Making Fun is a brand new social games publisher that already has two solid games under its belt: the collectible card game Clash: Rise of Heroes and the recently launched Noah’s Ark, both on Facebook. We had a chat with president and co-founder John Welch — who just so happened to co-found another casual games company, Diner Dash developer Playfirst — about Making Fun and what it hopes to do in the social space.
What made Noah’s Ark an attractive game concept for you?
We felt the story of Noah’s Ark was universally well known and loved, and it would translate well into a game that would appeal to audiences of all ages and skill levels. Even without playing it, you would assume the Noah’s Ark game is about collecting animals and building the Ark. You would be right!
How difficult is it to stay true and respectful of the source material while still making an entertaining game?
We understand the story of Noah’s Ark is sacred for many people. That’s why we focused the missions in the game to stay true to the story from the Old Testament, and also included Scripture-based content within the game. We also think there’s a universal appeal to the story of Noah’s Ark, and we didn’t want the game to exclude people by being overly religious. The greatest difficulty was striking that balance. Based on feedback, we think we did pretty well, creating an entertaining game with great graphics and adventurous game play that people of all ages and faiths will enjoy playing.
There seems to be a rise in the number of religious-themed games coming to Facebook. Why do you think that is?
Indeed, there are a few new religious-themed games on Facebook. We know this is a segment that is currently underserved by the current games in the marketplace, and represents a very large part of Facebook’s user base. Therefore, we felt there was a big opportunity to offer players a religious-themed game with exceptional graphics and great storyline.
Do you expect non-religious players will still be interested in a game like this? Why or why not?
Yes, we think this game will attract players who are religious and non-religious. Noah’s Ark is beautiful, really fun to play, and not overly preachy. Players have the choice to interact with the Scripture-based content. The Old Testament theme adds a rich story element that is lacking in many other games. It is familiar. You care. And if you don’t, it is still a fun game.
Noah’s Ark joins an increasingly diverse line-up of games published by Making Fun. Why is it so important to offer such a wide range of experiences?
The name of our company says it all – Making Fun. The social and mobile games movement has embraced a massive and growing audience – different people with a variety of tastes and interests. Increasingly, one size will not fit all. Recently we launched a massive update to Clash: Rise of Heroes, which is a comic book-inspired online collectible card game. And we’ve got a wide variety of titles launching in the next few months, including titles for sports enthusiasts.
How do you decide which games you want to work on?
Making Fun has a team of highly passionate people who live and breathe games: board games, card games, online games, and games tech. We truly make games we want to play, or we want our kids to get excited about playing. Yes, of course we look carefully at the trends in social gaming and look for IP, game categories, and game concepts to see where there are opportunities in the marketplace. We also partner with great independent game developers who share our passion to create only high quality games that players will love. But at the end of the day, behind each Making Fun game you’ll find people on our team that just had to make that game, who burned the midnight oil to make it as good as it could possibly be.
Can you talk about any future plans or new releases?
Well, I can’t say too much at this point. We’ve got a sports game coming out soon on Facebook, a few very cool iOS games, and lots of other exciting things in the works.
Any final words for your fans?
Our fans are really important to us. We read and appreciate all of the comments, both positive and constructive, posted on our forums. Every single message gets read and considered. We take all of those comments to heart and are able to continuously improve our games with your support. Absolutely tell us what could be improved. And it doesn’t hurt to send in words of encouragement, which are super motivating when we’re crunching hard to get a release out.