If you’ve ever had the heartbreak of losing your favourite piece of clothing to an evil washing machine, Tim the creator of Lost Sock understands. Di got to chat with him about this, laundry and even more interesting ventures.
DI: How did you first come up with the idea for Lost Sock? Do you just do a lot of laundry?
TIM: A couple of months ago, my washing machine stopped working, so I ended up taking my laundry to one of those washing parlours. After a few minutes there, the realization hit me that this was the most fitting location for casual gaming. And so I wanted to create the perfect game for this perfect place. It was to be an ode to the washing parlour.
At the same time however, I couldn’t simply ignore the downsides of doing laundry. Scientists from all over the world are puzzled as to why so many socks are lost in the depths of the tumbler. With the help of my game, a solution to the mystery could be found at last.
DI: As you can see from Exhibit A, I, for one, am glad to have this mystery solved. But what did others think? When you were explaining your game concept to people, did you get any strange reactions?
TIM: Most definitely. Many of us are likely to have lost socks to washing machines. Coping with the loss is not easy for most. Some weren’t interested at all in my game because they were still too hurt to be able to take this taboo topic in a playful way. Others, however, were capable of a more relaxed view on the matter and even shared their creative ideas for new washers and sock models with me.
DI: Oh yes. The sock designs are quite unique! Can you explain your design choice for some of the ones you can unlock?
TIM: While I was contemplating the various designs for the socks, I realized that I wanted to retain the original form of an ordinary sock. This lead me to the task of finding objects that are still recognizable for what they are, even when they are in the shape of a sock. By now, I have equipped some of the socks with abilities to match their looks. For example, you are now able to doodle wildly with the pencil socks, or collect coins more easily with the bubbles from the fish socks.
DI: I LOVE the fish socks, by the way. I wish I could buy them for real. What would you say has been your inspiration in the way of games?
TIM: Pancake-The Game (iOS+GooglePlay) and Popcorn Chef (GooglePlay). They are two of my absolute favourites when it comes to casual games. Both engage the player in using a particular household item very carefully and in a conscious way. I find that very interesting and entertaining.
DI: Who knew that household items could spark such creative ideas!? In terms of the process of game design, how was it for you? What have been the frustrations or rewarding experiences?
TIM: The most rewarding experience is when complete strangers spend time playing my game and even make the effort to leave a review – be it positive or negative. A review following a 1-star rating for my game made me chuckle quite a bit. A guy expressed his anger about my sock-game in a humorous but also aggressive comment.
The toughest times are when I have to accept that an idea simply can’t be realized the way I imagined it to be and when, in the worst case, I have to drop the project completely. That can be pretty discouraging.
DI: Are there other game projects you’re currently working on? Can we look forward to maybe a sequel called “Found Sock“?
TIM: I’m currently working on a rather unusual racing game. You assume the role of a bored passenger trying to find entertainment in the limited options offered by the interior of a mid-range car.
DI: If the game is as entertaining as the synopsis, I’m definitely looking forward to that one. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it!