EDGE - - THE MAKING OF... - John Dale Co-founder, The As­sem­bly Line

What in­spired Pipe Ma­nia’s theme? Did you or any of the As­sem­bly Line team have any real life plumb­ing ex­pe­ri­ence?

[Laughs] No, not that I’m aware of. I don’t think there was any par­tic­u­lar start­ing point where we said, “Let’s do some­thing plumb­ing-fo­cused.” No, I think we came at things from a dif­fer­ent an­gle there.

Do you re­mem­ber what the re­sponse from play­ers was like at the time?

It was one of those things where we knew fairly early on that we had some­thing that was bet­ter than av­er­age, be­cause ev­ery­one we showed it to got into it quickly and was en­thu­si­as­tic about it. It came to­gether re­ally quickly, and whereas some games have you sweat­ing blood and putting a lot of ef­fort into mak­ing changes and re­fine­ments and so on, Pipe Ma­nia was a pretty quick and easy thing.

Is it a sur­prise to see the game con­tinue to pop up in each gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially now so much time has passed since you con­ceived it?

I sup­pose it is. Ev­ery now and then some­one gets in touch and says, “I would like to do a ver­sion of [ Pipe Ma­nia] – is that OK?” I al­ways say yes. In fact, 99 per cent of peo­ple don’t ac­tu­ally get in touch. Again, it comes back to the same thing about its sim­plic­ity. If I was try­ing to do a sim­ple and easy-func­tion­ing game, or a minigame that slot­ted in­side a big­ger game, then I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time on it, I wouldn’t want to do any­thing over­com­pli­cated. Pipe Ma­nia is a good can­di­date for that sort of thing.

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