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Road to the IGF: Seemingly Pointless' eCheese Zone

March 1, 2019 | By Joel Couture

March 1, 2019 | By Joel Couture
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More: Indie, Video, IGF



This interview is part of our Road to the IGF series. You can find the rest by clicking here.

eCheese Zone will have players playing some totally tubular eCheese-Brand minigames. So long as they don't accidentally break one of the game's (many, absurd) rules and get locked out for an hour. Nice! 

Gamasutra attempted to sit down with James and Joe Cox, developers of the Nuovo-Award nominated title, but found our signal pirated by a curiously cheesy entity from the bowels of Cheddarville.

Cliffy Cheese instead told us about how punishing play can bring folks together, how that same challenge can get players to savor their cheesy experience, and how a charming, effective brand can help set just the right mood.

Gouda games

Cowabunga cheese freaks! I’m Cliffy Cheese, and eCheese Zone is all about me! I love tasty cheese flavored snacks and sodas, so I made sure eCheese Zone is packed full of crunchy eCheese fun, nice! - Cliffy Cheese

I can’t make games, but I sure as heck know that eCheese West only works with the best! To ensure eCheese Zone embodies eCheese values, development was fueled by all the eCheese products the software team could ever ask for, nice! - Cliffy Cheese

Brie inspirations

It all starts with the things that make eCheese so great: aeration, crunch, and cheese! Any development stuff beyond that is really none of my business as a mascot… I think the first version was made and deleted in a day? I just want to party, skateboard, eat eCheese, and avoid doing homework! - Cliffy Cheese

Camembert-creating implements

This game was made with Game Maker Studio, a lot of love, and a ton of eCheesy goodness! - Cliffy Cheese

On the appeal of creating a Crowd-Punishing (Parmigiano) game 

Anything is better than doing homework, homework sucks. Yuck! - Cliffy Cheese

(eCheese Corporate and eCheese West have heard your feedback and are working hard to resolve customer concerns relating to the eCheese Zone play experience. Thank you for your continued support.)

On creating mozzarella mysteries

eCheese Zone brings folk together in a fun way and encourages cooperation through a cheesy mystery! I’m sad whenever someone is unable to play my game, but I love-love-love it when they make new friends while waiting to play, nice! - Cliffy Cheese

(eCheese Corporate and eCheese West have heard your feedback and are working hard to resolve customer concerns relating to the eCheese Zone play experience. Thank you for your continued support.)

Creating fromage-based friendships through obeying brutal rules together

It’s very important to me, Cliffy Cheese, that players can follow basic directions, because if you goof up in the eCheese Zone, you’ve earned yourself an hour-long punishment wait timer! Everyone has to keep track of the rules to solve the eCheese Zone, and that process brings folks together, nice! Who knows, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about me, Cliffy Cheese, along the way. Nice! - Cliffy Cheese

(eCheese Corporate and eCheese West have heard your feedback and are working hard to resolve customer concerns relating to the eCheese Zone play experience. Thank you for your continued support.)

How complex rules get players to savor the Swiss-based play

Everyone savors eCheese snack and beverage products, just like how I want them to savor every second of the eCheese Zone! Sure, it’s not a perfect game, and so what if parents and guardians contacted eCheese West about “unbearable hour-long punishment wait timers” and “unmanageable rules pages”? No one is perfect! Take notes next time! All I can say is that maybe this will help players savor the experience. - Cliffy Cheese

(eCheese Corporate and eCheese West have heard your feedback and are working hard to resolve customer concerns relating to the eCheese Zone play experience. Thank you for your continued support.)

The unique, processed appeal of a game you can only play once

Every eCheese customer is valuable, and so is every moment of a game!  When those moments are gone, all that’s left are stories, and having good stories to share makes you cool and fun! I’m sad to hear that some folk play eCheese Zone for 5 hours and never get to see any of the mini-games, but that only makes those mini-games that much cooler, like me, Cliffy Cheese! - Cliffy Cheese

Creating cheddar-y comfort through silly characters

Branding is important and easy if you’re as zany and as off-the-wall as me, Cliffy Cheese! It’s important to have a silly tone when you want to show your audience it’s all lighthearted fun in the eCheese Zone! Fun fact: Did you know that eCheese Zone was almost a horror game? That would’ve been a mistake, yikes!  - Cliffy Cheese

Whether the emmental experience will be made more available in the future

Distributing a game to your fans takes a long time when you’re rolling around on a skateboard. The suits hope to be able to distribute my game more efficiently once I get my drivers license back, nice! In the meantime, eCheese Zone sure is fun to dream about! - Cliffy Cheese



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