Monday, November 6, 2017

Five or So Questions with Steve Radabaugh on Cast Off

Hi all! I spoke to Steve Radabaugh about his latest mobile game, Cast Off, a movie trivia game! It sounds like a fun time so I'm sharing what he has to say about Cast Off with you!


Tell me a little about Cast Off. What excites you about it?

So Cast Off was originally designed by Jonathan Lavallee as a card game. I've turned it into an app. It's a game where one team will select a famous voice and a role from a selection of 3 each. Someone on the other team will audition for the role by reading a line while impersonating the given voice. The rest of the team has to try to guess the voice and various facts about the movie the line came from.

I'm excited because I think the game really works better as an app than it did as a card game. It's more convenient to pass around a phone than a deck of cards, and you always have it with you. I really think this will open it up to a new audience.

How did you go about getting authorization to make an app based on someone else's game? What kind of process is that?

In this case, it's probably a bit different than normal. I put a message out to IGDN members noting that I was looking for things to collaborate on, or just straight contract work. Jonathan approached me about this project last spring. He's been great to work with, I've given him test builds along the way, and he gives me feedback. He also helps me make sure that the audio and visual elements that weren't in the original game are on brand.

Images from the Radical Bomb website.
What is the interface of Cast Off like, from the player perspective?

I really tried to stick to the idea that it's a card game. The players will see the 6 initial cards, and they choose two. It then displays just those two cards much larger for the person who is doing the audition to read. I added tutorial elements that can be turned on or off into the game to really guide the players. After doing testing, I found that most people tried just playing without looking at the tutorial.

What are the major mechanical functions of Cast Off, and how did you make them work?

The biggest part is just drawing and displaying cards. When you start playing it builds an array of the cards that you have access to. (There are 5 sets total to choose from, and you can choose as many as you like. One comes with the game, the other four are in app purchases.) It pulls three random cards out of the array displays them, and them puts them into a second discard array. What's interesting to me as a programmer is that I don't actually every "shuffle" the deck of cards. Its more like grabbing a random card out of the middle instead of just grabbing the top card.

How can people access Cast Off and how do they play once they have?

Cast Off will be available as of October 26th, 2017 on both iOS and Android. The best way to play is with a group of at least four people, it can easily play a group of twenty or more. Everyone shares one device, so there's not a huge requirement of everyone having the device. The players divide into two to four teams, there does need to be at least 2 people on a team. Team one will start with selecting the cards for the role and the voice, then pass the device to one person on team two. That person will attempt to impersonate the voice while reading the line. The rest of their team will have 30 seconds to try and guess the voice and facts about the movie the role came from. The person who did the audition marks which things were correct. Then it'll be team two's turn to draw cards.


Thanks to Steve for the interview! Make sure to check out Cast Off on Radical Bomb's website and share with your friends!

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