Martijn Kunst (Bubble Box – Base Jumping) Interview

Categories: Interviews

Bubble Box

Martijn Kunst, a Dutch Flash games developer, recently took some time to do an email interview with FreeGamesNews (thanks Martijn!).

FreeGamesNews: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about BubbleBox, your own games web portal?

Martijn: I’ve been developing games as a fulltime job for exactly one year now. The first couple of games I made were sold to game sites. After reading about those sites ripping off developers, I decided to set up my own portal site, to see if this was true. I was hoping that some day I could make a living from publishing my games on my own website. I never expected BubbleBox to become an instant success, but it was. The site got close to one million visitors in the third month it was up. This allows me to work on creating new games for the site exclusively.

FreeGamesNews: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Martijn: I haven’t been able to make my mind up about anything in the past ten years or so. I’ve been moving around like a Gipsy working at over a hundred different companies, and doing quite a few studies. But after the economy went downhill, this became an increasingly difficult lifestyle to keep up.

So I decided it would be best to work really hard and try to become good at something. It also had to be something that wouldn’t keep me bounded to a fixed location. I did have a degree in real estate, but I’m not a great salesperson, and that job would not allow me to move around freely. The only thing I could come up with was web design. But soon, I found out that getting new clients is hard work, so thankfully after a while I decided to do games instead. I have always had many plans for new games (most of which are not computer based) and I guess I’ve found something I have a talent for.

FreeGamesNews: Could you please introduce your most famous creation so far, Base Jumping?

Martijn: After working non stop for almost a year on games and the BubbleBox site, I really needed a break. So I decided to do one quick game before that. As soon as I had the idea for the game I knew it would be a fun game, and, most importantly, easy and fast to develop.

The game has had over 14 million plays ten weeks after its release, in April 2006. I didn’t expect the game to become that successful!

FreeGamesNews: How much time did it take to develop Base Jumping?

Martijn: As I told you, I was planning to do a quick game before taking a break and I finished it up as fast as I could: it took me less than three weeks to develop. If I had known that the game would have become so popular, I would have spend more time on polishing the game, as for example the menu screens are terrible, and the voice is annoying.

FreeGamesNews: Where did you get your inspiration for Base Jumping?

Martijn: When I want to come up with an idea for a game I need to have nothing on my mind. And I usually lay on my back in a quiet and dark room, that’s how every game idea was born so far!

I have some sort of passion for leagues, the possibility of promotion and relegation in a competitive league is a great basis to make a game one. I wanted to do a game like that, and I quickly came up with Base Jumping. It’s a really simple concept, I had the game planned in about a minute probably, and the concept wasn’t altered after that.

FreeGamesNews: As you’ve just mentioned above, Base Jumping was an instant hit when it was released and is always rated in the top ten at Miniclip. How do you explain this success?

Martijn: I’m probably not the only one who enjoys competing in leagues. It’s also extremely simple to play; all the player needs to do is tap the spacebar at the right time.

FreeGamesNews: Base Jumping is free to download and can be hosted today on any games web portal. Why?

Martijn: The games released with the branding have been free to host so far. The site had no visitors some time ago; releasing games has been an excellent way to promote the site.

I’d like to host my games exclusively at BubbleBox. Unfortunately there are many portals out there that don’t care about copyrights, or would hotlink the game. It would take a lot of time to try to keep the game from spreading around. So I will probably release the next couple of games on a free license until my site has a steady user base.

FreeGamesNews: What kind of tools do you use to create your games?

Martijn: So far I’m just using Flash, and Sepy for the script. The graphics are made in Xara Xtreme. Soon I will get myself one of these Wacom tablets to see if that improves things.

FreeGamesNews: Can you tell us about your future game related projects? When do you plan to release your next game?

Martijn: I have many plans for games, not only computer games. Computer games are however a lot easier to realize, as most of my other plans need lots of space, and financial investments. I’m planning to be around with BubbleBox for many years to come. I’m looking forward to developing and hosting multiplayer games at the site.

A new BubbleBox game is currently being worked on; it should be available early July. In the game a tribe of savages are holding ritual fights to determine who will become the next chief… Stay tuned!


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