Ooblets, formerly Moblets, is a game that I have been keeping an eye on for a while now. As a fan of Pokémon or anything adorable, and with the then Moblets, now Ooblets being an adorable Pokémon clone, it caught my interest. Ooblets has since evolved into a “Harvest Moon meets Pokémon meets Animal Crossing” game being developed by a small two-person team named Glumberland. The player will explore the world, battle ooblets (the creatures you collect that the game is named after), and grow new ooblets for their team. With 17 Ooblets designed (my favorite is Dooziedug) and gameplay mechanics still being ironed out, the game is in the middle-ish stages of development with a 2018 release window. This is lucky for me as the Ooblet team is doing a handful of things that I haven’t seen a developer do.
A “Dev Blog” certainly isn’t new. Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan has made a few for one example. It also isn’t that Ooblets made a twitter, although they have. What Team Ooblet is doing is streaming the process. Basically, the exact opposite of how Sega handled the Saturn. The “Creative” section of twitch.tv launched in Fall 2015. Since then game developers have been allowing viewers a keyboard-eye-look at their work. Visiting twitch.tv/creative and clicking the “gamedev” thumbnail there are dozens of developer streams that will let you in on the action. The Ooblet run twitch will “show off gameplay, coding, arting, game design, and a lot of yip yapping about cats.”
If that isn’t enough for the ravenous Oob-fans to satiate their thirst for knowledge, then Glumberland also started a Discord. Discord is the Skype and TeamSpeak competitor that has been gaining traction lately. More and more game devs have taken that route hoping to instill a greater sense of a community in their fans. Ooblet discord members will be able to share the hype with other fans about announcements, give suggestions to the dev team, check out some fanart or just chat in general. Discord is free to download and join. Access to the Ooblet discord also costs nothing to join and is as easy as clicking one link on their homepage.
Speaking of money, most indie games crowdfund. The bulk of that crowdfunding is done through Kickstarter. The Ooblet devs mixed it up here too by choosing to use the more consistent and community driven Patreon. You may have heard of Patreon before due to it being a popular crowfunding method of Youtubers. The benefits of using Patreon are that patrons give chosen tiers of donations monthly (it is possible to make a one time donation or cancel donation subscriptions) while still including the ability to post updates and give donation level rewards like Kickstarter. One such Ooblet-centered reward is the ability to vote on in-game features. A mildly terrifying prospect as fan voting can often wrong. However, the game’s fanbase apparently suggested the ability to grow creatures instead of catching them, which just feels right with this title. Rebecca Cordingley’s Patrons might be secret game design geniuses.
I will continue to keep a close eye on Ooblets’ development especially as the game is growing and changing at a brisk pace. This is an updated version of an article that was outdated before it was even published. Thanks for that, Glumblerland. Although, the interesting vantage point they are providing is a nice way to keep track of their accelerated development.
All information and links for the Ooblets twitter, Patreon, twitch stream and Discord access can be found on their website, Ooblets.com. All quotes and images used in the article are taken from the main site or the cute images/gif factory that is their twitter. The developer team website is found at Glumberland.com. The developer website doesn’t have any features currently, but the background art would make kickass poster.