Andy Mack Feed

Netflix Games Sizzle Trailer Teases Some 'Wild Things'

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Netflix Games released a sizzle trailer that gives subscribers a taste of what they have to offer, and we were thrilled to see the attention given to Wild Things: Animal Adventure. Many of our team members, including Lisa Brunette, Anthony Valterra, and Dexter Woltman, worked with Jam City on the game's narrative, and voice actors Andy Mack and Cammie Middleton brought the character voices to life.

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We're happy to be working on other Netflix Games projects that are still in development. If the trailer is any indication of what's to come, we can't wait to see what else they have in store!

Watch the full trailer on YouTube.

Download Wild Things: Animal Adventures on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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A Major Studio Milestone: 35 Titles, and Counting!

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This fall, Brunette Games reached an exciting milestone of 35 released games featuring our narrative work. Read on for insights from all five of our full-time employees and two of our contract voice-over actors on what accomplishments stand out to them and how story can make a difference in mobile games!

First, let’s check in with Lisa Brunette, owner and chief creative officer.

What key differences have you noticed in the mobile game space since the inception of Brunette Games in 2016? 

Lisa Brunette: It’s a radically different landscape here in 2022 compared to six years ago! My first project as an indie back then was Matchington Mansion, and the folks at Magic Tavern and I were basically teaching puzzle players how to enjoy a story along with their gameplay. What I brought to that project––a strong storyline, a relatable lead character, a diverse character cast overall, and puzzle pieces thematically tied to the storyline––these elements are commonplace now, but they were huge innovations in 2016, innovations that paid off.

How have these affected the way you and your team approach your work?

Lisa Brunette: We evolve as the industry evolves, and that’s the key to our success. While we carved out a niche for ourselves with story-driven games in the match-3/decorating genre, our expertise also encompasses interactive novels, idle battle games, city builders, jigsaw, solitaire, merge, of course, and more. Right now we’re deep into NFT/blockchain, web3, and the subscription model.

If you could give mobile game developers one piece of advice, what would it be?

Lisa Brunette: Taking a cue from the success of my own studio, I would say innovation and change are two things to always embrace. We’re constantly approached by studios who see a new hit on the scene and want to copy it. But that hit didn’t become a hit by copying something else! It’s a hit due to its own innovation, the change of pace it gave players.

And now, a word from our VP:

What would you like to see more of in mobile games?

Anthony Valterra: Lately I’ve been enjoying quieter games. I think the frenetic pace of many games has become tiring. I am enjoying the relaxed pace of Jigsaw Puzzle Villa and would like to see more games with that sort of tone.

What’s a stand-out moment in your time spent as part of Brunette Games?

Anthony Valterra: One moment I will always remember was getting to insert a cartoon version of my grandfather in a game. His odd accent and speech mannerisms were hilarious and perfect for a quirky side character.

Let’s see what our Writer | Designer team has to say:

What do you enjoy most about writing for games? 

Dexter Woltman: I enjoy creating original characters. Whether they’re the relatable heroine, scheming villain, or comedic best friend, it’s always fun to craft a new personality from the ground up. Between writing their backstories, deciding their relationships, and giving them a unique voice, there’s a lot of ways to make each character feel special.

Jenna Hume:  Integrating story and gameplay. This is always a challenge, but one that’s fun to take on. From creating tutorials to consulting on artwork, it’s exciting to see the story and gameplay come together in ways that are unique to each game.

Sara Hardin: I like the challenge of crafting an impactful story within a mobile game’s limited space for text. I often find myself thinking from the players’ perspective when I’m drafting a game script, considering what would be the most satisfying development for players who are invested in the game’s narrative. Maybe I’m biased, because I’m a gamer who’s a sucker for a game with a good story!

What do you enjoy most as a player?

Dexter Woltman: Is winning too basic of an answer? I enjoy achieving my gameplay goals and reaching the end of a level or game. When I see “level cleared” flash across the screen, it fills me with pride and excitement. I’m also very structured and organized in my own life, so crossing a finished game off my list—or crossing a task off a literal in-game list—is always satisfying.

Jenna Hume: I’ve always loved puzzles, so my favorite games are those that make me think just a little bit. Recently, I’ve enjoyed merge games a lot. Trying to figure out which items to merge to get the items you need is always a fun, rewarding challenge.

Sara Hardin: Aside from story, I live for the unique satisfaction of winning something I’ve been working toward for countless hours. Whether it’s a particularly difficult level in a mobile game or the final boss in my favorite rougelike (Supergiant’s Hades, by the way), nothing beats the euphoria of chipping away at a goal until I’m finally victorious. I named my betta fish Zagreus after the PC in Hades, if that’s any indication.

And last but not least, some insight from two of our über-talented voice-over actors:

Imagine you've been cast to record voice-over for your dream role in a mobile game. Who's the character?

Andy Mack: If I could record for a "dream" mobile game, it would probably be for either something like Disney Mirrorverse/Sorcerer's Arena or Marvel Strike Force. Having family ties to Disney and being a former cast member, the brand and characters are near and dear to me. The Mad Hatter is my favorite character and I've been lucky enough to do him for the DL Weekly (Disneyland podcast) promos, but it would be awesome to do it in an actual game format. As for MSF, that is my long-running mobile addiction, so it would be great to be a part of that cast and pretend I have superpowers or muscles, ha, ha.

Nicole Perez: My dream role in a mobile game is a hammy, witchy villain! A role I can really sink my teeth into—perhaps a villain with a “soft side,” someone that we eventually sympathize with, who never felt quite “understood.” This villain cackles, hollers, and has a sarcastic flair. 

Can you share a fond memory you have of recording VO for Brunette Games?

Andy Mack: I've had many fond memories over the years with doing VO for Brunette Games. The one that makes me laugh the most was doing the dog, Marlowe, for Ava's Manor. It was a challenge trying to convey various types of emotions nonverbally while trying to remain lovable/sympathetic for players. However, I knew I was on the right track when my own dog started barking at what I was recording. If I could fool him, I was doing something right!

Nicole Perez: I loved recording Lucy Hill [from an in-development game by Uken Games] because she is this over-the-top, ooey-gooey-sweet neighborly woman with this peculiar country charm and sweet Southern drawl. The process is to record three takes per line. I enjoyed this process because it allowed me to explore the character deeply; I made three distinctly different possible acting choices for how this character would come alive. 


Pawsome! The Power of Pets in Mobile Games

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Official ‘Jigsaw Puzzle Villa’ artwork

By Dexter Woltman

Who doesn’t love snuggling on the couch with their favorite furry (or not-so-furry) friend? Pets play an important role in our lives, and most of the team at Brunette Games find ourselves fortunate enough to own one. Whether our pets are scratching at a toy, napping beside their owner, or—in my case—trying to crawl on my shoulder while I write, pets are a source of comfort and levity. When we’re designing ways to engage audiences with our games, we often translate that familiar sense of animal companionship into the stories we see onscreen.

Across Brunette Games’ 35 released titles and counting, we’ve featured a wide range of lovable pets. Some of our titles include a more traditional choice when it comes to our characters’ animal friends, such as Tiffany’s endearing-yet-sassy cat in Magic Tavern’s Machington Mansion. But whether it’s a cat, dog, or goat, each takes a unique role in their owner’s life.

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When Justine travels to Spain in ZiMAD’s Jigsaw Puzzle Villa, she’s surprised to find the owner of the villa she’s staying in hasn’t given her cat a set name. Much like in Machington Mansion, this allows players the opportunity to name the cat themselves, building a deeper connection between the player and the animal.

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Jigsaw Puzzle Villa also brings pets into the forefront of its gameplay by allowing players to solve animal-themed jigsaw puzzles. These adorable puzzles feature dogs, birds, horses, cats, and more!

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Traveling beyond Spain, Justine isn’t the only woman in our games who meets animal friends abroad. Even acclaimed actor Jane Seymour sets out on a quest to rescue exotic animals with her loyal pet companions in “Into the Islands,” a time-limited event in Playtika’s Solitaire Grand Harvest.

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Sometimes, the roles of pets in our games is even more involved. In Jam City’s Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, the family dog Brian is the (literal) voice of reason. When he’s not busy ranting about politics or his superiority complex, he’s steering the dysfunctional family out of harm’s way.

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Speaking of the “voice of reason,” when handyman Emilio’s feeling down in Jigsaw Puzzle Villa, his goat offers him valuable advice like “Bleat!” and “Bleaty! Bleat! Bleat!” Did we mention the goat is also nameable?

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But the fun doesn’t stop there. While the goat in Jigsaw Puzzle Villa helps Emilio find himself, the dog in Sparkling Society’s City Escape helps the family in the game find… their rival? City Escape follows the Filburns' move to the countryside, where the parents quickly enter into a feud with their neighbor, Owen Timmons. When the Filburn kids—Ben and Chloe—find a lost dog, they’re surprised to discover he belongs to Owen. They return the dog to his home, marking the first step in healing the relationship between the Filburns and their disgruntled neighbor.

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But not every dog who wanders feels lost. In Uken Games’ Ava’s Manor, the lead character is a mystery-seeker whose loyal dog Marlowe joins her on adventures. Marlowe’s larger-than-life presence is felt throughout the game as he points Ava in the direction of clues. Marlowe’s even voiced by our very own Andy Mack, who brings life to the dog’s many yips and barks.

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Pets bring out the best in the characters we write. In a way, they’re humanizing and allow our characters to see themselves through the animals’ eyes. Whether you’re a longtime pet owner or admire animals from a distance, our games have four-legged companions for anyone to fall in love with—and these pets don’t require vacuuming loose hair! Be sure to check our Brunette Games’ expanding catalog of titles, where we continually find new animals to add to our growing roster of beloved pets.