Sprout: Idle Garden Coming to Android, An interview with Shallot Games
This month, Shallot Games offers the gaming community with Sprout: Idle Garden, an idle clicker that is unlike any other in the market today. If you haven’t found that clicker game you enjoy, this might just change your mind.
What makes it so different? The gameplay is much more involved than other idle clickers -- it’s practically a garden simulator! Here, you get to decide exactly how your garden looks and exactly what kind of garden you want to have, whether it be a communal garden or the best floral farm ever. It hasn’t been long since Sprout has been released, but those who have played it will let you know that it’s the game you should play on your downtime.
We were given the privilege to have a little chat with one of Shallot Games’ co-founder, Reid Scarboro, the game development team behind this zen clicker.
Raine: Ever since Sprout: Idle Garden caught our eye, we have been extremely intrigued about Shallot Games. Can you tell us more about your development team? How long have you guys been developing games?
Reid: It’s just my brother Brad and myself, as far as the full-timers go! Personally, I’ve been making games since I was about 13, starting in Game Maker, though it was mostly exploratory/a hobby at the time. We founded Shallot Games together in 2014 when we decided we wanted to try to turn game development into careers. Since then we’ve been steadily growing our games and our skill-sets, with probably the biggest jump being with Vista Golf in 2017, which we were fortunate enough to have featured on the App Store. Today, we are extremely excited about the launch of Sprout and can’t wait to continue making games that people will hopefully love!
Raine: What made you want to start developing games on the mobile?
Reid: For whatever reason, I’ve always loved handheld electronics. I owned a few palm pilots in elementary school (my life was obviously very complicated in 5th grade, with many meetings, play dates, and pretend weddings to keep up with), and of course, was obsessive about all of Nintendo’s handhelds (still growing the collection today). I wanted to make games for these pieces of technology that I’ve loved for so long, and we currently value the huge number of people who have access to our games.
Raine: Before Sprout, you developed platformers Luma’s Odyssey and Gap Cat, and golf games Vista Golf, Putthole and Vista Golf Rivals. What made you, pardon the pun, tap into idle clickers?
Reid: Gap Cat was made in the wake of Flappy Bird-style games and was our first commercial release. Though it wasn’t pushing the bar at all, we learned a huge amount about the process, which has enabled us to find success in the games that followed. Luma’s Odyssey was a game I created with 5th-grade students at a local school - my girlfriend (Victoria, who will later appear in Sprout) is the art teacher there, and we thought it would be a cool/rewarding project, for both us and the kids. The kids came up with all of the themes and drew the pixel art on graph paper, I translated their art and ideas into the game. For Sprout, we actually didn’t start with building an idle game, I like to think of it as a builder/simulation game first. We knew we wanted to have flowers, enable the player’s creativity, and create a calming environment. The idle mechanics paired very well with all of those things, as they usually tend to remove any stress occasionally found in other genres.
Raine: At the start of the game, we are greeted with a dedication to a certain someone named Victoria. “For Victoria, who paints the world with color” Was she the person who inspired you to make the game? Please tell us the story of how Sprout: Idle Garden came to be.
Reid: Victoria is indeed the inspiration for the game, I created the game for her. She is my lovely girlfriend of a little over three years. Sprout was originally meant to be a Christmas gift (missed that mark by a solid 3 months), though as it evolved, we realized we wanted to flesh the game out a bit more and do a full release. She is an incredibly creative and empathetic artist, who loves flowers, and works very hard in her multiple jobs. I was hoping to capture some of the things that she values and wrap it in a very calming/almost meditative package. The game has come quite a long way since it’s very first playable version. We realized we wanted to share this with a wider audience, as Victoria is certainly not the only one who appreciates an occasional break from the stresses of work, or the beauty that exists in all of the flowers of the world.
Raine: Sprout: Idle Garden is currently only available on iOS, will there be an Android port coming out soon?
Reid: Yes, we plan to launch early access on Android very soon, stay tuned!
Raine: Lastly, are you working on other games now? What other games can we expect from Shallot Games?
Reid: We are taking the MVP (minimum viable product) approach to Sprout. This means we released a very basic version of the game, and plan to release frequent updates based on player feedback to ensure we’re building the game that people want. So for now, we are 100% Sprout. That being said, we have no shortage of other game ideas that we are super excited to get started on!
Thank you so much for your time, Reid! We look forward to what Shallot Games has for us in the future!