both on Flash and iPad at least in the coming weeks and months. More about those later when you feature them here on Mochi.
Thanks Mikko, best of luck to you and the team on your upcoming games!
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