Every Kickbomb game is driven by five design values
Best-in-class game feel
Excellent game feel (also known as "kinesthetics") is a crucial part of what makes action games fun to play. Responsive controls, satisfying interactions, and crunchy sound design make every button press and sweep of the mouse feel impactful and rewarding.
Rich game dynamics make games feel more like long-term hobbies than disposable entertainment. Games are at their most interesting – and rewarding – when they're about mastering systems, not just consuming static content.
Kickbomb games are designed to evoke a sense of wonder and discovery, embracing the unknown, the challenging, and the weird.
There are few things so engaging in games as when they present tough choices between highly-desirable options. Well-designed dilemmas encourage individual play styles and self-expression.
Crunching our lives away in a soulless cubicle farm is no way to make fun entertainment. Great games can be made in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle by focusing on achievable goals and sensible working practices.
On sustainable development
Modern American culture implies that the more hours you work, the more success you'll achieve. When we say someone is “hard-working” we always mean “they work a lot of hours”. There's no similar praise for people who can get the same work done in fewer hours; instead, we criticize those people for "slacking off".
But the dominance of the 40-hour work-week – as opposed to 60, 70, or even more – is not an accident. It's backed up by reams of empirical evidence dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, evidence that has stood the test of time and remains relevant even as our society and workforce continue to evolve at an ever-accelerating pace. It is well-known and well-proven that productivity drops off dramatically beyond 40 hours, especially when overtime is worked for many weeks in succession. The IGDA's Quality of Life initiative compiles much of this data in their white paper, articles, and presentations.
Kickbomb recognizes this research as valid and important, and consequently rejects the (depressingly) industry-standard practice of "crunch time". A sustainable game studio is one that embraces and defends work-life balance while still producing great games. Crunch is simply a failure of discipline, and it's certainly not required to make a great game.