In our last indie spotlight, we spoke to Morby Lin of Mojo Forest about his pet project – the Diablo III webcomic Days in Sanctuary. Today, we go in-depth with Zi Hao, also of Mojo Forest and Morby’s peer.
Mojo Forest describes itself as a small indie games studio, and a purveyor of fine digital bits. A three-man outfit, it grew from a “burning desire to create games that bring a unique experience or twist” to the table.
Creative Director Morby Lin, Game Designer Huang Jianfei and Lead Programmer Loh Zi Hao have known each other since their Polytechnic (tertiary) days, and have always shared a passion for game development.
However it was only when they saw the advent of Facebook apps, followed by the prevalence of iPhone games, that they decided to follow their dreams.
“We knew that was where we’d like to be,” said Zi Hao, on founding Mojo Forest.
The Chinatown based company started conceptualising games in 2010. And just a year after officially registering Mojo Forest in 2011, they now have four games in their portfolio, with one more on the way.
We reviewed the Mojo Forest game, 2Fuse, as a part of this indie spotlight. 2Fuse is a game that combines the concept of ‘Match-3’ puzzle games with a rhythm game, and Zi Hao describes it as “one of those sketchy ideas that was on the backburner for a while”. The team had always thought of it as a cool idea, but ran the prototype by families and friends before finalising it. The result? A quirky, fast-paced game with mindless replayability… and I mean that in a good way.
While Mojo Forest’s current games belong to the casual genre, they do hope to be able to create more “immersive and socially-compelling games” come the future. They also want to engage traditional gamers, and their next game will be their way of doing that.
This new game hasn’t been announced yet, but Zi Hao describes it as “pretty close” to being their dream game. “It’s something we’d really like to do,” he told us. “It’s very competitive and social, and it’s got a very strong sci-fi theme.”
Game development is truly entering the age of the indie developer, especially in our tiny red dot of an island. We wish Mojo Forest all the best, and in the meantime, stay tuned as we bring to light more local game development talents on RGB.