Interview with Richard Boeser of Sparpweed – The Creators of Ibb and Obb

Firstly, a big thanks to Richard for taking time out of his schedule to answer these questions for me a few weeks ago. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in!

To those who don’t know, what is Ibb and Obb?

ibb & obb is a two player cooperative platform puzzle game. The whole game is designed around the interaction between the two players and the double gravity world they’re in.
Everything in the game requires the two players to work closely together. Taking out enemies, solving puzzles, finding secret diamonds, it all can’t be done on your own.

Why did you decide to make Ibb and Obb? What was it that made it special from other ideas?

The first concept for ibb & obb was created during my graduation project. I had many different ideas, but this one stuck out. Mostly because the double gravity world is an original mechanic that is easy to understand, but can still lead to very complex situations.
Also it seemed to fit perfectly with the idea of two players working together which is a setup that is a lot of fun and to me it feels that hasn’t been explored enough.
Immediately from the first idea it felt like the core concept would be interesting enough to build a full game on.

What made you choose PS3 and PC as platforms for the game?

You can play ibb & obb online, but we feel that the most fun way to play is together on a comfy couch. That setup allows you to easily discuss your strategies and, maybe more important, you can high five your friend. The typical tv-couch setup is most found with consoles. So we were primarily looking for a console to develop for. PlayStation3 had our preference because we felt ibb & obb’s atmosphere fits the PlayStation brand. Sony was also the first console producer that showed real interest in the game and they’ve guided us well throughout the whole process.

The PC release is technically quite easy for us and it is a good market nowadays. The typical PC setup might suit ibb & obb less, but it will be great to be able to offer the game to such a big audience.

What’s the story behind Sparpweed?

Sparpweed is a two man studio, consisting of Roland IJzermans and me, Richard Boeser.
We met while we were studying industrial design. We discovered a shared interest in game design and both steered our graduation projects towards game related topics.

Roland graduated first and later acted as a mentor on my ibb & obb project. A while later when ibb & obb had started to get some attention we decided to team up and founded Sparpweed with the goal to transform the ibb & obb prototype into a full game. Sparpweed is still just the two of us. For ibb & obb we teamed up with different other parties, like Codeglue, Kettel, Tomasz Kaye and different guest artists.

What do the words ‘Ibb’ and ‘Obb’ mean?

ibb & obb are two characters from a book called The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde. In the book the characters start of as generics. They have no distinct personality, gender, or any feature that sets them apart from the rest. Also their names have no capitals. Through the course of the book they develop their characters.

For us it was important that the names of the characters could not be linked to a certain language or gender. It’s up to the players themselves to decide what ibb and obb are.

After Ibb and Obb, what can we expect from Sparpweed?

For now we’ll be busy working towards the PC release of ibb & obb. We’ll spend some time on Chalo Chalo too, a 4 player tactical racing game. There are other prototypes that we might continue on, expect some smaller projects first.

Finally, What tips do you have for any aspiring game developers out there?

Build prototypes and keep iterating on your ideas. Start with the gameplay and let other people play even when the prototype still looks crappy. If they like it then, they’ll love it when it gets its looks. Start with simple ideas, even a simple game takes a lot of work to finish.

Well that’s it folks! Hope you learnt lots! You can check out Ibb and Obb at

Thanks for reading!



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