Our interview with Ashley Spencer-Phillips the creator of Lunch Break

Have you ever had your lunch break ruined by one small thing that just kind of brought the whole “lunch break” atmosphere crashing down? Yeah, you’ll need to toughen up if you actually want to save Chris… We’re pretty sure this guy is cursed…

If you have yet to check out our review of Lunch Break, you can do so here!

Before we start we’d like to thank Ashley Spencer-Phillips for participating in our interview and for answering all of our geeky questions! Thanks!

…and without further ado, our interview begins…

The Interview

/// Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Lunch Break! Could you kick-start this interview by telling us a little about your studio, yourself, and what drew you into the gaming industry?

My name is Ashley Spencer-Phillips, I am 27, I live in the United Kingdom, and I’m an independent game developer. Gaming has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember and over the years I have collected more than my fair share of games consoles; both retro and modern.

The first time I dipped my toe into game development was when my colleague introduced me to Scratch software, I liked the fact that it was easy to use and free. Scratch had quite a few limitations though, mainly to do with publishing, so thankfully the positive feedback I had received for my Scratch projects gave me the kick I needed into actually paying for some software to allow me to develop and publish games to Android.

/// Ok, let’s start talking about Lunch Break. What are the highlights of your latest release?

Lunch Break is the biggest game I’ve published so far. My previous two games were endless runner style games, and while fun, they didn’t have much variety. Lunch break, however, is level-based; with each level containing different enemy types and patterns.

The game contains 20+ levels, including bonus levels too, which mix up the play style.

/// What was the core idea or inspiration behind Lunch Break? And perhaps more importantly, where do you find inspiration for your games in general?

Having a simple objective but with high difficulty, starting back at level 1 after losing, emphasis on beating the high score; these ideas are all inspired by arcade games of the 1980s.

As I am a huge fan of retro gaming, all of my games have been designed to look and sound like they came from 30+ years ago. The food theme of the game is inspired by Pac-Man, and the “Chris” character is actually an 8-bit version of my step-father.

Edamame: HA! We love Chris even more now! 😂

/// How long was Lunch Break in development for? And are there any interesting and/or exciting moments or experiences you would like to share with us from that time?

I can’t remember exactly how long I was working on it for; when I’m working that hard and I’m that focused, time becomes a blur and all the days merge into one. Most of the development went pretty smoothly, although I did run into some trouble when implementing the leaderboard.

The software I used at the time only supported Amazon GameCircle leaderboards, but then Amazon decided to retire GameCircle leaving me without a leaderboard. Thankfully the software added Google Play leaderboards a few days later so I could stop panicking.

Edamame: We know that feeling all too well… 😅

/// What software, developer-tools, or black-magic(?) did you use when making Lunch Break? Is there anything you would like to share with the developers who read Edamame Reviews?

I use GameSalad for all of my game development. I don’t really have anything to say to existing developers, but I do have a message for any wannabe game devs out there: Game development is becoming more and more accessible, thanks to software with a ‘drag and drop’ interface such as GameSalad, Stencyl, and more, you can create a good game without any knowledge of coding, so go for it!

/// Is there any secret “developer-advice” you can give our lucky players who read this interview?

The main tip I can give for playing Lunch Break is for when 4 or more things are heading towards Chris at once; don’t try to avoid/combat it all, it is best to focus on just 2 or 3 of the hazards to avoid/combat and accept losing some enjoyment from the rest. If you try to get everything at once, you are most likely going to be hit by everything.

Edamame: Hmm, this is probably what we did wrong during our testing… I’ll give it a try during my Lunch Break… 😂

Lunch Break

/// What can we expect to see in Lunch Break or from Ashley Spencer-Phillips in the not so distant future? What do we have to look forward to next?

I was thinking of adding Achievements to Lunch Break, but I am currently working on my next game. It involves Chris protecting his fridge from rats trying to steal cheese. That game should be available sometime this year (hopefully).

/// Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to our awesome team of Writers, Developers, and Supporters who keep Edamame Reviews up and running?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my game, and keep up the great work everybody!

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